The typical cost to repair an instrument varies depending on many factors. It can fall between a range of $65-$250 for more common repairs and over $600 for more complex repairs. We have a comprehensive breakdown on the most common repairs available on our band instrument repair pricing chart. For a better understanding of why instrument repair costs vary so much, see below items to take into consideration.
Type Of Instrument
Not all instruments are the same. A saxophone has about 600 parts while a flute has significantly less parts. The difference in parts explains why a complete flute repad / mechanical overhaul may cost around $350 while a saxophone repad may cost around $600. In the end, the structure of the instrument and the amount of hours needed to repair plays a big role in the costs.
In some cases, when all you need is basic chemical cleaning for brass instruments it costs around $90-$150. Compared to chemical cleaning with silver polish, it costs around $110-$260. In other cases, simpler orchestral strings repair items such as replacing the nuts for violin, cello, and bass may only cost around $80.
Value Of The Instrument
Like any physical item, the higher the value of it, the higher the cost it is to be repaired or replaced. For example, a high end luxury car like Mercedes Benz or a quality phone from Apple will always come with higher repair costs. Part of it could be because the parts used on these products cost more and have a certain quality standard. Other reasons could be the repair requires a specialist that charges high labor costs.
It is important to note the value of your instrument prior to getting it repaired. If it is a basic and affordable instrument that costs less to purchase a new one, it will be an obvious choice to simply purchase a new or used one. However, if it’s a high ticketed instrument that still has a lot of playing potential and only requires minor repairs, it’s always worth repairing.
Musical Instrument Parts Cost
As mentioned above, depending on the parts needed for the instrument repair, your repair cost will vary. Keep in mind that certain parts that cost more in the beginning turn out to have better quality and last longer, which in turn saves you money and time.
Ultimately, you get what you pay for.
For example, Straubinger pads generally cost more than traditional felt pads because it is 90% more stable. Specially for musicians that play between extreme weathers, Straubinger pads will ensure it is still playing fine during hot and humid weathers. You may see the difference between the 2 types of pads visually, and read more about Straubinger pads.
Photo credits to Straubinger flutes
The Skill Of The Musical Instrument Technician
Another important factor for instrument repair costs include labor costs. Certified technicians undergo special training, continuous education, and tests to obtain their certifications. Having certified instrument technicians repair your instrument ensures the quality and consistency of your repair. For specific cases like installing Straubinger pads, it’s advised to find certified Straubinger professionals to do it. Our technician, TJ, is the only Straubinger certified technician in Nashville.
How To Avoid High Repair Costs?
Now that you have gone through an overview of music instrument repair costs, you understand the importance of preventing the need of a repair in the first place. Overall, the best ways to avoid high instrument repair costs is to take good care of your instrument. There are some basic and common instrument care tips to extend the life of your instrument. From properly storing, consistent cleaning, and bringing it for yearly professional maintenance, here are more general band instrument care tips.