Posted by bloke on December 25, 2003 at 11:35:56:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: stolen Roland Meinl tuba posted by How about... on December 25, 2003 at 01:36:32:
"supervision of German musical instrument building masters"
I remember seeing some crap soprano saxophones back in the early 90's that were stenciled something like "designed by French technicians" on them, and with some similar goofball name...marginally-useable scale / marginally-acceptable pad jobs.
I picked up a (new, then) Chinese copy (w-a-a-a-a-a-y back in the mid-late 80's) from an importer that was a copy of a B&S/VMI/Weltklang 4/4 BBb tuba. The rotors were a little rough, but actually tight enough. The linkage was crappy, but could be made to work. The mouthpipe had a crack, but I fixed it. The slides were all funky, but pulled in and out without too much trouble. After a jacked around with it, it sounded and played quite OK. (There was also a brand-new red Chinese "short-action" sousa in this batch of instruments that played well...after I sent the valve section to Dave Secrist at Anderson. That sousaphone is still in use today at a local large suburban high school...Come to think of it, there was a kinda humorous [but fixable-to-use] copy of a Selmer Mark VI tenor sax in that batch of instruments, as well.)
I'm certain that now - almost 20 years later - SOME mainland Chinese are probably starting to make some pretty decent stuff...
...It sure wouldn't be too terribly hard to "beat" what Jupiter is doing playability-wise in Taiwan or what Weril is doing workmanship-wise in Brazil.