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Discussion Starter #1
Hey saxontheweb,
So I play on a relatively new (bought used) 875ex. Unfortunately we had an accident. My case has been kinda faulty and the corner caught a snag as I was pulling it out of the car it snapped open and dumped my horn out onto the concrete. It was about a 3-4ft drop. The lip of the bell bent and the low Eb post bent. I did a play test and everything played fine except for low B and C# were kinda rough.

Went to a Yamaha tech. (Not my regular guy) and he says the body needs to be straightened and hes going to have to remove every single key then fix the body. After that re adjust the keys and replace 5 pads @ 5 dollars per pad. (All my pads are less than 2 years old)

The total was 650$. Might have well just done a full overhaul shoot. Haha

You guys think thats normal? Also do you think it was good to invest these repairs in this horn? Rather than just sell it a buy another? Ive seen Similar condition and close to the same years 875exs sell from 2400-3000 recently.

Thanks in advance folks.
 

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I would say no, that's a rip off. Fixing bent body doesn't need to replace the pads. You don't need to take it to a "yamaha" tech, take to the tech you are familiar with.


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BTW, there is no way a horn in such condition can be sold for 2400-3000. Your best bet is to fix it for a few hundred dollars.


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“ A dropped horn" means nothing in itself and there might be a ton of work to do or not.

There is any probability that the body has bent in the middle (where the bell is joined to the body by the brace, which is the weak spot of any saxophone) and that all the rods and keys have bent with it, so, it might play (there are tons of bent saxophones used by people out there), but it you want it straight it needs to be completely disassembled. The fact that only the bell keys didn’t play means that they are no longer alined to the rest of the body but it doesn’t mean that that is the ONLY thing gone wrong, in fact I would expect more damage.

Why the tech wants to change the pads may not be clear but they may need to be changed and may have needed that before you had your accident.

Anyway, nothing prevents you to take this to another tech and get another quote.

$650 won’t buy another saxophone but you can get yours to play better than it did before.
 

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Whether you would have been able to fetch that kind of money or not is immaterial now because it has damage that would make it impossible to sell as is.

It is , in principle, this is valuable saxophone and spending even more than the quoted amount (at this point I would certainly go for the whole shebang and go for a total overhaul adding all the things that you horn might need and you want) would be a waste of your money.

Just shop around, there are many reliable techs who would give you great advice and profit from the fact that indeed the whole horn needs being disassembled anyway.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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An underlying question here is "Is this tech trying to pull a fast one by overcharging or doing unnecessary work?"

I'm not really sure we can answer either, but I read "Yamaha tech" to be the saxophone equivalent of a car main dealer, I didn't know such things existed, but if they do I imagine there is a premium paid for work that would restore any kind of warranty that may exist. We all have the choice when fixing a car to go to a main dealer or a backstreet workshop for considerably less. Do the main dealer overcharge? It's our choice to go to one or the other.

But 5 pads at a cost of $25 out of a total bill of $650 seems neither here nor there, not the kind of thing a tech would do just to inflate the price as that part of the quote seems very reasonable. The other $625 we don't know, maybe it's 9 hours at $50 an hour plus $175 for genuine Yamaha parts - tech decides to use new rods/keycaps as opposed to repairing bent/damaged parts that then still have cosmetic issues. Who knows?
 

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Sounds like a completely reasonable price for a good repair job.

It would be cool if you have "many reliable techs" (@milandro) available in your neighborhood. That's a luxury that not everyone has. Maybe you can indicate in which region you live, so you can get some suggestions here.

Speaking from my own experience with a dropped saxophone (ouch!!!): if a repairman gives you a lower quote... but underestimates or does not oversee the full extent of the damage, then you will get back your saxophone half-repaired. This is probably not going to make you happy, and the subsequent discussions are not going to be much fun, either. It happened to me. Much better to have the repair job done competently, at the price it costs.
 

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True, I have the fortune of having many reliable techs in the neighborhood or in the country.

However, OP has at least two repair persons where he is, since he says that this was a different tech than the one where he always goes, so my guess is that there might be even more.


I am not sure what Yamaha tech is but there is something like Yamaha official authorized dealership which probably also has an official Yamaha repairing facility.

these are official service Yamaha appointed shops which serve their guarantee.

https://www.yamaha.com/paragon/servicerlocator/

Yamaha Warranty Service Center
6827 High Grove Blvd
Burr Ridge, IL 60527-7579
630-413-4366
800-940-6606
Fax: 630-887-8126
 

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I had a bent 6M repaired (yes they removed all the keys). No pads replaced, but multiple leaks fixed, and the microtuner was rebuilt, and the cost for that work was similar to the quote the OP received. The place I sent it has a reputation for great work and middle of the road pricing.
 

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“ A dropped horn" means nothing in itself and there might be a ton of work to do or not.
Exactly.

It is like assuming there is such thing as a 'normal drop'.

Anything could happen on a drop.

If it were just the bell lip and one post knocked out of alignment, then $650 is high. But your tech's reply notes the body actually got bent. If the body got bent (bell impacts concrete which sends the force thru the bell to the bellbrace and bends the body tube, possibly also ever-so-slightly crimping or slightly twisting the interior curve of the bow as well, thus offsetting the bell keycups from teh toneholes now). If tube is bent, then as Milandro notes the pivot rods might have bent with it, thus knocking the keycups out of alignment and creating leaks.

As Livingthedream notes, oftentimes some pad replacement is the better, more thorough way to go. It can be hard to 're-align' keycups to get the existing pad seats to perfectly line up with the toneholes again...thus the tech's suggestion to replace some pads. And of course replacing some pads oftentimes means the other keys in the linkage have to be re-regulated (corks/felts etc).

If I were you I would get a second opinion - go to another tech for an estimate. Honestly...you don't need a 'Yamaha ceritified' tech to repair this. Any decent tech should know how to fix this. As it was purchased used, I do not believe any mfr. warranty/guarantee would apply here, or am I wrong ?

Sorry to hear, I bet your heart sank far lower than the pavement when it happened...
 

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Definitely should ask for a different opinion. And let me share my experience. I once bought a saxophone to a very reputable local technician and he quote me something around $800 to repad the whole thing. I told him I am not a pro and I only need it to be in playing condition, and the quote remains the same. Then I take it to another technician, and he quote me $300. He changes a couple pads, refloat and adjust others. So I thought, maybe the first technician has a very high standard and to his eye, the horn needs to be repad. The horn with a $300 job comes back and play nicely and I am satisfied. Later, I bought a horn from the first tech and I request him to set it up, so I can tell if there is any difference between a "pro" setup versus a more "normal" set up. It is a different horn, but don't feel noticeable differences between his work and the other technician's work.

I have 2 cases where the body is slightly bent and need to replace a couple of pads and adjust, the quotes are around $300. I recently sell a Buffet S1 and the buyer said the tech said the body is slightly bent and charge him $140. That quote didn't mentioned any change of pads. But change of pads is only $25. Fixing bent lip and anything on the bell is relatively easy because that is very accessible. So, you can do the math, simply by what you described without guessing if there is any hidden damages, the quote of $650 is quite a bit higher than my own experience. Having said that, no one can really assess it without seeing it. Similar to seeing a doctor or car mechanic, always a good idea to take it for a second opinion.


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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the help guys. I wound up asking the other tech and he said that I could have gotten away with going the cheap route with them and just re-adjusting the pads. But i figure it was a valuable horn and I might as well invest in the full scale repair. Thank you for the piece of mind as this was something that broke my heart and I didn't want it to break my wallet if it wasn't necessary.
 

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I once dropped an alto on the neck. My cursory inspection indicated to me that just the neck needed repair. But when I took the horn in (to Ken Beason), he pointed out all the small but important misalignments that had also been created by the shock. He had to do a great deal of small realignments and bending all up and down the body to get it back in line. And yes a few pads could not be brought to seal on the old seats, as the realigned position what just ever so slightly different than the original.

If this were a $300 beater, then generally whacking the thing back into shape and getting it to roughly seal might be acceptable but on a top of the line sax I would fix the problem right while attention is on the proximate cause of the problem. If you kick the can down the road some years, issues due to subsequent wear and other things may (I say MAY) make it more difficult to figure out what's due to distortion of the body shape and what's due to other things. Better to get it corrected now.
 

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So, you can do the math, simply by what you described without guessing if there is any hidden damages, the quote of $650 is quite a bit higher than my own experience.
Try dropping your horn from a greater height, and get back to us.

Having said that, no one can really assess it without seeing it.
And yet you were really quick to claim “rip off”...
 

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Try dropping your horn from a greater height, and get back to us.



And yet you were really quick to claim “rip off”...
Exactly I am not trying to assess or guess the damages due to the drop, but simply go with OP's description. He said:
1. The body is bent which requires take apart all the keys
2. Eb post is bent
3. Lip bent
4. Replace 5 pads
5. Adjust keys after putting it back

Based on these 5 things, from my experience, $650 sounds too much. Maybe I am a bit too blunt to use the term rip off. But, in my real life, I need to be very careful in what I said and avoid being too blunt and direct. Honestly, it is a bit tiring. So, in the internet world, I tend to filter less on what I say and be more direct and blunt sometimes.


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"Blunt and direct" = wrong?

That reminds me of the growing internet trend to blurt first and deny later.
 

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I don't think there is a right or wrong answer. OP is asking for opinions from different people. Some people think the quote sounds alright, some people like me thinks it is too much. This is exactly what forum is about. We don't need to agree or convince each other, or prove who is right or wrong. And I didn't deny anything. I think it is too much. When i am being charged more than I should, it is a rip off.


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Discussion Starter #20
Right right....i do understand both of your points of view. And appreciate the insight...And if this had been any one of my other horns i would agree with dealaddict but since this unfortunately was my most expensive one I shouldn't skimp. I asked my saxophone professor and several others players around my part of town and they all said this tech was my best (albeit expensive) bet.
 
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