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Discussion Starter #1
My year old Vento sopranino constantly intrigues me. So many sounds and so little time. I am awaiting delivery of a second sopranino (a Saxquest repadded 1925 Conn) for comparison. Hopefully it compares very favorably with the lowly Vento but if it does not, I wouldn't be surprised.

Chinese musical instruments are turning the musical world around. Are there tours to China to visit musical instrument factories? Are these instruments being ambitiously played in China? Are they used in religious services? Secular celebrations? I haven't a clue.

Something is driving me to somewhere in China. Where is it? Rob
 

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My year old Vento sopranino constantly intrigues me. So many sounds and so little time. I am awaiting delivery of a second sopranino (a Saxquest repadded 1925 Conn) for comparison. Hopefully it compares very favorably with the lowly Vento but if it does not, I wouldn't be surprised.

Chinese musical instruments are turning the musical world around. Are there tours to China to visit musical instrument factories? Are these instruments being ambitiously played in China? Are they used in religious services? Secular celebrations? I haven't a clue.

Something is driving me to somewhere in China. Where is it? Rob
There is a church in HuaiAn, Jiangsu province (where Billy Graham's wife grew up) that occasionally had instrumental performances in church, but I never saw a saxophone played in the church. The Catholic church in my city doesn't feature any wind instruments in its services as far as I know.

Most of the public performances and parades that I've seen here in China featured drum-and- bugle marching bands. Saxophone IS taught in at least some universities' music departments. In fact, the dean of the music department at Yangzhou University is a saxophonist (as of 2009).

Outside of the top-tier cities in the PRC, you aren't likely to find many new saxophones for sale, if any.

You can visit Taishan Wind Instruments in Shandong province. Contact Jennifer Liu at this website: http://www.made-in-china.com/sendInquiry/shrom_lMbnPUEJumDC_lMbnPUEJumDC.html

Or Contact Alan Liu (no relation) at : Tianjin Xinhaidi Musical Instruments in Tianjin. (They're mostly a wholsaler).

http://xinhaidimusic.en.made-in-china.com/#page4

Good luck.

You'll have a better chance of getting a tour if you go with a group. I know of no groups that sponsor tours specifically to visit manufacturing facilities. Maybe an NAMM member can advise you better about tour groups.
 

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Something is driving me to somewhere in China. Where is it?
Just north of India.

I've always wanted to go there too, but I doubt there are saxophone factory tours, although I'm sure it would be very interesting, and quite an eye opener for the many people who don't realise exactly how much hand making goes on there as opposed to mechanised manufacture.

I think best way to get a factory visit would be to first go to a large trade show such as Namm or Musikmesse, meet and chat with all the reps from the Chinese companies and let them know you'd like to visit, I'm sure some of them would be happy and honoured to arrange something. I would narrow it down to the manufacturers who (a) make good instruments (some don't as we know) and (b) the friendliest reps, probably with the best command of English unless you intend to learn Chinese fluently. If you are going to visit, then it's worth learning at least some rudimentary phrases.
 

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Thanks both. Pete Thomas, I see you have a 1924 Conn Sopranino? I think the serial # is rather close. I will keep the world posted to provide my meaningless comparison between my "new" 1925 Conn and the venerable Vento, when I get it. Hurry Mr. Postman.

I know that the China thing is just a pipe dream...no pun intended. My concept of things unknown often become romantically skewed. But what about Tibet? No, if I go anywhere it will be with a loving wife, who has no notions of exploring Chinese music factories when there are wineries in France that have yet to be visited.
 

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Grafton alto | Martin Comm III tenor
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No, if I go anywhere it will be with a loving wife, who has no notions of exploring Chinese music factories when there are wineries in France that have yet to be visited.
Did you know that China now makes wine? I haven't tried any yet.
 

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Did you know that China now makes wine? I haven't tried any yet.
China is still trying to break into the international wine industry. There are awful wines, okay wines, good wines and there are great wines. The two big names in wine in these parts are Great Wall and Changyu which may be purchased for as little as 29 rmb (on sale. The lower end wine usually sells off the shelf at about 68 rmb) to well over 400 rmb. I can't tell the difference between a 200 rmb bottle of wine and a 400 rmb bottle of wine here, though the 68 rmb bottle has very identifiable characteristics.

I have seen two white wine labels. One that stands out in my mind had a name something like "Love Sick Mountain" (three words).

There are probably at least 50 domestic labels.

The typical city block in my little outpost of progress has at least one store that sells European wine, Chinese wine, cigarettes and baiju.

Chinese wines are like Chinese saxophones. You really can't knock them until you've tried them.
 

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I doubt whether that would stop some people though.
Actually wine and other alcohol making has a centuries-old tradition in Asia, so it would be no surprise at all (to someone who knows something about these countries) to discover a range of great products.

What anyone with half a brain could predict, however, is that if you see a bottle of "fine" European-style Chinese wine selling for $1.25 on Ebay, you probably don't need to try it to knock it.

After all, if it looks like _____ and smells like ______, don't eat it. It probably is _______.
 

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Not many Erhus, Jing-Hus and Liuqins are made in Paris. That is what you should be visiting the "factory" of and buying in China. Try to avoid tourist rip-offs. I would hire a fixer/translator and visit the countryside.
 

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I hear these stories a lot. If you wife doesn't have the same interests, then what is the point of marriage? I don't get it.

You open a can of worms there. My marriage is extremely happy. But it is new and I fit into any situation rather well. The point of marriage is something to the lady. They want it and I am a romantic who thinks he can have it all. Music and my wife. I do have both. On a home on a hill in the prettiest place in the world. So, we can go to France and catch the Beaunne Jazz Festival in late summer. Never been there to do it but missed it by a week. That is a bucket list item. In France, they make homemade music, I am sure of that. Bring your (little) horn into a club, you are virtually un-noticed. My set up is two canvas bags, professionally made with the horn inside the inside bag. Lowly Vento has been traveling a year that way and still seems to be in tune for my tin ear.
 

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Not many Erhus, Jing-Hus and Liuqins are made in Paris. That is what you should be visiting the "factory" of and buying in China. Try to avoid tourist rip-offs. I would hire a fixer/translator and visit the countryside

In other words, my concept of a "factory" is not what the instrument is about. It is made in a place like my dad's old body shop, ten or so person, each of whom take pride in his/her own talents? Is that what you are saying? So these instruments are not made in a dank large factory? That makes sense.
 

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Nice to see a thread about Chinese instruments that does not go down the path that is usually trodden.As a matter of interest I bought an Android mobile today made by a Chinese firm.It cost £30,and it works.
 

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Nice to see a thread about Chinese instruments that does not go down the path that is usually trodden..
I agree, there are so may Chinese bashers, nice to get some balance IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I'm slow. Re: Chinese Instrument Making

Why are there good ones and bad ones? Personal interest by the craftsman making it or a family tradition, as one might associate with the European instruments, especially saxophones?

By the way, the 1925 Conn Sopranino came in. My lord, what a wonderful world this is. More than I could ever have hope for. The Vento knows he ain't in the starting line up. Maybe drunken parades or a teach someone else's child instrument. I would never part with it...not yet.

Re: The CONN. I love how the left hand works. It is tilted about 10 degrees clockwise compared to the Vento. Much better for me and my hand length is relatively short. The B flat key is bigger with more spacing for my Polish size 10 fingers. Playing left hand B flat easily was worth the price to me. I always hated going there. I tried every alternate figuring possible. It was never right. Always an issue. Never never land. Ick, ick, ick. Not now.

And the deep notes are deep. I can deep growl and sound like a sax, not some electric piano tuner. Etching? I heart nineteen twenty-five. The ordinary Conn etching is now extraordinary by definition. Floral with all the important information. When states were given three letters (lND) and USA was proudly written by a man (probably from Indiana) as "U.S.A." complete with the periods. I'm going to play some patriotic song for him when I post this. Not Indiana though.

Silver is clean and absolutely beautiful. I have to figure out what kind of silver polish is good, especially in this climate. Mr. Minor (love that name) at Saxquest had them do a wonderful cleaning job. And re-padding was perfect, as far as I can tell. But I have a tin ear.
 

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I'm slow. Re: Chinese Instrument Making

Why are there good ones and bad ones? Personal interest by the craftsman making it or a family tradition, as one might associate with the European instruments, especially saxophones?
This issue was discussed with unusual rigor and clarity recently by Ptung.

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showth...etter-option&p=1454960&viewfull=1#post1454960

http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showth...etter-option&p=1454969&viewfull=1#post1454969

Of course, if you don't like the "beaten path" of logic, common sense, and experience, you can always take solace in chop logic, rhetoric, and political correctness.
 

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I'm slow. Re: Chinese Instrument Making

Why are there good ones and bad ones? Personal interest by the craftsman making it or a family tradition, as one might associate with the European instruments, especially saxophones?
It's partly a matter of economics and market demand.

There's also the problem of inexperience and unwarranted bias on the part of the detractors.

It's also a matter of perception. Kids' parents don't run out and buy their kids a top-of-the line anything for marching band. They are more willing to pay 3-400.00 USD for an instrument that'll end up being dropped onto concrete floors and football bleachers. Some technicians then cite accurate statistics that they see more broken and irreparable Chinese brand Xs than they see Mk VI's.

There's also the problem of distribution and retailing. That is to say that if you buy a Chinese saxophone from some ebay sellers, you'll end up with an instrument that hasn't even been seen since it left the factory. They're a little worse for the long travel.

Then there's the problem of a lack of endorsement. If a certain Chinese-made instrument hasn't been endorsed by a known quantity, it won't be accepted by people on saxophone forums. (See inexperience above). Six years ago, it was Jupiter bashing and Borgani bashing. Now it's uninformed Du Bu Xi sax bashing by people whose experience with them reads about as long as a bumper sticker.
 

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It's partly a matter of economics and market demand.
Chop logic

There's also the problem of inexperience and unwarranted bias on the part of the detractors.
Political correctness

It's also a matter of perception. Kids' parents don't run out and buy their kids a top-of-the line anything for marching band. They are more willing to pay 3-400.00 USD for an instrument that'll end up being dropped onto concrete floors and football bleachers. Some technicians then cite accurate statistics that they see more broken and irreparable Chinese brand Xs than they see Mk VI's.
More brilliant chop logic

There's also the problem of distribution and retailing. That is to say that if you buy a Chinese saxophone from some ebay sellers, you'll end up with an instrument that hasn't even been seen since it left the factory. They're a little worse for the long travel.
And even more brilliant chop logic

Then there's the problem of a lack of endorsement. If a certain Chinese-made instrument hasn't been endorsed by a known quantity, it won't be accepted by people on saxophone forums. (See inexperience above). Six years ago, it was Jupiter bashing and Borgani bashing. Now it's uninformed Du Bu Xi sax bashing by people whose experience with them reads about as long as a bumper sticker.
and some really nice rhetorical smoke to round it off...lets call this one argumentam ad bumper sticker

Thanks for the back-up Bloo Dog. I quite literally couldn't have said it better myself. :salute:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I like the bumper sticker finish. Kind of like coming back to the root note. I need a new photo for this blog page with the new nino. The one the world now sees in this blog was taken on Day Three with my new(ish) Keilwerth SX90 Soppy. A honeymoon with a new horn. What a joy we share. The Catskills can't compare. rr
 

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I like the bumper sticker finish. Kind of like coming back to the root note. I need a new photo for this blog page with the new nino. The one the world now sees in this blog was taken on Day Three with my new(ish) Keilwerth SX90 Soppy. A honeymoon with a new horn. What a joy we share. The Catskills can't compare. rr
So you're not interested in Chinese horns then. Enjoy your Keilwerth. Where was it made?
 
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