There is a lot going on out there in the industry and the art, but no one seems to want to talk about it here. I am really surprised that no one has been posting about several topics:
Example #1: BAC integration of Kanstul tooling and design
- The first phase of shop expansion is now up and running
- Kanstul sold off a lot of tooling and never kept great production documentation, forcing BAC to fill in a lot of gaps and ultimately apply bits and pieces to their own new work.
- The train cars arrived from California in August and already new models are hitting the market
- 3 new models, and prototypes refining a fourth are being shown, and some sold
o Paseo Z72 – a lightweight 72 inspired BAC rework of the Kanstul 1503
o Plaza – a “legit”, more mainstream all-around professional trumpet
o Martin Committee – the fourth generation. A new Committee designed with leading edge tech and extensive dimensional and material research into all prior Committees from my 1937 original to the couple of Kanstul 1603s that were built. Designed to manifest the concept “Martin Committee” with the classic sound, broad projection, and same enabling of the player to perform at peak
o The Benge project – ongoing project to continue the life’s work of Benge and Autrey to perfect the original French sound. Prototypes are being shown
- How the wild-man image of Mike Corrigan is going to mesh with the top tier horns BAC is now developing and selling and the serious professionals they are made for.
Example #2: Tedd Waggoner retired from Bach last July
- With his withdrawal from public contact, and Roy’s retirement from his volunteer role a few years back, who is left who knows the history, the culture, and the current capabilities to support the customer?
- He was part of most every significant design decision at Bach since the move to Elkhart – even admitted the confusing Bundy serials on Bach TR-300s was his doing. Who is steering the ship going forward (his email auto-responds with a sales guy as contact)
- How does one arrange for a custom Bach these days? Tedd always handled those customers, being able to mix the business side with technical understanding of the customer’s desires and ability to help translate that to specifics
- Paulsen was investing heavily in automation for those elements that consistency is desirable and allowing the labor to be focused where human skill is essential. Who will be managing that transition now? Who has that level of understanding as to which task falls into which category?
Example #3: Yamaha continues to move production out of Japan
- Is anyone noticing a change in “quality”?
- Any distinctive traits noted – new elements, missing details?
- Has anyone besides me noticed all of the trim parts on non-Japan-built Yamahas that appear on a myriad of cheaper horns?
Example #4: Voids left by the closure of Kanstul
- Where do DCI groups go for instruments these days? Who is left that specializes?
- What will the next generation of US Army Herald Trumpets be?
- Alternatives for American style low brass (there is the hand built Yamaha York recording bass, but that costs more than my car!)
- What are boutique makers doing
o Will Flip resource the Wild Thing and Inspiration?
o What does everyone think of Flip’s new off-shore line?
o Will Lee Adams work something out with BAC, or go elsewhere. Is the market still there to justify the investment?
o Anyone try the new Austin Winds horn?
Example #5: Shifting (shrinking) opportunities
- Anyone seeing a decline in church gigs?
- Seems like back-up horns are a thing of the past in the pop scene right now (yes/no?)
- Market for wedding & party bands vs DJ now that software lets almost anyone spin with some marginal competence
- Professional orchestra budget crisis in the wake of the change in tax structure discouraging charitable giving
- Does anyone soundtrack a TV commercial with studio musicians anymore, or has MIDI monopolized that?
Example #6: Repertoire availability
- More and more music is going out of print
- How many people have tried viewing charts over the web on their phone while performing? (what about those of us who can’t see that small screen?)