Sax Manufaktur Marx & Flavoreeds
The other day, I accidentally bumped onto my standing saxophone. *Crash! Due to that, I had quite a bent on the edge of the bell and the keys/tones were messed up. Thinking swiftly, I contacted the German Yamaha office where I could find a place to fix it and whether the warranty covers the damage. Firstly, although my sax is less than 2 years old, the warranty does not cover the damage due to the owner's fault. Secondly, the Yamaha office does not have a service center for brass instruments. They mentioned that I had to go a local sax repair shop within the area I live. I contacted my sax teacher who was still on his trip to the states for a jazz concert and asked if he could recommended me one. He replied and suggested Marx Saxophon Manufaktur, located in Leipzig.
I took a train and walked for 10 minutes to the workstation in Cöthner, Leipzig. When I arrived, I saw a little old German house where not only Marx is occupying but also other instrument masters, Takao Nakagawa (most likely to be Japanese) and his colleague. They practically share the workspace.
It was the first time for me to enter a brass instrument workstation. There were so many tools and machines. The scent was not only of wood, steel and grease but also like when you are standing among vintage items. Just like being in one of those medieval settings where the masters are forging blades for soldiers to fight against the enemies and protect their land.
I mentioned the problems that I had with my sax and Marx took a thin long lamp to examine the pieces thoroughly, just like conducting an autopsy. Shortly after, he explained to me what seemed to be the problem and asked me when do I need it back. ASAP because I will have two big band concerts with students of the conservatorium next month and I needed to practice. Luckily, it took only 2 days since the damage was not too severe. *phew. Experienced, that's what they are.
One thing I wasn't aware of is that here in Germany, you practically should insure everything, including music instruments. I could have saved 1/3 of the reparation cost by insuring the sax for a year! This made me realize that when people are specialized in what they do, for a niche market in this case rapairing sax'es, people will look for them and appreciate what they do. I see that this also counts for other professions, in my case a scientist in training working in the field of plant breeding and resistance.
One thing that I have not mentioned was that the workstation is located behind a music shop, called Musikhaus Syhre. Before headed home, I was drawn in by the music instruments hanging inside. Although they sold a lot of different instruments, I saw that they focused more on guitars. Furthermore, I looked at the brass instrument corner and found the Flavoreeds. At first I thought that these reeds were just colorful, but in fact, they really had flavors! How creative! Mixing taste and sound. I bought 3 different flavors cinnamon, piña colada and citrus.
At home I tested them. the flavors were really strong. I bet overtime the taste will wear off. Now about the playability of these reeds. I used one of the cinnamon flavored reeds and... I was not to comfortable with it. I don't know whether it's because of the width of the reeds that is slightly narrower compared to the Vandoren and it was more harder (No. 3) but I should have give it another go and check out the other flavors. Overall, these reeds are fun and innovative, especially for kids and for adults who likes to chew on candies, but I personally will not use it for serious practice.