Monday, December 14, 2009, 08:27 AMAfter the mod, can you see what was done?
It could also be argued that invisible modifications are the most wonderful! Well this little mod, done in the MusicMedic.com pro shop, may not look like much now that it's done but, before it was done the horn was barely playable.
Anyone that owns one of these Yanagisawa soprano saxophones knows that the Eb (E flat) key is too large. For many, the large Eb key makes the horn unplayable. This was certainly the case for Joey so, we did what any good saxophone pro-shop would do. We made it work.
Here you can see the amount of key that we intended to remove.
Here's the Yanagisawa after the key was cut and buffed. Simple and effective.
The owner of this soprano and, one of our favorite clients, Joey, wrote in just after the horn was shipped home:
The Soprano is excellent....The E-flat key is just awesome this should be marketed, my technician said
one of his classical brass musicians sold his yani curve because of the E-flat issue....Anyway, just excellent workmanship.
Thursday, December 3, 2009, 02:36 PM
SAXORAMA, SAXOMANIA, SAXFEST, SAXESGALORE
No matter what you call it, it's happening here at MusicMedic.com and it's gonna be outrageous!
What's this all about? MusicMedic.com has been asked to host a regional clinic for our favorite trade organization, the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT). Every year, there are regional NAPBIRT clinics happening around the US and some abroad. This year, one of those clinics will be hosted right here at MusicMedic.com. But you know us, it ain't gonna'be no regular thing....
The Regional NAPBIRT clinic held at MusicMedic.com will be all about Saxophones, sax parts, sax mouthpieces, sax construction, sax intonation, sax modification, sax regulation -you name it! There will be live (sax) music performed by RooPads endorsing artist Benny Hill. MusicMedic.com is sponsoring a "coffee breakfast" a "Wine and Cheese" brunch and a lunch with live music. Saxophone repair product demonstrations will be given at lunch time. All this will happen in the new MusicMedic.com facility in Wilmington NC.
OH yeah, we have also invited the finest saxophone technicians from around the US to come and share their knowledge with you! Jeff Peterson -Yamaha's big-dog saxophone repair tech from California, Matt Stohrer -NYC's newest and greatest sax-tech, Steve Goodson -N'awlins famous SaxGourmet, and Curt Altarac -of the MusicMedic.com fame will all be present to give a clinic.
Come early and plan to stay late. After the clinics, we're all going to Historic Downtown Wilmington for more food and libations. Seats at the clinic are limited so hurry, sign up, and reserve a spot.
Contact us regarding hotel options and register for the clinics at www.NAPBIRT.org.
Just after posting this blog, I got a call from my very good friend Lee Kramka of Saxworx. Lee's one, if not thee, finest sax techs in the country. Lee said he's planning to jump on a plane and show up for the clinic. -You know he'll spice up the conversation!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009, 07:30 AMI'm super excited and really disappointed all at once.
The Saxophone Ensemble that I play with, The North Carolina Saxophone Ensemble, was asked to play for the Navy Saxophone Symposium this year.
This new and energetic group is comprised of outstanding players from all-over North Carolina. This will be the Premier Performance for the group and everyone is really looking forward to it. If you're in the US, you should get on a plane, train, or take a bus to Fairfax VA and check out the ensemble!
So, why am I disappointed? This year the Symposium conflicts with the NAMM show in Anaheim CA. Although MusicMedic.com usually exhibits, and gives clinics, at the Symposium this year it's not possible. So I (Curt) will be in Anaheim CA at the NAMM show while my group is playing at the Symposium.
I'm really excited for all the players in the group! Break a leg!
To learn more about the Symposium go to their website here:
The North Carolina Saxophone Ensemble is playing on Saturday the 16th. There is a schedule here:
http://www.navyband.navy.mil/Sax%20symp ... hedule.pdf
Thursday, November 12, 2009, 08:24 AMAbout 8 months ago I posted about this building that we bought and our crazy plan to for fixing it up. I promised some updates along the way. Then, it started, the huge undertaking of renovating a 40,000sqft warehouse including indoor parking a new shop, the supply house, storage, a residence etc... Well, the updates didn't happen but the work did! Everyone at MusicMedic.com buckled down and got to work. The place is still under construction but we're in! We made it thanks to the great crew here at MusicMedic.com and all the awesome repair techs and players that have supported us.
We started what is essentially a second business with a second crew working day and night on this project. To give you an idea of the scope, it took over 500 gallons of paint to cover the walls and ceiling, and we're still going.
We tried to make this project and our business as green as possible. For instance, in the shop we're not using any toxic chemicals -but I'll tell you more about the shop as we set it up (I promise). In the building, we're trying to use day lighting. When we started, the place was dark; and by dark I mean bump-into-walls cave-dark. Now, I'm sitting in my office with no lights on! The glass block windows and the light tube give plenty of light. The lights in the offices are all LED lights and run on about 15 watts each. The shipping area and the shop have 11 eight foot long sky lights. During the daytime there is no need to have the lights on at all.
The flooring is recycled rubber material that's nearly 3/4" thick! It feels great on the feet and should save our backs. The offices have cork flooring, the most renewable flooring anywhere! The paint, wall board and most other materials we used are green.
It's not easy to give you an idea of the building or the scale of this project with a camera. Hopefully this helps you get an idea.
In the beginning we decided that the place was too ugly to take 'before' pictures of. So, luckily there are not too many before pictures. If you're really curious you can check google maps street view here for an idea of what it looked like.
The retaining wall out front needed to be repaired. This is the same wall that Google maps brought you to.
First we fixed up the courtyard adding glass block, doors, paint etc.. That glass block work is my (Curt)first attempt at installing block.
The Door's are the old-school heavy-metal doors with wavy glass. They had too much character to replace so we stripped them down to bare metal and repainted them. Note the new glass and all new new power lines. When the "house" is done, this courtyard will be my backyard.
We repaired the wall and built pillars. Every pillar is tied into a "dead man" which is an anchor burried behind the wall to keep it from falling over. This is something that should have been done when the wall was built and something you can't see in the pictures as they are buried.
Added some caps to the pillars.
Built a fence and a gate in between the pillars. Next year, after the wood has dried, we'll paint it.
This area will look even better when we get that tree trimmed up, the fence painted and some trees planted at the curb.
This building, on the left, is going to be the 'house.' There are about 14 large block windows that will go into this front face of the building.
Now the parking deck... If you checked out the Google view of the place, you would need to go around the corner to see this side of the building.
The parking deck is still in progress. Although it's nearly complete, we still need lights and power. It's hard to take pictures in there without enough light but it's absolutely awesome in there now. The walls and ceilings have all been pressure washed and painted.
First we cut out the old loading dock and 700 sqft of slab in the building along with 3 door openings.
Then we built a 70 foot long ramp that runs from the street and 35 feet into the building.
We added some paint and a key pad for the door. The trim still needs paint and that will happen next week after the rain!
Jon's truck was the first one up the new ramp!
Now for the shop and offices. I'm glad I don't have any before pictures for you. The offices and new shop are so great, I don't want you to know!
The shop was built inside a 20,000 sqft part of the warehouse. There is a ton of room for storage and expansion all around it.
Here is the shipping area, shop and office hall during the sheet rocking.
Saxophone repair shop
Here they are with a coat of paint
Saxophone repair shop
Finally on our first day at the new place, were still setting up but you can see how it will look.
The offices came out great but I don't have many pictures for you yet...
Well, looking these pictures over it's clear that giving you an idea of this project is not going to be easy using this media. So, you're going to have to come check us out!
You are cordially invited to come by for a visit!
Thanks again everyone. This was/is a huge project and one that could only be done with the help of many-many people.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009, 01:16 PMIn a recent NAPBIRT clinic given by Carl Thacker of Carl's Pro Band, Carl tested our Shellac right there under the watchful eye of a panel of NAPBIRT technicians.
After the Clinic, Carl sent me an Email about his finding. Check out Carl's test!
"Hey thanks guys! Got your stuff in time for the Sat. clinic. I did a cool demo on you shellac. I used some old key cups, pads and your shellac.
1 with clean nickel plated cup & pad
1 with etched nickel plated cup & pad
1 with UMI OG pad and hot glue from junk Conn 21M
1 with Jeff Smiths amber hot glue & pad
1 with brass cup, shellac & pad
1 with etched brass cup, shellac & pad
1 with nickel cup shellac and no pad
I put them in the freezer over night at the Napbirt training center. I had on idea what was going to happen.
I pulled them out while in the clinic and started the test.
I started slamm'in the keys on the vice. None fell out so I used a screwdriver to pry on the pads.
The Conn UMI hot glue came right out and had little glue in the cup.
The JL Smith hot glue that I installed was hard to come out. The etching was with a hand scraper and seem to be a little stronger bond.
Here is the surprising part the shellac was very hard to come out and when it did, it had some shellac in the cup
and some on the back of the pad.
The Shellac that was in the cup with on pad did not come out with beating it on the vise!!!!!
Cold region Techs worry about this because traditionally shellac falls out in the cold. The test was a big surprise to everyone.
Also FYI your post swedging tool went over well to. I'm not sure that you are aware of this but I used it on the top stack C key
King super 20. The south side of that key has nowhere to swedge so I used the post pliers and it worked great!
You need to make a smaller version for Clarinet and Oboe.
Hope this helps,
To learn more about Carl and Travis Thacker (a couple of outstanding techs!) or Carl's Pro Band check out their website: