FAQs

Why should I send my instrument to J.L. Smith & Co. for repairs?

The service department represents the heart of J.L. Smith & Co.

Since 1991, we have developed and maintained a reputation for providing the highest quality repairs. Our shop is equipped with three full-time technicians. We have unlimited access to the best pads, supplies, and tools in the business, especially since we make much of what we use in house.

At J.L. Smith & Co., we understand that the expense of proper maintenance can cause musicians to put off important services or worse, take their precious instruments to “bargain” repair shops. We’ve seen far too many examples of both and we want to help prevent these situations. We work toward a long-term solution for every problem, rather than a quick fix. Our primary goal is the client’s satisfaction.

Is it safe to ship my instrument?

Yes!

J.L. Smith & Co. performs repairs for clients as far away as Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. Packing your instrument safely and making sure that it is insured are the keys to successful travel. If your instrument is insured through your homeowner’s policy, be sure that it is covered during transit. If not, you will need to purchase separate insurance (e.g. Clarion) or insure your instrument through a shipping company.

You may choose to use a custom, foam-lined shipping box (usually provided by the manufacturer), a box of your own choosing, or have a shipping company employee package the instrument for you. First, be sure that the instrument fits snuggly in its case. If not, add a small amount of bubble wrap to prevent movement. If you pack the instrument yourself, we suggest wrapping the entire case in at least 6 inches of bubble wrap. Fill the rest of the box with enough packing material to prevent the case from moving. Be sure that your instrument is labeled with your name, address, and contact number. We are happy to provide you with a shipping label, making it easy to get your instrument on its way.

How long will it take to complete my repair?

The length of time required to complete a repair can vary depending on the extent of the service needed as well as the time of year. It is best to plan ahead and schedule an appointment during a period when you are able to be away from your instrument. Please allow yourself enough time in advance of important events. Our busiest months are June, July, August, and December. We will do our best to meet your timing needs with appropriate notice.

Call 704-521-1088 or email [email protected] to schedule your appointment. Only very minor repairs can be completed “while you wait”.

Repair Services

 

Clean, Oil and Adjust (COA)

A professional COA is the single most important service for keeping your flute in top playing condition and every flute should have a COA once a year. The procedure involves complete disassembly of the instrument. The body, headjoint and footjoint are thoroughly cleaned and polished. The keys are cleaned as well as possible without disturbing pads and bumpers. Springs are tested and replaced if necessary. The head cork is tested and replaced if needed. All pads and bumpers are examined and replaced as needed. All mechanisms (including rods, rod screws, pivot screws, rollers and hinge tubes) are cleaned and oiled. Pads are re-shimmed as required to cover with a light touch. Key to key adjustment, key height and lost motion are all regulated to exacting standards. The instrument is then thoroughly play-tested for confirmation and re-adjusted as necessary.

Mechanical Restoration & Repad

Often times flutes that have seen many years of play, have been in long-term storage or have not received regular maintenance, will require a full mechanical restoration in order to play properly. With this procedure the instrument is completely disassembled, including pinned sections. The body, headjoint, footjoint and all of the keys are thoroughly cleaned and polished. Dents are removed for cosmetic, acoustical and mechanical considerations as needed. Tone holes are corrected as needed and faced true. Springs are tested and replaced if necessary. The head cork is replaced and adjusted. All pads and bumpers are replaced with the highest-grade materials. All mechanisms (including rods, rod screws, pivot screws, rollers and hinge tubes) are cleaned and oiled. Keys are refitted as needed on student model instruments and to exacting tolerances on professional quality instruments. Pads are seated to cover with a light touch. Key to key adjustment, key height and lost motion are regulated to exacting standards. The instrument is then allowed to set, re-examined for regulation, and thoroughly play-tested for confirmation.

Other Flute Repair Services

All work other than a COA or Mechanical Restoration is based upon examination and consultation. We’ll present you with a recommendation and an estimate reflecting time and materials prior to doing the work.

We offer a complete range of flute and piccolo repairs and services from minor adjustments to custom rebuilding including: dent work (from minor to extensive), part rebuilding, aligning bent bodies, precision fitting of tenons and boxes, refitting and rebuilding of key mechanisms (including re-pinning), replacing bumpers, resetting of adjustment screws, re-soldering parts, MAG® testing, re-soldering “up” toneholes, replacing or recovering of Straubinger pads, and much more!

Pricing

Piccolo Mechanical Restoration* COA**
Student $365.00 $175.00
Intermediate $625.00 $270.00
Professional $800.00 $345.00
Artist $1125.00 $385.00

Flute Mechanical Restoration* COA**
Student $430.00 $175.00
Intermediate $630.00 $270.00
Pre-Professional $780.00 $345.00
Professional $1230.00 $385.00
Professional w/Straubinger Pads $1600.00 $385.00
Artist $1345.00 $495.00
Artist w/Straubinger Pads $1725.00 $495.00

Flute – Other Services Cost
E Facilitator Installation (part included) $90.00
Replace Head Cork $25.00
Fit Headjoint $64.00

All other work done by estimate based on time and materials.

* On mechanical restorations, certain pad brands may incur additional cost.

** COA pricing includes labor for up to 3 pad replacements.

Check out our video on flute care and assembly!

Call us at 800.822.2157 or email [email protected] to schedule your appointment. Only very minor repairs can be completed “while you wait”.