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

Contact details

I'm always pleased to hear from clients and readers, but please take note of the following before making contact.

Due to an ever increasing amount of junk mail (AKA spam) that turns up in my mailbox, I have felt it necessary to take certain measures to try to cut down on the ease with which automated programs can harvest my address from these pages in order to add them to bulk mailing lists. Therefore my email address is contained in the picture at the bottom of this page, and you will need to type it into your email client manually. I apologise in advance for the inconvenience, but time spent dealing with spam emails is time that could be spent reading and replying to your email.

Before emailing me, please run through this checklist - to save us both time...

Do you have special measures in place with regard to the Coronavirus threat?

Yes, I do - and you'll find the details here.

I have a query about the price of an instrument.

None of the horns reviewed on this site are for sale. There's also little point asking me about prices as I don't deal in retail. Many online stores list new and secondhand prices, and searching ebay completed auctions may give you a rough idea what things can fetch.

I want to know what make of horn to buy.

There are some general guidelines in the review section - and general guidelines are really all I can give.

But I'm disabled, or have special needs, and need some advice on buying.

I make an exception for people with particular needs as there are bound to be technical issues I can perhaps help with.

I've seen a potential bargain on Ebay, can you advise me?

This is really covered by the first two answers above, but I should also point out that if I do get around to sending you a reply it'll probably be too late to catch the auction.

I've seen an auction that uses a copy of one of your reviews, does that mean you endorse the auction?

Content on my site is copyrighted and there are guidelines for Ebayers etc. here. If you see an auction that uses more than a few quoted and accredited lines with a link, or contains images from this site then either someone is using my content illegally or the whole thing is a scam. If you drop me a line with the details I'll contact Ebay direct.

Can you tell me when my horn was made, or some of its history?

I deal more with the mechanics of an instrument rather than its history, and more often than not there are better sources for the information you seek. There are a number of sites on the internet that deal with serial number lists, and still others dedicated to the history of particular models. Typing "your sax brand serial numbers" (use quotation marks) into a search engine will nearly always yield results. Failing that, I find an excellent place to start is at

I have a technical problem, can you help?

It's not uncommon for problems to occur through choice of mouthpiece or technique issues. To save time, state the make and model of instrument, its age, when it was last serviced, the make and model of mouthpiece and some details about your playing experience and the specific problem (of course).

Do you need photos?

No, please don't send photos without confirming that I need them first - it eats my bandwidth, and if I catch them before downloading them I'm quite likely to just delete the whole email.

I didn't get a reply!

If you don't receive a reply within a week it may be because your ISP is blacklisted, and your mail will be caught in my spam-trap. You could try sending from a different email account. It may also be because I'm busy, or your email was about purchasing an instrument.
You may also need to check your spam filters. Many spammers use other people's domain names (mine included), and it's just possible you or your email provider might have 'blacklisted' my domain name in the past - and that my thoughtful, carefully-crafted reply is sitting in your junk folder.

When are you going to review such-and-such a horn?

What gets reviewed is mostly down to chance. If I have a horn for a few days and I have the spare time, I'll do a review - but it's often the case that only a small amount of work is required or the client needs the horn back in a hurry...or I just don't have the time.

I want to bring my instruments to you, where are you?

The workshop itself is based in Hampshire, UK - in the Petersfield area. I don't publish my address here as callers are strictly by appointment only. Similarly my phone number is not published here as I prefer to deal with enquiries via email initially to prevent too much lost bench-time answering the phone.

Please take these points into consideration - I do enjoy helping players to sort out their technical problems, but the increasing number of emails relating to purchases means I have less time to spend on those who really need it.



Copyright © Stephen Howard Woodwind 2018