Made in China

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by crowmadic, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 3, 2006
    I got a pretty negative response from a local music store owner when I mentioned a Bb Bass Trumpet made in China to him. I wont get into the eco-political aspects of what he said, but I do want to ask about a quality issue. I created a thread asking about the same horn before and generally was told to stay away from them. But I'm the cat that's looking to get killed by curiosity. The shop owner said lots of parents are buying Chinese instruments because they're cheap, and in a short time bringing them in for repair, at which time he advises them not to put anymore money into the instrument. He specifically said that the Chinese valves are coated very lightly and the coating wears off quickly leaving the valves nearly unplayable. Rowuk, one of our TM members said he has a China made cornet. I believe he said it's not bad (Robin correct me if I'm wrong). Rowuk/Robin seems to be one of our most musically enlightened members........I'm confused, and hoping other TMers will share their knowledge and experience with instruments made in China. Specifically things like the valves (the heart/piston) of valve instruments.................crow
  2. et_mike

    et_mike Mezzo Forte User

    Oct 16, 2007
    Chesapeake, VA
    I have no useful input on China made instruments... but you know what they said when Curiosity killed the cat..... Satisfaction brought him back! :D
  3. pipedope

    pipedope Pianissimo User

    Sep 2, 2007
    The Chinese are able to produce horns of any quality. From very bad to very good and in between.

    The trick is getting something good enough to play with a low price.

    Unfortunately you usually don't knw which is which until too late.
  4. Adam Smith

    Adam Smith Pianissimo User

    Jun 23, 2006
    In high school, my parents bought me a "band now" trumpet off ebay w/ case and mouthpiece brand new for $135. It played and thats about all I can say about that. I played it for a marching band season. So a few months. During those months, the valves actually worked fine, I took care of the valves though. It was all around harder to play, i could not project at all. Also, the quality was the worst. I dropped it on its bell (i was holding it with the bell about a foot off the ground) and the bell crinkled like a tin can, the metal was that cheap. I just bent it back to shape with my hands. So i played the rest of the time with a hole in the bell. The top two braces came off. One because I dropped it, the other I have no idea how it happened, so my leadpipe was held on with duck tape. My third slide fell out and someone stepped on it. I was able to bend it back with my mouthpiece without any difficulty. But anyway, the valves were the only part of the trumpet I didn't have a problem with. I only used it for a few months though. I would stay away from those $100-$200 horns on ebay that 30 different people are selling under 15 different brand names that all look like the exact same thing.
  5. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 3, 2006
    Adam Smith, I hope you've made a lamp stand out of that horn. It and your wonderful description make for a great conversation piece........thanks, crow
  6. Adam Smith

    Adam Smith Pianissimo User

    Jun 23, 2006
    Actually, Someone stepped on it at it was completely destroyed. I flattened it out and now its on my wall.
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    I have a chinese pocket trumpet and the valves work fine. I have had it for almost 2 years now and it cost around $200.
    When it arrived, the inside had some black residue, so I gave it a bath and scrubbed a bunch of stuff out of it. I let the horn dry overnight and the next day I oiled the valves with LaTrombaT2. Everything except the third valve slide move very easily. The third valve slide cannot be moved by my thumb regardless of type of lubrication, but I can remove it without trouble to let water out.
    The horn sounds OK, is reasonably made and is in tune even with a Monette Prana B2D mouthpiece (yeah, I have one of Jens Lindermanns meathead mouthpieces!). It is a bit stiff to play, but that is most likely due to the smaller bell size.
    I consider it a fair value and it is my hotel horn.
    I was in China 3 years ago and had a chance to see how they make things.
    A customer that wants a $90 trumpet can get it if the order quantity is met. The quality goes up from there in $.10 intervals.
    What I am trying to say is, you are not buying chinese quality, you are buying the horn that the importer determines is saleable. Nowhere else in the world can you fine tune down until you should feel guilty!

    I have no problem buying a Chinese trumpet if I can play it first. No way will I trust any importers word.

    As far as my students go, my rule of thumb is to rent until the parents can justify about $500 for a horn. Then we drive to a music store together and we play test some horns (the owner knows me). We do NOT buy that day, but if we find a good instrument, we end up taking it home to try out for a week after which it is usually bought. I do this for several reasons.
    #1 my students learn to wait
    #2 they learn the differences between horns (we "practice" this during lessons too!)
    #3 they learn that they can "deal" with the salesman when they are not in a hurry. They also learn that hving horns to play test is a value add that you pay for, but helps you keep from making a mistake!
    #4 they learn that THEY are making a decision about an item that costs a lot of money
    #5 the parents learn that their kids have learned a lot about picking a good instrument. Fiscal responsibility starts young!

    The kids always feel like a million bucks after our field trip - they were the center of attention, they made some tough decisions and generally have an instrument to show for it.

    A flyer from a local super market came today and they will have 79 Euro trumpets, clarinets and flutes as well as a 220 Euro sax. I kind of feel like going into the store to buy one and find something wrong with every single one to punish the idiot buyer that has so little respect for the customer and industry. I have called the parents of my students and told the "don't you dare!".
  8. tatakata

    tatakata Mezzo Forte User

    May 29, 2007
    Why don't you just buy the peice of trash and get this over with. :-(

  9. lmf

    lmf Forte User

    May 16, 2007
    Indiana USA
    Hi, tatakata,

    You could follow the method of trying a Chinese horn before buying as Robin said. If all things appear to be what you want, go ahead a buy the horn at a price you are comfortable with.

    Then come back on the forum with your review.

    Best wishes,

  10. crowmadic

    crowmadic Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 3, 2006
    tatakata, tatakata, what have I done to make you so sad/mad? By the way, do you like Chinese food? If I get to try a Chinese novelty like a pocket trumpet, or bass trumpet, and I deam it acceptable for human consumption, and it's cheap, I will buy it.......stand by for more frowning..........crow

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