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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2008
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Discussion Starter #1
Well, my strap broke today during concert band, and my sax fell onto the floor. Dent in side of bell, opposite side of C# key, alignment most likely bad. Took it into the tech, got an estimate, and want to see if it was a fair price.

I will not state the price or the tech here, and it was only a rouch estimate, but I do not want to pay an exorbitant amount to fix my horn, as I just bought all of my books (and I have 18.5 Units, so that's a lot of books!).

Just curious as to what the techs here would give as a ballpark figure regarding repair cost. PM or post here, doesn't matter to me!

Any help would be appreciated!

Thank you!
 

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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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Completely depends- was the horn bent? Are pads now leaking that weren't before? Did the LH pinky table develop play in the mechanism? Did the estimate include fixing leaks that may have already existed? Where is the dent, how deep is it? Did the bell move relative to the body? Etc. etc. etc...

In other words, it could be pretty cheap (less likely) or it could be pretty expensive (more likely).

The most recent dropped horn I repaired was a VI tenor this past weekend. It ended up taking about 8 hours to get it back into shape- the body was pretty badly bent, there was a pretty deep dent by the A tonehole, the bell keys had all moved, after straightening the entire upper stack needed the pads replaced, and the octave mech needed a lot of mechanical work, plus numerous other niggling details.
 

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I was going to see what expletive was implied in the title, but after reading the tragedy in your thread, a few choice "fill in the blank" ones came to mind. :(

I'm truly sorry to hear of your misfortune.
 

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Forum Contributor 2010, Distinguished SOTW Member
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While you're waiting for someone who knows something to respond: I'll commiserate. I once had my strap break right in the middle of a gig; my tenor fell straight out of my hands onto the floor. BAM! Somehow or other I got through the gig, but the whole bottom stack of the horn was thrown badly out of alignment, and there was a dent at the bottom of the bow.:( Fortunately I had a good sax tech (Pacific Winds of Eugene, Oregon where I live then: hi guys!) who did an excellent repair job for me; as I recall the price was very reasonable.

This was bad enough, but not as bad as the time when I was in high school marching band; the band director had everyone put his/her horn on the ground behind the goal line while we practiced some idiotic precision drill exercise; when we went back to get our horns, my buddy the bari sax player (in 11th grade he was 6 ft. 2 in. and weighed maybe 200 pounds) stepped on my Conn alto (this would have been a late 6M, @1964) and crushed it. My parents had it fixed, but it was never the same. :twisted: :evil: :shock:

My friend, I feel your pain.
 

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Forum Contributor 2010, Distinguished SOTW Member
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abadcliche said:
LOL, ouch!
Yikes, sorry, I didn't mean you! I should have said "someone else besides abadcliche who knows something: I don't count." That was the spirit of my message.

sorry....
 

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Without actually seeing the sax there is no way an experienced tech can give you an accurate estimate. There are too many variables. Are the toneholes damaged? Are there any posts pushed into the body? Are the body and bell out of alignment? Are the rods in that part of the sax binding? Are the keys bent? I think you get the idea. My suggestion is to actually take it to another repair facility in your area for another hands on estimate to compare to the first.

My shop manager has the right idea. When someone calls our shop and asks for an estimate to repair an instrument he asks "do you have it there?" If they say yes, he says "ok, hold it up to the phone". Maybe if you held your sax up to the computer screen........:)
 

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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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Jbt, I like that one! I usually say "well, asking me X over the phone about your sax is like calling up a car mechanic and asking "my car makes a clunking noise, how much will that be to fix?" I just have to see it to really know."

Usually I can almost hear the little lightbulb turning on above their heads.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2008
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Discussion Starter #11
Good point, all. I guess I should describe my plight.

The horn plays perfectly except for below low D, where it starts to give out unless I put an extraordinary amount of air through the horn (leak, most likely!). There were no pushed in tone holes that I could find, and the body seemed fine (minus the dent in the bow).

I am worried as to whether or not the sax will ever play the same again. :(

I will be calling the store up tomorrow to get a better idea of what it will need done to it.
 

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Forum Contributor 2010, Distinguished SOTW Member
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You're in Stockton? there are good horn techs nearby. Your horn can be fixed. Keep the faith.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2008
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Discussion Starter #13
Could you send me a list of those horn techs?

The only place that I could find was Bill's Music (the one on Harding, not Pacific), and they were recommended by the heads of my department (music ed), along with the jazz studies head (a sax player), so I trust them.

I guess it is just that feeling of regret, because up until now, I had NEVER done any serious damage to a sax. Oh well... Now I will get a better strap and be even MORE careful.
 

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I just had a badly bent MK VI I got for low money revived and it´s a great player now. Adding the overhawl price I got a player for a steal. Whole thing cost me about 2500 bucks.
 

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Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
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Even if you get a description of what is wrong, the devil is in the detail, so no valid estiimate can be given here. And it is very easy not to notice problems, even dents, until one starts working on it, and throws the leak light in, and sees the leaks that are the symtoms of other problems.

Could be $20. Could be $hundreds.
 

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ianhart said:
Oh well... Now I will get a better strap and be even MORE careful.
Yeah, I try never to let my horns just dangle on the neck strap without at least one hand nearby to catch it. I think of a neck strap as solely for added support while playing. Not something to hang a horn on.
 

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Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2008
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Discussion Starter #19
The strap that broke was a neotech, so I have sworn off of them. Nothing against the company, I just don't want it to happen again. The sax fell while playing, of all things, C#. Couldn't catch it in time, and CLUNK. It was very painful.

The sax was looked at today by the tech, and I should have the horn back by the middle of next week, as he is a little backed up right now.

The dent in the bow will not be taken care of at this time, but the estimate stands where it was, at what seems to be a reasonable price. The price he quoted was the median of what I was quoted by other stores, and that satisfies me, so now all I can do is wait.

On the bright side of things, my school has given me a Mk VI tenor to play in pep band, and it plays really well! I am also first in line to play the school's Bass Sax if there are any tunes that call for it.
 

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Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
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Which part of the strap broke, or was it a dog-clip at the end that failed.

There is one type of clip that, if twisted a certain way while the strap is loose, releases once a load is put on the stap.
 
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