At the moment I am on the run all day visiting MEINL facilities in Bangkok area, Thailand.
This is the peak season for the MEINL R&D (research and development) team, who is heavily active around the globe searching for the best materials and craftsmanship, to provide THE ULTIMATE SELECTION of percussion.
I will try to give you a behind-the-scenes view every now and then to give you a better understanding about our products, and the challenges and accomplishments of our daily work.
Yesterday I visited a veneer factory in Bangkok. Very interesting to see how they work. I was blown away by their outstanding products. I was searching for new materials we might use for our instruments. As you may know, we use veneers mainly for cajons, the RAPC bongos, and maybe for some other stuff in the future, too.
At the end of the day we gathered a nice selection and I can't wait to check first prototypes wearing those veneers. It’s nature of the game that the most beautiful ones are also the most expensive ones. So I have to check carefully about the prices as well, since pricing is another important issue for any R&D guy.
Besides looking for new materials, I also checked the quality of some veneers we already use. Sometimes there are small knotholes that are not nice looking. This is something we cannot avoid, since we are working with natural products. Neither with veneers, nor with raw hides for instance... Anyways, we only offer hand-selected materials to guarantee best possible quality.