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 Sale of used instruments
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2020-03-29 08:00

It will be interesting to see how much the current Covid 19 pandemic affects the sale of used instruments. Obviously nobody is going to be keen to buy one in the present situation, but will this persist when/if the problem is over?

Tony F.

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 Re: Sale of used instruments
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2020-03-29 08:56

From what I've heard the virus has a max shelf life of about 4 days on inanimate objects (viruses can only LIVE in living hosts).

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

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 Re: Sale of used instruments
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2020-03-29 09:38

I think Paul is right, otherwise I would have caught all sorts from my 1920-ish E.J. Albert.

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 Re: Sale of used instruments
Author: Tony F 
Date:   2020-03-29 11:21

I was thinking more of the perception of contamination. Most people are not well-informed and will have a reaction based on emotion rather than fact. I know otherwise intelligent people who would never consider buying a used instrument because it has been in somebody else's mouth. Logical explanations make no difference, they know what they know.

When I suggested to a student that she could buy a much better mouthpiece than the one she had when our local shop was selling ex-demo's cheap she recoiled with horror at the idea. I asked her if she thought that she was the only person ever to have used the cup she had her next coffee shop latte from.

Tony F.

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 Re: Sale of used instruments
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2020-03-29 14:41

I think the thing that will be hard is testing instruments in shops. Ideally to buy an instrument you want to test it.

However, with COVID, what you probably want is to quarantine the instrument for a couple of weeks to be sure that the virus particles from other previous players have degraded.

If someone is happy to buy a secondhand instrument untested, then they are fine, as they can leave it to one side in their house for a couple of weeks before playing it. However, if they want to test it before buying then that is a bigger problem.

I don't think that taking along a safe mp from home would be enough to be sure of not catching a bug from and instrument that someone else had tested.

So I kind of see your point, yes.

But offering a much longer home testing period might be enough to get round the problem. This would work in cases where the testing really matters, and the economic stakes are high (which is relative, depending on the means of the buyer and seller).

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 Re: Sale of used instruments
Author: John Peacock 
Date:   2020-03-29 16:27

I bought a couple of mouthpieces on eBay in the past week. When they arrived, I gve them a good wash in soapy water. This is not a precaution that I ever felt the need to take in the Good Old Days. But otherwise I don't feel any change in my attitude to buying (and maybe there's now more time to peruse the listings).

But many people in this crisis will stop buying clarinet gear because they have lost their jobs and need the money for food. I'm one of the lucky ones where this hasn't happened (so far).

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 Re: Sale of used instruments
Author: seabreeze 
Date:   2020-03-29 17:09

This may be a good time to get rare deals in buying mouthpieces. A week or two ago a Henri LeRoy clarinet mouthpiece went for just a little over $100.00. Those are collectors' items that usually sell for 2 to 5 times that. For some old mouthpieces with accumulated tartar and mold, you would have to take extra precautions, such as soaking in dilute acetic acid (white vinegar), as well as the above-mentioned thorough washing in soapy water. UV sterilization is another option if you have the equipment.

Post Edited (2020-03-30 18:22)

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 Re: Sale of used instruments
Author: hans 
Date:   2020-03-29 18:22


While it may not have been viable, covid was found on a cruise ship after 17 days.

Maybe it could survive longer than previously thought. The experts (where "ex"="has been" and a spurt is a drip under pressure) don't seem to have all the answers at present.


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 Re: Sale of used instruments
Author: Djudy 
Date:   2020-03-29 19:10

With Postal services reduced or completely shut in much of Europe and private delivery companies stretched to the limit to transport essentials, this is no longer even a moot point.

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 Re: Sale of used instruments
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2020-03-29 21:01

Hans and Djudy, yes I see what you mean. I always wonder about these arbitrary rules about how long bugs last.

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 Re: Sale of used instruments
Author: Ursa 
Date:   2020-03-29 21:57

My attitude towards used instrument has not changed:

I own, have owned, and play vintage instruments that date back to the 1890s. Someone exposed to smallpox, polio, or TB may have touched or even played these legacy instruments at some point.

It can be stated with a high degree of certainty that people with measles, mumps, chicken pox, and other infectious diseases have played the instruments.

On top of that, it was once common practice to clean brasswind instrument bores by flushing them with cyanide solutions.

Given all that...I still don't think twice about giving a used wind instrument a toot, as long as it's with my own mouthpiece, or with one that's just been sanitized.

It's not as if I'm going to sip water through it.

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 Re: Sale of used instruments
Author: Tom H 
Date:   2020-03-30 00:22

I agree with Ursa. If you're worried wear gloves when you buy it (are you close to the person selling it?) then let it sit somewhere for 4 days until the virus is dead (I heard it's 3 days). OR, don't buy a used instrument or do anything unnecessary away from home until this thing is solved!

The Most Advanced Clarinet Book--Austin Macauley Publishers (PDF samples here)

Post Edited (2020-03-30 00:23)

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 Re: Sale of used instruments
Author: Paul Aviles 
Date:   2020-03-30 12:54

There is this article:

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

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 Re: Sale of used instruments
Author: clarhorn 2017
Date:   2020-03-31 00:49

Infectability from surfaces is unclear in daily life situations. These data suggest Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2) might last longer on metal keys and plastic cases and instruments (3 days). Not tested on oiled wood.

Results experimentally in laboratory conditions From the New England Journal of Medicine online, letter to the Editor:

"Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1"
Neeltje van Doremalen, Ph.D., Trenton Bushmaker, B.Sc.
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Hamilton, MT and others.

From the letter:
"A novel human coronavirus that is now named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (formerly called HCoV-19) emerged in Wuhan, China, in late 2019 and is now causing a pandemic.1 We analyzed the aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 and compared it with SARS-CoV-1, the most closely related human coronavirus.2.....

Our data consisted of 10 experimental conditions involving two viruses (SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-1) in five environmental conditions (aerosols, plastic, stainless steel, copper, and cardboard). All experimental measurements are reported as means across three replicates.
Figure 1. Viability of SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 in Aerosols and on Various Surfaces.

SARS-CoV-2 remained viable in aerosols throughout the duration of our experiment (3 hours), with a reduction in infectious titer from 103.5 to 102.7 TCID50 per liter of air. This reduction was similar to that observed with SARS-CoV-1, from 104.3 to 103.5 TCID50 per milliliter (Figure 1A).

SARS-CoV-2 was more stable on plastic and stainless steel than on copper and cardboard, and viable virus was detected up to 72 hours after application to these surfaces (Figure 1A), although the virus titer was greatly reduced (from 103.7 to 100.6 TCID50 per milliliter of medium after 72 hours on plastic and from 103.7 to 100.6 TCID50 per milliliter after 48 hours on stainless steel). The stability kinetics of SARS-CoV-1 were similar (from 103.4 to 100.7 TCID50 per milliliter after 72 hours on plastic and from 103.6 to 100.6 TCID50 per milliliter after 48 hours on stainless steel). On copper, no viable SARS-CoV-2 was measured after 4 hours and no viable SARS-CoV-1 was measured after 8 hours. On cardboard, no viable SARS-CoV-2 was measured after 24 hours and no viable SARS-CoV-1 was measured after 8 hours (Figure 1A)."

Stay safe everyone.


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 Re: Sale of used instruments
Author: donald 
Date:   2020-03-31 06:56

There is the likelihood that prices will be forced down for 2nd hand goods, as people's disposable income shrinks. But it might also be that for some items the price goes up, if more people want to save by buying 2nd hand rather than buying new.
At any rate, I've picked a bad time to be selling Kaspar mouthpieces...

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 Re: Sale of used instruments
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2020-04-01 13:35

I'm trying to sell on a licence for the version of siblius that works for up to 60+ different instruments, which is a losing battle when peoole aren't allowed to get together in groups. For that, I could definitely see that that current situation would make selling difficult.

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 Re: Sale of used instruments
Author: Kalashnikirby 
Date:   2020-04-02 01:45

Well, nobody stopped me from (or in fact gave me paid leave) working as a dentist. And while you can certainly worry about stuff you buy infecting you or believe masks will protect you, the main source is still human contact. Being exposed to Aerosols puts in a high risk group, even.
Of course the virus can persist on surfaces; but the question is whether the virus load (titer) in an everyday situation can be high enough to infect one.
But consequently, you’d have to disinfect all groceres you buy. Do people actually do that???

Perhaps now that some musicians run into financial problems, they’ll sell some hidden gems. That and/or the prices will drop; I’m fairly sure musical instrument manufacturing is going to suffer in one way or another too.

Best regards

Post Edited (2020-04-02 01:55)

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 Re: Sale of used instruments
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2020-04-02 08:17

Hi Christian,

It's a good point about groceries. I always think about that when we get food shopping in, and then just try not to think about it as it's too complicated a problem to solve.

It does put the clarinet problem in perspective though.


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 Re: Sale of used instruments
Author: Djudy 
Date:   2020-04-05 03:34

In France , beyond the main gestures of hand washing and containing coughs/sneezes, we have been advised to wait up to 72 hours to handle unwashable items brought into the home (the only thing you can bring in is food or medecine as stores are closed), to wash everything possible with soap and water, to leave all personal items used outside the home (shoes, hats, masks, bags, gloves) in the entry and to remove excess packaging and dispose of it before removing gloves. Masks are now also considered useful to avoid transmission despite their limitations, and they should not replace the other primary protection gestures. Voilà.

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 Re: Sale of used instruments
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2020-04-05 18:30

Djudy, That's really interesting about being asked to wait 72 hours. It does seem sensible. Must be quite fiddly to do in real life. Especially where there are children involved.

I've enrolled on a project to 3D print parts for visor masks for medical people and in the guidance we've been given there it says that the virus can last 3 days on this particular kind of plastic. They're arranging that the masks will not be removed from their bags until 3 days after we send them to avoid any bugs going from us to the medics.

I read a little bit about it and it seems as though the virus lasts quite different amounts of time on different hard surfaces, which really surprised me.

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