A PHILOSOPHY ON VINTAGE SAXOPHONE REPAIR
It is undeniable that we now live in an era where we are, as consumers, motivated to pursue the most current thing, and we want it yesterday. But if you scratch the surface, and albeit there are always outliers, most things that are ‘new and improved’ really just have a shiner coat of paint coupled with a higher price tag. Our entire consumer culture seems to have transitioned from caring about quality and longevity to what’s trending and how soon we can upgrade. There are many factors that have led to this shift, from the decline of American manufacturing to the effects of mass media, but the fact remains the same; we like re-inventing the wheel and will pay handsomely for it with a grin on our faces.
The vintage saxophones that we have come to cherish were not built with the same mentality, nor for the same buying culture as today. They were made at a time where people cared more about the sustainability and durability of what they were buying, consumers made an investment not just a purchase. Just look at advertising from the 1950’s to get an inkling of what the selling points and buzz words used to be. When is the last time you saw a new product’s core advertising include how easy it was to repair or how long it would last?
After disassembling and restoring hundreds of the ‘classic’ saxophones it is very clear that there was a level of tangible pride that seldom exists in what comes out of the factories today. From hand-signed warranty cards to the aesthetics of how each material on the horn complimented each other, there is a beauty in the level of detail and care that emanates itself to me when I have a factory original, vintage saxophone on my bench. Quality was obviously of the upmost importance as these horns were built well before there were many private instrument repair technicians, so it was in the factory’s best interest to do things right from inception. I look at these horns and I see both beauty and practicality, I do not see room for improvement, only respect.
Thus I restore saxophones, I do not fix them. My ‘signature’ overhaul is to make it look like nobody has touched your instrument since it left its makers hands. I believe in and trust that the craftsmen who made the saxophones of the past knew what they were doing and therefore have dedicated myself to doggedly studying their choice of materials and setup and then emulating it with precision. Perfecting something that has been perfected has become my life’s work, and it honestly just feels right.
Play Condition Work [85 + Materials] per hour, 50 minimum
OVERHAUL PRICING IS DETERMINED PENDING AN
ASSESSMENT OF YOUR INSTRUMENT IN PERSON
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