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Correct. I didn't see any tubas, AND I was just walking up a street that had about 20 music stores on it, I didn't search out the big ones. But all of the trumpets and trombones were the type I might expect to see at a Walmart, not anything I would recommend to anybody.
I've had a Amati euphonium for about 15 years, longer than anything else I've ever owned. I still like it, play it when I play euph, and have done a fair amount of paying gigs on it. I did used to get crap from people about the horn but since I outplayed those folks I never really cared. It was a gift from my parents in eighth grade and it's not going anywhere, it's far too useful.
Country of origin is not really a deal to me unless there is a price conundrum- a 1291 clone may play well overall but I'm not paying Miraphone prices, new OR used, for it. I've owned a Jin Bao F tuba and a Schiller branded rotary bass trumpet (unsure of brand). The purchase of the first was a mistake, the selling of the second was rather close to also being a mistake (played fine, needed a little work, but really could not stand the ergonomics). I'd consider another Chinese made horn but would have to try it first. I did buy, in person, a used Schiller branded comp euph for a friend that plays very, very well.
Does the country of origin matter when buying a horn? Nope. I don't care what country the purchaser is from...just as long as he buys a German horn.
(OK, I have an American horn, also.)
B-M Small Sousa
B-M Marzan piston BBb
I am not God's gift to the tuba. (duh)
I play for (not always for "the love of music", but nearly always) for money.
I need my equipment to help me sound better than I am.
Budget knock-offs of equipment that "makes me sound better than I am" (at least, those which I've tried that are available at this time) do not "make me sound better than I am".
The equipment that I currently use was manufactured in Germany, America, and Switzerland, and this also includes fretted stringed instruments and amplification equipment.
The mouthpieces that I currently use are manufactured in America.
I've been known to assemble/build some of my own instruments using parts of other old/rejected instruments. I tend to always have two or three of these projects "in the wings". In the past, on a very limited basis I've used some salvaged and new-bought Japanese parts in these projects, and might consider using salvaged Communist Chinese parts - if I thoroughly inspected the parts and found them to be serviceable and precisely-made. I currently have a Chinese rotary valveset which is a "candidate" (not yet selected) for one of my projects.
...and yes, I consider the particular instrument (from which the valveset was pulled) to have been "unplayable".
Two other valveset "candidates" for the same project, though, are Swiss-made and American-made.
At this point, I could imagine a plays-for-money musician purchasing a Communist Chinese instrument as a "doubling" instrument (ex's: a euphonium for a tuba player, a tuba for a euphonium player, a bass trombone for either a tuba or euphonium player, etc...). It bothers me somewhat that many of the Communist Chinese instruments are complete/unapologetic/naked knock-offs of currently western-manufactured models, and that (rather than R&D) they were merely reverse-engineered. Of course, reverse-engineered devices (nearly always) are inferior to originals (which is the case here, virtually across the board). A few Chinese-made instruments bear enough differences to any other models to be able to label them as original designs. To me, (whether or not they are the bees' knees or the cat's pj's) those original-design made-in-Communist-China instruments are much more interesting than the parade of knock-offs. As far as politics are concerned, (at least the way I see it) the complaint of predatory economic activity is primarily the "fault" (albeit "fault" not being a word that economists generally use) of nations which allow the Chinese to sell their knock-off wares in their countries. As far as the "general playability" of Communist Chinese instruments is concerned, (just as with the parade of other mass-produced instruments seen over the last century, and made all over the world) they vary. A very few nearly approach exquisite, with most of the rest bringing up the rear. As much as one might view low Chinese instrument pricing as "predatory", one might view the high pricing of western instruments as "manipulated" and (avoiding extensive sidebar economic/political discussions here, please) burdened with very heavy production costs which are not directly related to the cost of manufacturing. Personally, (again, as my needs and tastes lean towards western-manufactured instruments) since the latter 1980's (as I've bought-and-sold quite a few different tubas for my personal use since the 1970's), I've avoided paying the high costs of western-manufactured instruments by combining buying used with "buying when the buying was good", rather than (suppressing impulses) buying when I "want" something.
Last edited by bloke on Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I remember a major symphony player in the 80s who got a call from Yamaha, wanting a major US made trombone to copy. SInce that player had an agreement with said American manufacturer, the model was sent to Japan, copied and prototyped, and the final prototype as well as the original trombone ended up back with the player.
Foreign made copies are nothing new.
I don't know if you're responding to my post (??)
No. Knock-offs aren't new, and they have also been domestic (google the defunct Holton 101 trumpet, and see if you can recognize the "original"...and then there's the Blessing B-88, and - for that matter - the Holton 345 tuba) but (as this point was made in my post) I've never encountered a knock-off that was as-good-as (better than ?) the original. The designs of knock-offs (by definition) are limited to "being like" something else, rather than (starting a zero towards) "being good".
(if you like, you can add in a Chinese Euph purchased by someone in a land that's not quite Southern and not quite Western and somehow pretends to be both - but I'm not really a Euph player (and not really much of a tuba player, either). We won't speak of the pianos, trombone, trumpet, and Baritone.
I suppose if I had more money (or much less), I might have something assembled by someone who spoke German...or Portugese...but I don't. But, that's accidental.
My selection method is quite simple: if I like it...and can convince myself that I need it...I buy it.
One of these days I'll have to sell something.
Now...Rick Denney's post is (as usual) intelligent, but I think he gets cause and effect backwards. He gives a long list of price/performances that he has observed and pegged them to various countries of origin. But, I doubt that he would pass up a good horn at a good price BECAUSE it came from a country that usually provides a less favorable deal. Correlation is not causation (but, he knows that). I mean, anyone who will buy Russian cameras will buy anything!
BBb: King 2341 (new); 1934 Conn 36J;Yamaha 621
EEb: 1970's Besson 3+1 EEb;
Eb helicon: 1922 Buescher;1895(?) "Symphony"
Blokepiece Symphony-MF 3H, 4H-Stofer Geib-Doug Elliot-G&W Bora,Kronos
Cronkhite - Altieri
It matters to me, especially when the term professional is used on the model.
Schiller euphoniums are not German engineered.
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