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The Costs of Repairing An Instrument

Below is a message from our repair guy here at Music Scene. His name is Fred Sullivan and he has many years of experience repairing and servicing instruments.

Fred Sullivan - Costs of Instrument Repair

How much should I expect to pay when the instrument is serviced. This question is a good one and I have been having the same reaction from parents for nearly 40 years. The answer, it depends. Actually there are many factors that go into determining a repair estimate. It really does take several years to be able to look over an instrument and accurately determine what needs to be done to make the instrument play it's best. I have estimated and worked on 1,000's of clarinets over nearly 40 years and usually get it pretty close to right. If an instrument hasn't been serviced for many years, generally it needs to be deep cleaned, all the parts that wear out replaced, readjusted and play tested. Many repairmen work to make the instrument play better than when it came from the factory. This makes the playing experience better for the musician.

Fred Sullivan - Taking Care of an Instrument

Generally speaking, if an instrument is taken care of during the year and sees annual service a repairman usually spends about an hour. So the charge would be the hourly rate plus parts. If the instrument is not handled properly during the year or the player practices many hours per day of course the rate goes up. Some might think that the cheapest is the best for them. Not necessarily the case. As with most things, you get what you pay for. If you find a reputable shop and pay slightly more and the instrument plays better and stays in adjustment longer, over the long run, you will save money and your investment will last longer. To find a reputable repairman ask who the University professor or a good player uses. They usually are pretty busy from word of mouth and schedule repair work so your instrument does not stay in the shop for a long period of time.

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