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Article On "The Myth of Brand and Maker in Pipesmoking" Good Read

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  • Started 5 years ago by rx2man
  • Latest reply from misterlowercase
  1. rx2man

    rx2man

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    The Myth of Brand and Maker in Pipesmoking

    By Dr. Fred Hanna, Ph.D

    http://www.greatnorthernpipeclub.org/Myth.htm

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    The point, in any case, is that soil and sun may be a more significant and important factor than geographical region, brand, carver, or curing method.

    I've thought about this since reading the article first in his new book. It seems to make sense to me.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  3. mrjerke

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    Interesting read. Good to know it doesn't take a ton of money to own a fantastic smoker. I myself have an old Comoy's that was very cheap that is one of my best smokers.

    Jordan

    "The trick is to enjoy life. Don't wish away your days, waiting for better ones ahead." - Marjorie Pay Hinckley
    Posted 5 years ago #
  4. bluesmk

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    Thanks for posting rx.
    Dan
    Gabrieli Pipes

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    This is a great article and so true.

    2 things really matter in a pipe: the engineering - air hole ending up flat on the bottom and center of the tobacco chamber and perfectly lined up with the stem's airhole; no heavy varnish or inappropriate stains on the bowl- and the smoker - smoke appropriately, fill in his pipe properly, build a correct cake in the new pipe, and all the way down, etc..

    For the rest, briar is briar. One thing that does matter is that each piece of briar get cut adequately. And then its "age" helps (the time it has dried after being boiled). Also, each piece of briar becoming a pipe is unique and has its own "personnality" and characteristics. That is why the pipe smoker must try different types of tobaccos in each one of his pipes in order to find which tobacco suits it best. Each piece of briar has different breathing capabilities, has different densities, etc, that do impact of the chemical relationship of the specific type of tobacco put into it. When one suddenly realizes his pipe is a great smoker is because he has found the right match for the pipe. And having a fully caked pipe sure does help in the process.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  6. mso489

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    I agree with Hanna on the major point, that excellent smoking pipes can be found at nearly all price levels.
    I think at the low end, you have to exert a lot of energy shopping to be sure you're getting something that
    has a good probability of smoking well. The joy and prestige of smoking a high-end pipe has a lot to do
    with the beauty of its craftsmanship and quality as a piece of wood and stem sculpture -- which I think
    is an excellent reason to pay a lot for a pipe, not a misunderstanding of why you are paying a lot. The
    principles of pipe engineering are both simple and subtle. The lower end pipe makers have the advantage
    of not having to figure out the optimal engineering with each pipe, in terms of bowl size, airway width and
    length, and so on. A good design properly executed can produce a good pipe ninety-plus percent of the
    time. Whereas an artisanal pipe must be subject to judgement for each original piece. But the pipe smoker
    who can never pay more than seventy bucks, or fifty bucks for a pipe can reach the heights with most of his/her
    pipes if the purchases are made carefully.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    Anonymous

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    mso489, very well said. I totally agree.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  8. sfsteves

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    I've subscribed to this line of thinking for more than 35 years ... long discussion with the owner of a high-end pipe/tobacco shop in Orange, CA taught me that technical perfection and name recognition are far greater drivers of price than is smoking quality ... the best smoking pipe I ever owned was a 'second' that did not command top price due to a 'flaw' in the grain pattern ... oddly enough, that 'flaw' was on the bottom of the bowl, so neither I nor any observer could possibly see that 'flaw' and far more than the Ivory Soap percentage of folks couldn't understand why it was considered flawed, even when it was pointed out to them ...

    As a result, ONLY the second pipe I ever bought was decided upon based on name recognition ... since then, my purchase decisions have been based on other factors, chief among them being whether the pipe appealed to me ... sure, I've ended up with a few less than wonderful pipes, but I'm not heavily invested in them meanwhile the overwhelming majority of my purchases have been highly satisfactory smokers ...

    SteveS
    de gustibus non est disputandum

    "If there is no smoking in Heaven, I shall not go." - Mark Twain
    Posted 5 years ago #
  9. sablebrush52

    sablebrush52

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    Good to know it doesn't take a ton of money to own a fantastic smoker.

    It never has. People get sucked into the myth of brands. That's precisely why billions are spent on advertising and promotion. One of my best pipes is an Ehrlich that I picked up for $2. One of my worst pipes is a Pre-Trans Barling that cost nearly 200 times more than the Ehrlich.

    A good smoking pipe can be bought for a modest sum. The factors involved in super pricey pipes revolve around factors other than smoking quality.

    That is one of my favorite articles.

    It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain

    It is pointless to argue with a fanatic since a dim bulb can't be converted into a searchlight. - Jesse Silver
    Posted 5 years ago #
  10. ravkesef

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    Some of my best smokers are basket pipes, along with a handful of GBD and Charatan rejects. Sure, they're marked as such, but I'm the only one who can see that, along with the minor cosmetic flaws that led to their rejection in the final inspection. And like Sable, I've got an Ehrlich poker that I picked up for $2 in 1970 and I'll stack it against any pipe costing many times as much.

    Eric
    Posted 5 years ago #
  11. bigvan

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    I'm going to respectfully disagree with Dr. Hanna (as well as with quite a few of you). Yes, we all have inexpensive pipes that smoke very well. But if I had to define what makes a "good smoking" pipe, I would say it's a combination of good wood, proper curing, good engineering, expert carving and a comfortable stem - or at least that's how I define a good smoking pipe. If you disagree then you can stop reading right now, because if we can't define our terms then definitions are impossible.

    Anyway, all of the above factors take time and attention to create. Yes, it's possible that an excellent piece of briar can find its way onto an assembly line of basket pipes, but will that block also be well cured, drilled and cut perfectly and fitted with a comfortable and high quality stem? Possibly, but unlikely. I believe it's attention to detail that will yield a "good smoking pipe". And either you believe high end factories like Dunhill or Castello, or individual artisan carvers pay this requisite amount of attention to these details, and therefore charge more for their time and materials, or you don't.

    Also, if you think that the overall beauty of the pipe lends to the overall smoking experience, then there's no "myth of brand".

    And though it's a great article, until we can all agree on a definition of what a "good smoking pipe" is, all we're left with are opinions.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  12. rx2man

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    For our veterans the article is nothing new. I am still learning about pipes and their making. Junkyarddawg and bigvan sum it up nicely. When you buying a high end pipe you are paying for a pretty piece of wood or should be lol. The engineering and bit comfort are expected. Dropping down in price it is up to the buyer to be educated and know what to look for to get a diamond in the rough, which sablebrush touched on.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  13. settersbrace

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    I read Fred's essay when it first came out in the NASPC news letter and more recently again on the kindle edition of his book. I agree now as I did then that Fred is correct although I respect the opinions of the counter arguments of which there are many. My own experience from back when I could afford some of the big name hand mades and some old school estates taught me that there is the possibility of getting a poor smoking pipe at any price point as well as finding that magic smoker, again at any price point. When you work hard for your disposable income, its devistating to find out you got a lousy smoker that only looks like it should smoke like a dream. One of my best ever smokers was an old Wally Frank that I got off E-Bay with a lot of estates for like $50. As I learn more about crafting pipes, it's obvious that there are many, many things the pipe maker can do on his or her part to insure the best possible smoke and that includes selecting the right pieces of briar. The clincher for me is having had pipes that were drilled poorly, had thin walls, etc. yet still despite all those issues, smoked extremely well.

    The briar vs. brand debate is like the Kennedy assassination, some people believe one scenerio, others don't. We just have to stick to what works best for each individual.

    De gustibus et cloribus non disputandum.
    'There is no arguing about tastes and colours.'
    Posted 5 years ago #
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    BINGO!

    It is inarguable that in pipes, like any other tangible 'luxury' artifact that there are those that are formed of higher quality materials; that express a distinctive level of aesthetic presentation; and are subject to more care and attention to detail. These sorts of cultural objects necessarily command greater price due to time, knowledge, expertise, material cost, and perceptual value. Does that mean that they "smoke better" than a Dr. Grabow? Far too many variables here to ever answer the question--and at the conclusion of the diurnal period--is entirely subjective. Google "commodity fetishism." Don't let Dr. Marx scare you off...

    Snobs of all sort irritate me. Food, wine, cigar, pipe, liquor, camera, clothes--the list goes on and on with any item that may be considered luxury or elite. Dr. Hanna's blind study analogy brought a big smile to my face. Over the years I have 'rebanded' dog rocket cigars with expensive bands. Recanted $16 Ballantine for $120 Glenfiddich. Substituted cheeses, caviar, again so on and so forth. It's a game I like to play, and the academically trained (but somewhat twisted) sociologist in me enjoys the resultant social display.

    NEVER has anyone known the truth. Yet the oohs and aahs replete with commentaries of subtle notes of leather and cinnamon, delicate finish, smoke and whatever trendy aficionado illusion struck them--were complete. The "thank you for sharing" was reciprocal. Now are some luxury items better? You bet. But when confronted with a perfectly serviceable and reasonable quality item cast as something greater--the expectations and emotions of the consumer change. Google 'invidious comparison' and 'conspicuous consumption.'

    I have a Rolex Oyster Perpetual wristwatch. It was manufactured in the Guangdong Province of China. Perfect replica, keeps good time. Impresses snobbish trendies... Do briars behave differently? Sure, as in every wood the characteristics change with the grain and overall processing of the wood. I will say this about perceived 'flavors' imparted by the briar. After the wood gets impregnated with oils and tars, fragrances and chemicals, and a layer of cake saturated with the same--let's really think about this for a moment.

    My best smokers are a DG, a Duncan Hill Aero, and a no-name pipe shop basket second stamped "Carlos Pipes, Italy." And yes, they do favor different cuts and mixes of tobacco due to physical qualities of chamber size and draught length. BTW, did any of you read recently about all of the folks who bought some $33M worth of counterfeit art work over a multi-year period, executed by a Chinese man in Brooklyn?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  15. cosmicfolklore

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    Sure, a Kia or 74 Pinto may get you to and from work just as well as any luxury car, but some cars just get you to work with more style

    Michael
    Posted 5 years ago #
  16. allan

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    This can be a touchy subject. Individuals' disposable income varies as well as the desire to use that income on non necessities also varies.

    As Ae1p points out, I've seen videos of people drinking what they thought was 'Evian' water when the bottles were filled with the garden hose outside the restaurant. The interviews of the patrons were predictable, "ahh, the flavor, the taste", etc.

    Having said that, if I was in the income bracket to only afford Dr Grabow pipes, that would be just fine for me. I don't drink wine, and really could not tell the difference if the waiter gave me the cork to study under electron microscope or not. Yet I acknowledge that those people who really know, can tell the difference. Granted, at someone's house who was gracious enough to invite me, I would certainly not offend them was saying that their cheese tasted like it came from home depot. LOL

    What I'm trying to say is that in my pipe smoking experience, I've owned Dr. Grabow and other pipes like that type of manufacture (no offense to Dr. Grabow) when that what was what I could afford. That was the best pipe I ever owned, up and until I experienced the pleasure of an artisan pipe. Along with the briar, I have found that the stem work is extremely important to me. Especially the button and the taper leading up to the button. The care and time it takes to do that makes it worth while to me for the extra $$.

    I own very few pipes compared to many on the forum, but almost every one is a has certain characteristics that appeal to me, and they are worth the extra bucks.

    Born in the Bronx, NY from immigrant parents, I did not come from luxurious surroundings. Spending money for conspicuous consumption is not my way. If I can pick up a fine artisan pipe on ebay or through any estate, I will certainly do so.

    Again, no offense to anyone here.

    Allan
    Posted 5 years ago #
  17. igloo

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    Beauty aside a pipe has two holes a big one and a small one .You can carve and shape it but in essence it is just a piece of wood with two holes . If this is not so then why are there so many beautiful estate pipes up for sale they cant all be dead mans pipes. To hear tell you would think some people have ultra sensitive lips being able to ascertain the minutest difference in diameters .It is all in the luck of the draw folks .YMMV

    “There was an awful suspicion in my mind that I'd finally gone over the hump, and the worst thing about it was that I didn't feel tragic at all, but only weary, and sort of comfortably detached.”
    Posted 5 years ago #
  18. cosmicfolklore

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    I really think even the snobbiest of snobs would agree (maybe once arm is twisted) that any price range pipe could end up being an awesome smoker... if just being a great smoker was all your looking for in the hobby. I have many cheap pipes that I grab more often than most. However, I got tired of reeling in cheap pipes once I had a great rotation. Sure, I could quit buying pipes altogether. I am set for life. But, for some of us the beauty of this hobby is more than just getting the tobacco to burn. I am not a rich man by far. I'll never own a Ferrari or a Jaguar. Heck, I refuse to buy a new car of any sort, LOL. But, if I save up, I can get me a Viprati or Becker hand made pipe, IMO the Ferraris of the pipe world. I can't buy more than a few a year, whereas I could hit ebay and buy lower than $50 pipes every week. But, why would I want boxes and boxes of these when I could have something that brings me an aesthetic pleasure to hold and admire while burning the leaf, something that pleases my eye, my hand, my nose... I don't have a ton of vices. I grow my food, and live in a cabin, and make my art. Smoking my pipe is my absolute luxory. My shoes may get holes and my car may need tires, but I am smoking something that excites me and makes my spirit soar. YMMV

    Posted 5 years ago #
  19. allan

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    Cosmic

    As they used to say in the late '60s and early '70's, Right On!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  20. sablebrush52

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    Bollocks! While an interesting thread, it misses the point of Hanna's article entirely. It's not about whether you are justified in spending $10,000 on a gold plated magnum triple bowled billiard curvet covered in fossilized yak shit because it appeals to your highest sensibilities. Go on, knock yourself out! I've spent wads of cash on pipes that aren't going to smoke any better than their humble brethren, and I've done so because there's something about that pipe for which I'm willing to pay. I'm just not deluded that it's because I'm going to experience the ne plus ultra in smoking perfection.

    Hanna is talking about the belief that a particular brand, by virtue of being that brand, is innately superior, or innately recognizable. Hold onto your seats. I'm going to use the "D" word! Dunhill is arguably the most recognized make in the world. Ask a non smoker to name a brand of pipe and you are much more likely to hear the word "Dunhill" than any other brand. Dunhill made a superb job of marketing their brand and creating the image of a Dunhill product as the epitome of quality, excellence, and the "good life". Dunhill isn't a pipe, it's an achievement, a destination, proof that you have taste and means. That's the point of the marketing. There's nothing like a Dunhill and you will instantly know that the pipe you are smoking is a Dunhill, because it will smoke like a Dunhill, because there is such as thing as a "Dunhill" smoke.

    Feel free to take a deep breath and let it out. Everything is going to be okay. See? Lightning did not come down and strike me dead for using the "D" word. At least not yet.

    Now go back and substitute any other make for "Dunhill" in the paragraph above. Any make would be equally valid from the standpoint of the thesis of Hanna's article. Are all of maker "X"'s pipes instantly and unutterably recognizable as maker "X"'s pipes? ALL of them,not just some? Do ALL of maker "X"'s pipes share exactly and recognizably the SAME smoking characteristics? Is purchasing maker "X"'s pipe an indisputable 1000% guarantee of a specific perfection of performance?

    If you say no, then you are in agreement with Dr. Hanna and can return to your 4' long quintuple braided elephant tusk horn with unobtainium adornments, for which you sold your children, not to mention your wife's Bouvier des Ardennes, into slavery to raise the purchase price.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  21. rx2man

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    What he said ^

    Posted 5 years ago #
  22. bigvan

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    I don't think I missed Fred's point. I may not be able to instantly "know" that I'm getting a "Dunhill smoke" from smoking a Dunhill. But I do think I can perceive a superior smoking experience due to the high quality of materials and workmanship.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  23. lochinvar

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    It is really all of the above. Quality briar, proper cure time and proper engineering. Think of briar as concrete; you might do all the engineering spot on, but if you don't let the concrete cure, your foundation is going to have issues. Let an improperly engineered foundation cure out and it won't hold up anything either. Do all three by design or happenstance and you will have a good smoking pipe.

    As for "brand perfection" or "the [brand] smoke" I have never found it. I love Castello and have a few, they all smoke great, but differently and I have never figured out the "Castello Taste." I believe Ferndown is the best pipe made today. I have never found a flaw in execution or smoking quality, but out of the three I have they all smoke a different type of tobacco best. As for Dunhill, I have two and have sold off two. The two I still have are good, dry smokes and are great with Latakia and Oriental blends, while the two I sold served Satan and sought to send my tongue to hell early, both made any tobacco smoked in them taste dull, acrid and ashy. I've never had luck with Peterson.

    Really, the way I look at it, when you smoke a pipe you are dealing with two things which are living and evolving, the tobacco and the pipe. If you want to try and simplify things by the Brand Myth, I understand, but at some point your favored brand will let you down. Each piece of briar has its own set of peculiarities, strengths and weaknesses and works on its own timeline.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  24. allan

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    Sable

    I understand what you are saying and I can agree to a certain point. If you read dr. Hanna's essay he does mention that in a blind pipe study he had the stems covered with plastic bits so as to disguise their maker

    In my post I did not argue quality of briar; I was suggesting engineering of the stem, button, and the entire drilling process which is extremely time consuming if done to perfection

    I am a jeweler and am acutely aware of the time it takes to file, fit and polish objects of art to perfection, and despite 44 years of doing it, I recognize that I am a mere amateur compared to true artisans in the jewelry world

    I no longer buy pipes that are polished or have straight grain. After all, we can't smoke grain!
    I buy pieces that are very light weight(a feat unto itself) and that I can perceive have those engineered qualities that make it worth the extra $$

    If I am able, I will spend for those features

    Posted 5 years ago #
  25. tbradsim1

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    I am not intelligent enough to make a comment.

    The Old Cajun
    Posted 5 years ago #
  26. numbersix

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    This topic comes up again and again and I have to admit, I never tire of it!

    Fred Hanna's argument specifically addresses the "myth of the brand" and smoking qualities. He doesn't seem to deny the fact that some pipes are better constructed, but that they won't necessarily smoke better than a cheap piece of briar. And of course this is true some of the time - but at least in my limited experience, I am not so sure that it's true most of the time.

    As an example, I have a $17 Dr Grabow (from the late '60s bought new, unsmoked ). The briar on this pipe is IMHO equal to any of my more expensive pipes and it happens to be perfectly drilled too. However, that doesn't mean it smokes as well as my Dunhills or more expensive pipes. While I enjoy the flavor of the tobacco from this pipe, the cheap tenon will sometimes cause moisture to leak out - leaving my fingers stained. It also isn't likely to last as long as my other, more expensive pipes.

    To me a pipe's "smoking quality" is more than just the flavor of the smoke - it includes the entire experience, especially how well the pipe is constructed (and I am not talking about fancy gold or silver mounts, but overall quality of construction, including a well-fitted, nicely cut stem)

    However, Mr. Hanna's overall point I think is true:

    In other words, the brand myth runs the risk of having us believe that only the wealthy collectors of high and ultra high grade pipes can enjoy the truly sublime, superlative smoking experience. This is drivel and rubbish...

    I just don't think that those who reach for a Dunhill or Charatan are merely kidding themselves or chasing prestige.

    "Be seeing you"


    Posted 5 years ago #
  27. sablebrush52

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    I am not intelligent enough to make a comment.

    Bradley, that makes two of us, but I never let that stop me.

    Again, if ALL of maker "x"'s pipes have an instantly identifiable smoking characteristic then Brand isn't a myth.

    I just don't think that those who reach for a Dunhill or Charatan are merely kidding themselves or chasing prestige.

    Not do I, but in my experience, there are a lot who do go for certain brand for EXACTLY that reason. When it was still permissible to smoke pretty much anywhere on the lot, I'd get a attention when I was smoking one of my Dunnies, that I didn't receive with any other pipe. One suit grinned when he spied it and said congrats, and pulled out one from his pocket. It was unsmoked...

    It happens with a lot of different types of goods. That's why the advertising and marketing fields exist.

    But here's something else to contemplate as you admire your ermine lined zulu with platinum wind cap and custom made mouthpiece, smoothed on the bottoms of 200 Finnish maids:

    The pipe as an object may have been made over a period of weeks, but the briar from which it is derived is something that grew over decades. The wood that comprises rim of your pipe could be a decade or decades separated from the wood that comprises the heel. That makes briar a wildcard regardless of who handles it, or how it is treated.

    Posted 5 years ago #
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    I am not intelligent enough to make a comment.

    Don't let that bother you. This issue has not stopped anyone else from contributing to this thread...

    Posted 5 years ago #
  29. natibo

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    There must be something to Dunhill's. I love mine. Otherwise, other pipe collecters would say "xyz pipes are the best, are good, etc..". Instead, you often read " xyz pipes are as good as if not better than Dunhills". So many collectors seem to use it as a standard to measure against.

    Bo
    Posted 5 years ago #
  30. rx2man

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    The subject of engineering keeps coming up. I cant help but wonder when someone says my "XYX pipe does not smoke as good ss my YZX pipe" if they are smoking 2 completely different types of pipe geometry bowls. Below discusses this, and what types of baccy smoke better or worse in pipes of different chamber geometry.

    http://www.apassionforpipes.com/neills-blog/2010/10/31/how-and-why-chamber-geometry-impacts-tobacco-flavor.html

    Posted 5 years ago #
  31. pipedreamer

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    These days a quality pipe that smokes well will cost you more than you think. Good briar is expensive, quality German ebonite costs more. Was the pipe dried properly. Is it nice to look at, comfortable to smoke. Most of you probably don't care if the pipe is hand made. I don't think a factory is going to fill all the criteria.,But it cost a lot less. Nobody painstakingly made sure that the quality was there. Dunhill sure doesn't. Too many of their pipes come with little problems that can stop all that joy of owning a Dunhill. The other factories are worse. So good hunting on E-Bay.Stanwell, Brigham and others have given up and sold their rights. These other guys are going to use better material? Don't think so.Briar is briar,Yes, but there are differences. and some of them mean great to ehhhhh. It comes down to what you want out of a pipe. Some really don't know what a really great pipe is like. If you got a great pipe out of a basket, lets face it ,you were lucky.Thats all. If you're cheap, lets hope you are lucky. If you want good quality, Then it will cost more these days. Good smoking to all of you, erudite and cheap.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  32. settersbrace

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    Funny that Castello has not been mentioned what with all the hullabaloo over how their briar tastes compared to other makers. I've never owned one but that's not going to stop me from wanting to own one. The bottom line in this never ending debate is, as pipe smokers, we should be grateful for whatever pipes we own that deliver that satisfying, can't wait to smoke it again, performance. Cull the duds out of our racks and when we can afford to reach up to the top shelf, grab one and enjoy it for ALL that it is. The attention to detail and the devotion to the craft is obvious in a high end hand made and if it offers a sublime smoking experience, all the better. I am more than likely not intelligent enough to carry any weight in this conversation but it's raining out right now and my other projects are on hold.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  33. warren

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    The good doctor certainly did not break any new ground with his paper. All one would have to do is read certain threads on this site and the same conclusions would be readily apparent.

    We need to keep in mind that many pipe smokers, smoke pipes as an affectation. They are not looking for a good smoke, they are going for an image. I knew more that one professor that smoked only on campus as they thought it gave them validation, impressed the student, primarily the coeds. A least one had the same, well known brand pipe jammed in his mug every day and that pipe had never had a bit of tobacco in the bowl.

    That said, if all you smoke are cobs and you glean a great deal of satisfaction from a cob, there is no need to switch to briar, let alone spend big bucks on Dunhills and the like. The same thought applies to tobacco, if you like the drug store blends, pay little attention to those who would look down on you for your "lack of taste and class." If you want to experiment with different blends, pipes, etc. do so. If you find a combination that you like . . . go with it! Great smoking pipes are sometimes hard to find in a particular price range, but they are there. Poor smokers can come from any manufacturer or artisan. With a little luck, knowledge and experience a great pipe can be found.

    A piper who suggests that you would enjoy a more, shall we say. "refined" blend, may be trying to help you or may be simply be seeking validation for his own choices.

    My advice to new pipers is to experiment a bit with pipes and blends, listen to those whose opinions you value and just enjoy. If you can afford the finer things in life, and owning such items pleases you, buy them. I do believe that one's chances of finding a great smoking pipe are increased when you purchase a well respected marque. Of course this all depends on the criteria you have for defining a "great smoking pipe."

    A man without a shillelagh is a man without an expedient.
    Posted 5 years ago #
  34. kcghost

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    I suppose it is possible to make great beer without a good brew meister and quality ingredients.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  35. warren

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    I suspect that depends on what your parameters are for determining what is a good beer. I suspect quality ingredients and technique are necessary. A lot of people home brew great tasting beers.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  36. igloo

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    Here is some good reading ,posted two years ago by BigVAN I cant find the follow up of he gave the pipes too. http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/giving-dr-grabow-a-chance

    Posted 5 years ago #
  37. brudnod

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    IMHO: When you pay the big bucks for a high end brand you are paying for best materials, precision, tactile & visual aesthetics and that ephemeral smokability. The precision of a measurement system is related to reproducibility and repeatability, and is the degree to which repeated measurements under unchanged conditions show the same results. If you buy two pipes of the same style and model from the same brand you should have virtually identical smoking experiences. The "better" the brand, the more likely that is to be true. We all have bin pipes that are great smokers and that is likely a function of lucky variations of the above criteria. But you are more likely to get a dog from the bin than from a box marked Dunhill...
    That was my take from Hanna's article...

    Posted 5 years ago #
  38. jimbo44

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    Rick Newcombe's reply:

    http://www.greatnorthernpipeclub.org/newcombe.pdf

    Fred Hanna's response:

    http://www.greatnorthernpipeclub.org/bamboozled.pdf

    More on Dunhill - acknowledgements to Troy:

    http://pipesmagazine.com/forums/topic/lets-make-fun-of-dunhill

    Posted 5 years ago #
  39. numbersix

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    Rick Newcombe's reply:

    http://www.greatnorthernpipeclub.org/newcombe.pdf

    Fred Hanna's response:

    http://www.greatnorthernpipeclub.org/bamboozled.pdf

    Love it! Thanks for posting.

    I did read Rick Newcombe's response and so far, I think he's on the mark. An enjoyable smoke is more than just a piece of briar. Quality craftsmanship makes a big difference in enjoyment of the smoke - and this tends to come with higher priced brands. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but like I said before, myths are often rooted in fact.

    I don't have time right now to read Fred Hanna's very lengthly rebuttal (I read the first page and it seemed overly defensive and a bit desperate, esp when he claimed Rick N. was resorting to strawman tactics). When I have more time I will read the entire thing and maybe I will change my mind.

    But no matter what, gotta love a good debate!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  40. sablebrush52

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    Reading the two articles abut Mssrs Newcombe and Hanna is a treat! Newcombe lost most of his crediblity for me the moment he used Starbucks as an exemplar of fine coffee. Starbucks is to coffee what McDonald's is to burgers, a reliable product of middling quality with three kinds of beans, burnt, even more burnt, and ashes. So what I know from that endorsement is that Newcombe is a man with deep pockets and mediocre standards. Thus the reverence for Bang shouldn't come as a huge surprise since I've read far more complaint and disappointment than paeans of exultation with regard to their pipes. They seem to produce a very uneven product.

    I failed to note any desperation in Hanna's verbose reply, more exasperation at being misquoted in a glib counter argument. Neither of these gentlemen is likely going to be accused of a lack of self regard.

    It's all very much fun. And if you really believe that the brand is the single most important thing, then bless you and enjoy that Venti Pipe's Peak. I'll head over to Blue Bottle or Peet's, or maybe one of several artisanal roasters who do it well.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  41. cosmicfolklore

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    Both of these men have also written that their POV is opinion and they respect and welcome diversity of opinions in others. So, this is all just mental masterbation between two opinions.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  42. layinpipe

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    *Starbucks coffee is garbage. Absolutely disgusting.

    *It all comes down to what each individual prefers and considers the "perfect smoking pipe". It is such a subjective topic. It's like arguing about religion or politics, round and round we go chasing our proverbial tails. Not saying it is not fun and interesting to discuss and talk about by any means though. It just all comes down to each individual's own opinions and tastes.

    *My recently acquired Castello definitely, in my opinion of course, has a unique sweet and pleasant taste to it. The briar has a distinct flavor it imparts in the smoke that mixes with the tobacco that is far different from any other pipe i own or have smoked. Yes, this could just be a case of "i got lucky with the individual pipe" and that is just is a great piece of briar, or it could be that Castello pipes really do smoke differently than other pipes. Either way, the experience i had and continue to have with the Castello pipe i own will always cause me to relate Castello to great smoking great looking quality pipes. Thus, i will most likely try and acquire more Castellos in the future. Just my opinions.

    *cosmic, you have just given me a new phrase to include in my vernacular with your contribution of "mental masturbation". For this, Sir, I thank you. Well done.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  43. philobeddoe

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    There seems to be an awful lot of Grabow and basket pipe justification. Those who choose to spend their dollars on more expensive briars are not suckers or pretentious a-holes, they simply want a great smoke, as well as beauty of form.

    Hate on, haters!

    "So it goes." - K.V.
    Posted 5 years ago #
  44. cosmicfolklore

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    My opinion, based on reading here and from both of these great pipe men being discussed is that there are no bad pipes. Well... except the ones that explode, catch on fire, break when you touch them, or are so ugly they burn your eyes.

    As mentioned, a pipe is two holes in a material that burns at a greater temperature than the tobacco. All can be smoked if the smoker takes the time to figure out the way the pipe works best. Sure, not all pipes fit the way we prefer a pipe to work. I have my preferences, just as everyone else does. And, a good smoker fits our "way" of smoking, no more, no less.

    Dunhills have a consistency. Dr Grabows do as well. There are people who will never find a Dunhill that fits their expectations. And, some people find excellence in every Grabow.

    It's all subjective. When Rick Newcombe first started writing, no one in the US had ever heard of these Danish pipe makers. They were cheap artisan pipes, and he suggested we give them a try. Then, as a bi-product of his book, these cheap pipes started selling for thousands, because he had created a demand. He is accused of snobbery, but in fact he was offering something new for the thrifty pipe men. But...

    Anyways, it's a pipe. The Native Americans used stone, wood, holes in the ground, whatever to burn this leaf. Then we used hot as hell clay for over a hundred years. The "worst" pipe on the market (or pipes deemed worst by smokers with preferences) is still way better than our options when Columbus landed.

    Me, part of my enjoyment is the artisan pipes. But, I also enjoy learning how best to smoke my cheap beater pipes. So, do whatever floats your boat. I appreciate just reading stuff passionately written about the hobby. Heck, even conceded snobbish pipe smokers make me smile. It's all good.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  45. numbersix

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    These arguments never get old! Got to say that I've been enjoying the lively debate and opinions.

    Here's another way to put it:

    There are certain requirements I have for a pipe to be a solid, all around pleasant smoker. It needs to be well drilled - meaning that the hole should be at the bottom of the bowl, centered properly and the opening should be able to pass a fluffy pipe cleaner. If it's well drilled it won't gurgle.

    The stem should twist on and off easily when cooled down. And finally, the briar should ideally impart a slightly sweet flavor.

    Based on the above criteria, I believe I am more likely (not always) to find these attributes in a higher end pipe than a drug store pipe. Of course there's always exceptions to the rule and I think that's what Fred Hanna was ultimately arguing.

    The problem as I see it is that he argued the point so strongly that it came across as saying that the well known "prestigious" brands like Dunhill or Charatan are no better than any other pipe. If a pipe gurgles, I am sorry, but that's a less enjoyable smoke. And a cheaper-made pipe is more likely (once again, not always) to have issues like this than more expensive pipes.

    However, I think all Mr Hanna was trying to say is - 'don't get so caught up in the myth of brand that you think you're missing out when you only have cobs or basket pipes.' And I do happen to agree with that sentiment.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  46. cosmicfolklore

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    +1 Six, well said. I enjoy these conversations as well.

    Although, it is interesting that a pipe that gurgles for one person, doesn't always gurgle for the next. The way it's smoked has a lot of do with it.

    My criteria is that it has to be lighweight enough to clench, not feel like I am sucking on a coffee stirer, and fit thinly between my teeth. Gurgling and the heat of the bowl is determined by the relationship between me and the pipe, IMO.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  47. numbersix

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    My criteria is that it has to be lighweight enough to clench, not feel like I am sucking on a coffee stirer, and fit thinly between my teeth.

    Good points. I am not a clencher, so weigh is less of an issue with me - but it's a good point.

    Gurgling and the heat of the bowl is determined by the relationship between me and the pipe, IMO.

    Uh, oh - I feel another debate coming on!

    I have always attributed gurgle to a hole that is set too high in the bowl. The theory (from my own experience and from reading others experiences) seems to be that a hole drilled too high allows moisture to collect at the bottom of the bowl, creating a puddle. This in turn leads to gurgle.

    I can't swear I am correct on this - just seems to be the case in my (limited) experience.

    As for how hot a bowl gets. Personally I think it's sometimes due to the smoker (puffing like a locomotive), but I've had pipes that just got hotter than others- no matter how careful I was.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  48. cosmicfolklore

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    When I spoke with Nording about why all of the Danish pipe makers drilled higher than the bottom of the chamber on bent pipes, he confirmed my suspicion that this was to allow the condensation a place out of the way of the draft, to prevent gurgle, not accentuate it. Bent pipes and long pipes are the worst at condensation, so this was their way of engineering the problem away. There aren't too many more options, besides a "system" approach to rid the problem of turbulence inside a bent pipe. Nording even sells his own line of rock thingies to place in the bottom of the bowl for fundamentalists who want to smoke all of the tobacco in the bowl.

    Sure, lets debate, LOL. But, lets do it with books, so we can at least make as much money as Newcombe and Hanna

    Posted 5 years ago #
  49. numbersix

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    Danish pipe makers drilled higher than the bottom of the chamber on bent pipes, he confirmed my suspicion that this was to allow the condensation a place out of the way of the draft, to prevent gurgle, not accentuate it....Nording even sells his own line of rock thingies to place in the bottom of the bowl for fundamentalists who want to smoke all of the tobacco in the bowl.

    Very interesting. Well, I can only say that I have had pipes that gurgled and others than didn't and I am convinced it wasn't only technique since the gurgle was very consistent in only these pipes, but like I say, cannot swear to what the cause is.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  50. cosmicfolklore

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    It's bad magic, LOL.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  51. sablebrush52

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    There seems to be an awful lot of Grabow and basket pipe justification. Those who choose to spend their dollars on more expensive briars are not suckers or pretentious a-holes, they simply want a great smoke, as well as beauty of form.

    Hate on, haters!

    I don't see it that way. I certainly have my share of high end, rare, and "museum quality" pipes. I haven't experienced anyone on this forum taking me to task for my purchases on those occasions when I've posted them.

    I hear more justifications coming from those who open their pocketbooks to obtain what they consider a desirable pipe, including in this thread.

    Really, who cares. Smoke what gives you pleasure. Otherwise, why bother.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  52. brudnod

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    Yep, that's it Sable: "Smoke what gives you pleasure. Otherwise, why bother."

    Posted 5 years ago #
  53. bentmike

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    These arguments never get old! Got to say that I've been enjoying the lively debate and opinions.

    I find it fascinating all the ado (Had to look up the word to make sure it best fit what I wanted to say. From Merriam-Webster: Full Definition of ADO 1 : heightened fuss or concern : to-do 2 : time-wasting bother over trivial details.) and hand-wringing men will endure while in the search for the perfect smoke or simply discussing briar.

    In my collection I have several Dunhills; even more Petersons, a couple artisan pipes, a few italian makes and some Stanwells. What I notice about all of them is sometimes I experience wonderful and sublime smokes and other times not so much. I have one kind of pipe in my collection that does consistently provide perfect or near perfect relaxing, flavorful and enjoyable smoking experiences time after time and that is meerschaum.

    The article pointed out in the OP concerns brands and makers I get that and certainly that means briar is the core of the discussion. I've just formed my own opinions based on my experiences that the enjoyment of smoking pipe tobacco is really more about the tobacco itself (or should be) than the vessel we use to aid in its combustion.

    Meerschaum seems to always provide me the pure untainted flavor of the blend I smoke and nothing else. That's what makes it superior in my mind. Lets face it wood is an organic material. It soaks up moisture and tars and oils all of which no doubt influence subsequent smokes in that particular pipe. Basically it slowly festers and rots over the many heating and cooling cycles throughout its life. Of course the white stone absorbs these compounds and moisture also but I cannot sense the ghosts for better or worse that I can in my briars. I understand that sometimes the ghosts of our favorite blends also adds unique character to the smoke and that is one of the reasons I enjoy my briar pipes and feel they have their rightful place in my rack too.

    Over a hundred years ago briar won out over meerschaum based on its durability, cost and factors such as supply and demand. Briar works great no disputing that but I think the whole discussion concerning briar and pipe brands made from it is really just a contest to find the best pipes made from the second best pipe making material. If a person is truly serching for that perfect smoke I think they're looking in the wrong place.

    Anyways a great discussion going on. No one mentioned the white goddess so I thought I better put in a good word. Thanks guys for getting me thinking about it. And as sable and brudnod I have to agree. At the end the day smoke what you like and like what you smoke. That's what it boils down to.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  54. numbersix

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    I find it fascinating all the ado (Had to look up the word to make sure it best fit what I wanted to say. From Merriam-Webster: Full Definition of ADO 1 : heightened fuss or concern : to-do 2 : time-wasting bother over trivial details.) and hand-wringing men will endure while in the search for the perfect smoke or simply discussing briar.

    lol! I recall some time ago a discussion on briars versus cobs that almost came to blows! I think we all have to occasionally remind ourselves that this is pretty trivial stuff and nothing to get hot about.

    Meerschaum seems to always provide me the pure untainted flavor of the blend I smoke and nothing else. That's what makes it superior in my mind.

    Funny thing about meerschaum for me personally, everything you say is true and yet I still find myself preferring my briars. I think there's a subtle sweetness that my briars impart that I guess I find more enjoyable than the neutral flavor of a meer. As always, to each his own!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  55. cosmicfolklore

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    I have a few meers that I never use for the same reason I rarely go to a cob. I think its the aroma of the warm briar that keeps me interested in the pipe hobby as a whole. On days when I have been sick and can't smoke, I can almost be satisfied by smelling the briars. And, sometimes a blend will sing to me, until I try it in another pipe and then I realize that it wasn't the tobacco at all, but the original pipe that I had tried it in. The tobacco is almost secondary to me. Everyone is different.

    LOL, "hand-wringing men" LOL, I imagine all of these guys setting in front of a computer anxiously awaiting the outcome of this debate before proceeding with their PADs.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  56. bentmike

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    -Cosmic I admit it I'm a briar smeller too! I have briar pipes that I mainly only smoke Mac Baren Vanilla Cream Flakes in. After a couple days of drying they smell superb! Lol! The Latakia soaked bowls not so much.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  57. layinpipe

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    Funny thing about meerschaum for me personally, everything you say is true and yet I still find myself preferring my briars. I think there's a subtle sweetness that my briars impart that I guess I find more enjoyable than the neutral flavor of a meer.

    I have a few meers that I never use for the same reason I rarely go to a cob. I think its the aroma of the warm briar that keeps me interested in the pipe hobby as a whole.

    Agree. I do enjoy trying a new blend in a meer or a cob or even my morta, but the true test and the one i look forward to the most is the sweetness and unique flavor i can be sure the briar will provide. I do like the flavors that cobs and morta imparts as well as the purity that the meer brings out in the tobacco, but to me, nothing will top the beauty bequethed in the bodacious breathtaking bravado of a bold briar.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  58. 12pups

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    "I smoked a bad Castello. I bet you can find a bad Dunhill. Therefore, brand is a myth."

    What?

    I like the response the choir director at church gave to a guy who said the music had all gotten too high these days. He'd talked to some other men, and they all agreed with him. Definitely. The music was all being written for sopranos now. They've noticed this trend over the past so many years.

    "They didn't move the keys." What? The choir director told them, "No one has moved the keys of the piano. They're where they've always been." It's *you*, you dumb sons-a-beachballs. Your perception is off.

    And with that simple fact, he corrected a mis-perception.

    Same with "dumbing down" of pipes, maybe? Here's an author who's gone around to a bunch of old pipe smokers, saying "So many years ago it was different."

    Well, 50-some years ago or so my evening beverage tasted a LOT more like milk and came from a softer container. It's so alcoholly now.

    I'm not real smart, either. But why the heck would pipes be different than any other product on the market. Brand counts for something. It isn't just a myth. And you can't prove it's a myth just by asking old geezers like yourself. PhD? He's has PhD in pipes? (I'm thinking he probably shouldn't advertise his education unless it's pertinent to the topic).

    Bottom line: You don't *get* to be a leading brand if you don't deserve it. You can't lead the pack unless there are reasons to follow you (except in diamonds, I guess). And often the knockoffs among those who are following you, learned what customers wanted *from* you. They're copying you. Or trying to. "Buyer beware" if they can't consistently pull it off.

    Brand is more important than the marketing tricks used by De Beers over a century ago when they created a mystique for a crystal that until just recently was nothing more than a hard, cold glassy thing. "A Diamond Is Forever" is easily defended as the most recognized and effective slogan of the twentieth century. Most men would *not* be wise telling their fiances they found a bargain diamond for them. Suddenly, people are bragging how *much* they spent on a diamond, something that doesn't have a long history as a precious gem at all.

    You know why it's so uniquely famous? Because it worked. At all. It stands out because you just can't get away with that very often, and certainly not the way *they* did. Our customers want us to "pull a De Beers" for them, and sometimes we have to tell them, "Don't try to sell yourself with statements you can't live up to. It *will* backfire on you."

    Is Brand just a perception, then?

    Well, what's with the "just a" in front of perception. Perceptions aren't accidents. And sometimes, they're even reasonable. You can get them to align with common sense.

    An old Yiddish saying translates something like, "An example proves nothing." Go to a Dunhill wall blindfolded and pick a pipe. If it's a dud, you only know that *that* one was a dud. Go to Joe Pipemaker and pick a pipe. Get a good one? What's that tell you? That *that* one was good.

    On the other hand, a long tradition of consistently producing market-leading styles with enviable smoking characteristics, becoming the standard by which other pipes are judged, earning the esteem of other industry leaders --

    That's definitely added value which, for a great many people, is definitely worth the price.

    And that's nothing new. It just needs repeating once in a while.

    PS: Rick Newcombe has a new and loyal fan:http://www.greatnorthernpipeclub.org/newcombe.pdf

    Thanks for posting his link, guys. (I taught logic, and I still don't get that other guy).

    A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them. -- Carl Jung
    Posted 5 years ago #
  59. layinpipe

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    Great and well stated response pups, that is an opinion i can respect and clearly understand.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  60. sablebrush52

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    12Pups and I will disagree. Your company may be the epitome of quality and truly provide the real thing. But the years I spent working on commercials and working with advertising and marketing professionals all come down to persuasion, regardless of reality. You just provided a persuasive missive regarding your company and your services to it. That what you do, and you do it well.
    But a lot of branding revolves around meaningless claims and the "perception" that a brand ensures anything. That's baloney. I had a girlfriend who worked as the regional sales rep for several high end supplies of fabrics to the interior design industry. A common practice was to put an exclusive brand on fabric produced by another entity. Brand "A" would sell for $35 a yard, the same fabric with a different label would sell for $50 a yard, and with yet another label would sell for $100 a yard. You would think that buyers would catch onto this, and you would be wrong, wrong, wrong! Just amazing. Re-branding happens across a number of industries and marketing and persuasion convince people to "just believe". Brand is a myth, pure and simple.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  61. pipedreamer

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    A pipe that is consistently great, is the goal.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  62. 12pups

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    Sable --

    Every brand? Broad brush like that?

    Yeah, we'll have to disagree, I think, because I'm not going to write them all off like that.

    Boy, I sure know a lot of brands that live up to their promise. And I'm awfully suspicious that there are pipe brands that do, too.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  63. numbersix

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    Sablebrush:

    Brand "A" would sell for $35 a yard, the same fabric with a different label would sell for $50 a yard, and with yet another label would sell for $100 a yard. You would think that buyers would catch onto this, and you would be wrong, wrong, wrong! Just amazing. Re-branding happens across a number of industries and marketing and persuasion convince people to "just believe". Brand is a myth, pure and simple.

    Not to pick a fight or anything

    No doubt what you wrote is true in many cases and I would agree that with some brands, quality is a myth (even a downright lie).

    But lets forget pipes for a minute and go back 60 years and take, for example, a comparison of an American car (back in the day) with Eastern European cars, or even British or Italian cars.

    American cars were well known for their quality and longevity while these other cars were well known for breaking down. In this example - American cars became legend, the "myth" of American cars back in the 40s and 50s and 60s was rooted in fact.

    Granted that "reality" has changed and so the myth has mostly died - but for a time it was true. I think the same can be applied to other industries, including pipe makers and pipe brands.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  64. cosmicfolklore

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    One of the things we learned in business class was that if a product isn't selling, most likely the customer may be associating quality with the price. So, our instinct to lower the price may be the wrong choice. Sometimes raising the price gets a product moving. And, in my experience this is gospel truth.

    How many times have you been scanning the Savinellis (just for an example) and seen a pipe in a shape that you like for $50 and then keep looking through the selections because you had a little voice in your head that said that there must be something wrong with it or maybe I can find one for just a little more money to get a little more quality or style out of it.

    Sure, sure this is not 100%, some people will only shop the bent and dents, true true. But, at least we can tell who these people are by the funny smell they have, ha ha!!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  65. 12pups

    12pups

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    Oh geez. No. 6 you got me there. Branding is different, country by country. Even for our customers. The stuff they have to do to sell in Europe makes us fall out of our chairs laughing. Often.

    Like, a Swedish spec on a fighter jet they make (pretty good fighter jet). We'd read the French specs for theirs (can simultaneously track and shoot down up to five targets at once or something. And the U.S. specs for an F22 and some Russian specs.

    The promotional specs of the Swedish fighter prominently listed that 1) Many parts were from America 2) The jet as a whole is completely recyclable.

    BWAHhahahahahaha

    Something tells me we aren't buying those over here.

    Oh, and then all the "pilot comfort" stuff. A lot of European mechanized equipment places a premium on ergonomics and stylish comfort.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  66. 12pups

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    Cosmic --

    Here, sales and marketing don't even like talking to each other. Sales departments of our clients complain constantly that marketing doesn't help them sell. The marketing department tries to remind them that they are thinking too short term.

    Constantly run into that. Weird, right? Isn't marketing supposed to help sales? Sales doesn't see marketing doing much for them.

    We maybe should narrow this discussion down quite a bit. I don't see pipes advertised on tv or hear radio spots. So venue makes a difference. They exist here. How does Savinelli promote brand? How does Dunhill? Grabow?

    My impression of Grabow is they just stay quiet. The are a huge market presence, and they probably just enjoy not screwing around with that.

    But for ads here, how are pipe brands promoted? Where are we getting our perceptions of them -- except from each other?

    Posted 5 years ago #
  67. cosmicfolklore

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    Grabow had the marketing strategy of having been found in drug stores for decades.
    Dunhill was mostly mail order and tobacconist sold years ago. The other part of its strategy has been its pricing. It was also marketed mostly to bankers and doctors.

    Savinelli, I'm not 100% sure about. They teeter between being a working man's pipe with their pricing, but quality with their styling.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  68. 12pups

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    Cosmic... about the "up your pricing" -- yes.

    But it works best if you back that up with quality.

    If you *sell yourself short*, the customer can't believe in you. You *have* to charge what you're worth.

    But no, you can't keep charging more than you're worth. That's a short-sighted sales goal. You want your next contract, you want new customers, have recommendations and build up a reputation. Then you have to live up to live up to your brand promise.

    I guess my turn in the discussion is pretty much over. Nothing we're saying is new, I don't think. Just "remembering" the points of discussion, more than anything.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  69. pipedreamer

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    The Gov. has taken care of pipe advertising. I think you guys are mixing up factories with pipe carvers?.There are a small number of pipe makers in the world left trying to make great pipes. They don't receive much support.Funny, the last 3 large machines I have purchased have come from taiwan, China. We don't build them anymore. I hear, that cheap crap. If the specs are high the machine is right on.All the pipe carvers I know try to make the best possible pipe.The factories are always going to beat us on price. Across the board if the pipe isn't good, you put it in a basket. Pipe carvers throw them away.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  70. cosmicfolklore

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    Advertising is only 10% of what marketing is. Sure, we can't advertise in the US, but placement in a pipe store is 99% more effective. If the pipe is in a glass case, that is marketing. If it is in a bucket by the register, that is marketing. If it comes with a sock, box, bag, or feather tutu, that is marketing. If it goes well with a suit, or comes in wild colors... etc...

    However, Grabow named themselves after a doctor as part of its scheme to make people believe that it was a "healthy" pipe. ha ha.

    BTW, in one of the interviews on the radio show (I can't remember the episode) but it was with one of the best suppliers of aged briar out in Italy. The guys mentions that Dr Grabow buys the most volume of their best quality briar. Also, Grabow established a system of machine made pipes that started producing the highest volume of pipes in the world. Now, Grabow may not be the luxury liner pipe of pipes, but it is definitely one of the Henry Fords. They make their money off of volume. They use quality briar and have outstanding consistency. However, most pass them by because of the price=quality equation that we have in our heads. And, then when someone tries a Grabow, they come back on here and freak out about what great pipes they are, LOL. When there are thousands of pipe men coming home from working every day with a Grabow full of Carter Hall, no forums, no pipe clubs, just a smoker.

    Posted 5 years ago #

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