Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Two Week Trial — Be Careful!

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Many of you have taken advantage of our two week trial period to zero in on the best components for your Edwards. However, a few of you have returned products that aren’t quite perfect. In those instances, we have to charge you for damages. Some of the most common issues are the result of fast mute changes, careless instrument stand usage, poor packaging, and finger rings coming in contact with nicely finished brass surfaces.

We really don’t enjoy charging customers for scratches and dents, so please take care to baby your horn during the two week trial. And do a thorough once-over before sending anything back to us (we do the same thing as soon as we open the box). If you’re like us, you don’t like surprises on your credit card bill.

We want to work with you but can not be responsible for damaged items that are returned to us.

Damage Examples

Warmth vs. Clarity

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Listening to stereo recordings is not just a hobby for me, but a passion. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough time to do it as much as I’d like.

Recently, a friend of mine fired up a small pair of speakers. Within a few seconds I could hear that they were ported — the bass was a bit loose and undefined. There was a boost in the lower sound spectrum that was louder than the mids and uppers. That was my initial assessment. Then my friend spoke up and said, “Doesn’t that sound warm?” I agreed with him, but then I started thinking about working with customers, and not just the brass players I see every day.

When I was younger, I used to sell home and car stereo equipment. I did lots of speaker tests with customers. I would usually start by discussing their wants and needs. This would normally lead me to recommend that we find a speaker setup that had equal balance of lows to mids to highs. Each customer would nod enthusiastically and say, “that’s exactly what I want.”

Then the testing would begin…

Many speakers sound “real” in that they accurately reproduce the sounds of drums, pianos, brass instruments, etc. Articulation is clean and even in all registers. When listening to these speakers, these same customers would gravitate away from these setups and would end up going for equipment that was geared towards the lower end of the sound spectrum as they heard this as having “warmth”. Focus would be lost and I would hear the nebulous nature of the sound.

Usually this customer would leave with something quite different than what they initially said they wanted. They loved the sound and that’s the most important thing. But it got me thinking…

  • What has the individual been exposed to for equipment/sound?
  • How has this skewed their impression of sound/feel?
  • Do these influences enable him/her to make the “right” decision?

If a person has never had great equipment (either trombone/trumpet or stereo) then their ears may only be used to processed cheese and not 12-year-old aged cheddar.

I’m not saying it’s not cool to have fundamental (lows) in the sound, but it is also important to have the mids and high overtones to let the sound project cleanly and clearly. Clarity can be compromised by going to an instrument that is fundamental heavy. This type of equipment can override all other sound colors. Warmth and richness are important but should be a part of the overall sound — not the only component. It can also be stated that if clarity is the only thing sought after then the sound can become sterile and brittle in nature.

A decade or two ago people only played heavy bells and slides. A few years later, many complained that these instruments required too much work, that they were colorless and one dimensional. Today people are gravitating back to lighter equipment that allows them more artistic freedom with the full palate of sound colors that are available.

I once heard a tuba player say that you should “play the lightest equipment that you can play dark on.” It’s a great statement because, if the advice is followed, a player will have much more success coloring the sound when needed.

So when you’re play testing new horns, think about…

  • Your colleagues. Pick an instrument that will complement their sounds.
  • Your hall. That deep chocolate sound that sounds so great at 2 feet may not be what’s needed on the mezzanine. (Record yourself if you don’t believe me!)
  • Your future. Where will you be in 5 years? Will your current setup work for you then?

The end goal is always artistic freedom. Just know that we will always search for the sound that fits you and has the best balance of warmth and clarity.

Steve Wiest Nominated for Two Grammys

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Steve Wiest and the North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band have been nominated for two Grammy Awards. The band was nominated in the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album category for its Lab 2009 recording. Steve received a Best Instrumental Composition nomination for Ice-Nine, a track from the same album. Good luck, Steve!

Ron Knaflic Becomes a Father

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

It seems that 2009 has been the year of the baby.

On Tuesday, Ron Knaflic became the proud father of Roland Francis Knaflic, a beautiful baby boy that came into this world a strong 8.8 pounds.

Congratulations go out to Ron and his wife Ellen on the addition to their family.

Ron and Roland

Edwards Launches New Web Site

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

After much work by Josh we are proud to launch a new website that will grow with us in the upcoming years. Check us out and all of the new content. There are some great instrument galleries that should provide you with plenty of entertainment.

Edwards Financing

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

So many times we hear the question “Do you offer financing?”. Well we do not unfortunately but while talking to our new dealer Washington Music I was informed that they do finance for the Mid Atlantic region. For information on this please email Byron at byront@chucklevins.com or Lee at leew@chucklevins.com. Don’t forget you can call and talk to them in person at 301-946-8808. Human contact is not such a bad thing.

Edwards weekend gig

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Occasionally, Mike and Ron take their trombones out into nature. This past weekend, they decided to practice excerpts and serenade riders at the Lapham Peak Cyclocross race. Ron actually pulled double duty… he joined Mike on the hill after placing 5th overall in his Cat 3 race.

Excerpts heard:

Fat Bottomed Girls
Theme song from Sanford & Son
Eye of the Tiger
Chameleon
Sesame Street
Jeopardy theme song
Back in Black

No one advanced, but no one was cut during this round of playing.

Mike and Ron playing trombone on a hill

How We Ship Your Instrument

Monday, October 5th, 2009

I can’t remember how many times I’ve had to tell our shop visitors that they don’t have to purchase a case in order to get their new Edwards home. Don’t get me wrong… we’ll be happy to sell you a great case, but it’s just not necessary to keep your horn protected during shipment.

We wrap each instrument in bubble wrap (the heavy duty kind). Trombone slides and bell sections are wrapped separately. Then we place the bubble-wrapped components on a bed of packing peanuts in a sturdy box. More packing peanuts go on top before the box is sealed. Below you’ll see a photo of a trombone being prepared to ship.

Bubble-wrapped trombone

Your Edwards

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

I have worked at Edwards going on 12 years. Most years seem to fly by, but this past year has been tougher on all of us. With the global economy in the dumps, I worry about how musicians are being affected. Many freelancers have seen the well of gigs start to dry up. But it’s important to remember that things will get better over time and by working through the dips you will be prepared for the next upturn.

Instrument manufacturers have been affected like most other industries. Remember that without you, Edwards can not survive. We rely on our customers to keep our company strong, which allows us maintain our high standards, to develop new instruments, and to promote music by supporting our artists whenever they present concerts, clinics and masterclasses.

Don’t get me wrong. This year hasn’t been all bad. My wife and I had a baby girl and we celebrated quite a few Edwards/Getzen weddings. We also were thrilled with the accomplishments of our artists on the audition circuit. I’m not going to lie — having two Edwards artists as the only finalists for the New York Phil audition was great for our egos. Having one of those finalists playing on an Alessi horn validated the years of hard work that went into building that horn. I always wanted to play in an orchestra for a living, but I’ll take to living vicariously through every one of you that calls to talk about your job and instrument needs.

We want you to get the position you want, whether it be in your community band, college wind ensemble, all-state jazz band or major symphony orchestra. Because of that, we put our heart and soul into each and every horn we build. And when you support us by purchasing our horns, know that your money is staying here in the US, supporting our families. The only products manufactured outside the US are the Willson Rotax valve (Switzerland) and our new travel cases (South Korea).

We are maintaining our focus through these difficult times and are working to come out stronger and with a grid iron focus on what’s important — your Edwards and our musical relationship with you.

Remember this when it comes time to buy a new instrument.

Michael Clobes Gets Married

Saturday, September 5th, 2009

Ron, Ellen, and I were able to witness the marriage of Michael Clobes and Kelly Troubl earlier tonight. Michael joined the Edwards team quite a while back and has been a great asset to us both personally and professionally. Congratulations to the new couple! We wish them all the best.

Michael Clobes and Kelly Troubl

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