Tuesday 17 March 2020


What a year this is turning out to be!

We are open for business and here for you. 
What better to do if you're stuck at home than play an instrument? It can be one of the best things to keep your mind active and spirits up.
Keep supporting local businesses and services as much as possible. The self-employed tend to get little government support in times of need, so we rely on our customers for our survival.

As a small firm with few customers there isn't much risk coming here.  We will keep our distance as much as possible and will be implementing ways of working to stay virus-free.

The virus can stay on surfaces for up to 3 days so we may have to put your instrument aside before we work on it.
Brass instruments such as trumpets can be easily washed to  ensure they are clean, but the case isn't so easy to deal with. We could wipe the outside but the porous inside is harder to deal with so just putting them aside for a few days seems like the best option. We don't want to damage peoples property trying to steam clean etc.

From the customer's side we recommend the same process. Wash your hands after visiting us and handling your instrument. Then leave the instrument aside to be sure any contamination isn't transferred.
If you wish you can wipe surfaces with isopropyl alcohol , if you have it. 

So if you want your instrument repaired please don't stay away. If we need people to stay away we'll make it clear. We only want people with cold or flu symptoms to stay away - if you're healthy we'll be glad to help you.

Good luck - stay safe.

Thursday 31 October 2019

November November ....

Gosh it goes to show I'm not much good at posting blogs. Nearly a year has gone by.
Well we have been busy, and I do try and keep the instrument information up to date.
This time of year people should be getting instrument in good order, ready for the festive concerts.

Come and get a service.

We have a selection of a few instruments for sale. I try and buy things that are well made and reliable. They aren't always the best known makes. But that is how I can get them and sell them on at  a reasonable price.

We've got saxophones, flutes and clarinets. Let us know if there is anything you are wanting.

Thursday 11 January 2018

Happy New Year !!!

Here we are again at the start of a new year. Hope it's a good one for all out customers.
We've sold some of the saxophones but still have a few on offer. The Keilwerth tenor is still here, which is a surprise. I have it at a bargain price so if you fancy a tenor, come and have a look.

The news for sax students isn't good as Roz Sluman has been unwell. We send our best wishes to Roz for a speedy recovery. Get well soon, Roz !!!

We look forward to seeing customers in 2018. It's getting harder and harder to keep the flag flying for music, so keep supporting your local bands, venues, teachers and local music shops and us repairers. We're all under pressure with budget cuts and the like affecting everyone. With the added complications of Brexit around the corner it's hard to see how things will pan out for the music industry. We shall see .. ... ..

Wednesday 23 August 2017

The three tenors

What do they say about buses? Wait all day for one and then three show up. Well, it seems the same goes for tenor saxophones. All of a sudden I've got three come in looking for new homes.
Firstly is a Keilwerth EX90. These are German built instruments. In recent years there have been Keilwerth's built in Taiwan and China (?) but this is the real McCoy. Top of the range was the SX90r which had tone-hole rims - similar to rolled tone-holes except they weren't rolled. They just had a piece soldered on top. That could lead to uneven or wonky tone-holes, until they seems to improve their method of manufacture.  http://www.shwoodwind.co.uk/Reviews/Saxes/Tenor/Keilwerth_sx90r_tenor.htm  So there's something to be said for your ordinary tone-hole, which is what we have on the EX90.
The EX90 is very similar to the SX90 but it lacks some of the fancy add-ons that they included on the SX90 - adjustable palm keys, extra arms on F and a no-stick G mechanism.  How good these extra actually are is debatable, so the 'cut-down' EX90 is actually a rather more reliable horn than the SX90. If you fancy a Keilwerth, this is well worth a look.

Then we have  a Jupiter 787 - 789. It's always confusing when they muck about with model numbers. the 787 is the tenor version of the popular 767 alto. The 789 version is a later revision with some manufacturing improvements.
Some Jupiters of the past didn't play well. It wasn't they way they were made so much as the way they were padded. Usually you stick in a pad and then level it. Jupiter stuck the pad in and then sucked or pressed them down and hoped for the best. You'd often come across pads in the upper section that wouldn't seal properly so they didn't play well. Once the pads were leveled properly, the instrument sounded very nice indeed. So it was a shame they didn't spend a bit more time getting the padding right. Well by the time of the 789 it seem thy had improved things and the pads seal. A 787-789 is usually a very decent instrument. They were classed as a beginners saxophone but by todays standards I think they are more of an intermediate standard. The build quality is good and it has all the keys to take a player all the way through the grades.  For the price these horns can be picked up they are an absolute bargain. If you can't afford that Keilwerth, this is a great option.

And finally we have an Elkhart series II tenor. This little beast is perhaps in the best condition of the three. It doesn't look to have been used a great deal. It is a similar build quality to the Jupiter being made in Taiwan as well. These were the beginners range from Selmer and were a good reliable choice. Elkhart instruments have been used in schools quite a lot and they tend to have stood the test of time.
As a beginner instrument they chose not to add the upper F# key which is only really used in the upper grades. Frankly you don't need it. Most Selmer MkVIs never had the F# key, though it was an option. The alternative key to use is in almost the same position.
This is quite a sweet sounding instrument. It's very pleasant to play. If I didn't have another tenor I'd be very happy to use this. But if I wanted a darker sound, of the three it's have to be the Keilwerth that I'd go for.  Which do you fancy ?

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Stuff to buy

It's that time of year when you may be looking out for things to buy for the woodwind player in your house.
We have some odds and ends that might interest you. Clarinet barrels made of cocobolo wood which can subtly alter the sound. Hand-finished, these can improve the tone of plastic instruments as well as wooden ones. Check the Acessories section for more details.
We also have alto sax mouthpieces  which are refaced to make an easy blowing piece - a cheaper option to step up from  beginners mouthpieces. These are based on a Meyer design but with a different facing curve and baffle.
We have a small number of Brancher style ligatures. These will fit alto sax ebonite mouthpieces or clarinet mouthpieces. They are gold plated and look great on the instrument. They come in a specially shaped presentation box.  
There are other things on offer. Oiler pens to keep the mechanism running freely. Mouthpiece patches. BG ligatures. Come and see.!

Monday 7 December 2015

Cumbrian Floods

Horrible scenes are Cumbria is devastated by more serious flooding. Heartfelt best wishes to all involved. We hope to see Cumbria on the mend soon.

We are out of the floods and OPEN FOR BUSINESS.

I'm not sure how many can get here at the moment, but as our original slogan went, "We're Here For You!"

We have some experience of repairing flooded instruments so if you have suffered this keep the instrument for assessment. It is costly to sort out but can be done so don't chuck everything out!

We can do free estimates so if you need something looking at, let us know.

Anyone who left instruments with us rest assured - they are safe and sound.

Anyone out of the area wishing to help out, this is the main place for donations.

Thursday 12 November 2015

Instrument Service Time !!!

It's that time of year when the Christmas concerts are fast approaching. We often get people in a panic trying to get a problem on their instrument sorted. Maybe it'd be good to get things checked out now?
Get your instruments in for a check-up or service and make sure the busy period ahead is less traumatic.