Jens Trumpet Rant (copy of)

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Tootsall, Dec 28, 2004.

  1. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

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    Nov 27, 2003
    Denver
    Toots, I'm surprised to see an engineer that's so anti-Chinese. Surely you realize that it's the design, supervision and manufacturing processes that have the most impact on the success of a trumpet design. Where it's made is totally mostly irrelevant. If the new Jupiter 1600-series XO Tribunes are indeed made in China, then you can see for yourself that they are truly excellent, competing with Bach in assembly quality and sound. (I don't want either a Bach or a Jupiter, but I have examined and played both). It won't be long before more great trumpets are coming out of China.

    We're part of a "world economy" and China will be a HUGE part of the 21st century, probably passing the USA and Euro-union in total economic output by 2020. Protectionist attitudes will cause us to be left behind.

    As you say, play a bunch of horns and buy what strikes your fancy. Whether it's Bach vs. Yamaha or USA vs. Japan or France vs. China, don't worry too much where it's made and focus on the sound, quality and response.

    Happy New Year,

    Dave
     
  2. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

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    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Dave, I'll readily acknowledge that China is an emerging "dragon" in the world economy. They are coming to Canada and asking to be allowed to buy into the oil sands here in Alberta... the world's 2nd largest storehouse of fossil fuels! (after Saudi Arabia). (And don't think for a moment that your own government isn't keenly interested and aware of the situation!)They want to build a multi-billion dollar pipeline to the coast of BC so that they can ship energy to their new manufacturing giants "at home". At the same time they are begging we in Canada purchase their goods.

    I went to Ikea the other day... they were selling kitchen cutlery. Nice enough stuff from a Scandanavian chain store. But what was stamped on the back of the handles? Yep... "made in China". I purchased some furniture from a store that handles a well-known US line... Ashley Furniture. I thought I was getting some real quality stuff. Printed on the bottom? "Made in China". (the furniture is nice enough and I think it'll stand up for a few years but....)

    Now the WTO has determined that international protections for the textile industry are to be removed. As a result, Walmart has announced that they will probably be reducing the sources for their textile goods from around 100 countries to only 4 or 5! The largest being... you guessed it.... China. You folks down that way are well on your way to kissing your own textile industry "good bye".

    If you read my entry into last year's Eclipse contest you will realize that I am keenly aware that my country has always been a "source" of raw materials for the rest of the world while we Canadians are expected to be "hewers of wood and draw-ers of water". The French came looking for codfish... the Spanish thought they could find an easy way to the Orient. The English were after furs and timber. The United States is highly interested in getting our fresh water and energy sources.

    Bottom line:... we are being asked to trade our natural resources to them in exchange for their finished goods. (Just like Japan now wants raw logs, including the 'big ones' from old growth forest but isn't interested in purchasing that much finished wood product.) But.... our manufacturing jobs are disappearing at a horrendous rate.

    Last time I checked, China was a communist country. MAYBE the "way to their hearts" is by encouraging them to reduce OUR standard of living.... but I'm very sceptical of that. I hear the rumbling of the earthquake... I fear the oncoming wave. But even more than that I sense and fear a general reluctance of the vast majority of our populations to acknowledge what is happening and to start thinking of ways to make accomodation to the growing trend.

    My little graphic is, however, not so much pointed at the Chinese in general as it is at the crappy instruments that they are flogging. They seem to change the names from time to time on Ebay.... for a while it was loaded with "Jinbao".... then it was "Monique"... then "Lark"... they are going in waves with these brand names. THAT is what I'm against... and I'll make no apologies for that!

    In the meantime... you have yourself a very Happy New Year. I sincerely hope that 2005 is happier for all of us than was 2004.... but then I guess it wouldn't take much of an improvement, would it?

    :grouphug:
     
  3. MUSICandCHARACTER

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

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    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    Dave,

    You are right for the most part. But I disagree with a couple of points. First, China is communist. They won't be an economic giant until they become a free and open society. Currently, the musical instruments made in China are supplemented by the government and wages are kept low by a Communist system (that is changing and evolving).

    Jupiter has a plant in China and so does Yamaha. Steinway has moved some production there. The difference is that the Taiwanese and the Japanese often build the horns from the parts, or have their people do quality control.

    Yes, when you buy a Conn-Selmer, Yamaha, or Jupiter instrument you are buying at least partly Chinese stuff. The new Bach Prestige (supposedly made completely in China) is considered complete junk by many.

    When the Chinese open up the system enough to allow quality control, the craftsmen will have some power, and the wages will go up. Therefore the price of the instruments will to. Right now, buying a Chinese horn is a complete waste of money. In the future, who knows?

    Lastly I read an article not too long ago where the Communist government dumped a lot of musical instruments on the market to try and obtain market share. It didn't work because the horns were not worth buying at ANY price.

    Is Jinbao capable of building a good horn? Probably. For under $400? Probably not. And right now, price is all they have to work with. Ask the Asians what they play if they can afford it. Normally the play American or Europeans horns. Not even Yamaha fits the bill for many of them.

    I do believe China's system will continue to open up as more and more trade is expected. But the trade will not escalate if they keep a closed system and participate in the arms race they have hinted at. Primarily because the system won't work and an arms race bankrupts most Communist systems.

    But for now, geopolitics aside, the horns made in China are not worth buying. If Jupiter or Yamaha builds them, then that is a different story.

    JIm
     
  4. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

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    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Another thing to add... I've spoken about adding a "surround sound" set of speakers to my computer today. Labtec. Made in China. (Internet order... the retailer made no mention of the manufacturing location).
     
  5. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

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    Sep 29, 2004
    USA
    Maybe I'm missing something.

    With all due respect to Jens and his myriad accomplishments I don't quite understand what the point of his self-proclaimed "rant" was.

    He's listed under the Yamaha artists page and is apparently happy with the choice of horns he's made. Is his point that people are automatically somehow pointed in the direction of Vincent Bach after showing an ability on the instrument and this is a bad thing because it's only a question of name brand recognition?

    While it's true that players have called Bach's reliability into question relative to the glory days in Mt. Vernon didn't the Bach company earn a certain amount of its reputation and isn't Yamaha basically trying to do the same thing?

    Jens is in somewhat the same position I am from the standpoint that everytime he says something in favor of the equipment he likes he can be regarded as shilling for that company. However, as for copying a sound I'm old enough to remember that there was a time when players looked at Yamahas as second rate Schilkes. Forgive me but it's true and anyone my age can attest to that. Then there was a period where Yamaha was putting out instruments that from about ten feet away looked like a Bach trumpet! And when the Monette trumpets came out after everybody was done laughing at Dave, trumpet manufacturers fell over themselves trying to copy what he was doing. The first thing Yamaha did create a "Heavy Wall" trumpet. Anybody else remember that? After Dave put out mouthpieces, Bach put out the "Megatone". All of you that have heavy bottom valve caps you know what that's a knock off of.

    I also played those same Czech trumpets for a while and they were absolute garbage but I didn't have any help picking it out. It was out of tune and the notes were all different colors as a result. No, I would not sound as good on that as on any other horn. People love saying that but it's just not true.

    Okay, so what's the point of my rant? Play what you play because it pleases you and don't denigrate other people's choices to score points for your favorite brand. It cheapens your argument. I don't think Jens was doing that necesarily. It seems to me that he was reacting to perhaps an earlier post or something similar. Maybe that's why I understand the point of the rant; I'm missing some context.

    Oh, and by the way, you don't have my permission to drag this to another trumpet site.

    ML
     
  6. dcstep

    dcstep Mezzo Piano User

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    Nov 27, 2003
    Denver
    Is China "communist"? That seems to be an issue with more than one North American poster. (BTW, I'm a Texas Republican that voted for all the Bushes, Regan and even Nixon -- who actually gets much credit for opening relations with China). Communism used to be defined by economic beliefs, typically characterized by a managed economy with private ownership not allowed and wealth distributed without much regard for relative effort and contribution. China, like Russia, now fails that test. China's economy is now more capitalistic than communist.

    Do they allow freedom of religion and freedom to travel and work in other countries, yes BUT not entirely. Because of decades of communism excluding and punishing religious worship etc. the citizens are not fully open or understanding of religious freedom and the majority don't value it highly and, just like racist beliefs in the 1950s USA, this is changing slowly.

    Do they have free elections, well not exactly. There is the beginnings of representative government and they've moved away from dictatorship, BUT the elections are, well "Managed." My Chinese friends think that the country is ten-years away from truly open elections, but there is an intent today.

    So I don't think it's appropriate to call China communist, but I don't think that they are totally free and open. Their citizens are working throughout the western world, contributing to the Chinese economy and their host country's economy. My Chinese friends want to part of the world economy AND stay Chinese. It used to be that the Chinese you bet had "escaped" communist rule, but now they've been encouraged to leave and become part of the rest of the world. They now travel freely back and forth.

    The reason labor costs are low in China is NOT government regulation but, instead, supply and demand, good ole economic rules. In certain parts of China labor costs are actually higher than the USA. Central Shanghai is comparable to New York City in labor costs and living costs. If you travel a few miles outside the city, the labor costs are 10% of USA averages. The focus is, naturally, on bringing jobs to the underemployed inland parts of China and the rural areas outside the coastal employment centers.

    Happy New Year,

    Dave
     
  7. jpkaminga

    jpkaminga Pianissimo User

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    Jul 1, 2004
    Boston
    i don't know much about it, but in all the discussion I've heard about trumpet manufacturing quality control seems to be the main issue at stake, are there any mass produced trumpet designs that when put together right wouldn't make an excellent instrument for the right player, the old "time is money" thing seems to apply, you have to get lucky to buy a free blowing and intune mass produced trumpet, it would seem that the only way you can be sure you're getting a flawless instrument is by shelling out big bucks for an instrument made by a company that takes its time and at the end of the day doesn't consider an instrument finished just because they are short of their quota of finished product for the day. Selmer Bach trumpets didn't earn their reputation, they bought it, and it seems like alot of people know that Bachs are famous because of their earlier history. so why does the overpriced Bach still sell so well, i dunno, something about a classic sound, alot of orchestras use them right,

    As for communists, have there ever been any successful communists? I think so, but their success is always shortlived and unapparent. There have however been very successful and recognizable movements that are theoretically communist but never really practically so. Two marxist slogans that seem to apply only in conditions that exist in western capitalist countries and cuba "to each according to their ability, to all according to their need" "the conditions for the free development of each are the conditions for the free development of all". Russia and China could never boast to have lived up to these words of Marx, but yet these ideas are at the base of a concept of an American dream.

    poor cuba is not as free in its development as its other underdeveloped Carribean neighbors because of outside forces and not because of its internal communist workings, it is funny to me that cuba is still under embargo, is the US afraid that there might be a successful communist country, what woud be wrong with giving a communist country a fair chance in the world economy, that is letting it trade with one of its closest neighbors the largest economy in the world the one economy that every trades with, it seems to me that lifting the embargo would be a really interesting experiment, if cuba continues to operate under the theories of communism and is successful in the whole global economy then we would learn something about how communism works, and if cuba succumbs to the pressures of the fetish of commodity that is inherent in capitalism then we will have more evidence about the workings of capitalism. I wonder if trumpets are made in cuba, has anyone heard of any reknowned trumpets made in a communist country.

    it turned into one so i guess this is my rant, wow this place is great, I really appreciate how the discussions in this place develop, cuba can be an obsession for me so please excuse me if it seems totally irrelevant
     
  8. Robert Rowe

    Robert Rowe Mezzo Piano User

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    Dec 24, 2004
    Wow !! Amazing how this "thread" has been "woven" in so many different directions....
    The original thruxt of this thing is the "Bach Syndrome"; where-in it can be said, "...they're like @xxholes -- everybody has one....".
    "...The blind leading the blind...." , etc. etc.
    These Bach players could actually be stuck in a rut, and don't know it.
    I often marvel at people I say are "...stuck in the '70's...." You can spot them, as they all wear Levis and white sneakers.
    You catch "my drift", dudes?? That's the point Jens (and Ed) were trying to make.
    By-the-way, I have a New York Strad -- but I don't sleep with it. My Buescher Super-400 rules the domain.

    Robert Rowe
     
  9. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

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    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Close, but no ceegar, Robert. I wasn't trying to make a point at all... I simply saw what could be a very interesting post made by a respected musician and thought it would be good fodder for a discussion "over here", sought, obtained, and copied! But it HAS been a good discussion so I guess that's cool too.

    Yes, there are more than one possible points of debate contained within the original (which makes it all that much better).

    Now... do I add one teaspoon or two to my coffee? :-)
     
  10. Robert Rowe

    Robert Rowe Mezzo Piano User

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    Dec 24, 2004
    OK, Ed -- thanx for reigning me in ... I got carried away ... or, "disorientated" ....
    It was an interesting "thread", though ....

    Oh, by-the-way -- try it "black" , and no sugar ....

    Robert Rowe
     

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