MI Pro brings together a selection of products from this specialist sector that continues to soldier on despite all the doom and gloom.
The brass and woodwind markets are often pointed out as being the James Galway to the rock market’s Keith Moon. But image issues aside, it is nonetheless vital for student sales and rentals and those high-end instruments offer huge margin. Here’s a selection of what’s coming up. Oh and by the way, rock fans, Charlie Parker? No angel…
With the 901 series offering an ‘entry-level’ into the professional market, retail prices start at £2,285 for an Alto and £2,579 for a Tenor. Upgrading to a 992 model, the bronze bodies deliver a darker tone with prices at £4,160 for a straight soprano; £3,905 for an alto; £4,429 for a tenor and £7,915 for a baritone.
Features unique specifications designed in collaboration with teachers. The Piper II’s double-ringed keys introduce correct finger-positioning at the offset. Light and responsive mechanisms aid beginners in reaching the more difficult notes. Every instrument is set up ready to play in Beaumont’s UK workshop, designed to ensure that every player has the best possible start with their new instrument.
The YAS62CEU sax is based on the classic YAS62C (old style neck). It has a medium-dark brown ‘Amber’ lacquer body and key work (unique finish – brand new for Yamaha). Gold plated neck with ARINETA engraving; metal thumb plate and hook, with a black shaped case. A silver-plated version is also available with gold keywork.
The YAS82ZEU has Yamaha’s first solid silver neck and comes with a vintage brown leather case.
Yamaha YBB632 Neo Bass (tuba) is the latest addition to Yamaha's critically acclaimed Neo range. It was developed with top artists over a period of five years and all development work was carried out in Europe to ensure the traditional and recognisable British 'brass band' sound was achieved. It features a large 500mm bell for a voluminous sound and a new height and taper for the lead pipe, allowing the player improved control and feedback, as well as an ergonomically-enhanced valve cluster, which offers great comfort and better operability.
Denis Wick has a new range of mouthpieces based on the traditional American system of sizes. The new mouthpiece range covers sizes from the 7C (currently the smallest of the new range available) to 1¼C and 1½C (the largest). There will be two different outside shapes produced – an American Classic design in the traditional bowl-shaped external form and an Ultra design featuring a heavier body. The euphonium Ultra mouthpieces have been particularly successful, says the firm. The Ultra’s outside shape is elegant and has plenty of weight, which gives the extra projection that many players look for these days.
Rico reeds have been a staple choice of professional woodwind players for many years and with the release of Rico Reserve Classic – the most consistent reed Rico has ever produced – they look like securing their place in sax and clarinet players consciousness for a long time to come.
Antigua saxophones are a good choice for students looking for their ‘next step’ sax. Positioned firmly in the centre of the market, an Antigua AS4240LQ brass lacquered Alto retails at £875. Those looking for an antique instrument might check out the AS4230AQ and TS4230AQ, retailing for £1,159 and £1,345 respectively. Sopranos start from £625 for a straight and £745 for curved.
The Rosetti Series 5 Bb Cornet – like the rest of the Rosetti 5 Series instruments – is a high quality, value Bb Cornet designed with beginners and students in mind. Retailing around £214, it features a rose brass leadpipe, nickel valves and is supplied as a complete outfit in a stylish case. It is also available in silver plate and rose brass finishes. A Higher-end Rosetti 7 Series Bb Cornet is also available.
Stagg's brass and woodwind range has been one of EMD's many success stories of the past ten years, having established itself as a popular alternative and choice for many entry-level and pro players alike. All Stagg instruments are checked and professionally set-up prior to shipping to the dealer and are ideally placed for school rentals.
The Stagg 77-C clarinet outfit is £182 with a brushed wood-like bakelite body, Boehm System, 17 nickel-plated keys and six rings and it comes with ABS case. The 77-FE flute is £175 with a silver-plated finish and 16 covered keys; the 77-SA alto sax is £460 and comes with mouthpiece and features a rocker-style octave key mechanism. Lastly, the 77-T trumpet is £197 with stainless steel pistons and a clear-lacquered body.
J Michael is an established name for brass and woodwind in the UK. It is a trusted brand for educational use and is stocked by many music shops. It has a worldwide presence and is particularly popular in Japan.
The instruments are designed to be robust and reliable, so are suited for both sale and rental use. All instruments are checked here in the UK by FCN Music’s technicians before dispatch and the firm stocks most spare parts.
The range includes trumpets, cornets, trombones, euphoniums, tubas, french horns, saxophones, flutes and clarinets.
Mistral saxophones, clarinets and flutes are designed for young players and are ideal instruments to stock for any rental scheme. These high-quality student instruments offer good margins for the dealer and are well set-up with good playability and sound.
The instruments boast excellent intonation. All have a high F# key and come with hard case. For under £355, players can buy a Mistral alto saxophone (4414) with full rib construction, high quality keywork and adjustable thumb rest in a gold lacquered finish.
The Odyssey Debut range (£159-£399) provides students with a selection of ideal first instruments, while the Premiere range (£199-£599) is suited to students, more advanced learners, and even professionals. Instruments available include trumpets, trombones, clarinets, cornets, saxophones, flutes, and more and each comes with its own sturdy carry case and a selection of accessories to keep the instrument in the best possible shape for many years.
The Odyssey OCR900 Premiere 'Bb' Silver Plated Cornet Outfit (£319), is silver-plated with a gold-plated slide, gold-plated bottom and top caps, gold-plated buttons and nickel inner slides. The outfit comprises the instrument itself, an accessories pack – containing gloves, cleaning cloth and oil – and a 'Zero-gravity' backpack hard foam case.
Jupiter is well-known as a quality brand suitable for both students and players “stepping up” from lower quality instruments. Now in its 31st year, Jupiter is one of the most popular choices for teachers and students
New products include the JCL-637S clarinet, which is the replacement for the 631 model and has a design based on the successful JCL-737STO wooden instrument. The instrument has a new bore of 14.80mm and features ergonomic keywork.
Also new is the JTR-408L trumpet, upgraded from the 308L This benefits from a rose brass mouthpipe and rose brass tuning slide bow. It features an “ergo” C shape main tuning slide for better air flow and tuning and has a unique 3rd valve slide trigger lock, and child friendly little finger ring. The bore is 11.68mm.
There are a number of entry-level packages for the Bentley Brass and woodwind range.
Every package includes instrument with case, music stand, instrument stand, cleaning kit and Tune A Day Book 1. Packages include alto sax, clarinet, flute, trumpet, cornet and trombone. The firm offers a 20 per cent discount from all products online with payment by card.