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''Wiltshiring'' Testimonials PDF Print E-mail
Dear Alan,
I took my so marvellously overhauled and Wiltshired horn and enjoyed to play some tunes on it. The contrast of how it worked before and how it plays now after the complete overhaul and Wiltshiring is like night and day. A wee "bobb" and the horn reacts with a clear and precise tone, be it pianissimo or fortissimo. It's pure joy to play with it again. Thank you so much, Alan and Roy for your great expert work and also for not hesitating to contact even such capacities as professors of metallurgy and further outstanding people in their profession, to really fulfill the awkward repair work on my approx. 77 year old horn with the greatest excellency. Thank you a lot, indeed.
Markus Drescher,
Hi Alan,
Thank you very much for your advices, I really appreciate them.
After some days playing (my 103) I think the horn plays much better than before, the problem in the medium range has dissapeared, the articulation has been improved, the full range is easier than it used to be, and the F horn has opened up and it's much better than before.
Best wishes,
Fernando Mayo,


Hi Alan,

I picked up the horn and just finished playing it.  The valves are lightening fast (yahoo!!!). It does indeed play as well as new.

Jim Haley,



Thank you so much! My horn arrived back on the 30th April, and it's great to be back playing it again, after struggling through Konzertstuck on a cheap single horn! I performed the last movement of Mozart's 2nd concerto in an informal concert at school on Wednesday, which went well, so now all I need to do is practise a lot before my grade 8 on the 22nd June! Thanks to you and your colleague, I've got a chance!

Thanks again,
Tom Nelson,

Hi Alan…

Thank you for some truly amazing work with my Alex 200. Even after going a week off (any) horn, I unwrapped it and instantly felt like I had a warmer, more focused sound in every register. The mid-range however seemed to truly jump out and grab my attention; clear and centered on every note, never muddy regardless of tonguing or slurring. Definitely very exciting!

I’m writing to ask another question though... I absolutely love the string you fitted my thumb valve with. I now am a horn professor, and would love to know the size, strength and other such  details of the cord for my student’s horns.… wow!

The valves by the way are amazing… they were already great I thought, and now the “bounciness” makes me laugh (in a good way) every time I have fast passages.

All best…
William Wiegard
West Texas A&M University

Hi Alan,

Just\r\nto let you know, the Alex arrived today. And what do I think? Well it''s\r\nthe same horn in appearance and that''s where everything changes when I\r\nput it to my lips. It blows beautifully - lovely big, fat, rich sound.\r\nThe Alex sound of olden days only much, much better. Top register is\r\nsuper. I played it during lunch hour and didn''t want to put it down.\r\nMiddle reg is pure, smooth and round and pedal notes really strong and\r\npowerful, as I discovered after blasting out that low bit from\r\nShostakovich 5. Valves move like lightening so all in all you have done a superb job on my Alex. I''m really pleased with the work done so roll on next band and orchestra practice. Best of luck to you both in the future. You are very welcome to use this as a testimonial if you wish... PS.. Tone blob is a great addition in aiding tone projection and volume. What more could I want?

Regards for now,
Vince McArdle,
Co Louth,

Dear Alan,

It was certainly a pleasure to meet you when my wife and I came to England. I really enjoyed talking with you and getting to know you the short time I was there. Most of all I want to thank you for the wonderful job you did on my Alex 103 with your "Wiltshire" process. The notes that used to be weak on this horn that were a constant worry to me because they were so easy to miss now speak clearly and cleanly. How did you do that?! Another great improvement is that the F side of the horn speaks much more full and open than it did before and I no longer have to play almost exclusively on the Bb horn. The valves which were quite sluggish before now are fast and silent as you said they would be. I''ve played several concerts recently and my colleagues have noticed an improvement in my sound, accuracy, and confidence. It was certainly worth the investment to have you work on my horn. And thanks again for working your schedule so you could do it while I was there in England, thus saving me a bundle on shipping costs. By the way, my son is home now, and your work on his Yamaha 668VN has produced the same amazing results. Weak notes have vanished, the valves are wonderful, and the horn plays so much better than before. Thanks again for your hospitality and your wonderful work.

Phil Lancaster
Peoria, IL USA

Hello Alan

Just a little more feedback after your reconditioning of my Paxman 20M in August of this year. As I said before, it seems like an altogether better instrument. I have not really used the F side much, as for many years I used a Paxman Bb single with a fixed F extension, and latterly an Alex of the same configuration.

But I have noticed now that I am now using the F side on the reconditioned horn a lot - amazing! That must reflect the improvements after the reconditioning.

So, thanks again.

Kind regards,
Derek Hayes,

Hi Alan

Just recieved the Alex back. Excellent job, many thanks - the dents came out really well and it plays like new. I''m looking forward to getting to know it again.

Best wishes

John Cronin,


You are a magician. Wiltshiring has turned what was a good horn into an outstanding horn. ALL the notes have good solid centres, even way above top C, and the tone is still classic Alex 103. But it''s clearer and more sonorous than before. I''ve taken the time to play a few gigs with the instrument just to be sure it wasn''t just a honeymoon period, and I am just as impressed as I was when I got the horn back from you. As you can see, I''m still chuffed to bits with the work you did on my 103.

Cheers mate - I hope that I can buy you a beer some time!
Many thanks.

All the best,
Dave Smith

Hi Alan,

Sorry for not thanking you sooner. My Paxman lives again thanks to you. I send away some tatty percussion instrument and a gorgeous Model 20 returns, complete with brand new valves and it feels better than I can remember it ever feeling while I was trying to make a living at playing it. Ironic really that it''s taken a ''proper'' job to let me have the time and the cash to get
it ''Wiltshired''.

But thanks once again for re-vitalising my horn, it''s awesome. I hadn''t realised how little I''d wanted to play it but now you can''t get me off it; I''m in love again!

Pete Bennett,

Dear Alan,

I notice that the testimonials generally refer to players receiving their "new" horns. I would like to attest to the great job you do in servicing instruments. You ''Wiltshired'' my Alex Model 90 two years ago and what a difference you made. The instrument is now thirty years old but you have given me back the beautiful fast, silent valve action and consistency of a new instrument.

The temperamental high A that caused me so much trouble now rings out beautiful and true. I see my old friend Simon Locke mentions about hitting all the Bs & Cs in ''Superstar.'' Well, I have just finished playing this show in The Theatre Royal, Newcastle and thanks to you all my high notes were there as well.

If anyone has doubts about having their horn ''Wiltshired,'' I say go ahead, do it and enjoy the results.

Kind regards,
Dave Milner
Freelance horn player

Amazing Alan !!!

I''m not sure where to begin. The whole range of the horn has vastly improved in so many ways... The upper register is so much notchier it feels like the notes are in a different place, dynamic contrasts and articulation in the extreme registers are much more pronounced, and the sound... you put it best when you said that the middle register now ''melts ice.'' I could go on ad nauseum... Thanks again.

Kyle Walker, Texas USA

Dear Alan

Words fail me! I simply cannot believe the difference you have made to my horn; if I wasn’t certain it was the same instrument, I would have thought you’d sent me the wrong one back! You assured me that it would be “as good as new” on its return, but you’re wrong – it’s actually better! Before it was ''Wiltshired'' I was at the stage where I wasn’t enjoying playing as much as I used to because it was just so difficult to centre notes and produce a decent tone. The upper register in particular was incredibly tight and it had lost its juicy tone in the lower register as well. When I first unpacked it, without even warming up properly, I played a couple of arpeggios up to top C (something I could only do once in a blue moon before – the effort was too great!) and then down to the pedal notes with incredible ease. I found I just couldn’t put it down for several hours and just kept on playing and playing – it’s an amazing transformation and a real pleasure to play.

I really can’t thank you enough; you’ve given my horn (and me!) a new lease of life. Other than purchasing the horn in the first place, it is, unequivocally, the best money I have ever spent. I highly recommend your service – every horn player should try it; the results are staggering. Thank you.

Jacqui Blore
Wrexham, Wales, UK

I had heard lots of positive feedback about the Wiltshiring process from a number of prominent players. My dilemma was that my Alex 103 plays beautifully but the valves are circa 50 years old - slow, heavy, clanking, etc - yes you do know what I mean! I contacted to see if they could help. I received a prompt response and very shortly was discussing the options with Alan. Needless to say, this was a trip into the unknown as I didn''t (and still don''t) know the ''secret'' Wiltshiring processes and was concerned that the horn''s velvety sound would be ''undone.'' Without any pressure we agreed on having the work done. Horn finished. WOW - these valves are superb, just what I was looking for. Sounds brilliant - more free blowing - and has kept its wonderful tone. What a bargain! If you, like me, are worried about your horn then don''t be - this man is a horn guru. I have no regrets in having the horn ''Wiltshired'' and I will be doing my utmost to keep him very busy in the future by ''plenty'' of horn referrals.

Stephen Smart
Chignal Smealy,

I took a Paxman in to hornsAplenty to be sold. Alan and I happened to be playing duets together a couple of weeks later and I tried the horn again, after he’d ‘done’ it. I’d only been playing it again for around 20 seconds when I KNEW I could never sell it. It was absolutely fantastic! It played better than ever – MUCH better than ever. It is fundamentally different. As if the instrument has come alive. The sound was much fuller and more centred, the valves were utterly superb, the high register was more notchy, secure and better in tune and the overall response was much, much better. I withdrew it from sale on the spot. I’ve had all my horns ‘Wiltshired’ now and I am delighted with them. This process really works and it is fantastic. And excellent value for money.

Jonathan Barrett,
BBC National Orchestra of Wales

I''m really pleased with what Alan has done. He is a complete enthusiast. His commitment to getting the job done right is just superb. I wish the two of you good luck with the business. Your dedication to getting the job done right is second to none. I felt my two horns were in really good, expert hands, and that I could totally trust you, with the background and knowledge that you both have. Overall I am really, really pleased and will certainly be sending my horns to you again for their next service.

Cormac Ó hAodáin,
Philharmonia Orchestra

What can I say...? The Wiltshiring process made an amazing difference to my Alex 103. Previously the horn was sluggish to play, difficult to keep in tune and notes were cracking left, right and centre. Now it is a joy to play - the valves are excellent, the notes crisper, and generally it is much freer playing. Thanks hAp!

Robin Moffatt,
webmaster of