"There's more involved with a restoration than just slapping on a new paint job and re-corking."
— Roger Ingram
In a typical restoration, Roger completely disassembles the mute, checks for cracks in the wood and other materials, and repairs them if necessary. He cleans and polishes the brass or aluminum ferrules. He then carefully re-glues all of the mute's components and secures all the contact points, thus eliminating any air leaks. Eliminating air leaks allows the mute to respond more efficiently. Often this reconstruction yields a much better product than that which originally came from the factory production line.
After the basic construction of the mute has been checked and secured, Roger then repaints the mute.
If the mute's paint is extremely worn or gone, this could also be an indication that the glue at the contact points has deteriorated and is weak.
Before applying paint, Roger matches the color(s) to the manufacturer's stock color(s) for the era in which the mute was made. He removes the original sticker, if there is one, then sands and preps the mute for the paint job. After he has painted the mute and the paint has dried, he reattaches the original sticker, then applies a very thin clear coat of polyurethane sealant as a protectant. After the sealant has dried, Roger recorks the mute.
After many years, corks on mutes frequently wear down, get broken, crack, or even get lost. On extremely old mutes, the corks become brittle and too hard to serve their intended purpose. Roger will hand-cut, finish, and attach new corks for any brass-instrument mute. He cuts the corks to the original size and style for a particular mute, and attaches them to the original locations.
For best performance, your newly restored mute requires the corks' height adjusted for your particular instrument's bell. Roger sends the mute back to the client with the corks unfiled and will include an instruction sheet on how to play-test and file corks properly. During play-testing, focus should be on pitch and response in all registers, with particular attention given to the low register. Once the low register locks-in (especially the low F# on a Bb trumpet), the middle and upper registers will slot nicely. The owner can adjust corks to their preference. As a stand-alone purchase, this service is available for all brass instrument mutes.
Certain cup mutes, most notably Ray Robinson Cup Mutes and Humes & Berg Mica Mutes, have a felt-like lining on the inside surface of the cup. This softening of the inside surface of the cup yields specific acoustic qualities; it is necessary to restore this surface in order to give the mute its original intended sound. Roger relines these cups, which restores them back to original or even better than original condition.
Most mute services will be completed and shipped back to you within 90 days.
Carefully pack your mutes, insure them for their replacement value, and ship them to:
106 Calendar Ct. #108
La Grange, IL 60525-2325
Acceptable payment methods are PayPal or credit card (use buttons above). Once you've decided to send a mute to The Mute Meister, you'll need to complete the following steps.
1) Pay for the service.
2) Pack, insure, and ship your mute to Roger Ingram at the above address.
3) Send an email to Roger@MuteMeister.com with your name, address, type of mute, and the tracking number, letting Roger know that the mute is on its way.
Roger will email you to let you know when he's received your mute package. This way, everyone can keep track of your mute and Roger can schedule his workload accordingly. When Roger's work on your mute has been completed, we will package and send your mute back to you via insured USPS Priority Mail. You will receive an email notification when your item ships.