Getting Over The Sticker Shock
As a beginning band parent you may be over whelmed by the "sticker shock" of a new instrument. In addition, many parents I work with believe that once an instrument is paid for this is all they need to do. They are surprised when the band director tells them their instrument needs work.
Let's first look at the "sticker shock" issue. If an instrument is made in the states there are wages and marketing done to sell that brand of instrument. Work has to be done to prove to the Music Stores and then the music educators that their brand is better than the other one. Then they have to make a guess as to how many units will be sold per year so they can build just enough. Please know that the market for musical instruments is not like selling computers or clothes or cars. The numbers are small in comparison. The Music store has to stock a minimum number of instruments per year to keep their dealership. They have to pay the manufacturer in a timely manner. All of these factors make up the cost of the instrument. The old saying "you get what you pay for" is really true in this business. There are so many companies trying to get into the very small market for musical instruments recently and many of them are of very poor quality. Many parents think that by purchasing an instrument at the same place they purchase paper plates or food items or even the internet "because they probably will drop out anyway" just ensures that they will. A poor quality instrument plays poorly and will go out of adjustment quickly not to mention that it will not hold it's value. A better quality instrument will stay in adjustment longer, have parts available if needed, and any repairman will be able to fix it went it needs it's annual service.
So where should you go to purchase an instrument? First, find a reputable music store that sells quality instruments and has a quality repair department. Any of the reputable brand named instrument makers will have web sites you can compare models with. One thing I look for when choosing an instrument I can stand behind for my customers is the warranty. If a manufacturer has a good warranty you can know the instrument will hold up and can be repaired should something break.
Credits to Light House Music Services for the article written above.
Fred Sullivan the owner of Light House is our full time Repair Shop Manager.