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Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2017-08-09 08:28

There was talk about Artist Endorsements and if Artists get paid by the Companies to play their product.

For the most part no......... not even the most elite Artists. I'm endorsed by 4 Companies, and for 3 am at their highest level - the "Star" level whatever that means. There often is a discount on products, or a yearly purchase discount (free up to a dollar limit yearly).

I'll get a product quite a bit before it is publically released, and know of plans, etc - but there is no check coming.

There is only one Clarinetist that I know of that gets a $1000 check per month from a Manufacturer (no, I am not speaking of Backun either).

Nobody gets a free Clarinet at least in any brand that I have played. Ricardo was paying full price for his Backun products for years before his name was a part of the line. He didn't switch because of a deal, he switched because he truly loved what Morrie was doing product wise, and his talent in coming up with new ideas. I switched to the Rico/D'Addario line as I really like the Reeds. If I wanted a "better deal", or more prestige, I'd be a Vandoren Artist.

Performances are a different story. A Sponsoring Company can take very good care of an artist representing the brand at a Concert, etc.

Getting an Endorsement deal is almost impossible to get without the Company inviting the Artist to Join. I have never asked to be an Artist to anyone - was always approached.

Do sports - they actually pay $$$$'s...... (oy icon ;)

Sponsored by Backun/D'Addario/BG/Silverstein/ Artist Teacher and Soloist

Post Edited (2017-08-10 18:15)

 Re: Endorsements
Author: WhitePlainsDave 
Date:   2017-08-09 11:32

This is the misleading stuff of which I have spoken.

Let's take Backun. (In fairness to you, maybe this is the 4th company you speak of).

You are one of their artists. Congratulations, it's better than I can do (really) and I bare no ill will against you or the companies you mention because of it.

….other things some companies do..? yes, but not endorsement deals in general: provided they're done with reasonable disclosure to the consumer.

(BTW: I have no conflicts of interest here.)

As one of their artists you (their decision, not mine) are, at least in their minds, probably at a lower tier than other artists featured here by virtue of your absence.

Maybe not, and there's utterly no shame in that. Maybe I missed you. It's not an insult. It's not meant to put your down, and again, better than I could do.

It is though meant to put things in context, so the consumers who read this will understand and make informed purchase decisions (my goal.)

Further still, giving you the benefit of the doubt, let's suppose your absence at this website is a mistake (mine or Backuns.) In fact, lets put you at the star level you refer to for sake of argument—even if Backun was the exception you wrote of, (as if titles, not compensation (i.e. money) are what's important, and that I have unfairly reported your importance to Backun.)

This would still not negate the fact (and fact is void of opinion) that people like Ricardo Morales, (who yes, in addition to an artist is also a Backun collaborator), Jessica Phillips, Jose Franch-Ballester, Corado Guiffredi, and perhaps Eddie Daniels, to name some, have deals you may be unaware of, (because the mere existence of such contracts, or especially their terms, likely stipulate confidentiality, as is far away the norm in endorsement deals.)

Such confidentiality is done for several reasons. One is to limit artists complaining to the endorsee about their worth relative to other artists, and another is to limit public information so consumers buy product at top dollar, in part because they were armed with only limited information as to why such endorsement took place (i.e. was it the gear or the money?). It's one of the oldest tricks in the endorsement world.

Mr. Guiffredi doesn't, quite literally, (in addition to metaphorically) wear Morrie Backun's shirt simply because he enjoys the fit. He and the rest of the people I mentioned didn't make videos for Backun simply because they believe in the company--even though they might. They didn't risk their celebrity status, nor should they be expected to “get into bed” with another firm (Backun, others) without that risk being offset by compensation of a higher order than of which you speak, and their possibly turning down another gear competitor's similarly lucrative endorsement deals.

Who cares you ask? I do as surrogate for the consumer, who runs the risk of assigning greater value to a product than they should, and in turns buys and pays more for it than they would if they knew that these artists weren't merely plugging wares because they believe in them, and felt that the average player can glean improvements they *may* have received from their use, but because it pads their pockets. Musical gear market consumers, who yes are and should be free to make their own decisions, (trade laws to promote safety and fairness not withstanding) are particularly vulnerable to such stuff because many players are desperate for marginal improvements in play that such products *may* only provide to the highest of virtuosos.

I also speak for the teachers (like me) who want the vast majority of students—who are not at your level and won't get their using your gear--to understand that advancement, although it has a gear based component, is far more about putting in quality time at practice—not that you've expressly said otherwise, even though gear plugging clouds that basic fact.

So what's wrong with endorsement deals? Nothing, as long as the basic terms of those deals are known to the buying public--which in the clarinet gear space they are not----so that potential buyers can make informed purchase decisions. To site your sports gear and apparel reference, the public already knows that these athletes make astronomical sums for use of their name, even if the specifics may not be known, when they buy.

- - -

Recently, another contributor (whose words of course you are not responsible for) and fellow Silverstein artist spoke of their being no such endorsement deals as far as he knew. Admitting his artists status suggested his awareness was more than that of outsiders like me. The problem with that statement though was that upon further discussion he admitted that he knew nothing about such matters

But rather than make you explain him, lets focus on your thoughts in another thread. The subject was Clarinet Fest and gear, and you took issue with another poster's ideas on certain clarinets being dead.

Your opinions are certainly your right. Better, lets assume you were right.

The problem is that you then went on to show your proficiency (in and of itself NOT an issue) while pointing to your gear, which you in no uncertain terms expressly mentioned included a Silverstein ligature, quoted at a price probably less than you paid, still implying that its fair market value was worth it, and professed that with average gear, play would be “a hell of a lot harder” for you.

So what percentage of that hell compared to the average gear you compared yours to was mitigated by the Silverstein ligature versus a basic ligature? Give me a number....8 %? That high? And although you didn't suggest otherwise, do you think the average reader would glean similar improvement results examining the ligature alone?

The reed, your clarinet, your mouthpiece, your abilities---ok, but your lig?

You then went on to defend price in general, citing Buffet's top of the line as costing not a penny more [than its quality?]'s worth? I don't know. You left us hanging.

If it was “worth” you meant, then worth is what the next guy pays for something. It, in subjective markets like instruments, is often less than perfectly correlated with quality, especially when someone's paid to play it. If it was quality, some Tosca's I tried, albeit less so than lower end Buffet models, played like junk: an opinion concurred by others towards these specific instruments as well.

That you disclose your affiliations is good. Its your claims, and their degree of accuracy I take issue with because it affects buyers.

(Buffet player.)

Post Edited (2017-08-09 11:38)

 Re: Endorsements
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2017-08-09 15:14

The Backun Artist page had a major database corruption, and a lot of names were lost - but will be put back.

here is a review that they feature on the Super Series Clarinet. I am a high level Artist with Backun (have been sponsored in Europe - had a special card made by them that was handed out in Madrid, etc) - that isn't the one I was referring to.

It's one where they have me at the "Gold" Artist level, and that is their highest one, but I am never featured on their home page.

It is what it is.

Sponsored by Backun/D'Addario/BG/Silverstein/ Artist Teacher and Soloist

Post Edited (2017-08-10 18:23)

 Re: Endorsements
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2017-08-09 15:16

>> Performances are a different story. A Sponsoring Company can take very good care of an artist representing the brand at a Concert, etc. <<

I didn't read the posts you mentioned about endorsers but can you clarify what you mean by "take very good care"? Do you mean (e.g.) a situation where company is sponsoring a concert and that money (or some of it) goes to the performer who is an endorser for that company? Or something else?

 Re: Endorsements
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2017-08-09 15:27

The Ligature that I played was the Gold Maestro. I tried it at the Netherlands Clarinet Festival before playing with my Quintet, and then played the Auijtet Concert on it. I had the Rose Gold going into the Festival. The Solid Gold had a different resonance in both feel and sound.

% wise I can't give a number, as at an upper level, any % is a very welcome thing. It's like driving a nice car. Any car will get you from point A to B, but some have more features and comfort that costs.

Sponsored by Backun/D'Addario/BG/Silverstein/ Artist Teacher and Soloist

 Re: Endorsements
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2017-08-09 17:01

Paid Hotel, food stuff like that. Can be as low as $200 or high as thousands.

There are Artists, Elite Artists and Ultra Elite - whatever I am, it's not Ultra.......

Only a handful at best are "Ultra". Players such as Sabine Meyer, Stoltzman, Shifrin, Leister, Drucker......

Not sure if anyone remembers Leister demanding in the early 80's to be paid $10K to play at an ICS/ICA Conference.

But Clarinetists are dimes on the dollar compared to Pianists.

Sponsored by Backun/D'Addario/BG/Silverstein/ Artist Teacher and Soloist

 Re: Endorsements
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2017-08-09 17:03

And if being an Artist Endorser and making a Million Dollars is your Career goal, quit now, or start with $2M............

maybe you'll have $1M left afterwards.

Sponsored by Backun/D'Addario/BG/Silverstein/ Artist Teacher and Soloist

 Re: Endorsements
Author: Ed Palanker 2017
Date:   2017-08-09 17:46

Don't forget, if you buy the sneaker I use you will run faster and jump higher like me. If you use the after shave lotion I use you will get more girls, get the idea? If some cases, it's legit, in some cases it's BS in my opinion. Self promotion, claim to fame being associated with a product that the recognized stars are also associated with. getting financial help and concert and teaching dates etc.
I used to promote the Rovner ligature when it first came out way back when. Even though I was not as famous as the big stars I knew many orchestra players and was someone known through articles etc. In the early days i was paid something by how many he sold because i was Rovners guinea pig because he came to me with his first model and I not only loved it but used his ligature from day one when that type was not known and frowned upon by many for what it looked like back in the "old" days. You can't believe some of the comments I received when I'd sent them to some players to try. Because I lived near his product facility i often dropped by to try out his new and ever changing designs and help promote them. I've played a Rovner ligature on all my clarinets from that day one though I often changed to a new model when I liked one better. After a few years I was no long paid, which wasn't that much anyway, but continued to try his new designs and give him my opinion up until he sold his business a few years ago. I did that because I believed in his product. Of course when he deigned a new model that I preferred he would not charge me for it and sell me any of his models at wholesale for my students that preferred one. I never forced anyone to use one and as always, only charged a student what I paid. Often even just giving them one free. Finally, if you truly believe in a product i see nothing wrong with endorsing it. But you should do it because you truly believe in it.


Post Edited (2017-08-10 01:32)

 Re: Endorsements
Author: MarlboroughMan 
Date:   2017-08-09 18:18

quote of the day.

The Jazz Clarinet

 Re: Endorsements
Author: DavidBlumberg 
Date:   2017-08-09 18:21

Absolutely endorse something only if you believe in it. Clarinetists aren't actors, and should not try to be that.

Then there's the story from long ago of a (legendary) Leblanc Artist who went to ICA and played his Leblanc Sponsored Recital on his Buffet.........

Sponsored by Backun/D'Addario/BG/Silverstein/ Artist Teacher and Soloist

 Re: Endorsements
Author: MarlboroughMan 
Date:   2017-08-09 18:42

"Then there's the story from long ago of a (legendary) Leblanc Artist who went to ICA and played his Leblanc Sponsored Recital on his Buffet........."

These are my favorite stories. Does anyone have a copy of the fabled Benny Goodman Selmer CT magazine ad where he's holding a Buffet?

I'm waiting for the ghosts of vintage makers, long gone, to ask me to endorse them. Maybe eBay?


--Endorser of Selmer Centered Tone Clarinets, Fritz Wurlitzer Reform Boehm Clarinets, "Great Neck, NY" Brilhart mouthpieces, vintage Eddie Daniels model Rovner Ligatures, etc...

The Jazz Clarinet

 Re: Endorsements
Author: WhitePlainsDave 
Date:   2017-08-09 19:19

These 2 sentences, and their contrary message is what I am talking about as it regards misleading consumers.

"I'm endorsed by 4 Companies, and for 3 [I] am at their highest level - the "Star" level whatever that means."

"There are Artists, Elite Artists and Ultra Elite - whatever I am, it's not Ultra......."

Please stop this type of communication before the next kid I teach does a lousy job learning etude "152" from Bearmann because they, trying to explain themselves as if this was a justified reason, were busy ligature shopping rather than practicing.

Drucker I'm sure we agree is an Ultra elite artist. He wasn't afraid to try new things given his drawer of mouthpieces. And yet he never changed his ligature despite it possibly being lucrative for him to do so.

Perhaps that's because, as you put it, he followed your advice:

"Absolutely endorse something only if you believe in it."

'Artists have different response to different gear,' you might accurately retort.

To which I would reply, if artists can't agree, do you expect the average consumer to have similar improvements with gear to those a particular artist only subtly reports--and if so--at what astronomical cost for said reed strap?

Post Edited (2017-08-09 19:24)

 Re: Endorsements
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2017-08-09 19:28


I've found the data provided by the others to be very helpful, and would prefer that they didn't "...stop this type of communication..."

It has been very informational and helpful in understanding the clarinet marketplace.


 Re: Endorsements
Author: WhitePlainsDave 
Date:   2017-08-09 19:56

If that's true fuzzy then I'm forced to conclude your decision making rubric thrives in an environment in which the very contradictions (not differences of opinion) I highlight exist. As the "type of information" I'm talking about is the kind that can't be true by virtue of contradiction or known facts.

It's one thing for us to have different opinions. It's quite another to furnish misleading statements.

"If you buy this car you'll get 40 mpg. No, if you buy this car you'll get 20 mpg."

You like that? They can't both be right. OK though.

But the vast majority of consumers prefer informed opinion that's void of contradiction by the same opinion offerer, and possible conflicts of interest that aren't otherwise disclosed to the reader, along with fact. It's the primary reason that many industries have standards: so informed comparisons between brands can be made, and consumers benefit.

Its why, for example, when NBC news does a story on General Electric they disclose GE as the parent company of NBC.

Nobody, myself included, seeks nothing short of embracement of such data that I describe, although please show where you think that wasn't my case.

I've sought to provide it by cutting through hype and things that can't be true. I'm sorry if you disagree.

By no means have I ever sought to squash the consumer opinion I thrive on, just that which can't be true because it contradicts itself or violates known aspects of a market.

It's the life blood by which economists like me promote free trade--a standard only truly achieved when all is known of a marketplace. Not vendor hate.

It bothers me just as much when buyers collude, say on an ebay sale, to defraud a seller out of the price they deserve.

Post Edited (2017-08-09 20:24)

 Re: Endorsements
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2017-08-09 21:40


Sorry if I have somehow irritated you (I found your personal e-mail to me to be quite unnecessary, passive-agressive, and rude; and would appreciate any further such e-mails from you to cease.)

However, the quotes you're using are from two different topics - and do not contradict one another:

1. "There was talk about Artist Endorsements and if Artists get paid by the Companies to play their product.

For the most part no......... not even the most elite Artists. I'm endorsed by 4 Companies, and for 3 am at their highest level - the "Star" level whatever that means. There often is a discount on products, or a yearly purchase discount (free up to a dollar limit yearly). "

2. "Performances are a different story. A Sponsoring Company can take very good care of an artist representing the brand at a Concert, etc." - to which your second quote about "Ultra" pertained.

Both statements can be true, and I have no reason to doubt they are.


 Re: Endorsements
Author: WhitePlainsDave 
Date:   2017-08-09 22:18

Publish my email; you have my permission.

"Somehow" irritated connotes you fail to understand why. To reiterate: you assigned blame to me, both here and in the "Juliana" Bliss post simply because you misread/understood. That's not opinion.

My email to you wasn't passive aggressive any more than confrontational. It simply said, in so many words that if you differ from my opinion that's fine, but if you misunderstand information reasonable people would comprehend, and challenge it, your going to risk diluting your own brand.

"Quotes you're using are from two different topics."

No. As the topic, which you seem to misunderstand, is how artists are compensated for the endorsements, irrespective of how or under what circumstances: be it in money, gear, teaching opportunities, performances or other perks. It's all about how undisclosed compensation, regardless of form, not made aware of to the consumer, can negatively affect their purchase decisions.

One simply cannot claim in one breath themselves the highest artist of a vendor and admit artists higher than that individual exist without at least clarification, nor claim it was the 4th company of which they spoke where they don't enjoy such status. This is the case because at least 2 of the 4 companies the O.P. refers to are ones in which, for example, Mr. Guiffredi is also is an artist, and you can bet enjoys greater perks than the O.P.--no offense to the O.P.'s talents or status ever intended, just issue with his ideas.

It's unfair. You first point references something I never subjected to attact and your second is irrelevant because the subject at hand is, and always has been all forms of compensation an artists receives. It became that when the O.P. initially sought to list all the forms of compensation artists get.

If the O.P. claims that never was in intention to cover all artists and all forms of compensation in his posts, then reasonable people would construe otherwise and he mislead.

In the meantime, in everyone's best interest, please make sure you understand before you find holes in another's arguments.

 Re: Endorsements
Author: Tobin 
Date:   2017-08-10 01:13

What's the deal, WPDave? Fuzzy finds the information valuable. You don't. Sweeping statements on other's ability to evaluate information ("...I'm forced to conclude your decision making rubric thrives in an environment in which...") are approaching ad hominem attack (IMHO).

I don't find any contradiction in David Blumberg's post, as Fuzzy pointed out.

Yes they are from two different places: David specifically said he belongs to one type of endorsement and used his own labels to describe the levels that a company may categorize. Then he says "Performances are a different story" and in a separate post describes different categories, with different descriptors, that performers may be assigned.

And clearly states he's not in the highest category of Performance endorsement.

No contradiction.


Gnothi Seauton

Post Edited (2017-08-10 01:43)

 Re: Endorsements
Author: Mark Charette 2017
Date:   2017-08-10 01:50

Tobin wrote:

> Sweeping statements on other's ability to evaluate
> information ("...I'm forced to conclude your decision making
> rubric thrives in an environment in which...") are approaching
> ad hominem attack (IMHO).

They are approaching ad hominen and are at best condescending.

At this point the horse, not only beaten dead, is unrecognizable. The poster has also requested publicly no more personal emails from WPDave and I hope that WPDave honors that request.

 Re: Endorsements
Author: WhitePlainsDave 
Date:   2017-08-10 02:18

"I don't find any contradiction in David Blumberg's post, as Fuzzy pointed out. "

I think you means posts. I don't say this to be pedantic but to point out that I am comparing two posts.

OK. Same for fuzzy, like I said.

Here's my take:

Post 1: I am at the highest level of artist and this is all the compensation we get.

Post X+1: I'm neither at the highest level nor did I actually cover all forms of compensation. Take performance for example.

I'd run from a salesman who acted this way. Many would agree. You should feel free to stay. This is so clearly what I was referred to as bad. Not an open exchange of ideas.

Fuzzy twice attacked my ideas based on misquoting, misreading, or misunderstand me or others. I'd ask that stop too.

Artist 1
"There is only one Clarinetist that I know of"

Artist 2

"As far as I know"

Fair enough. But how much do you know is my question? Artist 2 admitted to nothing. Neither artist is likely to know about the contracts of the top top players. This type of speech implies that an artist speaks from a position of knowledge, given their endorsement arrangement and confuses buyers. "As far as I know" type of speech has no place for the uniformed. Speech that has to double back on who really are the top artists, and the other incentives they get not included in the first presumably all encompassing list best be avoided.

I simply can't explain again why such disclosures are useful to consumers and statements that mislead like these two harmful. And I can only hope that going forward, when artists plug products from the vendors they endorse, that the exhibit far more responsible reporting like I saw in Mr. Palanker's post.

Post Edited (2017-08-10 03:09)

 Re: Endorsements
Author: cigleris 
Date:   2017-08-10 03:35

OMG!! Dave is at it again and even referenced something I had said in a previous post without acknowledging me, shock horror.

Off topic.

Shall I post the rather contrite and abusive email you sent me Dave? Shall I post the other more abusive emails I found from you dated in 2015?

Whatever sort of mission you are on to undermine the clarinet players out there that use various instruments and gear and those that help to promote those products needs to stop!

You cite unfairness to the consumer (possibly you?) because you don't know what deal that manufacture has with a particlaur artist/s. What does it matter to you?? You are an individual capable of making a choice to either try or reject that piece of equipment or instrument or whatever... Yet you sit behind your keyboard like the keyboard warrior you are trying to justify why some nonsensical idea.

You claim to teach and you also claim that students that don't practice blame the fact that they are shopping for gear. You are frankly an idiot for even making that assumption. (Apologies Mark for perhaps breaking the rules but I am happy to share with you the emails I have recieved).

Any teacher worth their salt would advise that the student, who might be looking to change an aspect of their playing, that they should try as many things out there whether or not they are within budget. You know why?? Because at the end of the day the player makes the desicion. Why you might ask?? In my years teaching alongside my performing commitments I have observed that consentious students are able to make a choice for themselves at any given moment in time. If they like Silverstein and can afford to drop that kinda money they why shouldn't they. Likewise, if they like the Rovners, or Vandoren, or whatever, who the hell do you think you are to hold that kind of control over them? Ignorant students are such because the people teaching them are.

At the end of the day enforsnments are the business of thre company and the player in question. It is not, IMO, the business of the consumer. Why? Because the consumer is only ever interested in their own interests. If they like the player in question that may well sway them, if not so what..? That's capitalism. There are always choices.

Ignorant people need to feel important. Those in the know not so much and with the wherewithal to continue on their musical path. You suggest that the consumer has a right to know. They do not is my answer, much like in a symphony orchestra. Extras don't have a right to know what the members are being paid. That is that.

I state again that you are an idiot if you believe that you should deserve to know the workings and business relationships of players in the US and other parts of the World. Why should you deserve to know that information? What gives you the right to know? What gives you the right to sit behind a computer and email professional clarinet players that are trying to make a living in a tough market place, abusive messages and statements where you call them ignorant and say things like " your use of the English language is terrible and shows how uneducated you are." I have news for your buddy but I speak the Queens English. You can thank me later...

Do us all a favour and crawl back to the that bridge of yours and spend some time try to attain the level of proficiency of the players that you so often like to name drop.

Peter Cigleris

Post Edited (2017-08-10 03:44)

 Re: Endorsements
Author: Mark Charette 2017
Date:   2017-08-10 03:52

Too bad I have to close the thread. It's becoming less neighborly.

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