Stephen Howard Woodwind - Repairs, reviews, advice, tips and tales...
Haynes woodwind maintenance manuals
SHWoodwind - Woodwind advice, reviews, care, repair & maintenance
Haynes woodwind maintenance manuals

Woodwind instrument advice, reviews, care, repair & maintenance.

Whether you're interested in buying an instrument, maintaining your flute or clarinet, hints on saxophone repairs or just plain curious about woodwind - you'll find something to interest you here, presented in a clear and relaxed manner.

After a bit of a false start it looks as though (at the time of writing) we're about to come out of the last of the lockdown. And about time too. It's been a particularly trying time for musicians, of all standards - and some of the more recent decisions have left keen amateurs feeling rather hard done-by. But the mood among my clients seems to be one of optimism, coupled with a desire to get back out there and flex their chops.
As such I've seen an increase in student horn repairs - which has led to my being even busier than ever, given that the pro horns keep on coming in. To this end I'm informally prioritising professional repairs - so if you find yourself on the waiting list, please be patient while I do what I can to get the working players up and running again. As far as my policy for handling repairs during the pandemic goes, I will be relaxing it as and when advised - after which time I will return to my usual practices, which have served me very well for the last 40+ years.
In the meantime I have a few new articles for your entertainment. The star of the show has to be the dual alto/tenor review of a pair of Adolphe (Edouard) Sax saxes - but there's also a review of the step-up Sakkusu Deluxe alto, and a close look at an early Cardinali tenor...which seemed somehow familiar...
There's also a fabulously technical article about swedging the keywork in order to tighten the action. Don't worry - it's got pictures and everything. Go see. And in the Notes section there's a new article that's probably the most intensely personal piece I've ever written...
As for the rest of the site, you'll find hard-hitting reviews that show no fear or favour; commonsense advice about looking after your instruments; myths debunkified; clear explanations and maybe one or two laughs. So fill your mug/glass/pipe/atty, give your mouse a buff and click on. You know it makes sense....

Latest reviews: "Don't blow it - bench it!"


Adolphe (Edouard) Sax alto and tenor reviewNew: A pair of beauties, from the hands of Adolphe (Edouard) Sax.
What more needs to be said...?

The Sakkusu Deluxe alto takes to the workbench, and I mull over whether it's worth the extra cash.

Recent: The King Super 20 Silversonic (Series IV) alto. Not just all show.

Cardinali tenor sax reviewNew: An early Cardinali tenor hits the workbench, and I have a feeling I've seen it somewhere else before...
Yanagisawa T-WO32 Elite tenor  sax reviewUpdated: Had a Yanagisawa T-WO33 tenor in for a service, so added my thoughts on it to the review of the T-WO32

Gear4Music SS-100G soprano sax reviewRecent: First Ultra-Cheap soprano review in 16 years! I do a number on the Gear4Music SS-100G soprano sax.

Not quite a review - but a detailed look at the Selmer 130th Anniversary Edition alto. Recent: Not one, but two Hanson LX tenors find their way onto the workbench.
'Very heavily influenced' by the Selmer MkVI is the selling point of this horn - but does it live up to the sales blurb?

Thomann Low Jazz bari sax review In the market for a modern low Bb baritone? There's a new contender in town, and it's a game-changer...

Updated: After 15 years I revisit the Selmer Reference 54 alto review. Has anything changed?

Martin Comm.III and Magna alto reviewUpdated: The Martin Committee III alto review gets an update with the addition of a review of the Magna. Is it just a blinged-up Comm.III, or is there more to it?

Hawkes XX Century alto sax review A very British affair - possibly the best Hawkes & Son XX Century alto out there.

Handy Hints: Hints, tips and maintenance advice


SwedgingEverything you ever (and possibly never) wanted to know about swedging - including how to pronounce it.
The SHWoodwind F.O. Guide To Octave Key Problems.
(Warning: It's long. It's very long. It's very long indeed.)

Miscellaneous: All the other stuff...

Glossary: What does it all mean?

Updated: The Black Museum's latest exhibit: Quiz time! Point screws thumbnailAll you need to know about point (pivot) screws...and more.

Testing...Testing: What works, and what doesn't

Notes...from a small workshop

Updated: Dealing with green spots (AKA Verdigris). An overview of mechanical and chemical methods of removal (Addendum added March 2020). Notes thumbnail The watch - a story of days remembered.

Haynes saxophone & clarinet manuals

Benchlife...the workshop rolling blog

Haynes saxophone & clarinet manuals thumbnailEverything you need to know about looking after your sax or clarinet.

Benchlife - the workshop rolling blogA section devoted to the (occasionally) daily dabblings on and around the workbench.
Latest entry: Octave swivel pin reduction.


All material on this site copyright Stephen Howard Woodwind, unless otherwise stated. 20/08/2021

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