Exclusive distributions in Switzerland
Servette-Music has always sought to allow its customers to benefit from the best quality-price ratio. As official agent of various brands in Switzerland, our staff is available to help you discover and test the full range of our instruments.
Clarinets are a great specialty of our store! Different brands and models we offer meet the needs of the young novice to the seasoned professional.
We have a choice of instruments suited to the needs of buyers and selected with great care. We offer numerous accessories of the brands we sell (see corresponding page) and certain home-made products and items such as barrels and bells. Our workshop also offers a full program of acoustic enhancement and / or of the instruments ergonomics (see page “creative workshop”).
Since the 70’s the workshop team has continued to improve their knowledge of clarinets under the guidance of René Hagmann, both in the selection of the models offered and in their maintenance and repair. Extensive research has resulted in applications designed to improve the acoustics and ergonomics of clarinets.
Our shop also offers a large selection of accessories for clarinets.
A full selection of saxophones and accessories await you, carefully chosen with an excellent quality-price ratio. The quality of a saxophone is defined by the following characteristics: comfort, intonation, projection, robustness, mechanical reliability, sound and ergonomics. We offer a selection of well recognized brands but are also always looking for new lines and interesting models which meet our quality criteria (also see accessories page). With our expertise, you can test and choose instruments from our selection which have been rigorously examined, set-up and fine-tuned. Do not hesitate to ask for customized settings for your comfort.
We also have a large selection of accessories for saxophones. An exhaustive selection of necks is available from stock.
Flutes, recorders, folk flutes and piccolos
Since ancient times, flutes and recorders played a major role in classically orchestrated music as well as in folk traditions. The recorder was played within ensembles during the Renaissance and more specifically as a solo instrument in concertos from the eighteenth century onwards.
It took a century for the transversal flute (re-invented by Theobald Boehm) to seduce Claude Taffanel and to gain widespread acceptance and become one of the most popular instruments with a rich repertoire spanning three centuries.
Whether you are searching for a basic tin whistle (Irish flute) or a professional one, different models of historical recorders or models to initiate children to musical studies, flutes, piccolos and fifes of all levels, we will provide you with the instrument you are in search of.
Oboes, oboes d’amore and English horns
Similarly to the flute, the oboe has fascinated composers by its almost human soprano voice and outstanding articulation allowing an astonishing velocity. Composed, among others, by JS Bach, its virtuoso repertoire was played with only one key in the eighteenth century. Maurice Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin was however performed on an instrument with an extended and intricate key work elaborated by Triebert (the inventor of the modern oboe), which made life easier for musicians! The complexity of the modern oboe (and related instruments such as the oboe d’amore and the English horn) imperatively requires the assistance of highly qualified personnel for their preparation before a delivery and their subsequent maintenance. It is also essential to provide a numerous choice of instruments, because buying an oboe is a considerable investment. Our strength is providing expert advice and service in every area relating to these instruments.
Bassoon and contra bassoons
The brands we represent respond to the needs and expectations of the young beginner to professionals. Our selection consists of bassoons brands and models that have proven their value on the market. We recommend their musical qualities (intonation, tone), technical aspects (reliability, robustness and aesthetics) and the excellent price-quality ratio. A choice of different models is available from our stock and a comparative test at Servette-Music will allow you to make your definitive choice.
Student models are offered either for rent with an option of subsequent purchase or a contract of recovery (outlined above). Ask about our different conditions.
Our specialized workshop not only provides full maintenance of all the afore-mentioned brands but also covers repairs on the other products found on the international market.
Trumpets, cornets and flugelhorns
The tradition of brass instruments has been deeply embedded in Servette-Music since its inception. The domain of trumpets was Otto Hagmann’s passion who, in addition to instruments of his own creation, directly imported American prestige brands from the sixties onwards. At this time, these imports were seldom seen and quite unknown in Switzerland. This passion has endured and has led to addition of customized handmade instruments and creations based on the “Vibrabell” (detachable floating bell derivate from the trombone)which are available to our clients. The store is proud to offer a fine selection of trumpets, cornets and flugelhorns.
Our experience in the creation of the “Free Flow” rotary valve has taught us many things about the acoustics of the trombone. Contact with exceptional musicians significantly contributed to this development and today allows us to guide you in your choice of the right model for your personal use.
Among the professional instruments which constitute our permanent stock, you will naturally find many Bach 42’s and 50’s with our exclusive valve, in various bores, equipped with the custom “Vibrabell” concept. This exclusive removable floating system not only improves the acoustic substantially but lets you choose a bell among those of our choice. This modularity of course also applies to the slide. For details, see the “Free Flow” section of our site www.trombone.ch. You also will find a wide range of instruments of other equally prestigious brands in Servette-Music as well as a selection for amateurs and young trombonists (ascending Bb/C system with six-position slide).
Whether your horn is single, double or triple, our workshop will provide its complex maintenance and its repairs with the rigor that has forged our reputation.
Given that business strategy of the leading professional brands involves direct sales, our range is focused on study instruments (for children and adults) or the “Conservatory” models, allowing access to certificate level which meets the requirements of marching and brass bands. We employ all our skills to offer you the best rates.
Altos, baritones and euphoniums
Servette-Music has always been a reliable and high quality partner for customers of marching and brass bands both in terms of advice and the selection of instruments we have in stock. The Besson brand has a privileged status because its typical sound is characteristic of the most famous English brass bands. Less prestigious brands such as Yamaha and Roy Benson are also available from our stock for more modest budgets. We will be happy to offer our assistance and expertise for your purchase in accordance with your allotted budget.
Tubas and sousaphones
The considerable investment involved in purchasing a tuba means that it is not a decision to be taken lightly. Should an instrument have rotary or pistons valves? Three, four or five pistons or rotors? Or with the compensation system for the four semi-tones of the lower register? What size? What key? These are questions that we will answer to guide you in your choice. Whether it’s a Kaisertuba to perform Wagner scores or a polyvalent 6/4 instrument in F for playing with an orchestra or a quintet, a brass band Bb or Eb tuba or a sousaphone for a marching band, we’ll find something to your taste.
Classical guitars have been a specialty of our shop for many years as well as one of our passions. From models for beginners, children or adults, to professional concert instruments, all models have been carefully selected to give you an added value at each level of quality. Major brands names are naturally present in our range of instruments but in addition we carry lesser-known brands.
We believe that the brand Paulus Neff offers the best value on the market. We have designed and improved this line for thirty years in partnership with high qualified artisans to reach that exceptional price / quality ratio.
If your guitar needs to be amplified, we will find a solution adapted to your needs. Whether choosing a transducer (Fishman, LR Baggs, Highlander, K & K, B-Band, Highlander, etc.) that our luthier will install on your own instrument, or a quality amplifier (Schertler, Benk-Cube, AER), we will listen and will give good advice. We are first and foremost musicians and as passionate as you.
Servette-Music was the first official distributor of Yamaha’s folk guitars in Switzerland. In 1969, the line only included five models, but its introduction caused a great stir. At that time American guitars were inaccessible to ordinary mortals with the dollar at CHF 4.50. It was the swan song of the low end of European guitars brands (Framus, Eko, Höfner), because for the same price, Yamaha offered a quality close to the American iconic brands.
A lot of water has, since then,passed under the bridge and the rate of the dollar has significantly declined (a Martin now ironically costs less than it did in 1969). Yamaha is always present in our range, but our stock has grown considerably towards the upscale end of the market. Lowden and Martin, which we have distributed since 1979, remain our favorites, but our stock of guitars has been considerably diversified in the last forty years (Gibson, Northwood, etc.). Although many instruments are now equipped with an original high quality transducer, musicians willing to upgrade their guitar or simply to supply a former model with one will appreciate this service offered by our workshop (see classical guitars).
By building a mandolin inspired by a violin, Orville Gibson had no idea just how influential his concept would become.
He was convinced that a non-stressed wood would vibrate more freely than a substance which was manipulated, pressed and bent. It is from this insight and theoretical perspective that he carved guitar tops and backs out of solid wood blocks, arched for each of his designs. He gave them an arched shape, when all his competitors used sawn and glued wood. Orville Gibson at first applied this principle to making mandolins, and then in 1894 to the design of the first arched-top guitar. He died in 1918 and never saw the actual production of the first F holed guitar modeled inspired by his original idea by Lloyd Loar, in charge of R&D within the company Orville had sold sixteen years earlier to a group of businessmen from Kalamazoo. With this Gibson “L-5” launched in 1922, the jazz guitar was born.
Fully acoustic in the beginning, the jazz guitar became electric in 1937, and was thus projected on the front of the stage thanks to the talents of guitarist Charlie Christian (and his Gibson ES-150). The jazz guitar has seen many variations (floating pick-ups, then embedded in the – solid, then laminated- soundboard, to become a “semi-hollow” version with a solid central block) in order to play more loudly and over time without feedback.
All these incarnations are available at the store, because ironically, even the older designs are still sought after and appreciated in the timeless world of jazz.
To control the undesirable effect of feedback mentioned above the body of the electric guitar, hitherto formed by a hollow chamber of resonance, was changed to a solid body in the late1940’s.
The fifties, or more precisely the period ranging from 1948 to 1961, was the most creative in this regard.
Many iconic models were conceived and built during that decade, whose features have been conserved till today (Telecaster, Les Paul, Stratocaster, Flying V, Explorer, SG, to mention but the masterpieces). This was the time at which the legendary models were established .later evolution was characterized more by attention to specific details than overall design (Floyd Rose vibrato derived products, locking tuners, active pickups etc.)
Servette-Music supports the desire of large manufacturers (Gibson, Fender) who are reconnecting with the tradition of that golden era.
In this spirit, we have large stock of “Custom Shops” and “Collector’s Choices,” or “VOS” (Vintage Original Specifications) which attract many enthusiasts, amateurs and professionals.
We also keep up with new trends and offer a wide selection of more modern models such as Paul Reed Smith or Ibanez.
In order to let beginners enjoy our quality selection we also stock Yamaha, Squier, Epiphone and Mexican Fenders for more modest budgets.
Like solid body electric guitars, electric bass guitars replaced the double bass in the fifties enabling louder playing in rock bands.
During this decade, Leo Fender created the “Precision” and “Jazz Bass” models which became legendary and are still widely used and appreciated today.
Other iconic models followed such as evergreens from Höfner and Rickenbacker which, although less popular, have had first class ambassadors (such as Paul McCartney or Steve Howe from Yes).
From a merely accompanying role, the bass became an instrument showcasing virtuoso performances in its own right. This contributed to its drastic evolution from the mid-seventies.
The Canadian brand “F” (for Furlanetto) which we exclusively represent is emblematic of this more recent trend. Whether it be four, five or six stringed instruments from this creative designer they will dazzle you as they did Alain Carron along with many other top names bass players.
Without being connected to an amplifier, which gives it a powerful, warm and expressive voice, an electric guitar is mute.
Amplification forms the final link of the chain (after cables and pedals) and is thus essential for a high quality sound.
By being exclusive representatives of Bogner (USA) and 65 Amps (USA) amplification in Switzerland/Geneva, we offer high fidelity applied to the electric guitar.
This tube range of “boutique” amplification will enhance the voice of your instrument without betraying its personality. This option is admittedly costly but judicious when you already have invested in a quality guitar, because without it, your instrument will not perform at its highest level.
Discerning guitarists desirous of spending less will find a tube combo from Rivera (USA) with an exceptional price/performance ratio. Having been a designer at Fender for numerous years and having created the Concert model, Paul Rivera then designed his own line with the twangy Fender clean sound in mind and a second channel for creamy distortion as a bonus.
These exclusive brands are all manufactured in sunny California and are thus of vintage quality.
The beginner will discover our Roland models which are all very affordable. They contain everything from reverb, delay, chorus, flanger, phaser, tremolo, octave-doubler, tuner on a clean as well as an overdrive channel.
Markbass offers a line of professional combo bass amplifiers at attractive prices and of compact size, yet surprisingly powerful.
We believe that any acoustic guitarist will find satisfaction in our selection of Schertler, Benk-Cube Fishman and AER dedicated combos.
Whatever your budget and instrumental level may be, we will gladly share our expertise to ensure that your choice results in musical pleasure.
Effects and pedal boards
From an affordable stomp-box to a hand soldered ’boutique” model, our selection will satisfy any guitarist; beginner or professional. We can guide you from the choice of one sole pedal to the most sophisticated combinations in your search of perfection. We will place all our experience at your disposal to design and build the most sophisticated individually-tailored pedal boards according to your specific desires. The quality of the final sound does not only depend on the choice of high quality pedals but also relies on the optimal transmission of the signal, which implies adequate cables/wiring (series, parallel mixer), power supply and switching elements (M.I.D.I., relay, or simple switch, stabilized custom power supply). The quality of a chain always depends on its weakest link. The source (guitar or electric bass) are but one of the links in the chain and requires a succession of peripheral elements of equal high standard in order to maintain its quality and playing pleasure. Our expertise has already convinced several local professionals such as John Woolloff, Philippe Dragonetti, Christian Graf and a growing number of passionate amateurs. Why not you? We are motivated by our passion for excellence.