our famous stained glass window
House of Musical Traditions
7010 Westmoreland Ave.
Takoma Park, MD 20912
TEL: 301-270-9090
FAX: 301-270-3010
email

HOURS: 11 am - 7 pm
Tuesday through Saturday
11 am - 5 pm Sunday & Monday

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Catalog > Repairs updated July 3, 2013

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 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.

Meet our repair staff:

Steve Carmody -- acoustic and electric guitars and basses
basic pricing

Marc Glickman -- banjos, mandolins, dulcimers, vintage fretted instrument restoration
more information

Scott Morgan -- acoustic and electric guitars, mandolins, banjos, dulcimers, autoharps, ukuleles, violin family
more information
basic pricing

Tad Marks -- violin family instruments
basic pricing

Spyros Koliavasilis -- oud, saz, Greek bouzouki, other roundback stringed instruments

Brian Weber -- rope-pulled hand drums (djembe, ashiko)
basic pricing

Stream Ohrstrom -- folk flutes and drums (bodhran, dumbek, frame drum, conga, bongo)
basic pricing

L&L Music Wind Shop -- all wind and brass instruments: flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, oboe, recorder, etc.
basic pricing

John Bell -- East Indian instruments (sitar, tabla, harmonium, tambura)
basic pricing

Rick Kemper -- Folk (lever) harps, some pedal harp work
more information

Busso Music -- accordions and concertinas (more information)

We also provide in-store services for minor jobs such as re-stringing and tuning -- more information

Look up an instrument

autoharp

banjo
Marc Glickman
Scott Morgan

bass guitar

brass instruments

djembe

drum

dulcimer
Marc Glickman
Scott Morgan

flute (folk)

guitar
Steve Carmody
Scott Morgan

harp (folk/lever)

East Indian instruments

mandolin
Marc Glickman
Scott Morgan

ukulele

violin
Tad Marks
Scott Morgan

wind instruments



Repair estimates are free except for any shipping charges incurred. Repair work will only go ahead with your approval, and we guarantee all of our repairs. How to ship an item to us for repair or appraisal.

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.


Guitar Repair Restoration and Construction -- Steve Carmody
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. Find information on Carmody acoustic guitars here. 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.

Shop rate: $50.00 per hour, $50.00 minimum

Note:
Cost of parts installed not included in labor price.
Cost of raw materials used for shop fabricated parts not included in labor price.

A shop supply fee calculated at 5% of the total labor charge, with a minimum of $5.00, applies to all work performed. This fee covers all incidental shop materials used during repairs.


RUSH FEE: Add $50.00

ACOUSTIC GUITAR

COMPLETE SET UP AND ADJUSTMENT -- $75.00 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, re-string. 12-string add $25.00

NEW NUT -- $75.00
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 $25.00

NEW SADDLE -- $50.00
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: $75.00 / 12-string add $15.00

REMOVE MARTIN GLUED-IN LONG SADDLE -- $75.00
Rout saddle and remove.

RE-GLUE BRIDGE -- $100.00
Remove and refit old bridge. Very minor touchup included. (12-string bridge -- add $25.00)

REPLACE BRIDGE -- $150.00 (includes new bone saddle) + cost of factory-made bridge, approx. $30.00 12-string, $175.00 + part.

HANDMADE BRIDGE-- $250.00 and up, by quote.
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 -- $50.00 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.

RE-FRET -- $375.00
Add $50.00 for fretboards with binding. Add $25.00 for 12-string. Individual frets $15.00 plus $75.00 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. (12-string -- add $25.00)

CRACK REPAIR -- $25.00 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 should be smooth.

CAP WORN BRIDGE PLATE -- 50.00
Make and install wood veneer inside top, under bridge to correct string ball ends from pulling through.

REPLACE BRIDGE PLATE -- $250.00
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 -- $75.00

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

ELECTRONICS

Note: Electrical issues with archtop guitars will incur a minimum $50.00 upcharge to these prices for the removal and re installation of the wiring harness. $50.00 Shop minimum applies for all jobs priced under $50.00.

DIAGNOSE ELECTRICAL PROBLEM -- $30.00 and up. Time is money.

REPLACE JACK, VOLUME/TONE POT -- $30.00 plus part

REPLACE PICKUP -- $50.00 per pickup, plus rout charge if necessary

ROUT NEW POCKET -- $60.00, plus install pickup price

REPLACE SWITCH -- $30.00 each plus cost of part

CLEAN ELECTRONICS -- $30.00, Archtops minimum $50.00

* * *

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 $50.00 "rush fee" for jobs requiring a special pickup/drop-off and expedited time frame.


Banjos, Mandolins, Dulcimers, Vintage Fretted Instrument Restoration
-- Marc Glickman

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.


Stringed Instruments -- Scott Morgan
Scott Morgan is a lifelong musician and luthier. He has played many types of music with family and friends for over 45 years. His roots in music and fine instrument building started at a early age in Takoma Park, Maryland, and developed further with his family's return to their homeplace in Morgan Springs, Tennessee in 1973. He continues to build instruments and perform to this day. His father, Tom Morgan, who builds autoharps, banjos and mandolins, was an original member of The Country Gentlemen, and is still involved in both music and luthiery.

In 2007, Scott was awarded a grant to teach the art of guitar building, and is designated as a Master Luthier by the State of Georgia Council for the Arts. He played in his family band, The Morgans for many years, and was a founding member of The Barn Rats, an Atlanta, Georgia based jamgrass band. He's had the honor to share the stage with many excellent musicians over the years, including Curly Fox, John Hartford, Red Rector, Ron Wall, John McCutcheon, Vassar Clements, Randall Collins, Ralph Stanley, the New Grass Revival, and Grandpa Jones, to name a few. He currently plays with Newgrass Effect and The Bluegrass Alliance.

Over the past 40 years Scott has worked on many types of stringed instruments, including, but not limited to: acoustic and electric guitars, mandolins, banjos, hammered and mountain dulcimers, autoharps, ukuleles and violin family instruments.

From restringing and set up to complete restorations, he has accquired the knowledge and expertise to accomplish virtually any repair you might need. Though your particular instrument may not be on the above list, the principles of luthiery have universal application in most cases. No repair will be undertaken without the utmost confidence that it can be completed to the customer's absolute satisfaction. Turnaround time on most jobs is 1 to 2 weeks. Restorations and major repairs may take longer, however, the customer will be advised of this upfront and given a timeframe for completion of the project.

In addition to repairs and restorations, Scott builds custom stringed instruments using what he considers to be the best design features of the highest quality vintage instruments.

Exact repair costs are quoted upon evaluation of the individual instrument. Average costs for some common repairs are listed below.

BANJO

  • Set Up -- $75.00 plus parts
  • Fret Leveling -- $150.00 Includes leveling, recrowning and polishing of frets, set up and adjustment
  • New Nut -- $50.00
  • 5th String Nut -- $30.00
  • 5th String Peg -- $30.00 plus peg
  • Re-Fret -- $300.00 Add $50.00 for bound or finished fretboards.
  • Individual Frets -- $10.00 each plus $75.00 for set up and leveling
  • Crack Repair -- $25.00/inch Includes touch up with appropriate finish.
  • Broken Headstock -- $150.00 Includes touch up with appropriate finish.
  • Re-Head, plastic -- $75.00 plus head
  • Re-Head, skin -- $100.00 plus skin
  • Railroad Spikes -- $15.00 each

MANDOLIN

  • Set Up -- $75.00 plus parts
  • Fret Leveling -- $150.00 Includes leveling, recrowning and polishing of frets, set up and adjustment.
  • New Nut -- $50.00
  • Fit Bridge -- $50.00
  • Install tailpiece -- $50.00 plus tailpiece
  • Re-Fret -- $300.00 Add $50.00 for bound or finished fretboards.
  • Individual Frets -- $10.00 each Plus $75.00 for set up and leveling
  • Crack Repair -- $25.00/inch Includes touch up with appropriate finish.
  • Broken Headstock -- $150.00 Includes touch up with appropriate finish.

AUTOHARP

  • Re-String -- $150.00 plus strings
  • Single String -- $5.00 plus string
  • Replace Felt -- $15.00 per bar
  • Install Finetuners -- $150.00 plus finetuners
  • Tuning -- $50.00
  • Cleaning -- $25.00


Violins, Violas and Cellos -- Tad Marks
Tad has been with us since 2000.
  • Violin/Viola bow rehair -- $45.00
  • Cello bow rehair -- $50.00
  • Bass bow rehair -- $65.00
  • Rechamber bow -- $35.00
  • New violin bridge -- $45.00/students $75.00/pro musicians
  • New cello bridge -- $75.00
  • Reset soundpost -- $15.00
  • New violin soundpost -- $30.00
  • New cello soundpost -- $50.00
  • Violin pegs replaced -- $40.00 + cost of pegs
  • Cello pegs replaced -- $80.00 + cost of pegs
  • Violin fingerboard reglued -- $20.00
  • New violin fingerboard -- $75.00
  • New violin nut -- $40.00
  • Glue open seam -- $15.00
  • Total clean and polish on violin -- $30.00 and up
  • New violin tailpiece -- $20.00 - $30.00
  • New violin chinrest -- $20.00 - $45.00
  • Restring -- $40.00 + cost of strings
Estimates are free. Customer is responsible for shipping, handling and insurance to and from HMT.


Rope-Pulled Hand Drum Repairs -- Brian Weber
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.

Total cost is a sum of Materials and Labor Cost (see below).
Materials
  • 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.
Labor Costs
  • 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

Please inquire about anything that isn't mentioned here and we will do our best to help you out.


Drum and Bamboo Flute Repairs -- Stream Tomas Ohrstrom
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.
Estimates are free. Customer is responsible for shipping, handling and insurance to and from HMT.


Wind and Brass Instruments -- L & L Music Wind Shop
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 -- $30.00 Repad -- $180.00 Overhaul -- $246.00
  • Open Hole Flute: P/C -- $54.00 Repad -- $246.00 Overhaul -- $348.00
  • Student Clarinet: P/C -- $30.00 Repad -- $168.00 Overhaul -- $228.00
  • Wood Clarinet: P/C -- $48.00 Repad -- $210.00 Overhaul -- $348.00
  • Student Oboe: P/C -- $42.00 Repad -- $350.00 Overhaul -- $550.00
  • Alto Sax: P/C -- $54.00 Repad -- $414.00 Overhaul -- $840.00 & up
  • Tenon Cork -- $12.00
  • Neck Cork -- $25.00
  • Clarinet Pad -- $6.00-$30.00
  • Flute Pad -- $6.00-$50.00
  • Sax Pad -- $6.00-$60.00
  • Trumpet/Trombone: P/C -- $36.00 Overhaul -- $600.00 & up
  • Pull Mouthpiece: no charge
  • Water Key Corks or Springs -- $6.00
  • Pull Frozen slides -- $12.00-$75.00
  • Trumpet/Trombone Chemical Clean (lacquer) -- $90.00

For brass instruments, major dent work may be extra. Price of brass overhauls are contingent upon current lacquer prices. ESTIMATES ALWAYS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST.


East Indian, Sitar, Tambura, Tabla, Harmonium Repairs -- John Bell
John has been handling our Indian instrument repairs since 1988. He is a professional sitar, tabla, and harmonium player. He studies once a year at the Ali Akhar Khan School of Indian Music in San Francisco as well as teaching there.
  • Tabla re-head -- $75.00 per drum (labor plus cost of new head)
  • For new straps -- add $15.00 per drum
Any harmonium, sitar, tabla, or other East Indian instrument brought in for repair will incur a $40.00 bench fee for evaluation. If repairs proceed, the bench fee is absorbed into repair costs.


Folk (lever) harps -- Rick Kemper
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.

House of Musical Traditions In-Store Repairs

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)

  • 6-string guitar -- $20.00
  • 12-string guitar -- $30.00
  • Banjo -- $15.00
  • Mandolin -- $25.00
  • 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.

Tuning labor rates

  • Autoharp -- $30.00
  • Lap Harp -- $15.00
  • Folk Harp -- $20.00
  • Hammered Dulcimer -- $40.00 (also includes cleaning of strings if necessary)

Other

  • Rope-tuned Djembe tightening -- $20.00 (first tightening is free if drum was bought here)
  • Guitar strap button install -- $10.00 (some strap button installs may need to be done by our luthier in which case cost can be higher)