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Lotus Mouthpieces


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acritzer
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Joined: 29 Nov 2009
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Location: Cincinnati, OH

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not trying to bash Lotus or be alarmist, but after checking in again this week I received the same email again...but with the 10 business day timeline changed to 2 weeks.

Sooo, I'm not really sure where things stand. If they've shipped anything out, or if it'll be another "2 weeks" from now before anything moves.
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Jaw04
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Joined: 31 Dec 2015
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Location: California

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't want to bash them either but it's strange to launch a new website, drastically reduce your prices... and then not have anything in stock.
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lipshurt
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Joined: 24 Feb 2008
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Location: vista ca

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i say give them a break
they are making great mouthpieces for a really great price, which means they are not making a ton of money off each one. A CNC shop will be able to make a one piece mouthpiece (let's just say the design/setup/toolpaths/etc are top notch) which would have something like a $1000 setup cost each time they run a batch of mouthpieces, so that gets divided into how many you make. If they make 600, they can prob get the "cost" down to about 40 or 50 bucks, maybe a little lower, so double that is 80 to 100 bucks. Not too bad a profit, but a lot of stuff can happen with buffing/plating/shipping/ ordering etc. and it will take a while to get all that sorted out. He's not gonna make much money for while though, so lets help the guy out and root for him. He seems like a great guy, and certainly a great great player
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acritzer
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Joined: 29 Nov 2009
Posts: 736
Location: Cincinnati, OH

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another another update. They are working with a new plater. The original guy "tried again" and couldn't do it properly. The new guy did well, but they have to construct a rig to accommodate a large number of pieces at once, rather than many small batches.
They hope to begin shipping in 2 weeks....as of yesterday.

FWIW I'm willing to give them a break, to a certain extent (I'm excited to try them out), but wish they had made solid plans ahead of time so that expectations could be adjusted appropriately.
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Jaw04
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Joined: 31 Dec 2015
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Location: California

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lipshurt wrote:
i say give them a break
they are making great mouthpieces for a really great price, which means they are not making a ton of money off each one. A CNC shop will be able to make a one piece mouthpiece (let's just say the design/setup/toolpaths/etc are top notch) which would have something like a $1000 setup cost each time they run a batch of mouthpieces, so that gets divided into how many you make. If they make 600, they can prob get the "cost" down to about 40 or 50 bucks, maybe a little lower, so double that is 80 to 100 bucks. Not too bad a profit, but a lot of stuff can happen with buffing/plating/shipping/ ordering etc. and it will take a while to get all that sorted out. He's not gonna make much money for while though, so lets help the guy out and root for him. He seems like a great guy, and certainly a great great player
Definitely, agreed. I like their mouthpieces a lot also. I hope they do really well and look up to anyone with the guts to launch a business like that.
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wiemelen
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Joined: 08 Aug 2007
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Location: Belgium

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a bit bothered with all the negativity.
Seems like people in this "shop today, deliver tomorrow" don't have any patience anymore.
- Yes they were low on stock, but that was advertised clearly on their website. Besides, due to that most/all of us got a nice reduction.
- Yes something went wrong during the production process. Unforseen and not their fault. Happens to the best.
BUT they communicated about that openly, which is already better than lots of the big brands (and I can name a few from personal experience in the trumpet business alone).
- Yes their mouthpieces are great. I've personally been playing an L size since they first came out. Having played Bach, Yamaha, Wick, Storke and GR before, I only regret Adam waited so long to market his line of mouthpieces.
- Yes I'm also waiting for a new mouthpiece. An M size this time since recently I've been doing more bigband stuff and I think the M will be better suited for that kind of music.

So if a few weeks of delay in production is bothering you, I surely hope customs (outside EU) will not make you wait a few weeks longer. When I bought my 1st Lotus mouthpiece, it shipped from Switzerland to Belgium a few days after ordering. Then customs held on to the package for 3 weeks!

Grtz
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acritzer
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Joined: 29 Nov 2009
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Location: Cincinnati, OH

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha, well if a few random people communicating/griping on the internet has you bothered I hope you don't spend much time online.

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ERoscio
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Joined: 24 Feb 2021
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've ordered a mouthpiece myself several weeks ago now.
I asked a few times for an update and Charles Wagner told me first that the mouthpieces were being packed and it was taking a long time because the first batch was 300 pieces.
Days later I got a video of Adam who said that he just received them and they were all wrong (plated over brass remains inside the backbore??? Really???).
Then Wagner wrote me I have to be patient because they had to make all 600 of them (magically doubled in a matter of 3 days).
A week later the 700 (yeah, now it's 700) mouthpieces were not wrong after all, they were salvaging them one by one.
The first 100 were already shipped to their shipping company in the Netherlands, then they were fixing 250 more a day. Which is weird, since they weren't bad according to the previous email.
A week more and now they are working on a new "outside bowl", whatever that means.
Now some customers are receiving photos of the new shape, which I didn't ask for.
And here, today, I read that they tried again with the old plating company which didn't succeed to plate the mouthpieces for the second time. This is as funny as it is weird, how can you forget to blow brass powder off a mouthpiece twice when Rapa flew to Italy just to fix this very problem?
I hope this new new plating company has a good air compressor...
Let's get real: he is not making the mouthpieces himself, he doesn't have a company that makes his own products, he keeps changing trumpet makers, parts providers, mouthpiece makers, plating companies: Taylor, Egger, guys in Polands, a repair shop in the Netherlands, now Italy and we don't even know the name of this company.
For what we know it could be a general machining company totally unrelated to the music business, which would easily explain all these problems.
He had a reliable mouthpiece maker already, he went to a different one and did a kickstarter kind of thing: gathering orders to ask a company to make a big batch, new plater as well and what he got was a messy product.
No one forced him to start making mouthpieces, no one forced him to promise a 1st of February delivery.
He could have planned like proper companies do: invest money to have product, when it's ready you start selling it.
Instead he went the easy route of making people fund a project that was far from ready.
You don't even know what you are buying now.
You could be the best player in the whole world but this is not how you do business.
He is literally playing with our money.
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Winghorn
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Joined: 07 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, then...ask for a refund.
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wiemelen
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Joined: 08 Aug 2007
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Location: Belgium

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

acritzer wrote:
Haha, well if a few random people communicating/griping on the internet has you bothered I hope you don't spend much time online.

Wel what I was hinting at is that maybe this topic is not the best place to complain for a product that's only a few weeks late.
Would be a different case if orders should get cancelled or when quality should be below par (which I don't think they will be). But I think we'll find out in a few weeks.
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Trumpet : Yamaha YTR-6335H with Lotus 2L2 + Lotus 2L
Flugelhorn : Kanstul 1525 with Curry 1,5FL + B&S Thierry Caens signature model
Cornet : Conn 80a (1919) with Curry 1,5 BBC + Curry 1,5 VC + GR L66,9 #6
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acritzer
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Joined: 29 Nov 2009
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Location: Cincinnati, OH

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wiemelen wrote:
acritzer wrote:
Haha, well if a few random people communicating/griping on the internet has you bothered I hope you don't spend much time online.

Wel what I was hinting at is that maybe this topic is not the best place to complain for a product that's only a few weeks late.
Would be a different case if orders should get cancelled or when quality should be below par (which I don't think they will be). But I think we'll find out in a few weeks.


Speaking for myself. The topic was started with the mouthpiece "revamp" so it seems like a perfectly reasonable place to discuss the developments of the revamp. Yes, it was clear that mouthpieces weren't in stock initially. They were suppose to start shipping out 2-1. Since then problems have popped up and now it seems like they won't ship out until at least the middle of March. Some grumbling and asking for information seems totally justified.
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bellicapelli
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Joined: 04 Feb 2021
Posts: 21

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as I am concerned it is not much about the delay: I can live for a few weeks without the latest of the new mouthpieces in my life. It’s just that I don’t like when people try to fool me.

Now they say that the mouthpieces had to be re-plated, that the first time it didn’t go well (again) and that they had to change plater, but last week they said in their emails that 100 pcs were being shipped on that day, and that they looked “super sweet”, and apparently they reiterated this to someone earlier this week... Now Adam Rapa went to Italy to oversee this, and I am positive that he knows what a “super sweet” mouthpiece looks like. So they are doing a mess here and are not being clear about it, this is a fact.

Also, what about this new bowl design? Are you saying that the mouthpieces will not be like those in the photos on the online store?
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Winghorn
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Much ado about nothing.

If you don't like the mouthpiece when you get it, send it back for a refund.
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bellicapelli
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Joined: 04 Feb 2021
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Winghorn wrote:
Much ado about nothing.

If you don't like the mouthpiece when you get it, send it back for a refund.


Well... that’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? Why even bother mentioning it? They do have a return policy.
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Jaw04
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Joined: 31 Dec 2015
Posts: 561
Location: California

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wiemelen wrote:
acritzer wrote:
Haha, well if a few random people communicating/griping on the internet has you bothered I hope you don't spend much time online.

Wel what I was hinting at is that maybe this topic is not the best place to complain for a product that's only a few weeks late.
Would be a different case if orders should get cancelled or when quality should be below par (which I don't think they will be). But I think we'll find out in a few weeks.
Lotus is like the Tesla of the trumpet world! They come up with some awesome stuff but take longer than advertised and do things a little bit different than we are used to. I support them, but it's okay to talk about these idiosyncrasies.
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blbaumgarn
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Joined: 26 Jul 2017
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2021 9:08 pm    Post subject: Lotus mouthpieces Reply with quote

It also says something that you haven't received a "bad" mouthpiece. Wouldn't it be great to shell out $100 grand for a new Audi S8 and have the salesman tell you, "yea, she's beautiful but she won't run uphill or down hill at all." Give them a break and hopefully they get it sorted out for all of you.
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jimspeedjae
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I treated this as a bit of a Kickstarter project and fancied a couple of new pieces, so threw my bag of coins in the ring.

I can live with the approach of fund-build, it was very clear that there was a discount for early adopters and that they weren't in production.

My earlier email makes it seem that there were 10 days at 250 mouthpieces a day to ship, so there's a reasonable amount of revenue generated - until things start going wrong and you have to find alternative suppliers, that cash can soon disappear on this kind of venture.

That said, I'm confident things can be resolved and I can wait for my future drawer fillers to arrive.

But as a new business, operating online, they really need to sharpen up their comms and PR strategy. I got an update because I asked. I saw Adam's video because of the link on here. There are legitimate concerns about the production issue and they could do themselves a big favour in the expectations management department (and even build support for the brand during adversity) with regular and transparent updates on progress on their website or direct emails to buyers, not some obscure shoutout on Wix.
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acritzer
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Joined: 29 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 5:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But as a new business, operating online, they really need to sharpen up their comms and PR strategy. I got an update because I asked. I saw Adam's video because of the link on here. There are legitimate concerns about the production issue and they could do themselves a big favour in the expectations management department (and even build support for the brand during adversity) with regular and transparent updates on progress on their website or direct emails to buyers, not some obscure shoutout on Wix.[/quote]

Well said. Transparency is pretty important to me and in this instance I don't feel that it's been present. Information I've received from Lotus has all been prompted and has changed at least a couple of times.
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Jabroni
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 6:57 am    Post subject: LOL Reply with quote

ACRITZER, you got a mouth on you. I really would love to hear you play sometime.
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acritzer
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Joined: 29 Nov 2009
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Location: Cincinnati, OH

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2021 8:06 am    Post subject: Re: LOL Reply with quote

Jabroni wrote:
ACRITZER, you got a mouth on you. I really would love to hear you play sometime.


OK, huh? I sent you a pm if you'd like to clarify. I'm not sure why you're attacking me.
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