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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone. Some of you may know me already, but in case you don't, my name is Matt Stohrer and I repair saxophones for a living. Soon, I will be a P. Mauriat dealer in addition to a saxophone repairman. This will be a long post, so I will break it down:

1. Introduction, how and why I became a dealer
2. Explanation of my setup process
3. Suggestions, questions, comments

1. So I'm Matt Stohrer. I learned how to repair saxes on 48th St. in NYC (no, really!), I recently moved to Raleigh NC, and I post frequently in the sax repair section of this forum. I have my own website, but I am building a completely new one in the background- one with a shopping cart, a blog, a better gallery, a better layout, and no flash. I'm doing it myself, and it should be up in early June. People seem to like my work, and I have a reputation as an honest, reliable repairman and dealer. I haven't sold too many saxes myself in about the past 8 months as I've transitioned from living in NYC to living in Raleigh NC, but I have been doing a lot of work for Getasax.com.

I am going to be going out on my own soon as an independent saxophone repairman and dealer. Some of you may have seen the epic Sam Ash/Mauriat thread here on SOTW a while back- long story short, a customer of Sam Ash in FL was very unhappy with a situation regarding his recently purchased Mauriat, and after exhausting his local resources he was recommended to send it to me when I was working at Sam Ash in Raleigh. Working together closely with St. Louis Music, Mauriat's US distributor, we brought the issue to a succesful conclusion and the customer walked away happy. During my time working the St. Louis Music, I became impressed with Craig Denny's breadth of knowledge and depth of genuine care of the instrument, and I would venture to say he felt the same. We kept in contact, and when I left Sam Ash, we decided that we would like to continue working together and that I would be Mauriat's first dealer in North Carolina.

Although I will be a relatively small-time dealer, my relationship with the distributor and the distributor's keen interest in taking care of the end user make it possible for me acquire any of the horns and necks that Mauriat offers- and while being a small-time dealer and saxophone repairman, I can offer a level of service that will be hard to find anywhere else. I am the shop owner, repairman, customer service manager, and shipping department. I only do saxophones, and I love what I do.

I also hope to be deeply involved with the Mauriat saxophone itself- plans are gestating for me to visit the factory, which will be saxophone factory #3 for me!




2. I will be offering what I believe to be the the most thorough and thoughful new saxophone setup found anywhere- and those of you that know me know I am not given to hyperbole, so this is a statement I take extremely seriously.

The following is a quote from the "philosophy" page on my new website:

"In an era of factory-direct service, of almost infinite choice of merchants on the internet, I strive to make the value of doing business with me stand apart from my competitors. I take more time and expend more effort to make sure that working together is good for both sides- because at its best, business improves life for everyone involved in the transaction.

This is what I believe in, and this is how I do business."


I will be doing a MONSTER setup on each Mauriat I sell- and each setup will be specifically tailored to the player buying the horn. When you purchase a horn through me, we will have a long and detailed conversation about your playing style, your likes and dislikes musically, how you play, how you learned, your feelings about the horn- your whole story. The more I know you, the more I can make your saxophone play like an extension of you. This setup will easily be the most in-depth on the market, and yet my prices will be the same as everyone else.

Here is a quotation from my "New Saxophone Setup" page on my upcoming website that goes over the process in detail:

"When you purchase a new saxophone from Stohrer Music, you can rest easy knowing that your saxophone was given the same extremely thorough setup procedure that I would give my own saxophone.

This is not a promise I make lightly, as it often involves over a full day of work, per saxophone. And yet, my prices are the same as my competitors.

First, the saxophone is carefully unwrapped, inspected, and playtested. Any manufacturing mistakes or damage means I send it back. Only once I have determined that the saxophone is a worthy example of the instrument and something I can stand behind does the actual work begin.

I start by completely disassembling the saxophone- every key comes off the instrument. All rods, hinge tubes, pivot screws, and pivot receivers are carefully and painstakingly hand-cleaned, removing the oil and pivot grease from the factory. Rods are checked and straightened if necessary, and all posts are checked and aligned straight and true. Fit and finish is checked on all keys, and every key is made to be absolutely free in its movement with no slop, binding, or sponginess.

Next, all springs are retensioned to your specifications. Not only resistance but directional precision is required- and while it seems like a trifle, there is much to be done here. The difference between a decent spring job and a good one is the finesse that comes with care and experience, and it is a difference you will feel. Your saxophone will feel smoother, and the springs will exert a more constant pressure on your fingers, removing the gummy feel so often felt when springs are sub-par.

After the saxophone is completely clean and all moving parts are functioning within exacting tolerances, the saxophone is re-assembled stepwise in the same manner as in one of my overhauls. As each key goes on, superior quality synthetic oil is added, ensuring a long-lasting layer to protect the bearing surfaces and provide years of whisper-smooth action. Each key is checked for leaks, and every leak is individually corrected. All adjustment materials are checked, and upper and lower stack adjustment corks are replaced with a long-wearing and stable synthetic material, improving not only the firmness and snappyness of the action but the longevity of the adjustment.

Finally, the horn is exhaustively playtested. Only when I am satisfied that I am selling a top-flight professional instrument carefully adjusted to your personal specifications will it be carefully packed and sent fully insured to you, where you can rest assured that the horn will be ready to take gigging the night you receive it.

I provide warranty service for one year from purchase at no extra charge, and every horn purchased from me gets a lifetime 20% discount on my repair services."



3. So, there is what I am starting with. Does anybody have any comments, suggestions, questions? I'd be interested to hear what you think of my setup process, and whether you would like to see anything added. I am serious about providing the best value on the market, and I will take any and all suggestions under strong consideration. I would be particularly interested to hear from Mauriat owners who have a lot of playing time on their horns- what sort of things do you think a repairman such as myself could do to make your experience better out of the box?

Also, what horns do you guys like? I was considering making my first order a 67RUL (unlacquered, rolled tone holes) alto, a 66RUL (unlacquerded, rolled tone holes) tenor, and maybe a soprano or another alto or tenor, and maybe a neck. As time goes on, I will be reinvesting in my business and would like to expand my selection. I imagine I will be getting my first horns in early to mid June- and I haven't ordered them YET, so if you are looking for a Mauriat and would like to get one, your horn can be the first one I get! Starting off with a sale or two would enable me to reinvest and start offering a wider selection.

I also have the idea that maybe I could get an unengraved horn from the factory and have Jason Dumars go absolutely nuts on it...

I will be ordering my first couple horns sometime soon- and of course if you are interested in getting a horn and you'd like to do it through me we can make it happen.





Well, thank you for reading this novel of a post and thank you in advance for offering any advice or input! I am excited to become a dealer of what I believe is an excellent saxophone made by people who care and by people who listen to feedback and strive to constantly improve their product. I hope that if you are considering buying a Mauriat, you will choose to do so through me.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru
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Well, all of this sounds great! Good luck!
 

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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys! I am really, really excited. Being on my own and concentrating on what I love is a dream come true- I'll be working hard for sure, but I'll be doing something I care about!
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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Congratulations Matt!

I remember that thread you mention.

P.Mauriat saxophones have always impressed me as being a rung up the ladder compared with some of the many, many mediocre Taiwanese horns we here so much about and are touted as being "the same".

I have met Alex, the head of P.Mauriat, and I believe his enthusiasm to create a better saxophone is really genuine, unlike some others to whom financial gain is the main goal, a very unique person in this business.
 

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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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Discussion Starter #7
Pete, I completely agree. The fact that they are a discrete manufacturer with direct stock in the name and a man at the top who geniunely loves (and plays) saxophone make them a completely different animal. I am lucky enough that several of their top tier endorsers are folks I call friends, and I have been able to see as prototypes are developed and refined and have always been impressed with the speed, accuracy, and care with which they implement improvements. I remember saying about 5 years ago "if Mauriat keeps going on like this, the top 4 will feel them nipping at their heels in a few years time". I think that time has come.
 

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Forum Contributor 2015, SOTW Better late than neve
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As an owner of a "Stohrer"fied Swing 55JX tenor, I can concur it's the best PM I've ever played. This news temps me to get a matching alto. Good luck Matt.
 

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This is great news!!
It looks like you will be doing the same thing to Mauriat saxophones that Randy jones does to his. The addition of the stable corks that you plan to add is huge. You should have them ship you the horns without pads, so you can put better pads in the horns installed with shellac or better yet have them do that at the factory. The complaint I have with most new saxophones, but especially Taiwanese horns are their use of not ready for prime time pads installed with a small dab of hot glue, not floated in properly. I just worked on a Yanigisawa with hot glued pads, not good. I have never been wild about the Mauriat saxophone, but now I'm interested based on what you bring to the party Matt. Best of luck, which you won't need!
 

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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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Discussion Starter #10
TJ, thanks! Just say the word.

William, thanks! I just checked out Randy's page and yep, looks like what we will be doing is similar- except that my setup is free and included on every horn by default, and his is $400 and up and optional :)
 

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I have a PMauriat bought at SamAsh in Cherry Hill, NJ about 3 years ago. My experience with the folks at that location were fantastic and I was sad to see that the line isn't there anymore. Good luck with the line in the states here.
 

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Let's put it this way, the 2nd best sax I ever played was a Muariat System 76 (tried the other models, but they didn't "sing" to me). Why I liked the 76: The power of a Mark VII, the sweetness of a Mark VI, and ergos that I actually find better than a Yanagisawa.

Why didn't I buy one after selling my Mark VII Alto then? Because I felt my money was put to better use buy an Alto that came in 3rd, but needed mouthpieces that came in first!

Honestly, given the choice, a 1954 Mark VI Alto, or the System 76 Alto, it would be a close call! (and I haven't tried BA or SBA, so I can't compare them to the mix).
 

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Congrats Matt! I am truly happy on your behalf. You have earned every bit and I am certain you will continue to succeed in life.
 

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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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Discussion Starter #14
Mike and brasscane, thank you very much.

Nissan, I feel similarly. I am a saxophone enthusiast. I make my living repairing them! I own them and play them, and have probably owned hundreds in total. I love saxophones of all stripes (given a certain minimum of mechanical perfection and intonational and ergonomic usability) and there are different saxophones for different folks with different purposes and conditions, just like an artist uses different brushes and colors to make paintings that are pleasing to different viewers. Each horn has something to offer! The fact is, if you want a modern horn with modern ergos that you can buy new with a warranty and be the first owner, nothing else sounds like a Mauriat. They've taken great pains to create a horn with a big, fat sound, and you just can't get that particular sound anywhere else new in the box.


I've actually got my eye on an PMB-300UL unlacquered low A baritone... I think it would be a very good partner to my transitional 12M.
 

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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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Discussion Starter #16
Haha, I'll be sure to take that one up with them. What SBA inspiration would you like- sound, ergonomics, other? When I asked Patrick Selmer that question, it didn't go over so well (he was very polite but I could tell he had answered that one a million times)- let's see how Mauriat responds.
 

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Haha, I'll be sure to take that one up with them. What SBA inspiration would you like- sound, ergonomics, other? When I asked Patrick Selmer that question, it didn't go over so well (he was very polite but I could tell he had answered that one a million times)- let's see how Mauriat responds.
Sound and ergos of course, but also the fact that the horn is much lighter (probably less keywork and posts) and vibrates more (thinner brass?).
 

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Dude! I hope you'll still work on my VI...now that you're a PM snob. :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:

Many congrats on your new venture. I know you'll do well.
 

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Congrats man. I'm happy for you.
Will this cause further delay in the development of the mythical Stohrer 1 tenor mouthpiece? :mrgreen:
 

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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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Discussion Starter #20
Minous- thanks! I'm a saxophone snob, so no more clarinets or flutes (except for people who ask really nicely and give me plenty of time), but I'll still be here in Raleigh and I'll still be a repairman first, so no worries. I LIKE repairing and I consider it my foundation of saxophonic knowledge, so even if I sold enough horns to make a living I'd still be repairing quite a bit.

Warp X, thanks! Haha, I did not know there was much demand for it! I've got a bunch of blanks sitting here on my desk, and demand or not I do plan on making at least a few for myself. Maybe I'll finish one and put it on my website for sale and see what happens... Later this year I want to try to make a RIA-style piece on my lathe from bar stock- probably try aluminum first and then a brass or bronze one.
 
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