Antigua Winds
AW Reeds
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21
  1. #1
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    the Netherlands
    Posts
    24,279

    Default Bass Clarinet Overhaul, serious price (and possibly more) differences

    I have just acquired a bass clarinet, because the horn is 25 yeas of age, has a few leaks and smells a bit musty I would like to have it overhauled so, I proceeded to enquire at several places and I discovered even wilder variation of the asking prices for an that you can find with Saxophones overhaul.

    I have limited my search in an area 100 km from where I live and prices vary incredibly. An overhaul (whatever that means....... ) goes from a Minimum of 300€ to a maximum of 1000€ (someone also mentioned a price of 1500 as a possibility!).

    Let alone that some people do it in a week and some others take up to 3 months!

    Also the amount of labour hours mentioned vary wildly.

    So it is obvious that:

    1) not everyone means the same thing when it comes to the term overhaul( and that happens with saxophones too)

    2) some people value they labour at 3 or 4 times the price that other charge.

    Besides, yes, like for almost anything else done by an artisan, word of mouth is the only thing that can be used to evaluate one repairer against another but there is no objective comparative method.

  2. #2
    Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    13,984

    Default Re: Bass Clarinet Overhaul, serious price (and possibly more) differences

    Unless you have given each place a chance to have a really good look at its condition, they cannot possibly know what is involved for your particular instrument. So some will be cautiously covering all eventualities. One instrument may need over 5 times the work of another!

    It's like quoting for painting a car without first seeing how rusty it is, or a house without seeing the rot.

    And even after seeing it, some technicians will have much higher standards that they expect to achieve than others. Some will not even know what high standards means!
    Contentment is not the fulfilment of what you want, but the realisation of how much you already have.

  3. #3
    Forum Contributor 2011
    SOTW's pedantic pet rodent
    RootyTootoot's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Castle Rooty. UK.
    Posts
    8,311

    Default Re: Bass Clarinet Overhaul, serious price (and possibly more) differences

    My friend, you do realise that virtually noone can play the things properly even when they have been overhauled?
    "The sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions."

  4. #4
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    the Netherlands
    Posts
    24,279

    Default Re: Bass Clarinet Overhaul, serious price (and possibly more) differences

    yes I certainly do realise that .

    Yes, even allowing for some quotations being pessimistic and other optimistic there is nothing in my book that makes any sense with difference in price of 300 or 400% (most people describe an overhaul on their site and they vary ever so little, most offer complete cleaning (washing according to some) of body and toneholes (some say they will polish these!), oiling in a bath (?) , of course pads (leather in this case) cork and felt, regulation of the springs.

    Most say.......the horn will be as new.......whatever they mean by that!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Stockholm, SWEDEN
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: Bass Clarinet Overhaul, serious price (and possibly more) differences

    I understand the cost is high but calculate the number of hours you think they might need to do a complete overhaul and then calculate the hourly cost.

    I have spent some time with one of my bass clarinets to adjust and change pads etc and can tell you that it takes alot of effort to get things in playing condition. And the material alone is not for free. The size of the pads (height and width) are unique and it is difficult to change a pad if not removing the mechanisms from the clarinet. And usually one has to remove another key to get the one you want off.
    Then the springs are underneath the keys which means in combination with screws going though the key and fitting in a post on the other side that you really need to be careful when screwing them back not to damage them.

    Only getting the register mechanism to work and being leak free in all aspects is a hassle. The connection to the mid Bb is disturbing if not adjusted properly etc.
    I do not feel that I can guarantee to myself that the repair I have made on this bass clarinet will not suddenly become obslete due to some cork falling off or a spring moving. As have been stated before the bass clarinet is a delicate instrument.

    This is why people always recommend to consider how much the total cost will be for buying the instrument and paying for the necessary repair, and then evaluate if it is worth it.

    Now your bass clarinet seems like a fine instrument if being in playing condition. You stated somewhere else that it was in two pieces so I am assuming it is a wooden one without any split wood.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Stockholm, SWEDEN
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: Bass Clarinet Overhaul, serious price (and possibly more) differences

    Quote Originally Posted by milandro View Post
    yes I certainly do realise that .
    ...
    Most say.......the horn will be as new.......whatever they mean by that!
    That it does not smell musty...
    People ask themselves if they would quit work if they won the lottery?
    Well look at me ... I am still working.

  7. #7
    Forum Contributor 2010 Bari Sax Guy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Essex County MA
    Posts
    344

    Default Re: Bass Clarinet Overhaul, serious price (and possibly more) differences

    One of the things that I noticed when I had BC overhauled recently is that they are cheaper than saxes. A tenor sax re-pad is $700.00-$800.00. My tech posts a price guidline in his shop and the BC is posted at $350.00. I asked how come saxes are more (or clarinets are less) and the reply was because saxes have more pads - 22. I counted the pads on my BC and came up with 26. I'm guessing that clarinet keywork is more straightforward than Saxes with their complicated set ups like the left hand pinky tables.

    My BC was a train wreck, needing everything, and I know Bob spent many hours on the project. He looked it over to make sure all of the non-replaceable parts were there and gave me a quote of $400.00. The $400.00 price was well worth it.

    What brand is your Bass Clarinet?

  8. #8
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    the Netherlands
    Posts
    24,279

    Default Re: Bass Clarinet Overhaul, serious price (and possibly more) differences

    My bass clarinet is a Leblanc L 400 made of wood to Eb and with a single octave. Most of the repairers in the Netherlands put any bass clarinet standard (even without special pads and for clarinet not keyed to Low C and without double octave) overhaul at an higher price compared to a standard (no special pads or metal work) saxophone overhaul.

    One of the reasons why that there might be a lower price for a Bass clarinet in the in the States Bari Sax guy, is that you , because of school bands (a phenomenon almost completely unknown in the Netherlands ) have a lot more bass clarinets.

    Several technicians here like to set their labour cost between 50 and 80€ an hour , which is the reason why there is a whole range of instruments (the cheaper ones) that are becoming increasingly inconvenient to overhaul because their market value is lower than the cost to overhaul the instrument.

    This is not the case with a wooden Bass clarinet but it definitely would be the case for a resonite Bundy.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Stockholm, SWEDEN
    Posts
    126

    Default Re: Bass Clarinet Overhaul, serious price (and possibly more) differences

    I recognize the same situation in Sweden.
    Not as many instruments around and not as many repair shops around either as in the US. Not so easy to find spare parts...
    The prices for used horns are much higher also which could become a good business case if buying used from the US and getting repaired here.
    But as you say, sending a resonite bundy to an overhaul would be plain stupid here!

  10. #10
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    the Netherlands
    Posts
    24,279

    Default Re: Bass Clarinet Overhaul, serious price (and possibly more) differences

    well, this shows that the explosive labour costs have completely changed the field. This is not only happening with music instruments. One week after buying my Kia Picanto (one of the cheapest cars around) I got a small accident and the bumper needed replacing.

    It was replaced very quickly and there was nothing to it really because nothing else was damaged. This was a model without any sensor or electronics of any kind and it costed, wait for it, 1,035 € for a car that in it s entirety costs 12,000 euro (yes the price advertised is a lot less that you in the end pay )

    The largest amount of the price ticket was not the part but the labour for spraying the part and replacing it.

    These days a 7 -8 years old car car that is involved in a relatively minor accident might be easily declared total loss....... in the past it would have been repaired and would have been working for several more years.

  11. #11
    Distiguished SOTW Tech
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Auburn NY
    Posts
    1,485

    Default Re: Bass Clarinet Overhaul, serious price (and possibly more) differences

    IMO, Most Bass clarinets are as easy to work on as any Alto sax. With shorter key arms and smaller diameter pads the regulation and adjustment of pads is pretty straight forward. The materials cost is comparable. I charge the same as an Alto sax repad for a bass clar repad.

  12. #12
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Down Under
    Posts
    3,818

    Default Re: Bass Clarinet Overhaul, serious price (and possibly more) differences

    I second matts statement. Bass clarinet is easier than a sax.

    We charge 295 for a sax, 225 for a bass clarinet.

    Note this is a repad price, extra springs / rods / posts / body repairs / key extensions are over and above this as they can become labour intensive dependant on the instrument and whats actually wrong
    Life is to short to get caught up in the truth, Relax and just let life go on by, move at your own pace and rhythm
    www.mirwa.com.au

  13. #13
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    the Netherlands
    Posts
    24,279

    Default Re: Bass Clarinet Overhaul, serious price (and possibly more) differences

    AS I said many times, I wish we had here prices that are common in the USA, 1500€ is about 2000$........ the cheapest saxophone overhaul (yes undenting but no metal work or complex soldering but might include also replacing springs ) by a pro in the Netherlands costs 250€.......which is 327$ while the average is twice as much (might include some metal work and soldering)

  14. #14
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Down Under
    Posts
    3,818

    Default Re: Bass Clarinet Overhaul, serious price (and possibly more) differences

    Australia is better IMO
    Life is to short to get caught up in the truth, Relax and just let life go on by, move at your own pace and rhythm
    www.mirwa.com.au

  15. #15
    Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    13,984

    Default Re: Bass Clarinet Overhaul, serious price (and possibly more) differences

    Overhaul work may be offered cheap in some countries USA, but by far the majority of so-called overhauls I have seen are mighty disappointing. (Of course it is possible that the worst have a tendency to be the ones sold oversea and reach my shores.)

    I don't think we can realistically compare prices without an expert seeing and comparing what the associated workmanship represents. To do a job really well does take a heap longer than a slap-dash job.

    Compare the time involved painting over a rusted car or rotting house, with the job done properly! Similar scenario.
    Contentment is not the fulfilment of what you want, but the realisation of how much you already have.

  16. #16
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    the Netherlands
    Posts
    24,279

    Default Re: Bass Clarinet Overhaul, serious price (and possibly more) differences

    Well, what do you know........I’ve just received a call from one of the most qualified clarinet technicians in the Netherlands . I had left a message on his answering machine and he was away for a holiday.....now he is back. He quoted one of the best prices that I have heard until now, since his fame and price I certainly will bring the horn to him.....

    The price he quoted is 300% less than the highest priced quoted and he reputed to be very capable and not cheap!

  17. #17
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Down Under
    Posts
    3,818

    Default Re: Bass Clarinet Overhaul, serious price (and possibly more) differences

    Good to see milandro.

    Price never reflects the end job, price merely reflects ones overheads and profit margin, not the skill of the person.
    Life is to short to get caught up in the truth, Relax and just let life go on by, move at your own pace and rhythm
    www.mirwa.com.au

  18. #18
    Distiguished SOTW Tech
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Auburn NY
    Posts
    1,485

    Default Re: Bass Clarinet Overhaul, serious price (and possibly more) differences

    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon (NZ) View Post
    Overhaul work may be offered cheap in some countries USA, but by far the majority of so-called overhauls I have seen are mighty disappointing. (Of course it is possible that the worst have a tendency to be the ones sold oversea and reach my shores.)

    I don't think we can realistically compare prices without an expert seeing and comparing what the associated workmanship represents. To do a job really well does take a heap longer than a slap-dash job.

    Compare the time involved painting over a rusted car or rotting house, with the job done properly! Similar scenario.
    You may be right Gordon, customer gets a bad overhaul and says I hate this piece of crap I think I will e-bay it to someone in New Zealand. Did you ever think that the good cheap overhauls aren't making it to your shop because they don't need your help?

    In my post I did not compare Netherlands to USA or any other country. I compared my Alto sax repad and bass clarinet costs. In my opinion the work on each horn is comparable. If an average price in the Netherlands is 1500 - 2000 Euros for an alto sax overhaul I would suspect it should be close to that for a Bass clarinet. Comparing prices from country to country is difficult at best.

  19. #19
    Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Posts
    13,984

    Default Re: Bass Clarinet Overhaul, serious price (and possibly more) differences

    I think a good cross section of everything in local existence eventually gets to my shop.

    I see quite a bit more work in a bass clarinet than an alto sax, particularly the low C ones.
    To bet all those low keys operating as a player would really like is quite an exercise. Getting it mediocre is a lot quicker. Locally, I have never seen a bass clarinet with that adjustment done well, ex-factory or otherwise, unless it is after I have worked on it.
    Contentment is not the fulfilment of what you want, but the realisation of how much you already have.

  20. #20
    Distinguished SOTW Technician.
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    canberra,australia
    Posts
    1,096

    Default Re: Bass Clarinet Overhaul, serious price (and possibly more) differences

    price aside I would recommend you go for leather pads on the bass clarinet, I really like them on a bass,omni pads would also be excellent.......
    Dirk zeylmans
    www.tritone.net.au
    Canberra,australia.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •