Sax Rebuilds

Saxophone Rebuilds

DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS. This is for those who want to read more info.

Rebuild Overview


  • Disassembly
  • Assessments
  • Special Orders
  • Wash & Clean


  • Repair Keys
  • Plating
  • Install Resonators
  • Replace Pads
  • Replace Corks/Felts


  • Springs
  • Dent work
  • Alignments
  • Extras


  • Oils, Grease, Lubrications
  • Swedging, Screw Depths
  • Fitting


  • Sound & Action
  • Tuning
  • Play Test (3 days)
  • Final Adjustments


  • Final Polishing
  • Secure Packaging
  • Shipment/Pickup

The Process

The Product

Complete Rebuild Pricing

Our WWS "Vintage Standard" Rebuild:

SIZEIf Lacquer FinishIf Silver/Gold Plated
Altos, and Sopranos $ 1,299.00 $ 1,489.00
Tenors and C-melodies $ 1,399.00 $ 1,749.00
Baritones $ 1,539.00 $ 1,889.00

*All WA residents will incur our WA State tax at 10.0%. 
**(Rebuild Pricing as of Jan. 2022)


(Descriptions first. For Pricing, scroll down)

WorldwideSax offers complete rebuilds as well as total restorations for all brands and models of saxophones, including coordinating silver plating and custom engravings, always making the sax's vintage properties a priority. We have a variety of  the finest pads available on the market.



All Total Rebuilds include the following:

  • We will disassemble the sax, wash it out, or "silver tarnish-remover dip" it and remove the old pads and corks.
  • Remove minor/accessible dents to the body and neck (1/2 hr labor included), also remove any reddish oxidation, straighten the key cups, spin and straighten steels/screws and align posts, where needed.
  • We disassemble the key rollers and clean and lube them.
  • We will clean/remove rust/corrosion, polish rods with ultra fine wet-dry paper and then oil the rods and steels/screws with heavy high purity hydrocarbon oil and lube pivot screws with synthetic high purity hydrocarbon grease (or synth oils or Lithium grease, by request).
  • We re-tension springs or replace them where needed (up to 3 included).
  • Install new pads with French shellac, or other options if you request it.  Shellac was used on vintage saxes.
  • We will install all corks and bumpers (including neck cork) and felts and then align the posts and reassemble it.
  • Finally pads are leveled, height set, and it is thoroughly play tested, over a three day period.

WWS_Pad_Options11-2013For our "French Standard" rebuilds, we use the 0.160"-0.185" thick Hermes NS premium standard series sheepskin pads w/plastic dome reso's, natural cork throughout and French amber shellac to install the pads. My "French Standard" rebuild is patterned after Selmer and Buffet rebuilds, using the best of techniques from both.

We can also adapt the French Standard to various vintage setups, like King, Buffet, and Conn, and then I call it a "Vintage Standard Rebuild".  The vintage rebuild is a standard rebuild with a substitution of flat metal resonators, instead of French plastic reso's. In some cases like Martin rebuilds, i use felt in places that other companies used cork, others like King, Buffet and Conn used flat metal resos.  i.e. flat metal reso's were used on many zephyrs and most super 20's.  There is no "up charge" for this.  If not instructed otherwise, we will do it automatically.

We make it a point to do the very cleanest, finest work possible, with the newest materials available as an option to the player.  We offer some of the best custom work you can find and are always very detail-oriented. Many of our vintage saxes for sale will have a vintage rebuild installed with natural cork--the way they were first played by the jazz legends--but these options are for your decision too. You get to play it!

Want the Best? Add our Premium Upgrade:

Our "Premium Rebuilds" offer you the fastest & quietest action we can offer.  But most importantly, teflon and ultrasuede friction reduction, as well as techcork bumpers, high-density black felt and disks, and synthcork quieting, throughout the rebuild. We specifically dedicate ourselves to choose which cork/ teflon product (all in varying thickness) will work best for each moving component on your specific saxophone's model.


  • Techcork: dense, rubber-like compound, waterproof, does not compress over time like Natural Cork.
  • Synthcork: spongy, rubber compound that is an excellent noise reducer/shock absorber.
  • Teflon/Felt: ultra smooth combination we purposefully use back-to-back for the
    fastest action.
  • Sorbothane: The "liquid sponge", an amazing material, incredible frustrating for sax techs but worth it!
  • ....and other company secrets.

Special Orders: Pads or Resonators

You can upgrade the premium rebuild with pads made of Kidskin or Kangaroo skin, order Buescher metal backed pads, Conn Reso-pads... you name it, as well as several varieties of resonators on our top of the line jobs, including, Pisoni rivetless domes, flat metal reso's and Selmer metal reso's.  As a further option you can have special resos added to the premium rebuild, such as Noyak and Resotech Solid Silver (or brass), flat or slightly domed resonators...etc. The list goes on and on. Read on...

We do not  relacquer or buff saxophones.

Payment Options

  • Cash: self explanatory, in-person option.
  • Check/Money Order: can be mailed or written while here in the shop. Made to: "Worldwide Sax"

      Worldwide Sax
      PO Box 88904
      Tukwila, WA 98188

  • Venmo: (No Fee) account: "Worldwide-Sax".
  • Paypal: (Fee, sometimes) It is the fastest online payment method, but we have to add their 3.5% fee.  Offers you the ability to put it on your Credit Card or E-Checks also have a flat fee (which may save you $) but also require time to clear the Banks. Ask me how to avoid fees here.
  • Credit/Debit Card (Fee: 2.7-4.5%): Via Paypal Here, the mobile card reader on my phone can swipe all credit and debit cards. For In-Shop purchases, a lower 2.7% fee; over the phone is the standard 3.5%. International: expect 4.0-4.5%.
  • Zelle/Sure Pay/ClearXchange: A Bank-to-Bank money transfer option by mobile phones to send money to our Email address No fees attached! Use: (Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase...)
  • Wire Transfers: These are becoming a frequent use here due to Paypal fees and will generally only cost about $15-30 (only $15 for WWS receiving fee). Payments clearing the Banks can take 3-4 days.
  • Western Union: I have worked with international buyers with this option. Fees are paid on your end.

***Deposit of 50% required to hold your place in the work schedule.

90-Day Layaway Policy, please see "Policies".


We have found that shipping costs  just keep escalating, so here is a range for boxing up
and shipping various saxes, shipped by UPS, though our local shipper.

**I do not purposely bill to profit on shipping**


  • Soprano: west coast 47.00 -70.00- east coast, 90.00
  • Alto: west coast 55.00 -85.00- east coast, 120.00
  • Tenor: west coast 74.00 -109.00- 130.00 east coast
  • Bari: price is variable, please ask.  Rough number: $190.00

*** "Insurance" is about $1 per $100 insured extra

INTERNATIONAL: Shipping a Soprano or Alto  to Europe via USPS about 130.00-190.00, Shipping bigger horns (that won't work for usps guidelines) via UPS/Fedex/DHL, about $372.57 alto,  $456.89 tenor, 525.00 Bari(up to $1,200+).

BOXES: I do order and purchase many shipping supplies from boxes, peanuts, and bubblewrap. Current stock sizing is:

  • Alto:  31 x 15 x 11
  • Tenor: 37 x 19 x 13 (double walled)
  • Baritone: (custom)

How To Order

Rebuild Selections:


WWS_Pad_Options11-2013Our Standard Rebuilds always feature an above-standard pad. We stock 3 high-end pads; NO cheap pads. All others can be ordered per request.
  • Prestini's NS (non-stick) series

    Details: medium density woven felt and the finest light brown nappa leather, offers a firmer feel, waterproof, in burnt orange with 0.7mm cardboard backing--stiffer than the TS line. These are nice medium-firm multi-purpose pads, great for players who want to play classical, swing, big band, legit or traditional jazz and they are waterproofed and non-stick treated. In the photo (to the left) you can see other comparable pads from Prestini. The NS rank very high. The KS (Kangaroo Series) are nice pads also and can be considered for any Special Order--COLOR DYED pads on a White Roos... ?! Sounds like fun!

  • The Saxgourmet Roos

    Details: They have been well received by the sax world. We stock these in 0.5mm sizes for the best possible fit for your rebuild. They have a firmer felt backing than our Prestini NS pad and therefore have a bit more noise during closing. This also adds a harder surface for sound projection--if you're splitting hairs in an argument. Kangaroo leather is regarded as stronger and longer lasting by comparison to other pad leather. They have fine grains and are a very smooth leather.  There's also a buzz about it's natural non-stick properties. Pricing Estimate: +/- $100.

  • Buescher Metal-Backed pads

    Details: These pads are the original style for any Buescher sax with snap in resonators. They are soft, supple pads that probably add to that characteristic warmth in a Buescher's sound. The thickness is very important to the design of how the keys lay over the tonehole. Using non-Buescher Pads on a Buescher requires one of several methods of installation that can be pursued for your rebuild. See: "Vintage Buescher Special" below.


If you are looking for... a horn for hard Bop, Rock, Rhythm and Blues and electric Blues music that is boosted to the max, then consider: hard pads and huge reso's ($0-250). Add a  PREMIUM REBUILD with teflon and specialty corks; then add Saxgourmet kangaroo skin pads ($85-130).


We also feature a Vintage Standard rebuild, which is essentially the same as the French Standard, but a change on Resos--vintage style flat metal reso's, with a rivet in the center. It's the same price as our "Standard".  Flat metal reso's came stock from the factory on Buffets, Kings, Martins and Conns at one time or another in the history of these companies.  it's actually Sarge's favorite/recommended choice for any American horn.

Your choice of reso's (prices on reso's vary; from Selmers or Pisoni's included at no extra charge,  ...for Resotech SILVER estimated +/- $250}.  We do our best to get you these at cost since they are quite a jump in price addition to the rebuild. We've even built a custom rebuild with Hollywood "stars" that needed to be Copper in color instead of the standard aluminum. All fun extras you get to choose!

  • Resotech Solid Sterling Silver: Another one of Sarge's personal favorites is the Reso-Tech solid silver flat or slightly domed reso.  These are an add-on to our rebuilds prices and range from $195.00-245.00. (they are back in business, but please ask for further info). Also available: Gold Plated. Tenor set: +250.00 at last pricing. Standard custom sizing: approx $230 for tenor.
  • Seamless Flats: We have just added this new resonator to our options.
  • Rivetless flat metal reso's: Sarge really liked these. They are very light and won't slow down your key action the way a heavy reso, like a brass Noyak, or some other types will.  They are now available as a 45.00 step-up. Chadd likes these...they look sexy, sleek are very light weight!

Why Pads & Resonators Matter

  1. 1.
  2. 2.
    PADs Sound File_-_SML-RevD-alto-14k-Pad_change_TanThick-to-BlackRoo-MPC-WoodwindCo075
  3. 3.
  4. 4.

Track 1: PADS: The 'pop' of pads due to the inner felt's firmness - our WWS Standard vs. a firmer Saxgourmet black roo pad.
Track 2: PADS: Swapping out Tan Thick Pads vs Saxgourmet Black Kangaroo Pads on an SML Rev D alto #14k. 
Track 3: REBUILD: Resonator differences in resonance on two 1972 Buffet Super Dynaction (SDA) Altos.
Track 4: Hearing four Martin saxes with different setups and different tones!

Other Rebuild Services:

  • Total spring replacement, with Kraus stainless steel springs,  the very best made.  With total rebuild, add 210.00.  If sax is assembled, it must be disassembled and reassembled, so then it's 362.00 (over 3 hours labor and springs).  Each spring  is cut to size, the end hand flattened to fit the existing hole and tensioned to your specs... and sometimes custom sharpened to fit different sax models.
  • Dent removal,  Neck resizing, Swedging, deburring, cre reaming, chemical lacquer removal, soft and hard silver soldering, custom resonators installed, etc. is all available at 70.00 per hour.
  • Fabricating and custom work, is all available at 102.00 per hour.
  • Chemical Stripping: Most jobs really depend on the condition of the sax and are small enough to follow the hourly rate above.  A non-epoxy lacquer will usually cost about: $185 for soprano, $215.00 for alto, $295.00 for tenor, $410 for Baritone. (The epoxy ones are tough and take about 4 applications--add extra time by the hour. Talk about work!)
  • Acid+ Treatment: This  is one way to sterilize the entire sax from "green growth" and/or the "Red Brass Rust" that will form on bare brass. This is most common with finishes in Lacquer or Nickel. I would say that 75% of vintage saxes don't need this step, 10% REALLY NEED this, and the rest are really a matter of preference. In the photo related to this, I would say the sax was in the 15% that was up to the owner's preference (but my preference was into the "10% Gross" group purely for cosmetic reasons).
    • Basic Acid Bath: $95.00 
    • Acid+ Treatment: $95.00 + 70.00 (this usually involves handling every key by hand along the 3 step process)
  • Luster Enhancement (during rebuild)(MOST COMMON ADDITION) - A WWS secret to boosting your shine. It is applied via HAND-polished method. No machines/tools without a discussion first. $80.00 Soprano, $120.00 alto, $140.00 tenor, $190.00 Baritone
  • Lacquer Preservation (during rebuild) - A WWS secret to preserving/protecting your lacquer! $80.00 Soprano, $120.00 alto, $140.00 tenor, $190.00 Baritone
  • Runyon Product Risers: Palm Key Risers or Side Key Risers. These are $14.00 a set--3 in the Palm Set, 4 in the Side Set I don't currently sell these as a single sale but will do my best to help customers add them to any saxophone purchase. ***DO NOT PUT ON SILVER SAXES! Rubber eats silver!

Vintage Buescher Special:

We keep your sax original while offering your personal desires!
    We are experts at rebuilding Buescher horns.  We offer a couple styles of  "Vintage Buescher Special"  rebuilds. Keep your vintage Buescher set up the way it was intended to be, also a 299.00 step up from a French Standard rebuild.  We know several custom options for  Buescher rebuilds...none involve losing your snap-in domes! We can snap metal backed pads in, just like the factory did.  We can also shellac the metal backed pads in, for greater reliability.... and finally, we can shellac any custom pad, like saxgourmet pads, into the pad cup and snap the dome back on afterwards. (i.e.; Saxgourmet Roo pads with original snaps {sometimes with or w/o metal backing}--shellac or glued in. This option is basically included for any custom pad Rebuild on a Buescher.)

***We do not take out Buescher snap-in systems!***

    Unless major damage has been done, we do our best to preserve the originality of the Buescher pad setup. We are open to personal consults  on this topic.

How To Order


That's all we can list for now. Feel free to contact us for more specific, or special ideas.