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.

Summer has most definitely arrived, and with a vengeance. As I write this I'm sitting at home - having wisely decided that being stuck under a metal roof while the workshop thermometer pushes 40+ degrees is not a place I need to be right now.
But I haven't been slacking, because I've been working on a review for you - and this time it's a Borgani OBT Vintage tenor. I think you'll find it...quite revealing.
Folks keep asking me when I'm going to get around to reviewing that 'mystery baritone'. It's still a work in progress; it's a big job that I'm having to fit inbetween my regular schedule - and with more players being back at work it's often hard to find time to work on it. It'll be worth the wait, I promise.

And in other news...there's been a very exciting development with regard to the Saxophone Manual. Stay tuned for further news!

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!"


Borgani OBT Vintage tenor reviewNew: Always the way - you wait ages for an Italian horn to hit the workbench, and then two turn up almost at once. Following on from the recent Borgani OBA alto review we now have a brand new OBT Vintage tenor to look at...

Updated: Had another LX tenor come in for a service and was keen to see if it had the same build quality issues as those found on the original review model. An alto came in at the same time, so I've added some comments about it at the end of the review.

Borgani OBA alto sax reviewRecent: I've always had something of a love/hate relationship with Italian horns. The playability is usually excellent, but the build quality often lets them down. How well did the Borgani OBA alto fare...?

Adolphe (Edouard) Sax alto and tenor reviewRecent: A pair of beauties, from the hands of Adolphe (Edouard) Sax.
What more needs to be said...?
Recent: The King Super 20 Silversonic (Series IV) alto. Not just all show.

Cardinali tenor sax reviewRecent: 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 reviewFirst 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.

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

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?

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

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?

Black Museum thumbnailUpdated: The Black Museum's latest exhibit: Leaky, leaky, leaky. 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 thumbnailAn exciting update for the Saxophone Manual!

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


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