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Stephen Howards saxophone manual

I just received the Haynes manual by Stephen Howard after ordering it through Barnes and Noble.Though the book was quite expensive,$37.00 after taxes, it is well worth the money! The pictures are excellent! This is definately a must have if you are interested in maintaining your Sax.


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
Rather a brief review. Why is it worth the money, other than for the pics? Where can you get it? How does it compare to other repair manuals/videos/etc.?


Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
Rather a brief review. Why is it worth the money, other than for the pics? Where can you get it? How does it compare to other repair manuals/videos/etc.?
Okay, I'll chime in:
It explains stuff step by step, for the interested amateur (who knows how to hold a screwdriver and use a saw, but doesn't have a formal education in mechanical engineering or instrument repair), in the good tradition of all Haynes manuals. It explains what can be done at home and what is better given to a professional with the necessary tools. It teaches you basic problem determination, and proper care and maintenance, including repadding, recorking and regulation. In a nutshell: everything you always wanted to know if you had a "project horn" in your basement that you wanted to "do" yourself.

It does, unlike a video, not require some hardware to be ingested, perfect nightstand literature.

I got mine via Book Depository, although meanwhile it's available on Amazon as well.
As well as keeping my new sax working properly, I have a 1969 shooting stars alto that needs new pads. I have worked mechanicaly my entire life, so this book will help me with the repad. I think if you have a little mechanical ability, this book will be a plus to own.


Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
I would like to add that you have picked a perfect saxophone to practice your repair skills on. Many players pick up an older vintage Conn, Buescher, Martin, King Zephyr, etc. for their first project that quite frankly can be a challenge for even an experienced tech with all the right tools to work on.

The best thing about the "Mexi-Conn" is that no matter what mistakes you make, you can't screw it up worse than it was to begin with. :)

Yes, I have worked on several and they are "no too bad" in how they play when repaired properly. It is the saxophone that repair techs love to make fun of, but in reality there are lots of them around that have given lots of good service to beginning and intermediate players.


Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
A letter "N" at the beginning of the serial number will tell you that it was made in Nogales, Mexico. Ciao
There is no Letter N just a 6 digit serial number [HASHTAG]#879910[/HASHTAG].The sax needs new pads,so I figured it would be an alright test subject.
Rather a brief review. Why is it worth the money, other than for the pics? Where can you get it? How does it compare to other repair manuals/videos/etc.?
I have several repair books. This one is different. First, it is not aimed at a professional or repair "student" i.e. somoene who uses the book as a through repair "program". Other books (IMO the best of them is the newer thicker Reg Thorp book) are more like a long lecture of most subjects and possibilities (though obviously no book will cover everything). The Haynes manual is directed to players to help them with doing their own repairs. The whole approach is very different. There are also sections about different subjects than actual repair and also the way is written is different, more friendly and nicer to read.

Re the price, Book Depository have for about $24 (if I remember) with free shipping to anywhere which is nice. I ordered from them.

There are only two issues I can mention. For some of the sections, like padding, although I do use all the techniques mentioned in the book, I usually prefer different techniques. So some is not covered, though to write about all of them is not really practical. Honestly, some of these techniques I wouldn't recommend to a player. So this is not really a criticism and if anyone is more options they can buy one of the more thorough books idrected to repairers (actually some of the techniques I use most often I haven't seen in any book). The other is there are a lot of typos. I guess the problem is no one but the author can notice them since the publishers are not familiar with the technical terms and different models, etc. I don't think this should discourage anyone from buying the book (though maybe the desond edition would be better).

Overall, I absolutely recommend it!
I just received my copy in the mail today it was 22.49 total shipping and all.
I ordered it from the book depository and it took about a week to get.
I have only had time to glance through it so far but very interesting.