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First about me to put things in context. I am 48 years old and am an executive who also has been playing sax his entire life. I currently play in an 18 piece Jazz Orchestra, Maynard, Buddy Rich charts etc.

Okay Mills Music. This is one of those family franchises that deserve to go out of business. It's one of those franchises who prey on parents and students and ignore anyone over 18 years of age. Want a box of reeds? $52 or how about a student Tenor Saxophone for $4,200. I had a gig on a Saturday and discovered a leak on my Bb pad. Simple to repair myself, I just needed a pad. Sorry we can't sell you a pad sir you are an idiot and although you have been playing for nearly 40 years we don't trust you with your own horn.

If in Washington State. Ted Brown Music, Kennelly Keys are great shops with people who know their stuff. Mills? please go out of business soon so that i don't have to think about all the parents you take advantage of. :evil:
 

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i have been into Kennelly & Mills in the last few weeks. The Kennelly in Bel Square had a guy who was rather incredulous that i stepped two feet behind a sid counter to grab something and look at it when no one else was around to help me -- then begrudingly said, well, I guess it is okay. the Kennely I was at was the one on Bel-Red. the guy ran out for lunch, left a sign. I waited. He was back in 5 minutes, and was very friendly and happy to help me.

I think a lot of times it is just whoever you end up with at the counter. None of these people make lots of money, so I would never say we should expect amazing service either.
 

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I go way back to the early 90's when Brad Wherry was the repairman for Mills ( Bothell store, down in the basement). He was a great person and would work directly with customers, once you got past the "defense" (army of sales people) upstairs. But then he wised up and went out on his own. And I agree with your assessment of the store and the techniques employed there.

Paul Woltz, the great bass saxophonist, is (or was, last time I checked) a repairman at Kennelly Keys' main store (Lynnwood) and he is a very good technician. I've never been impressed with their stores and sales staff, though - usually just a bunch of young people that know a lot about guitars and nothing about woodwinds.....
 

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I've never been impressed by either store but after being threatened with a libel lawsuit by the owner of Kennelly Keys for making a comment about their repair services I decided never to shop there again. Mills has had poor service and I think the high prices were the only way to stay in business. Kennelly Keys does the same and makes serious $$ off of student rentals...soon they'll have a monopoly and be charging $1500 for Antigua Winds horns...

Northwest Winds was my go-to place but now the internet seems to have the best deals/service.
 

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I should have mentioned earlier that my "go to" technician in the Seattle area had become Matt Schneider of Renton (Precision Woodwinds). I say "had become" because he is a little far to go to now from Mount Vernon.... I think Matt is a very good technician who is quite particular about his work and is also a great communicator, and gets repairs done when he says he will.
 

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i'll file that one away for when I need some work done.
 

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I'm not from the NW, but I have to say that I haven't shopped for supplys locally for years for all of the above reasons. I wish someone would start a poll and see how many of us (%) buy our reeds, ligs, mouthpieces, etc. locally vs. internet. Fortunately I have good repair guy not affiliated with a retailer who probably would have given me the pad needed above.
 
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