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Bay Area Trumpet repair post Dick Akright retirement?


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ENINCA
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Location: California

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:48 pm    Post subject: Bay Area Trumpet repair post Dick Akright retirement? Reply with quote

Hey you Bay Area players...

Anyone have a solid recommendation for brass instrument repair work in the Bay Area since Dick Akright is apparently retired from Best Instrument Repair in Oakland?

I took my horns in recently and wasn't particularly impressed with the work the guys at Best Instrument Repair are doing now. I might be willing to give them another chance, but would love to know of any other recommendations you might have. East Bay or SF would be best, but I might be willing to travel a little if the work is worth it.

Thanks in advance... -Erik
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Brassgurus
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Erik,

We do repairs in house for most instrument. We are located in Palo Alto and we have a new store opening in San Jose around March 1st. The San Jose store will have our main repair shop with all our big tools and machines. We are also the biggest brass instrument dealer on the west coast with hundreds of instruments in stock.

Our repair turn around is pretty good too.

Come check us out if you are interested!

Eric Hand
Peninsula Music and Repair
4335 El Camino Real Suite 201
Palo Alto, Ca. 94306
650-948-5000 x722
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ENINCA
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:50 pm    Post subject: Thanks Eric Reply with quote

I'll have to check you guys out. The peninsula's not too bad a drive for me.

Anyone have any others?
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oliver king
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eninca - what went wrong with your horn(s) at best instrument repair? I thought the crew there was trained by Dick ... they sound pretty competent ... Dick is still a presence there although I hear he's spending more time on his bike than in the shop ....
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Michael Drapp
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dick and I have been friends for 25 years. In all of that time he was THE MAN to go to for repair and advice. Dick is enjoying private life now, yes a lot of time on his Harley, but he still stops by the Oakland shop on Saturdays about once or twice a month. He is still available to his staff and talks with them regularly. I cannot see Dick leaving his business in poor hands, he has too much integrity for that. Dick's legacy will be one of a fine craftsman, entrepreneur and good friend. He is the "real deal" and we need more Dick Akrights in our world.
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Bill Ortiz
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dick is the greatest all the way around-professionally and as a person. I want to drop by on one of those Saturdays just to see him :)
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ENINCA
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:19 pm    Post subject: I agree about Dick Reply with quote

I agree Dick Akright's the best. He did a fantastic job on my horns. This time, I had my trumpet and flugel cleaned and both have been having nagging valve-sticking issues. I pointed that out when I dropped them off with the technicians. I thought they felt improved when I picked them up, but the problems continue. I am going to bring them back in and give them another shot at either solving the problems or diagnosing for me what I'm up against in terms of more involved repairs (valve job, etc.)

My trumpet's a '59 Mendez. It's always had fast, smooth and consistent valves, so I can't figure out what's going on with the sticking.

Dick was such the consummate master, I guess I'm just worried that the youngsters don't know what they're doing, but I'm probably judging them unfairly and should give them another shot. I do like the shop.
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Michael Drapp
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After an ultrasonic bath things can be a bit sticky until you oil them up nicely, perhaps lubrication is an issue? I'm fairly confident that Best Repair still is! If for some reason you are not happy after revisiting Best Repair, my second choice would be to pay Rich Welker a visit over at Bronstein's in South San Francisco. I have known Rich for over 20 years (buy my Schilke's from him) and he is a really great guy. I have no experience with Peninsula, but they may also be fine?
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Brassgurus
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dick is a great person! He helped us when we were just starting out and he was always a class act!

We wish him well in his retirement!


Eric Hand
Peninsula Music and Repair
4335 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, Ca. 94306
650-948-5000
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Bill Ortiz
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dick has worked on my horns since the late '70's! ( 27 hair styles ago)- he's the man.

Let me co-sign for Eric and all the folks at Peninsula Music And Repair- they're great too :)
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oliver king
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I met Dick in 1986. Best Instrument repair is the only place (except for Brasslabs in NYC) I've trusted to work on my horns. All of the new horns I've bought have come through Dick. He's always done excellent work, and treated me fairly. Jimmy at his shop in Washington was a great guy to work with too. The guy is a saint!
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yourbrass
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, for the first time, I'm trolling for work here on TH, since the question of Dick Akright's retirement has come up.

I do brass repair at Hornucopia, 1549 Laurel St. in San Carlos, CA.
I trained under Larry Souza from 1975 onward at "Musicman" in San Mateo. I've done repair for many professional players, and even more for students. My Web site is yourbrass.org, and I encourage people to call or email questions. I'm at the store on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and the landline is 650-593-3050.

Repair work is really fun, and I enjoy my work.

Regards,
-Lionel Emde
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MSfortissimo
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love Hornucopia. Bought my piccolo and rotor c there, highly recommended.
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LittleRusty
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yourbrass wrote:
Well, for the first time, I'm trolling for work here on TH, since the question of Dick Akright's retirement has come up.

I do brass repair at Hornucopia, 1549 Laurel St. in San Carlos, CA.
I trained under Larry Souza from 1975 onward at "Musicman" in San Mateo. I've done repair for many professional players, and even more for students. My Web site is yourbrass.org, and I encourage people to call or email questions. I'm at the store on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and the landline is 650-593-3050.

Repair work is really fun, and I enjoy my work.

Regards,
-Lionel Emde

Ah! I didn't know you were Lionel at Hornucopia, I dropped by on Saturday to have you look at a sticky valve. I might make it up tomorrow if I can get free from work for a couple of hours.
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ENINCA
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 10:19 pm    Post subject: Thanks all Reply with quote

I love this forum. Great info as always. Thanks everyone.
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ChopsGone
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anthony's Woodwind Corner in San Rafael specializes in woodwinds, as you'd expect, but he also does brass repair work and I've been very satisfied with the jobs I've had done there. I've only had fairly small jobs done there, so I don't know whether he's inclined or equipped to do full restorations and such on brass instruments. He does such work on saxophones, and does a nice job of it.

Gino's in Sebastopol also does excellent work.
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ENINCA
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:18 pm    Post subject: Closing the loop Reply with quote

Hey all, just to close the loop on this thread...

I took my horns back in this afternoon and Ian at Best Instrument Repair really took care of me. He took another look at both horns, replaced the springs in the Flugel and did something to smooth out the valve-guide inside and really improved it.

He lapped my Mendez' valves into the casings while I waited and really took care to make sure they felt right.

So, I'm relieved that Best Instrument Repair is still my go-to shop. Ian made it very clear that he's not satisfied until I feel the work is perfect.

By the way, Ian questioned my use of Ultra-pure valve oil. I've always thought it was the best I've used, but maybe it's time for a switch, but that's a topic for another 500 threads, I guess...
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LittleRusty
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I visited Lionel today about my slow valve and we decided since this is a forty year old trumpet to try a thicker valve oil before lapping.
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daDavemeister
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 5:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Closing the loop Reply with quote

ENINCA wrote:

By the way, Ian questioned my use of Ultra-pure valve oil. I've always thought it was the best I've used, but maybe it's time for a switch, but that's a topic for another 500 threads, I guess...


Ultra Pure just doesn't work for some people and/or some horns. When I decided to give Ultra Pure a shot, I had nothing but problems. I washed my Bachs twice thinking my valves were sticking due to a mixing of my old Zaja with the Ultra Pure or maybe some dirt/deposits/soap that didn't get rinsed well enough. After about a week of trying to love the product that everyone else raved about, I gave up, washed my horns yet again and went back to Zaja and had zero problems. I currently use Denis Wick... slickest stuff I've ever tried, but I do miss that Zaja smell.

Another name to throw out there: Gary Meierhenry at Stanroy Music in Santa Rosa. He's a good tuba player and a good friend who does great work. I've been meaning to have him make me one of his pitch finders for my C trumpet. What's cool about his design is that it is held in place with set screws and does not need to be soldered on to the instrument. The only part of the modification that has to be permanent is you have to use a loose fitting(lapped) tuning slide.

Dave
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ENINCA
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:18 pm    Post subject: ultra pure Reply with quote

Thanks for the insight on ultra pure, but the thing is, I've used it for years with great results, so I'm having a hard time figuring out how it could be the problem with my recent issues. Maybe I got a bum bottle? I kind of doubt it. I don't know. Ian said Hetmann's a good oil.
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