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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I am just coming back from the ishimori store in Tokyo where I could play test a Mark V (222k), a Reference 54 and a Woodstone New Vintage. The latter is designed by Ishimori and assembled in Taiwan. The shop employee told me they started to manufacture those last year. I tested them with a Ted Klum Focustone Acoustimer and plasticover 3. I really liked the sound of those 3 horns: very deep low register, easyblowing and powerful if needed. In term of sound my favorite was the mark VI. However I would have put the Woodstone in second place, before the Ref 54. I must precise I like the vintage sound from the 50s and I thought the Woodtsone was really comfortable to play: more than the mark VI actually and same as the Ref 54. Has anyone else tried those Woodstone tenors? Thank you in advance
 

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Well, this is a variation on the new marketing trend. Up until now I have heard of a few companies declaring that their horns are made in Taiwan but assembled elsewhere, of course while they are very keen to say this to justify the much higher price ( Aizen or Brancher for example) none has, to my knowledge, ever shown any of the pictures of their horn being assembled within their exclusive domain.

Similarly, when a company says they " designed" a saxophone what do they exactly mean by that? If their design is limited to the cosmetic parts (if at all because from studying the pictures it doesn't appear to have anything which distinguish this saxophone) I propose that the Taiwanese company has given (if anything at all!) Ishimori a choice of some parts with which they could , possibly but I have no evidence for that ,personalise and differentiate the products made for a given company from the general production of the Taiwanese producer.


Unless someone is prepared to show the potential buyers their blueprints for a saxophone that would be exclusively produced for them (Is it? Why? How?) , my take on the production of any Taiwanese company is that the body shape the position of the toneholes and the keywork would be identical to any horn produced by the maker in Taiwan (not all taiwanese saxophones are the same but those made by using the same tooling from the same maker are!)

If that is not the case, Ishimori or any other company would have had to foot a bill that would be very substantial to spread the cost of the original and unique tooling and an of an innovative project (which in my book is what is meant by original design........) and if that is the case they would be so proud of their original approach that they would be gladly showing the buyer who will pay such a premium for the privilege of acquiring a true original Ishimori design as opposed to being yet another Taiwanese horn, same as the one sold at one third of the price by another brand.

I would be interested to have any kind of proof that Ishimori has commissioned an original design as opposed to have asked a maker in Taiwan to make them a few horns a year ( 100? 200?) with a more or less accentuated cosmetic personalisation marked Ishimori.
 

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I haven't played the horn (I'm not much of a window shopper) but I've seen the horn played in action by several players coming thru Tokyo. Dave Koz and Nelson Rangell both played Mr. Ishimori's tenor during their actually gigs...The both sounded amazing and had nothing but great things to say about the horns. Andy Snitzer is quoted in a recent magazine as saying the Ishimori tenor is the best tenor he's ever played...

Just my 2 cents...

R
 

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do you know which Taiwanese company makes them and why would an Ishimori Taiwanese made Woodstone cost 400% more of another horn made at the same factory?
I don't know where they are made but it's a beautiful looking and playing horn so perhaps it is more expensive to make than others?

+ all Ishimori equipment is notoriously expensive.
 

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I don't know where they are made but Ishimori equipment is notoriously expensive.
......I am just coming back from the ishimori store in Tokyo where I could play test a Mark V (222k), a Reference 54 and a Woodstone New Vintage. The latter is designed by Ishimori and assembled in Taiwan. The shop employee told me they started to manufacture those last year. .........
I don't have any problem with things being expensive if they are unique or particularly well made and different from other cheaper products! I just like to know why they are expensive.......it seems to me that if one decides to spend more than 6000$ on a horn one would at least have the right to know in detail why he does that as opposed to buy the same horn made in Taiwan in the same factory for another company costing 1/4 to 1/2 that kind of money.

I think it is only fair to ask. Don't you?

If it was me buying a horn for that kind of money I would demand proof of this horn being DESIGNED by Ishimori (instead of them being simply, as I suspect, branded Ishimori by the Taiwanese maker) as much as I have previously and uselessly demanded Aizen and Brancher (even in person at the trade fair in Frankfurt) to show their Taiwanese made saxophones being superiorly assembled (compared to the obviously inferior Taiwanese assembling) at their facilities.

In my opinion people who make special horns (like Rampone & Cazzani), have no secrets and are rather open in showing what they make and how they make it, so you know why and what you are paying good money for.

I for sure don't have a problem with a saxophone costing a lot of money. I certainly won't tell Inderbinen that he is doing anything wrong! The man uses mechanics made by Yamaha but beats the hell out of sheets of brass and does all the work himself (which must be an incredible job). Same story for Jim Schmidt, who at least up until now did this, on a one by one piece basis, in his workshop (although he told us that he was considering having his horns made either in Taiwan or China) and he, by the way, is one of the few people in the world who can claim to have an ORIGINAL design not based on a copy of anything else.
 

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I think this is a translation from the description on the Ishimori website:

'...The Wood Stone New Vintage Tenor Saxophone

"Ishimori Woodinds has finally completed the Wood Stone tenor saxophone by combining their knowledge and experience of repairing saxophones which has been accumulated for half a century. This majestic tenor, features an incredible fast action and excellent feel and a super intonation. The sound characteristics are reminiscent on the great power and quality of a Selmer Radio Improved tenor and the incredible darkeness of an early 57 or 58xxx Selmer MK VI tenor. You can blow comfortably through the whole range but yet feel the back pressure of those old Selmers.

The Vintage Lacquer model is darker color, and adds the dark and rich overtones often found on the early Mark VI锟 sound. This horn has NO high F# and this definitely adds greater qualities to the instrument.

This saxophone has a logo, 锟絎ood Stone锟 on the bell. This means a Holy original saxophone. The Arabesque design on the bell brings premium accents.

Ishimori received a patent on the screw-fixed thumb rest, 锟絎ood Stone hard rubber thumb rest锟, which is attached on the saxophone. Also, the thumb rest uses quality hard rubber so it leads to resonance and quick response. The sound becomes warm and resonant.

This model has the Wood Stone thumb hook鈥. This hook has interspaced between a body and itself, which enhances resonance and makes it easier to control sound volume through the whole range and to control tone color. It can also improve the quality of the D, E and F sound which often become unclear.

The Wood Stone neck joint screw and lyre screw are attached to this saxophone. They use silver alloy for these screws. This can improve sound quality and make the sound softer.

The elegant engraving on the bell is designed only for this saxophone. This fascinating design is engraved elaborately by skilled Ishimori craftsmen.

The neck features a fantastic response and rich sound. It is modeled after the Selmer SBA necks however; Ishimori also makes use of our knowledge in the designing of this neck and it shows on every note you play.

Almost all the saxophones use glue to put together a body and a bell and this way can stop resonance. But they solder them in order for the saxophone to vibrate from the neck to the bell, which can improve sound volume. You can also find the Arabesque design on the ring of the body
...'

I'm guessing that maybe the neck, thumb rests, engraving, neck joint screws, body to bell soldering etc... are the 'original' design element perhaps?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Most of the Japanese manufacturers design their products in Japan and have them produced outside Japan for obvious cost reducing purposes: Nissan, Toyota, Nec, Fujitsu, Honda to name a few. Does it make their products less attractive? At least if makes them more competitive. Regarding Ishimori I would recommend a play test before disregarding them.
 

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I don't disregard anything I just don't believe that they have designed it.

Even reading what they wrote in their claims comes down to adding few, not exactly essential specifications to a horn essentially made by someone else.

Claiming that the thumb rest improves the response of certain notes is ........ ludicrous. Selmer seals the bells with sealant , soldering is not a new thing but it can be a nice detail (albeit not absolutely necessary) and saxophones don't resonate with audible vibrations in any part bell or otherwise.

However Mr. Ishmori would definitely be happy to read the comments of people that he can be so easily convinced to spend such an amount of money. Enjoy your very expensive horn!
 

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I think this is a translation from the description on the Ishimori website:

... You can blow comfortably through the whole range but yet feel the back pressure of those old Selmers.

The Vintage Lacquer model is darker color, and adds the dark and rich overtones often found on the early Mark VI锟 sound.

This horn has NO high F# and this definitely adds greater qualities to the instrument.

... the thumb rest uses quality hard rubber so it leads to resonance and quick response. The sound becomes warm and resonant.

...this hook has interspaced between a body and itself, which enhances resonance and makes it easier to control sound volume through the whole range and to control tone color. It can also improve the quality of the D, E and F sound which often become unclear.

The Wood Stone neck joint screw and lyre screw are attached to this saxophone. They use silver alloy for these screws. This can improve sound quality and make the sound softer.

...almost all the saxophones use glue to put together a body and a bell and this way can stop resonance. But they solder them in order for the saxophone to vibrate from the neck to the bell, which can improve sound volume...
I make no comment on the horn itself, nor do I know whether it is worth its pricetag.

.....but....

...... all of the above is absolutely ludicrous marketing....just completely absurd claims....
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
HI Liam84, the translation somewhat defers from the japanese version I see on their website but it is not too far. I agree with you JayePDX, it is indeed not very enticing, to say the least. There are actually 2 different versions of this new vintage: a "vintage lacquer" one and an "antique finish" one (unlacquered). Both comes with or without the high F# and they sell for the same (high) price. Whether high is synonym of outrageous in that case is left to your own judgment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
And then again the Mauriat 66R looks like a clone too... or am I hallucinating?
 
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