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My shop quotes a price for an overhaul, and it doesn't matter if it's 30 hours or 40, it's the same price. However our servicing is hourly. Sometimes overhauls come out to half our hourly rate
Yup - this is how I work as well... a simple service is charged with 500 SEK/hour (about $50 USD) while an overhaul often leaves me with somewhere between 250-500 SEK/hour, most often around 250-400SEK...
I still prefer overhauls since I feel that I have achieved something great.
I guess this is not the best way to make money?
 

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I'm not doubting the hourly rate but the need for the major undertaking.
Most of gthe times there is no need for it and there is always a second opinion to be asked, if they are in agreement though then you may need to consider your options
 
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I'm not doubting the hourly rate but the need for the major undertaking.
My p
I'm not doubting the hourly rate but the need for the major undertaking.
My point is that some techs don't actually make more money just because the job is expensive, therefore I would not tend to suggest a repad unless the horn really needed one because I take a loss on the usual rate
 

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And for $600 I can buy an intact horn better than what I own.
I wouldn't be so sure about this! Or, it would need an indeterminate combination of luck, time and / or experience to find that deal. Unless you place significant value on shininess and modern keywork which I imagine aren't the PanAm's forte.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
I wouldn't be so sure about this! Or, it would need an indeterminate combination of luck, time and / or experience to find that deal. Unless you place significant value on shininess and modern keywork which I imagine aren't the PanAm's forte.
Key nimbleness is my main complaint. The horn is great on ballads but I play with rock guitars and sometimes need to play with speed.
 

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Cannonball Vintage Reborn Tenor Sax with Cannonball 5JHR
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A story about service on horns: A few years back, Woodwind and Brasswind had been sold and were falling apart. Unfortunately, I had my horn in there for overhaul at that time. I had to call and call to get it back, and when I did, the pads had been replaced, the horn had been cleaned and that was it. It was unplayable. The last remaining guy at the counter in South Bend charged my $75 for the pads and cancelled the rest of the $400 bill. I took the horn to Quinlan and Fabish in Valparaiso, who charged me $150 to fix the poor service. It is very important to know who the techs are, or at least who the vendor is. A sax needs more than just slapping pads on it. Q&F got my horn up to speed. They also serviced it again 10 years later. Cost is important to me, but the horn has to play. Who cares about the cost if it doesn't?
 

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I am jealous of all of you that live in an area where overhauls are in the hundreds. There are three techs in the SF area that I would trust to do a full overhaul on a vintage horn, and they all charge over 1k for it. I actually had one try and charge me 2k. Pass.
Have you tried Tony at Anthony's Woodwind Corner in San Rafael ? He is certainly as good as any Bay Area 'Guru', and historically he has maintained reasonable prices.
Again, in the socioeconomic insanity which IS the Bay Area these days, I am certain he has raised his rates some since '11...but you should pay him a visit, if for nothing else than to get an assessment and converse with him. Fabulous tech.
 

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And for $600 I can buy an intact horn better than what I own.
If you're buying a new horn for that price ($600), it wouldn't likely be as good as what you own now. And if you buy a used horn for that price it would probably need either an overhaul or as much or more work than your present horn.
 

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Maxsax87 (jeez my first name, instrument and birth year...I should have snapped that username up back in 2004!), I think what we are getting at is that we really can't tell what your horn needs over the internet, but needing a full repad isn't out of the question and that price is well within the realm of possibility for a full repad. That's not going to cost less for a $400 horn just because it's a $400 and anyone who is charging less for labor an inexpensive horn is either doing a different job on expensive/inexpensive (cutting corners or throwing extra stuff maybe?) or shortchanging themselves on their own work.

If you think your tech is trying to rip you off, then find a new tech. If the next tech is "trying to rip you off" in the same way, you might be the problem.

If you love that $400 horn, then spend the money to get it playing. If you don't, then move it for as close to what you paid for it as possible and keep looking. Be ready to spend more on the horn, though.

And don't forget to budget up to $600 for repair work on that horn!
 

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Have you tried Tony at Anthony's Woodwind Corner in San Rafael ? He is certainly as good as any Bay Area 'Guru', and historically he has maintained reasonable prices.
Again, in the socioeconomic insanity which IS the Bay Area these days, I am certain he has raised his rates some since '11...but you should pay him a visit, if for nothing else than to get an assessment and converse with him. Fabulous tech.
I was not aware of Tony's shop. I'll definitely look him up next time one of my horns needs some work!
 

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Maybe I've been lucky, but this hasn't been my experience at all. Their recommendations have never been like that for me. Not Lee, not Eric, not Daniel (for clarinets/flutes), at least. They're the ones I have gone to. My experiences with all of them have been positive and they have always been decent, honest and upfront. Mike Manning wasn't around back in the day, but my dealings with him in the last couple of years have been excellent as well.

Maybe it was because I obviously didn't have tech money, but all those guys have a great reputation among many players that I know, so I don't think I was getting preferential treatment. Sure, the techs out here are very expensive, but they have to survive out here like the rest of us. None of them are getting rich, I am quite confident of that.

Not super relevant, but I had to stick up for my guys.
Interesting but in honesty....Lee and Eric, who are both very good techs....charged a hella lot even back in '11. A LOT. Lee's overhauls were around $1400 for a sax, Eric was not far behind. Their repad quotes were $700-800...back THEN, 10+ years ago...

I knew both of these guys and had good relationships with both. Very knowledgeable people. Good guys too.
But damn, they were really expensive.
Again...Tony and a guy named Gabe Eaton who used to work out in Fremont, has since moved to Japan I believe....did just as good work as Lee or Eric or whoever that alcoholic dude was who also charged $800+ for a repad 10 years ago...and they were considerably cheaper....I mean an equal level of work for literally 60% the price of Lee, etc...

In the case of Lee and Eric, simply stated: they are talented guys who have achieved a loyal following, and when you get to that level you can pretty much charge whatever you care to and you will always have work.
Keeping things reasonable for (new) clients with limited budgets...is not gonna be a priority for those kinda techs...again, it gains them nothing in a business sense given they are never short on work, so why do it ?

From a client point of view...IF you happen to have the income to afford it and you are happy with their service...then you'd keep going back..why not ?
I understand that.
Some will even say "I will pay double for a Guru".
OK, both scenarios are defensible.
But that is very different from saying "their prices are reasonable" (as in usual market scale)....which they were not 12+ years ago, and I cannot imagine they are today.

Sorry for digression...and I appreciate you standing up for your favored techs...they are both great techs and nice guys...but really, as far back as 2007-2011, those guys were really expensive for repads and o/h's. I associated with both quite regularly and quite often back then.

Not strafing anyone at all, just saying...in light of this conversation/topic....geographic/socioeconomic contexts are BIG here when it comes to tech prices.
 

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I'm not doubting the hourly rate but the need for the major undertaking.
Right...and the 'need' is gonna vary by the player.

For example:

a) I want this horn to be set up and play as well as if it were brand new

vs.

b) I am beginning to have to fight with this horn in order to get t to speak well up and down. I wanna not have to fight with it...I am OK leaving the secondary/ancillary things to a later date, in subsequent tune-up servicings...but I need the priority items addressed to get her speaking cleanly.

Depending on the player, their economic constraints, their expectations, etc...both of these needs can be addressed and the client can be quite happy with the end result.

The one thing I am trying to understand here is this (from a different thread of yours):


I'm a middle aged hobbyist with a 6 figure income. I can afford about any horn ....
If that is the case, wouldn't you be in a pretty good position to just go with option a) and see how GOOD you can get that PanAm to be ? $600 for a repad (it should include a chem bath, too) isn't, as others have stated...a BAD repad price, really.

Worst-case scenario, if you resell down the line you will lose a few hundred bucks...but that doesn't seem like much of a risk considering your financial ability (?)
 

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In the case of Lee and Eric, simply stated: they are talented guys who have achieved a loyal following, and when you get to that level you can pretty much charge whatever you care to and you will always have work.
absolutely. I don't want to try out new techs. I want what Lee and Eric (and Daniel Deitch) offer and I'm willing to pay what it costs. I don't have work done that often, so to me the cost savings of a few hundred bucks spread out over the years in between bringing in my horns is fairly trivial compared to the quality I know I will get.

It would probably be different if I were taking in lots of horns a year, but that's not the case for me or for most players.

I'll never, for one second, pretend that they are cheap. But I'm comfortable with what I get for my money and would rather save that couple hundred bucks every few years elsewhere. Lee in particular is very expensive, but he's never done wrong by me and I've been going to him since I was 14 years old.
 

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That's more an issue of salt air than humidity. It would be interesting to hear from our friends that get cruise ship gigs regarding finish longevity.
I worked on a ship for about 4 years, probably played outside two hours a week on average. Ventilation is very poor inside so the horns stay fine, now I love by the beach and you see the effects of salt air very quickly (6 months to a year)
 

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I love vintage horns, which is what got me started in the repair biz. I was taking my '58 super dynaction to a great tech pretty often because the pads were 1958 vintage. Still supple, but old. He would massage them for me at very little cost and they would seal great..... for a while. And he would mention that the real solution was new pads. The massage would only hold for a while.
So if you learn to massage those old pads yourself, you can get years of additional great playing use. Without that, then lots of trips to the tech for small leaks might be more painful than new pads.
 

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I'm not doubting the hourly rate but the need for the major undertaking.
MaxSax87.....I think we are having a theoretical conversation here. Perhaps if you could share all of the problems with your horn, it would be easier to help you come to a decision. There are many techs on this forum who could provide advice as to how you can cost efficiently heal your situation.

Also, I'd be reluctant to assume that a new-to-you $400 'used' vintage horn is going to be less expensive than your 1951 PanAm. I provided the first response on this thread. In that response I gave an example of one of my horns that actually needed a full repad. That was a reference to a brand new (to me) vintage horn that I purchased from a local, reputable shop. Bought it for a bit over $500. It came with a 1 year (useless) warranty. In my opinion, it should have been in perfect condition, but it wasn't. It needed a full overhaul, and it took me a long time to admit to myself that I got screwed by the the seller and the bogus 1 year warranty....That $500 horn ended up costing me about $1,200. I was livid. At the same time I am thrilled with its sound now that it has been fully overhauled........In short, trying your luck on another used horn, may not turn out the way you want. Your Elkhart built PanAm is a very well built horn.
 
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