Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 20 of 33 Posts

·
Discombobulated SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 201
Joined
·
9,886 Posts
http://shop.ebay.com/saxscape/m.html?_trksid=p4340.l2562

Is this just good business selling quantity over quality ? I wonder if Ken ever decides to market non-protos again if anybody would buy them. Is he dilluting his own product by doing this or just offering good pieces at reasonable proces? He can't be screwing up that many blanks, so as to offer them as blems.
Berg-man, I've been curious about this question as well. However, your "quantity over quality" premise may be misleading. I've bought several of the prototypes and they play extremely well. The blanks do appear to be blems - the outer side walls are not perfectly rounded. It's completely cosmetic though. I do not know to what extent the design of these blanks differs from current production. I have a production Xtra Dark that's got a funny marking, with the "Xtra" etched in above the space between "Saxscape" and "Dark", so I'm not sure if this is one is the same as current production either, but it plays slightly darker than the prototypes and I can see a little difference in the thickness of the material under the table in contrast to the prototypes.

The auctions of "prototypes" have been going on for quite a while, and the price seems to be going down over time. I don't know what affect that might have on the sales of his production models. If anyone is looking for a great blowing mouthpiece at a bargain price and can live with the cosmetic issues, this is a great opportunity to snag one.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
13,545 Posts
Its good marketing. I believe he makes a lot of mouthpieces, though I am not privy. I do know that if someone is happy with one piece they usually buy another. If someone is happy with a piece they also generally know at least two or three other players....not to mention endorsements like the one above.

Its a big world out there and its full of sax players.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2016
Joined
·
4,881 Posts
I got two Saxscape mpcs now. I love them! They are best bang for the buck mouthpieces when buying them used. But yes, I think their marketing strategy is flawed in many ways -- to include the 'prototype' thing.
 

·
Discombobulated SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 201
Joined
·
9,886 Posts
I didn't mean to imply bad quality, more like a "scratch and dent" sale as a marketing tool.
That's about right.

I said above my production Xtra Dark is darker than the prototypes, but that's backwards, it's actually a little brighter. I also have one of the KBs, evidently recently discontinued, that's a little brighter still and also a really nice player.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
374 Posts
It is understood that the Saxscape prototypes sold on eBay have reduced the value and sales of the non-prototypes ... Ken and I have discussed this many times, but I do not want to speak for Ken on why he does this.

For those interested in the Saxscape professional line of mouthpieces (not prototypes), SAX-CCESSORIES does sell all of the tenor and alto mouthpieces, including those not listed online. On the website, some of the Saxscape professional mouthpieces have even been discounted some because they have been play tested ... basically demo models with absolutely no issues.

These Saxscape professional mouthpieces have been sold to and are played by some very talented musicians.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW member
Joined
·
4,677 Posts
Ken seems to favor the .102 opening on tenor, all his prototypes have that facing, so if you play anything else you're out of luck if you're looking for a bargain.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2012
Joined
·
7,215 Posts
Ken seems to favor the .102 opening on tenor, all his prototypes have that facing, so if you play anything else you're out of luck if you're looking for a bargain.
Ken was selling mostly .108 tip openings in various prototype models about a year ago.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
4,917 Posts
Ken seems to favor the .102 opening on tenor, all his prototypes have that facing, so if you play anything else you're out of luck if you're looking for a bargain.
I've seen .108, .102, .112 etc on ebay in the proto pieces
 

·
Just a guy who plays saxophone.
Joined
·
4,446 Posts
Maybe it is clever marketing to lure people in with a .102 proto. When/ if the player wants to jump up a size, "pro model please..."

I have an xtra dark proto .102, and it works incredibly well for me.
 

·
Discombobulated SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 201
Joined
·
9,886 Posts
To make matters more perplexing, his auctions almost seem designed to bring the lowest possible prices - selling multiple identical items in one-day auctions. The price range on this batch was $32-$60. A couple of months ago they were bringing about $100 a piece.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
13,545 Posts
I didnt realize he was doing this so frequently.

...a used Tone Edge sells for more on Ebay. In retrospect that does not look good.

Waste and R&D is a tax write off worth more.

It is important to see what your seconds sell for as well as your used pieces...at least I think.

I take back my earlier comment.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2007-
Joined
·
5,316 Posts
Having done a lot of business with Ken over the years, my take is that Ken is a perfectionist and relentlessly tries to improve his models. The prototypes may work beautifully for this or that player, but they are not what Ken wants to call his top-shelf items. From that viewpoint, there is no reason to finely finish them, especially if they are to be discounted.

All that said, I question whether the prototypes and constant quest for improvement have helped Saxscape's balance sheet over the years (he said humbly and from the outside looking in). It seems to me that the main effect of all the changes and prototypes has been to complicate Ken's and his vendors' lives, to put more hurdles in the path of scheduled deliveries, and to hurt sales of the regular models. At some point one needs to declare things done, at least for a while, and move on to other important things, like maintaining stock and keeping lead times predictable and brief.

But like I said, that's all a guess from the outside looking in. I do like Saxscape's work and think we are lucky to have artisans like Ken who are so committed to quality.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,877 Posts
Having done a lot of business with Ken over the years, my take is that Ken is a perfectionist and I do like Saxscape's work and think we are lucky to have artisans like Ken who are so committed to quality.
Amen to that. Hopefully as a businessman he will get rid of all the prototypes and get back to his custom line. Man , the Xtra Dark I have is great, I'd be lost without it. I keep checking for a used one for my back up. I have seen a lot of .102 which is small for me. I have a .110 Xtra dark which is the BOMB
 

·
Discombobulated SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 201
Joined
·
9,886 Posts
Yes Lamplight, not to pile on, but the large and rapidly-evolving list of models is another source of confusion.

I hope it all works out in the end from a business standpoint, because if it does I think a lot more people are going to be very pleased with his products as they become acquainted with them.

In an effort to help clear out some of the excess prototype inventory I donated a couple of the Xtra Dark prototypes I won on eBay to Saxothon where I'm sure some students will wind up putting them to good use.
 

·
2011 SOTW Contributor
Joined
·
769 Posts
I am greatful to have discovered Saxscape and his deeply discounted prototypes from reading about them on SOTW. I have several Xtra Darks (keeping my fingers crossed he puts some Xtra Dark alto prototypes soon on Ebay as I emailed and he said possibly in the next month or so) and a couple FatCats and a couple SL "Slant" models. I prefer the darker pieces so I'm not looking to try the brighter high baffle pieces as that's not my cup of tea at all. Just saying since I have a couple or few of the same models with same tip openings, I see slight variations but there is more consistency than not.

I think the bigger picture is he is gaining a larger audience and long term customers as I would be more reluctant to pay $250 for a new Saxscape had I not tried a prototype that I won for $70-$80 on ebay. More than likely had he only been selling production pieces at $250 a pop, I probably wouldn't have taken the plunge until much later. Actually I think once I bought my first Saxscape prototype for cheap, is when I started venturing into more expensive over $50 pieces. Now I don't bat an eye at spending over $100 or $175 for used pieces even for Morgans, Mouthpiece Cafes or Vsandorens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
How many (Saxscape) prototypes to make a mouthpiece ?
Short answer: about 1200.
Thanks to all who are digging the pieces.
It's been a combination of financing, machinery issues, programming, feedback from customers, improving myself as a player, obsession with perfection... I've seen so many mpc companies try to scale up production and quality suffers as a result.
 
1 - 20 of 33 Posts
Top