A note from our repair techs
Thank you for your interest in Midwest Musical Imports’ Repair Shop! We have 5 full-time technicians available to answer your queries and provide exceptional instrument repair services. We pride ourselves on meticulous double reed repair, working with our Sales Staff to ensure each instrument is at its best playing quality. At MMI, quality of function is put ahead of quantity output. Our techs are most concerned that your woodwind meets our high standards, so that you’re able to support your musicianship when your instrument is returned to you.
- Adjustments: Oboes have a lengthy regulation sequence to ensure that each pad seals fully and when it is supposed to. It can be daunting to consider adjusting your oboe and English horn at home. That’s why we’re here for you. No question is too small or insignificant. Feel free to call when something doesn’t seem right, and we will work together to find a way to best support your needs.
- General Maintenance: This option allows our technicians to complete a solid servicing of your oboe. We disassemble the instrument fully, clean hinge rods and tubes, clean and replace necessary tenon corks, remove and treat octave vents, oil the bore, replace necessary key silencers and up to 4 pads, reseat pads as needed, regulate, and play test the instrument. Expect this process to take 2-4 days once repairs begin. Key polishing is an additional labor cost.
- Crack Repair: As an oboe player, you may find that your instrument has cracked. You certainly are not alone! This has happened to many players, professional and amateur alike. Do note that proper break-in of a new instrument can greatly lower your chances of cracking your instrument. When a crack does occur, your oboe/ English horn must be seen in the shop. We will assess the length and severity of the crack, noting if it passes through any tone holes, tenons, or post holes. Proper stabilization should be undertaken. While crack pinning can be an investment, it certainly is a necessary procedure to bring your oboe back into playing condition. Crack repairs often take 3-6 days to repair, as we must humidify and ensure stability of the crack area over a period of time. Please do not modify a crack before sending it to us. It will void any warranty we can offer on our crack repairs.
- Additional services: We are happy to take on overhauls, tenon replacements and key fabrication on a case-by-case basis. We will advise you on whether or not we believe the investment is a sound idea, giving you ample information to help the decision making process. While some older instruments can maintain a beautiful playing quality, there are times when an instrument will not hold its value even after investing thousands of dollars in repair costs. Please call us with any questions concerning repairs not listed above.
- Adjustments: Your bassoon may need light regulation changes and pad seating from time to time. We welcome local and visiting customers to stop by for free estimates. Often, repairs up to one hour of labor (missing whisper key pad, balance hanger installation) can be serviced on the day of your arrival. We are happy to help get you back on your feet with a quick fix.
- General Maintenance: A bassoon should be cleaned and oiled at least every two years. This will ensure that excess debris and buildup is removed from trouble spots, bocals can be cleaned and recorked, keywork can be cleaned and tenons fit well, and necessary key silencers and up to 4 pads replaced on your instrument. Additional work outside of a standard general maintenance is often common given the age and condition of your woodwind. Please note we do our very best to maximize your investment into repairs through our facility. Key polishing is an added labor cost.
- Boot Rot: Wooden bassoons that are not properly swabbed and maintained throughout their lifetime can develop boot rot. This is when moisture adversely affects the quality of the wood in the unlined section of the boot joint on a bassoon. Sometimes, significant labor must be undertaken to create a new maple insert to stabilize a rotted boot joint. But, this is definitely a fixable situation! When you have a well equipped repair shop with a knowledgeable double reed staff, addressing boot rot can be an immense help to older, poorly maintained bassoons.
- Additional Repairs: We do offer overhauls, tenon replacements and key fabrication on a case-by-case basis. We will do our best to inform you of the quality of your bassoon and the investment needed to proceed with full mechanical overhaul procedures. Many bassoons can be well working instruments for decades and decades after their fabrication. We can help you decide what is best given your particular circumstance. Note: we do offer minor bocal repairs, and will let you know when it’s best to send it to another facility.
- Adjustments: We are happy to take a look at a clarinet for minor repair needs. Whether you have an issue with the bridge keys or need help with a troublesome tenon cork, we are here to help! Many clarinet adjustments can be repaired the day you come in. We do our very best to get your clarinet back into playing condition quickly.
- General Maintenance: Clarinets should be maintained by a repair technician every one to two years. At this time, it is a great option to fully disassemble, clean rods and hinge tubes, replace necessary key silencers and up to 4 pads, check seal of pads, fit tenons and regulate the horn. Our clarinet specialists do a great job tailoring their play testing to ensure a fine-tuned instrument. Key polishing is an added labor cost.
- Crack Repairs: Clarinets do crack on occasion. When this occurs, don’t despair! Make sure to cease playing as soon as you notice a crack, and call us to see how we can best schedule a repair given your calendar. Crack repairs can take 3-6 days to ensure crack area stabilization. We will make sure to inform you of the necessary repairs and keep you updated as we bring your horn back into solid playing condition. Please do not modify a crack before sending it to us. It will void any warranty we can offer on our crack repairs.
- Professional Set-ups: Our shop is proud to work with Richie Hawley to provide a professional grade set up for your clarinet. Through years of testing pad material, venting, silencer material and intonation, we have a really functional and quality service to offer if you want to upscale your clarinet! Call us for more information!
Other Woodwind Repairs
- We do take minor saxophone and flute repairs in our shop for repair. We will estimate necessary servicing and give you a well informed decision of whether our shop is equipped to undertake the needed service. All woodwind players are welcome here- stop by and see how we can best help you!
- Daily Walk-in Repairs: Thanks to our larger repair staff, we are more readily available to service the day of. We recognize that convenient access to a knowledgeable woodwind repair staff is important to you, and we look forward to seeing our local customer base and visitors as you need our expertise. These convenient Walk-In Repairs will be limited to one hour maximum bench time. We’re confident that when you do need more work done to your instrument than a ‘quick fix’, there are ample options to help get you back into practice, rehearsals and performances with ease!
- Our Appointment System has proven to be a great way for busy players to plan repairs in advance. Tori, our Clarinet Specialist and Repair Scheduling Coordinator, would be happy to find an appointment availability that works for you! Do note that as busier seasons near, we may not have as many appointment slots available. It’s always good to call in advance and see what repair option fits your needs best.
- The Regular Repair Queue is still up and running! For schools and overhaul needs, our rolling repair wait time is another suitable option when getting your instrument serviced. Our appointment system and regular repair queue are the most cost effective way to have your instrument repaired at MMI. Call for details about our current wait time.
- Should the unforeseen happen, we may be able to take on Rush Repairs at an emergency rate. We care about your education, careers, performance schedules and passion for the arts. When you need immediate service, don’t hesitate to call and see what options we can provide! Please note that emergency work including body restoration, crack pinning and key maintenance may be a multiple day process.
Do you need to ship your instrument to us for repair? Never fear, we ship instruments every day safely and can help you make sure your instrument arrives to us safely. Here are our pointers for safely packing your instrument for shipping.
Instrument Repair Technicians:
Eric Anderson graduated with a degree in musical instrument repair in 2005 from Minnesota State College SE tech. He has been repairing wind instruments since, with a primary focus in Bassoon and Oboe. As a member of NAPBIRT, he continues to further the education of his career, by attending annual conferences and sharing knowledge and techniques amongst other technicians in the craft. His support of music on a local and national level is a driving factor for both his professional and personal life.
Matt Reich is a native of Milbank South Dakota and 1983 graduate of South Dakota State University with a Music Education Degree. After service in the US Army in 1987, Matt began a career in the music retail industry throughout Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, and now Minnesota. Matt graduated from Redwing Technical College (Minnesota State College Southeast Tech) with a Band Instrument Repair Diploma in 1998 and has been behind the bench turning a screwdriver ever since. Matt is a member in good standing of the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair Technicians (NAPBIRT).
Ginny Dodge grew up in Rochester, New York, studying oboe with Alison Kreiling-Franco and Richard Killmer. She holds a degree in music from Ithaca College, studying with Paige Morgan. Following undergraduate study, she attended Red Wing’s Band Instrument Repair program in 2012. Ginny is a NAPBIRT member, where she is on the editorial staff for NAPBIRT’s bimonthly Technicom. In her free time you can find her perfecting the family pumpkin pie recipe, considering learning to skateboard or trying her hand at folding mediocre origami animals. Relocating to Minneapolis affirms her love for snow, Jucy Lucys and wind chills that momentarily paralyze the windpipe.
Caleb Rassmusson has been repairing instruments professionally since graduating from Minnesota State College SE Tech in 2013. After graduation he began working at Coles Music Service in southern New Jersey where he honed skills working with both brass and woodwind instruments. After two years, he began repairing at Brook Mays in Dallas, Texas. While he still repaired all instruments he focused most of his time on repairing saxophones and clarinets. In July of 2016 he joined the repair staff at MMI. When he is not repairing instruments you can find him exploring the Twin Cities, tinkering on cars and motorcycles, or belting out Aerosmith at karaoke bars.
Allen Mannes attended Waldorf University and received his B.S. in Music Education in 2011. After teaching beginning band for 3 years he returned to school at Minnesota State College SE Tech to pursue a career in instrument repair. Upon receiving his diploma from SE Tech Allen began his career at Midwest Musical Imports. Allen enjoys learning and is thrilled to be working with the wonderful technicians at MMI. Allen is an avid MPR listener, an enthusiast of random facts, and in his free time is learning how to make trumpet bells.