Oboe and English Horn Repair


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Oboes and English horns are delicate instruments that require the precise alignment of all parts to play well. We offer several levels of service for your instrument, including everything from playing condition repairs to complete overhauls.

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All service levels include a full adjustment of the mechanism – those tiny little adjusting screws are only part of the story. A finely-adjusted oboe ensures that key combinations work as they should.

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All of the alternate, bridge, and trill fingerings are checked and adjusted as needed. During this part of the service, pads are adjusted to seal the tone holes and key heights are set to an even, appropriate clearance.

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Cleaning the oboe is cosmetically attractive but is also important to prevent the buildup of dirt, tarnish, and gunk. We use an environmentally safe but effective solution to clean your oboe. During this procedure, tarnish is removed and all accessible parts are lightly polished by hand.

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Extra polishing is available when the pads are being replaced. This is included in the overhaul price, but is available for an additional charge during a repad.

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When we replace pads, we use pads of the correct size and thickness to ensure proper function. On PC and COA jobs, new pads (if needed) are selected to match the existing setup. Cork pads are available for an additional charge; this is an upgrade we recommend highly when overhauling your professional instrument. On repads and overhauls, we make sure that the tone holes are level for accurate pad seating.

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Tenon and bocal cork replacement is included with every repad and overhaul, but is available on any service for a modest surcharge. We use a stronger, more durable adhesive than the factory – naturally, the corks we install will wear over time, but we’ve never had a tenon cork come back because the glue separated. Several instruments we routinely service have tenon corks we installed over 15 years ago and they’re still in excellent shape.

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Tenons themselves sometimes wear, crack, or chip. Our shop can perform all kinds of tenon, tone hole, and crack repairs. Oboes that are broken in half can usually be repaired. We also have a full range of soldering equipment, so we can repair keys that need silver soldering.

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As part of an overhaul, all loose play is removed. Without this, adjustments are not as accurate, and common symptoms of poor key fitting include sluggish action, noisy (metallic) action, and buzzing or other vibration during playing.

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Each key is swedged tightly around its rod. Adjacent keys are lengthened and squared off to remove side-to-side play. Posts are aligned and worn post holes are shrunk as needed. Key barrels and rods are straightened and polished to ensure smooth, free action.

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With our attention to detail and precise workmanship, your oboe or English horn will play effortlessly throughout the full range and have lightest, quietest, most responsive action possible. Contact us today to get started!



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