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  1. #1

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    Default Why is there so many knockoff saxophones on sale in today's market?

    After looking at various online stores where they sell saxophones, I have realized that there is alot of cheaply made asian horns that are of an unknown make. An unknown brand.

    Lately, I've been asking myself, Why is there so many cheaply priced and chinese made imported saxophones on sale in today's market?

    Like on Ebay, I have noticed that there are several, if not, thousands of horns are on sale on ebay that are of an unknown brand.

    I believe that some of these imports should be banned from the market because they fall apart very quickly and saxophone repair technicians refuse to work on these horns. Why do they sell these knockoffs instead of quality horns made in the USA, France, and Germany?

    I know they're expensive, but man, they're worth it.

    A sax brand's main point should be to-
    Make quality and durable horns

    If people can't afford a quality horn for $400-$1000 range, then, they can rent one.

    So what is the point of selling these knockoff saxophones if the student/professional will not be learning on a quality horn?

    *Note: Im not talking about the chinese horns in General, I'm talking about unknown brands like Cecilio, Mendini, Lazarro, Stagg, those brands.

  2. #2
    Distinguished SOTW Member. eugeneherman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is there so many knockoff saxophones on sale in today's market?

    The open marketplace defines the trade taking place... If you care not for a cheap Chinese sax, don't buy one... This complaint sounds much like the eternal childish wail of 'It shouldn't have to be that way...' BTW, a retailer's principal motive is to make profit...
    'It's ain't about the notes on the page, it's about the notes on the stage!'

  3. #3
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is there so many knockoff saxophones on sale in today's market?

    The internet and a globalised market has brought many possibilities about which were not existing or were just limited in the past. These days you only have to open the webpages of " Alibaba" or " Made in China" to access a number of suppliers who will able to provide you with their products and stamp it with your own logo.

    Mind you, this is only a little easier now than it used to be, because nowadays even if you don't have a physical business you can start an " on line" or postal order company very easily because you have access to customers and the customers have access to you all on line.

    But the market and the world is still full (or should I say littered ) with all the stencils of the past era , good and bad , made much the same way in the past.

    In the past you only had to get in touch with one of the many factories specialised in making stencils, cheap or not, to have a saxophone made under your own name (see how many unknown branded stencils we continuously discuss on SOTW)


    There were (and you can still find them) all sorts of qualities being made in many countries and in different eras and areas and their production varied from America, Mexico, Brazil, Bohemia, France, Japan, Germany, East-Germany, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Hungary, Romania and of course Taiwan and China (Taiwan started making saxophones in the '30 already! )

    Cheap saxophones were always available and in the past some, even made in reputable countries, were of despicable quality. Nowadays, in fact, I think (but my opinion is surely less qualified and informed than the one of other people such as Stephen Howard who is a technician and a reviewer http://www.shwoodwind.co.uk/Reviews/...inese_alto.htm ) that, if nothing else the general quality of the cheap products is continuously going up and it is perfectly possible (as it has been discussed many times here) to buy a cheap Chinese made saxophone which would be a perfectly adequate instrument to learn on.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Why is there so many knockoff saxophones on sale in today's market?

    $$$$$$$

  5. #5
    Forum Contributor 2014 patmiller's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is there so many knockoff saxophones on sale in today's market?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saxman96 View Post
    After looking at various online stores where they sell saxophones, I have realized that there is alot of cheaply made asian horns that are of an unknown make. An unknown brand.

    Lately, I've been asking myself, Why is there so many cheaply priced and chinese made imported saxophones on sale in today's market?

    Like on Ebay, I have noticed that there are several, if not, thousands of horns are on sale on ebay that are of an unknown brand.

    I believe that some of these imports should be banned from the market because they fall apart very quickly and saxophone repair technicians refuse to work on these horns. Why do they sell these knockoffs instead of quality horns made in the USA, France, and Germany?

    I know they're expensive, but man, they're worth it.

    A sax brand's main point should be to-
    Make quality and durable horns

    If people can't afford a quality horn for $400-$1000 range, then, they can rent one.

    So what is the point of selling these knockoff saxophones if the student/professional will not be learning on a quality horn?
    So many generalisations. I've owned instruments made in Czechoslovakia, France, Japan, US, Taiwan and China. I've owned instruments that cost me too much for what they were and I've owned instruments that have cost way less than you'd expect for the quality.

    I've never owned one instrument that a technician has refused to fix.

    I don't think anyone should be banned from selling anything at any price.
    Pleasing everyone is impossible; pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

  6. #6
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is there so many knockoff saxophones on sale in today's market?

    the most practiced form of art in the world is complaining

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Why is there so many knockoff saxophones on sale in today's market?

    Quote Originally Posted by patmiller View Post
    So many generalisations. I've owned instruments made in Czechoslovakia, France, Japan, US, Taiwan and China. I've owned instruments that cost me too much for what they were and I've owned instruments that have cost way less than you'd expect for the quality.

    I've never owned one instrument that a technician has refused to fix.

    I don't think anyone should be banned from selling anything at any price.

    I agree w/ you about horns made in Japan and Taiwan.
    As a future professional sax player, I am planning to own a set of French Made Selmer Mark VI's and several Yamaha & Yanagisawa backup horns, hope I can own 3 different Mark VI's (Alto, Tenor, Sop), A Yamaha Custom Z Alto and Tenor for Backup, a Yani S-6 soprano and a Yamaha 62 Alto, and alto tenor and soprano saxophones made by Kenny G's Line of saxophones.

    I plan to own somewhere around 5 to 10 or more saxes, along with 10 different Alto and Tenor Sax necks made by Gloger, Saxgourmet, Yamaha and Phil Barone, along with a collection of 10 to 20 mouthpieces (alto, tenor, soprano- both plastic and metal). I plan to have all of my soprano saxes in a one piece-style neck, with a Dukoff D8 mouthpiece.

    All those saxes I probably plan to own will come from 1 or 2 thirds of my life savings.

    Maybe all together they'll be worth around $10,000-$15,000.

    I plan to buy these horns every several years.

    I forgot to mention:
    I tried the Yamaha ones, they're great. I plan to try a taiwanese made horn.
    I am planning to own a Yanagisawa S-6 soprano.

    I never had good luck with a chinese made horn.
    That's why I own a Selmer USA Sax.

    Im not talking about the chinese horns in General, I'm talking about unknown brands like Cecilio, Mendini, Lazarro, Stagg, those.

  8. #8
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is there so many knockoff saxophones on sale in today's market?

    Modern Selmer USA sax are made in Taiwan or China. if you are planning to buy a Yanagisawa that's a very good choice , alternatively, look at the very well made Chinese Bauhaus Walstein (which is the strange German sounding name given to it by its English importer)

  9. #9
    Just a guy who plays saxophone. swperry1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is there so many knockoff saxophones on sale in today's market?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saxman96 View Post
    I agree w/ you about horns made in Japan and Taiwan.
    As a future professional sax player, I am planning to own a set of French Made Selmer Mark VI's and several Yamaha & Yanagisawa backup horns, hope I can own 3 different Mark VI's (Alto, Tenor, Sop), A Yamaha Custom Z Alto and Tenor for Backup, a Yani S-6 soprano and a Yamaha 62 Alto, and alto tenor and soprano saxophones made by Kenny G's Line of saxophones.

    I plan to own somewhere around 5 to 10 or more saxes, along with 10 different Alto and Tenor Sax necks made by Gloger, Saxgourmet, Yamaha and Phil Barone, along with a collection of 10 to 20 mouthpieces (alto, tenor, soprano- both plastic and metal). I plan to have all of my soprano saxes in a one piece-style neck, with a Dukoff D8 mouthpiece.

    All those saxes I probably plan to own will come from 1 or 2 thirds of my life savings.

    Maybe all together they'll be worth around $10,000-$15,000.

    I plan to buy these horns every several years.

    I forgot to mention:
    I tried the Yamaha ones, they're great. I plan to try a taiwanese made horn.
    I am planning to own a Yanagisawa S-6 soprano.

    I never had good luck with a chinese made horn.
    That's why I own a Selmer USA Sax.

    Im not talking about the chinese horns in General, I'm talking about unknown brands like Cecilio, Mendini, Lazarro, Stagg, those.
    I guess I must be bad at setting goals for myself...

    $10,000-15,000 for: "3 different Mark VI's (Alto, Tenor, Sop), A Yamaha Custom Z Alto and Tenor for Backup, a Yani S-6 soprano and a Yamaha 62 Alto, and alto tenor and soprano saxophones made by Kenny G's Line of saxophones...." Good luck with that. You would likely be in for 10-15k for just the three Selmers.

    As Milandro said: your Selmer USA was probably made in China. I am not sure where the Kenny G line is made, but it is Asian in origin (and definitely not Japan).

    Just guessing here, but does your name "Saxman96" mean you were born in 1996? That would explain a lot.

    Having a great saxophone with a top name (or a full stable of them ) will not make you a great player..Just ask the thousands of players of all levels on this forum (many of whom make a decent living from music) that play horns not made by "The Big Four." Oh wait, did you want to add a couple Keilwerth saxes to your list...I mean you must have at least 2-3 to become a true member of the saxophone elitist club. That is unless you also have something against saxophones made in Germany before you even play one...:tsk:

    I don't play "professionally," but I do gig semi-regularly and practice as often as possible around my 40 hours/ week day job. Here is a bit of advice, albeit unsolicited, but definitely from the heart of someone who plays for the fun and love of it:

    You might be the next big thing in the saxophone world. Who knows, right? You are only 15 or 16 years old. If you are really going to put in the work to attempt to become a professional saxophone player, it doesn't really matter what kind of saxophone you play. Your sound comes from you, not the horn you play. Just put the work in on whatever horn you can afford that you like. You can't see the name on the horn when someone is on stage performing, you can only hear what is coming out.

    I envy you. I didn't start playing until I was 27, and I learned mostly by using my ears. I am now 34 and have the good fortune to take some time away from work and study music at my State University for a year or two. I have no delusions of grandeur, I just hope to get some basics more firmly under my belt.

    I have three saxophones (2 tenors, 1 alto). They are all from Taiwan, and they all play very well. All three added together cost me less than you will pay for any Mark VI. In fact, for $3,000+/- your Mark VI would need an overhaul ($700-$1500 more) to play nearly as well as any of my horns do.

    One of my favorite Mark Twain quotes seems to apply to more situations now than it ever has:

    “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he'd learned in seven years.”

    I will paraphrase another of my favorite quotes about life as a college athlete. I like to change it a little bit because it definitely applies to musicians:

    There are hundreds of thousands of saxophone players (student athletes) in the world...Over 99% of them will go pro in something other than music (sports).

  10. #10
    Tiberius's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is there so many knockoff saxophones on sale in today's market?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saxman96 View Post
    Lately, I've been asking myself, Why is there so many cheaply priced and chinese made imported saxophones on sale in today's market?
    You're an americanite and yet you don't understand the economic system? Manufacturers make goods, customers buy those goods. If the customers don't buy them, the manufacturers don't make any more. It's the basis of the capitalist system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saxman96 View Post
    Like on Ebay, I have noticed that there are several, if not, thousands of horns are on sale on ebay that are of an unknown brand.
    You're repeating yourself, you just said that really.


    Quote Originally Posted by Saxman96 View Post
    I believe that some of these imports should be banned from the market because they fall apart very quickly and saxophone repair technicians refuse to work on these horns.
    Are you speaking from experience here? You've bought a saxophone and had it fall apart very quickly? Exactly how quickly? My cheap Chinese tenor is now 10 years old, still going strong.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saxman96 View Post
    Why do they sell these knockoffs instead of quality horns made in the USA, France, and Germany?
    Again, you don't seem to understand the economic system. Suppliers sell goods for a profit.


    Quote Originally Posted by Saxman96 View Post
    I know they're expensive, but man, they're worth it.
    Define 'worth it'. For a beginner, who doesn't really know if he will get on with it, then expensive is probably NOT worth it. A beginner wants an instrument that will play reasonably in tune across the range and not hold them back from learning their technique. A horn such as those branded Venus, which is about as cheap as you can get, will certainly do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saxman96 View Post
    A sax brand's main point should be to-
    Make quality and durable horns
    Ok, I don't really see your point. My Chinese tenor is 10 years old, what is your point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saxman96 View Post
    If people can't afford a quality horn for $400-$1000 range, then, they can rent one.
    A Venus horn will cost £180 (add another £35 for a decent mouthpiece). Rental costs would swallow that up long before the Venus became unplayable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Saxman96 View Post
    *Note: Im not talking about the chinese horns in General, I'm talking about unknown brands like Cecilio, Mendini, Lazarro, Stagg, those brands.
    But higher up you talk about buying an american, French, German horn. Make your mind up.

  11. #11
    Distinguished SOTW Member rleitch's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is there so many knockoff saxophones on sale in today's market?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saxman96 View Post
    So what is the point of selling these knockoff saxophones if the student/professional will not be learning on a quality horn?

    *Note: Im not talking about the chinese horns in General, I'm talking about unknown brands like Cecilio, Mendini, Lazarro, Stagg, those brands.
    This is a good question. A large part of the answer, IMO, is that these ultra cheap horns--like many other ultra cheap consumer goods--are produced in order to beef up the production numbers of the manufacturers that make them and then dumped wherever they can be dumped. They do not make any real profits; they simply bolster imaginary "growth." If they were subject to actual market forces, they would not exist. As well, music and musicianship has little or nothing to do with their existence; they might just as well be can openers or shovels.

    I think it's pretty obvious as well that, rather than supplying some real demand as in "normal" economics, these products create demand merely by virtue of being ultra cheap. If they didn't exist, we wouldn't "need" them.

    While I'm not sure that banning them is anything like an option, I do see what you are saying. The more Ebay becomes a clearing house for junk, the further it moves away from the revolutionary business model that made it such a success.

    FWIW: I think it's a very good thing for people, especially young people, to question the "logic" of globalization and rampant consumerism.
    Martin "Dick Stabile" Tenor: Barone Jazz 7*/GW7

    "The spiritual life is built upon a commitment to truth telling and truth living. As master jazz musicians, [John Coltrane and Miles Davis] presented their spirituality within the reality of cool." --Farah Jasmine Griffen and Salim Washington

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Why is there so many knockoff saxophones on sale in today's market?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saxman96 View Post
    I agree w/ you about horns made in Japan and Taiwan.
    As a future professional sax player, I am planning to own a set of French Made Selmer Mark VI's and several Yamaha & Yanagisawa backup horns, hope I can own 3 different Mark VI's (Alto, Tenor, Sop), A Yamaha Custom Z Alto and Tenor for Backup, a Yani S-6 soprano and a Yamaha 62 Alto, and alto tenor and soprano saxophones made by Kenny G's Line of saxophones.

    I plan to own somewhere around 5 to 10 or more saxes, along with 10 different Alto and Tenor Sax necks made by Gloger, Saxgourmet, Yamaha and Phil Barone, along with a collection of 10 to 20 mouthpieces (alto, tenor, soprano- both plastic and metal). I plan to have all of my soprano saxes in a one piece-style neck, with a Dukoff D8 mouthpiece.

    All those saxes I probably plan to own will come from 1 or 2 thirds of my life savings.

    Maybe all together they'll be worth around $10,000-$15,000.

    I plan to buy these horns every several years.
    That's quite a plan!

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Why is there so many knockoff saxophones on sale in today's market?

    Nothing wrong with having dreams and goals. I think if we have guessed his correct age then it seems he is already critically looking at the vast differences between quality in manufacturing. When I was his age I didn't place as much thought in to anything.

    I think if SOTW does anything for people especially young players it has helped many young members to see these facts. B
    “We are what we repeatedly do.
    Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”
    ~Aristotle

  14. #14

    Default Re: Why is there so many knockoff saxophones on sale in today's market?

    Hey Saxman -- I think you're asking some good questions. I hope you're not too put off by the sarcasm of some of these remarks!

    There's a lot on this site about "cheap Chinese" saxes -- why not just try a search and read about 'em? I own a Chinese made horn (for about a year now) and it's been great for me. It's a copy of a Yani A991 and it sounds wonderful. Cost $300. It's got far better tone than a Bundy II (...and they don't typically rent horns to grown ups )

    ...and FYI, Kenny G's horns are made in either Taiwan or mainland China.

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    Default Re: Why is there so many knockoff saxophones on sale in today's market?

    Rleitch, that was brilliant. Any nation whose economic structure is built around a form of govt controlled and subsidized export marketing, is able to dump its products onto other markets which will trade with it. And it's not about quality, its about lower price. Achieved by factors such as much lower wages in the factories building these products. Keynes was wrong and he admitted so, but he was already dying and many (if not most) people just didn't want to accept his revised thinking that imbalanced world trade is always worse for the higher wages/more capitalist nation than the one less so.

    Harv

  16. #16
    Distinguished SOTW Member saxpiece's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is there so many knockoff saxophones on sale in today's market?

    Any nation whose economic structure is built around a form of govt controlled and subsidized export marketing, is able to dump its products onto other markets which will trade with it.
    And where does all this dumped stuff end up?

    Are there huge numbers of warehouses in the USA/Europe full of dumped unsold Venus etc saxophones?

    And who paid for the huge unsold numbers of Venus etc saxophones sitting in USA/European warehouses?

    Sounds like a great way to lose money for a importer/distributor if they paid for them and they remain unsold sitting in huge numbers of warehouses and there would be a point where ordering would stop if this was the case unless the Chinese are dumping them for free.

  17. #17
    Distinguished SOTW Member saxpiece's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is there so many knockoff saxophones on sale in today's market?

    Just looking at the Ebay feedback of Chinese sax sellers will give an indication of how frequently the Chinese saxes are selling and the same goes for trumpets or iPhone clones or whatever.

    From what I've seen, the Chinese saxes are selling.

  18. #18
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is there so many knockoff saxophones on sale in today's market?

    There is nothing more appealing than conspiracy theories but the idea that Chinese companies " dump" saxophones (and all sorts of other products) in and around the " western world" is...............what it is .

    Chinese companies don't dump anything........ they sell it. And they sell it in the west by means of many western entrepreneurs who profit many times over (because of and on top) what any of these Chinese companies profits by selling cheap products to the western masses who might very well not buy all the products if they didn't want to.


    The reality is that people buy those products and that they prefer them (for whatever reasons ) to similar western products. I'm not aware of any form of coercion that made me buy a Chinese soprano sax . Not even the mighty 2nd economy in the world could finance dumping good at less than their cost, so , this is good old fashioned free trade among nations. Whether we like it or not we, the west, started it.

  19. #19
    Distinguished SOTW Member Bebopalot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is there so many knockoff saxophones on sale in today's market?

    Quote Originally Posted by Saxman96 View Post
    After looking at various online stores where they sell saxophones, I have realized that there is alot of cheaply made asian horns that are of an unknown make. An unknown brand.

    Lately, I've been asking myself, Why is there so many cheaply priced and chinese made imported saxophones on sale in today's market?

    Like on Ebay, I have noticed that there are several, if not, thousands of horns are on sale on ebay that are of an unknown brand.

    I believe that some of these imports should be banned from the market because they fall apart very quickly and saxophone repair technicians refuse to work on these horns. Why do they sell these knockoffs instead of quality horns made in the USA, France, and Germany?

    I know they're expensive, but man, they're worth it.

    A sax brand's main point should be to-
    Make quality and durable horns

    If people can't afford a quality horn for $400-$1000 range, then, they can rent one.

    So what is the point of selling these knockoff saxophones if the student/professional will not be learning on a quality horn?

    *Note: Im not talking about the chinese horns in General, I'm talking about unknown brands like Cecilio, Mendini, Lazarro, Stagg, those brands.

    How much experience do you have with these brands and how easily they "fall apart"? Are you saying that they fall apart only because they are an unknown brand? How can you ban something just because it falls apart? We would have hardly any product on the shelves. The only way to "ban" it is to have no one ever buy one. They will ban themselves. Obviously someone is buying these horns and not complaining. Thats why you see them on ebay year after year.

    If you are talking about new horns, $400-$1000 will not get you a "quality horn". It'll get you a chinese horn from one of the brands you mentioned.

    Not everyone is a sax elitist. Some people couldn't care less how long the horn lasts or how well it plays. They just want something shinny to take up on stage and play their 3-4 notes. Or they don't want to invest big bucks until they know their kid is going to stick with the saxophone. Or they want to make a nice, shinny lamp for their den. There are millions of reasons these horns sell.

  20. #20
    Distinguished SOTW Member RandyJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why is there so many knockoff saxophones on sale in today's market?

    It's the way of the world.
    Crappy *s**t* products are made in every industry.
    Most sax purchasers don't stay with it anyway.
    Most of those folks can't tell the difference between the proverbial "silk purse and sows ear" (sic)!
    Don't worry about them, the horns or the people.

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