New Saxophone Setup
(Note: When I briefly sold new saxophones, this was standard for every new saxophone I sold and was included in the price, but if you have a new saxophone you have bought elsewhere you can have me perform this service on your horn. Contact me for a rough estimate based on make/model.)
My procedure for setting up new saxophones is extremely thorough and makes a huge difference in how the horn feels and plays. This is the setup procedure that I would give my own saxophone.
First, the saxophone is carefully unwrapped, inspected, and playtested. Any manufacturing mistakes or damage means I send it back. Only once I have determined that the saxophone is a worthy example of the instrument and something I can stand behind does the actual work begin.
I start by completely disassembling the saxophone- every key comes off the instrument. All rods, hinge tubes, pivot screws, and pivot receivers are carefully and painstakingly hand-cleaned, removing the oil and pivot grease from the factory. Rods are checked and straightened if necessary, and all posts are checked and aligned straight and true. Fit and finish is checked on all keys, and every key is made to be absolutely free in its movement with no slop, binding, or sponginess.
Next, all springs are retensioned to your specifications. Not only resistance but directional precision is required- and while it seems like a trifle, there is much to be done here. The difference between a decent spring job and a good one is the finesse that comes with care and experience, and it is a difference you will feel. Your saxophone will feel smoother, and the springs will exert a more constant pressure on your fingers, removing the gummy feel so often felt when springs are sub-par.
After the saxophone is completely clean and all moving parts are functioning within exacting tolerances, the saxophone is re-assembled stepwise in the same manner as in one of my overhauls. As each key goes on, superior quality synthetic oil is added, ensuring a long-lasting layer to protect the bearing surfaces and provide years of whisper-smooth action. Each key is checked for leaks, and every leak is individually corrected. All adjustment materials are checked, sliding linkages are laminated with teflon, key bounce is corrected, noisy materials are replaced, and all upper and lower stack adjustment corks are replaced with a long-wearing and stable synthetic material, improving not only the firmess and snappyness of the action but the longevity of the adjustment.
Then, when the instrument is assembled, the neck tenon is carefully checked for leaks and fit to perfection. Adjustments are checked for lost motion or sponginess and corrected.
Finally, the horn is exhaustively playtested while making any necessary final adjustments. Only when I am satisfied that I have made major improvements to your top-flight professional instrument and have carefully adjusted it to your personal specifications will it be carefully packed and sent fully insured to you, where you can rest assured that the horn will be ready to take gigging the night you receive it. Your saxophone will stand head and shoulders above other new saxophones of the same make and model and will feel and play the best it possibly can.