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Originally Posted by tedh1951
Ahhh, too easy Nordlands m'boy - if you have 1x one gallon bottle you can make one bottle of valve oil from one gallon - what the deuce you'd do with a GALLON of valve oil just completely defeats me. There y'go Robin - something dumb just happened, pleased to be of service I'm sure.
Back to topic:
If you can not stand up as a good role model, please sit down!
Chicago Custom X-VR Lead
BrassNor Alexander Custom cornet
BrassNor Versatile Bb Custom trumpet
You complain about inordinate profits by music dealers but they are pikers compared to Durable Medical Equipment dealers (DME's). I happen to be a full-time wheelchair user and also an amputee. A power wheelchair that a dealer pays less than $3,000.00 sells for $8,000 or $9,000. A simple prosthetic leg for a below-knee amputee sells for in excess of $12,000 (Materials cost the dealer maybe $3,000). A Prosthesis for an above-knee amputee (including a prosthetic knee) sells for in excess of $20,000. Music dealers aren't even in the same league as Durable Medical Equipment Dealers (DME's) who gouge disabled people who HAVE to buy from them whereas a musician doesn't have to buy an instrument from a local dealer. The thing is that there are internet music dealers through whom you can buy a professional level instrument at a better price than your local music dealer but the service that a neighborhood dealer gives isn't there. My local music dealer has an excellent brass repairman and that alone means a lot to me and he still isn't making the profit margin that my DME is.
Last edited by oneleggimp; 02-13-2009 at 11:19 PM. Reason: Correct grammar and add extra information for clarity
i believe you make a great comparison here as you describe the attitude held by some of "inordinate profits" music dealers are supposed to be making. If that is true, why are so many going out of business? I suspect their profits are moderate or less than moderate compared to other business enterprises unless I've been sadly misinformed.
If profits were so great, everyone would want to own a music store and that's not happening as the many complaints is that musicians don't always have a music store in their community.
You make a good argument that the neighborhood music dealer often has local repair personnel and other costs not always borne by internet music dealers. Often times a person may try out an instrument at a local store then order the item for less at an internet music store. It would be helpful if the customer and local music store could work out a negotiable discount acceptable to both (if that is possible) before ordering on the internet. It could be the discount won't be as steep as the internet can provide, but it might be worthwhile enough to keep the customer's business at home.
Of course the point is often made that some people live in cities where music stores no longer operate and there are many miles to a city where a comprehensive music store is available. An internet music supplier may be best suited for them and often at a reasonable price for merchandise.
Well like anything you have to actualy make sales to stay in businees. With so many schools doing away witht heir music programs and people looking for better deals online little stores are getting pushed out! Look what happens when a Walmart comes to town! Most of the smaller business go out of business. Same thing goes for Home Depot I watched 10 different luber stores in my city go out of business once Home Depot showed up! My wife worked at one of the last ones to go out of business. Most of the music stores in my area have next to no selection so why would I buy from them if I can go online get it cheaper and exactly what I think I want. You know many people order their shoe's off the internet knowing that if they do not fit just right they can send them back. SInce many people can not try before they buy at their music stores what is the difference of blindly ortrdering off th einternet and just takeing a chance? You know that if you Bach or Schilke does not play just right it has a warranty.
So the reason the small shops are going out of busness is because they have poor priceing and poor selection and almost never have what people want. So people go some place else until the store is forced out of business. The music instrument trade is no different then luber or retail goods and the Walmart effect is very real.
Also repair facilites often sell instruments they have repaired. My local repair place for instances sells plastic clairanetes from any manufacture for $150 and they all have new pads and are properly regulated etc....They sell Wooden clairinets for $250 and you know that they are free of crack's, have new pad's and are properly regulated. When they have trumpets they sell them too...Their is not a music store around that would make you a deal like that! So they are takeing a hit on the new intrument side and the used intrument side. Then add in Ebay I can routinely buy trumpets for $26-$100 that play like new and in some case's are close to new in terms of their mechanical condition. My son's Flute cost me $30 off Ebay and I payed $80 to have the best pad's Ferree's sells put on it and it regulated and all the springes checked and replaced as needed. I could not touch a 2SP Gemhiedart(sp) used for that price anyplace but ebay.On top of that many Music stores sell their used rentals that are not up to rental standards usualy for little things like cosmetics or missing a slide for cheap!!!
No matter how good the profit margin you still have to make sales. I know the bigger stores like Marshalls has some deal with my local area schools and they come right in tot he school with debit/credit machines and a truck load of rental instruments and kit everyone out so parents do not even have to leave the area to get band instruments for their kids! I am sure the school is getting some kind of free stuff or kick back for letting Marshalls come to all the schoolsint he county and push their goods at insane prices. I rented for 2 months for my Oldest boy. It was an Andreas Eastman 301 Trumpet and it was rent to own at a price tage of $958!! You can not even buy that model ont he market Eastman only imports the 400/500 series to sell directly to the public the 301 is a rental only model. I have seen the 400 series from Eastman as low as $399 so the 301 must be cheaper then that. So let's say it is worth the $249 price we see so many other Chinese made trumpets sell for. To charge $958 dollars to buy a trumpet that outright would sell for $249 or so on the open market is a heck of a mark up. In fact you can buy the Andreas Eastman 500 series out right for just under $1000. So I am spot on with reguards to the insane markup. $96 for a quart of synthetic valve oil or $48 a quart for non-synthetic valve oil when purchased as packagedin 2 once containers is a heck of mark up in fact it is beats the heck out of what Exxon/Mobil or Walmart make off a quart of synthetic Mobil-1 motor oil which is $6-$7 a quart last time I checked and regular oil is $2-$4 a quart. So do not even try to tell me the mark up isnot high! You would have to be blind not to see how high it is. Anyone that thinks a tapered brass tube is worth $190+ from say someone like BlackBurn is not thinking clearly but that is what you have to pay unless you can make one yourself which few would even try yet a Jupiter replacement leadpipe is $4.80 from Votaw tools and the reciver is about the same. Now I know that Jupiter does not have a magical leadpipe feirie that makes them while we are all asleep so that means they have to iport raw materials and machinery to make them then they have to ship the finished product back to the USA. Mr. Blackburn is not sitting at a table with Rumblestilskin hammering out leadpipes by hand from sheets of brass while Rumblestillskin is spinning straw into gold! He is useing the same machinery and same type of materials that Jupiter is useing so why the huge price difference???? Jupiter is not selling those leadpipes and recivers at a loss to Votaw tools and Votaw tools is not selling them to me and other's at a loss either. So who is rapeing their market with insanely high prices?????It is not Jupiter or Votaw tools that is for sure!!! The funny part is people seem just happy as can be to spend way too much for something as simple and cheap as a brass tube with a taper to it!!!
Well most industries that sell oil do not sell it 2 onces at a time. Since the main ingredient in most valve oils is Kerosine aka Petrolem Ditstilates and some type of vegtable or mineral oil one should really compare them in common units that are inthe retail market. We could look at the price of vegtable oil or lard if you like since these are normaly cut with Kerosine and alcohol to make valve oil. Since 8many are too blind to make logical comparisons I made it for everyone. Only a fool would pay $96 a quart for motor oil and even if I sould you said motor oil at 2 0nces at a time you would still be foolish to pay it divid out to what appears to be a low price. People should be aware of what type of mark up they are paying for common items that are not in any way special or unique!No one would pay $200 for a 5lbs. block of lard so why pay that for lard whipped with some kerosine to make it creamy then put into a small tub and labeld valve grease? Markup is the difference between what a intem cost's to produce versus what you can sell it for. So the prices and amounts you get are very relavant. The fact that I scaled up the volume from the tiny amounts normaly sold to musicians at stores to larger sizes also found in the retail setting that people are more familar with has not bearingon the argument itself since the price per unit stays the same it is only scaled up to make it more obvious how much they are makeing off each bottle in the case of valve oil. You same people that laugh at me are the first people to complain when the price of gas or diesel fuel goes up. If one was smart enough to buy say a gallon of Breakfree since some can not make their own oils from scratch you would be able to use that gallon of synthetic oil for all kinds of things includeing your trumpet. On the other hand what can you do with a 2 once bottle of mostly kerosine with a little bit of animal or plant fat mixed in besides oil your trumpet? So again the discussion is in my favor. A gallon of breakfree which is a synthetic oil is $58 for the gallona gallon of synthetic valve oil would cost just under $400 and could only be used on valves of instruments!
I might also add that valve oil as most of you know it does nothing to reduce the wear on a valve other then providy a hydrodynamic boundry layer once that layer is depeleted their is nothing in the formula to protect under metal to metal contact should it happen by accident. Most valve oils do not have any anti-corrosives properties so wear from corrision is not guarded against either. Lucky for use the valves in pistons are not subject to much in the way of extremes. They reason you have to reapply it so often is because it is almost pure kerosine and like any light fuel it evapaerates. If you cooking oil or automobil oil evaperated at the rate your trumpet oil does you would be upset. So I will seek something better in ever catagory and cheaper as well and I will laugh each time I see someone spend $2-$3 for 2 onces of valve oil or $6 for synthetic!!! I should maybe get into the valve oil business and make a fortune repackageing kersoine with some vegtable oil added!!!LOL
I use charcoal lighter fluid on my valves; have logged thousands upon thousands of hours on them with no ill effect. I’ve been playing my piston C for thirty years, my piston Bb and rotary piccolo for 20, my rotary Bb and C for 15. They are all well made horns from America and Germany, and the valves are still tight.
Charcoal lighter fluid also works as a fine accelerant when torching violas.
I’ve had tons of students using cheaper instruments that had serious valve problems after two years. Despite good design, intonation and a nice blow, cheap instruments prove to be absolutely worthless when the valves stop going up and down regardless of the valve oil used.
Monel machines beautifully—that is the reason it is used in so many instruments. It is not a hallmark of quality. Neither are two braces, two spit valves, good silver plating, gold accents and hand engraving. A “handmade” instrument is entirely dependent on the hands that make it for its worth.
I bought my trumpets made in the country I was living in at the time. Not out of loyalty to anyone, but because they were great trumpets.
"A tool good enough to be so used and not too good"C.S. Lewis That Hideous Strength
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