Online Retailers

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paulyg
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Online Retailers

Post by paulyg » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:58 am

Hi everyone. I know this topic has been discussed before, but given the recent discussions regarding quality of horns bought from certain retailers on the internet, it might be nice to have a single thread with helpful information about:

1) Merits of various online retailers
2) Quality & QC of horns and equipment- described vs. received
3) Service quality

In addition, I'm not sure if anyone's gotten burned really badly, but "Name and Shame" is an effective tool when trying to get the attention of unresponsive sellers...
Paul Gilles
Aerospace Engineer & Trombone Player
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BGuttman
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by BGuttman » Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:09 pm

here probably will be a preponderance of negative reviews, and I want to remind folks that nobody is perfect.

One vendor I would like to exclude from this discussion is Slidebone.com. Irv Karan will offer you anything you want. If he has it in stock it comes quickly and with no hassles. If he doesn't have it in stock there can be aggravating delays and difficulty cancelling an order. I've been inundated with posts complaining about him and then there are his backers.

But slidebone is an exception. Most vendors will work hard to make sure things are right if they aren't at first.
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Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by Amconk » Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:01 pm

Brass Gurus, Brass Exchange, MK Drawing, Instrument Innovations, and Hickeys are all high quality places to order from. Great customer service and communication.
Michael Conkey
Southern Oregon Trombonist
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Doubler
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by Doubler » Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:01 pm

Honor Roll (Based upon personal experience; YMMV; listed alphabetically):

Dillon Music https://www.dillonmusic.com/
Kessler & Sons https://www.kesslerandsons.com/
Mouthpiece Express https://mouthpieceexpress.com/catalog/i ... dlefh9p6f5
Woodwind & Brasswind https://www.wwbw.com/

FWIW - I have never had a problem with Musician's Friend https://www.musiciansfriend.com/ . This puts me in a distinct minority, according to reviews and anecdotes. Apparently a large majority of customers would be delighted if Musician's Friend went out of business, and at least one prefers to abbreviate the name.
Current instruments:
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Previous trombones:
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Finetales
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by Finetales » Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:04 pm

I've had nothing but positive experiences with the BrassArk, Horn Guys, Hickey's, Woodwind & Brasswind, Mouthpiece Express, and Sweetwater (not often relevant to trombonists but the customer service is so extraordinary I think it's good to include it).

I've READ nothing but positive experiences with Thomann, Dillon, Brass Exchange, Mack Brass, Baltimore Brass, and Austin Custom Brass.

Haven't read much about Wessex (plenty about their instruments, not much about how they are as a retailer), Sam Ash, or Chuck Levin's. There have been a few things about Ali Baba on here in the past, but that probably depends on the individual seller like eBay or Reverb.
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paulyg
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by paulyg » Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:44 pm

One thing I will share is a recent experience with QuinnTheEskimo. I had no need for interaction, so I can't speak to customer service. I received the horn within two days of winning the auction, so that aspect of his business is excellent.

The horn itself was kind of a mixed bag. I have no idea where Quinn gets his horns, but I suspect they are horns from Conn Selmer that require rework so extensive that CS decides to ship them to him to be sold at or below cost. I bought a straight Bach A47 for a great price, though the BIN price for the same item was not so great of a deal (I won the auction as the only bidder).

I was expecting some defects, and the horn included some. While the pictures sort of described the instrument's B-stock quality, there was nothing in the item description that suggested anything short of a "perfect" horn. The lacquer on the grip area of the slide was clearly mis-applied. In addition, the case had a slight tear in the faux-alligator covering that was not described in words, or in pictures on Quinn's ebay listings.

I harbor no ill feelings towards Quinn- I knew what I was getting into (and I love the bell section, which is why I bought the horn in the first place). BUT, I do find it interesting that the instruments he's selling are described as "open box quality," without any mention of the individual instrument's problems. There's a raft of Hagmann Bach 50s he's got, and I don't even want to know what the deal is with those...
Paul Gilles
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Posaunus
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by Posaunus » Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:31 pm

I've never had any personal dealings with them, but have a friend who's purchased two new trombones from Keith Hilson at Schmitt Music's Trombone Shop in Minnesota, and is very pleased. The instruments are very nice.
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ericcheng2005
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by ericcheng2005 » Thu Jun 25, 2020 3:59 pm

Purchased my T396 a month ago from Baltimore Brass, they have fantastic customer service! They even got it down to NC in a day, simply amazing store with amazing people
Principal Trombone, Youth Philharmonic Orchestra of North Carolina

Edwards T396-A "Alessi"- Bach 5GB
Conn TB711F- Bach 5GB
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Geordie
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by Geordie » Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:15 pm

In the absence of a ratings system we will get anecdotes. So here goes. In the interests of balance I should say that I bought a horn from QuinnTheEskimo. Good instrument, fair price and good, prompt service on an international transaction.
Had a similarly satisfactory experience buying a horn from Greenbean.
Would buy from both again.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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BGuttman
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by BGuttman » Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:08 pm

We're not a shopping service, and I don't think any of us can create a rating system. Best we can offer is to let people post anecdotes and may caveat emptor.

I should point out that if a person overloads the Classifieds (or even content section) with junk, you can just choose to ignore him. I wish there was a way for us Admins to tally ignores, though.
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StevenC
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by StevenC » Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:10 pm

paulyg wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 1:44 pm
I harbor no ill feelings towards Quinn- I knew what I was getting into (and I love the bell section, which is why I bought the horn in the first place). BUT, I do find it interesting that the instruments he's selling are described as "open box quality," without any mention of the individual instrument's problems. T
What is meant by "open box quality"?
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by Jimkinkella » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:17 pm

Note: I don't recommend buying a horn over the internet.
Please, go play it.

Brassark is great
Eric at Brassgurus is super nice
WWBW is a solid website
Hickeys is wonderful to work with
B&H Photo is the best spot I know of for Pro Audio and Video
Oh, and everybody at Hornguys are super nice, and pretty good players, too
Dillons has a great selection
Sweetwater has all of the audio stuff you'll ever need
Irvin at Slidebone is a really nice guy, but his inventory availability is sketchy
I don't know the guys at Baltimore brass, but I've heard good things, from good people

Again, go play it
mrdeacon
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by mrdeacon » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:57 pm

My list is going to include both online retailers/dealers and companies you can purchase directly from. Of course, this list can double even triple in size if I include techs and experiences with warranties from various instrument companies. I'm going to leave off places I know from word of mouth and just stick to my personal experiences.

Hornguys: Great guys. Their prices are on the high side but they always have accessories and cases in stock and their shipping prices aren't too bad. My go-to place for buying Bonna Cases. The only gripe I have is if you live local... since they changed locations they adjusted their hours so basically, no one with a 9-5 job can actually go to their store. It's silly and it's caused me to shop elsewhere either for a better deal or to buy direct from the manufacturer.

Dillons: Great guys! My go-to when it comes to accessories. They've got free shipping on orders over $50(?) which is sweet! The legendary Dillons basement hoard of instruments is real. I do recommend you contact them over the phone or ask for additional pictures. I bought my first bass trombone from them eons ago. The single picture they had posted on the website was not acceptable and horn arrived damaged due to a half-assed packing job. Great guys but buyer beware when purchasing a used horn from them online.

Brassark: Best place to buy used horns hands down. Noah is fantastic to work with. If he doesn't return your emails after a couple of days send him another one he just gets busy. His prices are usually on the higher side (but not unreasonably high) but you can always trust the horn will play well and be mechanically sound. His partnership with Bob Reeves and Brad Close also leads to some amazing products being made by these guys. Brad's lead pipes are the best pipes on the aftermarket. I can't recommend the Brassark enough!

Mouthpiece Express: Ehhhh. I'm not a fan of them. They burned me eons ago in regards to a return and it stuck with me.

Hickeys: Best place hands down to get music from that you cannot get directly from the publisher. I've never had a bad pick from them either. Their accessories/cases are all priced at MSRP and their website doesn't clearly state if it's in stock...

Cronkhite/Torpedobags: The new cases are fantastic! Materials are better than what Glen used and the bags are designed the same. The wait time is horrendous and their odd method of posting MSRP on their website and dropping it closer to net pricing is weird... I had a subpar experience with their customer experience which combined with the crazy wait time didn't exactly make me super happy. Still an excellent product.

Bob Reeves: Amazing guys. Custom handmade mouthpieces the old way. They'll do anything to. Silver or Gold Plate. Thread rims. Sleeve system. Custom mouthpiece to your request. I can't recommend them enough.

MK Drawing: Their website sucks. It's terrible! But their leadpipes and parts are amazing. Some of the best on the market. Can't recommend these guys enough... I do usually order parts with them through a tech because of that terrible website.

I've saved some of the best for last!

Instrument Innovations: Mike and Kim are fantastic to work with! Kim will respond within minutes to customer service emails and hook you up if anything is wrong with your order. If you need anything from them do not hesitate to order!

Superfine Cases: New case company being started by forum member Greenbean. Buy from these guys!!!! The cases are gig bags in a similar style to Glen's old cases and are being made by a long time case maker. The cases are amazing. Materials are better than Glen's old cases!!! The best part with these guys is customer service and fantastic materials and size selection. Prices are as good if not better than competitors, they do custom sizes (which the competitors won't do) and the wait time is currently less than a month!!!! Greenbean will hook you up. I can't recommend them enough!

Doug Elliott Mouthpieces: Doug's mouthpieces need no explanation. Amazing mouthpieces that you can tailor to your exact specs. What makes me come back to Doug time and time again is not only his amazing mouthpieces but his fantastic customer service. The best customer service I've ever had has been from Doug. Amazing teacher also! I wish I had taken lessons from him 10 years ago. Thanks Doug!

Bill Symington Mouthpieces: Amazing mouthpieces made in ZR and brass. Bill is making some really special pieces and is an absolute pleasure to deal with. If you're looking for a 1.5 or 2 sized bass mouthpiece buy his pieces and don't look back. Absolutely the best small bass pieces on the market accompanied with some of the best customer services I've ever had.
Rath R1 2000s, Elliott XT
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by Posaunus » Thu Jun 25, 2020 9:14 pm

mrdeacon wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:57 pm
My list is going to include both online retailers/dealers and companies you can purchase directly from.
Thanks for the detailed, informative (and mostly positive) commentary. I will second your recommendations for those vendors I have dealt with. We live within a world of lots of helpful folks!
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by PaulT » Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:21 pm

I have purchased two new Yamahas from WWBW and two (described as) "like new" and "pristine" Yamahas from Quinn the Eskimo. I know what a factory fresh Yamaha is from horn to case to box. The two Yamahas Quinn described as "pristine" and "like new" were exactly that. If they had been played, I couldn't tell it. From all indications available to me, they appeared to have come direct from the factory, horn, case and box.

WWBW was great. Over the phone they knocked $70 off the advertised price. Shipping was free and they showed up in just a few days. And I had a 30-day trial period.

Now that I have become familiar with Keith Hilson of Schmidt Music (through his Youtubes), if I ever buy another new horn, it will be from him. He puts in the time, in person , on the phone, and on Youtube. The guy works at it and he is good at what he does. I wish I had bought my last Yamaha from him.

And, in total, three horns from Quinn the Eskimo. The two he said were like new were exactly like new. And the third was just as as he said it was. I would have no concern whatsoever buying from him again. None.
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harrisonreed
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by harrisonreed » Thu Jun 25, 2020 11:05 pm

Bob Reeves' whole staff is freaking awesome
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by walldaja » Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:27 am

I've had great results with the following retailers

Dillon Music. Great support on line but going there is a real treat too. There selection is quite good too. They just changed their web pages so read the descriptions carefully, there are a couple that the pictures / descriptions don't match.

Mouthpiece Express. Super fast service and helpful phone assistance. Helped track down some Yamaha parts that weren't listed on their web site.

Austin Custom Brass. Personalized service and good selection

Musicians Friend. Good for miscellaneous odds and ends. Stupid deal of the day often a great win.
Dave

Antoine Courtois AC280BO with Christian Lindberg 5CL
Yamaha 421G Bass with Christian Lindberg 2CL / Bach 1 1/2G
Getzen 351 Tenor with Yamaha 48
1967 Olds Ambassador with Christian Lindberg 10CL
Jean Baptiste EUPCOMS with Wedge 5G
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by walldaja » Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:30 am

Forgot one.

Quinn the Eskimo. Bought a horn there and was really surprised. Horn was described as "mint". I couldn't even tell the horn had been unpackaged--it came in a Yamaha carton and all the pieces inside looked just like they did when they left the factory. I'd buy from them without a second thought.
Dave

Antoine Courtois AC280BO with Christian Lindberg 5CL
Yamaha 421G Bass with Christian Lindberg 2CL / Bach 1 1/2G
Getzen 351 Tenor with Yamaha 48
1967 Olds Ambassador with Christian Lindberg 10CL
Jean Baptiste EUPCOMS with Wedge 5G
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BGuttman
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by BGuttman » Fri Jun 26, 2020 5:34 am

I am surprised and pleased that this has been such a positive thread. Thanks for all the good suggestions.
Bruce Guttman
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra
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bigbandbone
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by bigbandbone » Fri Jun 26, 2020 6:05 am

I bought my 72H off the Sam Ash used gear site. I was in Cleveland and the horn was in Huston. I was a little concerned about buying a horn online without playing it. But, their return policy said if not satisfied I could return it to any Sam Ash store for full refund including shipping charges. Since I live near a Sam Ash location I took the plunge. Luckily the horn was as advertised and I didn't have to test their return policy!
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by ihomi » Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:03 pm

Hello Folks,
If you are looking for a Horn shop online, then the International House of Music is one of the best options for you!
Here you have many options to choose the best Trombone online at the very best price.
IHOMI is a well-known musical instruments store in Los Angeles, California, Since 1902.
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harrisonreed
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by harrisonreed » Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:07 pm

Nice
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greenbean
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by greenbean » Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:17 pm

ihomi wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:03 pm
Hello Folks,
If you are looking for a Horn shop online, then the International House of Music is one of the best options for you!
Here you have many options to choose the best Trombone online at the very best price.
IHOMI is a well-known musical instruments store in Los Angeles, California, Since 1902.
For sure!... The very next time I need a Jupiter valve trombone, I will go straight to IHOMI...
walldaja
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by walldaja » Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:05 am

greenbean wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:17 pm
ihomi wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:03 pm
Hello Folks,
If you are looking for a Horn shop online, then the International House of Music is one of the best options for you!
Here you have many options to choose the best Trombone online at the very best price.
IHOMI is a well-known musical instruments store in Los Angeles, California, Since 1902.
For sure!... The very next time I need a Jupiter valve trombone, I will go straight to IHOMI...
Maybe they have pancakes too!
Dave

Antoine Courtois AC280BO with Christian Lindberg 5CL
Yamaha 421G Bass with Christian Lindberg 2CL / Bach 1 1/2G
Getzen 351 Tenor with Yamaha 48
1967 Olds Ambassador with Christian Lindberg 10CL
Jean Baptiste EUPCOMS with Wedge 5G
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ericcheng2005
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by ericcheng2005 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:58 am

walldaja wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:05 am
greenbean wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:17 pm


For sure!... The very next time I need a Jupiter valve trombone, I will go straight to IHOMI...
Maybe they have pancakes too!
On another note, a YSL-354 should not be $1300...
Principal Trombone, Youth Philharmonic Orchestra of North Carolina

Edwards T396-A "Alessi"- Bach 5GB
Conn TB711F- Bach 5GB
King marching trombone- Schilke 52E2
Posaunus
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by Posaunus » Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:26 am

ericcheng2005 wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:58 am
On another note, a YSL-354 should not be $1300...
Your problem is .., ?

International House of Music's price of $1,337 seems reasonable for a new Yamaha YSL-354.
WWBW / Musicians Friend price is $1,384.

What do you think the price should be for a nice, new Yamaha trombone? :idk:
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ericcheng2005
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by ericcheng2005 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:28 am

Posaunus wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:26 am
ericcheng2005 wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:58 am
On another note, a YSL-354 should not be $1300...
Your problem is .., ?

International House of Music's price of $1,337 seems reasonable for a new Yamaha YSL-354.
WWBW / Musicians Friend price is $1,384.

What do you think the price should be for a nice, new Yamaha trombone? :idk:
Andddddd I did not realize that was new.... brainfarted
Principal Trombone, Youth Philharmonic Orchestra of North Carolina

Edwards T396-A "Alessi"- Bach 5GB
Conn TB711F- Bach 5GB
King marching trombone- Schilke 52E2
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Re: Online Retailers

Post by pmgtrombone » Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:04 pm

HornGuys: Great in person (old Crescenta location) - got to spend many hours there tying horns, help when I needed it, left alone otherwise. Online orders were shipped quickly. Great guys.

BrassArk: Noah is fantastic -- responsive, knowledgeable, enthusiastic. The used horns are a bit too good (ie, bad for my bank account!).
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