Posted by Rick Denney on December 31, 2001 at 11:43:21:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Cheap Asian Tubas posted by js on December 28, 2001 at 20:23:07:
You and I will argue over the last position in the line to board that French helicopter, heh, heh. "No, I INSIST, after you, monsieur!"
It has been a long fall for French engineering and craftsmanship. In the 19th century, French clocks (representing the highest technology any family was apt to own), were the best in the world without exception. They were beautifully made, both in function and aesthetics, and command ludicrously high prices now. I have a couple that I bought from those who though that old French clocks must have the same problem as newer French machines. In the late 19th century, we did to the French clock industry what the Far East is doing to us right now in other industries. American clocks were cheap, mass produced, and worked well enough. Then the French came back with cheap mass-produced clocks of their own, and the downhill slide is still sliding downhill. Nobody in France or America makes quality clocks anymore (especially now that a $5 quartz digital clock is much more accurate and can be made in the shape of a beer sign).
The point of this digression into the clock world is that some countries have abandoned their interest in making three-dimensional objects of high quality in the interest of out-cheaping their competition. Couesnon represents that attempt, I suppose. I'd bet some of the early French ophicleides were among the best made anywhere, though.
And the Americans and Germans had better watch out, too. We already speak of the "golden age" of American brass instrument making being fifty years in our past (and more). The Chinese instruments that are so terrible now won't always be. Yamaha instruments were not so good when they were first available.
Rick "thinking the Germans (and Swiss) were smart to tap into the American golden-age designs to revive their position in the industry" Denney