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  1. #1
    Forum Contributor 2013 Kelpie's Avatar
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    Default Plans For An American Made Saxophone.

    http://www.blessingbrass.com/news/20...e-opening.html

    Check out the first paragraph. Powell has bought Blessing and all their production for brasswinds is in Elkhart, IN from what I can tell. Let's hope it's a good horn.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Plans For An American Made Saxophone.

    Cool! Here's an excerpt from one of the local news articles:

    "With 50 percent of the worldwide demand for saxophones coming from the United States, Steven Wasser, owner of Blessing, sees a business opportunity. A prototype is scheduled to be ready by January and production is targeted to start in the spring.

    The woodwind instrument will be built alongside the brass horns in Blessing's new plant. It is Wasser's plan to fill the large Elkhart facility with a full line of production.

    "This is a musical instrument factory," he explained. "It is not a brass instrument factory.... We do not feel restricted to the traditional trumpet, trombone, marching brass. Part of our vision for the future is to make excellent wind instruments here."

    Mayor Dick Moore thanked the company for keeping its business in the band instrument capital of the world and applauded the company's expansion.

    "What is good for Blessing," he said, "is good for Elkhart.

    Wasser, president of Powell Flutes in Massachusetts, bought Blessing in 2009. Since then the new management has partnered with renowned musicians, invested in tools and technology, and worked to introduce professional models into its offering of student instruments.

    An unfinished room off the plant floor will be the home to the manufacturer's custom shop where horns will be built and tweaked to the unique demands of certain customers.

    All of this is the nourishment that will help a fundamentally strong company flourish, Wasser said. Blessing has been entering into new markets and attracting more customers in part because it is committed to making instruments domestically.

    Although the company is moving forward, Wasser pointed out, the community will have to be patient.

    "The results aren't going to be overnight," he told the crowd at the Wednesday festivities. "It's a terrible economy out there and it's going to take time to see the results but I can see them."

    The full article can be found here:

    http://www.etruth.com/Know/News/Story.aspx?ID=%20523724

  3. #3
    Forum Contributor 2008 saxxsymbol's Avatar
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    Default Re: Plans For An American Made Saxophone.

    This is going to be a very high end, hand made horn. There is a small, but dedicated market for high end horns. I hope the horn is killer and wakes up the big four from their R&D slump or forces their prices way down.
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  4. #4
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Plans For An American Made Saxophone.

    It has to be an high end horn .....there is no other space on the market and even there the competition is pretty fierce while the revenues are, certainly for a newcomer, highly uncertain

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Plans For An American Made Saxophone.

    At the moment I am under the impression they will start with a student model and then progress to more advanced models, but I may not be reading things correctly. A lot of schools use Blessing brass instruments so they may be trying to corner the American band program market with a student level instrument. JUST A GUESS OF COURSE!

    Just for the heck of it, I emailed Mr. Wasser to see if he could reveal any additional information to us here at SOTW.

  6. #6
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Plans For An American Made Saxophone.

    Honestly, an American made instrument has to cost more than a Chinese or Taiwanese instrument and although one could argue that the quality of a student level American made instrument would be better than a Chinese one (or even a Taiwanese one, but I have my serious doubts about that) entering the market with yet another student's horn would be a gigantic mistake doomed to fail. In times when even Yamaha moves the production of the low end instruments to China and Indonesia this would be a foolish move indeed. An innovative and high end instrument has a chance to make it, anything else is bound to crash painfully.

  7. #7
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Logician Grumps's Avatar
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    Default Re: Plans For An American Made Saxophone.

    Quote Originally Posted by saxxsymbol View Post
    I hope the horn is killer and wakes up the big four from their R&D slump...
    And what slump would that be? I mean... besides the fact that you really don't have to do much more with a saxophone to improve it. Newer is certainly not better, and horns made over fifty years ago still top the market demand as far as pricing goes. But what would you like, unnecessary and cumbersome added keywork? Selmer has been doing this over the last ten years or more, adding to their horns. Seems Yamaha has come out with new models within that time frame as well. Of course Yanagisawa has been building solid silver horns. It's not like these folks are asleep at the wheel, so I don't know how you could possibly believe there's some sort of R&D slump going on. Claiming such a slump for the major players seems more like a sales pitch from the lesser ones than actual reality.

  8. #8
    Distinguished SOTW Member rleitch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Plans For An American Made Saxophone.

    I think there is an enormous desire on the part of North American consumers for products like this. Good news for sure!
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  9. #9
    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2009 MyMartinTenor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Plans For An American Made Saxophone.

    If anyone is in contact with this company, I would love to make a connection. I am from Indianapolis and would love the chance to meet with anyone from the company, possibly tour the facility, etc.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Plans For An American Made Saxophone.

    Erik, go to their website both of the "Steve's" emails are right there front and center on the 'about us' section. I just popped an email off to them myself. I was thinking the same thing about maybe a tour of the new facility... We'll have to get our heads together on this. I'll keep you posted and please do the same if you hear anything.

    Somewhere in one of the articles Mr. Wasser made a comment that Chinese and other emerging markets aren't going to be able to keep their wages down forever. I think the company is partly hedging their bets on this idea (whether it plays out or not). I hear you though Milandro, the student market would be a tough market to hack into, that's why I wonder if they might market more towards institutions rather than individuals??? I sure hope they have a high-end horn hit the market, that would be great. Guess we'll just have to wait for more clarification...

  11. #11

    Default Re: Plans For An American Made Saxophone.

    I'd be interested to know the true costs of producing an instrument like this, because something tells me it's going to be an expensive thing for the boutique market - but maybe, hopefully, not. In the custom guitar and amp world the prices are sometimes almost bizarrely high, though it is labor intensive and sometime based on the expectation that only a few will be sold. Don't know what the sales expectations are in the saxophone world.

    The other issue may be sound - same as with guitar pickups where everybody wants it loud and shrill - will the new horns just be loud and buzzy or will they emulate the warmth of the vintage saxes - or does the market want something different than the vintage ideal?

  12. #12
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Plans For An American Made Saxophone.

    we will wait and we we will, hopefully, see. Even if they would market directly towards schools and cut out the middlemen they would have to come up with an incredible product in order to be competitive in this market and beat Yamaha at that game.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Plans For An American Made Saxophone.

    It would be nice to own a new USA made horn--but there is no way to beat the price of Asian made horns. I agree that a student quality horn would be harder to find a market for than a high end horn. You would need to be the Harley Davidson of saxophones. Thus said if production is low it could create a demand for a made in the USA horn.

  14. #14
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Plans For An American Made Saxophone.

    Quote Originally Posted by saxxsymbol View Post
    This is going to be a very high end, hand made horn. There is a small, but dedicated market for high end horns.
    I'm sure there's possibly quite a large market for American made horns. There are many patriotic folk who would really welcome such an instrument and probably pay over the odds for the sheer pride of owning a modern well playing American instrument. So I believe this could be a shrewd move.

    Costs may not be as high as people imagine, and presumably not all the parts would need be made in the U.S. for them to label it as such.

    It would indeed be nice to see Elkhart back on the saxophone map.

  15. #15
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Plans For An American Made Saxophone.

    An American Assembled Saxophone! Wow! The world is holding their breath () waiting for this! I think that only a true, incontrovertibly with no assembling " three cards monte " tricks stands any chance to be presented as an American horn (if it was just American assembled they would be , rightly so, named and shamed as Cons (not Conns!).

  16. #16

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    Default Re: Plans For An American Made Saxophone.

    If they started to make saxophones the way they make handmade Powell flutes, it would be something.

  17. #17
    Forum Contributor 2011 Dave C's Avatar
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    Default Re: Plans For An American Made Saxophone.

    Interesting and welcome news I'm sure.

    Of course, I will need reassurance regarding the lead content (and other potentially harmful things) of their brass before I could consider buying one ...............
    No product to sell, no axe to grind....

  18. #18
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Plans For An American Made Saxophone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave C View Post
    Of course, I will need reassurance regarding the lead content (and other potentially harmful things) of their brass before I could consider buying one ...............
    I hope there's lead in the brass, it sounds so much better with lead.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Plans For An American Made Saxophone.

    Well, understandably they are playing their cards close to the vest at the moment. I did get a very polite response from Mr. Wasser. I directed him to this thread and invited a company representative to join us on the forum. Hopefully they will join us and keep us in the loop.

    In regards to the level of the new horn:

    "Andy, The sax under development is intended as a very high end professional horn. Once we have established our USA saxophone as among if not the top in the world, we will then figure out how to deliver most of this value at a lower price with intermediate and student horns. Steven"

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Plans For An American Made Saxophone.

    I was the distributor for Blessing in the early 70s and it is a fine product. With this deal, my guess is that the saxophone will end up being Asian with some US tweaks similar to the Sonare flutes. I have my doubts.

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