The man seated next to me in the New Horizons band has a Cannonball alto. He and it play very well. I will ask him his thoughts and experience with the brand and post what I learn.
As to online advertising, it is also a major issue in my field, which is hardware (tools, plumbing supplies, etc.). Many manufacturers restrict or forbid the sales of their products on the web, especially Amazon. It can absolutely destroy any vestiges of profitability, brand name recognition or quality image, as price only becomes the determination for all steps in the channel and it places tremendous pressure on the independent retailer trying to stay alive. My guess is that Cannonball is protecting themselves and their dealers. If that is the case, I can't blame them.
I called Dawkes this morning and had a chat about Cannonball. The guy I spoke with explained the approach and it pretty much fits in with previous comments here. I asked about prices and was given a price for an unlacquered vintage reborn Tenor and an unlacquered Big Bell Stone Series Tenor. I didn't specifically request those finishes, they just happened to be the examples I was given.
There is something about the mild mystery around Cannonball saxes that make me query whether to actually pass on the prices I was given! Says something about the approach. I'm not sure if it's a good feeling to have in all honesty. Anyway, maybe I will keep it to myself. I'm off to London next weekend so if I can persuade Mrs Halfers to make a small detour from Waterloo, I might pop in to Sax.Co.Uk and compare prices.