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Not bass but Bari - give a brother some advice


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In June I bought an old King Bari Sax (the one with the permanently fixed neck) and it was in really pretty decent shape. A few leaks and a bent tube/rod G#, but nothing that seemed major to me. I immediately brought it into the shop to repair the G#, leaks and replace a few pads. The tech gave it a once over and estimated ~ $175-200. I thought that would be fair and told him to go for it. He had a few other things on the bench before mine but figured about 2 weeks.


Two weeks passed and I called for an update. Well, the horn before mine turned out to need a whole lot longer than he figured and hadn't started on mine yet, but should get to it in a few days and it should only take a few days. A few days later he calls and tells me he's run into trouble with the G#. The rod is frozen and he's having trouble getting it out. Basically, he unsoldered the posts to remove the key, then he got a bit over zealous with the torch pounding trying to free the frozen rod and separated the pad-cup arm from the hinge tube. Because of flares on the ends of the tube the cup is still "connected" but it rotates freely and slides up and down. Not to worry, though, as he can just "silver-solder it back on good as new."


Okay, now it's been a month and the horn still isn't ready. The tech says that he wont do the job half-assed. He repairs every horn like it was his own so he makes sure everything is set-up and working properly. He also says that since he gave me a price he's going to stick with it even though he's got over 40 hours into the horn already (?!!?!!?!?). He hates it when he takes his car in and gets an estimate but then the actual price is twice the estimate. If he says it'll cost this much, he's only gonna charge this much. He doesn't mind since he's on salary and the shop is one of those owned my the GC-MF-WWBW conglomerate.


Every couple of weeks I call or stop in to get an update. He tells me he worked on it a little here and there. School started so he got swamped with all the kids' horns getting them ready for band camp and what not. He should get to it the day after tomorrow.


Last time I talked with him he told me he is NOT on salary, and that since my price is so low he can't take bench time from paying jobs to work on my horn so basically he works on mine when there is nothing else to do. I still see my G# pad-cup sitting in the same little part tray it's been in for months.


I was hoping that the two points of the quality triangle I was getting were Cheap and Good (you know: Cheap, Fast, Good. You can only have two). But at this point I'm starting to doubt it will ever get done.


I'm [holds thumb and forefinger really close together] - this close - [/holds thumb and forefinger really close together] to just picking up the horn (ooooh, they better not try and charge me anything) and taking it to someone else.


Now we are better than 4 months into it and I don't think much actual work has been done. Worse is I'm so itching to be playing a bari that I'm spending a lot of time trying to convince myself not to go buying another one.


So, should I talk to him, yet again, and ask him to re-quote the rest of the job so I can get some bench time or pull it and bring it somewhere else?

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