Gemeinhardt History & Quality

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Sterling-Canvas
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Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:10 am

Gemeinhardt History & Quality

Post by Sterling-Canvas » Sun Jul 21, 2019 8:45 am

What has happened or is the current state of affairs at Gemeinhardt regarding their origin of manufacture and product quality?

The reason I ask is twofold:
1. Gemeinhardt's new "Our Story" page - http://www.gemeinhardt.com/our-story.html - was changed recently stating: "Here at Gemeinhardt Musical Instruments we globally manufacture our instruments,.." furthermore adding that "..our factories in the U.S., Taiwan, and China. For example, many of the key components are produced in all three countries."

2. I have personally been unsuccessful in receiving technical / quality / dealer information from Gemeinhardt after numerous inquiries at Gemeinhardt via both 1-800 and main HQ phone numbers. It's as though, and I'm merely speculating here, perhaps there's an ownership transition or company infrastructure change going on? I was inquiring about their higher end mid level and pro flute line, 33SSB and the "Generation" flutes, the former with Galway Crusader headjoint and the latter with NG2. i.e.are these upper level flutes totally handmade in Elkhart, Indiana? And are the components manufactured here or overseas?

Gemeinhardt's original "Our Story" was changed two weeks ago, the former stating:
"While many musical instrument brands are made overseas, the partnership between Gemeinhardt and Angel Industries is unique. Gemeinhardt manufactures the flute components (headjoint, body, footjoint, keys) in Elkhart, Indiana USA then sends them to Angel Industries to assemble them. They are then returned to Elkhart, Indiana for testing and adjusting in the Gemeinhardt workshop. David Pirtle, president and CEO of Gemeinhardt, asserts that this is because the parts can be made better in the Gemeinhardt workshop in America. This differs from most brands, which have their flute components manufactured overseas."

I decided on purchasing a similar level Yamaha YFL-677HCT after numerous unsuccessful inquiries with Gemeinhardt. That said, I've always been very happy with my Gemmy flutes and still have two of their best that I would likely never sell or trade because of sentimental and quality of workmanship value.

Perhaps a current or former Gemeinhardt employee / manager / executive could post here?

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JButky
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Re: Gemeinhardt History & Quality

Post by JButky » Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:20 pm

The New Story information is correct. Some 10-15 years ago, they were struggling and many thought it was the end for Gemeinhardt when they were purchased by their manufacturing partner Angel. Dave Pirtle, who's has been there for a long time, managed to buy control over the company and completely turned it around. Things got much better after the Angel announcement and then Dave worked hard taking it to where it is today.

If you are having a product / customer support issue, try again. Dave and Jennifer work very hard to make right such issues.

If you would like me to help, I can forward your post directly to both of them. I'm sure they are extremely busy right now as all of us are preparing for the big flute convention in a couple weeks.

Yes, they do make the headjoints there, and the upper end flutes for a while were being made by Tom Lacy. Dave told me a couple months ago that Tom is no longer with the company though, so I'm not sure who they've passed on that task.

It is a unique production system. But it does work. The staff there is very committed to making quality instruments.
Joe B

Sterling-Canvas
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Joined: Sun Jul 21, 2019 6:10 am

Re: Gemeinhardt History & Quality

Post by Sterling-Canvas » Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:50 pm

Thanks Joe ~

Yes, perhaps it would be in their best interest to pass this information along to your connection at Gemeinhardt. Current marketing for their upper mid level and pro flutes is flat-lined and product information vague and unobtainable for the shopper. Not only that, inquiries to their business office for these upper level flutes go unanswered.

I had my heart set on an pro level all sterling Gemeinhardt but lost interest after chasing down information that never materialized. I know their good product quality from personal experience but the current state of affairs is a mystery. It wasn't that long ago, around 2011, when all their flute components were manufactured in Elkhart and outsourced to Angel for assembly with final quality adjustments and inspection done at Gemeinhardt in Elkhart, IN. At that same period it was noted that all pro flutes were entirely manufactured and hand made in Elkhart. Now manufacturing information is somewhat vague being outsourced overseas primarily to China (ouch) notwithstanding all C flute headjoints and piccolos being made at the Elkhart factory according to their "Our Story" web page.

Best regards
S-C

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JButky
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Location: Mt. Juliet

Re: Gemeinhardt History & Quality

Post by JButky » Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:51 am

I'll see both Jen and Dave next week at NFA and will pass on a copy of your comments. They are currently traveling out of the country for a Galway event. I wouldn't expect to hear back from them until after NFA. We're all going to be out of the office while NFA is happening next week.
Joe B

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