At Dawkes we employ a team of 6 on-site qualified woodwind repairers. The Dawkes Music Instrument Repair Workshop is open every weekday from 9.30 - 5.30, and on Saturdays from 9.30 - 4.30. We repair all Brass and Woodwind instruments including Flutes, Clarinets, Saxophones, Oboes and Bassoons. To keep your Instrument in good working order, we recommend that you have it maintained at regular intervals, and at least checked every 2 years.
If your Instrument needs attention, we can provide an assessment while you wait; just bring it along. If it requires a minor repair, we may be able to correct the issue while you wait. If your Instrument needs to be left with us for more involved repair, it can be booked onto our diary. All our repairs are guaranteed for 3 months as there is usually a settling in period for new pads and corks. Instruments purchased from us qualify for a 10% discount on all Repairs (subject to verification). This does not affect the standard 12 month guarantee.
Dawkes Music are very proud to be professional members of the National Association of Musical Instrument Repairers. NAMIR promotes a high standard of workmanship and customer care and was formed in 1993 to provide a dedicated craft association for the profession of musical instrument repair.
We use Feefo to collect independent reviews of our repair work.
|2020-02-24||Excellent value for money|
|2020-02-21||Alto Yamaha 230 saxophone. A beautiful upper student model. Solid|
|2020-02-17||Did a great job|
|2020-02-03||Great job on the service for my son's Saxophone.|
|2020-01-31||Anna seriviced my instrument with such attention to detail. It sounds and feels so much better now.|
|2020-01-29||Great work by Abi on the clarinet.|
|2020-01-28||Great work on the repair - and they were eager to make sure that the sax was totally great to play before I left with it.|
|2020-01-27||Excellent. [Mine is a Selmer Super Action alto (from 1950), but that's by way of information only] The work is thorough as is the recap of what's been done. Very accommodating.|
|2020-01-24||Just what was required. Now plays very well.|
|2020-01-23||Anna and Abi were friendly and helpful and the service was excellent.|
If you are able to visit the workshop, we can visually assess your instrument and give you an accurate quote for the work required. If it is something simple which we can do within 30 minutes; we may be able to do the work while you wait. More involved work may need to be booked into our diary. You can either leave the Instrument with us or bring it in at least a day before the work is booked. Our diary turnaround can be very seasonal, with busy periods usually aligning with school holidays. If you are unable to bring your instrument in to us for assessment, we can arrange a courier to collect it from you at a cost of £15. We would then assess it on arrival, and contact you with a quote. We can then return it once complete at a cost of £8.95.
At Dawkes we employ a team of 6 qualified woodwind repairers. With repairing at the heart of the business, we can offer well over 60 years of combined in-house experience, and a strong team of well qualified technicians not scared of getting their hands dirty. To view information on each member of the team, roll over and click the staff member.
We have put together a gallery of the more interesting jobs we have encountered in the woodwind workshop.
Please click to open the gallery
This Selmer Mark 6 Tenor Saxophone had some really serious damage when it was put into the hold of an aircraft. The main stack was really badly bent and the Saxophone did not play. We were looking at one very sick Saxophone... The impact had upset the alignment of the pillars, and the pads were not seating on the tone-holes. Take a look at the before and after pictures below.
Repairing it was quite a challenge! Firstly, we straightened the body and removed the dents. Next, we removed all the keywork and set the pillars back in the correct place. Then we straightened the keys so that the rod screws passed through them without them binding and changed some of the upper pads.
The Selmer Mark 6 Tenor Sax is owned by a professional Saxophonist. When he got it back, he was amazed with what we had achieved. Here's what he said about us:
"I'm so very grateful for the amazing job you and the team did with my VI. I was almost afraid it was too serious to repair (!!), so to see it back in perfect working order is just fantastic - thank you ever so much!!" Richard Shepherd - Jazz Saxophonist - Ronnie Scott's Jazz Orchestra, Richard Shepherd Boptet, Frank Griffith Big Band
This Selmer Mark 6 Alto Sax was in the Workshop last week for a full Overhaul.
The pads were really worn and were not sealing at all making it difficult to play. The picture below shows the condition of the old pads, compared to some new ones.
The pictures below show the Mark 6 stripped down (left), and fully Overhauled (right).
We don't normally see vintage Saxophones in such good condition. This one was really mint and had its original lacquer, 'crocodile skin' imitation case and no dents.
Abi came to Dawkes Music in 2008, through a trial apprenticeship under (then) manager Gary Hobdell. She gained a wide range of experience through working with and studying under a number of excellent woodwind and brass repairers, including in-house and external training. She is a hardworking technician, with an impressive knowledge of parts, instruments, supplies and techniques. She is committed to taking the time to investigate and resolve the most subtle of faults, and will strive to ensure every player leaves our shop with confidence in their instrument. Abi is also our resident Bassoonist, and particularly enjoys taking on Bassoon servicing work.
Mark joined us in 1990 after receiving City & Guilds Certificate from Merton Technical College. He was originally a Clarinet player, but now plays a bit of everything to test the whole range of Woodwind instruments. Mark has an effective, problem solving mind-set that can always find a way, no matter how big the task. His years of experience anchor his unbreakable can-do attitude. Undertaking the majority of our lathe work including barrel shortening and small re-tenons, he has a vast, vital knowledge of materials. He now repairs with us 2 days a week and enjoys the variety that his roles in the business provide.
Ivan joined us in 1992 after receiving City & Guilds Certificate from Merton Technical College. Ivan is the only member of our team that didn't originally play a wind instrument; he is a Jazz Drummer, but turned to the path of woodwind and is now one of the very pillars of our Workshop team. Ivan has patience like no other, and combined with his long experience, good will and persistence he can handle the most challenging woodwind repairs. A familiar face for our regular customers, he is faithfully entrusted with vintage saxophone overhauls on a regular basis. His supportive and calm demeanour makes him a role model and inspiration for his fellow repairers.
Sunniva joined us in 2014 after receiving a Diploma in Musical Instrument Technology from Lincoln College, Newark Campus. She left her native country of Norway to study wind instrument making and repair in the UK, and is now a full time qualified woodwind and brass technician. She studied flute making and advanced tool making as part of her course, and is more than comfortable around lathes, drills, and milling machines. Always enthusiastic and up for a challenge, her can-do attitude and passion for the industry makes her an asset to our workshop, particularly as she is on the committee for the National Association of Musical Instrument Repairers. She enjoys the small victories of repairing and is fluent in Norwegian, English, Danish, and flute.
Ana joined us in 2016 after receiving a Diploma in Musical Instrument Technology from Lincoln College, Newark Campus. Originally from Lisbon, Portugal, she has a long standing relationship with woodwinds since playing Clarinet with the Portuguese Army band for 7 years before becoming a technician. She is careful and intuitive and has taken on every challenge thrown her way since joining Dawkes, as well as using her invaluable playing experience and knowledge of the clarinet to inspire and support our customers. Driven by an appetite for perfection, Ana is a dedicated repairer as well as enjoying teaching some adult Clarinet and Sax lessons here at Dawkes.
Ryan joined us in 2019 having graduated from Lincoln College, Newark Campus with a diploma in Musical Instrument Making and Repair. He spent his spare time at college hand making additional tools, equipping him with extensive engineering experience and a thorough understanding of materials. He particularly enjoyed making a Clarinet from scratch, which is now a complete and playable instrument. Many years ago Ryan was inspired by a visit to a repairer who serviced his Trumpet along side him, motivating him to pursue this craft. His self-punishing, diligent scrutiny maintains a high standard of finishing and serves him well as a repair technician. Before attending Newark he also spent some time working at an Accordion repair shop learning basic Accordion repairs. He is a French horn player (the one true 'horn' - according to Ryan) and currently plays in a local Orchestra.