Flip is for real!

Discussion in 'Horns' started by tom turner, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. tom turner

    tom turner Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Georgia, USA

    For those who don't know about Flip, let me tell you what I discovered.

    Nearly three years ago I had the opportunity to play a Wild Thing at a friend's house. The "Thing" was so impressive, I HAD to have it. Luckily it was almost yearly bonus time at work so I was able to get the money.

    THE HORN WAS A USED, 3-MONTH OLD HORN that was for sale . . . and I didn't buy it from Flip!

    Well, someone had switched alignment felts to some wierd stuff, and the variances were greater that .20 between them! Although it played great I wondered just how better it might play and contacted Flip.

    He told me that although I didn't purchase from him, he didn't care about that . . . for he wanted every Wild Thing with his name on it to be right! He said, "Tom, if you'll ship it to me I'll redo the valves and make it perfect at no charge . . . just pay the shipping.

    THIS BLEW ME AWAY! In an age when horns get thrown together on assembly lines and sent out waaaaay out of spec. . . . and in a day when some manufacturers and dealers don't want to help you after you purchase their horn . . . here was a man of sterling ideals and dedication!

    Yes, HE BLEW ME AWAY! He hadn't made a penny on me . . . and STILL wasn't going to, but had the passion to make Tom Turner's used WT right!

    I didn't get a case with my "new/used" gold Wild Thing either so it went to California in a really great triple gig bag. I packed it perfectly and so did Flip on the return. UNFORTUNATELY . . . UPS impacted the side of the box soooo with a hard pointed object the the horn had a real nasty dent in the back of the bell bow facing the player!!!

    UPS has insurance but one simply does not "remove" a bell bow dent without rippling the bow, plus the burnishing of the finish to get the dent out removes the gold and can also scratch the silver! My expensive baby was never gonna be perfect again . . . or so I thought . . .

    "Tom, ship it back to me again and I'll take it (over 100 miles) back to the Kanstul factory . . . put the bell on the mandrel used to make my bells if necessary, and make that bell perfect." He then had the bell replated at Kanstul just like when made . . . and I defy anyone to ever tell the horn had ever had a dent or ANY repair whatsoever!!!!!

    Again, Flip had not made a penny on me . . . I had simply been lots of "trouble" to this man.

    So . . . instead of just being totally blown away by the product, I became totally blown away with the man too!

    We began to talk via e-mails and phone calls and became friends. I tell him I'm his biggest fan. I've learned from him some of what he does to the horns to make 'em so fantastic . . . and I can't share it all in an open forum!

    Ann Landers was quoted as saying, "The true measure of a man is in how he treats those who he feels can do him NO good."

    In an industry full of horror stories about some manufacturers and retailers, Flip is a person I've NEVER heard a bad word about in his treatment of customers OR potential customers.

    Heck, he told me back in 2001 that he would prefer NOT to sell a horn if someone wasn't totally satisfied with it . . . and that he couldn't sleep at night if this happened.

    He's not about getting rich, nor will he get rich doing it like he prefers . . . selling just a few horns a month. No, he's about a man of integrity who makes very limited numbers of zero compromise trumpets!

    No . . . Flip is for real. He is quite aware, in his mid-50's, that his horns will be his lasting legacy . . . and that there will never be a ton of them before he hangs it up. He doesn't care to sell LOTS of horns . . . just a few that are good enough to put his name on the bell. They will always be highly cherished, high re-sale value heirlooms to future generations!

    He's absolutely one of finest men I've ever met . . . and I remain his biggest fan!

    AND THAT . . . my friends . . . is the Flip Oakes I've come to love like a brother.

    That name "Flip Oakes" on that bell . . . well, the name says it all.


    Tom Turner
  2. Jazzman

    Jazzman Pianissimo User

    Dec 16, 2003
    I know that you are right. I look at the "Player's page" on Flips site and it keeps growing. I mean there are some pretty stunning players on that page. That only happens for a reason I guess.......
    I have a question for you Tom. Has anyone ever sent their WT back to Flip to have it replated in a brushed gold finish? I have been considering this, but don't want to mess with what is golden. Tom or Flip, if you are reading this, has this ever been done? Let me know when you have a chance......
    many thanks......
  3. tom turner

    tom turner Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Georgia, USA

    I'm not sure it has been done yet. I talked to Flip one time about possibly doing some of the new custom finishes. At the time he wasn't considering it due to the cost of getting a lot more variations done at the same time. In time it might happen.

    I'm sure Kanstul would be glad to refinish the horn as you wished, and if you sent it to Flip he'd have to simply send it to them anyway. Still, talk to Flip about it and see.

    Like you, I love some of the neat, new "designer" finishes that are currently hot. They make a very individualistic statement!



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