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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All right, so i will try to cut to the bone here. Keep in mind that english is my second language, and i'm not used to expressing myself like this in english.
Last year i bought a beautiful instrument, a brand new Selmer SA80 Series 2. I use a custom otto link, phil-tone (or maybe tone-edge, i don't recall). I've been playing for 3 years, self taught. I've learned a lot for surfing the web, and in particular this webpage, and i thought i got it made. Just recently I bought and read "the art of the saxophone" by Larry Teal, and man was I wrong. I've made a lot of mistake, and grew some bad habits but the worst thing of all: i've been completely careless handling the saxophone, and i can hear and feel that it have taking damage - relating to tonequality, intonation and response.
I've dropped the mouthpiece two times i recall.
I put cloth soaked in very hot water on my saxophone before a gig where it was outdoors and very cold - I heard that you had to "warm up the instrument"
I bumped the saxophone in to a door twice. In addition i used to live in a very small dormroom, and the saxophone was in the bag (which is a good one) which were standing horizontal, and then it felt.
Many of you probably shook your head while reading this, but i did the same thing as well. From this point on i will be extremely carefull and gentle with the sax - respecting it and handling like the precious thing it is, as i really enjoy every minute playing it.

I'm going to New York next week, staying only one week. (my first trip to the states, and i'm pretty damned exited).
I don't think there is anyone in DK that are able to restore my mouthpiece - it hasn't taken any damage that i can see, but it sounds and feel like it did. Do you think i will be able to find a good tech that can help me in NY in such short time?

The other thing is that i need a good tech that i can trust, to look at my tenor. I've talked to some people about it - including the shop who sold me the saxophone, and i had a bad experience with the tech there last year, and i do not trust them to make a perfect job. It seems as if they can make a good professional job, but will only be able to make it in the end of August, if, and only if, the tech is in DK at that time, which is not sure. But i need it repaired asap, as next semester at uni starts in September, and now is the only time i have to practice a lot.
So, do you think i should bring it to NY?

So much for cutting to the bone huh!?

Oh and one last thing: I'm goin to NY with my mom and 18 year old brother - any recommendations regarding good jazz music (preferrebly with sax) in that week, or good jazzclubs where my brother can attend, even if he's under aged?? We're living in Manhatten.

Tobias
 

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Hey man, yes I would bring the horn, but MAKE SURE YOU BRING IT ON THE PLANE WITH YOU. Baggage handlers will tear it up! Also, don't use a soft case. The full-sized hard case most horns come with may not be allowed on the plane, but if you're using a gig bag, make sure it has hard walls, like a Pro Tec (at the very least).

Second, depending on what mouthpiece you are playing, you may be better off just buying a new one here. There is little to no chance that you will find a convenient way to get someone to reface your mouthpiece while you wait. Many great mouthpiece craftsmen have a long waiting list and prefer to work with pieces mailed in, and all the good ones say variations of the same thing: "Don't give me your main piece because I WILL change it." In or near New York you can pick up a stock Meyer, Link, Vandoren or whatever WITH the opportunity to try it first, and you can also find more "boutique" pieces like Theo Wanne and Jody Jazz to try. Better still, there are some master craftsmen who live nearby, so for a price not far off of a decent reface on a metal mouthpiece, you can pick up a world-class Drake or Ted Klum mouthpiece in NYC.

As for finding a good deal from a good repair tech in the city, New York guys charge New York prices. I've heard very high recommendations for several in the city, but the guy I use is in NJ and does excellent work at a better price (I am NOT recommending him to you because you will probably lose money on travel out this far into NJ). Whomever you choose to work with, I would try to call in advance or send an email as soon as possible to make an appointment so you can be sure of getting the job done in time.

Many (but not nearly all) good jazz shows are listed on the radio station WBGO's website on a daily basis, so that's a good place to look for some good jazz. http://www.wbgo.org/calendar

For more R&B/funk flavored stuff, Groove, Cafe Wah and The Village Underground have fantastic music every night, often with horns, and they are all within a 2 minute walk from the Blue Note, so you may want to check them out if you're down there. For blues, rock and jam bands, there's always something going on on Bleecker Street. You can just walk up and down and see what you like.

For some good, more contemporary jazz for people who are really into jazz, safe bets that don't break the bank are the 55 Bar, Bar Next Door, Zinc Bar, The Fat Cat, Cornelia St. Cafe, The Garage, Smalls, etc. then more in the midtown area Iridium generally has decent prices to get in, going up a bit more Smoke always has good music, then uptown even more you can find some usually more soul-jazz/hard-bop vibes at Showman's Lounge, Minton's and The Lenox Lounge. Waaaay uptown is St. Nick's Pub which has some great late night stuff, but you might not want to head all the way up there if you don't know the neighborhood.

For singer/songwriter type stuff, the Rockwood Music Hall usually has some great groups, Cafe Vivaldi the same, and for pretty much ANYTHING, depending on the night, the Nuyorican Poet's Cafe, Joe's Pub, Fat Baby, etc.

Brooklyn has it's own scene which is really cool, and there are a TON of clubs over there to check out, but I'm not the best to recommend those cuz I don't get out there too often.

Incidentally, the clubs I've mentioned will have many of the same artists that you will see in the "top" more expensive clubs in an environment that is usually more intimate and cheaper than you will get at like the Blue Note, Jazz Standard, Dizzy's, etc. It's hard to describe, because it's not like there's a lot of space between you and the band at the Blue Note (or you and anyone/anything else for that matter), but the Blue Note always feels more like a concert with a clear separation between the artists and audience. Many of these other places you feel more "in there with the band." Like I said, it's hard to describe and maybe others won't agree, I don't know. But a $10 cover charge is a lot nicer than a $60 cover charge!

Also some premium clubs tend to have much better prices on week nights and late nights. To continue using Blue Note as an example, the 12:30 set on a Saturday night will be a different artist (or many artists) from the headliner of the night, but cost like $5 to get in instead of $60. Sometimes it's a local hip hop band from around the way, and the price difference from seeing someone like Dave Sanborn is what you'd expect. Other times, it may be like Luques Curtis, Christian Scott, Chris Daddy Dave and Robert Glasper just jumping off. That's just a "for instance," but nobody would be surprised to see that there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks a lot for the reply Dan.
Are there any tech-shops in particular you can recommend? i would really appreciate some links perhaps, as it's pretty difficult for me to navigate on google, let alone the streets of NY. And those goes for the mouthpiece guys as well. I realize this is a great opportunity for me to find a great mouthpiece, and i really don't want to miss out of this.
I will have my first lesson with my new teacher this sunday - a really great player from DK, that actually lived in New York for a while. I will make sure to ask him if I should use my gig-bag or case for transportation.
Thanks for the music recommendations. This just made me look forward to the trip even more!
I understand what you mean about the audience-musician "separation".
How is the club/cafe policy regarding age-limitations? My brother is 18 years old, will that be a problem?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've never had my tenorsax at service, so i would also really like any thoughts on what to expect regarding prices.
 

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Premium clubs will never give you a problem going in with your brother and a parent. Most places probably won't have a problem with it, in fact. Just check with the club before you go to see if it's 21+, and even if they say he can't go, tell them you're going with a parent and see if that's cool.

As for the recommendations for techs, other members will chime in. I have never gotten my horn serviced in NYC because I have a great relationship with my tech in NJ.

If you don't mind paying a bit extra for the service and for any gear you buy, Roberto's Woodwinds is pretty widely regarded as a great one-stop sax shop and I've heard they do excellent work on horns. In my experience, they tend to be on the pricier side with everything they do, but they do maintain a convenient shop where you can try pretty much anything under the sun and compare it to other things before you buy, they have a very knowledgeable staff, and most of the high-end gear that you could want to see and try. That's why I say they are expensive, but I do not say they are a rip-off.

Since I live here, I generally have more opportunities to shop around and get deals through either relationships with retailers, players, shops or even manufacturers on rare occasions, so I don't shop at Roberto's very much. However, for example, if I had an extra few grand and one day in New York to get a horn serviced, try some horns and buy a new setup for alto and tenor and maybe a new flute or something, AND I DIDN'T CARE ABOUT COMPARISON SHOPPING, I could happily spend the whole day at Roberto's woodwinds and walk out with gear to last me a decade or two.

Another plus is that the staff really knows their stuff, and may be more familiar with lesser known brands because they carry such a wide selection. I walked in and dropped a hundred on reeds to try, and came back looking for more a couple weeks later because I hadn't found a brand that I liked. The clerk recommended Marca to me, and gave me a few for free. I'd never heard of them at the time, and have been using them exclusively ever since.
 

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If you are only staying a week you might have some trouble getting the work done in time for you to leave.
 

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If you are only staying a week you might have some trouble getting the work done in time for you to leave.
Yes. This is why it's important to call around beforehand to explain your situation and try to make an appointment. However, there's no guarantee that you'll be able to get it done, and most techs will be a bit hesitant to give you a time and money quote without seeing the horn first-hand.
 

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Perry Ritter does same day service in NYC but I can't vouch for his work (though some people like it.)
 

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Cool, i will try to call him tommorow. I noticed that they have some mouthpieces for sale, that looks really interesting.
Yes do that and tell him Silvio sent you. You should really check out the Tenor Madness Early Babbitt mouthpieces they really look interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes do that and tell him Silvio sent you. You should really check out the Tenor Madness Early Babbitt mouthpieces they really look interesting.
Sure thing =) I have tried a lot of metal mouthpieces, from Link, to Berg Larsen, Dukkoff, Brillhard, but i have always prefered hard rubber. I Danmarl most players tend to use metal, so it's difficult to find a great ebonite mp in DK. I will definately look foward to check the Ted Klum and Tenor Madness out, especially if my saxophone is up and running again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
But as I have no experiences getting my sax fixed, i have no ide what to expect regarding prices. Could we be talking thoundsands or houndreds perhaps?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I just realized that Kim Bock's store is closed next week.

Can anyone recomend a good sax tech located as close to Manhatten as possible?
 

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Tobias, not dismissing anyone, but considering the short time you stay abroad, I'm not sure if it is a good idea to bring over your horn. They might not let you take your horn into the cabin with you. I'd hate to know a tenor sax going through the luggage logistics.
I don't know how the situation is specifically in Denmark, but in Europe, you'll find all the competencies needed to bring your horn back to it's best shape.
People in Germany, Holland, UK, France and ... Switzerland come to my mind. You could probably bring your horn and pick it up by car. Safely.
With the advantage of doing things at "normal speed", not in a rush.
Mouthpieces are less a problem, as they easily travel by mail (or fax ?). You could have your's checked/refaced anyplace, and sent back by mail at reasonable cost and risk.
Keep in mind that many sought after professionals have waiting lists, and might not be ready to do any serious job just on the spot (I'm not speaking of just changing a cork).
Most will propose a time-slot somewhere in the future, sometimes several weeks ahead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Tobias, not dismissing anyone, but considering the short time you stay abroad, I'm not sure if it is a good idea to bring over your horn. They might not let your horn in the cabin with you. I'd hate to know a tenor sax going through the luggage logistics.
I don't know how the situation is specifically in Denmark, but in Europe, you'll find all the competencies needed to bring your horn back to it's best shape.
People in Germany, Holland, UK, France and ... Switzerland come to my mind. You could probably bring your horn and pick it up by car. Safely.
With the advantage of doing things at "normal speed", not in a rush.
Mouthpieces are less a problem, as they easily travel my mail (or fax ?). You could have your's checked/refaced anyplace, and sent back by mail at reasonable cost and risk.
Thanks for your perspective on this. Many danes are on vacation right now, including many of the techs located in Copenhagen, which means i probably won't be able to get it fixed until late August. Also the fact that i can try mouthpieces with my own sax makes me consider bringing it along. I will contact the travelcompany to ask if there will be problems bringing it on plane. I read in a post on this forum, that people have mixed experiences travelling with saxophone. We have to swatch planes in London or Amsterdam, im not sure, but that might be a problem as well.
 

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Unless you want to have work done to your horn which needs some skills that you cannot find in your country .......why bother taking it to NYC?

If you want to play something there then see if you can rent a horn or maybe ask some SOTW members if you can borrow one of their horns that's what the collegiality of this forum could be for.

Denmark has competent technicians who can service a Selmer SA80 (hardly a horn of an unusual design!) like www.woodwindexpert.com [email protected] perhaps do it while you are away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Unless you want to have work done to your horn which needs some skills that you cannot find in your country .......why bother taking it to NYC?

If you want to play something there then see if you can rent a horn or maybe ask some SOTW members if you can borrow one of their horns that's what the collegiality of this forum could be for.

Denmark has competent technicians who can service a Selmer SA80 (hardly a horn of an unusual design!) like www.woodwindexpert.com [email protected] perhaps do it while you are away.
well i have no really reason to borrow a horn, as i'm no where near good enough to sit in at any jamsessions other than amateur, so it was really just to get it fixed and try mouthpieces. I now Lohff & Pfeiffer, but the sax-expert there is in germany, and will be back late August. But i see a lot of good arguments as to not bringing the saxophone, especially regarding the problems i may have transporting the horn.
 

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Travelling to the USA is often said to be more restrictive than domestic or Europe only flights; I do not have any recent experience.
A big enough shop in the US should be able to lend you a SA80 or similar horn to try mps.
Don't forget to take some familiar and used reeds !
 
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