PPT

Saxophones Vibratosax

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,430
Locality
the Netherlands
I wrote this on SOTW too.........pasting it here

Ok, I have received the Vibratosax yesterday. I can't attempt to play it yet, so I gave it a " dry" run and my best observation.


The box is very light indeed and perhaps this fact convinced the packers that would have been enough to protect it with just one thin sheet of (neatly folded around the package) bubble wrap and a sheet of thick wrapping paper around the polystyrene case.

Removing the paper, the case does show a few bumps on the outside, more than it wouldn't have shown if there would have been a few more meters of bubble wrap wrapped around it adding little to cost and weight anyway and offering way more safety.

Also, the saxophone inside and the other bits and pieces are all nicely wrapped in plastic bags but there was nothing (in the manner of soft material cushioning the saxophone) to prevent that the unavoidable shakes rattle and roll of the trip would have dangerously shaken the contents during this long journey from Thailand to Holland. All in all , in site of this, it appears to be not visibly damaged but I found two small loose pieces of plastic in the case and I still have to work out where they belong (or if they belong anywhere).

Several pads are not closing properly , the worst is the low C# which stays wide open and only if you give a quick push to the key it sorts of bounces back, to close as it should, it looks and feels like something is in the way of a smooth movement as if the rod is slightly out of position or tighten it too much. The associated spring has a weak feel.

I also guess that the Bayer warning against the use of oils on this horn has to do with the fact that some of us will want to try to ease the action with some grease of some sort......which we have been just told is not a good idea? I wonder!

The springs are the most puzzling part. There is a combination of blue steel needle springs and blue steel coil springs . The " feel" of the horn is very uneven indeed Throughout the horn. Besides many keys, even if lightly activated are simply bending (plastic is, after all elastic) under any (even light) pressure and as they did it with the rods (made of aluminium) the longer or wider keys should have been made out of aluminium to prevent this bending or , at the very least, have some sort of metal reinforcing inside or underneath. The bendiness of the keys gives a spongy feeling to this horn and this is way more annoying than the forecasted sponginess of pads that , instead, are adequate to do what they are supposed to be doing.

The octave mechanism of the neck is very delicate indeed and I can see how this would easily be a weak point in the construction that can easily break. It slots in a rather secure way turning the neck from right (where you insert it) to the left where you see there is a ridge in both neck and body to be aligned) there is some possibility to adapt the angle of the neck but it is very minimal. Also the octave activator by the thumb rest is very much raised compared to the resting position of the thumb, this makes the octave transition awkward and sliding, between the two positions next to impossible, this is something which absolutely needs addressing and could easily be solved by simply raising the thumbrest to the height of the octave activator.


The lower stack has regulation screws (plenty of regulating screws anywhere on this horn......... all to be operated with an hexagonal tipped screwdriver which would have been a nice and thoughtful touch if we would have found one in the maintenance kit which only has swabs) while surprisingly, the upper stack has no regulation screws at all.........I have yet to understand why and how, not having corks to be filed , would one regulate the height of the upper stack. Mysterious.

There is no serial number anywhere but is says the US patent and that is made in Thailand.

I will give it a try later on. I doubt it plays as it is, it most definitely needs some adjustments. At this stage, this is not a saxophone that one can pick out of the box and play.

The invoice was neatly inside the package while it would have been needed to be in the EMS bag which normally contains the custom documents, because it wasn't there (but it was inside the closed case!) Custom didn't find it and this delayed the delivery for at least a week.


The Dutch custom charged me another 60€ and TNT post charged 15€ for the " handling" through customs (whatever that is) . I don't know if this qualifies as a " cheap" horn Curt, I appreciate innovation and novelty has its price but we can buy a saxophone, in Holland priced to the public at 250 euros.
 

Saxlicker

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,239
Locality
Breakfast room since '06 UK
That's a real shame,
Thanks for posting this.
Although your post is not all negative, it seems that Vibratosax have a way to go if they wish to gain many more sales.

They need to concentrate in two areas.

The first of which is obvious....
Listen to buyers experience and improve on all the aspects you have pointed out even if this delays future orders.
The second, which is of equal importance to the likes of me, who is eagerly awaiting good reports before purchase, is that they get current customers sax's in good order one way or another and assure that despite these 'teething problems' the customer is happy in the end.
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,430
Locality
the Netherlands
well, I don't know how they could make sure that the horns that they have sent are in playing conditions. The only realistic thing that they can do is provide with a replacement for faulty pieces if there are any but that is not the problem that most people are complaining about . As far as I know from the SOTW comments all those who commented on their horn talked about a horn which was out of regulation. So you can do 3 things: regulate it yourself, pay someone ( who has never seen this horn) to regulate it for you or sit down and sob quietly while waving goodbye to your hard earned cash. It is not that they can send you a technician home to take care of whatever problems the horn has.
The horn would need at the very least a set up and regulating (to the best of their ability) the needle springs (the coil springs could only be changed not regulates) tension which is very uneven throughout the horn. As I said, the first buyers (hopefully only the first buyers) appear to be , more or less willingly and consciously, participating to an experiment providing a road test that could have been avoided. As I said before there is never a second chance to create a first impression.
 

Saxlicker

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,239
Locality
Breakfast room since '06 UK
The only realistic thing that they can do is provide with a replacement for faulty pieces if there are any but that is not the problem that most people are complaining about .

Yes they should...it's brand new,
Does it matter that if yours does turn out to have faulty parts it may be one of only a few? I think not.
As for the more common complaints...same goes, offer something!

So you can do 3 things: regulate it yourself, pay someone ( who has never seen this horn) to regulate it for you or sit down and sob quietly while waving goodbye to your hard earned cash.

Seek a partial refund or may be send it back for a full refund, do they have a policy?

As I said, the first buyers (hopefully only the first buyers) appear to be , more or less willingly and consciously, participating to an experiment providing a road test that could have been avoided. As I said before there is never a second chance to create a first impression.

They are fortunate the first buyers have slight expectation to road test which tells me even more that for their own future prospects some kind of compensation should be offered to the road testers witout hassle.
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,430
Locality
the Netherlands
well, in all honesty, there has been a Vibratosax general declaration of intents on SOTW to put things right and there was also the hint of total replacement if things couldn't be put right (which will then potentially create the problem of customs duties being levied on the replacement horn as well.......). I have been already accused by some SOTW members of whining about the fact that the horn came without a case and everyone else seems to be holding off any serious complaints..........
 

saxismyaxe

Honored SOTW Ambassador
Messages
174
Locality
Native of the Lone Star state.
Thank you for the candid review André. No one has reported a remotely playable horn out of the box to date, and I am skeptical (as far as possible from a purely vicarious vantage point) that it can be readily put in that condition and remain there.

No pro or serious amateur is going to bother with a horn that must be diligently coxed and humored into playing up and down the horn, let alone fluidly at full tempo. This bodes even worse for the budding saxophone student, who need all the help they can get just to produce a good sound and finger the basics.

I hate to be gloomy, but when you strip the novelty away, it looks like this offering leaves too much to be desired.
 

saxismyaxe

Honored SOTW Ambassador
Messages
174
Locality
Native of the Lone Star state.
I have been already accused by some SOTW members of whining about the fact that the horn came without a case and everyone else seems to be holding off any serious complaints..........

Which is why I too have only hinted at my discontent about the horn there. As a staff member, I have to be careful not to incite trouble where it can be avoided. Biting my tongue goes with the territory alas.

The membership here seems more open to discussing it fully, warts and all, thankfully.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,430
Locality
the Netherlands
cheers Mike, I've tried to be objective while staying positive . I appreciate the fact that there is some serious money at stake here (Vibratosax's money ) and I carefully chose my words to be both truthful ( to the best of my knowledge and ability) and still respecting other people's work and aspirations without provoking unduly damage to someone's reputation.
And yet, I have the feeling that this was false start and that this project probably would have needed to have been developed further still before being brought to the marketplace.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,464
Locality
Just north of Munich
I was keen on the idea, and saw these as a way of getting beginners into saxes and a low price, but with OK performance. I can't see people buying them at the current price, when a metal chinese cheapie is cheaper and better, not to mention a lot better looking. The few samples that were posted sounded, to my ear, terrible. But.... so many factors.

I still think it's a viable prospect, but with the major faults sorted - and at a much lower price. I'm afraid I'm not interested as things stand.
 

johnboy

Senior Member
Messages
1,178
Locality
ISLE OF WIGHT, UK
Andre, you have behaved very discreetely throughout, both here and at the other place!!

John.
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,430
Locality
the Netherlands
Cheers John!
As I said I tried to be informative without being libellous.

I am obviously disappointed upon receiving this saxophone which has revealed itself to be much below my expectations.

I am even more disappointed though at the fact that those who received their saxophone have been commenting only briefly and then kept shtum about it and are keeping themselves to themselves. Apparently mum is the word! I fail to understand why since they must have seen at least as much as I did see if not more if they are qualified technicians as some are.

Vibratosax has been , somehow, forthcoming in offering , privately, some information about future design improvements (and about the type of glue needed to glue some bits which came undone) designed to reduce or eliminate what they perceive are some of the problems with this horn but I doubt that they are being objectively seeing the amount and type of problems for what they are and are not at all acknowledging that they have sold a horn in its prototypical state and which was not ready to be sold.

At present, nobody offered me some concrete solution in the manner of : " Ok, you are not pleased , we understand and recognise your reasons to be displeased , we have made a mistake and we will soon come up with an improved version of our saxophone which you will receive at no cost (but I bet the customs will charge me again) " there is only a very awkward silence which grows more uncomfortable by the day. Maybe that's what they are planning but nobody said it yet.

I have managed to find the couple of coil springs which came off while trying to play this prototype which was sold as a finished product. I put everything neatly back in the box and I put it as far away possible in my practice room in the attic where it will be kept as a reminder of thinking before of buying and perhaps in the hope that this will become, in years to come a collectable object.

As for the project of becoming a distributor for this product I have definitely abandoned any such project, this is way too risky for me. I cannot possibly think of having to deal with angry and dissatisfied customers who will come to me for all sorts of problems in the 2 years of compulsory guarantee that a distributor has to offer within most EU countries.
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,430
Locality
the Netherlands
:shocked: after receiving an offer for a refund (which will have to include also any other expense that I have incurred to be satisfactory ) I decided to take this opportunity to get over and done with my part in the Vibratosax saga.

After 3 years of staunch support of this venture I have to say that I am not in the least pleased with what I have in my possession and welcome the possibility to exchange my non functional saxophone (which at best would have been a conversation piece) with cash.
 

Pete Thomas

Well-Known Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
15,930
Locality
St. Mary's
That's bad news, I was going to get one to do a big review, but maybe I should wait until they have got it sorted.
 

Clivey

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,392
Locality
Edinburgh/Hot Rock off African Coast
I bet Stephen Howard would be able to fix it.;}.


But would he want to?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

saxismyaxe

Honored SOTW Ambassador
Messages
174
Locality
Native of the Lone Star state.
It's truly unfortunate that it has turned out the way it has with this venture, but I'm thankful that I saw the writing on the wall in time to avoid plunging into the purchase of one these.

The real flaw in design, not unlike the Grafton, is the unconventional i.e. less than adequately functional keywork. A real shame.
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,430
Locality
the Netherlands
I would agree that the keywork and the flimsy octave mechanism are probably what's problematic with this horn. I am not saying that it cannot be salvaged as a project but that it is not satisfactory in its present form. It could be that the intervention of new " advisors" would have a beneficial influence and the future developments but my perplexity is still on price and market positioning. Because , once the novelty has warn out, any product has to have a place on the market .
This was , I think, the demise of the Grafton too. It was a horn that was difficult to keep adjusted, aiming at the lower end of the market but costing more of the cheap Italian and Bohemian or East german traditionally made saxophones. Besides, the distributors knew that the extended guaranteed that they had to sell the horn with to have any chance to beat the prejudice against plastics would have exposed them to many people bringing the horn back in for continuous servicing and dealers must have been cautious about that too. Now this is a horn that vibratosax is asking to play gently but at the same time is aimed at the students market. Is it only me to see this contradiction?
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Café Supporter
Messages
21,464
Locality
Just north of Munich
...Now this is a horn that vibratosax is asking to play gently but at the same time is aimed at the students market. Is it only me to see this contradiction?

No I think we all see the contradiction. Fully agree with you! Pity, though. Seems they're going to need a lot more wok/money to get it right.
 

Latest: Members' Recordings

Similar threads

Featured

Top Bottom