Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Christan’s a Daddy

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Congratulations to Christan and Beth on the arrival of Ava Brienne over the weekend! Ava’s vitals: 7 pounds, 15 ounces; 20.5 inches. Everyone is healthy and resting at home. As if we need to mention it… Christan will not be available this week.

Ava Brienne Griego

Adios, IE6

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Our web site will soon be undergoing a major facelift. We’re excited about the change and a little overwhelmed with all the work left to do. Ron has been busy taking new instrument shots, Christan has been working on content, and I have been comping and coding late into the night.

With all the work that goes into building a site, we’ve decided that we can no longer support IE6, a browser that was released over 8 years ago. In that time, I’ve gotten married, had a kid, and lost a significant portion of my sanity while trying to get stuff to work in that browser. But I digress…

We strongly suggest you upgrade to a new browser that supports web standards. Here are a few we like:

Firefox (our favorite)
Internet Explorer 8

If for some reason you can’t upgrade your browser (or use Firefox… hint, hint), don’t worry. You will still be able to view all the content our site has to offer. It just won’t look as pretty as it should.

T396-A in Process

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

Out they go. Enjoy!

Out they go. Enjoy!
(click image for larger version)

Orla Ed Thayer Passes

Friday, June 5th, 2009

We were sad to read on the Trombone Forum this morning that Orla Ed Thayer has passed away. Mr. Thayer helped revolutionize trombone manufacturing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Risk vs. Reward: Buying a Used Edwards

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

The recent banking woes have everyone worried about money (well, some people aren’t, but not many of them play music for a living). Many musicians that were thinking of buying an instrument have either put that thought aside or are considering buying used instead. Doing the latter will definitely save you some money, but be sure you weigh the risk vs. the reward.

We rarely have a day where we don’t hear from someone asking about a used horn they’ve just purchased. Usually, the call goes something like this:

Caller: “I’d like to ask some information about the Edwards I just purchased from Joe Schmoe.”

Christan: “Sure. Please tell me the model, serial number, bell markings, tuning slide color/shape, and slide markings.”

After receiving this information, I’ll be able to tell you quite a bit about the horn. But I probably can’t tell you how it was treated and maintained since it left our shop.

FYI, our serial numbers give you the year and month the valve section was built. For example, a bass valve section I just saw at ETW was 2904003. It was built in 1992 (I know, the year is backwards) on April 3rd.

The Edwards bass I mentioned above had very little lacquer left on it. It was clear that the horn could stand some TLC: valve work (and possible replacement), lacquer stripping, buffing, degreasing and re-lacquering. But the horn was purchased for $2500, so the buyer definitely saved some money.

If someone were to see the above horn and base their opinion of our company solely on it, they might think that Edwards quality is not what it should be. But once a horn is shipped, it is at the mercy of its owner. Many of our customers treat their horns like a member of the family, but we’ve seen more than a few coming back to us in desperate need of attention.

For the sake of argument, let’s say two T350’s were shipped the same day to “Richard” and “Linda”. Both players followed our advice and maintained their instruments properly. However, the two players couldn’t be more different…

“Richard”, a typical high school student, plays his instrument for 45-60 minutes day. We’ll round this to five hours a week. He takes summers and Christmas breaks off, so we’ll say he’s on the horn 37 weeks a year. Five hours a week for 37 weeks means “Richard” uses his horn 185 hours a year.

“Linda”, a professional trombonist, practices/performs on her instrument an average of 5 hours a day, or 30 hours a week (she gets Mondays off). Since “Linda” has to make a living on the horn, she’s off the horn far less than “Richard”, let’s say only four weeks out of the year. Thirty hours a week for 48 weeks a year means “Linda” is on the horn 1,440 hours a year.

“Richard’s” horn is the same age as “Linda’s”, but that doesn’t tell the complete story. It would take 7.8 years of the student’s practice schedule to equal one year of the professional’s. Let’s equate the student’s usage to a typical year driving a car (12,000 miles). By comparison, the professional’s car would have 93,600 miles after the first year.

Makes you wish we installed odometers!

Regardless, if you are purchasing a used Edwards that was made in 1992 — and it is now 2009 — you can be sure that there are a lot of miles on the horn. Some work may be needed to get it back to its original state. Our instruments are made to stand up to professionals, but no instrument will maintain it’s “like new” integrity with the normal usage of a pro. To current Edwards owners, you can offset the wear and tear by adhering to our maintenance schedule. Here are some highlights:

  • Have your hand slide checked and (if needed) straightened once a year. Tubes that aren’t aligned properly are the main source of premature slide wear.
  • Have your valve(s) checked every 4 to 6 years.
  • Keep all your tuning slides lubed and push them in every time you put your instrument in the case.

If you notice something not quite right with your horn, take care of the issue(s) sooner rather than later. Your instrument will work for you much longer than that of someone that neglects to maintain his/her horn. Maintaining your instrument will also maintain its resale value.

Purchasing a used instrument boils down to risk vs. reward. We want you to be happy with your Edwards whether you purchase it from us or from a third party. Just do your research and try to make the best decision. Also, keep in mind that we’re always here to help you make that decision.

TMEA & Edwards 2009

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Another year has come & gone and most new years resolutions are already broken. Well my New Years resolution was to complete the Alessi model and it has come true. We have started production and the first few are now in the buffing department.

There are a few small details that will be added as we go along but the overall instrument is completed and we will have two of these at the upcoming TMEA in San Antonio Texas show for you to try. Please allow some time so you can try out our patent pending technology that we are excited about.

The dates are February 12-14. You can find more information here.

See you soon,

Made in the USA

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

Well every day you are receiving a media blitz of negative economic feedback. I’d like to focus on something that is a bit more positive… economic growth. How so? Well we have not only continued hiring but are making the instruments you choose to play right here in Wisconsin.

Recently we have hired some people that lost their jobs when the Holton factory in Elkhorn was closed by the Steinway Corporation. We are finding areas where these people can continue their chosen profession as artisans of brass in our factory. My second trombone was a Holton that had “Elkhorn, WI USA” on it. With the closing of the Elkhorn Holton factory we lost another trombone/trumpet line that was not only unique but the dream of a trombone player Frank Holton. I honestly would like to keep my dream alive by continuing to be Made in the USA so that my designs are not just lost at the end of this decade, or the next few.

The one thing you can count on with Edwards is that we are going to remain making 100% of our instruments here in the United States.

You get to decide where to spend your money. With Edwards you can understand that your money is not going to China or some other country that does not use your money in your economy. The money you spend with Edwards is helping people that are just like your neighbors, keep their jobs and keep manufacturing strong in America. Oh, to say nothing of myself who is continued to be employed even after all these years…

There are lots of reasons to consider an instrument Made in the USA. We hope you consider these reasons when you are ready to start testing instruments to make the music you have chosen to play.


Alessi Model Photo

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

Ron and Christan took a great photo of a production Alessi model yesterday. If you want to see it, you’ll have to visit our Twitter page:

And here’s a link to the actual post:

Edwards on Twitter

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

In an effort to pass along even more news and notes to our customers, potential cusomers, and stalkers, we’ve decided to join Twitter. We’ll be using Twitter as a “micro blog” for items that don’t warrant a full blog post.

Follow Edwards on Twitter

Quality Control

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Quality is a term bandied about by many marketing departments. They know customers want to feel like they’re getting a quality product, so they’ll slap the term on the box and ship it, regardless of the actual quality of the box’s contents. We don’t have a marketing department, so you can be sure that when we say our horns are built to the highest standards, we’re not just blowing smoke. After all, we’re musicians. We know how important an instrument is to our livelihood.

It takes a lot to meet our expectations. We don’t allow inferior products to go on the big brown truck, which is why our delivery time can be longer than other companies. We could very easily increase production by cutting corners and hope that you don’t notice. Profits would roll in and we could use some of that money to fix the many horns shipped back to us. But then we’d be like everyone else. We know you guys rely on our horns to win auditions (either for money or at school), so we’re not going that route.

But… sometimes things happen. If you have any concerns or complaints, please come to us first. Trombone forums are great, but they may not tell the whole story (there are a lot of smart people on the internet, but not all of them make our instruments). If you find yourself on the receiving end of an error or mishap with your Edwards, we’ll do our best to resolve your issue quickly so you can keep practicing/gigging/auditioning.

I prefer a 5 minute phone conversation rather than playing email tag, but do whatever works best for you. Give me a call at 800-562-6838 or contact me using our submission form.

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