RE: New Harp from Tombo

>I use LO's but it would be nice to have other choices
>available. You'd think if the man got his cut from Tombo, why should he
>care if his names on the box. He's doing a dis-service to all of us
here in >the US. Do you think petitioning Tombo or LO is something worth
looking >into?

If you wrote a polite letter to the Lee Oskar company with no fluff and
no sarcasm you might get a good explanation, or at least a pleasant
reply.  That said, as noted Lee Oskar did import the entire Tombo range
at one point.  It didn't sell well and so he stopped importing them for
financial reasons.  I would guess that he doesn't import the Major Boy,
which is virtually identical to the LO, because why bother to have two
of the exact same harps with different names stamped on the covers.
Moreover, he has said before (on harp-l, IIRC) that the LO differs from
the Major Boy (wretched name) in one key aspect: quality control.  He
said that unlike other Tombo harps LOs go through a specific qc program
to meet certain standards.  So, his view on that might be, why import a
lesser product.

As for other Tombo diatonics, I'd guess he feels that they don't really
offer anything different enough from the LO to make it worthwhile (or
profitable).  The Ultimo is quite nice, using the same reeds as the LO
(if not reed-plate and comb), but has some truly wretched covers.
Moreover, it really isn't a substantially different design.  

This Areo is extremely new, and who knows if Lee Oskar has even seen one
yet, more or less considered importing it.  Even if he does see it and
like it, the question then becomes economics.  If it won't sell, then
why waste money importing it.  From what little I've heard it isn't
something he designed (like the LO), so he probably doesn't have the
emotional investment in it which might over-rule the economic
dis-insentives.  The alternate tunings don't sell all that well, yet
they are obviously very important to what he wants to do as a harp
player, proselytizer and manufacturer, so he keeps those in the line-up
when it might not be the best economic decision.  

If you want one, you can get one from Norman and see what they are like.
If they are great, write to LO and tell them that these would be a good
thing to import and that you think they will sell decently.  If not,
then maybe not importing them is or will be the right
decision--remember, we don't know what his plans with regards to the
Areo are, if any.

 ()()   JR "Bulldogge" Ross
()  ()  & Snuffy, too:)

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