Saxophone Forum


by SaxMan88
(318 posts)
10 years ago

Overhaul

I got an Armstrong alto that hasn't had the pads changed in 10 years, has original corking, and has various dents and areas of lacquer peel. One of the rods broke off (from the bow) a couple of years ago and when it was soldered back on, the lacquer around it more or less melted off. Is this horn worth overhauling? And if it is, who should I send it to? WWBW offers to do it for around $650-$700. Plus they'll re-lacquer it. If I send it to someone private, would they do that as well? Any advice would be offered. Thanx!!

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  1. by sax_maniac
    (984 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Overhaul

    If it's an Armstrong Heritage model (Keilwerth - German made), then it might be worth spending the $650 on it to have it completely overhauled. Otherwise, you should either make it a personal project to refurbish it youself or sell it and use that money towards a different horn. Some private techs do relacqer horns. I do dents and pads and such, but don't bother with relacquering as it is messy and is very hard to do well - too much of a hassle for me. My focus is making horns play their best - not necessarily restoring them to looking like new. Shoot me an email, if you like, and we can talk off-line about how I might be able to help.

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    1. by SaxMan88
      (318 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Overhaul

      Sadly, it's nothing of value. It's an Armstrong (division of Selmer) student alto that was my brother's (he got it in like 1990) and is now mine...I've been playing it for seven years, and as far as I know the pads haven't even been changed yet. After 15 years, what happens to the pads? Thanx for the help!

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      1. by chiamac
        (586 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Overhaul

        ok... does everything work? are the keys in good condition, are the dents by anything that could have a effect on the sound? I wouldn't go and relaquor it, but putting new pads and pulling dents wouldn't be a huge deal. this is assuming that you're happy with it...

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        1. by SaxMan88
          (318 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Overhaul

          Does everything work? Anything below a B (regular range) requires care in getting out otherwise the notes cut out to the next higher octave. If I try to a vibrato on the G it ends up going up the octave to high G. A real pain, so I dunno if that counts as working. There are several small dents and one medium sized one where the bow of the horn is (where my brother and possibly me in the elementary knocked it against the side of the chair. I've never noted this as a problem with sound, but it might be. This horn is of the utmost sentimental value to me (because it did belong to my brother); but I think I might just end up getting like a Selmer LaVoix to use as my primary alto and just keep this one as a backup. Fighting the low D, C, Bb, B, C# is not worth the effort. Thanx for the help!

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