Re: Whither the Makers from the Czech Republic ???
I think you will find pricing and global economics has been a factor here. Around 10 years ago, just prior to their joining the EU (2004), their currency was very "undervalued". Hence, it was ridiculously "cheap" to buy a fine mandolin from there, relatively speaking. That situation has gradually changed, and is no longer as true as it once was. In addition, the cost of living there has risen substantially, also leading to an upward pressure on builder's costs, and hence prices. They are all quite small operations, apart from Stonebridge, so there are no great discounts/wholesale rates available.... translate that into an export situation, plus associated costs, and this is one reason why you now see very few new instruments on the international market.
I would add that back around 2005 I knew several people who took a cheap flight there, "loaded up" on instruments, had a nice weekend in a good hotel, and returned still able to "move them on" at a good margin! There were no import duties to pay, no taxes, no hassle (that was within the EU of course). Quite a change from just a few years previously....
Last edited by almeriastrings; Jun-16-2012 at 1:35am.
Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern
Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
Jim Triggs 23 F5, Northfield Big Mon #127
Silverangel custom 'A'
'39 D-18, 1950 D-28.