Trust is paramount when getting work done, and getting work done is paramount no matter how nice your instrument is. From the first time I sat down with Steve, he had my trust–Steve will keep everything aligned and ready for anything, but more importantly, he will take the time to educate you on how to take better care of your instrument until the next time you see him. I can confidently say that there are few issues I can’t fix in a pinch, on the road or in the studio, and Steve is solely responsible for my knowledge in those situations. I go to no-one else.
I have been meaning to send you an email thanking you for the wonderful repair of my flute but, well life happens! It plays like new. I can’t get over the difference in the feel, the play of the keys, and it sounds amazing. And thanks for fixing my broken case!
From a very satisfied customer who has recommended you to several band members – Dru Gaffney
Now that it has been over a month since you finished the overhaul on my Loree oboe, I wanted to tell you how much I am enjoying playing it. The low register has never spoken better and the action is very precise. The horn also looks great.
Thanks. Ed Fick
The [Selmer Mark XI] Alto is exquisite. I’ve been playing it constantly except for the interruption of a gig last night since I returned home Friday. Steve….the instrument feels incredible and allows me to play anything I can think of without effort……except on my part of course…….HAHAHA. The craftsmanship and attention to detail such as your use of felts, tightening the neck, etc. is really something else. The pride that you put into your work screams out of the bell with every effortless phrase I’ve blown the last few days. I can’t begin to tell you how much I’m enjoying discovering my 44 year old saxophone all over again. Thanks so much Steve. I’ll be in touch early in the New Year to have you lay hands on my Tenor. It’s actually playing really well but I still want you to give it the same treatment. Clean all years of gunk on and in it, replaced whatever pads that may be nearing the end of their useful life, etc. Like I said…I’m on a little bit of a mission here.
Michael Mee, musician and music educator, Levittown, PA
I’ve been taking my instruments to Steve for over 15 years. He is the ONLY person who works on my clarinets, flutes and saxes. Not only is Steve a great guy, but he is truly a master craftsman who understands the art of restoration and the nuances of each instrument. To Steve, servicing instruments is not a job but a passion. Whether it’s a minor tweak, repair, COA or a full restore, his meticulous attention to detail is amazing, his work, impeccable, and pricing, extremely reasonable. After he fully restored my mid-1950’s Selmer Centered Tone clarinet, not only did it look new, it played better than ever. Every time I get an instrument back from Steve I’m excited to play it! I send all of my students to him and everyone has raved about him and his work. Thank you, Steve, for setting the bar high!
Russ Scotti, woodwinds, studio musician and educator, Richboro, PA
I broke the sax out when I got home and it plays wonderfully, even for someone who hasn’t played in ten years 🙂 The low notes actually work and the keys glide effortlessly. Thank you very much for taking the time and patience with it, I truly appreciate it!
I LOVE how my bassoon feels in my hands! My fingers can be more relaxed while I play. Slurring is soooo EASY now!! The notes just speak so freely. It felt so good to play the last three shows on my own instrument, instead of the borrowed one. And it’s so shiny! It looks brand new. Every bit of tarnish on the keys is gone. Now, I have a reed problem. Apparently I had adjusted reeds to compensate for the way the bassoon played before it was overhauled…. so when I get that worked out, I’ll let you know again how it’s going. Most sincere thanks, and you are still my new best friend!
This morning I played the clarinet you worked on for about an hour and a half and this evening will use it in violin-clarinet duos with my daughter. I’m very pleased with the way it responds and sounds. The problem with the unforgiving little finger notes at the bottom of the second register, of which I have been acutely aware for about 20 years and pointed out several times to technicians, has been completely eliminated. Thanks once again for your outstanding work!
My horn feels great. Thanks!
“Over the past 10 years, I’ve had Steve look at all of my instruments: alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, clarinet, flute, and oboe. I’ve had everything done from simple repairs to a complete overhaul. I’ve also lived in a few different areas, and come in contact with the work of other repair technicians. Steve’s work is, by far, the best I’ve seen. On top of that, his prices are always lower than I expect and he is very personable. I will always bring my horns to Steve and I would highly recommend that others do as well.”
Chris Kosar, Holland America Line Musician, Freelance Musician, MM Jazz Bowling Green State University, BM Jazz Indiana University.
“About a year ago I was fortunate to find Steve Malarskey of Malarskey Woodwinds to take care of my horns. Steve is an extraordinary craftsman. From the first time I took my Selmer Mark VI to him for repair there was immediately a positive vibe and connection as I observed him handling my horn. Steve is extremely knowledgeable and interesting to talk to. I am grateful that I found a reputable repairman for my horns. All musicians can appreciate how valuable it is to make that connection. I highly recommend Steve Malarskey if you need a fantastic and reliable craftsman. His impeccable attention to detail is obvious in all his work.”
Von Stupart saxophonist from the Lehigh Valley area.
“On the 6th of January I visited your shop for the first time to have my tenor sax inspected for needed repairs, leaks in particular. I was very impressed with your shop, your expertise, your prompt service and your courtesy. Thank you for a wonderful experience. The horn has never sounded better. Meeting Gilly was also a treat.”
Ed Marakovits, Nazareth, Pa.
“I was first referred to Steve by Powell Flutes when I needed an emergency repair for flute recital the next day. That was ten years ago and I continue to bring my instruments to him for repair or a clean, oil and adjust. Steve means it when he says his job is done right the first time. His work is exemplary! My yearly pilgrimage is often rounded out with a visit to Ottsville for lunch at “The Oaks” and inexpensive antiquing next door at the Buxmont Consignment Shoppe.”
Lois Bliss Herbine, flute faculty at Germantown Academy and Powell flute and piccolo artist
“Steve has always done terrific work for my students and for myself. He has always been prompt, reasonably priced and professional. I love the work he did for me on my antique flutes! He did such wonderful work on an old, one-keyed flute; including fixing cracks, customizing rings and adding mother-of-pearl inlay on a customized end cork. The 1800s instrument is now not only playable, but beautiful, too!”
Catherine Deboeser, Allentown, Pa., a flute teacher and member of the Allentown Symphony Orchestra
“Dear Steve, I want to thank you for the exceptional work you did on my oboe and case. I didn’t recognize the case as my own when I opened the box. I am pleased just as much with the oboe. Thank you for an outstanding job and timeliness. I will highly recommend you to other students.”
Sandy Bajorek, North Granby, Conn., oboist
“I recently made my first visit to Malarskey Woodwinds. With me I brought a set of brand-new clarinets, both of which leaked, due to porous tone holes and pads. The legendary repairman Hans Moennig always used to make me aware of the importance of airtight joints—a procedure at which he was a master. After Steve finished working on my clarinets, they were fully as “tight” as any done by Moennig himself. It is nice to be in good hands!”
Arne Running, Hatboro, Pa., principal clarinet, Riverside Symphonia and Network for New Music
“A few years ago, Steve and I were part of a panel discussion on oboe repair held at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Someone in the audience asked Steve a question, and he said it all in one sentence…. ‘I was born to fix oboes!’ Born to fix oboes he certainly was. His dedication to quality, meticulous attention to detail, complete honesty, integrity, and love for his work shine through in everything he does. Bravo, Steve!”
Nora Post, Nora Post, Inc., Kingston, NY
“Steve is the best! His standards are incredibly high and his work is always excellent. (I know whereof I speak — my father was a tool and die maker!) He listens to what I need and always accommodates me — even in an emergency. His padding is impeccable — both felt and cork. He is totally honest and scrupulous, and I feel completely comfortable sending all of my young woman students to him as well. My flutes and piccolos have never been in better shape. (On top of all this, I pass Bolton’s Turkey Farm on the way to Steve’s and stock up on lean turkey sausage and cutlets and stuff.)”
Adeline Tomasone, Principal Flute, Opera Company of Philadelphia; Faculty, Temple University and Rowan University
“I’m really happy with the work you did on my Fox bassoon. I spent a lot of time with the instrument yesterday, which confirmed my impressions in your shop that it really plays much better than it did before. And it looks terrific!”
David Ross, Second Bassoon and Contrabassoon, Syracuse Symphony Orchestra
(This comment was in reference to a complete mechanical overhaul and repad.)
“I’ve just purchased a Powell headjoint from Steve over the Internet. He’s handled everything very professionally and made me feel comfortable with the whole transaction. I shipped my flute for sizing purposes, and received the new headjoint and my flute back in less than a week and in excellent condition. Many thanks, Steve. I still love my new headjoint!!”
Gayle Fischer, Amateur Flutist, Dexter (MI) CommunityBand
“Thank you so much for the wonderful (if overdue) overhaul you did on my Powell flute. It had been overhauled only twice in forty years before, both times by David Straubinger who also made the headjoint which I use with my instrument. As you know, I was thrilled with its responsiveness right in the shop, although I had not been playing it much before the two-week hiatus for repair. A week later I am equally if not more thrilled- I think it plays better even than the two times I had gotten it back from Mr. Straubinger with the earlier generation Straubinger pads. In one sentence, the work you did makes my instrument look like new and play better than I recall it ever doing. That makes practicing and performing the major pleasures which they should be.”
Dr. Bill Riesser (Nov. 18, 2013)
“Thank you for your recent emergency repair on my vintage Selmer Mark VI alto saxophone. I really appreciate your extra effort on a Friday night to spend the time to find and fix a perplexing problem. However, your service is no surprise as you have expertly rebuilt another Selmer alto saxophone and my clarinet in the past. Your craftsmanship and care with your client’s instruments is rare in today’s world of large music stores and quick fixes. Malarskey Woodwinds is a great find in the woods of Tinicum Township. As a businessman I appreciate someone who offers more than the customer expects.”
William R. Schutt, Chairman, Matcor
“Steve- thank you SO very much for fixing my flute and piccolo for me. They are like brand new! I am so appreciative of the extra time you took to clean both instruments and both cases. That was extremely kind of you. I will be sure to come to you again if I have any other future issues.”
“What on earth did you do to my oboe? Put a magic spell on it? It has never played more easily, ever. All I have to do is look at my reed and the low C, B, and B flat come out loud and clear. Even the middle F is easier. What a great job! Many thanks.”
Note: If you are a new client or a long time regular client, please feel free to send your comments in the form of an e-mail.