top of page

About fabkate

Hi! I am Kate Reynolds and I have been repairing instruments professionally since qualifying with a City & Guilds qualification in 1986.


In addition to working for myself, I was a repairer for TW Howarth's when they had a shop in Brighton. After that branch closed, I co-founded a shop in Hove, not very creatively called 'Ackerman and Reynolds' (now Ackerman Music) in 1994. It was really quickly very successful but after six years I moved on and in 2000 started a new business, Fab Music, also in Hove.


I wanted to run an old fashioned shop where there was time to know my customers, explain in detail about instruments, and just have a chat and build relationships. I tried to offer excellent service and had a very loyal family of customers who stuck with me for nearly 15 years. The fact that many were very upset and some even cried when I said I was shutting the shop is testament to the success of Fab!

In 2013, after 19 years of combining of running a shop alongside my repair service, I decided to close the shop and concentrate solely on repairing, where my expertise, experience and enthusiasm truly lie. This also allowed me to have a lot more freedom over my working hours.

My shop is now my workshop at the same address in Hove where I now have the luxury of deciding when to work and for how long. I have been told by more than one customer that when you find a good repairer that you can rely on, you don't let them go - like plumbers, car mechanics and electricians! I have customers that have been with me for over 30 years now and I very much enjoy that continuity. I am happy that I provide a good service that can be relied upon long term. I sold some of my customers their very first instrument and have looked after all their subsequent upgrades over the years. I have customers from primary school children to ninety-plus year olds. I work on beginners instruments and professional instruments, ancient family heirlooms to shiny new beauties.

For the last few years I have enjoyed being one of the visiting teachers for woodwind repair at Trevor Head's Instrument repair school in Wales. It's a beautiful location and i like to be passing on what I've learnt over the years and being challenged by my enthusiastic students. I was surprised to find out that I was in fact, a pretty strict teacher with high standards! Luckily my students seem to appreciate the results this brings, eventually, and I am very happy to have been at least partly responsible for there being a few more repairers in the world.

When I am not repairing I like to spend my time making sculptures and slightly odd pots out of clay, drawing and painting, saying hello to the sea, which i am lucky enough to live a few minutes away from and playing the cello, not very well! I also love to go adventuring in my old but loved camper van, especially to the Highlands of Scotland.

A musical instrument repairer of wind instruments fixing a saxophone. Kate Reynolds - fabkate in her Hove workshop

A very old photo (look at that hair) that can stay on here for now to give you a laugh! I think the workshop back then looks quite cool and Dickensian, probably perpetuating the idea that all repairers work in cellars in the dark amongst the cobwebs. 

photo Jenny Berg

bottom of page