“Overkill is under-rated”
This has been our shop motto at RDG woodwinds, where for over 30 years I have worked repairing fine oboes and clarinets. This is a bit of a joke, of course. In order to do really fine work though, you must take it at least a little seriously.
My goal is to make an instrument function effortlessly and play smoothly and responsively. The adjustments should be quiet and secure. To achieve this it is not enough to simply replace pads and adjust the instrument well.
It is absolutely necessary to lay a solid mechanical foundation first. This means ensuring that the wood is sound and airtight, and the toneholes crisp and flat. The posts must be solid and properly aligned, and the keys must be tight yet move freely.
This type of detailed work takes time, but on a fine instrument it is time worth taking. The result is a reliable instrument that lives up to its potential.
Please check out the “Don’t Panic” page. It contains do-it-yourself solutions to many common problems. There is also a comprehensive video guide to adjusting your oboe.
Thanks to Michael Hirabayashi for his wonderful photography