Hi all, I had a crazy thought, feel free to chime in whether this could work, or of interest.
Many folks here are obsessed with gear. Getting your hands on mouthpieces or some specific horn models to try isn't easy, especially if one doesn't live in a location with good shops. Or the other option - buying stuff blindly to try gets prohibitely expensive quick.
What if folks here on SOTW could enter their approximate location, list their gear (mpc, horns, etc), and whether it's ok to PM them for gear tryout/exchange? For free or for money/booze/whatever.
Like "Hello, I see you have such and such mouthpieces, would you be open for me to come and try them, against a bottle of whisky, or maybe if you are interested in trades I have a Bhirdaldine Tonamaticlik, Phildoren Flodida Skunk refaced by Adam Sandler, and a Conn 10w tub-contrabass-fax-sax and that Pete Thomas tone-snake that might interest you.". They could then be free to arrange a meetup if they feel like it.
I don't have anything too fancy, but I wouldn't object to someone coming over to playtest one or many of my three horns under my supervision, and talk about gear for an hour or so. Maybe someone who is considering to buy a similar horn on ebay, or whatever. Even better if they bring a bottle of wine or something as a gesture. I oculd imagine even paying some straight up money for similar opportunity. Such a "program" would serve the community as one form of networking with local players, too. Or something interesting to do when travelling. Fun and useful, maybe?
It could be something as easy as a "sign me up for gear tryout exchange" in user profile with text field for listing gear, or some more advanced database or tool for listing such contacts near you. No personal info other than gear, city and willingness to participate would be required, other things would be communicated via PM. This info could be visible to everyone, or only for members who have also signed up, making it a club of sorts.
My PHP and MySQL skills are a bit rusty but I'm pretty sure I could hack together something that would work more or less integrated with the SOTW forum software.
Just throwing this in the air, feel free to comment...