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"First Act" is a quality trumpet maker. The PROOF!


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heavyharmonies
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:15 am    Post subject: "First Act" is a quality trumpet maker. The PROOF! Reply with quote

Hold on to your cookies...

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4185/is_20060108/ai_n15990073
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pfrank
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeepers, I guess there were no band instrument musicians on that jury. I've handled Monique trumpets that felt like they were made of tin foil...pass one of them to the jury and pass a student Getzen, no contest. (First Act must not be be that bad...) I immagine in the future legit suppliers had better be careful about wording their warnings to potential buyers...touting the superiority of a Getzen for a student would be wizer...(Does Ford put down Kia, a specific brand, in their adds? I don't think so...) Unless an instrument falls apart in your hands in front of the jury, don't slander.
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fcirkse
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
After careful examination of these instruments, we have determined that they will not play for the long term (if even the short term)! They break and parts are NOT available. The unfortunate fact is that the students that will be playing these instruments will likely not survive the first few months of band because of the design and quality. We sincerely would like to suggest, that for the sake of the child's future in music, these instruments be returned to the 'big box' retailer for a refund and another option sought


Ya know, if they would have stopped at the "they break and parts are NOT available", they might have been OK but then, no need to send out the letter. The letter was directed at having people return the trumpets to Walmart or wherever.

I've bought and sold a couple of these ( and actually played one once ) and they're OK. The parts are not available through Allied, that's true, and to find a dealer who stocks First Act parts may be difficult. But, hey, for $100-200 - they're not a bad horn.

Would you rather have your 4th grade kid bang around a $150 First Act in the elementary band room or a $1900 Strad or even a $900 Yammie?
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_Daff
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fcirkse wrote:
........... But, hey, for $100-200 - they're not a bad horn.

Would you rather have your 4th grade kid bang around a $150 First Act in the elementary band room or a $1900 Strad or even a $900 Yammie?


It's a shame more parents aren't informed about the glut of Olds Ambassadors available for $100. They're built like tanks and have great valves. Maybe it's the "....but dad, they're not shiny" factor.
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wdave
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For what its worth -
Last Christmas my wife (Bless her heart), who knows nothing about brass instruments, thought it would be nice if I had a new trumpet (to replace those 50+ year old Bach Strads and Olds Super Recordings, etc.). I received a brand spanking new "Vinci" trumpet. Needless to say, I was shocked! Ofcourse, I made goo-goo over it and was very appreciative.
Heres the thing - It is a pretty good trumpet. I wouldn't hesitate to use it on a gig if, for some reason, my other horns were unavailable. Also, it seems quite well built. I have never heard of this brand and I can't find anything on the net about it. I just assume that it is a Chinese or other inexpensive make.
Go figure.
Dave Little
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prof5
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had several First Act instruments in for minor repairs, and they're not bad at all. Parts are easy to get - any repair facility can just call their 800 number, and they send the parts right out - for free! Their parts catalog is on their website, too.

I think we tend to forget what it's like to be a complete beginner. As long as the valves are reliable, intonation is reasonably good, and parts don't fall off, any horn is fine. Most first year students couldn't tell the difference between a First Act and a Strad anyway.

Garry
(retreats to corner, awaiting flames...)
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mafields627
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the rub from music stores: If mom and dad can go get a decent horn from Wally World for $100, they're not going to pay 5, 6, 10 times that in rental fees over the course of several years. I mean, how many people started on instruments from Sears & Roebuck?

Forget quality, the music stores are worried about the almighty dollar.
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prof5
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mafields627 wrote:
Here's the rub from music stores: If mom and dad can go get a decent horn from Wally World for $100, they're not going to pay 5, 6, 10 times that in rental fees over the course of several years. I mean, how many people started on instruments from Sears & Roebuck?

Forget quality, the music stores are worried about the almighty dollar.


Yes indeed, dollars are the real issue. Our local music stores have had a lock on sales and rentals for much too long, and it shows in their prices. I'm very tired of school band directors who specify "Yamaha or Bach only". That attitude is keeping students out of band, often the students with the most potential. I've seen more than one student get told that their grandfather's horn was junk, and chances are they'll never play, now.

Garry
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thedevilisbad
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

_Daff wrote:
fcirkse wrote:
........... But, hey, for $100-200 - they're not a bad horn.

Would you rather have your 4th grade kid bang around a $150 First Act in the elementary band room or a $1900 Strad or even a $900 Yammie?


It's a shame more parents aren't informed about the glut of Olds Ambassadors available for $100. They're built like tanks and have great valves. Maybe it's the "....but dad, they're not shiny" factor.


Or better yet a new jupiter student horn.
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bandman322
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, First Act will file suit against me for this one.........

Take them out and play it with a tuning machine. YES, I CAN MAKE IT PLAY IN TUNE! Of course I've been playing trumpet for 40 years and I can make a piece of PVC pipe play in tune if I have to do so.

Now give it to your average 7th grader and ask your student to play it in tune from low G below the staff to G above the staff. It's going to be soooooo bad compared to a student line Yamaha or a Bach.

Now keep both horns in daily service for 2 years being played for 50 minutes in class and 15-30 minutes at home (5 days per week). I'll tell you from personal experience that the "off-brands" have more problems over that period of time than do the student line Yamahas and Bachs.

My band is not the best band in America, but they play good quality music and they give a fundamentally sound performance. It is my opinion that tonal quality, and the intonation of my band, is far superior using the instruments that we currently use than it would be if we had students who use First Act Instruments.

Like I said in my opening -- I have been playing for about 40-years and I could have picked up that First Act trumpet and played it well for the jury, but would this have been an accurate portrayal as to what a 6-8th grade student sound like on that same instrument? The answer to that question is a resounding NO!

Yes, I would love to see a less expensive alternative, but I have yet to see the Brand XXX horn that with play with the high-lines.
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CircusSchmircus
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

haha, whats a rediculous lawsuit. It's funny how first act claims to provide "quality" musical instruments at a price everyone can afford. Unfortunatley with musical instruments quality and cheap do NOT go hand in hand. I work at a music store and i dont care what anyone says, we are still going to tell people it is crap.I still don't get how they can make and sell something like a guitar or a trumpet for $50 and claim that it works right and won't fall apart. You have to think about the labor and materials that go into it......man oh man. Not only were there no musicians on the jury at that trial, there probably anrn't even any musicians working at first act!
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Leedorham
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your view) this is just part of the beginning of the Chinese instrument invasion I believe. The exact same thing has happened with electronics and other manufactured goods. At first, only the most inexpensive and poor quality items were made in China and Korea. If you wanted a good TV or Video camera in the late 80's and early 90's you had to go Japanese or American. Then the quality slowly improved for the Chinese made goods until we arrived where we are now. Low to intermediate quality electronics are all made in China. Only the most expensive top-end stuff is made in Japan and the only thing made in the USA or other western countries is really expensive audiophile type stereo equipment that 1 in 1000 people might even consider. The by-product that we all benefit from is drastically lower prices, but of course we are losing business to another country in exchange. The same thing will probably happen with musical instruments until all that is left in the states are boutique type manufacturers like Monette making professional model trumpets only. I would not be surprised at all if in 2020 the Selmer/Conn/UMI intermediate models are all made in another country if not even the likes of Bach Strads. Imagine seeing on ebay "Vintage American-Made Getzen Eterna".
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CircusSchmircus
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To add something Leedorham.....Conn Selmer already has a line of stepup horns that are china made. you might even go to a dealer to see what im talking about. At the place i work we had no idea until a selmer sax arrived with a defective bell that bent into shape by hand(cheap brass). I took a look under the serial number and you guessed it...MADE IN CHINA. But what is really sad is that these are stepup horns that list for $2500 or more. They come in a pretty blue zipper case. Just like the Bach Strad cases. They have an engraved bell with an enlarged lip. Basically they are made to LOOK like a stepup horn despite the poor craftsmanship. It didn't make much sense to me and I guess it still doesn't. I would look at it like all the other chinese stuff, except the fact that it has a USA price tag.......really weird.
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prof5
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Bach TR200 is $1099 at Brook Mays, and a Yamaha 2335 is $924 at WWBW.

A First Act trumpet is $150 in most stores, and $89 on Ebay, new.

I agree, there is a difference in quality. There should be, for ten times the price! But is the $1000 horn really the "minimum acceptable" horn for a first year band student? If the parents of a potential musician are not willing to spend a grand, should we tell the kid to take basket weaving, and forget music?

Garry
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jhickle
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

prof5 wrote:
A Bach TR200 is $1099 at Brook Mays, and a Yamaha 2335 is $924 at WWBW.

A First Act trumpet is $150 in most stores, and $89 on Ebay, new.

I agree, there is a difference in quality. There should be, for ten times the price! But is the $1000 horn really the "minimum acceptable" horn for a first year band student? If the parents of a potential musician are not willing to spend a grand, should we tell the kid to take basket weaving, and forget music?

Garry


How many kids will give up because the $150 trumpet (or the $90 guitar, or the $100 keyboard, or the $4000 piano) just doesn't sound good?
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CircusSchmircus
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that $100 is an affordable price for a band instrument. But alot of the parents think that the quality is the same. The companies that make the chinese horns claim that they are professional quality. This causes confusion with parents so that when the horn breaks they think their kid isnt taking care of it. They say "if you can't take care of a $100 horn why am I going to buy you a $1000 horn?". I went to school with a few kids who's parents baught them chinese horns on ebay and i can tell you that more than one solder FELL apart on these horns. They bring them to the repair shops to find out that they won't touch them. A repairman doesnt want you coming back telling him he did a bad job when it comes apart againa week later. Anyway, parents take it as neglect and the next day the kid is playing a horn with the leadpipe taped to the brace. No kid should have to go through that. That is why more music stores are coming up with very reasonable financing agreements on student horns. Even going as far as telling them they can bring the horn back at anytime....the kid doesnt want to play....bring it back and be done with it. A used Bach TR300 for under $500 will serve its purpose well through High School.
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Karsseboom
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that First Act are of bad quality and up hear in Canada the First Act line is about $300. Now Jupiter now makes some good horns, they have come a long way, and the student model goes for about $400. The Jupiter will last a lot long and you will get better musicians and students will develop more good habit with the better instrument



Karsseboom
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MrGBand
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 4:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't belive the ytr2335 sale price is $9xx. If you look in the ad there usually isn't a msrp for that horn. Another thing to consider in this post, everyone is focusing on trumpets. Don't forget about the woodwinds. There are far more problems with springs, pads and easily bet posts. Yes the parts are available but do I have them at school? If a standard student flute needs a new Ab pad (an easy fix) I just pop one because it's a pretty standard size. In China they use a smaller pad that is very difficult to get you hands on. Plus the springs are week and attatched differently. There are no little knubs they just push on part of the key in some cases.

They brass are hard to center some notes which, I believe, makes it harde for the less talented kids to find the notes. I had a good student rent an instrument her first year. In 5th grade she came in with a First Act trumpet. There was difference in her playing. The inonation was all over the place. It was hard to sound good when I played duets with her, imagine how it sounds when other students played.
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mpre53
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The YTR-2335 is almost universally $924 from American on-line sources---Dillon's, Giardinelli's, Music123, Sam Ash, etc. $984 with Monel valve pistons. I'm sure local shops will haggle with you, tho.

You can save quite a bit on the 2335 if you order from a webiste in Euprope. And in some cases, the YTR-4335 is almost the same price.
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plp
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not a pro by any streach of the imagination, and probably have more in common with most 6th grade beginners than I should.... I took a Montinique in trade on an Ambassador, just to put something decent in the hands of a beginner, and I can say without a doubt I can't play this thing. The irony is, it looks great, and for open bugle calls plays pretty much in tune, even the 4th E. However, the valves are complete crap. I say this in no fear of reprisal, because I have prima facie evidence to that effect.
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