Re: New "classical" sax may not be worth cost of research and development
first, we're not talking about an L A Sax product. We've addded several new lines to the mix of saxophones offered by Orpheus Music (our distribution company) which are totally independent of one another. There's the Saxgourmet, the Steve Goodson Model, Bon Fils, and Vespro, in addition to L A Sax. Each line is a completely different design (by me) and none of them share anything in common (including source, parts, tone hole placement, tube taper etc.) with one another except the distribution company.
There are thousands of students getting degrees in saxophone at universities today, with quite a few of them studying the classical side. You may not be able to sell someone who has already bought a Selmer your product, but every year new players enter the marketplace. I would repectfully submit that if we build a better, classical specific horn, we can easily sell several hundred a year. That makes it economically viable.
I don't think (with the possible exception of the copper Keilwerth, and they're on shaky ground right now) that anyone is producing a classical specific horn. We can do so, and believe that we can do so profitably.
The R&D aspect of it is what I do, and we have a full prototype shop here in New Orleans. We already know a great deal about what changes to make in order to achieve specific results, so there's really not that much of a learning curve.
Since I teach classical saxophone, and have studied it for years myself, I think I know the changes to make in currently available instruments to make them more suitable for this market.
We believe the market is there. We know that we won't be able to sell every classical player one of our horns, but we feel somewhat certain that there's plenty of market share available for a superior product, which is exactly what we intend to produce.