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Brass Instrument Repair

Updated May 4, 2024

What is a Flush and Clean?

A flush and clean is the most common procedure done for brass instruments. This procedure should be done every 9 to 18 months depending on how often the instrument is used. The following procedures are part of the flush and clean. 

  • Instruments are inspected for damage, dents, broken solder joints as well as any missing or defective parts.**
  • Instruments are completely disassembled.
  • Minor and easily reachable dents and other potential body damage, including broken solder joints, are assessed and repaired as needed*.
  • Bodies are chemically flushed and cleaned with natural and environmentally safe products.
  • Valves are cleaned and hand polished.
  • Water key corks, are replaced.
  • Piston felts are replaced and valves are checked for proper alignment.
  • Rotors are checked for proper alignment and restrung if necessary.
  • Instrument is reassembled, valves are properly oiled and slides are greased.
  • Silver plated instruments are hand polished.
Prices do not include any re-lacquer or re-plating services.

Trumpet Lacquer Silver Plate
Trumpet (Flush and Clean)  $140 $225
Major Dent Removal  $70 / Hour
Valve Casing Repair $65.00 each

Trombone Lacquer Silver Plate
Standard Trombone $130 $175
F-Trigger Trombone $165 $210
Bass Trombone $200 $275
Major Dent Removal $70/Hour
Slide Adjustments Only $75 - $110 (Requires the slide to be cleaned)

French Horn Lacquer Silver Plate
Single Horn $165 $250
Double Horn $195 $295
Major Dent Removal $75/Hour
Rotor Repair  $75 / rotor

Prices do not include any re-lacquer or re-plating services.

Baritone & Euphonium Lacquer Silver Plate
3 Valve Instruments  $160 $250
4 Valve Instruments  $190 $300
Dent removal and other work

$80/Hour (1 hour minimum) 

Tubas & Sousaphones Lacquer Silver Plate
3 Valve Instruments  $230 $350
4 Valve Instruments $250 $370
Rotary Valve Instruments  $275  $400
Major Dent Removal  $115/Hour (One Hour Minimum) 

Other Services
Rotor Restring $25/Rotor
Repair Broken Solder Joints $25
Valve Casing Repair  $65 / Casing 
Removing Stuck Mouthpiece **** Free
Soda Blasting *****  +$100 - $600

*All prices on this list are considered to be an accurate range of estimates. The final price of any repair will be reflected on the final invoice.

**Missing or defective parts that are not commonly replaced or kept in stock may have to be ordered directly from the manufacture. The cost of any special part will be displayed as a separate line item on the invoice and is not included in the estimates listed above.

*** The final cost of a flush and clean will be based on the condition of the instrument upon arrival, the make and model as well as the age of the instrument. Re-lacquering and refinishing is not included in the cost of a flush and clean

**** We will happily remove any mouthpiece that has been damaged or stuck in your instruments lead pipe at no charge. We are not responsible for any damage to the instrument due to previous attempts to remove a stuck mouthpiece. If you do not have the proper tool, it's near impossible to remove a stuck mouthpiece without damaging the instrument. 

***** Soda blasting is a process that removes lacquer from an instrument using baking soda. It's similar to sandblasting but uses baking soda as a medium instead of sand. It does not harm or remove any brass only the lacquer. It leaves a light matt finish to the brass that can be polished to a bright shine with a little bit of hand polishing. As it does leave the horn bare brass the brass will naturally tarnish. We do not offer re-lacquering as part of our services, but we do work with several companies that have this ability. 

FAQ about Brass Instruments and COVID-19

As of 4/30/2021 all staff members at Harris Band Instruments have received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Harris Band Instruments is taking all provisions to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 including following procedures recommended by the CDC and the National Association of Professional Band Instrument Repair technicians (NAPBIRT)

Can anything be sterilized?

Anything that has been “Sterilized” means it is 100% free of any type of pathogen. Sterilization is a very specific medical procedure and is not under ANY situation a service we can offer. Even if an item is sterilized in a medical setting the moment it is exposed to the air, it's no longer sterile. Thus sterilized items are always placed in very special packaging. Using the word "sterilize" is inaccurate, it's also unethical and intentionally misleading. Therefore Harris Band Instruments does not refer to any instrument or any procedure we perform as being sterile.

What are Ultrasonic cleaners and are they effective against pathogens such as COVID-19?

Ultrasonic cleaners are machines that submerge an instrument in a vat of mostly water with a few mild chemicals and blast the instruments with extremely high frequency sound waves in order to remove any “crud” that may accumulate on the inside of the instrument. Their benefit is they clean instruments very quickly and is the reason why many band instrument repair shops have invested in ultrasonic machines. However the solution used does absolutely nothing to destroy pathogens such as COVID-19 as it is mostly water. In order to destroy the virus a strong concentration of soap and water is needed. Just as washing your hands with soap and water is recommended to protect yourself from the virus, we use soap and water in addition to the ultrasonic to clean and protect your instruments.

Red Rot Issues:

Red rot also commonly known as brass rot is a common issue with brass instruments especially if they are older and heavily used. The most common type of brass used in musical instruments is an alloy of approximately 70% copper and 30% zinc with a few other trace elements mixed in. When the brass is exposed to acidic conditions such as saliva, the zinc can slowly leach out of the brass leaving only the copper. This can make the copper extremely brittle and nearly impossible to work with and remove any dents as the brass will crack open. Any parts that show extensive red rot will have to be replaced.

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