Saxophone Forum


by mgictwnger
(40 posts)
2 weeks ago

Logos on Chinese saxes

I just watched a YouTube video by a guy called "better sax" who seems to be a knoledgeable teacher and player. He just got back from an instrument manufacturers' show in Germany.
He spoke with a number of Chinese manufacturers about getting horns from them with his logo engraved on them. They all quoted a price of around $180 for a student model alto and would put any logo on them for an order of 20-100 horns, in effect letting him sell these horns as his own brand.
Better sax says that these horns turn up online at places like Amazon.
Although these horns are generally not junk, they are certainly not great, and the logo buisness strikes me as pretty sleezy. 
Your thoughts?

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  1. by mijderf
    (197 posts)

    2 weeks ago

    Re: Logos on Chinese saxes

    Nothing new here.  As far back as he 1920's in the U.S., companies/music stores/etc. would contract with major instrument manufacturers and puchase horns with their own names/logos on them.  Well known instrument names like Olds, Reynolds and Couf participated in this practice known as stencil horns.  Sometimes, the stencil would have a few minor differences from the main manufacturers horns in order to make it look different.
    To me the only thing new about what you report, is the very low quantity of horns required to set up a stencil by Chinese manufacturers. 

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    1. by mgictwnger
      (40 posts)

      2 weeks ago

      Re: Logos on Chinese saxes

      Of course you're right about stencil horns having been around forever. What bothers me is that, as far as I can tell, the old stencils were done for actual companies like music stores, retailers, and the like. Apparently now any schmuck with with a few dollarss to invest can appear to be a legit manufacturer.

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      1. by mijderf
        (197 posts)

        2 weeks ago

        Re: Logos on Chinese saxes

        Well yes, that is true, but basically the music stores, retailers and like weren't legit manufacturers either.  That is why I mentioned the low quantity required.  It has opened up stencilling to individuals who do not have the capital and resources that used to be required to run a business.  This seems to be driven by internet sales more than anything else.  It allows people to sell nationally (and internationally) without having brick and morter, staff or adequate resources to service the product.  This shifts the onus of responsibility from that of a manufacturer having to supply a good product to that of the buyer having to make sure he does enough research to get a good product.  Unfortunately, that will not be changing anytime soon.

        Of course, there were many legit manufacturers of instruments who were not tooled for saxophones and they ordered stencils as a way to complete their product line, e.g. Olds and Reynolds.  Oh, however they stood behind their stencilled product and took care of the customeer.
         

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        1. by GFC
          (777 posts)

          2 weeks ago

          Re: Logos on Chinese saxes

          Apparently the stencil game wasn't always played on the up-and-up back in the day, either.  There was a time when a rather dreadful model got stencilled as "Olds," and as "Buescher" around the time of the Selmer buyout.  Some of the later pre-Leblanc "Martin" saxophones were stencils indistinguishable from Evette-Schaeffer crap.  Same thing with "Blessing" stencils.  Vito's reputation took a hit in the 1980s when they went lowball and started sourcing instruments from Taiwan.  Those foibles happened on the watch of well established distributors with a lot of market power.  

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