What is going to kill the American Instrument Industry

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by lovevixen555, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. godchaser

    godchaser Banned

    Jun 17, 2007

    "..seems to think there is no difference in design of student and pro horns."

    "By the ignorance on the part of the buying public is killing your local music store."

    -Bob Grier

    It will be interesting to see what shape a 'Music Store' takes, over the next couple of decades. Certainly, the cost of choice- high-grade materials & manufacturing protocols of a student-Trumpet, and a Pro Horn, will be of equal measure & task. And built for pennies on the dollar, by today's pricing in standards of subjective, and extraordinary quality. Provided it's not an "Old School" niche build.

    Last edited: Dec 1, 2008
  2. oldsben

    oldsben Pianissimo User

    Oct 30, 2008
    This seems to be a very interesting topic. Let me tell something from a Chinese point of view.

    My father worked for Chinese rocket manufacture the whole life. Amazingly the factory which my father direct his workers is similar to what you saw in a America trumpet manufacture. They hand made lots of parts and it worked. In the early 80's, Japanese was allowed to visit the factory, they laughed at them for the poor tools they used. But their rockets always explodes indeed! So the quality is not what it appears to you. The knowledge of materials, the control of each manufacture step, quality inspection, the fine tuning and the worker's skill and dedication are the keys for a rocket manufacture as while as for a trumpet. In order to keep all of the keys I mentioned together to gain the quality you are expecting, the manufacture needs to be paid!!! Most of the America instrument manufacture are small so with only the smaller quantity of the professional horns will they be able to survive? So they have to make money from the student horns. I believe most of the profit are from the so called "student" model(I might be wrong). As far as I know the Chinese horn manufacture industry are in really bad situation cause Chinese people are buying Yamaha horns for their kids with the same price we paid in the US. Less people choose $80 Chinese brand horns to begin. So several named Chinese local brand I used to hear from my childhood are dying. They closed their fabs in big cities and move it to rural areas and they hire farmers instead of skilled workers to manufacture the $80 Chinese brand horn(normally a copy of a Yamaha student horn with any brand name they can find on the internet). So when US horn maker try to find a Chinese music fab they'd to choose from those farmer operated fabs. So the quality will vary a lot, especially the valves! Remember the Chinese named brand horns are sold $80 in China locally, what quality would you expect from a Chinese made horn around $100 in the US :huh:??? Only a farmer made horn can sell around $100 in the US cause the labor cost can almost be omitted(their living standard and labor cost are terrible than you can imaging. To them, having a job is like in heaven!). The living cost in China is increasing madly in the bigger cities. As a chief manufacture engineer my father's salary is $10/month for 18 years from 70s to 80s. Can you imaging that? But those days are gone because of the globalization from the US. I'd guess you can only get quality Chinese made student horns around $350 ~ $450 in the US. For example blessing student horns. So quality Chinese made stuff won't be dirty cheap any more. Are you willing to buy them at this price?

    Another factor forces the prices go up in the us is the return policy. In Asia and maybe Europe, there is no such a thing called return. We check everything at the retailer. If everything works then it's yours, done deal. So when Chinese electric manufacture selling stuffs in China, they have better quality control, normally the named Chinese brands can last as long as you tired and decide to get rid of it. I have seen too many junk Chinese made small appliances sold in the US. I don't know why the companies don't import quality stuff?

    Another interesting thing I noticed is the quality of Chinese product in the US is greatly impacted by the US companies. Before I left China I used to work in a Chinese measuring instrument factory in Beijing for 2 weeks. I was making a mechanical meter that can measure at the accuracy of 1/100 cm. The feedback from the US is the meter is to too strong, it never break, so they were asking us to make the meters at lower quality ROFL. As a result we make twice the products as we used to and the rejects at the quality control was also doubled and the accuracy of the meters are also vary lot more than before.

    So what causes all of those problems that impacting US manufactures as while as other countries? I believe this is the Globalization from the US capitalisms. They only care about how much money they can make global wide. They also try to force you to switch to new products. Ex, TVs, we used to get bigger tubes from one model to another model. Right now you are forced to throw tubes away for HDTV standards. Once you get a new plasma TV, they change it to LCD and then they tell you to try DLP, OLED etc. Each new model is a different technology which means you might need to get rid of your not so old ones.

    I do wish our new president can fix the problems and make US everyone's lovely home again soon. I do wish one day we can all focus on our job, enjoy it without worrying about the dam economy.

  3. rdt1959

    rdt1959 Pianissimo User

    Oct 31, 2003
    I have nothing against buying off the internet (both my horns have been purchased that way).

    But I need the dealer too! Being an amateur, I need the pro's around to give advice when I am in trouble. I can't just call up Schilke and get help with my upper register. But I can call the dealer (i.e. music store) and get an appointment with the trumpet pro. For me (and this is a personal opinion mind you), I am willing to pay additional for that service. Because that service is exactly what I need, and exactly what I DO NOT get from dealing directly with the manufacturer.

    In my professional (i.e. boring) life (consulting civil engineer), I can not count the number of times that a client has signed a contract with the low bidder, only to spend more money in the long run when the client has to fix all the mistakes....ummm...I mean..."assumptions".

    Lowest price does not necessarily equal quality.

    If I had a "cheap" quality horn when I was in junior high, I doubt very much that I would have stayed in music at all. My parents always made sure that i had a good quality horn. Not the best...but good. The influx of low quality instruments, in my opinion, IS contributing to the decline of the school music programs for just that reason.

    Now...what was my point. I assume I had one when I started???
  4. hammer56

    hammer56 New Friend

    Nov 7, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    I worked at a music store. I rented many instruments to parents of school-children. That is a rent-to-own situation. You are paying toward "full retail". Nobody pays full retail on musical instruments. If you buy the instrument outright, you can get it for cost+10% even from your neighborhood store. Of course, the online dealers have a lower cost and no sales tax. So, it's the local music store that can't compete. Sam's Club has a great looking trumpet for $200. I plan to try one for research. It's Chinese, but they get better all the time. As you can see, all of my horns are American made.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2008

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