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Thread: Caveat Emptor!

  1. #1

    Caveat Emptor!

    Some very interesting claimsl here:

    We spoke recently with their USA agent, were informed that their pro-quality trumpets are being made in California.
    Kanstul did make all Bessons trumpets from the early 1980s to 1998, but at present, make only two of the five Buffet Crampon pro-level trumpets: the French Besson Classic and French Besson "Stamm" models. (Note that French Besson is a separate trademark from Besson.)

    [Sources: Kanstul and The Kanstul-Besson Loyalist website]

    Their student brasses are now being produced in China.
    They're not: they're produce in India. (Called Buffet Crampon USA to confirm.)

    And the rest of the Besson instruments, including all lower brass, is now being made in India.
    Nope. Besson pro level horns (Sovereign and Prestige) are made exclusively in Germany. (Confirmed with Buffet Crampon.)

    Here's the reply I received to a question on the source of their info:

    I got a new Besson pro-level euphonium 6 weeks ago. Stamped "made in India". The name "york" is owned by Steven Wasser, has nothing to do with Besson. Should I have John Rogers write you? He set up the India workshop for Besson. Regards, JSM

    - wichitaband
    John Rogers works for Schreiber Keilworth, and has since 2006, so he may not exactly be the most reliable source of info on Besson's current manufacturing operations.

    So ... the horn itself might be a good horn, and it might be a reputable used instrument dealer, but just too many dubious claims being tossed around to ring credibly in my ears, so ... CAVEAT EMPTOR!

  2. Caveat Emptor!

    The data that Witchita Band Instruments put out about Buffett-Besson is pure crap. Here is the real data:

    Professional Horns:

    Low brass (Tuba, euph, baritone) are built at a Gerhard Meinl-owned B&S factory in Markneukirchen, Germany. (Same town, different factory from York).

    High brass (trombone, tenor horn, cornets) are made at the Courtois factory in France.

    Kanstul makes the French Besson trumpets (not part of the Buffett-Besson catalog).

    Student Horns

    These are made in India by the former Besson-India subsidiary that made the earlier Besson student horns (700 series euphoniums, etc.).

    Sterling Virtuoso 1052HS & Adams E3 Prototype 0.70 Top Sprung valves
    Sterling Virtuoso 1050HS baritone
    New England Brass Band
    Winchendon Winds/Townsend Military Band

  3. Caveat Emptor!

    Student Horns These are made in India by the former Besson-India subsidiary that made the earlier Besson student horns (700 series euphoniums, etc.). Doug[/QUOTE]

    I just came across this information when I was browsing through this forum (you keep reading on this forum!). I just wonder if all the 700-series Bessons were made in India. I play on a Besson BE765 ("International" series) which must be built around 1997 and which I purchased in Belgium. On the bell, it is clearly stamped "Made in England" and there is no reference to India at all.

    It is certainly a nice sounding instrument without any defects (so far), and I do love playing on it. But could it be made in India? And for the statisticus in me, how many of the various types of Bessons were made by Besson throughout the years?

    Finally, let me whish you all an euphtastic 2010!!

  4. #4

    Caveat Emptor!

    All the information I've been able to track down indicates that the Besson India factory was set up in late 2001/early 2002. Prior to that, student- and intermediate-quality instruments were indeed "Made in England."

  5. Caveat Emptor!

    Good to know that.

    Thanks fsung!

  6. Caveat Emptor!

    ummm... Besson is very inconsistent with model numbers. Sometimes it can get confusing. I'll do my best to correct this...

    Their student Brass is currently made in India.
    A couple of years ago, many of the student Besson Instruments (other than tubas/euphs) were made by Kanstul, King, or Blessing.
    Besson/Boosey has been making trumpets in India for at least a decade now (B&H300 models).
    They only VERY recently started making tubae and euphoniae in India. Their student low brass was manufactured in England.

    Their pro low brass instruments were originally English, then post Boosey and Hawkes (Buffet Crampon revolution) moved production to Germany.
    (At this point Schreiber and Keilwerth are no longer affiliated with Besson, though Schreiber still makes the Buffet B10 and B12 student plastic clarinet in Germany)

    As for the French Besson Models, that is old information. Besson does not currently have a pro trumpet. They only have 2 levels of student trumpet produced in India (not on website). The reason for this is that Buffet Crampon bought Antoine Courtois and is actively pushing their professional Trumpets and Trombones who in turn is not currently producing euphoniae, only saxhorns, tpets, flugels, cornets, and tbones.

    Buffet's Saxophone line
    , professional and student, are made in China. The quality has been great, we couldn't sell a Series II, Ref 54 (Mark VI repro), or a Series III Selmer next to them locally.

    As a brass repair technician for a Besson Dealer through the Boosey and the B.C. years, I have been rather impressed with the Indian brass. The student trumpets are much better than the Kanstul and Blessing ones they replaced, especially the Performance Series Trumpets that before the economic trouble we were able to sell at $500 CDN.
    The Tbones are decent, better than the Blessing versions of the mid 90's.
    The Low Brass is not made as thick as the old Brit Bessons so they do not maintain the legendary analogue to a tank that their predecessors did but are now an about as durable as a regular QUALITY MADE durable student horn. They are a bit more nimble than they used to be though.


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