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This is the most common question I get, and want to try to answer it. The easiest way to put it is that there many pads and lots of moving parts on a woodwind instrument.  Just about all of them at one point or another need attention.  I always look at an instrument and try to find the most glaring problems such as torn pads, cracks, loose posts, pads that aren’t touching all the way around, and fix those first.  In many cases, such as with professional clarinets and oboes, I remove all the keys and stop them up with small rubber stoppers then put it on the mag machine to see if it has suction. Then I begin adding one pad at a time checking that each one is sealing perfectly. This takes a very long time, but it well worth it when you hear the instrument and it is resonating to its full potential. A usual oboe repad is $850, this is because it takes about 12 hours to do it correctly.  

So the answer really is, it depends. . 



Robin Howell Bocals

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I have recently purchased what I think is the best bocal I’ve ever had. It is a sterling silver number 2 that he made to suit my 6,000 series heckel.  I will be carrying some of his bocals at my shop, or he can be contacted for orders at

He makes bocals for all instruments as well as mouthpieces.


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RS Woodwinds is going to Stockton CA for the Meg Quigly Vivaldi Competition. I will be doing minor repairs at the symposium and bringing as many tools as I can fit in my car.
Please contact me in advance if you have any special requests.

New Shop Location

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I’ve moved to 4135 Voltaire Ave suite 101 San Diego CA 92107

I’m only open by appointment.

To make an appointment please call 619757-6155 or email me

website is up

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Well I finally have a fancy new website, thanks to Shelly! Thank You!!!
I will still update this blog on occasion. Check out the site

BAM cases

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I recently received an order for a BAM hightech bass clar/2clar case, and it is simply amazing. It weighs next to nothing, and has so much storage. look at all the cases on the BAM website- and email me for prices,

Welcome to RS Woodwinds

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Welcome to RS Woodwinds.

I am just getting this site started but can’t wait to share more about RS Woodwinds.  It is my pleasure to provide you with the best quality specialty woodwind repair services in the San Diego and Southern California region.