e2c wrote:Now, i have *no* problem taking Meinl, LP, Toca and the other big companies to the mat for selling overpriced, phony instruments - because they *do* know better.
Thinking about this some more, it seems that one can find the same phenomenon in just about any area of interest and product. Whether I'm into piano, guitar (name your instrument here), or sports (surfing, skiing, etc.), jewellery, clothing, camera equipment, hi-fi gear, fine arts, or whatever, there almost always are the genuine/high-quality/traditional versions, and the second- and third-tier knock-offs and copies at a lower price, as well as an outrageous price.
I guess that's fair enough--not everyone wants to buy a $600 djembe from Guinea when they start out, just as not everyone wants to buy a Steinway or Bösendorfer when they start out on the piano. And, let's face it, this is a good thing for the djembe in some ways: without the lower-priced alternatives, there would be far fewer people getting into drumming, and a lot of talent would be lost. Those people who fall in love with the djembe and discover their passion inevitably end up with a genuine traditional drum anyway.
What is sad though is the misinformation that often goes along with it all, such as the djembe having originated from Benin. Couple the misinformation with poor sound and excessive price, and the seller indeed deserves being held to account by people who know better. That's just ordinary market forces at work--the seller is at liberty to make claims about their product, just as I'm at liberty to say that I believe those claims to be vacuous.
Not surprisingly, caveat emptor
applies to djembes as much as everything else. Pretty much by definition, people who buy a poor-quality overpriced drum haven't done their research, otherwise they wouldn't be buying it. And the manufacturers who sell these drum have found a market niche, specialising in buyers who don't do their research. In a sense, that's a perfect arrangement: buyer and seller both get what they want.
Meanwhile, I'll continue to point out to people who will listen that an LP djembe sounds poor, Comfort Curve II rim notwithstanding
And no, none of this will stop me from posting more pictures of unusual djembes here as I find them...