Tuba/Euphonium Repair Services
Call us at 978 823-0580 to schedule your repair. Most repairs can be completed in a few days; larger projects take longer. Many repairs can be done in one day (with an appointment). We realize that sometimes you need your tuba right away and sometimes you can leave it a little longer. We work with your schedule.
We have the expertise, experience, and facilities to take care of all your service needs. In addition to the everyday dents and broken solder joints we offer a wide range of services. Listed below are some of our most often requested services.
Chemical cleaning: A chemical cleaning starts with a complete disassembly of the instrument. We remove buildups of old grease and oil and use special chemical baths to remove the corrosion and other materials from the inside of the instrument. No metal is removed in this process, and lacquered finishes are not disturbed. We do not use chromate dips which, in addition to being very damaging to the environment, etch bare brass surfaces and can remove metal from the inside of the instrument. We also do not use ultrasonics in standard cleanings. While they do an excellent job of removing old oil and grease, they do not remove buildups of calcium carbonate (the "green crud" you see in your tuba) or calculus. Additionally, they can lift poorly applied lacquer and open up any pinholes caused by dezincification. For that reason ultrasonic cleaning is particularly unsuitable for older instruments.
After cleaning the valves are bathed in oil and reassembled. We grease the slides, oil the levers and springs, and check the instrument thoroughly. If any other repairs are needed we can diagnose them and advise you.
Recommended every one to two years, depending on the individual player. In addition to regular maintenance this service will prolong the service life of the instrument by reducing the effects of dezincification (corrosion from the inside out - pink spots, red rot, etc.) Very cost effective insurance for your prized tuba.
Venting:Venting involves drilling a small hole in the casing (rotary) or valve (piston) so that when the tuning slides are moved the air pressure can equalize before the valve is depressed, preventing a "pop" from upsetting the player's embouchure.
Complete Valve Service: A valve service is a complete mechanical tune up for your valves. It begins with a chemical cleaning service. Next, the valves are adjusted to remove end and side play (end play is what causes the annoying click). The bumpers are replaced with permanent neoprene, the lever hinges are tightened, the levers are adjusted to provide the optimal valve action, and any worn or missing screws are replaced. (There is an extra charge for removing broken-off screws.)
Valve Rebuilding: A valve rebuild returns the valves to new (or, in many cases, better than new) condition. The valves are built up with a coat of copper plating, then hand-fit (lapped) into the valve casing. This process, which may have to be repeated several times, brings the valve and casing together in the best possible fit, eliminating any low spots. We also adjust the relative fit of the bearings and the valve body to insure that the valve runs on the bearings only. We use a static air pressure gauge to measure and control the air tightness of the valve at every step in the rebuilding process.
When the valve has been properly fit we finish it with a layer of bright nickel plating. Nickel is non-reactive so corrosion of the rotor is eliminated. Nickel is also self-polishing, a quality that makes nickel plated rotors become smoother and quicker as the instrument is used.
The rest of the valve rebuild is the same as a valve service, usually taking from one-to-three weeks. The time can vary greatly with the complexity of the job but we will always try to accommodate your schedule. Please be aware that special situations, like previously plated valves which need to be stripped before rebuilding can entail extra charges. We do not make an extra charge for cylindrical valves.
Dent Removal: Dents are a fact of life for tubas. Because of their size and weight tubas are very difficult and (and expensive) to work on. Now, using modern tools and techniques, we are able to take out most large dents in tubas and sousaphones without disassembling the instrument.
Minibal Linkage Conversions: Our German-made Minibal links are maintenance free, require no adjustments after installation, have a positive feel, and are completely silent. They are a substantial upgrade for many tubas with older style pin-hinge style linkages or string linkages.
Valve Stops: Our oil-resistant synthetic rubber bumpers are custom fit to your tuba. We have the larger size material your tuba needs. Unlike the shaped bumpers used by some manufacturers our materials are round in cross section. When properly installed they don't break or compress. Our bumper installations include shaping the stop plates to hold the material firmly without compressing or cutting the material and carefully aligning the valve ports. When properly installed, synthetic bumpers do not bounce or "flutter".
Pitch Finder: A custom-built fine tuning mechanism that enables you to move the main tuning slide while playing. Each Pitch Finder is custom made for the instrument and includes rebuilding the main tuning slide to allow it to move freely.
Thanks. Much appreciated. You folks are a great resource and always provide excellent service. (R.P.)