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 Zinner shutting down
Author: J. J. 
Date:   2018-05-03 07:30

I know there's been some discussion about this on the B40 thread, but I thought it deserved it's own thread. Last week, Clark Fobes announced that Hans Zinner and his brother are retiring. As of now, I don't know of any plans for anyone to buy or continue the business. I'm not sure what proprietary value there is in the business. They didn't manufacture the rubber blanks, so overhead could be relatively small.

I personally don't care in terms of what this means for Bb clarinet mouthpieces. But many makers still rely on their blanks at least for some of their product lines. I could see this being devastating for Bass, Eb and Alto mouthpieces, though, because fewer premium blanks have risen to the fore for those members of the family.

What do you all think?

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 Re: Zinner shutting down
Author: jbutler 2017
Date:   2018-05-04 17:36

A good business opportunity for a younger man than me more than likely. Probably nothing to "get rich" over but would be a nice supplemental income for someone.

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 Re: Zinner shutting down
Author: gavalanche20 
Date:   2018-05-05 11:10

They will surely be missed. Some of the more prominent makers out there like Fobes and Behn are now making mouthpieces on their own blanks, albeit not at the same pricepoint as the Zinners. Assuming that they are not acquired to keep going (I have a weird hunch that this is something Backun might want to look into, although I have absolutely no evidence to indicate that they are), I wonder who would take their place when it comes to premium blanks. Perhaps Babbitt? The Doctor did mention that the Chedeville reboot might be taking place later this year too...



Post Edited (2018-05-05 11:10)

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 Re: Zinner shutting down
Author: J. J. 
Date:   2018-05-05 15:48

Backun doesn’t have the cash.

Looking at the Jody Jazz website, it seems likely that the future of the Chedeville brand is in specific mouthpieces, not blanks.

There is a mouthpiece manufacturer who recently announced the upcoming availability of a blank, but again, that’s CNC and the prices will be higher.

Some of the best mouthpieces in the world are coming out of Babbitt right now, but whether or not they can supply blanks on the same high level is unclear.

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 Re: Zinner shutting down
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2018-05-06 08:28

I don't understand the subdued response to this news. Just about every "custom mouthpiece maker" I know of uses Zinner blanks to impose their facings.

I have just run into Babbit vis a vis Walter Grabner.....yes, also a good blank, but Zinner is a high volume producer. At very least prices across the board will go up dramatically and there is always the fear that the constancy will not be there.

Brad Behn's Epic line may be the cheapest mouthpieces of our future.



............Paul Aviles

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 Re: Zinner shutting down
Author: J. J. 
Date:   2018-05-06 19:41

Paul, I completely agree. While they’ve never been my go-to for Bb mouthpieces, Zinners are a big deal in the industry. Surprising, to say the least.

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 Re: Zinner shutting down
Author: Jordan Selburn 
Date:   2018-05-07 08:30

I also agree with Paul. If I was looking for a(nother) new mouthpiece, I'd buy it soon. Maybe not next month-soon, but next half-year or soon. It'd be interesting to hear from someone in the industry who uses Zinner blanks if they have any insight into inventories, last-time-buys, etc.

Jordan

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 Re: Zinner shutting down
Author: Carmelo 
Date:   2018-05-07 20:19

I am sure Brad Behn makes some really outstanding mouthpieces but at a price tag of $700 plus, I would not say that they maybe one of the "least expensive mouthpieces" either now nor in the future, my humble opinion of course.



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 Re: Zinner shutting down
Author: dorjepismo 2017
Date:   2018-05-07 20:27

Behn has a couple different formulas of hard rubber he makes or has made himself, in addition to Zinner blanks. One of those costs about the same as other top-level custom makers. So he's probably one of the least vulnerable top makers.

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 Re: Zinner shutting down
Author: Ed 
Date:   2018-05-08 19:47

Quote:

I am sure Brad Behn makes some really outstanding mouthpieces but at a price tag of $700 plus, I would not say that they maybe one of the "least expensive mouthpieces" either now nor in the future, my humble opinion of course.


Brad makes a variety of mouthpieces at many different price points. Lots of flavors for everyone's tastes.

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 Re: Zinner shutting down
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2018-05-08 20:34

AFAIK there's still Playnick who make their MPCs completely on their at a relatively decent price tag. And there's L&K too, whose wooden MPCs surely aren't supplied by Zinner.

Personally, I don't see too much of a problem with Zinner shutting down - there's enough "next generation" makers with new ideas already. At least I'm Germany, I'd say, the market is pretty competitive, so we're not seeing those (IMHO ridiculous) Behn prices any time soon.

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 Re: Zinner shutting down
Author: gwie 
Date:   2018-05-08 22:13

Behn offers mouthpieces in the entire price range at $35, $250, $350, and $780. Not every maker offers a high quality student mouthpiece, and his Zinner and SONO models are competitive price-wise with many other makers out there.

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 Re: Zinner shutting down
Author: gavalanche20 
Date:   2018-05-08 22:27

If the demise of Zinner means that more Babbitts come out, could we see an increase in mouthpieces in the Vandoren/Reserve price range? I feel like those mouthpieces often get overlooked (eg, we talk a lot about the Fobes Debut and the SF/10K models, but less so with the Nova), but that entry level professional sector might become more important, especially if a pricing gulf forms between it and the higher end stuff like the Epic and Sono, with no Zinner mouthpieces that were priced in between.

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 Re: Zinner shutting down
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2018-05-09 04:12

I'll go with the group that sees this as more of an opportunity than a crisis or disaster. Behn can adapt his rubber formulas to make a wide series of blanks; Grabner has already said that he might make his own blanks when his ample stock is depleated; McClune has Wesley Rice doing his top of the line model; Ryan Periera might be waiting in the wings to 3D print mouthpieces; Vandoren should get through this without even a tiny ruffle, as most clarinetists in North and South America, Europe, and much of Asia play them anyway; Kuckmeier will fill at least some of the gap in Germany and Austria; Babbitt might ramp up production; and Willienfitz in Hsinchu City, Taiwan said they not only can continue to make their own line of blanks and mouthpieces, they can also make Zinner style blanks and finished mouthpieces on those blanks in the very near future.

So where's the catastrophe?



Post Edited (2018-05-09 04:16)

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 Re: Zinner shutting down
Author: gavalanche20 
Date:   2018-05-09 08:33

Don’t forget the Reserve line. Seabreeze, I’m particularly intrigued by the mention of Ryan Pereira coming out with a mouthpiece line. His barrels are fantastic, I have one which I consider as being on par with my MoBa barrel, so if he's making mouthpieces, that’s something I’d really be interested in checking out.



Post Edited (2018-05-09 09:16)

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 Re: Zinner shutting down
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2018-05-09 15:44

Yes, Reserve mouthpieces, too, seem to be able to make it without the help of Zinner. D'Addario may come up with more mouthpiece offerings. Couldn't they also make blanks for others? Wi & Fi mouthpieces in Taiwan just announced yesterday a new "Z series" of mouthpieces with a "Zinner chamber." https://www.willie-fitz.com/our-mouthpieces. They are more expensive than Zinners, though, but not more expensive than Hawkins, Smith, Grabner, and Fobes pro models made from Zinners.



Post Edited (2018-05-09 19:06)

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 Re: Zinner shutting down
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2018-05-15 01:16

Here's the ad for the new Wi&Fi "Zinner Chamber Blank ...Made with VQuartz material . . . without toxic dust when you['re] refacing." Apparently these are sold in lots of 10 to mouthpiece makers and refacers. It would be great to get some feedback on the quality of these blanks.

https://www.willie-fitz.com/blank.



Post Edited (2018-05-15 01:30)

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 Re: Zinner shutting down
Author: LisaCanning 
Date:   2018-05-15 08:18

As many of you may know, the late Jerry Hall introduced me to Hans Zinner. I helped the Zinner's build their distribution in the USA. For many years I went to visit them in their home town to develop our business together.

They have a significant facility/factory attached to their home and it would be hard to move or relocate. I thought surely their son would take over the business but I guess that is not the case. Closing their facility will certainly be a huge loss and not an easy one to replace. While it makes me sad to see this happen, I know they are in poor health and it seems like a decision that has less to do with business and more to do with life.

The most likely candidate to continue it, would be someone who lives in Europe. Short of that, it looks like great news for Babbitt, Behn and Fobes and any others who are in control of their mouthpiece blank production.

I have some great memories helping others build their businesses with those blanks- many of whom are prominent mouthpiece makers today. Life is super short friends. Play your favorite Zinner mouthpiece on your favorite clarinet and be happy. :)

Lisa's Clarinet Shop
www.LisasClarinetShop.com
847.774.2938
Lisa@LisasClarinetShop.com

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 Re: Zinner shutting down
Author: donald 
Date:   2018-05-15 13:06

Hi Lisa- I remember when I first came to USA, if you wanted someone to reface a mouthpiece for you the "thing to do" was get a Gigliotti and use that as a blank... then all of a sudden the Zinner blanks were the thing to do- and were very reasonable priced through IMS. I had heard of these because Thea King played a Zinner for while in the 1980s and my teacher had tried one for a while.
I bought and refaced many Zinner blanks from IMS, and just recently one "returned" to me with a 2nd hand instrument, I was surprised that it played really well- my refacing hadn't managed to destroy it ha ha ha!!!!!

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 Re: Zinner shutting down
Author: Arnoldstang 
Date:   2018-05-15 21:22

In the original post JJ said Zinner didn’t manufacture the blank? What is their factory for? Packaging? Who manufactured the blank?

Freelance woodwind performer

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 Re: Zinner shutting down
Author: donald 
Date:   2018-05-16 08:56

I don't know, I had also heard that the mouthpieces were mass produced in Hamburg, but then I also heard that Vandoren mouthpieces were mass produced in Hamburg, so who knows.
What I DO know is that when I went to the "Zinner factory" (in Marktrodach I think, a LONG time ago, maybe Lisa remembers) I saw them coming up out of the basement with trays of mouthpieces that were cooling after being "baked". They were definitely MAKING mouthpieces, the whole shebang, and I was IN THE WAY so didn't hang around for long :-)

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 Re: Zinner shutting down
Author: clarnibass 
Date:   2018-05-16 10:49

>> They didn't manufacture the rubber blanks, so overhead could be relatively small. <<

Can you explain what you mean? Interesting from a manufacturing point of view. Do you mean the rubber material that is melted and poured into the molds (and you are calling that "blanks")? I think most molding companies don't make the material itself.

I'm only assuming the mouthpiece blanks are made with molds... maybe not (but if not, how?)?
Do they get castings that they semi-finish somehow, then sell to be completely finished by others?

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 Re: Zinner shutting down
Author: J. J. 
Date:   2018-05-18 16:06

I don’t have any more information than what I’ve read here and other places online. In reviewing a few things, though, I would modify what I said. You are right that what I meant was that the rubber is not manufactured there. Presumably, the rest of the process is done at their house, making what I said about overhead not true.

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