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I work at a fairly small instrument repair shop that is very respectable in terms of how they are seen and the work they do. One of the ways they do that is by refusing to try to work on instruments that would be hard to fix due to a weaker assembly or cheap setup; think Mendini/Cecilio, Jean Paul and other Amazon saxes. To my surprise, LA Sax was on that list of instruments. I had heard not generally positive things but also not negative things about the brand, and was wondering if anyone might have any explanation as to why we won't fix them- the list was written some time ago by someone that is no longer at the shop.

Thank you all for the discussion!
 

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I've never had experience with them. But maybe why they won't fix them is because of the flashy finish? I was talking to a few people about maybe painting my sax (It's a Jean Paul so it wont damage much lol!) and someone brought up the fact that I would have to consider how the finish would look if it was needed to be repaired. With that being it could be because they didn't like to have to be careful with the lacquer of the instrument, or with customers complaining about how the finish was damaged. I could be completely wrong, and they could be cheaply made for all I know. But this might be a reason why. Some LA saxes are gold or normal colored, but most of them I've seen sport some... Questionable paint jobs.
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(I kinda like the pink and yellow one, it's very very.. Unique? lol!)
 

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I don't know why they would single out LA Sax at this late stage of the Asian sax invasion where there are saxes pouring in from Taiwan, China, Viet-Nam and who knows where else. That's like saying you won't work on 1992 Hondas - how many are actually still in use?
In this case techs in general better just forget about not working on this kind of sax because they are becoming more and more prevalent AND they are working their way up to the upper levels of the sax world.
LA Sax was really the first intrusion of the Taiwan sax into the USA and it was a marketing masterpiece with all the different finishes and pro player affiliation. As it turns out, they were decent horns for the money and no other brand of that type has gotten the attention that LA Sax did.
 

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I had a Straight Alto by LA Sax that played fantastic with no issues.
 

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Sounds like a pretty lame business model to me. Refusing to repair an instrument because it doesn't fit someone's criteria of what is a quality instrument seems counter productive to making money. Some of those "cheap" saxophones are just as well if not better constructed than some vintage horns. Sounds to me like you're working for some saxophone snobs ...
 

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Sounds like a pretty lame business model to me. Refusing to repair an instrument because it doesn't fit someone's criteria of what is a quality instrument seems counter productive to making money. Some of those "cheap" saxophones are just as well if not better constructed than some vintage horns. Sounds to me like you're working for some saxophone snobs ...
Have had a tech do this with my Jean Paul and try to sell me a Jupiter. Just made me reluctant to even get my saxophone fixed, I’ll do it myself. (Recently fixed some leaks on it it’s become quiet the horn, I’m surprised.)

There is only a few brands I would understand to not be fixed up. Especially Mendinis. If I was a tech I would maybe fix it up once before trying to inform the person they should try something better. In my experience watching my peers with Mendinis, made me feel bad. Their metal is so bendable that they’d bend their keys sometimes to get them to play. Needless to say I’d rather inform than charge a huge fee, and take a lot of time, on a crappy instrument like that. This could be just me though.
 

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Have had a tech do this with my Jean Paul and try to sell me a Jupiter. Just made me reluctant to even get my saxophone fixed, I’ll do it myself. (Recently fixed some leaks on it it’s become quiet the horn, I’m surprised.)

There is only a few brands I would understand to not be fixed up. Especially Mendinis. If I was a tech I would maybe fix it up once before trying to inform the person they should try something better. In my experience watching my peers with Mendinis, made me feel bad. Their metal is so bendable that they’d bend their keys sometimes to get them to play. Needless to say I’d rather inform than charge a huge fee, and take a lot of time, on a crappy instrument like that. This could be just me though.
Jay Metcalf gave the Jean Paul alto a pretty good review. He also mentioned that tech support and parts are readily available from Jean Paul. You might want to contact Jean Paul and see what they say, maybe they will correct your issues free of charge.
 

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Jay Metcalf gave the Jean Paul alto a pretty good review. He also mentioned that tech support and parts are readily available from Jean Paul. You might want to contact Jean Paul and see what they say, maybe they will correct your issues free of charge.
I’ve done this before and it’s just a huge hassle. You have to ship it to a Jean Paul repair shop, which takes forever, then they ship it back. Which also takes foreve. About a month in my experience. The problems are minor and so I decided to do it myself. I’ve replaced corks cheaply and adjusted screws and keys. I’ve done the dumb mistake of super gluing a screw in because it kept falling out. I’ll have to somehow get that mistake dealt with at some point. Needless to say, it’s a pain to get Jean Paul’s fixed.
 

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If they are good enough for Joe Lovano......
 

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Elliot,

heat will kill super glue. Heat it, pull it, clean it, loctite it back in, lube it.

The removable loctite, not the gnarly stuff.
 

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L.A. Sax has had many incarnations and have bought saxophones from many sources. I have met Dennis Bamber who was the owner at least when I met him. He was buying, at the time, his Big Lip series from a very reputable Taiwanese source. But of course they also bought other saxophones to fit different market segments.

 

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Elliot,

heat will kill super glue. Heat it, pull it, clean it, loctite it back in, lube it.

The removable loctite, not the gnarly stuff.
Thanks a lot, you’re a life saver! Removable loctite? I’ll have to try to find some of that, didn’t know they had a removable kind. Thanks so much though.
 

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WWBW (Bamber) had the LA Sax 'tipped-bell' soprano branded 'Woodwind' and sold them for about $750 IIRC, around 1998. This was a decent horn with a big sound.
 

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I work at a fairly small instrument repair shop that is very respectable in terms of how they are seen and the work they do. One of the ways they do that is by refusing to try to work on instruments that would be hard to fix due to a weaker assembly or cheap setup; think Mendini/Cecilio, Jean Paul and other Amazon saxes. To my surprise, LA Sax was on that list of instruments. I had heard not generally positive things but also not negative things about the brand, and was wondering if anyone might have any explanation as to why we won't fix them- the list was written some time ago by someone that is no longer at the shop.

Thank you all for the discussion!
A blanket policy is easy for the shop, but off-putting to the customer. Consider adopting a case-by-case evaluation of the instrument, and talking to the customer about the expense of repairs. Yes, it may take some extra time, but the customer will become better informed, develop trust in your shop, and be more likely to return or promote your business by word of mouth.
 

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My Dad owned a bike shop when I was growing up and he had a policy that he wouldn’t repair any Huffy/Murray or any other cheap Walmart bike. It wasn’t because he was a brand snob, but the problem was that people would bring them in for repair and then never pick them up because the cost for the repair wasn’t worth paying relative to the value of the bike. Compounding the issue, those cheaper bikes were harder to work on, requiring more time from the shop. At the end of the day he decided that it was better for the shop to just refuse to work on the low end cheap stuff.
 

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Have had a tech do this with my Jean Paul and try to sell me a Jupiter. Just made me reluctant to even get my saxophone fixed, I’ll do it myself. (Recently fixed some leaks on it it’s become quiet the horn, I’m surprised.)

There is only a few brands I would understand to not be fixed up. Especially Mendinis. If I was a tech I would maybe fix it up once before trying to inform the person they should try something better. In my experience watching my peers with Mendinis, made me feel bad. Their metal is so bendable that they’d bend their keys sometimes to get them to play. Needless to say I’d rather inform than charge a huge fee, and take a lot of time, on a crappy instrument like that. This could be just me though.
I think I saw in a previous discussion that techs are reluctant to service the Mendinis and similar cheap horns because they fear the customer will come back a month later, angry, and accusing the tech of incompetence because the horn went out of adjustment. If I recall correctly it’s because of the soft metal, pads and pearls falling off etc. It’s a fear of harming their reputation.
 

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I think I saw in a previous discussion that techs are reluctant to service the Mendinis and similar cheap horns because they fear the customer will come back a month later, angry, and accusing the tech of incompetence because the horn went out of adjustment. If I recall correctly it’s because of the soft metal, pads and pearls falling off etc. It’s a fear of harming their reputation.
That can also be a reason and that’s 100% reasonable. Not saying people with mendinis aren’t the sharpest in the shed. But usually when it comes to knowing about saxophones mendini owners obviously don’t know much. Hence why they bought a mendini in the first place. There’s mendinis owners that do know much, but the majority didnt do research.
 

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Talking about Mendinis reminds me of a video I watched, and it was a tough watch.
This video does show the examples of who buys these saxophones, they sometimes aren’t too informed.
With that being said this was five years ago, and I hope the young chap has improved :).
 
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