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.

As we head into summer it looks as though the Coronavirus pandemic is all but done and dusted - at least in terms of severity. As such I have updated my Coronavirus policy to reflect these changes.
It's been good to see so many of my regular clients returning, and very encouraging to find that many of them are starting to fill up their calendars with gigs, rehearsals and performances. I'm still currently prioritising repairs for professional players but there's now rather more space for keen amateurs in the queue. Smaller servicing and repairs are back on track with minimal waiting times.
With the workload easing off slightly I'm looking forward to having a bit more time to update the site - and I'm kicking off with a review of a Borgani OBA alto.
There's also an update to the Hanson LX tenor review.
In the coming months I hope to bring you a few more reviews (got a very interesting baritone coming up) and articles - but in the meantime there's yet another truly ghastly exhibit in the Black Museum...

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 OBA alto sax reviewNew: 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...?

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 orginal review model. An alto came in at the same time, so I've added some comments about it at the end of the review.

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

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

Cardinali tenor sax reviewRecent: An early Cardinali tenor hits the workbench, and I have a feeling I've seen it somewhere else before...

Not quite a review - but a detailed look at the Selmer 130th Anniversary Edition alto. Gear4Music SS-100G soprano sax reviewFirst Ultra-Cheap soprano review in 16 years! I do a number on the Gear4Music SS-100G soprano sax.

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...

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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