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Thread: Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

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    Default Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

    I bought my BR40-T 3 1/2 years ago for $409. Love it sounds great plays great only problem is some bridge lift. Doesn't seem to hurt anything so far but I know eventually....

    So I was looking at getting a new one maybe with a pickup this time. The low end model with pickup is $850 Then I looked up the same model as mine (No pickup) and they are anywhere from $535 to $699. The $535 ones being "out of stock".

    Sure am glad I bought mine when I did even with the bridge issue. I guess my best bet is to install a pickup and play it till the bridge gets worse then have it re glued.

    Wouldn't mind having a 2nd tenor sometime though. Are the Ibanez decent quality. Talking the larger model that's advertised at $299

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    Default Re: Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

    Well if it is any consolation, they have always been that sort of price in the U.K. and France.
    I have no heard about one with a lifting bridge before! At least it is an easy fix.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

    I have a Blueridge 6 string dreadnought that sounds as good as many D size Martin guitars. Maybe prices are going up because qulaity is being recognized and rewarded?

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    Default Re: Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

    Prices from all importers from China (or at least Eastman, Kentucky, Bovier, and I think Northfield, too) increased considerably about 2 years ago. TMS or Robert Fear May chime in with a more exact timeline. Bought an Eastman 315 for 430 dollars I believe in the summer of 2016, and they list for 699 most online places now...

    Sorry about the bridge issue youíre having. Iíve been impressed with Blueridgeís quality overall, and have played a few I would have bought had I been in the market when I played them, but Iím pretty set with guitar for now...
    Chuck

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    Default Re: Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

    I'd like to interject some information here only because it may aid the discussion. I asked Adrian Bagale of Northfield for his input because he knows more about this issue than most, and I know enough about their business model and the differences in some of the others that get lumped together to know this isn't all as cut and dried and simple as lumping everyone together. And remember, a good chunk of Northfield production now is all U.S. based. Their China division is a small group of professional luthiers that are actually a part of Northfield and no one else, not a factory that has been hired to produce their instruments. His input:

    -------

    For one, Northfield shouldn’t even be considered remotely the same as Music Link, Gold Tone, Michael Kelley, or a host of different companies.

    Those are the real dial up companies that have almost zero to do with producing the actual instrument. Saga and Eastman are different from those. High volumes, but they hire their own staff to do any number of things from producing in their own factories to subcontracting work to others. Eastman is really all made at one place outside of Beijing. It’s massive - with tons of workers and an annual output of thousands. Sagas are made in a few different primary factories with their highest end stuff made in a shop I helped setup in 2004, with direct ties to Saga and their product development team. But the main KM line is made at high volumes... not sure where they’re made now.

    No one's B plan is the same. No big group of "importers" gets together and decides on a price hike. You’ve got currency exchange, timber and other material prices, CITES and Fish and Wildlife, hardware prices, LABOR costs (which have risen 50% in many places in recent years), packaging and logistics prices which are always going up. Every container coming in this country costs a lot more than it did years ago. A major tool to deter imports is make it expensive and ridiculously time consuming at the ports. Brokerage, exams. And we haven’t yet been touched by any of the import tariffs.

    If you’re shipping in big volumes and selling at low prices, as all of these brands listed are, and marking things at a traditional mark giving nearly half of all profits (or more) to the dealers, it’s a vicious cycle and any change to your cost will require an immediate increase. Expect more increases.

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    Default Re: Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

    I'd be curious to hear if Adrian thinks there was 1. much government subsidizing to Chinese instrument manufacturers resulting in establishing a better foothold with lower prices and 2. if the loss of those subsidies has resulted in increasing prices. That is what I have seen in my industry.

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    Default Re: Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

    Just to clarify, I didn't mean to lump Northfield in with Eastman, Kentucky, etc, from quality or corporate structure standpoints, but simply in that they're all feeling rising costs of production, shipping, labor costs, etc. Andrew's point above also makes sense, and the timing would be about right. But, international trade/business is about as far from my area of expertise as I could get, so greatly appreciate Adrian's input...
    Chuck

  10. #8

    Default Re: Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

    Quote Originally Posted by thistle3585 View Post
    I'd be curious to hear if Adrian thinks there was 1. much government subsidizing to Chinese instrument manufacturers resulting in establishing a better foothold with lower prices and 2. if the loss of those subsidies has resulted in increasing prices. That is what I have seen in my industry.
    To understand the Chinese business model one must go back a few decades and look at Hong Kong. China has had (in the past at least) a policy of 100% employment. That meant they often had factories with lots of labor but not much to produce. Savvy Hong Kong business people took advantage of that by acting as middle-men between western companies seeking low manufacturing costs and Chinese factories hungry for things to make, amassing a fortune in the process.

    What changed was the elimination of Hong Kong from the equation - the 1980s and 1990s business mantra (taught in colleges and universities and supported by western governments) was "think local / act global" - allowing western businesses to source directly from the Chinese factories. Globalization - now decried as the root of all evil - was encouraged and supported by almost all governments around the world. Particularly western governments seeking to take advantage of low labor costs and little to no regulation.

    The short version is that the argument that China started out subsidizing Chinese manufacturers for some sinister purpose is a fallacy given the historical context based on my experiences.
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    Default Re: Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

    To wrap this up, I just ordered the JJB PPS-220 transducer system to install in my Blueridge tenor guitar.

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    Default Re: Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

    Just an update. I installed the JJB PPS-220 into my Blueridge tenor and it sounds great.
    Good enough without a pre amp but I'm using an inexpensive Behringer ADI21 ($29) and it really warms the tone up!
    Very happy with this low priced set up. Sounds better than under saddle pickups IMO

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    Default Re: Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

    I myself am currently looking for a BR-40T to buy. I keep finding these old videos / adverts of them in the $400's, but the best I can find at the moment is in the mid 500's, most of which being out of stock or back ordered...Best i can find at the present moment is a BR-40T with gig bag for 535.00... For solo gigging, i'd need to upgrade toa 40-TCE with pick up installed and the little cutaway, those are even tougher to find at a decent price. Musicians friend/sweetwater and the like are really gouging the prices for that particular Tenor. jumps from 535.00 to 850.00

    Anyone have any good leads on a 40-TCE???
    Last edited by The_Noseeums; Mar-23-2019 at 5:55pm.
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  16. #12

    Default Re: Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

    I know a small shop that might have a few old stock Blue Ridge guitars in stock. I'll check with the owner and let you know.

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    Default Re: Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

    The BR 40 TCE has jumped up to what $800-$900 now. You're better off finding a used BR40-T and putting in the JJB pickups for $29

  18. #14

    Default Re: Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cornfield View Post
    I know a small shop that might have a few old stock Blue Ridge guitars in stock. I'll check with the owner and let you know.
    Very cool. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by cb56 View Post
    The BR 40 TCE has jumped up to what $800-$900 now. You're better off finding a used BR40-T and putting in the JJB pickups for $29
    Is that the pick up that the BRTCE comes with? I remember seeing some fishman pick up in one before. Is that the particular pickup you'd recommend?
    "The best bands are like tribes"

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    Default Re: Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

    No it comes with an under saddle pick up. The jjb are glued inside the guitar at the bridge plate. Similar to K&K but less pricey. They sound great. A lot of folks use them on Ukes also.

  20. #16

    Default Re: Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

    Some info. I was at Music Go Round in Louisville today. They have a used Blueridge BR-60T for $499. Looked ok to me. Might be worth it to give them a call. Iím happy with my BR-40. Otherwise I might have made an offer.

  21. #17

    Default Re: Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

    Saw that for sale just now. Decent price. I just found another BR-40T that was recently price dropped but it doesnt come with a case.

    What're we talking in terms of differences between the40 and the60? is it purely aesthetic? wood quality?
    "The best bands are like tribes"

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    Default Re: Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

    Rosewood sides and back vs. Mahogany
    https://www.sagamusic.com/products/p...?brand=guitars

  23. #19

    Default Re: Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

    Looks like I can get a BR-40TCE from Instrument alley for a decent enough price (not as cheap as elderly, but elderly is out of stock).

    Unfortunately I dont think instrument alley does any setup. So the guitar comes tuned CGDA, where I play a tenor tuned to the top four of a guitar (DGBE). Im wondering if it would make any difference if it weren't set up in any particular way after its distribution and I could just change the strings without any issues. I should mention that I play with low tension strings. Starting out at the 9 or 10 gauge. Round cores. Made for low tension. I wonder if that would have any effect on the guitar.
    "The best bands are like tribes"

  24. #20

    Default Re: Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Noseeums View Post
    Looks like I can get a BR-40TCE from Instrument alley for a decent enough price (not as cheap as elderly, but elderly is out of stock).

    Unfortunately I dont think instrument alley does any setup. So the guitar comes tuned CGDA, where I play a tenor tuned to the top four of a guitar (DGBE). Im wondering if it would make any difference if it weren't set up in any particular way after its distribution and I could just change the strings without any issues. I should mention that I play with low tension strings. Starting out at the 9 or 10 gauge. Round cores. Made for low tension. I wonder if that would have any effect on the guitar.
    Be very careful ordering from Instrument Alley. I've read more than a few horror stories about people ordering from them and then waiting forever to see product, if at all. They are quite bad a responding to emails as well. I believe they are a drop-shipper - meaning they don't carry stock in inventory, they order from the distributor when they get an order. If Elderly is out of stock that means the distributor probably is so IA (and you) will have to wait just like Elderly. Search reviews and be sure before you give them your money.

    As for changing tuning, you'll have to change string gauge for sure and probably need a set of 11's or 12's.

    All big box stores ship product as they get it from the factory and factorys ship expecting dealers to do a setup, so budget that in if you can't do it yourself.
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  25. #21

    Default Re: Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

    Quote Originally Posted by Verne Andru View Post
    Be very careful ordering from Instrument Alley. I've read more than a few horror stories about people ordering from them and then waiting forever to see product, if at all. They are quite bad a responding to emails as well. I believe they are a drop-shipper - meaning they don't carry stock in inventory, they order from the distributor when they get an order. If Elderly is out of stock that means the distributor probably is so IA (and you) will have to wait just like Elderly. Search reviews and be sure before you give them your money.

    As for changing tuning, you'll have to change string gauge for sure and probably need a set of 11's or 12's.

    All big box stores ship product as they get it from the factory and factorys ship expecting dealers to do a setup, so budget that in if you can't do it yourself.
    Well this is good to know. I just had a live chat with one of their sales associates and it wasn't the most helpful of conversations. Maybe ill have to just wait.
    "The best bands are like tribes"

  26. #22

    Default Re: Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Noseeums View Post
    Unfortunately I dont think instrument alley does any setup. So the guitar comes tuned CGDA, where I play a tenor tuned to the top four of a guitar (DGBE). Im wondering if it would make any difference if it weren't set up in any particular way after its distribution and I could just change the strings without any issues. I should mention that I play with low tension strings. Starting out at the 9 or 10 gauge. Round cores. Made for low tension. I wonder if that would have any effect on the guitar.
    I play a BR-60T tuned DGBE. I use 12 gauge Bluegrass strings (top 4 strings of the set) and had to have the guitar setup by a luthier to get rid of fret buzz. You will probably have to have the guitar setup if you switch to DGBE.
    Blueridge BR-60T Tenor Guitar
    Eastwood Warren Ellis 2P Tenor Guitar

  27. #23

    Default Re: Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chip Stewart View Post
    I play a BR-60T tuned DGBE. I use 12 gauge Bluegrass strings (top 4 strings of the set) and had to have the guitar setup by a luthier to get rid of fret buzz. You will probably have to have the guitar setup if you switch to DGBE.
    Where did you buy the instrument?
    "The best bands are like tribes"

  28. #24

    Default Re: Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

    I bought my BR-60T four years ago from Musicians Friend for $375. I just checked the Musicians Friend website and the listed price is $895. Musicians Friend is currently offering 20% off which would bring the price down to $716. They also have a BR-40TCE in stock for $850 which would be $680 after the 20% discount.
    Blueridge BR-60T Tenor Guitar
    Eastwood Warren Ellis 2P Tenor Guitar

  29. #25
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    Default Re: Why the price jump/scarcity on Blueridge tenors?

    Prices on Saga instruments are up across all lines that they sell, Blueridge among them.
    Also, the previous low prices were fueled by competing auto-repricing engines at Amazon and Musicians Friend. That appears to have stopped for now.
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