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I've bought various bit and pieces from Thomann Musikhaus, Germany and I've always found their customer care to be excellent, and recently it seems to have got even better.

I bought a microphone from them recently and it arrived at my door here in the far South West of the UK just two days later, quicker than most UK purchases I make. I didn't like the mic though and rang them to ask if I could change it. No problem. They emailed me pre-paid postage labels for DHL Express and Deutsche Post and I put it in the post back to them on a Friday afternoon. The following Thursday morning the replacement microphone arrived at my door, no postage charged. Also, you can ask on the Thomann web site to be sent an email at every tracking point on the item's journey so that you know exactly where it is day-by-day, and it works perfectly.

This has to be the best customer care out there and sets a standard to which others should aspire. So thanks Thomann Musikhaus, you're brilliant.
 

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I've bought various bit and pieces from Thomann Musikhaus, Germany and I've always found their customer care to be excellent, and recently it seems to have got even better.

I bought a microphone from them recently and it arrived at my door here in the far South West of the UK just two days later, quicker than most UK purchases I make. I didn't like the mic though and rang them to ask if I could change it. No problem. They emailed me pre-paid postage labels for DHL Express and Deutsche Post and I put it in the post back to them on a Friday afternoon. The following Thursday morning the replacement microphone arrived at my door, no postage charged. Also, you can ask on the Thomann web site to be sent an email at every tracking point on the item's journey so that you know exactly where it is day-by-day, and it works perfectly.

This has to be the best customer care out there and sets a standard to which others should aspire. So thanks Thomann Musikhaus, you're brilliant.
+1!
 

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..the store is pretty cool too!!
 

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for those who don't know Thomann IS the pricesetter in Germany....whenever i go to a smaller shop and they want to show me how good their price is they show me th Thomann website...
 

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Before I start this review, I'd like to make something very clear. Thomann do a really good job, as do other online shops, offering a service that for people who live far away from specialist music shops is a lifeline, allowing us to pursue our hobby despite the fact that we don't live close to a large European or North American city. Without shops such as Thomann, we'd be slaves to the sharks on e-bay, or simply we wouldn't be able to get the best out of our instruments.

Thomann are pretty good, but they're not perfect. On the good side :

1) they can normally answer pretty much all your questions on the phone, they have specialists on most musical instrument categories who speak all the major European languages, so their customer care is pretty good.

2) they apparently have a "no quibbles" returns policy, a friend of mine got a guitar from them that when it arrived he wasn't 100% happy with, he returned it, and got his money back - I'm not sure about the postage, but he was happy enough with his experience, and continues to buy through them.

3) their prices are fairly competitive.

4) they have a funky review system to help you make your mind up.

Now the bad side :

1) there is (as with all online suppliers) no chance to try before you buy. I bought an "own brand" Thomann soprano sax through them, and it was utterly unplayable in its standard format - i.e. with the supplied mouthpiece and what they called a "reed" but which resembled a splinter of bamboo that wasn't even cut straight. As I needed the instrument and didn't have time to mess around returning it to then get another replacement one, I bought a Yamaha mpc from a local music shop, and some Vandoren reeds. Even then the instrument was only 70% playable, as the bottome keys didn't seal. I had to spend an extra €70 to have it set up by a technician at home before I travelled. Granted, I could have returned the instrument and got my money back, but I'd have been without an instrument.

I wonder how many young and enthusiastic musicians are put off by receiving an utterly unplayable first instrument, and then giving up when after a week's effort they can't get a sound out of it?

2) Their "ratings" system is weird - you can only post and read ratings in the language of your home location, so if for example you write a review in English to reach the widest audience possible, if your home location is Spain, they won't post the review. Also, they won't allow you to compare their items with other ones they don't sell. I have a Hiscox flight case for my alto, and I would have liked to buy a Hiscox for my Tenor before I travelled to Africa last year. I got an alternative flight case from Thomann, a Jakob Winter which was slightly more expensive than the Hiscox, but when I tried to review the Jakob Winter, my review was rejected because of the comparison to the competition. I think this is nonsense, it's just their way of limiting negative comments. The Jakob Winter just about does the job, but no way is it as good quality as the Hiscox case, and people should have access to that information before they buy.

3) They obviously don't test-play or set up their instruments before they send them, see point 1) above. I have just ordered a Rampone & Cazzani saxello from sax.co.uk and they assure me that all their instruments are test-played and set up by them before they are sent out to their customers. After reading Abadcliche's somewhat worrying review of an R&C tenor he set up http://forum.saxontheweb.net/showthread.php?179373-Most-beautiful-saxophone-I-ve-ever-disliked I'd say that this was a minimum requirement.

4) You should definitely do some digging before buying online, I was about to get my R&C from them; after checking around the web they seemed like the best option. Sax.co.uk seemed to be more expensive, but then I got in touch with them, and we managed to come to a deal on the VAT as I'm ordering from outside Europe, and with the guarantee of them play-testing the instrument first to detect any possible construction faults such as what Abadcliche picked up on, they were both cheaper and safer than Thomann.

5) They have a standard minimum postage fee that varies according to where you live - for Spain it's €20 - which they waive if you spend over €300. I find that hard to justify if you're buying stuff like books or sheet music, or reeds, so I tend to do about two large purchases a year, sometimes getting together with my friends so our total comes to over €300 to save on postage.

In summary, if you know the piece you want to buy, i.e. you've play-tested one of your friends' horn/mpc/reeds etc, or heaven forbid you have play-tested it in a friendly local shop, and walked out pretending you're not impressed, just to go and get it cheaper online, then go ahead. But beware, there are other options around, and sometimes they're cheaper / more reliable. Oh, and don't even think about giving their products a bad write-up, or they won't publish your reviews!
 

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i must say, that all local shops here in Germany know Thomann as price setter- and they are just a little over the trade buying prices. So small local shops have to adjust- wanting additional money for services eg setting up the instruments and 2nd setting up after a year, included in the guarantee. But if you know what you want or find out a price for the new product Thomann is the answer.
 

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I used to buy lots from Thomann until they sent me just two bass sax reeds instead of two boxes of five reeds and then refused to entertain any sort of dialogue on the matter, and would not either send the other 8 reeds or refund my money. I had to resort to getting my credit card company involved to get resolution in the matter.

I now have proper resolution - I got the reeds (eventually with help from Visa) and I now buy my Marca bass sax reeds from France. I do NOT buy anything from Thomann now and vowed I would never go back to them no matter how desperate I got. I have managed to keep this promise to myself these last couple of years!

All said and done, I had no complaints about them before this, but the major grief this one transaction caused was totally unacceptable AND (in my view) totally avoidable.
 

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Michael,

that's exactly the sort of thing Thomann is good for - it doesn't matter that it's a heavy item, the postage will be the same. Give them a call, I'm sure they'll give you excellent advice.

Eddy.
 

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Bass Sax,

if you live in London, can't you get your reeds from sax.co.uk who have a shop there? Are bass sax accessories that hard to find? That's some tool you've got there by the way! I wonder how much Ryanair would charge to check that in!

Cheers,

E.
 

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Eduard

I use Marca because they are wider and fit the old Conn Eagle m/p I use better. They are also a better fit on my modern Zinner.

There are, to my knowledge, no UK shops that sell Marca bass sax reeds. I have trawled the web and cannot find a seller. Any other instrument, pretty much no problem though (even down to contra clarinets, although these are not as wide).

Bass sax accessories are phenominally difficult to get in the UK, they are a rare instrument in the UK and even rarer to get mouthpieces, reeds, harnesses (I use Gemini from Canada - an excellent harness I hasten to add). Most music shops in the UK do not stock bass sax 'anythings' and so everything you may want is ordered as you need it on a non-return basis - an expensive way of shopping if the item is not fit for the specific purpose. Sax.co.uk is a brilliant shop (they have two outlets) but even at that, limited bass sax accessories - mouthpieces in stock tend to be just Selmer and Vandoren. Zinner, Jody etc. would normally have to be sourced via European mainland. No Marca bass sax reeds though - not yet anyway

I tend to buy a bulk of reeds at a time and the rest as I need it. The only true UK made/sold thing I got was my SaxRax stand!

The sax I have in the photo is a 1925 Conn New Wonder stencil in pretty much original condition - plays pretty good but really needs stripping, polishing, oiling and adjusting - the pads and springs are good... (sighs) one day soon when I have an hour or two to spare!

Cheers

Roger
 

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OK good..it's actually post free because it's around £750.. I'm really nervous about shipping big items from experience. Sending stuff back is a real drag. I need to get my trust back.


Michael,

that's exactly the sort of thing Thomann is good for - it doesn't matter that it's a heavy item, the postage will be the same. Give them a call, I'm sure they'll give you excellent advice.

Eddy.
 

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.....I was a little apprehensive about ordering a heavy item that has to be imported .......
there are no import taxes or restrictions between any EU countries, the UK, is............at present, still a member of the union.
 

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I have bought several things from Thomann with no problem. Including a monitor amp/speaker, which is quite heavy, again no problem. As yet I have not had to send anything back. I think they are very good.
 

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Yes ..I wasn't worried about tax just the risk of transport damage though I'm certain Thomann are excellent packers.
best in the business
 
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