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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently purchased a 1946 Committee III from a seller on a local newspaper. He got it in an estate sale. It is in good overall shape with original lacquer, but needs new pads. adjustments, etc. I knew this right away when I test played it, but the price was so low as to make it no brainer. I would like to have the work done locally if possible, but I do not know of a good Martin technician in my area. I am under the impression that Martins can be a little tricky to tune and not every tech can do a good job on one. I am in SE PA, Bucks County area. Any recommendations on a good Martin technician?
 

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L&L Music-Wind Shop in Gaithersburg, Maryland has always done a fine job with my '52 Martin Comm III. That's as close to your location as my experience gets.
 

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Mike Hammer in Philadelphia will do excellent work, but will probably be the most expensive around. You have a TON of techs in NYC who can do the work and it'll just be a bit of a drive.

The only real "trick" to Martins is using relatively thin pads.

I, too, am getting my 1953 Committee III overhauled as we speak. I sent it to Aaron Barnard. He replaces all springs as part of his overhauls, which is a major plus in my book....this is in addition to seeing his work first hand before....he is on my very short list of "wow" technicians.

Let us know who you choose, and how it comes out!

- Saxaholic
 

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The thin pads are needed so the pad cups close flat on the tone holes without bending. The soldered-in tone holes also have to be checked for leaks. You'll have to decide on tone-boosters or not and what type. I had the standard brown nylon ones put in mine and it played great and still had that wonderful 'spread' sound. I guess every sax should be 'voiced' after an overhaul by adjusting key heights. You may have to adjust your playing to keep from going sharp in the upper register.
BTW, I just sent an email to Barnard about doing my VI tenor. :)

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks to all who replied and gave great advice on both techs and setting up my Martin. Concensus appears to be thin pads and flat resos for that great Martin sound. I will keep looking for someone local and, if no one else pops up, I will give Mike Hammer or one of the NYC techs a try. My wife is always looking for an excuse to head to New York. I appreciate the Gaithersburg tech reference, but will try to stay a bit closer to home.
 

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I’ve had both Black Roos and Musice medic standard pads on two different The Martin Baritones.
Both performed well although my current one (with the Music Medic pads) seems to be more Mouthpiece friendly than the one I had previously.
I’m sure it has nothing to do with the pads or resonators used but possibly something to do with the key height, which are lower on my current one.
 

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I think it has more to do with the accuracy of the pad installation rather than the type of pad used, as long as the pads aren't too thick and there's not a mountain of glue behind them. Great pads, poorly installed, as I encountered with one overhaul, are useless.
 

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I had a Ken Beason overhauled The Martin Tenor with oversized brass resonators and it was a beast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Great advice everyone. When I have the work done, I will be sure to question the pad thickness, shellac depth and key height relationships to the tech. This thread has been very educational for me, as this is my first foray into a Committee III setup. I have been playing a Couf Superba I tenor since the late 80s, and just had a hankering to try something different.
 

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No one mentioned it, but you need to find someone who has experience with the soldered toneholes Martins have. It is not visible if work is needed, but it is important your chosen tech can do the work well (during a previous repair someone really messed up my poor alto; you really want to avoid bad repair on the toneholes). Also, did you consider rivets instead of resonators? That's what they originally had and the sound is awesome.
 

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Try Eric Beach at Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center. He recently did some work on my ‘59 Comm III Tenor. It sounds great now
 
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