Fix This! Instrument Repair, Inc.

Serving all of Chicagoland

746 East Northwest Highway
Palatine, IL 60074

Phone: (847) 359-4444

Mon - Fri: 10am - 6pm
Sat: 10am - 4pm
Sun: Closed

Brass Instrument Repair Services

Below you can find an overview of our brass instrument repair services.  These are just some of the more common services we provide and repairs we perform.  We are happy to discuss your particular instrument and repair needs with you in greater detail.

Standard Ultrasonic Cleaning & Lubrication Service

Our Standard Cleaning & Lubrication Service extends the usable life of your brass instrument and helps ensure the highest level of performance. Through degreasing, ultrasonic cleaning*, soaking, scrubbing, rinsing and drying, we remove and neutralize any buildup and corrosion present in the horn. As a rule of thumb, we recommend having this professional cleaning procedure performed on an annual basis. Various factors – such as diet, body chemistry, cleaning habits, and even water supply – can have an effect on the state of the instrument, therefore some may need cleanings done more or less often than others. Bring in your instrument and ask us to evaluate it if you have any questions.

Once cleaned, the instrument is reassembled with attention paid to proper alignment of any moving parts, like slides, valves and keys. Appropriate oils and greases are used at each point, including threads, lever pivots, slides, pistons, and rotor bearings. Parts that wear out over time – such as felts, corks & springs – are replaced as necessary. Our recommended lubrication products are also available for purchase, to help you maintain performance of your instrument between cleanings. Silver-plated instruments are hand-polished to restore the visual appeal of the finish. For raw brass and nickel-plated instruments, we also offer a hand polishing service.

Fully Detailed Ultrasonic Cleaning & Lubrication Service with Individual Valve Alignment

In addition to the work that is done with our standard service, our Fully Detailed Service takes your instrument to the next level. After the horn is thoroughly cleaned and scrubbed, we polish each individual tuning slide to a “like new” shine. In addition, we take the valve alignment of your instrument to the next level with our Individual Valve Alignment service. We will employ a variety of proprietary methods to ensure each individual valve is precisely aligned using synthetic pads and shims as necessary. These synthetic pads are less prone to compress over time and last longer than felts. For instrument with rotary valves, each rotor will be adjusted to match up with the internal valve ports as opposed to using the factory markings.

This service is very useful as musical instruments are all handmade and are subject to fabrication errors. These errors often go unnoticed until a skilled repair technician is able to find the issue. Correcting an issue like valve alignment opens the possibility of making a good playing instrument a great playing instrument.

Dent Removal

If your instrument has sustained damage and is in need of having soldering or dentwork done, please come in for a free estimate. Our brass instrument repair department arsenal includes conventional dent tools, as well as the Magnetic Dent Removal System (MDRS). As with any tools, discretion is needed to select the proper approach to the repair. Damage also often inhibits the action of moving parts, and we can restore proper action to your valves & slides. Proper cleaning and alignment can often eliminate any action issues, but it may be that damage is preventing parts from moving the way they should.

Custom Work

If you feel that modifying your instrument can help its performance, we are happy to discuss the possibilities. Replacing leadpipes, adding valve slide triggers, and upgrading rotor linkages are some of the most common customizations we perform. We are able to acquire many popular aftermarket parts, and we are ready to help you with the selection and installation process.

Trombone Slide Work

We offer two levels of trombone handslide service:

  1. Our Basic Slide Service includes our Standard Cleaning & Lubrication Service as outlined above, plus minor slide alignment and dent removal. This is our standard offering suitable for student level and most school owned instruments.
  2. Our Professional Level Slide Service is for more discerning players and higher quality instruments. The Pro Service goes beyond the Basic Service by adding the polishing of both inner and outer bearing surfaces of the slide tubes.  This is followed by a thorough degreasing and a preliminary lubrication with the product of your choice. We recommend this procedure for professional quality instruments and players wanting the best from their slide.

Any significant dentwork or major alignment issues will be addressed separately and charged accordingly. Due to damage or age, the tubes and/or end crook may need to be replaced, and this necessitates rebuilding the slide. Rebuilding a slide with the current parts is also an option, and provides the benefit of improving upon the factory assembly techniques, resulting in a straighter, more parallel, smoother moving slide. In some cases, the instrument may be more responsive and resonant, due to the reduction in stress on the instrument often introduced during a less attentive factory assembly.

*Fix This! Instrument Repair is not responsible for finish/plating damage from the ultrasonic cleaning process. Finish coming off of an instrument is due to wear or a defect in the manufacturing process. If you have concerns about the finish of your instrument, please consult us as we have alternative (and equally effective) methods for cleaning your instrument!

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