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Would you support an American made pro sax...

  • Yes.

    Votes: 104 63.0%
  • Yes, but only if it was priced like the Japanese horns.

    Votes: 37 22.4%
  • Nope, sorry, not gonna happen.

    Votes: 24 14.5%
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Discussion Starter #1
There is a real possibility that we could see an American made professional saxophone again in the near future. I have had some discussions with industry people about this, more specifically with Conn-Selmer.

I am seeing a trend with that company to revive professional American made woodwinds. We have already seen them do it successfully with clarinets (Leblanc by Backun models made in the USA) and I know of other projects in the works that apply but am not at liberty to discuss.

The reasoning is simple. With where the Euro/Dollar has gone, Keilwerth and Selmer Paris saxes are shooting up in price... Yamaha and Yanagisawa are staying somewhat stable... Leaving a gap in between.

If there was an American made professional saxophone that was AT LEAST as good as the 991 Yanagisawas and 82Z Yamahas, made in the USA but between the Japanese & European professional price ranges... would there be a market?

I think the ideal name brand would be Martin as Conn-Selmer owns the name. It would not be a "Selmer" as they would not be able to sell it abroad under that name. Buescher is a possibility as well but with what the last rendition of that name being so bad, I dont think it would be the one.

Just kind of curious really.
 

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Sounds like you've found a niche in the market, good luck.

I have no real thoughts on the matter. My horn does fine and should last me for the rest of my life.
 

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I voted yes, Dave. It is too bad Conn-Selmer has driven the Conn, Buescher and Bundy names into the dirt. Martin would work, but -given the name of the parent company -should it be called a Steinway???
 

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Discussion Starter #4
JMac said:
I voted yes, Dave. It is too bad Conn-Selmer has driven the Conn, Buescher and Bundy names into the dirt. Martin would work, but -given the name of the parent company -should it be called a Steinway???
I wouldnt envision Steinway as a sax name.

Keep in mind, that in order to get any sort of acceptance of "professional", it has to be a name that people know. Yes, they know the Steinway name if they are looking at pianos... but not saxes.

When you look at the names that they have at their disposal, I think that Martin is the only one that doesnt have any really negative history to them. So it makes sense. At least, that was my thought on it.
 

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Dave, my criteria is simply what works best for me and source of origin has no bearing. And if the horn of my choice was significantly more expensive than another brand that was "almost" as good a horn, I would then seek a used horn of my choice even though the cost would be the same as the other brand's new horn.

Regarding the concept itself, if there could be a new Martin that was as good as it's Euro-Asian competition at, say, 30% less, then it would seem to me to have possibilities. However...I wonder if by the time such saxes hit the market, the Taiwanese saxes wouldn't be kicking their butts at that point, both quality-wise and cost-wise.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
chitownjazz said:
If it played like a vintage American horn with modern keywork, I'd be interested. But I voted "Nope, ain't gonna happen" because, well, it ain't!
If I was a betting man (which I ain't, even though I am in Las Vegas) I would put up a wager on this...

I honestly do believe that this is going to happen. I know that I would greatly support such a product.

I would much rather as a dealer, support an American made product. Now it has to be at least the same quality and preferrably better then the Asian imports (referring to Japanese here) obviously.

I am just kind of at a loss of who they would bring in to consult for it...
 

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DaveKessler said:
so you voted Yes then I assume? :)
Um yeah. If it's the quality you're talking about and it's not just a knockoff of another brand, I'd look at it seriously. I'm not really now looking to buy anything, but I could be swayed by a piece of American craftsmanship.
 

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I believe in buying American when I can. I bought an American piano (avatar) when there truly was stiff competition coming from Europe and Japan. I bought an American car (better value), even though I believe the Honda is a better car.

My current horns are or European manufacture, but I would buy an American sax if the quality and pricing were appropriate and competitive in today's marketplace.

As far as I am concerned, Japanese technical quality, consistency, workmanship is among the highest in the world. Yamaha and Yanagisawa make some of the most responsive and playable horns in the world. Matching these attributes would be a tall order for anyone. However they are vulnerable in the department of tonal character. This weakness would need to be exploited to make a competitive instrument.

I think the model name of the sax would have to connote newness, innovation, technology to be viable. There may be avenues to explore outside the conventions to make the instrument better. Explore different materials -- titanium, carbon fibre, scandium, aluminum, polymers, rubber. Lighter, stronger is faster and better? Are we still making these things out of brass and talking about bronze as being something special!? Certainly there is something better.

Anyhow, I'd love to have a good American modern saxophone. Where do I sign?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
tjontheroad said:
Um yeah. If it's the quality you're talking about and it's not just a knockoff of another brand, I look at it seriously. I'm not really now looking to buy anything, but I could be swayed by a piece of American craftsmanship.
Well and that is what is being talked about. I think that they would be geared towards the tonality of the older American horns, just with modern mechanism and intonation.

I was pitched the idea of them using Conn, but my reply was that unless they wanted to improve on the engraving of the Naked Lady, then it would be a futile attempt.
 

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DaveKessler said:
Well and that is what is being talked about. I think that they would be geared towards the tonality of the older American horns, just with modern mechanism and intonation.

I was pitched the idea of them using Conn, but my reply was that unless they wanted to improve on the engraving of the Naked Lady, then it would be a futile attempt.
I'd like to see a new Conn with all the modern bells and whistles. It should have engraving that's also new. I also like the idea of a new Martin. Now here's the kicker... Get that old pre-war Conn sound goin' and you will not be able to keep 'um in stock. Japan and Taiwan horns can't come close to that.
 

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I don't know. To me Conn would still work. I think the art deco stuff would be cool again. I have a tranny alto (pretty much a 6m) that I love. If I had this with mordern ergos I would like to check it out. I play a Z tenor. A modern 10m...hmmm. I think these horns would have to be very good to bring the name back. Can it be done at a competitive price point? I don't know. Please keep us posted!
 

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Well didn't Conn have success with their "Vintage One" trumpets - retro and under the name Conn?
 

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I would put a wager on this too, except that my bet is that it will fail. Manufacturing of quality saxophones requires a resident, stable and highly skilled work force. I would expect this to be difficult to accomplish in the American marketplace, where traditional crafts are not highly valued, probably because they require to long to produce a profit. The car industry, housing construction and associated trades are examples of that the US is no longer competitive in producing high quality products from manual labor, and that the focus has shifted to the financial and service sectors. Boeing may be an exeption but it is heavily subsidized by investments from the military.
 

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Dave,
Wasn't quality control much of the problem w/ the later American produced horns? To some degree, that is a process control problem. Add the relatively high costs US labor and you have a hard problem to solve. I guess the US labor manufacturing costs will beat Europe today (2007), but that could change at any point in time. That said, a US designed horn (that meets the goals you noted) manufactured in Taiwan might be affordable (and worth the money) here, once the Taiwanese get their manufacturing processes down.

If the goal is to create the new Mark VI for $999 retail, then sign me up. :)
 

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I am just kind of at a loss of who they would bring in to consult for it...
 

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I'm not a US citizen but if I could buy a modern Martin with the sound and looks of my The Martin Tenor with modern keywork and I had the money, I would buy it. I couldn't care less about Selmers or others...

I think US horns, especially here in France have a reputation of bluesy monsters with enormous balls compared to Selmer's finesse. I know it's not exactly like that in the real world but I bought a Martin because I didn't want of that Selmer sound. I needed the rough, bluesy and vibrant feeling of this monster horn.

So if the craftsmanship, the looks, the price and ABOVE ALL that vintage & vibrant sound was there, I'd definitely choose the horn over most others. If it was just a Selmer's copy or a modern sounding & looking horn with all those fancy features like lacquers, extra keys and such, with way too much rods that load down the horn and almost hide its body I wouldn't have any interest in it!

Victor.
 
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