Recommended Seattle Music Instrument Repair Shops

These are just my experiences. There are some people in the Seattle music world who talk trash about everyone one of these sites I recommend except for Northwest Winds. But I have not found that to be true in my repair adventures.

Mills Music in Redmond and Issaquah:
Steve Nelson is the tech manager for this shop. He does excellent work and stands by his repairs. He has refurbished my primary clarinet a Selmer Paris silver clarinet and my primary sax a Couf Superba I. He also saved a Leblanc bass clarinet that was dry, cracked, and missing parts. He is fast becoming popular and thus busy. But I usually can find time to call him in advance and talk with him about a new project.

Kennelly Keys in Lynnwood:
Paul Woltz is the sax repairer extrodinaire. I’ve heard his vintage Buescher bass sax whisper and roar and if that is any indication of his repair skills. Well I’m gonna have to visit this guy at his shop. The shop isn’t as friendly as Mills as you have to sign in and state what is wrong with your instrument before you see the tech. Hmm…

More on Paul: Paul Woltz – As an oboe and bassoon specialist, Paul has mastered his craft with over 35 years of experience as a professional repair technician and musician. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor in Music on Bassoon and ran a repair shop in California for several years. His work is trusted by many of Washington’s most accomplished musicians, whom repeatedly seek his expert services. As a professional bassoonist, Paul performed for 10 years at Disneyland and also worked as a studio musician in Hollywood. He currently performs with the 5th Ave Theater, the Cascade Symphony, and The Uptown, Lowdown Jazz Band; a touring Dixieland band.

World Wide Sax in Everett:
Steve Stranski is the man when it comes to vintage sax restores. He has restored a C Melody sax and a C soprano sax for me. He is fast, capable, and approachable. Oh, and you can see his vintage tenor sax collection too. There must be 20 or so tenors in his little museum.

Northwest Winds in Lakewood:

[Update: Northwest Winds is now closed.]
Brian is reputed to be the best repair guy on the west coast. I have been to his shop a number of times, but he is always way too busy. I took a Buffet SDA to the shop to get it looked at because they had repaired it before and got one of the underlings to look at it. They said there was nothing wrong with the instrument. Subsequent repair shops said that the stack was bent and some of the pads needed adjustment. I worked with this instrument for a year before I finally traded up to a Couf Superba I tenor.

But I don’t doubt Brian is good, if he is available. Unfortunately it means that his backlog for repair work is months long, or longer. He also had some very nice vintage saxes for sale too. And the smashed sax on the entrance door is a gut stopper.

Oberloh’s in South Seattle:
I took a relatively new Yanagisawa baritone in for repair. The high F# rod had been damaged when my son used it in high school. That was fixed rather handily. But from D3 and up, the bari never spoke the same for me again. Could be more about me than the instrument, but I didn’t have these problems before I took it in. I did note that a brand new Yanagisawa has the same problem. Maybe I should disable the high F#?

“I played the wrong wrong notes.” Thelonious Monk

About Gandalfe

Just an itinerant saxophonist trying to find life between the changes. I have retired from the Corps of Engineers and Microsoft. I am an admin on the Woodwind Forum, run the Microsoft Jumpin' Jive Orchestra, and enjoy time with family and friends.
This entry was posted in Band, Music Instruments, Repair. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Recommended Seattle Music Instrument Repair Shops

  1. Ron says:

    Oberloh is a brass player himself and currrently has nobody that can effectively play test a saxophone after "repairing it". I found this out the hard way twice, both times needing the horn badly for a gig. Once, he had almost two weeks to do some minor pad work and promised it done in time for a gig the next weekend. I went to pick it up and was casually told it wasn’t ready and "I don’t know what to tell you" Dan’s arrogance is legendary when it comes to customer relations. He used to employ Dr. Funks Bari player Fritz who is an excellent sax guy. He fired Fritz and since then, Oberlohs is no place to take your saxophones!

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