Saxophone Forum


by JBTSAX
(364 posts)
6 years ago

How important is it to be able to get repair parts for your sax?

Some brands of saxophones make replacement parts available to their dealers and to members of the repair profession and others do not offer this type of support for the instruments they sell. How important is it and how much should that influence your decision of which instrument to purchase? John

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  1. by blackfrancis
    (396 posts)

    6 years ago

    Re: How important is it to be able to get repair parts for your sax?

    I'd say there are a lot of things to consider on this point. How many of the horn in question are in circulation, i.e. can you find one in the "boneyard"? How good is your tech at fabrication? Is the horn worth fixing at all if it has sustained serious damage (or if construction was that bad to begin with)? With that providing at least a starting point, I have to say that in over 45 years of playing (including a lot of not so sax-friendly situations such as marching band, country bars, beach parties, airlines...), I have never had need of replacement parts. Not to say that I wouldn't like to know they are out there just in case.

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  2. by Saxesofevil
    (24 posts)

    6 years ago

    Re: How important is it to be able to get repair parts for your sax?

    it's as important as making your decision on what sax to buy !

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    1. by STEVE GOODSON
      (291 posts)

      6 years ago

      Re: How important is it to be able to get repair parts for your sax?

      I've been doing repair for a living since 1972, and have overhauled and repaired literally thousands of saxophones. In far less than 1/10th of 1% have any "factory" parts been necessary, and this has only been to replace components that have been lost or were too far gone to repair at a reasonable cost. It just doesn't come up very often. When it does, any competent technician should be able to fabricate just about any part necessary. If you don't have the ability to make a key, you should get out of the repair business. This is a good way to judge a technicians skill level: can they fabricate a part or are they merely a "parts changer"? That being said, most companies that manufacture horns (including my own) make parts available for current production models. Parts for older horns are quite another matter, of course. I believe Selmer USA has a policy of providing parts only for instruments produced in the last seven years, although I'll stand for correction on that if It is no longer the policy. Yamaha and Jupiter both provide extensive parts availability. Some companies provide parts catalogs, but they are the minority. Since many brands currently imported are not proprietary designs, but are "off the shelf", parts for a given instrument may be available from a wide variety of sources. You just have to know who actually builds what, and again, this is information that any competent technician should have readily available. When I order horns, we include a supply of likely needed parts along with the instrument order. I think most companies do this. Obvously I don't stock every part in every finish, but what I don't have is readily available from the factory, and any key can be plated in any required finish. Most companies don't inventory parts like body tubes and bells, since if you need to replace those expensive parts, the horn is most likely "totalled". In my almost 40 years in the business, the most common requests are for pivot screws, key guards, and high D keys. Rods are easily fabricated from raw stock. Many of the Asian made horns such as Mauriat and Cannonball use common components, and these are easily obtained if you know where to go, as anybody who is in the repair business should. I maintain a large supply of generic Asian parts, as do most larger shops.

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      1. by chalazon
        (547 posts)

        6 years ago

        Re: How important is it to be able to get repair parts for your sax?

        I've given this a bit of thought. I recently purchased a 1940 6M alto. I'm not finding a lot of replacement parts readily available for this horn. This was not a consideration when I bought the instrument. Mark VI's seem to be the hot item these days..replacement parts are available, but not readily..ya gotta hunt them down. I am a repair tech, and ,yes ,I do fabricate keys, screws, etc. Replacement parts are more a matter of convenience ..so, no, replacement parts would not be a deciding factor for myself in selecting a horn..for a student..maybe. there ya go.

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        1. by JBTSAX
          (364 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: How important is it to be able to get repair parts for your sax?

          Actually Cannonball parts are made from their own molds and therefore not the same as other Asian brands.

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        2. by STEVE GOODSON
          (291 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: How important is it to be able to get repair parts for your sax?

          That is absolutely incorrect. True, there are SOME proprietary parts, but many are generic and purchased from the same vendors who supply many other Asian brands.

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        3. by JBTSAX
          (364 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: How important is it to be able to get repair parts for your sax?

          This quote is from Randal Clark at Cannonball Musical Instruments who is in a position to know everything about the manufacturing of their saxophones. forum.saxontheweb.net/showpost.php?p=884163&postcount=42

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        4. by STEVE GOODSON
          (291 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: How important is it to be able to get repair parts for your sax?

          What doe you expect them to say? Just because they say it doesn't mean it's true.......my many friends in the Asian saxophone manufacturing business tell me otherwise....believe what you will........but go look at a mixture of Asian horns nd you will clearly see exactly what I mean....it's quite obvious to even the most casual observer

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        5. by JBTSAX
          (364 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: How important is it to be able to get repair parts for your sax?

          I know Randal to be an honest individual and I believe what he says about the product his company makes. This is firsthand information from someone actually who works with the Cannonball saxes every day not some secondhand information from some anonymous individuals in Asia.

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        6. by STEVE GOODSON
          (291 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: How important is it to be able to get repair parts for your sax?

          Sorry, John. The rest of us know better......You're getting this information from somebody who is trying to sell us saxophones.....hardly a credible source.....the fact that he posted this on SOTW further undermines credibility...the truth is rarely found there

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        7. by JBTSAX
          (364 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: How important is it to be able to get repair parts for your sax?

          It is not worth my time to argue with you. I do know what is true from honest people whom I trust and respect giving firsthand accounts of information from inside a respected company. As far as the information on SOTW being true, I would believe what I read there any day over what is written at saxnation.

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        8. by STEVE GOODSON
          (291 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: How important is it to be able to get repair parts for your sax?

          isn't it true that the store where you work is a Cannonball dealer? Just wanted to be sure that was fully disclosed....

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        9. by JBTSAX
          (364 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: How important is it to be able to get repair parts for your sax?

          Actually the store I work at was the first Cannonball dealer. The owner Briant Summerhays and Tevis Laukat the owner of Cannonball have a long professional relationship. Years ago Tevis went around to schools in the state doing woodwind clinics representing Summerhays music. That is how he and I first met. I sold him a curved Conn soprano that I had overhauled that he still plays. The Cannonball main office and warehouse are just 40 minutes from where I work. Cannonball has consulted with our repair shop on many issues involving their saxophones. We even helped to train a member of the Cannonball staff in saxophone repair techniques. We are currently helping Cannonball with their new Piacere and Veloce professional line of clarinets which are simply fantastic at much less than half the cost of a Bacun designed Leblanc. I have never tried to hide or play down the fact that I repair instruments in a store that is a dealer for Cannonball instruments. It is because the fact that the Cannonball company has such a close relationship with Summerhays music that I get information about what the Cannonball company is doing all the time directly from Tevis and Sheryl Laukat. I hope that answers your question Steve. By the way the Cannonball Company is doing fantastic. Their new Vintage "Pete Christlieb" model is taking the saxophone community by storm. They really have hit a home run with that sax and I predict the new line of clarinets will do the same thing once the word gets around.

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        10. by chalazon
          (547 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: How important is it to be able to get repair parts for your sax?

          soooo.....what's all this got to do with repair ..perhaps we could open a new catagory on the forum entitled "blatant product promotion, and all of this could take place there..that way those of us who are some what tired of hearing all of this over and over could just skip it, like most of us do with the legit catagory..I'm sure you're both fine gentle men, but at times it seems the forum is nothing more than a handy place to push your products. nothing wrong with that ,I suppose, but it does seem to become a bit redundant...by the way..everything I've heard about the CB's has not been totally positive..still got a ways to go...

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        11. by JBTSAX
          (364 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: How important is it to be able to get repair parts for your sax?

          Relax Chalazon. I'm just making sure that I'm fully disclosed in this thread. Since you are a repair tech like I am, do you know where to go to order "generic asian parts" that fit most Asian saxes? Goodson claims that anyone in the repair business should know this. I certainly do not. Perhaps he can give us the name and address of the "Generic Asian Parts Factory" that he is referring to and the names of all of the brands of instruments that these parts are supposed to fit.

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        12. by connsaxman_jim
          (2336 posts)

          6 years ago

          Re: How important is it to be able to get repair parts for your sax?

          I have purchased a few horns that were damaged, where some parts needed to be replaced, but seldom do I see parts that need to be replaced due to wear and tear. I've purchased a few horns on eBay, for example, that when they arrived, were in such bad shape that they were really only good for parts. I purchased several horns from a shop that was closing, hoping that I could salvage a few or them, which I did. Finding parts for many vintage horns isn't too difficult if you keep your eyes and ears open and look for parts horns on eBay or the internet. My tech made me a replacement keyguard for my Conn 10M tenor when I had it relacquered and overhauled 5 years ago. It looks original. I also had a key fixed on a Conn New Wonder C Melody (straight neck). The neck on these old C Mel's was quite long, and they were prone to damage. The new key is much stronger than the original key. Many of the new saxophones use power forged keys. They're actually quite good. Most of them, from my understanding are in fact a standard size, and several horns use the same keys!

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