Summer Vacation at the NAMM show ...

Discussion in 'TM Lounge' started by MUSICandCHARACTER, Jul 24, 2004.

  1. MUSICandCHARACTER

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    1,140
    2
    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    I just got back from the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show in Nashville. I spent the day visiting the various booths and displays. Much of the NAMM shows are devoted to drums, guitars, amps, and DJ equipment. But there are still plenty of band and orchestra displays and accessories to see.

    First to note there were are least a dozen Chinese manufacturers and importers hawking their wares. I walked the floor much of the day. I only saw one guy in any of the booths at any time. Most of the time they look bored. I popped in to check things out. It was odd ... I felt like I was being stared at. I had my company name badge and shirt on, so I didn't stay long. I didn't want to look like I was shopping for a junk line. But junk they are. They talk mostly of profit. Nothing of quality -- except to say they "are just as good." They wish. The word is getting out. These companies spent a lot of money to attend this show. From what I could tell, they were not getting much out of it.

    I dropped by the Yamaha booth (well, try Gigantic display) and saw the Xeno line prominently displayed. Actually, the Xeno trombone is new. It was classy and was a fine instrument. Solid core sound, smooth mechanisms. The Silent Brass, drums, strings were well displayed.

    Conn-Selmer was absent, which surprised me a bit. But shows like this tend to draw the drum and guitar sellers. Lots of pianos too.

    Some cool things I saw:

    The entire Humes and Berg line. This includes quite an array of mutes. From the red and white stoned line mutes we all know to colored student mutes to high quality aluminum mutes. They also are responsible for the Galaxy line of cases and the Tuxedo bags. The Tuxedo bags were incredible -- made in the USA and guaranteed for life.

    The PEAK music stand was amazing. This is a new, lightweight, tubular music stand that has an ingenious shelf locking mechanism and wide shelf design. This will hold all of your music. The shelf is even wider than a Manhasset stand. Very easy setup and break down and a nice carrying case. An excellent stand that retails for $40 to $45.

    [​IMG]

    The new ProTec line is very nice too. I got a chance to see the double case for flugel/trumpet or two trumpets (it has moveable pads). Rolls on wheels and fits as a carry on for planes.

    [​IMG]

    Not as nice or as sturdy as the Torpedo Bags, but nice. The whole line seemed to be improved and quite nice for the price.

    Q Lighting, Inc (a division of QED, a leader in medical and dental lighting) had two lights that were interesting to me. One was a "Bil-light" which is a powerful LED light (no bulb) that could attached to the bill of your cap or your glasses, etc. $20 retail. The other was the Maestro light. It was very small, would run for 20 hours on 3 AAA batteries, was also LED so no bulb to replace. It easily covered they whole stand. It came with a blue and a gold filter in case you were in a pit, or someplace where a bright light would not do. Even with the filter, the music was easy to see. $40 retail. Slick. Where was that when I was playing in the pits!

    [​IMG]

    The Bil-Light would be great at Christmas time for those outdoor Christmas music gigs (I do several each year).

    [​IMG]

    There was all kinds of great software for MIDI stuff if you are into that. Not really my thing, but some of the displays were incredible. LA Sax has by far the most interesting designed instruments anywhere. The guy in their booth could play (or somebody could, I didn't check the badge).

    The interesting item for the guitar players was a strap that was made of yellow fabric that said "police line, do not cross". I guess they see that a lot at rock concerts (again, not my thing).

    [​IMG]

    Nothing impressed me about the Chinese/India stuff. To be expected I guess.

    Jim
     
  2. orchtrpt

    orchtrpt Pianissimo User

    167
    0
    Mar 4, 2004
    Thanks for the great write up. I guess the only thing I might be interested in there is the new Pro Tec case. What did you think of it? It looks like they are getting on the "roll a case with wheels" band wagon a little late. Is there a quad model available?

    Now that Rocky Mountain is dead and Wolf Pak is being made in Taiwan the only real alternative I see is Marcuss Bonna. (Ya Wiseman is good but I'd rather buy another trumpet for that money) I have had several MBs and they are great. Problem is they are very hard to get these days. Osmun doesn't carry them and no one ever has a case in stock. Also old made in the USA Wolf Paks are still good if you can find one. Back in the day Pro Tec made the cheapest case on the market. And Im not just talking about price. The quality was awful! I wonder if things have changed.
     
  3. MUSICandCHARACTER

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    1,140
    2
    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    That has been my take too, until recently. The new ProTec cases have been redesigned. Much, much better. I have old one here that is holding a used horn I have for sale. Flimsy and not much protection. They new cases have better molding, thicker foam, plush interiors and moveable sections. I saw a quad model PB-301Q. They also had a wonderful triple deluxe bag in leather (black or chocolate).

    The Gator cases looked pretty good. Some have called them the cheap man's BAM. Didn't seem that much different than the nicer Pro-Tecs. Now if you REALLY want a nice case made in the USA, the Tuxedo Bag by Humes and Berg is the way to go. Lifetime guarantee and nice, nice, nice. I have never seen a Marcus Bonna case in person, but Irvin of www.SlideBone.com (a TM sponsor) tells me they are great -- and french horn players have loved them for a long time.

    But sticking to the question at hand, yes I felt the Pro-Tec cases were GREATLY improved over their previous offerings. Prices are still reasonable (but up some to reflect the quality. The quad case retails for only $159.

    The Galaxy cases by Humes and Berg were also excellent. Very much like the Pro-Tec cases. I actually liked the trombone case a bit better. Made in China (boo) with a 5 year warranty. They had a Flugel/Trumpet and a Double Trumpet case retailing at $125. They come in four colors which is nice. Black, burgundy, forest green, and deep blue.

    I think I will carry the ProTec line and the Humes and Berg lines. They both were impressive enough to satisfy me. I don't like selling stuff to players that will not hold up or be a benefit. The standard Pro-Tec single trumpet case (completely redesigned) sells for $114. I sell the Torpedo Bag for $155 postage paid. The Torpedo Bag is difficult to beat when it can take 400 lbs of pressure and still not hurt the horn.

    BTW, the made in USA battle probably has Cronkhite as the leader for great gig bags (again carried by Irvin at Slidebone). But the Tuxedo Bag cases were very, very impressive by Humes and Berg.

    Jim
     
  4. orchtrpt

    orchtrpt Pianissimo User

    167
    0
    Mar 4, 2004
    Sounds like good news about Pro Tec. $159 for a quad? Are you sure about that. So I could fit a Bb C Pic and Eb in this? Sounds too good to be true to me.

    I've never heard of a Gator case.

    Is a Tuxedo Bag like a Reunion Blues triple trumpet gig bag?

    I have seen torpedo bags and they are INDUSTRUCTIBLE! The only problem is I have only seen a single case. For most Pros thats not going to cut it unless you are a jazzer.

    Jim why don't you become a Marcus Bonna dealer? What is going on behind the scenes there? Is that a hard account to get. I noticed they no longer deal with Osmun and it seems like only small shops say that they carry their stuff and when ever I contact them no one has anything in stock.
     
  5. MUSICandCHARACTER

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    1,140
    2
    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    Double checking quad price in my price guide .... yep ... $159. The catalog shows it with four Bb's in it. Moveable dividers for customization.

    The Tuxedo Bag is better than the new Reunion Blues bag in my opinion. The Cronkhite bags are made by one of the original designers of the Reunion Bag until Reunion Blues decided to go overseas for production. The Cronkhite are more expensive, made in the US, and a much higher quality. The Tuxedo Bag is similar. Very nice and made in the USA.

    Marcus Bonna cases are expensive, come in a bunch of colors and configurations. Not surprising you need to order them. Right now, I am happy to stay with what I got. You want an MB case, contact Irvin at SlideBone. He get you one as fast as anyone. Tell him I sent you and he will only charge you double :wink:

    See: http://www.slidebone.com/case.html#MB

    Gator makes some great cases very similar to Pro-Tec or Galaxy.
    see: http://www.gatorcases.com/sections/prdct/band/lw-band.htm

    Jim
     
  6. orchtrpt

    orchtrpt Pianissimo User

    167
    0
    Mar 4, 2004
    MC,

    Can you post some pics of the inside and the outside of the Pro Tec quad?

    Thanks
     
  7. MUSICandCHARACTER

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    1,140
    2
    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    Here ya go!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Jim

    I would have taken some at the show had I known! :)
     
  8. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    4,529
    8
    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
  9. MUSICandCHARACTER

    MUSICandCHARACTER Forte User

    1,140
    2
    Jan 31, 2004
    Newburgh, Indiana
    What fun is that? :wink:

    Jim
     
  10. orchtrpt

    orchtrpt Pianissimo User

    167
    0
    Mar 4, 2004
    Ohhh ok. I see . I thought they came out with a new line for all the models. I was thinking the quad would have the same design features of the new "vax" model. That quad looks like the Pro Pac of old.

    Thanks for the help!
     

Share This Page