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My comment actually wasn't going there.
I knew that. I was just commenting that we both saw the opportunity and how to take advantage of it... Well there's more than one way to skin a...

I just don't know why people equate money with greed. That's crazy. The human race has to aspire and it takes resources to do that. Going to the moon, mars, etc. Heck, if Adolphe Sax himself hadn't had the resources our whole hobby might night even exist. And if he hadn't let his ego get in his own way who knows, Saxophone Concertos might be a more common occurrence. I admire entrepreneurs. The good ones understand value propositions. Advancing the art or science of saxophones, getting the instrument to a broader array of players, exploring new opportunities for the instrument -- these are the things a growing company can do. However, right now they are struggling just to fill an order.
 
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My comment actually wasn't going there.

I was really talking about another company targeting to fill the shoes of backordered, unavailable Yanis. Now I know nothing else IS a Yani, but there are other companies which make very good calibre horns.

IF...and it's a speculative 'if'...one of those companies....and I don't mean a newbie brand, I mean an already established brand....had the capability of doing a marketing push for their pro line horns and the capability of temporarily increasing their available stock or available outlets...it could be a way to establish themselves as the '5th' of the modern 'Big 4', so to speak....or even cement themselves as the 4th (since the 4th member of that club has always been open to debate).
Okay, I didn't really get your first comment, but I think I understand it now because of your second. You think maybe one of the second line professional companies can step up to the "big time" pro market, right?

My first thoughts go to maybe Jupiter, then maybe Antigua and then Selmer USA. Maybe Eastman, but you know, I have this weird prejudice against Eastman...
 

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Advancing the art or science of saxophones, getting the instrument to a broader array of players, exploring new opportunities for the instrument -- these are the things a growing company can do.
I'm sure Yanagisawa believes that it is already "advancing the art or science of saxophones," and has been doing so for decades. In fact, can that proposition seriously be disputed? Yany has popularized soprano sax innovations such as the high G key and the dual-neck soprano, and has experimented with unusual instrument alloys (bronze, sterling silver) and various combinations of alloys. The company has introduced keywork innovations and refinements as well, and arguably has advanced saxophone manufacturing quality to its pinnacle. While none of these things may constitute "reinventing" the instrument, neither do they suggest a lazy company that's content just to coast along.

As for "a broader array of players" and "new opportunities" -- growth is not essential for closely held companies. Growth is an absolute mandate only for publicly held corporations, which usually live and die by their share prices. But a smallish, family-owned company can theoretically operate indefinitely without much in the way of growth, as long as it's very strong in its market and the market itself is reliable. The owners of companies like these don't have to care about share prices, so growth for its own sake is not an imperative. Everyone involved can continue to enjoy a good living and a sense of personal fulfillment without always having to conquer new territory. And a prospering boutique of this kind can keep its customers happy too. It just won't invite everyone in the world to become a customer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
And a prospering boutique of this kind can keep its customers happy too. It just won't invite everyone in the world to become a customer.
I don't quite see that they are keeping their customers happy over the last couple of years. But I do see an opportunity for someone and if that someone can convince them to future proof their legacy by growing the business then I don't see why you wouldn't be happy for them.
 

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Now is the time to bring back… B&S!
 

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I didn't realize they were gone. Oops.
Well, they aren’t really gone. They just stopped making saxophones and only manufacture some of the world’s best trumpets, tubas etc.
 
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As most of the members here hail from the US I am sure you all know Bluegrass and how fussy the players are about their instruments. Many Bluegrass mandolin players want a Gilchrist mandolin built here in Australia by renown luthier Stephen Gilchrist ( Gilchrist Mandolins & Guitars ). Due to the popularity there is a waiting list for his instruments. The renown Australian guitar maker Maton have a two year waiting list for restorations. Yanagisawa saxophones are becoming popular because instruments of their calibre are becoming less common. IF Yanagisawa had more factory space they would still need the craftsmen to build them and I sure both Yanagisawa and their prospective customers do not want to see automation filling the void. I find it really really interesting to see Yanagisawa so much in demand while many great saxophone brands have fallen by the wayside due the proliferation of 'cheap' saxophones. Why did the market not support B&S?, as an example, yet happily stand by and support Yanagisawa? We all know money matters and dollars make decisions. I think the world is fortunate Yanagisawa are so passionate about what they do.
 

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as many have commented Yanagisawa is a small, family owned, company ( although not so small by European standards) with about 120 people working there.

Their history is also interesting.




This is from a post by @oldcorollas

"It all began in 1963, when Yamaha started providing technical assistance to Nihon Kangakki Kabushikigaisha (also known as Nikkan). This company was born out of Egawa Gakki Seisakusho, a company founded in 1902 by Sentaro Egawa, the pioneer of wind-instrument manufacture in Japan
President of the Yanagisawa Wind Instrument Company, Takanobu Yanagisawa succeeded his Father, Tokutaro Yanagisawa, who established the Egawa Rappa factory around 1921. This factory manufactured brass instruments such as "Signal Trumpets". It was only later when Tokutaro Yanagisawa left the factory that the factory became known as Nikkan factory.
YANAGISAWA - A BRIEF HISTORY
1893 saw the company formed to manufacture wind instruments. The Egawa Rappa factory was established in 1921 to make Signal Trumpets cornets and trumpets under the name Nikkan, by Mr. Tokutaro Yaganisawa, the first technician to make and repair brass instruments in Japan. It was to be 33 years before tenor saxophones were produced in 1954. The first T-3, silver plated and engraved with the design of a castle, was bought by an American soldier at the Komaki store in Tokyo. The following year, Yanagisawa, under the direction of Mr. Takanobu Yanagisawa, decided to concentrate on saxophone production, and sold the Nikkan factory...."

Nikkan Gakki became Yamaha ( they hadn’t produced wind instruments until the ’60, they had only made pianos? and Yanagisawa was born.

At first , as everything was in the ’60 in Japan, they sought an aggressive policy of market penetration selling at cut costs mostly stencils to many many places in the world.

Then they understood that that was not going to bring them anywhere and that they had to build their market around their name. Otherwise they will be working to make other people weathy and never building anything for themselves ( as I often say, is like pouring water in a pestel and mortar working like a madman and end up with water after a lot of work)

In Japan , people are very conscious of the fact that once you put your name (literrally ) after a product the product and the name are no longer two different things. They are the same.

You fail the market or the workforce, it is your name that fails, not only the product or the company. I can guarantee they are feeling the shame of not being able to provide the products they are asked to sell.

But the chance that they will sell to an investors group is very very small. In Japan even if there is no male heir to the family name, they adopt in the family the husband of a daughter to continue the family name and continue company ownership. Japan is the country in the word with the most companies older than 500 years always in the same family ( immediately but at a distance, you will find Germany)

A Japanese old company (this is VERY important in Japan, is called SHINISE)

If you follow this link it will tell you a lot


this is about SHINISE companies


.... one of the responsibilities that they feel is towards the employees ( which in Japan are sort of family) not only to their name.

Judging a Japanese company with American standards may not be very useful to understand it. By the way, not even a German companies work that way.

Thomann arguably he largest on line music shop in the world has been offered to sell the company many times and the owner (lives in a small village where almost everyone works in the company) has always refused to sell....
 
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We are seeing a big shortage in all sectors of production these days. That is of course caused by the worldwide shutdown and reduced productivity due to covid distancing rules and other Covid measures. IMHO this also reveals the inherent risk that you have with the trend for just-in-time deliveries in the production chain of most companies. Most companies have a very small stock of the items they need for their production.
It is seen in most sectors, bicycles, musical instruments, .......
....
My take on this situation is. Maybe we just have to be pleased with what we have and enjoy what we have. Or be pleased with what we can get (thinking of second hand saxophones now) and be pleased with that.
Before Covid there were some problems with the way our worldwide society was running. This crisis has made lots of people take a pause, and think of what's important in life. some have needed this to realise that the world was not running how it should be.
I don't think that we will be getting back to the way we were living before covid. Lots of things will be different from now on.
 

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there is certainly a shortage of metals around the world and there are multiple reasons, not only the impact of covid-19, for it.

Maybe Yanagisawa has problems with finding brass but I am not sure that covid is the reason since this situation has been existing before covid-19 too.

I know for a fact that most companies rely on a very small stock of metals. The recent Suez canal crisis showed what this reliance on goods from far away can halt production or sales .

I am not suggesting that this is the reason why there is a shortage of Yanagisawa saxophones though. Brass could come from many areas in the world close to Japan and wouldn’t need to be transported very far away.
 

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Fickle markets in strange times. You'd think the scarcity of new would drive up prices and decrease offer time of used in good condition, but that doesn't always happen. Players are unique (I mean odd, and resource constrained) and trading is thin.
A wait of only a year or less for an instrument of Yany quality? Not a serious issue in my opinion. In string world try to buy a new Collings AT-15, or even a used one. Gilchrist has been mentioned--he builds in reasonably large batches and order slots ARE available the year before.
I do not consider saxophones at the Yany level a commodity, and do not believe the maker has any obligation to satisfy impulse purchases.
I would not favor increased production, but greater transparency as to expected delivery would be a marvelous customer benefit. A firm order with deposit could be rewarded with a solid reservation in the production schedule and customer notification of expected shipping date. However, would that survive the current distribution chain in the US at least in which Conn Selmer has been known to reschedule dealer deliveries out of sequence to satisfy other demands?
Distributors are useful, but perhaps if the pro saxophone craze (!) continues Yany could eliminate the intermediary and directly service world-wide dealers, as does tiny shop Ishimori/Woodstone for instance. But not going to happen for many reasons.
Anything of value is worth waiting for?
 

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people whom are determined to buy a new horn are not the same of those who want to buy a secondhand one.

Anyway, I am not seeing any increase in prices for Yanagisawa.

AS for bypassing the distributor.

Ishimori sells probably a few hundreds at most in a year, Yanagisawa production is in 10s of thousands, different animal. At that level no company can possibly provide individual shops with products.
 

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I was going to say something about the difference in Japanese attitudes toward small companies and longevity, but milandro already said most of it. Valuing continuity over growth is one path for Japanese companies or enterprises to take. Not that all Japanese companies go that way, but that a company can stay on that path and not face pressure to change; a path that would be harder for a US company.

There is a teahouse in Kyoto that has been in operation for over 800 years, 24 generations of the same family: Tsuen Tea - Wikipedia. It's famous and AFAIK the family also has a business selling packaged tea, but to my knowledge the tea shop is just as accessible as any other shop.

There are shortages of all sorts of odd things now too. I was in a Home Depot and they had no butane canisters to refill a mini torch, haven't had any for a long time (like months), and don't know when they will get more. But the smaller hardware store did have butane, so ??
 

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I have to say we haven’t experienced any shortages, yet, in the NL at a consumer level but at industrial level some things are in short supply.

Partly it has to do with renewed covid-19 impact in Asia . Countries like Japan , Korea and Taiwan were little to almost not affected the first and second waves around but now things are getting seriously bad.

I have mentioned working for a Taiwanese company an I know they are really stressed now with lots of problems.

They too (as many other countries also the NL ) have huge problems with the several population of immigrant workers who are being laid off because of the covid and have no means to support themselves during this crisi.

As I mentioned in another related thread one of the problems is the fact that there is virtually no stock waiting for orders and that is the fruit of this Just-in-time policy.

The system only works id the chain keeps turning with all the links in good shape. Break one link and everything stops.




I don’t think that many people in the industry have been factoring in Murphy’s law lately, but when things go wrong after a long time that they didn’t , the impact of Murphy’s law can be serious because, in the meantime, we got rid of provisions to make arising problems less serious.


 
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… Why did the market not support B&S?, as an example, yet happily stand by and support Yanagisawa?…
It's a long story, but it wasn't a problem of quality.
 

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My take on this situation is. Maybe we just have to be pleased with what we have and enjoy what we have. Or be pleased with what we can get (thinking of second hand saxophones now) and be pleased with that.
Before Covid there were some problems with the way our worldwide society was running. This crisis has made lots of people take a pause, and think of what's important in life. some have needed this to realise that the world was not running how it should be.
I don't think that we will be getting back to the way we were living before covid. Lots of things will be different from now on.
Yes, this will last .... for a while.
I think all the things we should have / should be learning from covid will vaporize a lot quicker than we think.
We have no paitence any longer, nor do we wish to be inconvienced.
This has been burned into our beings, and our kids are growing up this way too.
I hope lessons stick, but I highly doubt it.
 

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I simply respect them for not trying to over expand…not to try to own he world.
There was a time when people and businesses existed to to serve and to make a living rather than to make a killing.

There is nothing wrong with being content with making and selling only as much as you feel you can do and maintain standards. We tend to think something is wrong with it because we are influenced by the wall street model that is more interested in growth than quality.

I applaud their courage and wish them well.
 

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Okay, I didn't really get your first comment, but I think I understand it now because of your second. You think maybe one of the second line professional companies can step up to the "big time" pro market, right?

My first thoughts go to maybe Jupiter, then maybe Antigua and then Selmer USA. Maybe Eastman, but you know, I have this weird prejudice against Eastman...
Yup, exactly....just thinking out loud really but yes.

I mean, if this situation extends itself longer, it might be a window of opportunity for one of those brands to introduce a 'Limited Edition" top-shelfer or something.

I understand precisely what everyone is saying about Yani and do not get me wrong....they are stellar instruments...although I also wanna say some of their quote-unquote 'innovations' and 'advancements' are really nothing other than the same marketing attempts at newfangle we see from a lot of companies, too. They are not unaware of 'flavor of the month' dynamics, I am sure.
But indisputably, great saxes.

I ALSO know, from being in the biz of selling, that even for GOOD, reputed models....buyers and seekers in the new millennium will only have so much patience in waiting to get one in their hands. Internet has spoiled folks into expecting immediate gratification or at least 'readily available' wares 24/7....so I was just pondering whether there would be a 'hole' to fill, so to speak, should this become the Yani 'norm' for the next 12 months....
 
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