Lance, on the other hand, may either be the ne'er do well that SOTW has in effect chosen to judge and portray him as or merely a really disorganized person consumed with perfection- and "perfection is the enemy of the good" is a trueism which is none the less true for being hackneyed.
Taking on the kind of work he did for a price which while several hundred dollars ( not chump change), probably also approached the complete value of the horn- was a bargain by any standard and is bound to be a proposition based upon love rather than considered business pricing. I don't notice any other techs undercutting or matching his pricing and offering to do the same conversion work.
But he may well be simply a visionary ditz rather than a malevolent criminal.
I used to think the very same thing. In fact a year ago on the first big LB thread where Enviroguy and Gilson were relating their similar horror stories. I at first was defending Lance as a victim of the "misguided genius" syndrome leading him astray that you are suggesting here. The main reason I thought that, at first, was that my two transactions with him had basically o.k. results, which made it hard to fully accept the disastorous stories they were recounting. How could this be the same guy, I wondered.
However since then I have looked back in less rose-tinted light at his emails and at the results I got, and realized I was surpressing the awareness that he had pulled the same routine on me, albeit to a lesser degree. That as I just realized on this thread was mainly because he didn't have my sax in his possession. As I have already outlined in previous posts, he basically exhibited the same disregard for what I, the customer wanted and had ordered and paid for in advance, as he has clearly done with everyone else.
And that's the problem with Lance--the customer doesn't even enter into the equation with him at all. For him it isn't a business transaction but a bestowal of his largesse and superior genius upon us in improving our instruments. For him what is supposed to be a service-oriented business where a technician fixes a customer's instrument, is all about HIM and what he can invent, create and give to the world. So it doesn't matter why the customer sent the instrument or ordered the modification, or even if he has already advertised the modification as a "product", because he retains almost total say over what you will get in the end. And if the customer says otherwise, he may either acquiese to them, as in my second experience with the LH table, or hold his ground and go off on even more of a tangent ignoring the customer even more, as with Gilson, Walter, Enviroguy and the others who have had their horns expropriated by him for his experimentation.
Excellent summary of the nauseous taste these endless threads give the average SOTWer who happen to read them.
Fascinating to see how the same arguments have been repeated ten times or more, countless members joining the pack to utter definitive judgement of people they had never heard of hours before. Public trial between, as Henry well notices, semi-anonymous parties attacking a perfectly identified person.
On another forum devoted to woodwind instruments, the same affair has been dealt with a cool advice warning to take precautions before dealing with the "defendant"; after one day or two open to interested parties to post an opinion, the thread has been closed; here it has been made sticky...
Well, I'd like to ask if you have done business with the person in question upon which you base these statements? And if not why is it you prefer to doubt the consensus of experience and opinion expressed over the past year on SOTW by those who have, and believe your own opinion based on.....??...what do you base it on? You haven't said and should, don't your think?
You say that some of the people condemning LB have done it having never heard of him until "hours before", but the fact is that everyone on SOTW over the past 4 years has heard of him quite a lot, mostly from his own self-promotion of himself on numerous threads. They have also seen his ads on Ebay and read the claims on his (incomplete) website. Yes there were others who praised him too, myself included at the beginning, but I wised up when he sent me photos of the finished pinky table he was going to send me and it was not at all what he was already hyping the benefits of, selling as a stock "product", had agreed to make for me, and had requred me to pay for in advance.
And speaking of that I have to ask about the crucial thing that puts the lie to any defense of LB as a legit sax technician. What is the justification for his taking money in advance??
Do you know of any sax tech who charges in advance for his work? I certainly don't and that begs the question of what is so special or different about what he does that gives him the right to demand it.
Do you know of a mechanic, or a dry cleaner, or a computer technician who makes you pay in advance for their services? The reason it is SOP to get paid upon completion is because they can keep your property until you pay for the work. So they don't need the money in advance--if you want your goods back you have to pay for what they did for you. The mechanic has a lean on the job and can legally keep your car until he gets paid. The computer tech has your computer, which presumeably you need, and the dry cleaner has the clothes and the legal right to keep them as his own after a specified period of time without payment. None of these people need or ask to be paid in advance and no one would think of doing it. Yet LB has gotten away with it and we have facilitated him in that totally non-standard business method.
So, adding that to the rest of the evidence it appears to me that Lance is not just an inefficient businessman, but a patently dishonest one who has gotten away with it for the very fact of being coddled and excused under the guise of being a poor misunderstood struggling genius. If he weren't, he would run his operation like everyone else, which means doing the job he was asked to do and agreed to do to customer satisfaction, completing it in a timely manner, and returning the customer's property after completion of the job and receipt of payment then, not before even beginning it.