Archive for June, 2009

If  you were in the business of selling trumpets and based in Auckland, NZ chances are I snopped around your store last week to check out your business, the products and prices you offer and how you treated the customers.

In summary here’s what I learnt about your business:

  1. Your service is appalling – most stores did not greet, check with me if I needed assistance, nor even looked in my general direction when I walked into the store.
  2. You assortments are small and boring (not to mention your displays)
  3. You’re prices are high…..but there are a lot of specials

In summary I spent an average of 10-15 minutes per store and looked at a variety of products and spent $0.00

It’s no wonder everyone was on sale or providing specials – as you have zero else to offer the consumer.

All in all this is great news for trumpetgear…..so I’m actually quite happy about these findings.

I aim to provide great service, reasonable prices and serve people direct as it sure beats employing someone who will be either chatting to their colleague, browsing the internet or listening to music whilst there are people in the store.

Now back to work on the new look website……

Tauranga Event Report

Posted: June 29, 2009 in The Business

The Tauranga event held much promise and a great opportunity for some people to come down and try some new equipment.I must say that overall I was pretty disappointed with the general attendance though.

Never-the-less it was good to see some people come down and have a chat about the trumpet.

As this was the first it was a good learning experience for Don & I about how we should run things in the future.

Of the few that came I think all walked away with at least one new product or mouthpiece.

As you can see here we do now have a substantial range of new and used mouthpieces that continues to grow. (Usually at a pace faster than what I can update the website with)

All were available for testing on the day.

Mouthpieces that were there available for testing

Mouthpieces that were there available for testing

Here’s a picture of our Mute Selection currently also:

Trumpet & Trombone Mute Selection

Trumpet & Trombone Mute Selection

Here’s Don striking a pose sometime just before 1pm on the day…..

Don showing off our wares

Don showing off our wares

Before we opened up I did manage to get in a quick practise also….

Shawn grabs a quick practise before we open the doors

Shawn grabs a quick practise before we open the doors

Based on what we learnt there will be another event organized soon and we will be bringing you more products and more unusual and unique items to test.

Keeps your eyes peeled on the website for further details.

It’s a surreal experience talking to someone over the phone and trying to describe really what you are after in an instrument.

Well, last week came and went – and yes I did have a conversation with Jason from Harrelson trumpets about my new instrument that he is designing for me.

He asked a few questions about what kind of music I am playing (Big Band and Jazz Combo) – what kind of sounds concept I would like, and we went through the order form step by step discussing each step.

(I mentioned I have 3 very different instruments in the stable and what I liked/dislike about each – then I went on to describe what I thought was the perfect sound concept and resistance factor for me – a Martin Committee Deluxe Medium Bore)

This horn is really for me to branch out more into Combo playing and have something that I can blow all night long and not tire on – the 6310Z fits the bill most of the way but not quite.

The good news for me is that Jason has the experience and the answers on what I needed – and they came pretty fast. (I was surprised how few question I asked in the end – but if I have learnt anything from my time with luxury retail – sometimes it’s best to shut up and listen and just absorb, especially when you are dealing with an expert)

If I can offer advice to anyone considering a build – here’s my 2 cents:

  1. If you can – go to the workshop in person – of it’s overseas make sure you have tried a few other instruments so you can talk about what you are looking for in a horn (I must have tried at least 20 instruments in the last 12 months alone)
  2. Be very specific about what you want – and don’t leave anything out!
  3. Ask questions – I talked through finishes, mouthpiece gap adjustments, finger ring placements, slide design, SWE and more.
The original version of the Harrelson Summit

The original version of the Harrelson Summit

Here’s the final option sheet for me:

  • Bell #7 – 5.5  inches
  • Leadpipe #6 (most like a Yamaha Z horn in terms of resistance and blow)
  • Eliptical Tuning Slide
  • Smooth Brushed Finish with just the Harrelson Logo rugged – to tie back to the original concept
  • Ergonomic Finger Rings – but set a my dimensions (I took photos of my Z and measurements and sent them to Jason to match or adjust for finger positioning)
  • Saturn Waterkeys x2 – they are an extra $50 – but way better than amado – and look nice too!
  • Red Jasper Stone inlays on the finger caps
  • 2x additional sets of bottom valve caps (Light and Heavy so I can adjust to match)

Now that all that is dialed in I just have to sit back and wait for the vision to become reality.

From my limited conversation and talking through on the phone so far with Harrelson I’d say that these guys are top notch, and I feel very safe in the idea that they will build me a horn to match the sound concept in my head.

Next update on this thread will be when I get the horn in around 4-5 weeks time.

Can’t wait!

I guess in a recession people are looking to turn as much assets as they can into cash…..

On the other hand if you are taking a more positive approach medium to long term and have a little cash to spare, now is an excellent time to pick up some great buys.

So – of late I have been purchasing a lot of brass mouthpieces and looking for some good buys on instruments. (Just this morning in fact I bought or traded for 14 new pieces, and picked up a used YCR 233 Cornet)

Just a fraction of what I picked up today for mouthpieces

Just a fraction of what I picked up today for mouthpieces

This is great news as we are going to rapidly become one of the top stockists of top quality new and used brass mouthpieces in a very short time period for a fraction of what it would have cost even as little as 6 months ago.

It also means that NZ players get access to a better range of accessories from someone in their own backyard.

Now I need to start working on getting a mouthpiece trial system together and updating the website again! – Work never ends at trumpetgear – but I’m loving it!

Can’t wait till the 20th of this month when we will showcase some of our latest acquisitions in Tauranga – be sure to check out the website and come along with your horn on this day as it’s going to be a great day and a lot of fun!

Well it’s been a week, and I am awaiting a consultation on my build for the new Bb Summit.(Will be spending and hour with Jason Harrelson to discuss the horn etc soon.)

Harrelson seems to be a very professional outfit – they send you a editable form for you to fill out with all the different options you would like as a primary draft.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the options I selected and why:

Leadpipe: I still have yet to decide on the leadpipe configuration – that one is a toughie.
I’ve been trying to work out between the Yamaha Chicago, B&S Challenger and the 6310Z which really does have the best blow and why that is – at the present the 6310Z is winning in the blow department – but the 9335 wins in the overall tone department.
I put down a #2 or a #6 Leadpipe at this stage – but that’s seriously an option I need to talk through with the builder.
#2 is a wide open pipe and #6 is similar to my favourite to play – the Z horn which has a ton of resistance.
Both will give totally different blows, and sounds once locked in on the horn.

Bell: Bell configuration is easy – I’m going for the 5.5 inch bell.
I mean why build a horn for a smooth sound and not take it the whole 9 yards?
This will allow for a nice smooth and full sounds that will spread – ideal for what I have in mind.

Tuning  Slide: Elliptical tuning slide. Was considering a semi-round slide – but thought why not go with something different? Simpe choice and should prove to be a little different.

Optional Extras:
Stone inlays – nice personal touch and sets you apart from other instruments.
My choice was to go for Red Jasper – nice stone and will look nice set in brass.
(Was a toss up between Turquoise, Tiger’s Eye or Jasper – there are many options to choose from!)

Bottom Valve Caps – Additional weighted caps – lightweight and Heavy ordered along with the medium.
It’s always best to buy extras at the time of build – so I requested 2 extra sets of caps so I can set
the horn up exactly how I like it – and extra US$75 well spent I think.

That’s it for now – next update after the consultation!