Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Indian Pegs, Tailpieces, Buttons, Frog Blancs, Chinrests, Endpins, etc...

Last Saturday, we finally received and did an inventory count 0f the latest batch of string instrument fittings from India. It's a tedious process of making sure the right part goes to each bin and accounting for the right enough amount on the P.O. Then the computers and Amazon need to be updated with the received stock.

At least the company does a good job shipping. None of the parts were broken and the items were organized according to numbering system on the boxes.

No new parts were ordered in the latest batch. However, the carved violinist cello tailpiece that we usually order looked like it had a new design. Even the boxwood version of it, well, features a woman! I actually like it:)Another item to note, our customized beta product, the light weight wooden tailpiece with built-in fine tuners, has arrived.

Now, I know a lot of makers, dealers, and teachers aren't too fond of a tailpiece with built-in tuners. If a tuner were to break, it's very hard to fix, so the customer may need to buy a whole new tailpiece to replace. Performance wise, the material is often indestructible but too heavy and creates an imbalance in the instrument's acoustics. Also, your aesthetic choices are pretty limited to industrial materials such as aluminum alloy.

Why don't people bother to invest in a better built-in fine tuner tailpiece? Some people just don't know that it can make a difference. For those that do know but still shrug and use those old models, it seems to be an issue of cost and time. They are cheap to manufacture and easy to expense from a shop's perspective. They also doesn't take away time from the teacher's lesson of having to tune the instrument every time for their still struggling student.

The best one we've seen out there on the market is the Wittner tailpiece. We admit it, we use them. They're especially good for the fractional size violins.

Having said that though, nothing sure beats the good acoustical sound that a wooden tailpiece can produce. Well, we may have found it. We will be rolling these out as a beta product on our line of Alessandro Fine Fittings. These tailpieces are custom designed and addresses many of the mechanical design, aesthetic, and cost issues that people have with built-in fine tuners.

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