Saxophones are my passion.
I repair, sell, and trade saxophones to make a living. I take pride in my work, and I care deeply about what I do.
I learned my craft in New York City, working for Sam Ash Music on the famed Music Row, 48th St. in Times Square, Manhattan where I started as a coffee-running apprentice and worked my way up to head woodwind repairman of their flagship store. After working for Sam Ash, I opened a small saxophone specialty shop in Brooklyn where I repaired many horns to exacting standards for the best and brightest of New York’s saxophone crowd and also bought and sold vintage horns and mouthpieces. I had a view of the Manhattan skyline from my roof in an old warehouse by the Gowanus canal, and I was busier than I knew what to do with.
But something was missing- personal space, clean air, a yard, a place to work on my car, seeing the stars at night, space for some hobbies. So one day in 2010 we picked up and moved to beautiful North Carolina, where we have a beautiful house in the woods between Durham and Hillsborough, where in February 2012 my wife and I welcomed our first child into the world. Here, I continue to grow my business, learn new things and perfect my craft.
As a repairman, I service all saxophones (and only saxophones), with my specialty being high end, vintage and unusual saxophones done well for picky players. Estimates and advice are free.
I remain a small, one-man business repairing and selling saxophones and saxophone-related gear. I remain committed to my ideals and doubt I will ever grow much beyond a one-man shop. I believe in personal interaction and a customer relationship built on shared love of the saxophone. Advice will always be free.
To contact me, send an email to stohrermusic [at] gmail, or call me directly at 919-901-1191. If I don’t pick up, I’ve probably got a saxophone in my hands, so be sure to leave a message.
Thank you for stopping by my website. I am always working to improve my craft and my business. If you have suggestions, information, or material that could help make me a better repairman or this a better website for the musical community, please feel free to get in touch. Just be careful- if we start talking saxophones, I might talk your ear off.
In an era of factory-direct service, of almost infinite choice of merchants on the internet, I strive to make the value of doing business with me stand apart from my competitors. I take more time and expend more effort to make sure that working together is good for both sides- because at its best, business improves life for everyone involved in the transaction.
This is what I believe in, and this is how I do business.
Too many times, before I was a repairman, I would walk into a repair shop and pick up my horn and ask, “What did you do?” and be given an answer like “Oh, just a little something to the octave mechanism”. I would walk out of the store having no idea what I paid for, whether I had paid a fair price, or how to make sure whatever was wrong didn’t happen again.
One particular time, after spending over $300 to have work I couldn’t detect done on a baritone saxophone of mine, I had had enough of being clueless about my horns. I decided I was going to learn about repair. Easier said than done! My local repairmen would not share any of their knowledge with me, and books on the subject at the time were less than complete.
Long story short, I persevered, and when I finally became a full-fledged repairman, I pledged to myself that I would always be free with my knowledge, and I would depend on my skills- not trade secrets- to earn and keep the trust and business of my customers.
My philosophy on repair is this: you deserve to know everything you want to know about what I am doing to your instrument. I will show you what I have done, teach you about preventative maintenance and where to get the supplies, show you the difference between different options and procedures so that you can be better educated to make your horn play like an extension of yourself. Because in the end, it is all about making music.
Unusual Makes and Models
I have had the good fortune to work on thousands of vintage saxophones, and I have made it a point to work on, own, and play not only on the more common makes such as Selmer but also the more rare, unusual, and less-known brands and models as well. Every saxophone has music in it and deserves to be treated with respect and care, regardless of the name on the bell.
How I Do My Work
The saxophone will tell you what it needs if you just know how to listen. No two are alike- even one serial number apart. They were different from the start and since then have all led different lives and been through different things to get to the here and now, and as such each one needs unique care tailored to its particular personality. I understand the underlying mechanical and acoustic concepts and I know my tools and my materials, and I work with the saxophone to give it the help and love it needs to be what it can be.
I use nothing but the highest-quality tools. I have made and continue to make a very significant investment in the best tools and materials available, and I spare no expense in making certain that I have the right tool for the job. Good tools ensure that I do not have to fight to do my best work.
I try to organize my work so that while larger and longer jobs have a wait time that depends on how busy I am, play condition repairs (getting the instrument back to playing condition, also called PC work- anything from an “adjustment” to a “tune-up” to a new neck cork to changing a bunch of pads) can always be turned around quickly.
My saxophone overhauls have a wait time- call to find out the current time frame. I go in chronological order, and you my reserve a place in line either by giving me your horn or a small nonrefundable deposit.
*Please note that play condition repairs can only be done on a saxophone that is in good underlying condition. Spending money to make a saxophone limp along at 40% of its musical capacity is expensive in the long-term financially and musically.
You won’t ever find one here- it’s as simple as that. I don’t believe in client lists; instead I choose to work hard and let word of mouth do my advertising.
Every repair I do is warranteed. I hardly ever have to re-do anything I have done, but if you ever have a problem with a repair I have done, just bring it back in and I will take care of you.
A Final Word
No matter whether the work takes 5 minutes or 50 hours, I use nothing but the best materials on every instrument I work on. Whether your instrument is worth $50 or $50,000, the same meticulous care is given. Whether you are a jazz giant or first year student, the same work is done for the same price. Feel free to call regarding repair pricing, but accurate estimates can only be done with the horn in-hand.
For more of my philosophy, see my blog post: The Unprofitable Valley Or: Why So Much Stuff Is Mediocre
If you have questions, please go to the “contact” section and get in touch.
-DOING BUSINESS WITH MATT-
I am a one-man saxophone repair and sales business. I deeply appreciate your patronage, and I aim to make doing business with me a straightforward and rewarding experience. If you have any questions about doing business with me, please get in touch.
Trades: I accept trades as full or partial payment towards repairs and items that are for sale. To make a trade offer, please email me as many high-resolution photos as will fit to email@example.com as well as as much information as you know about the history and condition of the instrument or mouthpiece you are offering for trade .
Saxophone Repairs: For play condition (PC) repairs, I can typically do the work within a week or two, depending on what needs done. Email me or call me to make an appointment to come in person or ship it to me.
For overhauls, I have a wait list. To get on this list, I require a $100 non-refundable deposit. When your slot approaches I will contact you and we will arrange either shipping or make an appointment. You will be without your horn for 2-4 weeks including shipping times, depending on the amount of work that needs done.
Estimates are given during an in-hand examination only.
Selling Me Your Horn/Mouthpiece: Send me as much information as you have about the instrument/mouthpiece in question along with as many high-resolution as will fit to firstname.lastname@example.org and we can start talking.
Payment accepted: Cash, Paypal, Square, Dwolla, bank transfer, and from repeat customers I will accept personal checks. For payments over $500 in Paypal or Square, buyer must pay the 3% transaction fee.
Return Policy on Purchases: 3 days from receipt of item. Item must be returned in as-sold condition and I will fully refund the purchase price of the item- buyer pays shipping both ways. If the item is damaged or devalued, I will assess and give the buyer the option to either pay for the damage/devaluation or keep the item, with the buyer paying shipping again to get it back.
Shipping me a Horn for Repair: Pack it extremely well and use high quality packing materials that I can re-use to send back to you. If I must purchase packing materials to send you horn back, I will charge you for it. If you would like advice and help on packing your saxophone so that it makes the trip safely, please ask.
Getting in Touch: My contact page is here. If I have not responded to your email or phone message within one week, please try again. I am a one-man business and as such can only answer the phone or respond to your email when I am not already on the phone, responding to another email, or actually getting some work done!