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.

It's been a while since I posted an update, but in my defence I've been extremely busy with work...and sorting out a new web host with a view to tidying a few things up and making a few changes. It hasn't been fun.
But I've still managed to find time to run up a new review. Couldn't really resist it - a client turned up with a brand new Eastman 652, which was too good of an opportunity to pass up.
I've also got a few more choice reviews in the pipeline, so keep your eyes peeled over the coming months. It'll be worth it.
In the meantime there's a particularly nasty new exhibit in the Black Museum. Don't go look at it if you're a flute player...

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!"


Eastman 652 tenor sax reviewNew: A brand new Eastman 652 '52nd Street' tenor drops on the bench - and I take a peek to see if the street goes anywhere...or turns into a dead end.

Nexus Select tenor reviewRecent: Looking for a lightweight tenor? The Nexus Select's claim to fame is that it weighs about as much as a Selmer MkVI - but have they cut too many corners...?

Recent: A Borgani OBS soprano turns up on the workbench - and boy was this horn full of surprises...

Remy tenor reviewRecent/Updated: Boutique horns are everywhere these days, but this Remy is priced a cut above most of the competition. I put it on the workbench to see exactly what you get for your cash.
Since the review was published, another example has turned up...
Kohler Empor baritone sax reviewRecent: The rare and rather distinctive Kohler Empor baritone comes in for a shakedown and gets the full Monty. Well worth a look - and check out the accompanying overview of the repair process.

Recent: A brand new Conn-Selmer Premiere 380V turns up on the workbench, and puts on a fine show.

The Lupifaro Platinum baritone. Not quite a review, more of a comparison between it and two other strikingly-similar models... Updated: Another addition to the Borgani Vintage tenor review - this time it's the Joe Lovano model that gets the treatment.

Borgani OBA alto sax reviewI'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...?

Buffet SDA soprano sax reviewA very rare Buffet Super Dynaction soprano turns up for a tweak, and I just couldn't resist running up a review of it. I'm glad I did, too, because it turned out to be quite a surprising horn.

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

Super Pennsylvania tenor reviewUpdated: An earlier version of a Yanagisawa T4 tenor (of which the Super Pennsylvania is a stencil) came in for a service - so I've added it to the review by way of a comparison. Quite a few differences.

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?

The Black MuseumUpdated: The Black Museum's latest exhibit: How to ruin a five grand flute. 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: A Chu Berry TJ RAW?


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