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 Post subject: Hypnotix Annouces Equipment Agreements
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2005 8:51 pm 
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I'll brag about my corps for a little while.

Hypnotix yesterday annouced the purchase of, and assocation with, Kanstul Marching Brass and Dynasty Battery and Front Ensemble Percussion.

Image

Kanstul makes some of the finest marching brass. BUT, they give nothing away (however they do offer substaintial discounts). Because they do not "pay" anyone to use their equipment as a policy, generally speaking only corps that want the high quality of Kanstul enter into an agreement with them.

Hypnotix joins the ranks of some outstanding Div 2/3 corps with Kanstul brass including:

The Academy (undefeated in Division 2 for two years)
Spokane Thunder
Mystikal

We are also proud to annouce that we will be marching with Dynasty percussion. Dynasty makes a terrific product and does many little things to make life easier for the smaller corps.

We are proud of these associations and are looking forward to taking the field in the Summer of 2006!

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 10:04 am 
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Jim, congratulations on moving one step closer to putting a corps on the field.

I wonder if the savvy Hypnotix staff played hardball with the hapless Kanstul people, or if the sly Kanstul sales rep ran circles around the clueless Hypnotix brass guy. 8-) :lol: 8-) :lol: 8-)

Seriously though, I am guessing the brass and drum companies work something like the big shoe companies. Nike pays LeBron James (and countless other NBA players) to wear its shoes so that millions of kids, who want to be like LeBron will buy Nikes. I am guessing that the instrument companies give away (or deeply discount) instruments to the Blue Devils, Cavies, etc. so that high school band directors who want to sound like that will purchase King(?) horns. Am I correct that the target audience is high school band directors? Also, what is the pecking order for free instruments? Can all D1 corps get free instruments, or just the top 4 or 5? Do D2 and D3 generally get free stuff, or just deep discounts, or usually no discounts at all?

I hope I'm not asking you to give away any trade secrets. Maybe you can just comment on what the unscrupulous operators pushing inferior products (ie: everyone but Kanstul :) ) do.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 5:13 pm 
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abalone wrote:
I am guessing that the instrument companies give away (or deeply discount) instruments to the Blue Devils, Cavies, etc. so that high school band directors who want to sound like that will purchase King(?) horns. Am I correct that the target audience is high school band directors? Also, what is the pecking order for free instruments? Can all D1 corps get free instruments, or just the top 4 or 5? Do D2 and D3 generally get free stuff, or just deep discounts, or usually no discounts at all?.


Well, Kanstul has no trade secrets. A corps or band must buy the horns -- period. They pay no one to endorse their instruments. Now, a corps is free to get as big of a discount as they can from a dealer.

D2/D3 corps all pay for their instruments. Some of the companies will throw free stuff or great financing options as incentives. Most lower D1 corps pay for their stuff too, perhaps at a bit better discount. The top D1 corps can get fantastic "Lebron James" type deals. The Cavaliers have stated publicly that Yamaha gave them nothing "but a hat" that the staff has shared. I believe that to be true. But I also am sure they did not pay as much as a D2/D3 corps or a marching band would have to pay!

So, yes, the top D1 corps do get better deals. One prominent person (who will go unnamed) said that "A top 6 corps that pays much for their horns is not talking to the right people." I believe that to be true.

Having bid against some companies, they can really work a deal. Kanstul will never be the least expensive option. But the quality makes up for the cost to corps that do have to pay. The Academy went all Kanstul. Spokane Thunder. Mystikal too. Spirit of JSU is still using Kanstul tubas to my knowledge.

Dynasty has a very friendly staff and offers some financing help. We went with them for percussion and front ensemble equipment. They also made very competitive bids and generally are good people to work with.

Yamaha and King make excellent instruments, and since they are much larger companies (Yamaha USA/Steinway) they can "move" a bit on the price and they do with the top corps. That is probably why most of the top corps march Yamaha/King/Dynasty. Kanstul will offer a competitive bid, but nothing more.

I hope that gives some insight. I am proud to sell Kanstul -- they want to sell their horns on quality and reputation. I will always make very competitive bids to corps and bands -- knowing full well I will not be the lowest bid. But quality per dollar, a Kanstul bid will always be worth considering. That is taking nothing away from the quality of King, Yamaha and Dynasty!

Jim

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 6:33 pm 
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This is fascinating to someone like me who has no practical experience in drum corps. Thinking about the financial burdens involved in running a corps, it's somewhat of a miracle that there are any corps on the field. So congrats again on getting Hypnotix up and running.

Let me follow up with another question. How much does it cost to buy a new set of horns? I'm not looking for anything specific, just a ballpark range for, say, a hornline with one trumpet, one mello, one bari, and one tuba. How often do D1 corps buy (uh, obtain?) new horns?

I'd ask about percussion, but I have so little knowledge there that I don't even know what to ask :(


One thought: Perhaps the disparity in what the top 6 and everyone else pay for their equipment is an important reason that no one new ever seems to break into the top ranks of DCI. The Blue Knights of the world have higher costs than the Blue Devils (and sell fewer souvies to pay for those nice instruments.) Maybe that has something to do with staff retention at the top corps.

That probably is not a new thought to anyone but me :dunce:

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2005 6:54 pm 
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Well certainly success breeds success. And it is helpful financially to. But DCI pays the corps more evenly now and they also subsudize Div 2/3 to a certain extent (the figure I heard was about $40K last year).

So yes, once you are at the top, you are harder to knock off. But staff is very important too. SCV last year and to a lessor extent, the Crossmen found out what it is like to fall quickly.

Since it is against Kanstul's policy to "advertise prices" I cannot give you the prices for which I would sell things.

But here are some prices from a major online retailer.

Yamaha YBB-201 Tuba $5097
Yamaha YEP-201 Euph $2049
Yamaha YBH-301 Bari $1812
Yamaha YMP-203 Mello $1237
Yamaha YTR-8345S Xeno Trumpet $1595

Now, these are prices that if an individual bought one of those horns they would have to pay. They would be considerably less in a bidding situation for mutliple horns. I would guess about 25% less or a bit more.

As you can see, the tubas are VERY expensive. When Phantom Regiment played 14 last year, you can see the investment they made (although they most likely got a huge discount - well past 25%).

Starting a corps is not easy nor is it inexpensive. I have been asked many times why we are only marching 24 horns. The prices above should give anyone a good reason as to why we are not marching 34 horns :shock:

Jim

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 6:58 am 
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I'm beginning to see why in another thread you could say that, once you pay for all the equipment, it doesn't cost that much more to drive to Madison. (Of course, it would be different if you were driving from Phoenix or LA.)

Have horns always been this expensive? I think I have seen references to how the cost of instruments has skyrocketed since the 70s and 80s. Certainly the market must be smaller now, since, as Brian T. will tell you, there are only a fraction of the number of corps on the field today that you saw in the 60s or even 80s. This has got to be especially true for instruments like marching tubas, since most high school marching bands use sousaphones.

Again, I appear to be thinking out loud, and am probably telling you things that you have known for decades. :?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 7:03 am 
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BTW, 24 horns is plenty if you instruct your kids to play LOUD

Brass is fun!
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 7:18 am 
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abalone wrote:
I'm beginning to see why in another thread you could say that, once you pay for all the equipment, it doesn't cost that much more to drive to Madison. (Of course, it would be different if you were driving from Phoenix or LA.)

Have horns always been this expensive? I think I have seen references to how the cost of instruments has skyrocketed since the 70s and 80s. Certainly the market must be smaller now, since, as Brian T. will tell you, there are only a fraction of the number of corps on the field today that you saw in the 60s or even 80s. This has got to be especially true for instruments like marching tubas, since most high school marching bands use sousaphones.

Again, I appear to be thinking out loud, and am probably telling you things that you have known for decades. :?


The horns have always been pretty expensive. I am not sure the market is smaller. Many, many HS play marching mellos and euphs. The tubas are more expensive that Sousaphones, but --- most makers for HS make a convertible tuba that can be use during concert season thus actually saving money for a HS.

The horns get better every few years. It probably has come close to an end in that cycle. But when DCI went to Bb/F horns there was a challenge for the makers. Make the smaller horns sound close to the G horns. That have practically done that. So you would see lots of buying of equipment.

Also, the top corps are often on a two year rotation. The sell their horns off every two years and buy new one. They sometimes even make a profit on the old ones. Or is some cases, the have a lease agreement that they roll the horns thus keeping them cheap and providiing a used market.

OF course, my opinion about the reason there are fewer corps is simple -- competitive marching bands. You can play in you marching band and get a similar experience for free, don't have to stay on a bus, and are home except on weekends. But that is an aside for another thread.

Some costs have gone done over the years. Uniforms most noteably. In the mid 70s, my HS purchased 200 new uniforms for $100K without shakos. That was $50 a piece. Today you can buy top notch uniforms for $85 a piece and inflation has gone through the roof in 30 years. You can buy nice uniforms with lots of extras for $100 a piece which is still much chaeper when adjusting for inflation.

But for Div 2/3 corps, the biggest expense they will face is equipment. Drums, front ensemble, horns and then the accesories needed: mallets, drum heads, mouthpieces, etc.

Certainly transportation is also a big cost, but if you have the equipment in hand, the transportation and related costs (food, etc.) are much more manageable.

Jim

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 13, 2005 7:21 am 
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abalone wrote:
BTW, 24 horns is plenty if you instruct your kids to play LOUD

Brass is fun!
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


Trust me, we will be loud when the music calls for it. I am also the brass caption head. And we will play with great musical style when called for too.

The closer we have tentatively planned is a full-tilt hit 'em hard piece. The brass players will get a short rest from the drum feature right before the closer -- and they will need it.

Jim

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 5:43 pm 
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Hey! docfox

This is Elizabeth! Good Luck with Hypnotix in 06 season.




:wink: :lol: 8-)

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Elizabeth Ortiz

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Elsinore High School
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*Marching Instructor/Caption Head* 98-Present


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