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PostPosted: Sun May 03, 2020 9:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:34 am
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Location: Queensland, Australia
Hi all,

Long time lurker here, and finally have a question that I'm confident won't be answered with a 'why don't people use the search button...' tantrum!

The last few months I've been flute shopping online - mostly hoping for a real bargain to appear on ebay, but also checking out all the big makers' sites to get a feel for what's out there. I thought I'd found pretty much EVERY flute maker with a web presence, but just now I happened across this fellow. 'Anistratov'. He's based in Moscow and makes bagpipes, uilleann pipes, flutes and whistles at a price point that is either deluded or suggestive of a pretty high quality instrument. A blackwood keyless goes for EU990, up to EU4385 for an 8-key model. A full set of Uilleann pipes is EU8300.

So...who is this guy, that I've never heard of, selling instruments that cost as much (or more) as a Hamilton, Olwell or any of the usual suspects? The site says he's been active since 1999, yet nary a review or mention of him can I find except a 2015 post on the session by someone who acquired a used set of his border pipes.

So, two questions, to sate my curiosity.

1) Does anyone know anything about Anistratov, and has anyone encountered or purchased any of his instruments? If not, can anyone with a better knowledge of flutes (or a flutemaker, ideally) hazard some opinions on his work based on what we can see on the site? http://anistratovbagpipes.com/index.html
2) How many 'premium price point' makers are out there that get missed simply because a google search will tend to nudge you in the direction of the already-more-popular makers' sites?

Suffice to say, this is NOT some attempt to hawk Anistratov flutes. I've never heard of the man until an hour or so ago, and am just looking to satisfy my curiosity. Having combed these forums for several years I'm confident that within ten minutes I'll have fifty people arguing about whether Prattens or Rudalls are louder and whether pipers grip is ergonomic, but that's entertaining as well.

Cheers!

:)


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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 12:36 am 
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Same reply as on thesession.org:

You're right, there have been few mentions, but there are some, going back some years. Plus lots of videos of him as a performer. The instruments look well constructed with solid-looking keywork (and he has optional keyway liners). In part I think that based on where he works, & his primary focus on small pipes, gaita, etc., that we just don't hear much about that world. Prices are in-line with quality workshops in Europe, UK, Ireland & the U.S. - definitely marketed as a premium product line.

You might try contacting influences and/or customers Ronan Browne, Ray Sloan, & Carlos Nuñes for their opinions on his work.

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PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2020 3:26 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 2:34 am
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Location: Queensland, Australia
I just did some more googling (without specifying "flute") and found a bit more, mostly bagpipe related (mostly videos and a mention on a piping site). He's certainly a competent player, to my ear at least.

I'm glad you agree - from my (extremely) limited knowledge of instrument making, they seemed like the genuine article. Hopefully a piper of some pedigree will chime in and say 'Anistratov? Best kept secret of Europe! Shh!' or something and confirm it.

I wasn't really planning on ordering from him - I've already got a few ideas about that. I was more just interested in the enigma of someone charging top dollar for instruments in a field that I thought I was relatively familiar with. That said, he might be making the best flutes in the world but only the Russians know about them...


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2020 8:45 pm 
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His whistles look virtually identical to Chieftains by Phil Hardy, but Anistratov being more expensive. It would be great to know the opinion of people who have played both, if any.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:36 am 
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Location: Bischberg/Bavaria/Germany
A Chieftain "replica" that is more expensive than a Goldie? I don't think I'd buy one of those. Even though they might well be excellent.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 11:41 pm 
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I dug a bit deeper into Mr. Anistratov and he does seem to be very much legitimate, if not very well heard of. Quite a lot of videos and references, but mostly from Russian sources. My main theory as to why his prices are so high is that Russia seems to be a lot harder to reliably ship in and out of, so maybe he's the go-to maker if you're in Russia and want the best of the best. Not suggesting it's still like the Soviet years where presumably a budding flootist had to make do with a 'Victory Flute' made in the Proud Motherland Flute, Dungaree and Conduit Workshop (Flute production is up 300%, comrade!), but it DOES still seem to be harder to ship stuff in.

There also seems to be some pretty prohibitive duty rates:
Quote:
In addition to Customs duties, import excise taxes may be applied for limited categories of products, such as luxury goods, alcohol and tobacco products, cars, diesel and motor oil, and other petroleum products. Import excise taxes range from 20% to 570%.

Value Added Tax (VAT) is applied to the sum of the Customs value plus the Customs duty plus any excise tax. Russian Customs VAT is levied at the same rates as Russian sales VAT – generally 20% for most goods, works, and services.


Here's an example from an import cost calculator online for a USD$4000 'Woodwind instrument':

Quote:
Duty & Tax Charges

Duty: 210 USD (Rate of 5 %)

VAT: 882 USD (Rate of 20 %)

Total: 1092 USD
Your Total Landed Cost Calculation

Value of Goods: 4000 USD

Duty: 210 USD

VAT: 882 USD

Shipping: 100 USD

Insurance: 100 USD

Total: 5292 USD


Not sure how that compares to import costs borne by people in other countries, but having to deal with a 25% markup on US imports would definitely make purchasing from the domestic market much more attractive.

Disclaimer: I am not Russian, have never lived in Russia and am just extrapolating.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 12:07 am 
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This is from an old postie (retired). Post into or out of Russia under the Soviets was slow and often problematic. After the fall of the Soviets things improved somewhat under the Republic. Under Putin this has not continued. Russia is a member of the International Postal Union, which is a good thing, but this doesn´t improve any problems they may be having internally with their postal system.
You might consult your national postal service about the current state of service between your countries.

Bob

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 12:13 am 
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The Russian flute sold in Russia still has, no doubt, VAT applied. So Boris is paying 6 cents extra for every dollar spent on the import vs. the local product.

Russia is cheap (ignoring currency rates). Sweden is much more expensive.

Sweden, 4% duty, 25% VAT: 1.04*1.25 = 1.3
Russia, 5% duty, 20% VAT: 1.05*1.2 = 1.26

So for a $4000 flute, Sven is Paying 5200 - 5040 = $160 more than Boris (again currency rates ignored). Mind you he is paying only 5 cents more per dollar than Boris for his import vs. his local product.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2020 6:18 am 
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Gah, I got carried away.

Yes, it makes sense that VAT would apply to the domestic purchase too.


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