Looks nice... Sounds nasty?

Discussion in 'theMouthPiece.com User Reviews' started by Brassperi2009, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. Brassperi2009

    Brassperi2009 New Member

    Having been a peripatetic teacher for some 20 something years, I have recently seen a dramatic increase in the number of "foreign" made instruments into the market, either from India or China.

    I was astonished to read that Virtuosi "classic" instruments being made in the UK as i had alwasy associated this brand with cheap chinese copies of mediocre instruments.

    Some of my students have purchased these "classic" instruments and I have found them not to be as fantastic as their glowing reviews. I recently took one of my students instruments into my shed and performed what can only be described as an "autopsy" with my limited selection of tools and instrument repair skills [though not incompetant!]

    My findings were that these "British" made instruments are rather poorly assembled with a great deal of stress in the struts which would end up becoming unsoldered after time, and where the leadpipe joined the tuning slide the ends of the tubing were folded over and squashed in to make it fit which was one of the reasons the instrument was so stuffy. There was also poor allighnment on the valves which meant the air did not flow properly through the instrument. and a general lack of care and attention to solder joints where solder had been slopped on and the excess just left clogging up the inside of the instrument.

    All this carelessness is a clear sign of mass production, which begs the question whether these instruments are actually "British" or if they are infact still cheap cinese instruments. Although these instruments look nice and shiny, unlike other instruments in the market made in china (such as JP instruments) the standard of the build quality seems still to be very poor.

    After reassembling the instrument it now blows much better -although it looks a bit messy from the outside, at least i know that this one IS british built!

    I would advise anyone considering buying one of these "British" made instruments to consult a third party before making a purchase as i can see these instruments falling apart after only a couple of years.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2009
  2. satchmo shaz

    satchmo shaz Active Member

    mmm interesting, as I have purchased Virtuosi and John Packer instruments and havent had any problems what so ever, might just be unlucky
  3. Super Ph

    Super Ph Member

    why should cheap British instruments be any better than cheap Chinese ones? we are just as capable of sloppily making poor quality instruments from a bad design, just look at B&H. it is only xenophobia that makes us buy British, after all.

    you get what you pay for with precision engineering.
  4. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    The problem is when the cheap instruments are marketed as being professional instruments equal to the more expensive brands. And marking them in a way that leads the purchaser to beleive they are produced in a country other than where they really were manufactured. I have yet to see any Virtuosi / JP advert stating the true origin of their instruments.

    Did British producers really do that?
  5. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    Might I suggest you attempt to address this issue with Virtuosi? The company head, Shawn Pagington, is a fairly nice chap and I think he would be very concerned about the quality of instruments that bear his company's name.
  6. Super Ph

    Super Ph Member

    marketing cheap nonsense as top-end merchandise is standard practice in every industry.
    making out that something is manufactured elsewhere is not uncommon either - the instrument could be 99% made in China, shipped over, valve-caps screwed on in Britain, voila! made in Britain. happens all the time.
  7. My advice is you usually get what you pay for, if I was to spend big money on an instrument I would not touch a newly introduced brand, stick with proven names and check out reviews first. The market is flooded with cheap new instruments at the moment, good for people with a budget though :p
  8. David Mann

    David Mann Member

    I play a Virtuosi Regency trumpet bought new in late 2008. Before I bought mine I went to their warehouse / showroom in Northampton and tried a few out. Use it mainly in big band and occasional orchestra. I had one snagging issue (sticky 3rd slide) which was sorted out immediately. I'm really pleased with the instrument, blends in well with the rest of the trumpets, no problems with range or tuning, moving bits work well, nice finish. I must declare an interest as I've known Shawn for years. I don't think it's a secret that some of the the Virtuosi instruments are imported. My understanding of the Regency range is that the parts are imported to the UK where they are quality controlled then soldered, finished and plated.
  9. davidwalton

    davidwalton Member

    I purchased a Classic Bari and Euph a few months ago. Only problem was 4th valve bottom cap needed to be replaced, and they sent me a new one.

    Both instruments have had a close inspection, and I am happy with the build quality, with it being far better than big name manufacturers have been known to produce in recent decade or so.

    Spending more has never meant better quality. If you think you need to be careful with Virtuosi, then you should be careful with all brands. A badge/name has been known to increase the cost of something for no other reason than history.

    In all cases, any lemon should be sent back and replaced without issue. I do think Virtuosi would do that as they have given me the impression of caring.
  10. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Anyone else as sceptical as me about why someone would choose such a negative review for their first and only post?

    Just to balance the picture, its worth revisiting this thread.
  11. Bungle

    Bungle Member

    I think most people are surprised that something only assembled in the UK can be sold as British made. My fellow band Eb player used to work for a woodwind importer and related to me have they have a regulator who comes and assesses the UK amount on the product before it can be sold as British made.
  12. The Wherryman

    The Wherryman Active Member

    Today's challenge - place the following words in the correct order:

    Axe, Anonymous, An, Grind, To

  13. Super Ph

    Super Ph Member

    you shouldn't be surprised. the fruits of my own labours are shipped to the US in two pieces before being screwed together, then a "made in the USA" sticker is slapped on.
  14. themusicalrentboy

    themusicalrentboy Active Member

    I'm sure he's in the wrong for saying it as he's experienced it :rolleyes:. Nothing wrong with finding out if there's a wider problem or if he's simply had a bad instrument sent to his student.

  15. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    Absolutely not, but even so...
    Call me an old cynic if you like, but the first and only post from someone who doesn't identify themelves..... its got to make you wonder at their motives!

    And no, I have absolutely no vested interest here. If you read the other thread I linked to you'll see I trialled - and returned - a Virtuosi instrument. I'd like to think I expressed why I didn't like it a little more constructively and respectfully though.
  16. WhatSharp?

    WhatSharp? Active Member

    Blimey Dave so this must be your 3rd or 4th change of instrument :D;) ( Flugel was still your best so far :) )

    Funnily enough I had a blow on a virtuosi Euphonium tonight at a junior band my son goes to ( couldn't tell you which model ) and TBH it felt a bit tinny and cheap, and the valves where awful. That said it doesn't mean their all rubbish ( like I said I've no idea what the model was ), and IIRC booseys made a few bad'uns in their time ( Bach's Elkharts aren't much to write home about )....
  17. davidwalton

    davidwalton Member

    Hi Steve,

    Changed from Flugel to Tenor and French Horn. Now at Bari and Euph, and will look to triple up on EEb when monies are available. With no band any more, but like to learn. One day I will find a another band that fits me, but will probably need to move for that.
  18. davidwalton

    davidwalton Member

    BTW- The Euph is said to sound like a Yam 642. Had someone who plays a 642 test it and they thought it wasn't that dissimilar. Close enough for them to wander about the huge price difference and to not discount it if a replacement was ever needed.

    I don't get valve problems. All valves on both instruments work well, and only require a little oil once a week or so, and that is me playing at least an hour every day. Have found that it is more important to wipe dry valves on these bigger instruments before applying new oil though, as the old remaining stuff (spit, etc) can gunk and then you do get slow and sticking valves.
  19. on_castors

    on_castors Member

    On more than one site I regularly use, a post as overtly inflammatory as this wouldn't have lasted the hour!
    Interestingly they use FAR far less moderation than on here, but this sort of one off posting just is not allowed to happen, regular posters who input varied comments on a variety of subjects are given wide range to post, with little interference, but posters are expected to earn their freedom and demonstrate they are genuinely passing a variety of personal opinions and widely based comments before being given such free rein.

    While Virtuosi instruments are not the best things on the planet, nor would I expect them to be at the price, after handling several, and playing a couple it this doesn't match my thoughts on them, and such extreme opinion makes me question the worth of the entire post.

    Time will tell, but I somehow doubt this poster will pass the test of time, and we won't be hearing from him or her on a wide range of issues!
  20. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    It is indeed rather suspicious that someone makes such a negative first post and then doesn't return to the forum.
    But personally i don't see any reason to remove a post like this. And his points have been countered by several other forum members in a respectful way. Isn't that what a civilized debate should be like? As you point out, if Brassperi2009 doesn't reply anyy more, it will only make his original post unbelievable, and make it less likely that other members take him seriously.

    In the mean time, let the debate continue. So far, the positive stories are outweighing the negative ones imo ;)

    (ps and if you think a certain post violates the forum rules, plwease use the "report post" facility: the button is on the left beneath the profile information of a poster)

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