We strive to bring out the unique and best personality in your instrument. Our job isn’t complete until you’re happy.
Quality of the Work
Only the highest quality replacement parts and materials are used in the repair of your instrument. When needed, original parts from the manufacturer are used whenever possible. The highest grade bladder skin pads, soft white kid pads and cross grain cut cork pads are used. We employ up to four different kinds of pad glue to closely match the original makers intentions, and have an extensive inventory of replacement parts and repair materials on hand at all times.
All Work Guaranteed
Your instrument will be repaired with an eye to the future. We want your instrument to function well for a long time to come. We guarantee that all repairs have been done to the highest professional standards. Instruments are fully checked for problems which may not be initially noticeable and we make our best effort to proactively attend to all repair issues needed.
Any problems that come up within 3 months of the repair that are directly linked to repairs made will be attended to at no charge. If problems arise that are not linked to the repairs done during that period, we will do our best to keep additional costs to an absolute minimum.
All Brands Serviced
We have experience with all major brands of double reed instruments and many, many obscure brands as well. We hesitate to work on instruments which appear to be beyond their functional limit of usability. If your instrument is old, damaged, or of poor quality, we will explain various options, and help you choose a reasonable course of action. We recommend you send photos of your instrument if there is any question about its suitability for renovation.
Charles Double Reed Co. will make informal repair estimates based on photos or descriptions of repairs needed; but all formal repair estimates must be made with the instrument here at our shop. We give accurate estimates of repair costs and stay within 10% of those estimates.
Estimated Time Needed
Time needed can vary based on the extent of the repair and our work load. Simple repairs can often be done while you wait or within a day of us receiving the instrument. Extensive repairs will be quoted when the instrument is in our hands and can range from a week and up, depending on the nature of the work needed.
These are broad options to give you an idea of what you might choose.
- Playing Condition – between $80 and $240 on average.
Wood and keywork are hand dusted, exterior wood is cleaned, keywork oiled. Pads, key corks, tenon corks and replacement parts are replaced as necessary at additional cost. Instrument is mechanically adjusted and play tested. Basic case cleaning is included.
- Clean/Oil/Adjust – Student instrument: $300, Intermediate instrument: $380, Pro instrument: $440 (on average)
Metal work is disassembled as needed. Metal work is hand cleaned, buffed and oiled. Exterior wood is hand cleaned. Instrument is reassembled, mechanically adjusted and play tested. Includes up to 2 pad replacements, $15 per additional pad replacement, parts as needed. Basic case cleaning is included.
- Overhaul (Complete Mechanical Restoration) – Student instrument: $800, Intermediate or Pro Instrument: $1,200 (on average)
Removable metal work is fully disassembled, ultrasonically cleaned, buffed and oiled. Posts and attached metal work are hand cleaned and buffed. Cork and leather pads are replaced. Tenon corks, key corks and bumper felts are replaced. Exterior wood is cleaned and polished. Interior wood is cleaned and oiled. Finish defects are examined, and light repair is included. Tone holes are examined and cleaned. Any tuning material in tone holes is replaced if failing. Instrument is reassembled and fully mechanically adjusted. Intonation and tone anomalies are attended to as possible. Extensive play testing. Basic case cleaning is included.
Tenon cork replacement – $20 per cork
Crack repair – $100 and up based on severity and location of crack
Single cork/skin pad replacement – $15 and up
Straighten bent rod/key – $20
Solder broken key – $50 and up
Cleaning and polishing – by the hour
These are estimates. Instruments must be visually inspected in person for an exact quote of costs. If additional service is warranted, the price will vary depending on which services or parts are needed. We discuss this with you before service is rendered.
About our technicians
Brian Charles is founder, owner, and repair tech at Charles Double Reeds. He is both an experienced repairman and an advanced double reed player. His 35 years experience working on all levels of double reed instruments started with his training at Ponte Music Company in NYC and continues through coursework, seminars and membership in professional associations. He is a professional member of both IDRS and NAPBIRT and has presented lectures on double reed repair around the country through both organizations.
Nicole LaRoche is an apprentice technician in her third year of training. She is well versed in all manner of double reed repair. She is an apprentice member of NAPBIRT, and an enthusiastic and talented repair tech.
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