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Reeds Hanson Easy Reed

milandro

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yesterday I saw Alistair Hanson at “ Drangons' den” he was, unsuccessfully pitching a new Easy reed system which proposes an integrated reed in a mouthpiece.

BBC Two - Dragons' Den, Series 11, Episode 5

Aside from the product in question, the introduction of which and possible popularity gain I am not so sure about, the thing which made me reflect was the fact that Mr. Hanson described the rest of this (his but also others) business in woodwinds as diminishing and contracting.

Which is exactly the perception I have from having the pulse of the business from elsewhere and having seen the constant reduction in participation to the trade fairs in Germany the last couple of years.


very worrying but best of luck anyway
 

ProfJames

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Seemed a genuine guy but I wasn't impressed with the Easy reed. Why is the instrument market diminishing? There must be areas to focus? Custom built seems to be doing well. I never see any advertising regarding Hanson. The horns are held in high regard on this forum.
 
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milandro

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the market is clearly diminishing and contracting as Mr.Hanson said.

The reasons why are perhaps:

1) the increase in competition (there are now many “ brands” on the market diluting sales for each brand). At this point in time there must be hundreds of small or medium sized “ brands” around the world. Even only in the UK the competition has to be fierce with an increasing amount of brands competing for a shrinking market.

2) the change in demographics ( the majority of young people are not in areas of the world where woodwinds are popular, plus, there is a clear change in the type of music which the new generations appreciate and the “ new music” hardly ever involves saxophones and clarinets, not in large enough numbers anyway.)
 
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ProfJames

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Don't disagree with your points but they are debatable.
 
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milandro

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They certainly can be. The fact is that the sector, as Mr. Hanson said in yesterdays program, is shrinking.

Why that is, is open to interpretation.

The introduction of the easy reed isn’t probably going to revolutionise the sector anyway
 
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Jamesmac

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They certainly can be. The fact is that the sector, as Mr. Hanson said in yesterdays program, is shrinking.

Why that is, is open to interpretation.

The introduction of the easy reed isn’t probably going to revolutionise the sector anyway

Perhaps not a revolution, but if the US took an interest, with their many marching bands, it could be a nice little earner. A point that hasnt been mentioned is that the annoying movement of the reed when turning the MP to adjust the tuning, would also be eliminated. Especially for kids who probably don't tighten the Lig enough in the first instance.
 
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Pete Thomas

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Moved these post from the other Hanson thread, I think it's a good idea to have a new thread to discuss the Easy Reed and Alastair's appearance on Dragon's Den.
 
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milandro

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Re: Hanson Custom Sax

well, I wish Hanson all the best, with this or any other of their products.

This product links indissolubly the reed to a specific cheap mouthpiece, so, if the user doesn’t like one or the other or the combination of the two, won’t be using any of it.

A good move, since the 2£ forecasted cost for the mouthpiece, is to give the mouthpieces away with the reeds but what if the player says I like the reeds but not the mouthpiece or the mouthpiece but not the reeds?

Some Dragons, despite Hanson’s opinion to the contrary, voiced the concern that the patent that he has applied for wouldn’t be granted or could easily be bypassed. Not impossible.

This could be the next success product which was turned down by investors but chances are that the investors know the general public better than and inventor, whom, as so often happens, is so focussed onto his idea that he is not able to see it with the necessary detachment.
 

milandro

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Moved these post from the other Hanson thread, I think it's a good idea to have a new thread to discuss the Easy Reed and Alastair's appearance on Dragon's Den.

cheers :)
 
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Ads

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I think the easy-reed system is mainly aimed at schools with classes of beginning clarinet players which are looking at the easiest fastest, if less than optimal option where varying placement and reed/mpc setups just aren`t needed
 
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milandro

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Hanson sells this for saxophone and clarinet.

How big is the market and willing to accept this product or how impervious is it a product to be copied is anybody’s guess.
 
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Ads

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I honestly can`t imagine how it`d fit into the Sax market as one of the first thing a beginner sax player needs to learn is about reed choice and placement etc and an "Auto" system like Easyreed will be outgrown in weeks ... unless there are schools in the USA who have Sax as a main choice. I`m sure they don`t here, it`s not exactly a school curriculum instrument --- Recorder, Clarinet, Flute, Violin,,, Sax ? :shocked: .
 

jbtsax

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Wow. This looks like a solution looking for a problem. I taught 10 and 11 year old beginners on saxophone and clarinet for over 25 years. Lesson one day one is how to wet the reed and attach it to the mouthpiece. It takes all of 5 minutes to teach and demonstrate and about 3 or 4 times practicing putting the reed on and taking it off before the students have it down pat.

What I would really like to see is a reed that attaches to the mouthpiece without requiring a ligature---perhaps similar to the "Easy Reed" but with snaps instead of just guide holes.
 

Fraser Jarvis

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Although I would wish the guy the best with his business venture, I do think the idea is quite a good one particularly for the young players/schools market but the one inherent flaw with his idea is the fact that you are restricted to the one placement position, but as a beginner would this be such a big deal? probably not, such a shame he had to bow and scrape in front of that patronizing bunch of ***** simply to get blown out...
 

milandro

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actually the Dragons were nicer than usual to Mr. Hanson and expressed support, but they didn’t find it a business worth investing in.
 

Rogerb

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I agree with milandro ... they clearly (and unsurprisingly) liked him, and treated him gently.
They also seemed more interested in the instruments than the reeds, for which I think there would be a limited market, as has been said.
 

Pete Thomas

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actually the Dragons were nicer than usual to Mr. Hanson and expressed support, but they didn’t find it a business worth investing in.

Alastair did a great job, he'd done his homework and had the patent ready to show them, though how anyone could have read it and be in a position to argue with it in 20 seconds is beyond me.

I had to laugh at the bloke who was on later when told:

"When I ask for your projected turnover, I expect you to tell me what your projected turnover is. So let me put it another way, what's your projected turnover?"

Alastair is no fool, the instrument business is not good I imagine. Not because of lack of demand, but more the never ending supply of new importers and entrepreneurs. Not to mention the first wave of decent Asian instruments is now well and truly enetering the second hand market.

To get into the accessories business with a product that is patented and has a USP is a great move. Mouthpieces and reeds: no big warehouses and shipping bills.
 

old git

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Was a little disappointed as I thought this would stop the Ligature discussion.

Would have stopped it anyway with my recommendation for Clas Ohlson stainless steel hose clips.
 

Alastair Hanson

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Hi everyone,

Thanks for your interest and speculation...

Since 'Dragons' Den' went on air we've sold around 1400 sample boxes (with free mouthpieces); we're very happy with the response.

To answer a few of the points raised here:

Decline in market:
the ten minute edit shown was taken from a couple of hours filming and some points came across a little skewed. Actually we've never been busier on our top line horns but in terms of unit sales the market has contracted especially relative to the boom time of the governments 'wider opportunities' purchasing programme (2007 to 2011) when £400,000,000 extra budget was made available for musical instrument procurement in the UK. Frankly we (and every one else in the business) had 'a Beano' in those years and but with a pay off of lesser demand (in student level sales) since.

So; business at the mid to top end is booming for us and other niche makers. It's fair to say that business isn't easy, but if you look after your customers needs there is a market out there.

Re the reeds:
We have three different reeds (easy-reed, classic and jazz) and they don't have to be used with our mouthpiece (made by BARI in the USA). There is adjustment of 1.5mm up/down from the tip. The inclusion of an undercut on the reeds does change the way it plays - some describe it as 'freeing up the reed' I suggest trying it for yourself! The reeds can be used with any mouthpiece.... more details and a link for free samples to follow....

Thanks to all for your interest.

Regards

Alastair
 
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Jamesmac

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1,872
Hi everyone,

Thanks for your interest and speculation...

Since 'Dragons' Den' went on air we've sold around 1400 sample boxes (with free mouthpieces); we're very happy with the response.

To answer a few of the points raised here:

Decline in market:
the ten minute edit shown was taken from a couple of hours filming and some points came across a little skewed. Actually we've never been busier on our top line horns but in terms of unit sales the market has contracted especially relative to the boom time of the governments 'wider opportunities' purchasing programme (2007 to 2011) when £400,000,000 extra budget was made available for musical instrument procurement in the UK. Frankly we (and every one else in the business) had 'a Beano' in those years and but with a pay off of lesser demand (in student level sales) since.

So; business at the mid to top end is booming for us and other niche makers. It's fair to say that business isn't easy, but if you look after your customers needs there is a market out there.

Re the reeds:
We have three different reeds (easy-reed, classic and jazz) and they don't have to be used with our mouthpiece (made by BARI in the USA). There is adjustment of 1.5mm up/down from the tip. The inclusion of an undercut on the reeds does change the way it plays - some describe it as 'freeing up the reed' I suggest trying it for yourself! The reeds can be used with any mouthpiece.... more details and a link for free samples to follow....

Thanks to all for your interest.

Regards

Alastair

1400 sample boxes with mouthpieces . = more return reed sales.:thumb:
 

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