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Saxophones Carmichael IS Bauhaus Walstein

DavidUK

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:shocked:

Went to look at and play a BW tenor today and took my Carmichael along to compare.

They are IDENTICAL. Same EVERYTHING bar the logo. Same little "polo mint" logo on the crook. Same pads. Crooks are EXACTLY interchangeable. I-DENT-I-CAL!!

No, not similar.... EXACTLY the same.

Play the same too (to my ear, with Selmer Soloist MP & Marca Jazz reed).

Needless to say, I didn't bother to buy a BW!

:)
 

Fraser Jarvis

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Think you'll find many of the budget brands are one and the same, all sourced from the same "factory" in china....think the better BW, the M2 is of Taiwanese origin though...
 

Pete Thomas

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At the trade fairs you often see this, identical looking instruments. They may be from the same factory or the may not be. China is a huge country and there are many many factories, all with the same designs and ability to make identical copies. They may even be from the same factory but of differing quality and price.

It can be quite confusing and I would advise never to assume because something appears identical, that it is the same quality or value.

Buyer beware always.
 
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DavidUK

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At the trade fairs you often see this, identical looking instruments. They may be from the same factory or the may not be. They may even be from the same factory but of differing quality and price.

It can be quite confusing and I would advise never to assume because something appears identical, that it is the same quality or value.

Buyer beware always.
I've read before about basic similarities and then different pads, springs, set up etc.
The Carmichael Tenor appears to be £599 new so it's the same price as a TS-Y but you never hear anything about Carmichaels in reviews, apart from http://www.karacha.com/Carmichael-Alto-Saxophone-Review-n-Demo-by-Brian-Travers-of-UB40
Could be that the saxes are identical but BW has courted reviews and Karacha hasn't?
I didn't have time to measure the bore or compare the springs, so there's still the element of doubt I guess?
 

Pete Thomas

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Given the vast number of Chinese manufacturers I would say there is an enormous element of doubt.
 

milandro

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based on personal experience, akin to what Pete is saying, I’d say that it is impossible to be sure that two apparently identical horns are actually coming from the same factory.

The weirdest thing is that even if we know for sure that they come from the same factory they might not be identical is some not unimportant details (such as the screws, the sprigs, the pads......).

However it is not impossible that they are actually identical but you cannot just say it because they look similar based on elements such as the little ring on the octave key........ .

There must be horns out there coming from the same factory and even made the same way as BW........but I just don’t know which they are.

You can of course buy another Chinese made brand, but if you do, do that based on merit not on the fact that it looks like another brand that you know.

BW was also, once, an unknown brand sourced in China.

About buying a product made in Taiwan.

On Taiwan saxophones are more expensive to buy. Typically they cost 300 to 400% more than in China which makes them a lot more expensive.

Most Taiwanese companies (with very few exceptions) are small, family run, companies with no more than 15 people working there. The factories specialise in few products and almost never produce the entire range of saxophone. So you will find the specialist in Sopraninos (as far as I know there are only two makers of sopraninos on Taiwan) and sopranos or the specialist in Baritones.

China has huge factories with hundreds of people working on a range of instruments.

Taiwan is, despite what the Chinese think of it (lately I saw the site of a saxophone company which called it “ the province of Taiwan” ) , an independent ( but not officially recognised as such in the UN) country with its own government and, very important in this context, its own army.
 

Pete Thomas

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The weirdest thing is that even if we know for sure that they come from the same factory they might not be identical is some not unimportant details (such as the screws, the sprigs, the pads......).

One of the things about Bauhaus is that they specify some of their own features. It could be argued that once a factory instigates unique designs or features asked for by a company, they may just use them across the board anyway whether or not that company has asked for an exclusive design.

There are companies that merely import off the shelf horns (or in worse cases, even just drop ship them), then there are companies which have some input into the actual manufacturing process and/or do extensive quality control and even modifications after import and before sending to the public.

I think it is the latter which has marked bauhaus out as a good and reliable brand.

Sometimes an importer only ever does business with an agent or trading company who in turn deals with the factory. In this case you hear stories of them sending over the samples or first shipment which are lovely, then when a second (larger) order is placed, the horns are not se well QC'd or suspected to even be form a different manufacturer, even though they may be "identical"

A couple of times I've popped round to the bauhaus "shop," the owner is either away in China checking of the factory or has just returned. He told me that recently some baritones arrived that were sub standard, he took them back to China personally to show the factory owner the issues and to make sure it didn't happen again.

However it is not impossible that they are actually identical but you cannot just say it because they look similar based on elements such as the little ring on the octave key........ .

There must be horns out there coming from the same factory and even made the same way as BW........but I just don’t know which they are.

And there is no way of telling.
 

DavidUK

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One of the things about Bauhaus is that they specify some of their own features. It could be argued that once a factory instigates unique designs or features asked for by a company, they may just use them across the board anyway whether or not that company has asked for an exclusive design.

There are companies that merely import off the shelf horns (or in worse cases, even just drop ship them), then there are companies which have some input into the actual manufacturing process and/or do extensive quality control and even modifications after import and before sending to the public.

I think it is the latter which has marked bauhaus out as a good and reliable brand.

Sometimes an importer only ever does business with an agent or trading company who in turn deals with the factory. In this case you hear stories of them sending over the samples or first shipment which are lovely, then when a second (larger) order is placed, the horns are not se well QC'd or suspected to even be form a different manufacturer, even though they may be "identical"

A couple of times I've popped round to the bauhaus "shop," the owner is either away in China checking of the factory or has just returned. He told me that recently some baritones arrived that were sub standard, he took them back to China personally to show the factory owner the issues and to make sure it didn't happen again.



And there is no way of telling.

I think there IS a way of telling. That would be to give Steve Howard both saxes and see if he can tell the difference.
However, Steve is a busy man and probably couldn't see any point in proving or disproving the theory!

So... I'll keep an eye out for a "cheap" BW Tenor, preferably a gold lacquer one to match the Carmichael, and carry out my own side by side comparison.

Why? I've no idea, but when I get a bee in my bonnet, it must be swatted!

:rolleyes:
 

Pete Thomas

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I think there IS a way of telling. That would be to give Steve Howard both saxes and see if he can tell the difference.
However, Steve is a busy man and probably couldn't see any point in proving or disproving the theory!

:rolleyes:

To see if the body of two saxophones is identical, I think you would need to take very sophisticated measurements taken inside the bore at regular intervals, as well as being able to measure any tiny distortions at the point at which the tone holes are extruded.

Stephen would be able to tell some other things though, I may have mentioned that recently a saxophone from a well known reputable company which appeared to have lovely tight keywork wsa dismantled, only to find the rods stuffed with leather or something to mask the sloppyness.

Another horn from a very reputable company was dismantled only to find serial packet cardboard shims behind some of the pads in order to make up for slightly off whack keycups.

Both of those are the kind of shortcut taken by factories that could be existing on otherwise "identical" instruments, and would not reveal themselves until later, after trouble has started.

This is why I would always buy from a company I know and trust, whatever the horn is "identical to" or a copy of.
 

DavidUK

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Dear David,

Hi there and thank you for getting in touch.

The Carmichael saxophones are made in a factory along with 4 big name brands. Legally we are allowed to name Selmer USA saxophones as one of them. The other 3 we are not allowed to name for legal reasons. I'm afraid this is all I can say at this time. I know this is not a lot of information but as you can see the quality of the Carmichael saxophone speaks for itself.

Kind Regards,

Karacha Customer Services

Karacha Music Ltd. 2nd Floor, 20 Hamilton Road, Bangor, BT20 4LE



Hi, I have one of your Tenor saxes and was tempted over the weekend by a Bauhaus Walstein due to the great reviews these receive. I took my Tenor to compare and as far as I could see and hear the two saxes were IDENTICAL bar the maker's logo on the bell. Is this the case? Are Carmichael and BW made in the same factory to the same spec. (pads, springs, etc.)?
Even the crooks were interchangeable.
Curious to know so I can extol the virtues of Carmichael, and stop looking at BWs!
Kind regards,
David
 

Pete Thomas

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Hi, I have one of your Tenor saxes and was tempted over the weekend by a Bauhaus Walstein due to the great reviews these receive. I took my Tenor to compare and as far as I could see and hear the two saxes were IDENTICAL bar the maker's logo on the bell. Is this the case? Are Carmichael and BW made in the same factory to the same spec. (pads, springs, etc.)?
Even the crooks were interchangeable.
Curious to know so I can extol the virtues of Carmichael, and stop looking at BWs!
Kind regards,
David

You say "even the necks were interchangeable" as if this means anything. There are many many many saxophones whose necks can be swapped around.

The response you got is (almost) what i would expect, confidentiality agreements are in place for most businesses like this. Plus you must realise that even if they are made in the same factory, Karacha would never know if another brand was made to the same specs. They would not know if they are made to the same specs and QC as Selmer or any of the other big name brands.
 

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