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FWIW, SotW member “YoloSax” got a Yanagisawa tenor in a week.

 
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What follows is a summary of the Yanagisawa supply issues we are experiencing in 2020-21. I thought this was interesting enough to share with the forum especially since it comes from a respected vendor - Mathew Aaron / SAXFORTE LLC.
Hello All! I havent posted out here on SOTW in quite some time but this thread happened to pop up in my email notifications and I just had to stop by and say hello and provide some additional insight.

Overall, most of what was said is correct... however, I think there is more to this story as well.

Yanagisawa really cannot increase production in their current facility. They are maxed out on space and human-power. Furthermore, the factory has been audited for "mental health" a few times and told that they needed to decrease production in order to reduce worker's stress. This happened before Covid.

Yanagisawa can only produce so much and in most cases, has sought to keep what they make as affordable as possible. For instance the WO1 and WO10 models did not really see a price increase by much overall in the April price list... but other models went up in the 2.5 - 3.5% range. This is Conn-Selmer's pricing as the distributor, so I cannot say whether this was in turn pricing changed from Japan. It was the bronze and sterling models that saw the biggest price increase but the brass models stayed relatively stable.

Yanagisawa does run an allotment ordering system for all of their distributors based on the previous years' orders, trends and production capability. As a result, Conn-Selmer runs a 6 month forecast with Yanagisawa. Many models can be had in a fairly short period of time as a result of Conn-Selmer pre-scheduling their forecast but models that are not already pre-forecast would be at least 6 months out. So for instance, a TWO1 is a normally forecasted model and so many times these take 2-3 months delivery on a new order for a dealer at most. However, models such as a TWO32 would not be a commonly requested model and thus not part of the pending 6 month forecast. So a new order for that would take at least 7 months since it would go on a yet to be forecasted month's order. For instance, I have a TWO2UL (unlacquered TWO2) on order for a customer that will end up being a 9 month delivery when it is all said and done because of that.

As a result of all of this, as well as the other things that Matthew discussed, many of the common models can be had in a relatively timely manner if the dealer actually orders an instrument from the distributor. However, I have had numerous people who tell me that a dealer has told them a story of 9+ months when I know for a fact that they would be 30 days out even on a new order. I've even heard customers who hear 9+ months when the instrument is in stock at the distributor! So why would the dealer tell them that? There are 3 reasons that I can think of - 1) they want to sell something they have on hand instead. 2) they are on credit hold with a distributor. 3) they are a chain store that has to request it from THEIR corporate office instead of the distributor and thus are simply not properly informed.

We have Yanagisawa in stock on many models (Altos WO1, WO2, WO10, WO20, WO33 | Tenors WO1 | Sopranos WO1, WO2, WO10, WO20 | Baris WO1, WO2) because we PLAN to stock them and thus predict orders out as much as possible. Obviously my inventory on tenors is low, but I will see these arrive in July so not too far out. Yanagisawa's are wonderful horns as well all know, and are worth waiting for.
 

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I’ll be real. Working in supply chain, and having been a bean counter (most horrible job I’ve ever had to do), if the inflation % is on 2.5%-3.5% I think that is nothing; especially during global pandemic. You have to think about the overall reduced production time they have been hit with and the lack of or backordered materials they have had to deal with. They are likely also taking into account the slowed market for that sort of instrument. Beginners aren’t spending 4K+ for a horn. As for reputation, they can’t just magically increase production and maintain that. They have a ramp up time for the skills of new workers even if they expanded space. Really though the supplies of parts and what those will cost them easily justifies the increases. If they are quality, let ‘em stay that way. Too many people go for quantity.
 
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