part of the Amati factory in Kraslice.
Amati should be a rather well known
brand name beeing on the market for decades.
However they are from the earlier
Eastern Europe, which may have affected their reputation and popularity
pretty much during the years.
The Amati factory is situated in
Kraslice a few kilometers across the Czech border, and also part of the
so called "Deutsche Musikvinkel".
There are two huge buildings - one
from the 1920th, and one post WW2. Once they were more than 1000
workers, but today there are "only" 350. Further 100 are employed at
the Cerveny factory (owned by Amati) in Hradec Kralove closer to Praha.
All instruments with rotary valves are made there. Lots of history and tradition both places
- Amati from 1840 and Cerveny from 1842.
Amati in Kraslice makes all kinds of
instruments, both woodwinds and brasswinds. And, they make every part
themselves, from the smallest screw - to kontrabassoons - to
plating/engraving - to cases (looked very cheap).
They are also making parts and
complete instruments for several other brands. For example, if
you see a new Olds trumpet, probably Amati made it, and Harrelson *)
others use Amati valve sections. By the way, valves are made of
stainless steel and not monell (which is cheaper).
They had very modern machinery - lots
of CNC's, laser-, hydraulic-, pneumatic-, and electromehanical
equipment. Also craftmanship seemed excellent - they have their own
four-year educational system.
factory shop - Olaf testing trumpets.
As we were interested in trumpet issues -
did they have any tricks, or had they invented something smart?
The answer - most things seemed very
traditional and the quality control was excellent.
When it comes to production quality,
there is no reason why Amati shouldn't be among the very best.
What about the playability then?
Well, I've tried better ones.
Their most expensive trumpet was about
$1000,- (semi-pro model) Did they have a pro line?.
The cheapest model was about $400,-,
but there was little difference to notice.
- Olaf and O.J.
*) Note: In a message from July 8th,
2011, Harrelson said the following: "We do not use Amati valves. We