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Buy a new sax or get the old one overhauled?

Can your saxophone, the one you once loved, ever be as good or reliable as a new saxophone? If you like your horn, the MusicMedic ProShop overhaul it will make it a better than a new horn. No matter what condition an instrument is in when it comes to the ProShop, it leaves in better than new condition. A meticulously overhauled saxophone is more serviceable than a brand new one.

How can a saxophone be "more serviceable" or "better" after an overhaul than it was new?

When a saxophone is made in a factory there is only so much work and detail that the factory can afford to put into each instrument. They simply don't have to achieve the level of accuracy that a great overhaul gives an instrument.

Manufacturers have a responsibility to make an instrument that will be quick to assemble and stay in adjustment for the player. The problem is that the best way to do this is to use pads that are designed for quick installation with very little, if any, shellac behind the pads. This method of padding lasts for a while but, when the pads do need adjustment, trouble starts.

When a technician levels factory pads, he is forced to bend the pad cups to remove leaks. This is often done with a wedge between the tone hole and the pad or by bending the cups with hands. In either case, the brass key bends, other parts move, tone holes become less level, and the instrument starts it's downward descent. Once this damage is done, other damage such as bends in the body and misaligned posts can go unnoticed, forcing further 'work arounds.' By using excellent pads, modern and appropriate materials and fully synthetic shellac, we deliver instruments to players that stay in adjustment longer and can be maintained.

An instrument that receives an overhaul is made mechanically tighter than new. All those pad cups and parts are brought straight and true, near perfection. Then the pads are put in with a synthetic shellac that will melt and remelt nearly forever. With this instrument, we can later easy adjust pads without bothering the mechanism or doing any bending. This is an instrument that is in top physical condition, truly a fine working machine. There is more to a great instrument than well adjusted keys, tight fitting parts, and superior materials.

The mechanical restoration is the beginning.

After an instrument is mechanically solid, the Aural-overhaul begins. This process involves setting up the key heights, altering pitches and timber using everything we know of to make the instrument play in tune with a full and even tone. This job takes many hours of labor and playing. Once complete, the player and instrument are reunited. For hours we tune and set up the instrument for the player, to his or her specs. The player and instrument are brought closer together as physical and aural issues are resolved.

The materials we use at the ProShop are put on the instrument in such a way that they can be very easily duplicated yet stay in adjustment. This means that every year, our players come to us with their saxophones to get a Clean Oil and Adjust (COA). With a COA they have an instrument that plays the same, to their specifications, only changing as the player requests. Often over years of working with players, we have altered key mechanism and made outstanding improvements to instruments. Many of our greatest customizations were developed over years of consideration and thought by the staff and the player alike.

While players who have not experienced our overhauls worry that they might be better off getting a new instrument, players who have had a MusicMedic.com ProShop overhaul would not consider settling for new.

The MusicMedic.com Sax ProShop is doing excellent work for saxophonists around the world. Sending an instrument is easy, we'll even send you the shipping box! Overhauls last many years or life when properly maintained. Playing an overhauled instrument is a joy. There is no waiting list, and in just over three weeks your saxophone could be a work of art!

Thanks for reading!

-Curt