SF bay area repair shop recommendations for newbie?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by malena, Nov 3, 2015.

  1. malena

    malena New Friend

    Oct 27, 2015
    Hi all! I'm new to this brass thing--my kid is playing in school. (My experience is with strings which are comparatively straightforward.)

    I recently picked up a 1950s Holton Collegiate cornet and it has some stuck slides. It seems to have been sitting for a loooooong time but hasn't been abused. After cleaning the dead beetles from the valves, they work nicely but since I can't get the slides out, I can't get it really clean. The kid wants a guarantee that all the beetles are out. It already sounds much much better than the rental that the kid uses so I think it would be worth fixing (up to a certain point, at least).

    Can anyone recommend a shop in the SF area (east bay/SJ preferred) that would pull the slides on a student cornet? Our local shop does not fill me with confidence, probably because their rental isn't better than an orphaned instrument full of dead bugs.

    Thanks for any advice! :)
  2. Clarkvinmazz

    Clarkvinmazz Forte User

    May 11, 2013
    Oberlin, Ohio
    Sounds like you should also get it professionally cleaned. I'd be a bit concerned if there were ever any bugs in a horn I bought.....
  3. ChopsGone

    ChopsGone Forte User

    Jan 26, 2009
    Northern California
    While there have been some personnel changes (and I haven't been there in a good while, so don't know all the details), the most popular shop for many years has been Best Instrument Repair, 564 14th St, Oakland, CA 94612.
    If you're down the peninsula, then the one to go to would be Peninsula Music & Repair, 4335 El Camino Real, Suite 201, Palo Alto, CA 94306. And if I've lost track of name changes, etc., just Google it. They've opened a second shop, Park Avenue Music Center, at 1717 Park Avenue in San Jose. Unfortunately, I haven't had any dealings with them recently enough to know whether both locations are open or not, but they're good people and worth the time to search for the one closer to you.
  4. amzi

    amzi Forte User

    Feb 18, 2010
    Northern California
    I'll second Best Instrument Repair--Dick Akright still owns the shop but doesn't work there much (if at all). Nevertheless I'm still hearing good things about them and I've had good work done by people other than Dick.
  5. MSfortissimo

    MSfortissimo Pianissimo User

    Jul 13, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    I live in San Jose and the best tech I've found closer than Oakland/San Francisco is Karen Mahoney. She works at the music village on Santa Theresa. You can pm me and I'll give you her information if you want
  6. saxophonist56

    saxophonist56 Piano User

    Apr 12, 2013
    modesto ca 95350
    best repair oakland. they are good. took a basket case olds ambassador and now plays wonderfully. amazing.
  7. scott@95603

    [email protected] New Friend

    Mar 27, 2014
    Two years ago I drove over 200 miles to Best Instrument Repair in Oakland; I did so because I had heard good things about them and I wanted to actually talk to them in person. I had two Olds trumpets that I wanted repaired, a Recording and a Special. After receiving a "talking to" by a rather young brass tech on why none of the work was needed, I simply put the horns back in their cases and left. I sent the horns to Robb Stewart who did a wonderful job on them.
    Best Instrument Repair might very well do a great job for you; I just can't/couldn't get past the attitude. Of course, there is more than one tech working there.
  8. BrassBandMajor

    BrassBandMajor Fortissimo User

    Jan 13, 2015
    Offtopic but I am planning to pick up a holton cornet and do a DIY restoration.
  9. Newell Post

    Newell Post Piano User

    Mar 31, 2014
    Silicon Valley
  10. amzi

    amzi Forte User

    Feb 18, 2010
    Northern California
    [email protected]'m curious because what you describe is so unlike anything I have encountered. Did you go to Best Instrument Repair or Best Musical Instrument Company? They're in the same general area and the similar names can be confusing.

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