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Only because I am off work today, sick, and not because I am obsessed, NOT, NOT obsessed I tell you, I just sifted thru about 12 of Lance's 47 pages of Ebay feedback. He has 100% positive feedback over 23 sales in the last 12 months. I seems safe to purchase his ready-made products that he sends to the customer to be installed by their own tech. Sellers on Ebay are very sensitive about their feedback, and this built-in accountability keeps them legit, or they go down the drain.

Sending Lance your horn seems risky, based upon widespread reports of dissatisfaction from those who tried it. Around here, in Sacramento, CA, very time I get a horn worked on, my tech tells me a reliable quote of the price and time within a week or two, to expect completion. If something changes, they call and explain why. Besides, I can just drive over there and look at it!

Lance operates under the assumption that he is doing fine art and design along with routine work, and this gives him the license to spend years on a job. Every time Lance gave me a window of completion, the deadline passed, and I felt I was being led down the garden path of smoke and mirrors. If he had told me up front it would take 12 months to partially complete his Deluxe LH table mod, I would never have signed up. I am sure he is aware of that, and soft-pedals the reality of it. Unfortunately, the customer's head tends to explode at some point, and what amounts to a divorce proceeding complete with a custody dispute erupts. http://www.ebay.com/sch/solutionremarketing/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=25&_trksid=p3692
 

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Discussion Starter · #142 ·
last PM on 8-24-2009

real interesting all these old PMs, I've been cleaning my PMs and reading them prior to, I found them interesting. They tell some part of the story.

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The Taiwan BW is also not that cheap and the Taiwanese horns are similar in appearance.
I´d like to hear also a sample of it.
The bronze straight Chinese BW sounds very nice.

cheers


Gilson












Quote Originally Posted by Walter Webb
The silver plate B-W is here, just a little ways down the page. It's the one with bright silver plate: http://www.woodwindandbrass.co.uk/ac...r_soprano.html

I think it is the same as the other B-W straight one, but with some nicer features, and they specifically state that it's made in Taiwan.

I will not say anything to anyone about your sax and Lance. Yes, I paid him up front.
Walter
 

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Discussion Starter · #143 ·
more coming. All these PM are integral as they are. the Admin can check my account and verify... they are all there and I have many more.

this PM reached me on 05-15-2012

I will keep the colleagues name private.


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Just reading the first page of replies to your post about Lance butchering your sax...so sorry to hear (and see) the mess he made of it. That guy is a real piece of work! I have a bad story about him to (although not as bad as yours, but still indicitave of his shady nature) that I will share with you. I might also post as a reply. Not sure if i should, because I got a relatively satisfactory ending to mine, but maybe I should just to provide more proof to warn others.

I buy and sell horns (and do a little repair work myself on those that I re-sell). About two years ago I bought a bunch of horns from someone that literally had them hanging on his wall as decorations for decades. There were actually some decent ones in there, and I got a great deal on them. Amongst them was a Martin Committee bari, but missing its neck. It had some pretty bad dents, but nothing majorly worse than a lot of old baris. In retrospect I should have realized it is probably best as a parts horn, but I'm a sucker for getting old horns to play again so I thought I might try to restore it. I made some posts on here inquiring about a replacement neck...enter Lance. He told me that he was in the process of making a prototype replacement neck for this model and offered to sell me the first one for a discounted price of $300 (otherwise would be $500 or $600 when he had finished the design). I was given a time frame of about three months for this work so I gladly sent the money via paypal. For the first few months I got regular updates, even with some pictures showing me the progress and had no reason to believe that the neck was not on its way. As three months turned into six the updates got fewer and farther between, although it wasn't a big deal because I had other projects. Eventually I got no more updates. I continued to email him every three months or so asking about the progress and always got similar answers (often with a lot of technical explanation) about how it was coming along and promising it would be delivered soon (sometimes even estimating within a week). I started to get really fed up after a year or so and eventually asked that my money be returned, to which he replied that he could not "afford" to do that, but as soon as he had a working prototype he would advertise it and he was sure he'd get a quick deposite from someone else which he could use to refund my payment. I said that if its really close I'll wait a little longer. He promised it was, but never followed up. This went on for almost another year until just a few weeks ago when I told him I was tired of waiting and just wanted my money back. I again got the initial excuse about not having the funds, but then a day or two later I was surprised to get an email from paypal that I had received a payment from him. My thought is that he sensed that I was about to "out" him for his poor business practices. Since he (eventually) made good I wasn't going to, but after hearing your story maybe I should. Will have to think about it for a few days. Anyway, your not alone. That is obviously not a guy to do business with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #144 ·
Neck , in the shape as I sent in August 2009




Neck arrived by Eric beginning of Mai

NOTE: the sax was shipped with the neck but without the octave mechanism and the Thumb hook.
After protesting these parts arrived some 2 weeks later.



I will call this the "The New Wonder's Holocaust"
 

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As said before, yes I've done business with "the person in question", three times, including the making of two pieces made upon LOB's suggestions and based on my own measurements. As also said before, punctual delivery, good communication and perfect results...but these were definitely not complex rebuildings as in the case brought forward by the OP.

My point is not, this has also been said, to take any position about the merit of the case; both parties bring their arguments and each of the SOTW's "judges" make his/her opinion. I simply observe that a near-consensus, as you said, has developed among the contributors to the thread that LOB is a good example of the worst that humanity has produced during the last two millenia (at least). And that the most vociferous of these posters have most certainly never directly dealt with LOB, even if a small number of them, apparently including yourself, have.
Well I understand your point but I can only speak for myself and not any other people who have commented, nor do I know the reasons for their opinions or if they are based upon personal experience with LB or not. What I think is that he is dealing with people dishonestly and under false pretenses and the cases detailed in the thread a year ago and since then and on this one bear that out. That is a far cry from your ironic inference that we are making him out to be the epitomy of evil-doing.

We have here a good example of how the Internet can work if unchallenged; do you think all posters would have made the same statements if they had to produce their real names and address after their posts? And let's remember that a near-consensus, even a consensus, is no proof of anything; Galileo might testify, if asked.
We have here a good example of how someone, who you don't know, have never seen and never met, can use the internet to scam people out of their money and property with the promise of working wonders on it. We have his name, but what good is that if you can't take him to court? This thread is the internet equivalent of writing a letter to the editor of the newspaper, and about as useful.

And the question of pre-payment: almost everything sold or traded on the Internet is now prepaid. I understand the OP and the Chu's next owner were in Germany when the deals were struck. An advance payment doesn't seem exotic to me under these conditions.
Sold is the operative word here because only part of what LB is doing is sales of sax parts. Obviously if you are buying a part from him you have to pay for it in advance. That goes without saying. But he is a saxophone repair technician, which as someone on the thread last year pointed out is a service business involving the repair of band instruments. Lots of people do that out of brick and mortar stores and they don't demand 100% up front. The customer is sending the instrument to him, not the other way round, so why should anyone pay until the horn is ready to be sent back? You're going to send YOUR valuable instrument to a stranger all the way across the country and on top of him having it in his possession for an unknown period of time you have to pay him beforehand? Sounds totally backassward to me. He at least gets to keep the instrument if the customer reneges, but what guarantee does the customer have? None.

When one is sending an item for service or repair where the tech has an item of some value that belongs to another, the usual practice is to pay upon completion but before the item is returned.

Those ways of doing business have developed over centuries.
Well, that's what I'm saying.

The behavior I have read about, leads me to wonder if there is a substance abuse issue that is occurring. No matter the reason, my sympathy goes to those who have been affected. Unfortunately, another of life's lessons learned.
Interesting that you think that, because it had already crossed my mind a couple of days ago. I'm 3/4 of the way through Bird Lives and something just rang a bell. No way to know of course, but it would explain a lot of things if it were the case.

I have read several times about the "paid in advance" issues with LOB. The examples given (auto mechanic, computer tech, dry cleaners, etc...) are not exactly the same situation. I am not defending what he has done. The examples given are usually employed by someone else.

We have done complete restorations and custom work for customers in the past with no money up front and have been burned every time! Some of them are other shops that we thought we could trust. We just finally sold the last custom job that we performed 5 years ago for alot less money than we had in it. We even had one tenor that we performed major repairs to and then to have the police show up and take it from us because it was a srolen instrument. Guess what, we didn't get paid. We can't tie up those kind of funds for long periods of time, we're not a bank. That's why we ask for 50% down and balance on completion.
Well, 50% down and the rest upon completion is not unreasonable and in fact World Wide Sax has that policy too. But they have it to guarantee one's place in their work line, which unlike LB they publish openly on their site and control very tightly so that no one's sax is in their possession for any length of time. However, I looked at Tenor Madness and they do all the same things that LB does, and nowhere on their site do they say anything about paying anything in advance. They also charge a whole lot more than LB, but guarantee a work time of not much more than 10 days for even for a total restoration.

In your case, I don't really understand why, other than with that stolen sax you mention, someone would send their horn and then not pay for the job and thereby forfeit the horn. But people are strange, so I guess anything is possible. I can see people burning you if you don't have their property in your possession, but you have their stuff so where's the advantage for them?
 

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Sorry man, your defense of this man sounds for my like BS from swiss cows.
Resorting to insults won't make your case progress an inch. And, for the last time, I'm not defending LOB in this particular case and I understand your frustration. I simply found, and still find interesting, how a personal bad experience you had with Lance Burton can turn into such uncontrolled reactions and statements.
J
 

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Jazz Is All - "In your case, I don't really understand why, other than with that stolen sax you mention, someone would send their horn and then not pay for the job and thereby forfeit the horn. But people are strange, so I guess anything is possible. I can see people burning you if you don't have their property in your possession, but you have their stuff so where's the advantage for them?"

Sadly, 50% of the cases where we were burned is by other repair shops, 25% by schools and 25% by individuals. The second half of the equation is usually because they do not have proper approval (boss/spouse, read that how you like!) and the last one we finally sold was from a school that changed directors in the middle of the year and the "new" director refused to pay!
 

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SOTW needs to close this thread temporarily while we review a few issues.

Update:

We had to remove a few posts that contained PMs that had not been cleared for approval by the sender. The thread is now reopened.
 

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Resorting to insults won't make your case progress an inch. And, for the last time, I'm not defending LOB in this particular case and understand your frustration. I simply found, and still find interesting, how a personal bad experience you had with Lance Burton can turn into such uncontrolled reactions and statements.
J
Agree wholeheartedly.

I myself am not, will not, and never have, sided with Lance Burton in this mess.

But sending me full screen hysteric PM's accusing me of taking up for him cause me to figure that the pairing of Conn Hunter (the PM sender) and MartinMods (the obsessed would be visionary who is seemingly unable to reconcile reality with theory in acoustics or business) was a match made in H***. The outcome, well, errr, uhhh, ...

That MartinMods in whatever incarnation is a horrendous choice of venues to mail a horn off to is, I believe, beyond debate.

That an eight page Jerry Springer meets SOTW extravaganza is apropos to the situation is a bit iffy in and of itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #151 · (Edited)
First of all I'd like to ask Walter Webb for pardon in public for making public some PMs. It was not right. As Buck attempted to say "P" means private.
I thought WW would be agree but it was not right without asking before. Therefore , I am sorry for that. I will pay better attention.



Eric,

Sorry. One more little delay. I forgot about finishing up the custom sized neck reciever that matches the new conical bore neck tenon. Your guy just has to do pads now. In the box an on it's way Monday.

Lance


Just pads? ha. This guy must be blind.

should it be a mistake of communication too?


 

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Discussion Starter · #152 · (Edited)
custom G#s button.
nothing much especial but much functional and more convenient than the original.
Mod. made here prior to send the sax to LB.



G#s botton lost too?
replaced for another old part. A step back.

 

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Discussion Starter · #154 ·
customized RH pinky cluster





expensive mods made by myself (Yamaha parts) lost by LB and replaced by another horns parts...


10-20-2010

I notice that I can't find a couple of the keys I modified - the low C# rod, B key, Eb and C. I was very, very carefull with everything when moving from Miami to Seattle, so I don't understand it. I’m trying to contact the Doctor in Florida to see if I left them there, but his mother just passed away, he lost his phone, and can't deal with emails very well. I’m going through his ex-wife - not easy. If they aren't there, I'll get some from a doner chu to finish. Sorry, to scare you.

Lance




I sent the horn to make new mods making the sax better and not to make it worst by doing steps back losing parts. Stripping of the lacquer? no comments .
 

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I got my bass clarinet back from Lance. He fixed many design issues (Chinese made low C) and it plays fine now. It had been to 3 different techs prior to Lance, none of which got it playing correctly. I also got a Link STM bari piece back from him that he refaced and modified to play better on vintage baris. It plays great.

My Martin bari is still with him for extensive mods and has been for some time. I knew going in that it would take a while. I didn't expect this long, but don't mind waiting for the work to be finished.

On this Conn, was there some agreement with Lance to change the finish? I don't see why he would have stripped the re-lacquered finish if there wasn't? Were there requested changes to the initial modifications ordered when the sax was transferred to Eric? Maybe there were some communication breakdowns in what was and was not wanted? Did Eric authorize additional changes?

From my perspective, it looks like a lot of people jumped in to get some cool and extensive work done at bargain rates, then started getting cold feet after the long delays. I will just continue to be patient. If people choose to get their instruments back incomplete, that is always an option. I would just rather wait for the finish :)

I want everyone to get their instruments back and be happy with the mods. I don't see how beating a dead horse is going to help though :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #157 ·
.




Well, I found some emails stored that I sent from my old email account in 2010 (I've found much stuff)

that's the last phase of communication I had with LoB in order to get my sax back. One Year after he got the sax there.

here we go...

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Sent: Friday, September 03, 2010 7:59 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: FW: sax


Lance, what´s remaining to do on the sax?

Gilson

xxxxxx

Subject: RE: FW: sax
Date: Fri, 03 Sep 2010 20:38:58 +0200
From: <[email protected]>

polishing and cosmetic lacquer patching

xxxxxxxxxxx


Sent: Tuesday, September 07, 2010 9:43 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: FW: sax


Ok. Now I have waited long enough.

Put the sax in a box and send it back to me as it is. I won´t wait any longer.

Please send me my proprietary back this week.

Thank you Lance.

Gilson


xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Subject: RE: FW: sax
Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2010 06:57:41 +0200
From: <[email protected]>e>

Relax mien Lieber. Don't worry. You will like it finished. Just a little bit more. Come on.

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Sent: Tuesday, September 07, 2010 10:48 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: FW: sax


Lance, I am worried. you can imagine.
So many things to clear here.

So therefore I would like to clear with the sax asap, also because I have to pay tax for it here+ shipping.
Every penny is counting.
I didn´t tell you yet, but my wife and I are going to Afrika.
This is a project for years. Sure I will take my sax with me, more than one. They will provide us place in a container and I will put some things there.
So please help me taking me one trouble from my mind and send the sax asap.
thx so much.

G.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

-----Original-Nachricht-----
Subject: RE: FW: sax
Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2010 22:32:54 +0200
From: <[email protected]>

That's good work you do. I did some video editing for a non-profit group, Outreach Africa. They do similar stuff in Tanzania. I've seen all the pictures.

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Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2010 11:58 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: FW: sax


Lance, today we have the 9th September. 24 days after the deadline. (mid of August, you thought it were End of Aug.)

To avoid that happen again to postpone and postpone the finishing of the sax I really think you should put the sax together and send it asap.
Sure I´d like to have it nice, nicer as it was as I sent it to you, but the way it goes is frustrating.
Please, let the other horns aside and WORK MAN on my horn and finished it. Concentrate your efforts on ONE horn for one or 2 days, Mine, finish and send it out.
You are for sure AGAIN working splitted. I mean, my horn is again on a corner waiting and waiting and NO PICTURES, ZERO pictures.
Absolute frustrating.

So, please. Put it together in order that is perfect playable and send it back, at latest next Monday.

Thank you

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-----Original-Nachricht-----
Subject: RE: FW: sax
Date: Thu, 09 Sep 2010 21:37:46 +0200
From: <[email protected]>

Gilson,

I’m sorry. Your horn is not the first in line. Others are waiting, as patiently as possible, longer than you, and with greater professional needs for their horn, because they want what I offer. I can not justify ignoring my other previous responsabilities, and working on only your horn, just because you are bitching the loudest. Please, don't try to tell me how to do this work. You have absolutely no idea of what you are talking about. Just be patient a little longer and you will be happy.

Lance

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sent: Thursday, September 09, 2010 2:35 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: FW: sax



No, I can´t wait a bit longer.

This bit longer has passed long ago. How long is the "bit longer" in your count?
When you told me last month is going to be finished mid of of August than later End of August, it wasn´t. Now we have soon half of September and you tell me wait longer , do you think is normal??
to this you don´t send any pictures.
Well, I lost the confidence.

That ´s ok now.

Send me back the horn as it is. I told you already. That´s enough now.

I won´t try to tell you how to do your work but I have the right to tell you what to do with my proprietary.
In that case, send back now to Germany. Put it together, no need to finish it.

Thank you.

G.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

-----Original-Nachricht-----
Subject: RE: FW: sax
Date: Thu, 09 Sep 2010 23:55:53 +0200
From: <[email protected]>

I’m removing my work, as much as possible, and will put your original keys back on. No-one gets my work that has not appreciation for it.

communication continues,

Just some thoughts...

1) note that on 3rd Sept he wrote...
for the final finishing is missing just...

polishing and cosmetic lacquer patching

(but some 1 month later he will tell me he lost parts of the horn and can't assembly it.)

2) when he'd send my horn immediately (also Sep 2010) , he would remove all mods (what he did later putting the parts on a King alto??) and putting the original parts back. But how would be possible when he lost the original and custom parts.

He didn't just lost original and custom made parts of the horn, he was saying he was about to take of the horn everything done, Why?
When he was paid for and the parts are finished (on a picture of the horn he himself provides has my horn already the LH pinky table) and I am asking to send the horn with these improvements already done, why did he insisted to go on working on it?
(the clear answer is= my horn was being used as field test)
and why did he treat me of taking of the made parts when he was paid for them?

how do we call this?
when a dealer doesn't deliver finished parts that you paid him for in advance?
 

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It's called breach of contract. Your remedy is a suit in civil court for either damages or specific performance.

IMO the healthy thing to do at some point very soon is to let this issue go and move on. You wont get anything out of a court case other than losing a few more years emotionally and a bunch of costs that you'll likely never recover.

"in times of trouble Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom Let it be, Let it Be". P. McCartney
 

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Thanks for the thoughtful post. It dovetails with what I had concluded based upon reading around after my initial kneejerk reaction fo ConnHunter's undeniable disaster.

Bad enough up until the "big blowup" between the two of them, but after the transfer of the horn and the inadvertant greenlight to go for it from Eric the cousin(it seems that for LB anything other than a full stop with lights and flags would probably constitute a green light) things really went into full Frankenstein mode.

Though ill-will from all three involved and a trashed horn is the end result, really, "A darned shame in so many regards," about sums it up for me.

I'm still not sending my horn to Lance...
 

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Wow. Thanks for that Mick, it certainly explains a lot and puts things in clearer more humanistic perspective.

Whatever Lance's demons are, they are prevented him from being the successful innovator and restorer that he would like to be. This is obviously pretty sad for all of us.
I agree and think that most of us would have preferred him to be the competent innovator that he aspires to be and we thought he was, because of what it would have meant for our vintage saxes. If it is a drug problem of some kind or some other psychological problem that has him pinned down, I sincerely hope he'll seek professional help so he can find the way to free himself and do better in life. I feel sorry for him, but the truth is that doing business with someone whose personal problems make them that unreliable is something most people are not willing or capable of doing.
 
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