I also used to kick against the way capitalism works.
for most people who have never tackled having their own business it is very difficult to understand that a price is made of many components which have to pay for all sorts of things ( some not immediately apparent to those who have been earning wages rather than having being self employed) if you don't want to go bust.
A company like Keilwerth, even selling saxophones for thousands of dollars, wasn't making enough to stay alive and pay bills. I am sure that a lot of people thought their saxophones were overpriced but obviously they needed to cost even more (ore reduce cost) to cover the expenses, let alone deliver a profit!
You'll pay £50 or more for a good-quality camera strap in leather, so I wouldn't baulk at paying that much for a well-made leather sax strap. If I had to make one myself it would cost me a hell of a lot more.
I really think the focus on these straps has to be about how comfortable they are, if the focus is on how the sound changes with this or that hook I think it just dilutes the thread in general.
Joes strap....will be around much much longer than any positive or negative feedback. All someone has to do is try it.
Nothing more, nothing less.
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You keep bringing this up again and again in an attempt to disgrace and discredit me, but you truly had no grasp on what actually transpired and it only exemplifies a grudge you still cling to in my regard. But go on, keep mentioning it if you will. I will ignore you from now on and will not read another word you write here as I have no hope in you actually embracing accuracy or maturity.
Joe's Strap is nothing less than a revelation. So much more comfortable than the Oleg it replaces or any other strap I have tried. It takes all the sting out the Bari and the alto seems weightless... Wonderful product, fast turnaround. I thank David Valdez for bringing it to our attention!
Selmer MarkVi, 10mfan Merlot, Marc Jean Lig, Rico Jazz Select (filed)
Selmer BA, 10mfan Robusto, Marc Jean Lig, Rico Jazz Select (filed)
Just Joe's strap (the best)
To Joe, I think you should take some comfort that it appears any "issues" people around here may have with your straps, pricing, or whatever; are in the minority. I think it's important for us to note that the sax community is pretty narrow in it's demographic. And tha even if you make $20 a strap. The chances of selling enough to make a modest $100,000 would require selling 5,000 straps. My guess is that it would be pretty insane to think you could make that in one year (though I think maybe you should be able to). But that in the end, the focus should be this..
The bottomline for me is that if you do not like the price of something "DON'T BUY IT." Make your own (Joe described his process quite well and you are allowed to engineer your own design - at a fraction of the cost?). There will always be someone critical of another's work or designs, etc...
For me, I think this type of strap appears to be a blessing. I integrate these designs with the FreeNeck space bar for my prefered customization. And I think it would be cool if someone would develop one that is more "doubling friendly." This is what I intend to do for myself. It's amazing how necessity is so inspirational. Keep up the good work Joe.
Joe - Any chance of a washable version of this strap?
The head rest of my Saab just rotted through from extended contact with my sweaty head. I suspect I'll have similar issues with anything that absorbs my particular chemical composition over time. (Ewwww, too much information.)
Big Sweaty Tenor Guy
I'm using both a BG Yoke and an Oleg. They work fine for me, my only complaint is that they get kinda hot under the collar.
I know that it's not the best time of year to be making the comparison, but I'm curious as to how the Gel Strap works at dispersing body heat.
" M'enfin ! " ....Gaston Lagaffe
Thanks to all for the comments.
I don’t mind touching on price for a moment as I will need to explain an ad coming out in January.
I consulted with a small business accountant (also a musician) who recommended $79 as the price. He pointed out (in a way only a brass player can) that I naively over looked the additional space and related expenses I committed to, in addition to an employee that would hopefully be inevitable.
I was not comfortable with that price point and was getting my head around $69, figuring I need to build them myself. I have control issues.
When David Valdez posted his review it caught me a bit off guard. My site was up and the Pay Pal buttons were “hot” (needed to be in order to test the site) but I had not made the final decision on price. I received some orders the same day and felt /feel obligated to stick with $59. I thought it would be in poor taste and counter –productive to raise the price in the first week, duh.
I am committed to the $59 price for a year; we will review after such time and adjust only if necessary. The ad in Saxophone Journal will say $69 but my site will reflect the $59.
Also, I’m not perfect (not even close, ask my wife). I make every strap that goes out. There are times when I trim or sew outside my target. Some of the sliders did not get perfectly polished before being anodized, the polymer may not match as well as I like. I can not ship these as something that reflects my best work. It’s a drag because this usually shows itself in the final steps.
And another thing, cows are not perfect (well, depends who you ask). I have, on average, set aside 35% of the leather purchased due to blemishes. This is something else I did not anticipate. Uugh.
So…I will have a “specials” page up by the end of the week. I will sell “seconds” at 20% off for $47. This will go a long ways in keeping the price down and hopefully allow some players to enjoy the strap while staying within their budget.
Kudos to you for maintaining the price!
Selling the seconds is a great idea - though you might want to consider embossing them (or in some way stamping them) as such. Something as simple as a number 2 stamped in the slider, perhaps?
Gives people on a tight budget the chance to buy a decent product as save a few quid on the cosmetics.
There are a variety of leather cleaners on the market; the one I have on order is this: http://www.lexol.com/Product_leather_cleaner.aspx
It comes in a wipe that I find interesting. I do not have experience with the product yet, will post when I do.
The neck-side leather is similar to what womens garments are made out of and is also used on some fine furntiture applications. I tried many other products; lycra, gortex, straight nylon, bonded leather etc. Nothing "mated" with the outer leather well or well enough. Plus, nothing felt as smooth on my neck.
I understand that some of us sweat up a storm; especially under lights, in a coat.
I try to wear my neck strap (Ray Hyman) outside of my shirt collar but it still tends to get sweaty after a set or two.
If your strap were perforated (ala Saab sport-option seats), it might be more breathable - and would require yet more labor to make.
maybe you could gain an important " testimonial" if Arno Bornkamp would exchange his strap for yours
Re: bari model
I'm just not there yet. Closer in conception but still a ways from production.