Services : Repairs
We work with some of the best instrument repair technicians in the area to offer you quality repair service on almost any instrument. Except for accordions and some sound equipment items, repair estimates are free. Most of our repair technicians do the work in their own shops, so please be prepared to leave your instrument with us (you'll receive a claim check). As soon as the repairperson has evaluated your instrument, you'll be contacted with an estimate. Please see below for basic pricing on common repair jobs.
A 50% deposit will be required on repairs estimated at $300 or more.
We also provide in-store services for minor jobs such as re-stringing and tuning -- more information
Click here for information about Appraisals.
Meet our repair staff:
Marc Glickman -- banjos, mandolins, dulcimers, vintage fretted instrument restoration and violin family instruments
Brian Weber -- rope-pulled hand drums (djembe, ashiko)
Stream Ohrstrom -- folk flutes and drums (bodhran, dumbek, frame drum, conga, bongo)
L&L Music Wind Shop -- all wind and brass instruments: flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, oboe, recorder, etc.
Rick Kemper -- Folk (lever) harps, some pedal harp work, hammered dulcimers
Joe Fertitta -- accordions (minor repairs, no tuning). (more information)
Button Box -- concertinas & some button accordions (more information)
Alexander Duvel -- autoharp, Indian instruments (sitar, tanpura, veena, tabla, harmonium), world string instruments (more information)
Repair estimates are free except for any shipping charges incurred - the only exceptions to this are repairs that involve invasive diagnosis like electronics repairs, most accordion and squeezebox repairs. Any bench fee incurred in diagnosing an issue will be put toward the cost of any approved repair, but is non-refundable if the repair be denied. Repair work will only go ahead with your approval, and we guarantee all of our repairs.
We can also provide formal written instrument appraisals for insurance or other purposes. Please contact us with as much information as possible about the instrument and what you need the appraisal for so we can provide you with a fee for the written appraisal.
Steve Carmody has been repairing, restoring and building acoustic and electric guitars and basses since 1990. He has been a Fully Authorized warranty repairman for the CF Martin guitar company since 1998, and for the Taylor guitar company since 2012. For further information on Steve, including articles he has written on guitar repair and maintenance tips, visit guitarrepairshop.com.
The following is a list of common repair jobs and their costs. These are to be used as rough estimates. The repairperson can always contact the customer with a complete estimate after a correct diagnosis of the problem has been made. If the customer is able to pre-authorize up to a certain cost (using the guidelines below), this will decrease time needed to communicate to get work approved.
Instruments are usually picked up from HMT early on Monday afternoons. In most cases, non-structural repairs such as setups will be completed in 1 week or less, once the cost is approved. More complex/structural repairs will have a longer turnaround time; Steve can communicate this to you as part of the estimate if that is requested. Rush jobs can often be accommodated, but will incur a $60 rush fee. Please contact us before bringing your guitar in if you require a rush job.
Shop rate: $60.00 per hour, $60 minimum (except where noted, such as strap button installation).Rates below are for labor only -- parts and strings are additional.
COMPLETE SET UP AND ADJUSTMENT -- $90.00 plus cost of strings
Includes Neck adjust, action adjustment at nut and saddle, very minor fret work, tighten tuner screws and nuts, lubricate tuning machines, general clean up, restring. 12-string add $30.00
ADJUST ACTION -- $60.00
Adjust neck, adjust action at nut and saddle to shop spec. No restring. No fret work. No clean up. Generally applies to new or relatively unplayed instruments.
BONE NUT -- $90.00
If your guitar has worn frets, a bowed neck, or an ill-fitting saddle, expect additional cost to correct these problems. I will not install a new nut if other problems are not also addressed. 12-string add $30.00
COMPENSATED BONE SADDLE -- $60.00
If your guitar has worn frets, a bowed neck, or an ill-fitting saddle, expect additional cost to correct these problems. I will not install a new saddle if other problems are not also addressed. Martin "Long" saddle: $90.00 / 12-string add $15.00
REMOVE MARTIN GLUED-IN LONG SADDLE -- $60.00
Rout saddle and remove.
RE-GLUE BRIDGE -- $120.00
Remove and refit old bridge. Very minor touchup included. (12-string bridge -- $150.00)
REPLACE BRIDGE -- $180.00 (includes new bone saddle) plus cost of factory-made bridge, approximately $30.00 12-string -- $200.00 plus part
HANDMADE BRIDGE -- $270.00
Remove old bridge, fabricate new bridge, fit, install, fabricate and install saddle. Handmade bridges may be necessary for vintage, Gibson, Martin, Guild and custom bridge replacements.
REPLACE TUNERS -- $30.00 and up
Seems like a simple job, but can be fraught with nuanced complications.
FRET LEVELING ("Filing," "Dressing" etc.) -- $150.00 and up
Worn or uneven frets can be filed level in many cases, if there will remain enough height on the fret to suit the customer. Frets must be lowered to the height of the lowest "pit" that can be found. Sometimes, replacing the most worn frets is appropriate. Crown and polish only -- $90.00
RE-FRET -- $380.00
Add $30.00 for fretboards with binding. Add $30.00 for 12-string. Individual frets $15.00 plus $90.00 set up/leveling cost (may not apply in some cases). New nut or saddle may also be necessary.
NECK RE-SET -- $300.00 and up
Remove neck. Re-cut heel/body angle to correct high action. Replace neck. New saddle often included, but new nut often extra. Additional fret work and bridge work may also be necessary.
CRACK REPAIR -- $30.00 per inch or by quote (particularly for shattered areas)
Includes glue and brush touchup with appropriate finish. Cleating (installing small patches of wood inside guitar to reinforce repair) as necessary. Repairs often not invisible.
HEADSTOCK CRACK -- $150.00 and up, by quote
Glue, seal and re-finish area. Repairs often not invisible, but finish will be smooth.
CAP WORN BRIDGE PLATE -- $60.00
Make and install wood veneer inside top, under bridge to correct string ball ends from pulling through.
REPLACE BRIDGE PLATE -- $240.00
Remove existing bridgeplate. Fabricate and install replacement.
FINISH TOUCH UP -- By quote
INSTALL PICK UP SYSTEM -- $100.00 and up
Expand endpin hole to accommodate jack. Wire pickup to pre-amp and jack. Fit and resize old saddle for proper action and contact with pickup. May require new saddle and re-rout of old saddle slot at additional cost. There are other variables relating to pre-amp installation which must be individually quoted. Condition of bridge and neck angle may be factors in the appropriateness of an under the saddle pickup for a given guitar.
INSTALL SOUNDHOLE PICKUP with endpin jack -- $60.00
REPLACE PICKGUARD -- $135.00
Replace Martin vintage-style glue-on type. Crack repair extra. Others by quote.
INSTALL STRAP BUTTON -- $25.00
HUMIDIFY GUITAR -- $25.00
SET UP & ADJUST -- $90.00 plus strings
Includes Neck adjust, action adjust at nut and saddles, minor fret work, tighten tuner screws and nuts, lubricate tuners, general cleanup, re-string.
NEW NUT -- $90.00
If your guitar has worn frets, a bowed neck, or worn saddles, expect additional cost to correct these problems. I will not replace nut if these problems are not addressed.
REPLACE TUNERS -- $30.00 and up, by quote
Seems like a simple job, but can be fraught with complications.
FRET LEVELING ("Filing," "Dressing") -- $150.00
Worn or uneven frets can be filed level in many cases, if there will remain enough height on the fret to suit the customer ( and practical playability). Frets must be lowered to the height of the lowest "pit" that can be found. Sometimes, replacing the most worn frets is more appropriate. Add $20.00 for finished maple fretboards. Crown and polish only -- $90.00
RE-FRET -- $380.00 Add $30.00 for fretboards with binding or finished maple fretboards
Individual frets $15.00 plus $90.00 for set up/leveling (may not apply in some cases). New nut may be necessary.
HEADSTOCK CRACK -- $150.00 and up, by quote
Glue, Touch up. Repairs often not invisible, but finish will be smooth and level.
FINISH TOUCH UP -- By quote
ELECTRONICSNote: Electrical issues with archtop guitars will incur a minimum $60.00 upcharge to these prices for the removal and re-installation of the wiring harness. NOTE: $60.00 Shop minimum applies for all jobs priced under $50.00.
DIAGNOSE ELECTRONIC PROBLEM -- $30.00 and up.
REPLACE JACK, VOLUME/TONE POT -- $30.00 plus part SHOP MINIMUM APPLIES
REPLACE PICKUP -- $30.00 per pickup, plus rout charge if necessary.SHOP MINIMUM APPLIES
ROUT NEW POCKET -- $60.00, plus install pickup price
REPLACE SWITCH -- $30.00 each plus cost of part SHOP MINIMUM APPLIES
CLEAN ELECTRONICS -- $30.00, Archtops minimum $60.00 SHOP MINIMUM APPLIES
Turnaround time for pre-approved set ups, action adjustment, tuner replacement and other minor non-structural repairs is usually one week. For structural repairs, turnaround is usually 2 weeks or more. Instruments are usually picked up/returned every Monday afternoon, and occasionally on Fridays. If you require a rush job, please contact us for details. There is a $60.00 "rush fee" for jobs requiring a special pickup/drop-off and expedited time frame.
Marc Glickman has been associated with HMT since shortly after the store returned to Takoma Park in 1981. With well over 30 years experience in string instrument repair, his background includes formal training in both fretted and violin family instruments. He handles most of our banjo, mandolin and dulcimer work, as well as other instruments. His main focus is on reviving older instruments. He is well known in the area for his artful restoration work and attention to detail, with rare expertise in finish retouching.
He has a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan, is a 1978 graduate of Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery and has studied violin repair with Hans Nebel. A skilled multi-instrumentalist and composer, Marc also performs Irish, Klezmer and contra dance music with local groups Rambling House, Klezmos, Sugar Beat, Live Culture, the Capital Quicksteps Quadrille Orchestra and Hickman, Glickman & Devine.
Charges may vary with the difficulty and time involved on each job. Customers will be informed when additional work is required before it is done. Prices are for labor only except where noted. Generally, raw materials (e.g. wood, bone) are included; manufactured parts (strings, tuners) are not included.
HOURLY LABOR RATE (12/1/15): $90
MINIMUM LABOR CHARGE (1/2 hour): $40
-- no charge for repair estimates, except where disassembly or diagnostic work req’d --
WRITTEN APPRAISAL OF VALUE --up to $1000 value: $50, over $1000 value : $60 and up
Violin (violin, viola, cello)
|Clean and polish instrument, minor retouching||min. $60||$80|
|Fit new bridge||$60||$120|
|- student or fractional||$45||$80|
|Fit new soundpost||$40||$50|
|Fit set of new pegs (plain ebony or RW pegs incl)||$100||$140|
|Refit / adjust existing pegs, each||$15||$20|
|Plane fingerboard and adjust nut||$75||$100|
Complete set-up: new sdpost & br; plane fbd;
|avg: $250 + strings|
|New nut or saddle||$60||$80|
|Fit new endpin (no bushing, set-up additional)||$20||$60|
|Minor seam separations, reglue||$20 per opening and up|
|- etc no top removal, no cleats - stopgap||from $30||from $30|
|- top removal required||from $200||from $300 + $25 per cleat|
|Remove top or back||$200||$300|
|Replace bass bar, set-up additional||+ avg. $300||+ avg. $400|
|Re-graduate||+ $150||+ $300|
|Re-graduate plates and replace bass bar (including bridge, set-up, etc)||avg $800||avg $1200|
|Peg-hole bushing, each peg (new peg add’l if required)||$60||$75|
|New fingerboard & nut (may require new bridge add’l)||$300||$400|
|Reset neck, incl new bridge||from $300||from $350|
|Reglue neck, reset not needed (plus set-up).||$60||$80|
|Adj. neck angle without re-set (when practical; may req. new br, post, add’l set-up)||$60+||$60+|
|Neck Graft||from $1000||$1500|
|Replace neck, fingerboard - new / used||$600 / $300||$800 / $450|
|Rehair (incl. clean and polish stick)||$50||$55|
|Straighten or re-camber||from $30||from $30|
|New tip, bone (rehair add’l)||$90||$100|
|New frog slide, pear/abalone||$50||$60|
|Silver wound grip , w/leather thumb grip||$100||$100|
|Silver wound grip, w/leather thumb grip||$75||$75|
|Repair broken head w/spline||$150+|
|Leather thumb grip||$30||$30|
Fretted Instrument Set-up, Action, Frets
BANJO, MANDOLIN, similar fretted instruments:
Complete set-up (restring, adjust nut, bridge/saddle, trussrod, co-ordinator rods, head, tuners, clean fingerboard, touch-up frets, minor cleaning and polish)
|may require additionally:|
|- fret work||see below|
|- replace bone nut, 4-6 string||$60|
|- replace bone nut, 12-string, mandolin||$75|
|- replace bone saddle, straight||$30-50|
|- compensated bone saddle, 6-string, custom||$80|
|- compensated bone saddle, 6-string, stock||$30|
|- bone fifth-stringbanjo nut, plain / fancy||$30 / 60|
|- shim banjo neck||$25+|
|Re-string only / 4, 5, 6, 8--strg (no set-up issues)||(min. chg.) $40 + strings|
|Complete clean & polish / mandolin, etc. (may require set-up add’l)||$40 - 100|
|Complete clean & polish / banjo, fully disassemble & clean / polish, etc. (set-up additional + replace head, plastic)||$100 + part only|
|Dress frets: level, re-crown, polish (set-up add’l)||$40 - 80|
|Re-fret (incl. replacing and dressing frets, set-up) / unbound fingerboard||$300|
|Re-fret (incl. replacing and dressing frets, set-up) / bound fingerboard||$360|
|- may require additionally: plane fingerboard||$60 - 80|
|Partial re-fret (including dress all frets, set-up) / unbound||$18/fret + $80|
|Partial re-fret (including dress all frets, set-up) / bound||$24/fret + $80|
Straighten non-adjustable neck (includes dressing frets and set-up;
|- may require new nut and saddle.)||min $160 - 200|
Please note: most of the above action work requires a proper set-up to be effective and will not be done separately.
|Plane bridge, lower saddle||complete set-up plus $60|
|Re-glue bridge (includes complete set-up)||$120 - $160|
|Install factory bridge (when practical, incl. bridge, saddle & set-up)||$150 - $180|
|New bridge (handmade custom, set-up incl.) 6-strg. rosewood w/bone saddle||$240 & up|
|Bone saddle, fit ---see above||$30 - 80|
|Fully compensated bone saddle||$80|
|Fit mandolin bridge (part addl’, ~$25-35 Add’l set-up may be req’d)||$60|
Structural Repair, Restoration, neck - fretted instruments
Re-set neck (acoustic)--incl. new saddle, dress frets, set-up
|avg $300 & up|
|New fingerboard, incl. fretting, nut, set-up, dot inlays. Additional inlay, binding extra||min $360|
New neck, fingerboard, etc. --by est: factory parts + neck re-set. Custom neck fabrication not offered.
|New neck binding & side dots (3 sides)||min $160|
|Replace broken truss rod||min $300|
|Repair broken/cracked headstock, re-touch (when practical)||min $100 - 350|
|Headstock graft .||min $400|
Structural Repair, Restoration, body - fretted instruments
|Cracks, separations--by estimate only: approx. $20/inch, incl. finish touch-up||min $40|
|Loose brace, re-glue, each location||avg $30|
|Loose brace, re-glue, each location||min $275|
|Repairs requiring removal of top or back plate||min $250|
|Retouch varnish or lacquer--by estimate only||min $60|
|Replace side or back||estimate only|
|Replace soundboard||est. only (800 -1000+)|
Parts, Miscellaneous (labor only)
|Install tuning machines, individual, w/fill screw holes & minor re-touch||min. each $15|
|- bushing or drilling of holes required||min. each $25|
|Install tuners, in-line||min. $30|
|Install strap button, part included (minimum chg. applies)||$25|
|Install internal contact pickup & endpin jack||$80 - 100|
|Install under-saddle pickup & endpin jack||$120 - 150|
|New pickguard, custom plastic||$90 and up|
|New pickguard, custom wood||$120 and up|
|Replace plastic banjo head (set-up add’l.)||$60 + part $20 - 25|
|Replace skin banjo head, matrl included. (set-up add’l)||$100 - 120|
|Convert skin to plastic head, first time, old instrument.||$100|
|- w/complete renovation--disassemble, clean & polish, set-up||typically $250 - 350|
|Install capo spikes, banjo||1/ $30, 2 / $50, 3 / $65|
Brian Weber is an avid percussionist who has been building and repairing hand drums since 1996. Great time, care and energy are put into each drum to ensure the best possible appearance and playability. Brian is also a local performing musician and multi-instrumentalist. He teaches guitar, bass, trumpet, piano and other brass instruments.
- Skins -- $25-$40 Hairless African goatskins are used for the drum heads. Varied thicknesses are available as desired. Cost is determined by thickness and size of the skin.
- Rope -- Cradle Rope 3mm/4mm/5mm Polyester core, high strength/low stretch cord at $0.35/ft.
- Vertical Rope -- 4mm/5mm Polyester core, high strength/ low stretch cord at $0.35/ft.
- Basic Rehead -- $80 Includes Reheading of drum with a goatskin head of desired thickness using existing cradle and vertical rope. Minor finishing of rim, polishing of drum body with natural linseed oil and basic tightening/tuning of drum.
- The Basic Plus -- $100 Includes The Basic Rehead, using the existing cradles, but with all new vertical rope.
- The Brand New Drum -- $125 Includes The Basic Rehead, but with both new cradle and vertical rope. The top and bottom rope rings will be re-wrapped and minor cracks or splits will be filled and repaired. The drum will be tuned to desired tension.
- Wood Repair -- Repair cracks, splits and holes in body of drum. Price estimate given after drum is looked over by repairman.
- Tuning -- $25 Includes reworking verticals, pulling out slack and tuning to desired tension.
* Please note the Labor Costs are estimates only and can change
** Exact cost and time estimates will be given on a per-repair basis
Stream has worked on drums and bamboo flutes since 1978. An accomplished drummer and flutist, Stream is also a highly skilled hand drum repairman and flutemaker. He repairs bodhrans, Native American drums, bongos, dumbeks, congas, and others.Drum re-head
- -- $25.00 to $90.00 for labor plus the cost of the head and any other materials.
L & L Music Wind Shop in Gaithersburg, MD has been providing reputable instrument repair services in the DC Metro area for many years. Montgomery Country School System has chosen L & L for their brasswind repairs. Steve Loeb and his team provide friendly, fast service with some of the best technicians in the area specializing in woodwind and brass instruments.
Playing Condition (P/C) consists of regulating, adjusting and lubricating the instrument and replacing key corks as needed. Any pads that need to be replaced are extra.
A Repad consists of replacing all of the pads and key corks as needed, so that the instrument will look as it does now but sounds like a brand new instrument. Any tone hole or body work may be extra.
An Overhaul consists of buffing and polishing the body and keys, replacing all of the pads, and all of the corks, so that the instrument will look and sound like a brand new instrument (as long as all of the plating is still intact).
Basic pricing (subject to change without notice):
- Student Flute: P/C -- $43.00 Repad -- $251.00 Overhaul -- $342.00
- Open Hole Flute: P/C -- $76.00 Repad -- $342.00 Overhaul -- $483.00
- Student Clarinet: P/C -- $43.00 Repad -- $234.00 Overhaul -- $317.00
- Wood Clarinet: P/C -- $67.00 Repad -- $295.00 Overhaul -- $483.00
- Student Oboe: P/C -- $59.00 Repad -- $488.00 Overhaul -- $766.00
- Alto Sax: P/C -- $76.00 Repad -- $577.00 Overhaul -- $1170.00 & up
- Tenon Cork -- $19.00
- Neck Cork -- $36.00
- Clarinet Pad -- $12.00-$43.00
- Flute Pad -- $12.00-$71.00
- Sax Pad -- $12.00-$84.00
- Trumpet/Trombone: P/C -- $51.00 Overhaul -- $835.00 & up
- Pull Mouthpiece: no charge
- Water Key Corks or Springs -- $12.00
- Pull Frozen slides -- $19.00-$105.00
- Trumpet/Trombone Chemical Clean (lacquer) -- $127.00
For brass instruments, major dent work may be extra. Price of brass overhauls are contingent upon current lacquer prices. ESTIMATES ALWAYS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST.
Rick Kemper builds and repairs folk/lever harps. He is the maker of fine "Sligo" Celtic harps, which we often have for sale (here) and are endorsed by many professional harpists including local greats Sue Richards and Allison Hampton. Repair services include restringing, installing and regulating sharping levers, crack repair, cosmetic touch-ups, and complete restoration.
Autoharp, Indian Instruments (sitar, tanpura, veena, tabla, harmonium), World String Instruments -- Alexander Duvel
Before becoming a professional World multi-instrumentalist and instrument repair person, Mr. Duvel referred to himself as a mobile psychotherapist philosopher – and drove a cab! As a world musician, multi-instrumental performing artist, jazz improvisor, music instructor, and sound healing practitioner, Alexander's lifelong passion for music has infused every aspect of life. He has spent decades in the pursuit of a diverse range of musical knowledge and disciplines, musical cultures and world instruments from every corner of the globe.
Sitar and the other Indian instruments are Alexander's professional musical focus, but he is equally adept in the worlds of percussion, winds and brass. Decades of experience in maintaining instruments in optimal playing condition have provided Alexander with the skills and knowledge to repair a number of musical instruments including (but not limited to) Sitar, Dilruba, Surbahar, Sarod, Tampura, Santoor and other North Indian string instruments, Indian Harmonium full servicing and fine tuning and Indian Tabla reheading and fine tuning.
Rates for autoharp complete restringing: $250 + cost of strings including full fine tuning, or $150 + cost of strings without fine tuning (a good way to save some money if you are confident with tuning the autoharp yourself).
We can do re-strings, tunings and some other minor jobs in the store. Many times we may be able to do these jobs while you wait, depending on the skills of our staff present and how busy it may be in the store at any given time. Sometimes you may be required to leave the instrument and pick it up another day. If you need a quick turnaround, please call us first and we'll let you know if we can accommodate you.
Restring labor rates (does not include cost of strings)
- steel string acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass -- $20.00
- classical guitar -- $25.00
- 12-string guitar -- $30.00
- Banjo -- $20.00
- Mandolin -- $25.00
- Ukulele -- $15.00
- Violin -- $15.00
OR, we'll show you how to do one string at no charge, and you do the rest! Restringing is an important skill to know when you play a stringed instrument. Please note that sometimes restringing an instrument brings to light other problems that may be better served by the skills of one our repair staff. If we spot something awry, we’ll point it out and we can chat about options.
Tuning labor rates
- Autoharp -- $30.00
- Lap Harp -- $15.00
- Folk Harp -- $20.00 (if over 26 strings, $30)
- Hammered Dulcimer -- $45.00 (also includes cleaning of strings if necessary)
- Rope-tuned Djembe tightening -- $20.00 (first tightening is free if drum was bought here)
- Strap button installation -- $10.00. Some strap button installs may need to be completed by one of our luthiers, which requires a wait and a higher cost.