Saxophone and woodwind repair costs are estimated after inspecting the instrument. I do not charge to check an instrument. Repair charges are based on the amount of labor, and the cost of materials involved to fix the instrument. The charges for fixing an instrument can range from $15 to $600. Most repairs are between $60 and $200. Flute and clarinet repads are around $200, depending on the instrument. Saxophone repads are $600 - $1200, depending on the instrument. To find out more about saxophone repads, continue reading.
Sometimes a saxophone needs more than a small repair. A Collins Hornworks repad can make a tremendous difference in the playability of many saxophones (even a new one!) I have repadded over 800 saxophones and consider this one of my specialties. In fact, repads are what I do best. A Collins Hornworks repad is much more than just replacing all the old pads with new ones. It allows me to take the horn apart and redo the whole horn the way the manufacturer wanted it to be done.
A Collins Hornworks Repad is actually a professional overhaul. The horn is completely disassembled and thoroughly cleaned. Before the instrument is reassembled, the body is straightened, all dents are removed, all tone holes are made smooth and flat, all key cups are made level, and every key shaft, post, and rod is refitted for tight, precise action. The highest quality pads are installed, individually fit to each key for correct size and height. All key corks and felts are replaced, and the keys are adjusted to optimal heights. The saxophone neck is painstakingly fit to the receiver, and all soldered and epoxied joints are checked or resealed.
All of this is not “doing too much” to an instrument. It’s what the manufacturer wanted to do in the first place, but due to mass production the instrument comes up short. In a sense, I hand finish their horn to make it play well. Then, I play-test and adjust the saxophone. When it plays great, it’s done!
A benefit to a Collins Hornworks Repad is that the horn will play great for a long time. After a lot of playing most saxophones will eventually need some adjustments to keep it playing well. Because the horn has been set up by me, using my procedures, my pads and materials, and my glue, the adjustments are much easier and quicker (and cheaper!) So there will be fewer future problems.
You have choices between which pads and resonators to use. Most pads are calf-skin leather, but I also have Roo pads which are kangaroo leather. These pads do not stick to the keys when they are new. The resonators can be plastic, stainless-steel, or maestro airtight brass star.