SF bay area repair shop recommendations for newbie?

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

  1. scott@95603

    [email protected] New Friend

    Mar 27, 2014
    I went to Best Instrument Repair. The front door was hardly noticeable and the repair shop was located in the basement of the building. Dick Akright previously worked there. scott
  2. malena

    malena New Friend

    Oct 27, 2015
    Thanks for all the great info! I appreciate it.

    (I might splurge for a cleaning but it's not that bad. On the subject of what else does this cornet need, are the springs really supposed to be loose? In our rental cornet, a 1970s Japanese Conn, the springs are in the pistons. On this Holton, they are just plunked in there with the piston on top.)
  3. Newell Post

    Newell Post Piano User

    Mar 31, 2014
    Silicon Valley
    Some horns use "bottom sprung" valves. My Yamaha flugel is that way. It's a somewhat old-fashioned configuration, but it works OK if you keep the springs at the bottom of the valves clean. But it's not my favorite.

    Also, Hornucopia in San Carlos does great work. It's not East Bay, but they are great, and it's worth a drive. You should just see the shop if nothing else. If there was a trumpet store in the Harry Potter films, it would look a little like Hornucopia in San Carlos. They have incredible inventory and do excellent repair work. If you buy anything on a credit card, it shows up on your credit card statement as "Periwinkle Framing" since they also own an art framing shop by that name and they run everything through the same credit card system. It's the kind of place you almost never see in the modern world. They are old-school craftsmen and horn people.
  4. amzi

    amzi Forte User

    Feb 18, 2010
    Northern California
    Thanks Scott...that is sad news--the last time I was there Dick was still actively involved in the daily running of the shop. It has been my "go to" repair shop for many years. Maybe I need to go down and check the place out before I continue to recommend it.
  5. scott@95603

    [email protected] New Friend

    Mar 27, 2014
    Well, as I said earlier, their work might be quite good, apparently lots of Bay Area musicians take their horns there. I just never got to sample it. Maybe the guy I talked to was just having a bad day. scott
  6. malena

    malena New Friend

    Oct 27, 2015
    Thanks again for all the suggestions. I ended up taking it to Hornucopia as I had some business over there and am pleased with the results. It's also a fun shop for a beginning brass player to visit. :)
  7. rufflicks

    rufflicks Pianissimo User

    Dec 9, 2009
    Nor Cal
    Concerning Best Instrument Repair; I have known Dick Akright for 45 years and cherish his friendship. That being said; Ian is a very different personality. I have never had an issue with Ian but I have no doubt that others may not be so keen on his bedside manner. He is busy and a big job will take some time. I would call if coming from anywhere out of town. The work is still of high quality it is simply a different experience.

    It does not surprise me that Ian offered his opinion about the “old” horns. He may have had a good point but I can only speculate. A full restoration is a huge job and this is more of a specialty service and a repair technician that is backlogged with work may see it as an unnecessary. Obviously the original owner or a collector might have a very different view.

    I have no reservations about taking my horns there. I would call first have a conversation and work out some basic details. The work will be first rate and the charge will be reasonable.


  8. yourbrass

    yourbrass New Friend

    Nov 8, 2013
    Thank you very much! Appreciate the feedback.
    As I recall, your horn was a nice example of a 50's Holton Collegiate that just needed cleaning and some bell straightening.

    I've been doing repair at Hornucopia for the last eighteen years and it's a great place for brass and woodwind people. (Shameless self-promotion alert)

    Brass Musical Instrument Resources

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