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SOTW Columnist and Forum Contributor 2015-2016
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm curious to know how the "premium rebuild" option warrants a $300 add-on in price. He uses the same exact pad, but there is "Teflon, Ultra-seude, synthcork quieting" materials and the such.

These materials do not cost that much more (if at all) compared to standard materials, nor are they more difficult to apply.

To be (extremely, imo) generous, I'd be willing to say it's possible the materials are possibly $50 more, but I don't see any extra time required to add these materials. Fifteen minutes, tops?

Does that warrant a $300 increase in price? Perhaps some more experienced techs than myself can chime in and enlighten me, because I feel like I'm missing something.

- Saxaholic
 

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Greed?? I'm not familiar with the business, but +300 seems a little over the top.

I've noted the use of 'premiuim' in advertising to add price, but not necessarily (mostly not) value, to a service. Maybe this is the new "Save 153%, on sale now" sort of advertising??

You will be missing something if you do sign up, 300 bucks!
 

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Yes I'm inclined to agree, apart from the price differences between various types of pad, which can in all fairness be as much as 100% the rest of the materials involved --mainly cork/felt---is very small.
The quality of work should be a constant factor regardless of whether it's "Premium or "Standard" IMO. At the end of the day it comes down to marketing---I will try and resist using the "Hype" analogy
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Glad to see I'm not alone in this; hopefully some others will put in their thoughts.

- Saxaholic
 

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As a professional repair tech I really shouldn't say this but it is nothing more than a gimmick to get more money out of the customer. It takes no more time to cut and glue tech cork as it does regular cork. The same goes for teflon, ultra suede, or synthetic felt. The cost difference in the materials themselves is negligible. I see nothing wrong with charging more for certain premium pads or special resonators that in fact cost more at wholesale prices, and then adding a fair mark up for ordering, handling, and shipping. But to charge $300 more for the materials that should be used in the first place is not a practice that I would call fair or reasonable.
 

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so what is a rebuild?

1) strip the sax
2) clean the sax
3) fix the dents (this can cause the sax to be unassembled into individual components)
4) level the tone holes
5) polish the sax
6) touch up the lacquer or plating
7) repad the sax
8) swag the rods (get rid of the clanks within the rod bearing)
9) replace the corks and felts
10) tune the sax ... adjust the felts and corks to make the sax play as close as possible in tune
11) the same as 10 but use he same mouthpiece as the customer

So where would I differentiate? well bends dents and dings are an obvious variation in work needed. As is applying a judicious amount of matching lacquer.

So if i had to hazard a guess. these instruments that we have are never ever in the same condition. You are always better off having the tech look over the sax and then discuss what you want done and are willing to pay as he/she imputs what it will cost to have done what you want done. all the other prices are just wild guesses.

This is a huge argument for living in an area with a selection of techs to pick from.
 

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SOTW Columnist and Forum Contributor 2015-2016
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Discussion Starter #7
Fremont,

I'm not sure how your post relates at all to the topic at hand, forgive me if I'm missing your point. I'm not arguing with their basic rebuild prices; I was just curious why the "premium" rebuild offered costs $300 more and it quotes the use of certain materials (not pads) as the difference, when those materials don't really cost anymore nor are more difficult to apply to a rebuild. Thank you for the reply.

- Saxaholic
 

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I'm not sure exactly why they charge more than just the materials cost for a premium repad, you would hope that they are putting forth their best effort for every repad. I won't turn this into a bashing sessions but my experience with WWS has led me to believe that they rely on these sort of gimmicks to get customers...I haven't been pleased with work they've done for me in the past and none of the Seattle pro players get their horns worked on there. I had a student who paid $900 for a "premium" repad a few years ago and it was definitely less than spectacular but since they were told that it was "premium" and that their selmer horn was worth spending the money on, they did it anyway.

That all said, it boils down to the fact that if someone is willing to give them $300 for a premium job, even if that job isn't technically worth the $300...they'll take the money; that is how business works. No different from a premium car wash that might cost $6 more but the extra soap is only $1, it is one of those funny goods that defies the law of supply and demand.
 

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silverselmer, you beat me to it. If a 'premium' repad/service includes things that should normally be done, with what one would expect great diligence, the implication is that those things aren't done on a 'regular' repad/service, or they are done with less than normal diligence. That's a condemnation of the business, surely.

Reminds me of that youtube video of the tech with the wild hair and beard (can't think of his name) who says the principal aim of a repair tech is to 'separate money from the customers'. I wouldn't be using him if the was the only tech left on the planet.

People do get carried away with spending money on their hobby/interest and even knowing they're being conned, go ahead and spend it anyway, somehow believing that the 'premium' service will be better for them.

jbtsax, I think you should say it, and you've done SOTW members a service in doing so.
 

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Saxaholic,

What I am pointing out is that the work that can or should be done is a huge variable. I believe that beyond the standard strip, clean, repad then tune there is a wide variety of work that can be done. So yes I am suggesting that rebuilding a sax requires a large variation in effort. But without the tech actually being able to review the sax in question there is no way they can predetermine how much work needs to be done. What you might get for upfront saying that you are willing to pay an extra $300 will also very.

My main point is that the work for refurbishing a sax is very non-predictable and thus if a shop offered different prices and has a good reputation then expect that more effort will be done. But if the shop doesn't have that reputation then you are wasting your extra cash. And in all cases dealing with a known tech who warranties their work is better for the customer.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That helps me to understand your point, thank you for clarifying that for me.

I will agree that not being able to see the horn before hand makes it difficult to price. But I also believe that any shop knows what their basic rebuild entails, and anything outside of that basic work would be quoted to the customer before starting the work (excessive dent work, custom key mods, etc.)

In this case, I just didn't understand the price difference between the standard and premium rebuild, since no other extra work is quoted other than the use of different materials that do not have an increased cost nor increased time to apply.

Thanks again.

- Saxaholic
 

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I had two different price points for overhauls when I was teching and I didn't consider it a difference in quality but as a difference in included features and materials and time. The biggest difference was that student overhauls only received standard Kraus pads with plastic domed resonators. The pro overhaul included premium pads (Kraus lucien delux - if I remember correctly) with custom flat, domed or star/hollywod metal resonators custom fit to the toneholes.

I can only venture a guess as to why they justify their price diffence, but I've known other technicians to include chemical cleaning, 100% spring replacement, tone hole leveling, key fitting (swedging, pivot screw seating) in a pro overhaul. It's very easy to argue on both sides that they all should or don't need to be included in a basic overhaul.
 

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The premium overhaul includes a kiss, breadsticks, and a 2 liter bottle of Pepsi:eek:ccasion::pepsi::smack:? Of course, do you really want a kiss from a guy named "Sarge":yikes!:?
 
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