1936 Conn 10M Tenor Overhaul
1946 Buescher Aristocrat "Big B" Alto Overhaul
Here's one I bought for myself! I must say it's one of the most gorgeous altos I've seen and it sounds just as good.
1977 Selmer Mark VII Alto Overhaul
This is one of the most impressive altos I've played. Don't believe what you've heard about the Mark VII. The altos in particular can be absolutely fantastic. This is an oversimplified description but I would describe it as a good mix of a Mark VI and Series II. It's fatter and deeper sounding than a VI but more flexible and open than a Series II. Sure, the spatula keys are a little too big but honestly, you'll forget all about it after a couple weeks.
1963 Selmer Mark VI Tenor Overhaul
From the owner - "Just wanted to say thank you again for your work on my horn. I was up till midnight playing it because I just couldn't put it down. I don't think it has ever played as well as it does now. The resonators really seem to clarify the sound, and overtones are really popping out. Thanks again!"
Keilwerth SX90 Straight Alto Overhaul
1955 Selmer Mark VI Tenor Overhaul
This took me about twice as long as most overhauls but the effort was well worth it. The keywork was extremeley worn and had excessive amounts of play. Now it is super tight, smooth, and noise-free. I have to say, this is definitey one of the finest tenors I've played. It's really hard to get a bad sound out of it. I re-used the original Selmer Tonex resonators which are nickel-plated brass and screw in with a small flat-head screw and washer. The nickel plating was worn down to the brass on most of them so they now look much like the rest of the horn.
Keilwerth SX90R Tenor Overhaul
Custom Palm Key Risers
I make these out of thermoplastic without using any adhesives to attach them to the instrument. They are completely hard when cooled and won't move but you can heat them up an infinite number of times and change the shape, add more, or take some off.
Keilwerth SX90R "Shadow" Alto Overhaul
1949 Buescher Aristocrat "Big B" Tenor Overhaul
1955 King Super 20 Alto Overhaul
Yamaha YAS-62 Alto Overhaul
Leveling Pad Cups
Whenever I replace a pad, whether I'm doing a complete overhaul or a single replacement, I always level the pad cup and tone hole. This is the best way to get a long-lasting repair. The pads want to be flat, the cups want to be flat and the tone holes want to be flat.
Leveling Tone Holes
Leveling the tone holes is one of the most important procedures that I do when overhauling a saxophone. Even the finest professional horns come with tone holes that are not perfectly level. It should go without saying that this is extremely important but many repairmen do not include this service in an overhaul. When leveling tone holes, I do it in such a way as to remove as little material as possible. First, I gently tap down any high spots with careful strokes from my rawhide mallet. Then if there are any low spots, they are gently raised from the inside using traditional dent removal techniques. Final leveling is done with a fine grit diamond rotary file then any burs are removed from the inside and outside. When done in this way, the overall height of the tone hole is not altered because I am slightly raising the low spots and slightly lowering the high spots, retaining the acoustic integrity of the instrument.
Dent Removal on a Yamaha Custom YAS-875 Alto
1954 Selmer Mark VI Tenor Overhaul
This amazing first-year Mark VI needed A LOT of help when it came in. Another repairman had told the owner that the horn was irreparable and that he should get rid of it and buy a new horn! I spent a lot of time on this overhaul but it was well worth it because this horn plays incredibly well and is easily one of the most memorable tenors I have ever played. If I had to choose one word to describe this horn, it would have to be "smooth." The keywork, the tone, the fluidity between notes are all incredibly smooth and connected. This is one very impressive tenor!
Dent removal on a Yamaha tenor
Selmer Mark VI Alto Overhaul
Cannonball Stone Series Tenor Overhaul
Grassi Prestige Alto Overhaul
This is a very interesting Italian-made alto from Grassi and was their top-of-the-line professional alto. I really really like the way this horn plays! It blows big, wide, and deep and can even feel a bit like a tenor at times. The aesthetics are very Mark VI-styled but the bore is much larger, particularly in the neck taper. So it looks and feels a lot like a Mark VI but plays very very different, much more like a big-bore American horn like a Conn or King Zephyr.
Yamaha YAS-23 Damage Repair
This student model Yamaha was dropped onto a tile floor. The bell obviously got smashed but what wasn't obvious to the owner was that the entire bell section of the horn shifted over towards the bell keys, causing them to hit really hard in the back while leaving a large gap in the front. This is very common when a horn takes a drop or a bump.
Selmer Series III Alto Overhaul
This Series III wasn't playable at all when it came in for an overhaul. One interesting thing about these altos is that they have an extra key to help raise the pitch of the middle C#. In my opinion, it was a decent attempt by Selmer to solve the typically flat middle C#, but the factory setup always feels draggy and sticky because of the materials used. And in general, the mechanism for this extra key just adds unneeded complexity to an already complex upper stack. I ended up using different materials and set it up a little differently and the end result felt easy and slick, MUCH better than the factory setup. On a side note, this horn polished up beautifully! This is definitely one of the most beautiful horns I've worked on.
Woodstone Prototype Tenor Overhaul for Ryan Zoidis (Lettuce, Soulive, Rustic Overtones)
This prototype had taken some falls and the body was badly bent as you can see in the photo. I straightened the body and did a complete overhaul with Saxgourmet kangaroo pads and solid brass resonators. This horn plays great!
Dent removal on a "Bundy Selmer" tenor neck
These Bundy necks are often dented here at the front under the octave key unless someone has installed some cork or felt there on the underside of the key. The neck is the most sensitive part of the horn so I usually try to remove any significant dents.