Band Instrument Repair Specialists


There are many facets involved in the proper repair and rebuilding of wind instruments.  BIRS will always answer as many questions as possible.  Below is some general information on our policies, and about overhauling instruments that you may find helpful.

PRICING:  Our prices DO NOT include any parts, plating, or return shipping charges.

TERMS:  ALL instruments must be paid for before they are returned.  We accept Visa, Mastercard, and Paypal.  Music retailers, please call for further information on dealer accounts.  We will need your state resale certificate number for dealer pricing.

ESTIMATES:  It is very difficult to determine an accurate estimate until we actually inspect the instrument and begin preliminary work on it.  This is because the "red rot" that may be present in many parts does not show up until the lacquer or plating has been stripped and the instrument has been disassembled.  You can examine the instrument for pink spots on mouthpipes and slide crooks, and look for worn plating on valves.  These pink spots indicate that the part is rotten and will need to be replaced.  IF WE OVERHAUL YOUR INSTRUMENT AND YOU DO NOT WANT ROTTEN PARTS REPLACED, WE DO NOT GUARANTEE ANY LACQUER OR PLATING FINISHES.

VINTAGE INSTRUMENTS:  Original parts for many older classic instruments are getting very difficult, if not impossible to obtain.  This is especially true of older French brasses.  When we need to replace a part that is no longer available, we always try to use a substitute that is mechanically, acoustically, and cosmetically as close as possbile to the original.

PRO INSTRUMENTS:  BIRS takes care, patience, and pride in the repair and restoration of all instruments, but makes a special effort on all professional horns.  For your information, the following is a partial list of the instruments we regard as professional.  If you are in doubt as to the status of a particular instrument, please give us a call.

Alexander, Bach Stradivarius, Benge, Besson-by model, Blackburn, Buescher-by model, Buffet-by model, Callechio, Callet, Conn-by model, Couf-by model, Curtois, Eterna, Farkas, Jupiter-by model, King-by model, Kruspe, LeBlanc-by model, Martin-by model, Monet, Olds-by model, Schilke, Schmidt, Selmer-by model, Severinsen-Akright(Bel Canto), Severinsen, Wilson-by model, Yamaha-by model, Yanigasawa-by model.

REPAIR PROCESSES:  One of the most important aspects of musical instrument overhauling is the proper preparation of bent, dented, and scratched metal.  Before an instrument can be buffed, polished, and lacquered, it must be restored as much as possible to original factory specifications.  All dents must be removed and burnished to a smooth, level surface.  When this step is completely finished, less buffing will be needed later.  Pits, scratches, and surface etching must be lightly hand filed and sanded out, always removing the least amount of metal possible.  We pay special attention to engraving, valve knuckles, and tubing edges, and buff instruments in several sub-assemblies to produce a higher quality finished product.  More instruments are ruined during overhauling by overbuffing than any other cause.  Overbuffing is shoddy workmanship, and we do not allow it on any instrument.  We operate with two firm principles in mind:1) the instrument you receive back from us should look and play like new, not one that has been overhauled, and 2) it should be possible to overhaul the instrument again at a later date.  These principles are subject to the condition of the instrument when you send it to us.

LACQUER:  All overhauls are finished with oven-baked epoxy lacquer.  We have clear, gold (similar to King), and a tinted lacquer that is similar to that on vintage instruments.

MISCELLANEOUS:  We reserve the right to add extra charges for instruments that are in very poor condition, or for instruments that require an inordinate amount of extra work.  You will be notified of such charges before we begin work on the instrument.
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