Jeff Neuhof is a thoughtful technician in a sweet spot! He is doing mostly intermediate and pro work and does not have to service a rental fleet. Not to say that working on rentals is beneath him! He just happens to be lucky enough to be able to send his rentals to another shop! Yet doing work that requires higher tolerances allows technicians time and head space to delve into the performance of the tools and supplies they use every day. Jeff has been an excellent source for candid feedback and assessment of our products. We are happy to ask him a few questions about his shop!
Where do you work and how long have you worked there?
I’ve been repairing for over 30 years. My shop is at Music Forte, a small full-service music store located just outside Philadelphia. Woodwind repairs are a big part of what we do, along with the other services you might expect, like lessons, rentals, and retail. We have been here since 1985.
What do you specialize in?
From the beginning, I’ve gravitated towards winds, and luckily get to specialize in Woodwind and Brass repairs. Some of the pro work I do is for prominent musicians in and around Philly, as well as those who tour with acts such as John Legend, Johnny Mathis, and Natalie Cole. Along with repairing instruments, I am also a saxophone and flute player with a regular performance schedule and a teaching studio at the store.
What do you want the world to know about your work?
I’m known for always doing the best work I can do for my customers, no matter what. I believe this starts with developing and maintaining a good relationship with my clients. By knowing them, this helps me cater to each person’s needs and wants, and in the end, provide an excellent service. This is particularly important when working with pro players.
Which MusicMedic pads do you use and why?
I stock the standard tan sax pads because they work well on Yamaha and many other brands very well.
I’ve also used the White RooPads and Saxgourmet pads in sets for overhauls which customers have really liked and I’m getting more and more requests for them. Also, I stock the medium pressed felt clarinet pads, I find them easy to work with and overall good in quality. For flute and piccolo, I’ve been socking 2.9 woven felt and 2.5 pressed felt for intermediate and pro work.
If you could give one repair tip, what would it be?
For the player: find a repair person you feel comfortable with, both in quality of work and in the fairness of the price. Ok, I’ll give two tips: use a hard or semi-hard-shell case. Soft gig bags might look cool, but they don’t cut it. Even if you don’t bump a soft case, it’s the horn that is holding the structural shape of the case, putting stress on the instrument when you carry it instead of the case providing protection for the instrument!