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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:10 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
I don't know what sort of outfit is behind the Chinese product, it doesn't need to be a huge manufacturer. Perhaps they are just sounding out how they go. If they have good wholesale prices and they get places like Thomann or even McNeela to pick up on them, they'll be flying it.


That's sort of my point, many Chinese manufacturers seem to be setting their sights on smaller, more niche (but still profitable) markets nowadays, and not necessarily competing solely on price. I know that a few direct-from-China ukulele makes have gotten fairly popular among uke enthusiasts, and I am quite pleased with the quality of one that I have from the "Enya" brand (they seem to have no connection to the singer other than the name). This style of whistle can't be the cheapest thing for them to manufacture, which gives me some hope that they're actually trying to make a good product. Hey, it used to be that Japan was thought of as the place for cheap electronics, now it's cutting-edge. Maybe we'll all be clamoring for high-quality Chinese instruments soon...

And yeah, there are plenty of outlets for them to sell through if they can. Local shops always have a couple Pakistani flutes and such around, and Cork Pro Musica carries the Smart/Woodi/Woodnote/Jinan Susato clones under the "Glenluce" mark along with the usual Dixons, Chieftains, and Susatos. Plenty of online outlets like Amazon, eBay, etc. Still wouldn't buy one online for that price, since I already know the Buckleys make good whistles for around the same price, but it's interesting.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:15 am 
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till wouldn't buy one online for that price, since I already know the Buckleys make good whistles for around the same price,


I don't know. It's pretty much how the Buckleys started out, we all took a chance, knowing already John Sindt made a nice whistle. The difference is ofcourse the Buckleys had videos showing the instrument played well and they got the instrument in the hands of good players. Still, if the Chinese ones get to a wholesaler who gets it into the shops in Ireland the market for tourists and comhaltas mammies is all open to them.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:20 am 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
Still, if the Chinese ones get to a wholesaler who gets it into the shops in Ireland the market for tourists and comhaltas mammies is all open to them.


:lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:57 am 
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bigsciota wrote:
This style of whistle can't be the cheapest thing for them to manufacture, which gives me some hope that they're actually trying to make a good product. Hey, it used to be that Japan was thought of as the place for cheap electronics, now it's cutting-edge. Maybe we'll all be clamoring for high-quality Chinese instruments soon...


Sooner than you think!

It wasn't so long ago that horrific Chinese made knock-off brass and woodwind instruments began (mysteriously) showing up on Ebay. The forums roundly criticised them as second rate works of third rate plumbing. Anymore they're being appraised with increasing frequency as adequate to good. And talk about niche! You can find any number of natural horns with assorted tuning crooks & nicely painted bells for $500 to $700. A craftsman might charge $5000 for a natural horn with crooks. I think if I were interested, I'd seriously consider a Chinese made horn and perhaps a craftsman made mouthpiece.

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And yeah, there are plenty of outlets for them to sell through if they can. Local shops always have a couple Pakistani flutes and such around, and Cork Pro Musica carries the Smart/Woodi/Woodnote/Jinan Susato clones under the "Glenluce" mark along with the usual Dixons, Chieftains, and Susatos. Plenty of online outlets like Amazon, eBay, etc. Still wouldn't buy one online for that price, since I already know the Buckleys make good whistles for around the same price, but it's interesting.


Woodnote have really gotten ambitious! I was astounded to find on Ebay that I could get a six plastic recorder set (garklein through bass) for a mere $9369.99!! :shock: You can put together the same set from Aulos or Yamaha for around $500 to $600 (most of that cost being in the bass). Thing is, they're getting good reviews and are apparently well made. Clearly, the Chinese factories are paying attention to what folks have long said about the poor quality of Pakistani & early Chinese knock-offs. The newer Chinese brands, I think, are come into their own.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:14 am 
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bigsciota wrote:
Mr.Gumby wrote:
Maybe we'll all be clamoring for high-quality Chinese instruments soon...



Already there in some places. Thinking of Eastman fiddles, mandolins, and guitars. From what I have seen and heard, they are very good quality, and great value. I considered them when my daughter stepped up to a better fiddle (though we bought an old German one from a local player who sells fiddles on the side). The Chinese can manufacture very well when they want to.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:21 am 
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Adrian W. wrote:
... The Chinese can manufacture very well when they want to.


Of course - my guess is that 90% of the items I use (and bought in the last 10 years or so) are made in China. I've heard good things about chinese-made viols (for which there is a much smaller market than for classical string instruments, making them much more expensive)...


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:39 pm 
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I have a Chinese made double bass, a Shen, which is all solid wood and carved. It was very expensive new—$5000, which was a lot for me at the time but a third or less what a domestically made carved wooden bass would have cost. It’s paid for itself many times over in the decade and a half I’ve played it. Aside from normal maintenance issues—a bass is very big and the sides are relatively thin and cracks are almost inevitable—it’s been really great. There are tens of thousands of shen instruments in use all over the US. They fill a niche that used to be filled but European makes


Last edited by PB+J on Tue Oct 09, 2018 6:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:14 am 
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whistlecollector wrote:
It wasn't so long ago that horrific Chinese made knock-off brass and woodwind instruments began showing up... The forums roundly criticised them as second rate works of third rate plumbing. Anymore they're being appraised with increasing frequency as adequate to good.


I'm not really in that loop but I have numerous friends in that industry (pro musicians, pro instrument repair people) and I've not heard much of a change in people's attitudes towards the Chinese woodwind and brass instruments.

From personal experience, playing Boehm flutes at the NAMM show, I've yet to play a Chinese flute that I would put into the hands of a beginner. They look nice enough, but don't work very well.

A friend who does violin repair hates the Chinese strings and won't work on them. (I know nothing about strings myself.)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:51 am 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
From personal experience, playing Boehm flutes at the NAMM show, I've yet to play a Chinese flute that I would put into the hands of a beginner. They look nice enough, but don't work very well.

The Di Zhao flutes are pretty good, and built in a China factory. Mr. Di Zhao spent 13 years at Powell, also time at Haynes, and helped establish Chinese factories for product lines for both manufacturers.

As to strings, some pretty good guitars coming out of China - Eastman, and a line of Guilds.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:39 pm 
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pancelticpiper wrote:
I'm not really in that loop but I have numerous friends in that industry (pro musicians, pro instrument repair people) and I've not heard much of a change in people's attitudes towards the Chinese woodwind and brass instruments.


YMMV. I've never tried one of those instruments myself, and even if I did, am no professional voice to the pro or con of them. I'm only going by what I read and hear from players who have either tried and ran away screaming or tried and found them adequate.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:09 am 
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Saying a "Chinese"whistle is a "knockoff" is then also saying that a Colin Goldie is a knockoff of an Overton. just because they choose to compete doesn't mean they're making "knockoffs."

My second violin is a Chinese instrument (My first is a Cremonese Italian instrument.) It cost less than 1/16th the price of the Italian, and is about 75% of the instrument in sound. I use it for things like weddings at the beach, where I don't want blowing sand to damage the finish of the more expensive instrument. It also plays easier than the Italian fiddle.

As to knockoffs in general, China will make whatever the buyer asks for, at the level of quality the buyer is willing to pay. Look at Scott Cao violins- You're talking probably 20 grand or more. Because they're Strad or Guarnieri models, are they "Chinese knockoffs" as well?

People ought to know of what they speak before they open their mouth. Old internet adage: think twice, type once.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:16 am 
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then also saying that a Colin Goldie is a knockoff of an Overton


I am uneasy with calling the Chinese made whistle a 'knockoff' and not applying it to other obvious knockoffs. But that Goldie analogy is cripple as Colin Goldie was taught and licensed to make his style of whistles by Bernard Overton, and indeed made them as 'Overtons' until Bernard's death.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:46 am 
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Joe Gerardi wrote:
Saying a "Chinese"whistle is a "knockoff" is then also saying that a Colin Goldie is a knockoff of an Overton. just because they choose to compete doesn't mean they're making "knockoffs."

My second violin is a Chinese instrument (My first is a Cremonese Italian instrument.) It cost less than 1/16th the price of the Italian, and is about 75% of the instrument in sound. I use it for things like weddings at the beach, where I don't want blowing sand to damage the finish of the more expensive instrument. It also plays easier than the Italian fiddle.

As to knockoffs in general, China will make whatever the buyer asks for, at the level of quality the buyer is willing to pay. Look at Scott Cao violins- You're talking probably 20 grand or more. Because they're Strad or Guarnieri models, are they "Chinese knockoffs" as well?

People ought to know of what they speak before they open their mouth. Old internet adage: think twice, type once.

..Joe


A knockoff is a "a copy that sells for less than the original" or a "a copy or imitation of someone or something popular," according to the dictionary. The people manufacturing these whistles have a variety of copies of various brands, including Feadog, Susato, and these, which are based on the Sindt design. I'd call them knockoffs. It's not a bad word to me, I own plenty of things, instrument and otherwise, that would fall under this category. For example, I have a mandolin that's a knockoff of an old Gibson design. Cost me a couple hundred rather than a few thousand, and it sounds great!

So yeah, an exact copy of a Strad that you can get for $20,000 would absolutely fall under that category. For the vast majority of us, that's fine, since we're never going to get our hands on the "real thing," and I'm sure those violins are wonderful instruments. The maker seems to have studied for a long time and has decades of expertise on how to make violins. I'm not ruling out that being the case for this whistle manufacturer, but I'd be somewhat skeptical given the range of products they're producing.

Again, I see nothing inherently wrong with a "knockoff," but I do think it's worth calling a spade a spade. People were perfectly willing (and justifiably so) to note that Killarney was copying the Sindt design when that make first came out, this is yet another copy of the same basic design. If these are well-made, and can compete on quality with the existing whistles, then I see no reason not to buy them or promote them, copy or no. But since they're the same price as a Killarney, and the Killarneys are known to be good instruments already, I personally wouldn't really want to be taking the chance on something that could be great or rubbish. I'm sure someone will, and I'd love to hear from them what these sound and play like.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 5:56 am 
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There's a pejorative that inherently goes along with the word "knockoff," insinuating low quality, and usually supplied with the adjective "cheap." I don't hear anyone calling - for example - low D whistles made by anyone other than Overton "knockoffs;" I don't read of people calling PC's not made by IBM as "knockoffs." Why apply it to only Chinese instruments?

Regardless of whether Colin Goldie was trained, licensed, or even anointed by Bernard Overton, He can only have the name- it's still a "knockoff" by the definition applied above.

Can't have it both ways, people- EVERYTHING that isn't the original is a knockoff, or nothing is. Pointing out ONE item as a knockoff is not proper, and infers that it's lower quality for that lower price.

I'll go back to lurking mode now.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2018 6:16 am 
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Joe Gerardi wrote:
Saying a "Chinese"whistle is a "knockoff" is then also saying that a Colin Goldie is a knockoff of an Overton. just because they choose to compete doesn't mean they're making "knockoffs."

My second violin is a Chinese instrument (My first is a Cremonese Italian instrument.) It cost less than 1/16th the price of the Italian, and is about 75% of the instrument in sound. I use it for things like weddings at the beach, where I don't want blowing sand to damage the finish of the more expensive instrument. It also plays easier than the Italian fiddle.

As to knockoffs in general, China will make whatever the buyer asks for, at the level of quality the buyer is willing to pay. Look at Scott Cao violins- You're talking probably 20 grand or more. Because they're Strad or Guarnieri models, are they "Chinese knockoffs" as well?

People ought to know of what they speak before they open their mouth. Old internet adage: think twice, type once.

..Joe


Actually we do know. Goldie/Overton has already been discussed: that's a matter of time honoured Master to Apprentice inheritance of craft. As I recall, one or more makers learned from Schultz. Those aren't knockoffs.

An object that is mass produced, not just following general principles of design, but following a more specific "trademark" design developed by a craftsman and where there is no direct transmission of craft, is, rather by definition a knockoff. If a Chinese firm takes lengths of aluminium tubing, drills six holes in them, squares off the business end, sticks a block in there, brushes it up nicely and stamps "OVERTONE" on it, well, that's a knockoff pure and simple!

Over the last 20 years or so, Ebay's musical instrument department has seen its share of "sound-alike" brand names coming out of China. Those I think are pretty clearly intended to deceive. Others are possibly house brands based off of whatever "US" brand they were manufacturing for. Those are lower priced knockoffs.

As for knowing whereof we speak, any one of us who has one of those world-famous Pakistani made "Irish" flutes knows a lot about knockoff instruments! I never bought one, but I did have the chance to see an Indian or Pakistani made trumpet of some kind one time. Externally lovely: the maker clearly had no idea what the purpose of the valves were or that they need to be polished to operate smoothly.

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