But James - what's different? Off topic but a large sports goods factory in
central Scotland has just closed with attendant loss of jobs - why? Because the
production is being transferred to the Far East at 10% of the present cost. The
stuff is just shipped in and rebadged. My son would still like the 100 buck
Nike trainers that I won't get him (for his own good, you understand!).
On Sun, 8 Apr 2001 10:46:13 -0600 James <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I am very grateful that Bill had the guts to speak out on this important
> issue, although it is not clear to me whether he was speaking to the list
> or to Nick.
> I have spent the last five years more or less actively involved in trying
> to understand the harpsichord business, especially the marketing end of it,
> and just recently concluded that I should more properly direct my attention
> to the stringed instrument end of the business, partly because that market
> is much larger, but also because as a string player I "should" be better
> able to asses what is going on.
> All I can say is, I am appalled by what I have found out over the past few
> In particular, I am appalled at the structuring of the business around the
> importation of instruments built by low-wage labor in Asia and Eastern
> Europe, and the various machinations that go on with regard to the
> "regraduation" and other finagling of instruments imported "in the white"
> from those sources, with significant mark-ups at each stage of the
> game. The bottom line, as near as I can tell, is that the work of
> "serious" local and domestic builders is marginalized as a result. I know
> that there are local and domestic builders who produce good work, but I
> think they tend to be overshadowed by the "noise" from all these other sources.
> And now I am at a loss to know how to approach buying a "serious" violin or
> viola. I think just throwing more money is not the answer unless I can
> figure out how to throw it intelligently.
> I arrived at the same point with regard to buying a harpsichord a few
> years ago, and concluded that the only answer was to learn as much as
> possible from the ground up, which is a pleasant way to spend time if one
> is retired with plenty of time to waste. But my point of view as a
> "consumer" is that the builders need to learn to do a better marketing
> job. And the kind of honesty expressed by Bill in his long posting needs
> to be a part of that process, if it is going to do ME any good.
> Not bloody likely!
> What was it Hunter Thompsen said about a shallow money trench?
Computing & Electrical Eng.
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