Breaking News: Buffet Crampon completes purchase of Besson

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Seedhouse, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. Seedhouse

    Seedhouse Active Member

    Front page news in British Bandsman this morning!
    Don't know if i'm allowed to type up the article for copyrighting so i'll await a nod from a mod! :oops: ;)

    ... read more in the British Bandsman.

    Certainly very interesting now that they own both Courtois and Besson...!!! :-?
  2. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    Oh dear. I'm sure the instruments will be fine as Buffet Crampon do have a good reputation but I'm concerned that vital parts of British brass band heritage and the cultural heritage of this country are now in foreign hands. This story isn't half over yet. I will wait and watch with interest for more developments in the coming weeks and months. Wonder how long the National Championships will survive at RAH? :(
  3. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    would that be such a disaster ?

    there are more bands/bandsmen (and women) further North, why not have the finals in Birmingham/Manchester?
  4. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    On reflection, no it wouldn't. I accept that there are far better venues throughout the country but I am a bit of a traditionalist and I do look forward to Nationals weekend at RAH.
  5. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    I hope it keeps the name Besson, somehow the name Buffet Crampon sounds like a busy queue for sandwiches on a train rather than an instrument
  6. ian perks

    ian perks Active Member

    100% with you on this Steve i will say
    BIRMINGHAM plenty of Venues The Championship Section Final at Symphony Hall, 1st Section Final :The Birmingham Town Hall
    2nd,3rd&4th close to venues near by i.e:Sir Adrian Boult Hall and National Indoor Arena which is 10 mins walk if that from Symphony Hall
  7. stevetrom

    stevetrom Well-Known Member

    it would be great to get the finals for all sections on the same weekend and in the same city (if not venue)
  8. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    Is this topic about Besson's takeover or where we put the finals?
  9. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Well-Known Member

    Rumour hath that all instruments will be made in Germany, maybe this will help the Besson quality control issue?
  10. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    You are spot on with that comment Mike... I have no doubt that should manufacturing be moved to Germany, this would have a significant and positive effect on instrument quality.

    I also have no doubts that the poor quality of many Besson instruments in recent years is in some way down to the National Lottery Grants that have been made available. These grants have been given to bands, many of whom have purchased a full set of instruments - Besson then possibly saw this as a cash cow and took on work with a certain degree of inability to meet the demand - and sacrificed quality control measures to ensure production rates were increased to match order rates... but that's another ball game entirely eh.
  11. Adrian Horn

    Adrian Horn Member

    No mention of this on the Buffet Crampon website yet, however it does have press release saying that they have just bought Courtios Paris (makers of Antoine Courtois brass instruments)

    Wonder if they'll make the products work in harmony with each other (ie. Besson becoming student models and Courtois becoming Pro models or vice versa) of if they'll still be competing for the same market directly?
  12. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    I'd love to be able to agree with you there, John, but in my experience there are plenty of German companies who suffer from poor product quality too. I think they're very similar to us (the British) - if they have the right quality control procedures in place then the quality is great, if they don't then it suffers accordingly. I feel a better indication would be the recent quality of Buffet Crampon's woodwind instruments which would indicate whether they take quality control seriously. Lets hope so as I have found and heard about some Courtois' quality glitches too.

    Adrian makes an intersting comment about the relative markets of both Courtois and Besson. After all for the last few years Courtois have been attacking Besson's domination of the Brass Band market - with a degree of success too.

    For me if Besson are to continue making top line instruments then they should stop trying to make expensive instruments cheaply and concentrate on quality first. The Sovereign brand has been badly damaged by too many poorly assembled (I was going to use the phrase "slapped together" but that might be a little harsh) examples making it into the public domain. By starting the Prestige brand it would seem that Besson knew that too - why start a new top level brand if you already have one which commands respect and has some historical value?

    That said, I'm hopeful this will be a good move for everyone, I would like to see Besson back amongst the best and most respected brands making brass instruments.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2006
  13. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    I definately see this as a good thing. When Besson went under last month there were a few (rather short-sighted) people gloating like crazy, but we must remember that Besson/Boosey & Hawkes have single-handedly standardized the brass band movement in the last 100 years. Before Yamaha/Courtois etc came on the scene in the UK, where did you buy a new cornet? Certainly not from China, France or USA. I strongly believe that Besson is as much a part of the Brass Band movement as such figures as William Rimmer, Frank Wright, Eric Ball and the like.

    Part of Besson's downfall has come from their quality control issues when the lottery was throwing it's money at bands. Now that has changed, Besson's only real crime is not being prepared for the enevitable slump in purchases. Now that they have Buffet behind them, I am confident that Besson will rise up to be a market leader again, but this time perhaps they will be a little less complacent about their position in the market.

    You never know, they might produce a decent trombone for the first time in the company's history. Ok then, one step at a time!
  14. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    And I thought the cornet was originally a French instrument ("Cornet a pistons", Arban, etc.)
    (with a little Belgian influence by Adolphe Sax - who was living in Paris of course)
  15. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    Although by no means a cornet player, I once did a full practice on cornet, playing Stewart Gaudion's Getson, and that seemed more than adequate for the task ;)
  16. Jon Parkinson

    Jon Parkinson New Member

    Sorry to worry you all, but the word in the trade is that Buffet have only bought the Besson name, the current stock holding and just two of the manufacturing machines. So much knowledge was in the heads of the makers that it is difficult to see that they will be trying (or able) to build Besson exactly the same as before. Cynics have suggested that Meinl will simply add Besson to the list of names that they already put on their own kit. Buffet have said that they expect to be able to deal with demand in about 8 months, so maybe they will use this time and spare factory capacity to organise copies that will be close facsimilies of the original Besson produced instruments. It has also been suggested that buying Besson simply takes a competitor out of the frame effectively guaranteeing increased sales - better this than let Conn-Selmer (or any of the other potential buyers) have it. I guess that the picture will get clearer over the next few months. Sad times. Watch this space!
  17. JooBoo

    JooBoo New Member

  18. Brian Kelly

    Brian Kelly Active Member

    He did, but Arban was French.

    Foreign instruments were not readily available in this country for many years, at least partly because of heavy import taxes on them ( I have read stories of orchestral trombone players smuggling Conn 8Hs through customs when coming home from tours of the USA in the 1950s). Also the fact that British brass bands persisted with high pitch long after orchestras, dance bands and military / wind bands had gone over to low pitch meant that foreign instruments could not be used. It was only after the adoption of low pitch by bands in the 1960s that the first Yamahas, Kings, Conns, Getzens, etc began to appear in the 1970s. Ironically, it was the decision by Boosey & Hawkes to stop making a seperate range of high-pitch instruments in order to save money that finally pushed bands into low pitch, thus losing B &H a captive market.
  19. eckyboy

    eckyboy Member

    It will be fun to see if we are playing the new Buffet Crampon with extra mayo next year. Will someone shout when it's open and then we can all queue up. Better get in early or all the good stuff will be gone.
  20. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Thankyou. My main point was, of course, nothing to do with the odd few non B&H instruments bands had pre-1970, but the general perception that B&H was 'the only' manufacterer of Brass Band instruments. I'm but a spring chicken of 31, but I well remember the chairman of my local band being very concerned when I showed up to band practice with my new Yamaha as he thought it would not be in tune with the others. He even insisted on buying Boosey and Hawkes when the (limited) funds could only streach to a few junior band instruments, blowing the lot on Taiwanese rubbish (AKA Boosey & Hawkes 400 series) which promptly fell to bits.

    We are perhaps a little more enlightened nowadays.........