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• FEBRUARY 2010 • WWW.MI-PRO.CO.UK

PRINT • ONLINE • MOBILE

Joe Satriani plays D'Addario strings – pic LeAnn Mueller

MUSICAL INSTRUMENT PROFESSIONAL  FOR EVERYONE IN THE MI BUSINESS

D’Addario for the UK One of MI’s most inventive companies shows that innovation isn't just in the products LONDON MUSIC SHOW NAMM BEHRINGER KMI FAITH MARKBASS HARDCASE


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Introducing the latest member of the Marshall family – the Class5. A tonally rich 5 Watt all-valve combo that exclusively features true class A circuitry from input to output, plus an abundance of pure Marshall tone, feel and response. Conceived in the wake of numerous requests from both professional stadium fillers and bedroom widdlers alike, this compact yet punchy 1x10" amp is the answer to your low wattage, big tone prayers! Ideal for use at home, the studio, rehearsal or small gig, the Class5 is all-valve Marshall tone at its best – pure, audacious and inspiring!

To find out more about the Class5 contact: Marshall Amplification plc Denbigh Road, Bletchley, Milton Keynes MK1 1DQ or visit the official Marshall website: www.marshallamps.com


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ISSUE 117 FEBRUARY 2010

CONTENTS REGULARS: DRUM NEWS 10 RETAIL NEWS 49 INDIE PROFILE 52 FRONT LINE 53 NEW PRODUCTS 40-47 CODA 64

EDITORIAL COMMENT

COVER STORY 16 GETTING CLOSE D’Addario opened its first subsidiary for 22 years in January. The fact that it chose the UK is proof that the accessories giant sees this market as something special

ANDY BARRETT mipro@intentmedia.co.uk

NEWS FUTURE TAKES ON LONDON MI SHOW, NAMM SUCCESS, BEHRINGER SEEKS SPEAKER

The tiniest bump to the market’s confidence could have us falling into a secondary recession

EVENTS NAMM 2010 12 12

Back to its best and soaking up the praise

SUPPLY BEHRINGER 20 The enigmatic Uli talks of growth and plateaus

FAITH 22 Barnes & Mullins’ guitar brand moves up

MARKBASS 24 A big noise in bass amps – what went right?

20 KMI DISTRIBUTION 26 Lesley Kane talks through her impressive start-up

HARDCASE 28 The plastic case maker takes control

SECTOR SPOTLIGHTS ACOUSTIC GUITARS 33 There’s a lot going on in the £500-plus market

33

NEW PRODUCTS 40-47

RETAIL NEWS 49 Guitarguitar in Birmingham, Richard’s classifieds

LOCATION REPORT 51 MI retail likes it beside the seaside

INDIE PROFILE 52 Mark’s Music puts the customer first

FRONT LINE 53 49

The snows came... And so did the customers

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O

n the day MI Pro went to press, the national media were hailing the official exit of the UK’s economy from recession. I say ‘hailing’, but the reality (a third month of growth in the GDP amounting to 0.1 per cent) meant that even the most gleeful of reports were tepid, to say the least. It adds more weight to the argument that MI simply doesn’t fit into the general swings of macro-economics. At the NAMM Show in mid-January (report page 12), the Americans, who have really had a pretty awful time of it through 2009, were hell bent on making 2010 a damn sight better, although whether such a goal is in our hands is arguable. Among the Brits at the show, the question everybody asked was ‘how’s business with you?’ The answer was generally a timid ‘pretty good’, as though either a miscalculation had been made or there was something a little shameful in such an admission. The fact is – and you can ask any economist or financier you bump into – we still don’t know what is going to happen. The economic growth that is being experienced is so slight that the tiniest bump to the market’s confidence could have us falling into a secondary recession. It is also equally possible that while the MI trade in the UK has come through so far relatively unscathed, as the markets begin to grow again, the spend on musical instruments, accessories and equipment could be redirected into other leisure activities, such as video games, gyms, restaurants – you name it. The recession for MI might still not be upon us... Now comes the ‘but’... Another fact is, as Joe Lamond pointed out when he opened the NAMM Show at the Breakfast of Champions, we are all still here. The fact that you are reading this magazine means you are still in business and thus have survived the horrors of the past two years. Whatever it is you have done to get to this point, it would appear that it has been the right thing, so, while keeping your eyes open for new opportunities, keep on doing it. Our secret retailer (page 53) thought that the bad weather would mean an empty shop. In fact, it turned out to be the busiest January for ages. We just don’t know. Andy Barrett

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NEWS

Future takes on MIA’s Lon Consumer media giant teams up with MI’s trade body  Trade day dropped following 2009’s low turnout  Eight shows in FUTURE PUBLISHING has announced a deal with the MIA to run what was the London International Music Show (LIMS). Apart from the dropping of the word ‘international’ and the trade day, the new London Music Show is effectively being licensed to Future for five years to take the format forward in the long term and the MIA is hoping to cash in on Future’s ability to motivate non-musicians through its leisure magazine portfolio. The absence of a trade day essentially falls in line with the consensus of opinion from exhibitors after last year’s show that the weakness of UK dealer attendance at such events makes effort not worthwhile. The MIA and Future were, however, keen to stress that trade is welcome at the show on all days and that facilities are available for a ‘trade area’ or meeting rooms away from the noise and bustle of the show. The show is penned in for October 8th to 10th, which suits the public better, although the

date does place the show in direct competition with the Music Live show (placed at the NEC this year between November 4th and 7th). In fact, as the inset reveals, many others have concluded an October date to be a good time for a consumer show, as there

The MIA is hoping to cash in on Future’s ability to motivate nonmusicians

are eight shows (two trade) in as many weeks around the LMS (although as MI Pro goes to press, Oyster House Publishing’s proposed London Drum Show at Olympia and Sheehan’s Acoustic Avalon are not yet confirmed). Reaction from the trade was mixed, although bearing in mind the date of the announcement, most of the UK suppliers were

out in California for the NAMM show when the news emerged. The responses ranged from Tanglewood’s assurance that, despite being committed to Music China, it would find a way to be represented at the show, to Rotosound’s stance that, with commitments to the Shanghai show, Manson’s Guitar Show, Sheehan’s Acoustic Avalon (held last year on November 14th and 15th) and Music Live, it would not be able to exhibit. In between were the masses of companies that said they would wait to hear the pitch before making a decision. Many others have said that they were looking to review their show budget in 2010 anyway, as marketing budgets are squeezed in the current economic climate. In Future’s favour is the fact that most companies have still to organise budgets for 2010, giving the organiser and the MIA time to put pressure upon prospective exhibitors. FUTURE: 01225 442244 MIA: 01372 750600

Artist relations key for D’Addario UK branch Simon Turnbull heads up first wholly-owned subsidiary for accessories giant to bring US and Britain closer together D’ADDARIO HAS opened its first European subsidiary in Gateshead with an aim to increase its sales and marketing activities, as well as introduce a full artist liaison department for the UK and Europe. The operation will be headed up by Simon Turnbull, formerly the sales director with Summerfield Music – itself a D’Addario distributor. D’Addario is already handled in the UK by Summerfield, Strings & Things and Barnes & Mullins, but the New York manufacturer made it very clear that these relationships would remain unaltered. “This is not part of an overall global plan,” D’Addario’s CEO, Jim D’Addario, told MI Pro. “We saw an opportunity to get closer to the UK market and Simon is someone we trust – the timing was right.

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“We operate direct sales and have third party distributors in North America and throughout the world we have a multidistributor policy. It’s all about giving the dealer the best access to our products.” “D’Addario UK will give us the chance to cover targeted advertising and marketing activities, as well as merchandising and artist relations,” said Turnbull. “We will be able to cover the sorts of things that distributors might not be able to do.” This is only the second time D’Addario has opened a wholly owned branch, after the establishment of D’Addario Canada in 1988. The interview with Turnbull, D’Addario and D’Addario’s president, Rick Drumm can be seen on page 16. D’ADDARIO UK: 0191 3003000 Jim D’Addario and Simon Turnbull honing the details at the NAMM Show in January

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NEWS

don show as many weeks for busy autumn show calendar

SEPTEMBER 9th to 12th Music & Sound, Paris 12th to 15th PLASA, Earls Court, London OCTOBER 2nd to 4th BPM, NEC, Birmingham 8th to 10th LMS, ExCel, London 12th to 15th Music China, Shanghai (16th to 17th London Drum Show – unconfirmed) 23rd to 24th Manson Guitars Show

Last year’s LIMS wasn’t universally loved, but the MIA is hoping the partnership with Future will provide the show with a new lease of life

NOVEMBER 4th to 7th Music Live, NEC Birmingham (13th to 14th Sheehan’s Acoustic Avalon – unconfirmed)

NAMM returns to its best International visitor figures down, but unanimous thumbs up for January show FROM THE very outset of this year’s NAMM Show, it was clear that the organiser, exhibitors and visitors were absolutely determined to make 2010’s event as upbeat and memorable as possible. This was largely seen as a successful effort. From Joe Lamond’s opening Breakfast of Champions session, where the NAMM president insisted that ‘growth starts now’, to the universal approval of the show from its exhibitors and visitors at the show’s close, this was a trade event to remember. Genuinely innovative products were rather thin on the ground this year, but there was no shortage of new gear to keep dealers and distributors happy. “It was really upbeat,” said Marshall’s Paul Marshall. “There was a vibe that a corner had been turned.”

“Best NAMM I have done,” said Rotosound’s Jason How. “We invested heavily in the show for USA and export.” “Not as well attended by UK dealers as previous years, but attendance in general seemed higher,” said Chris Statham of Mel Bay. Staham’s comment falls into line with the general figures: 87,569 visitors, with international attendance two per cent down on 2009, although some, including Tom Robinson of EMD, claim to have seen more UK dealers than ever before. The story of the show was the drastically reduced appearance of Gibson and Epiphone on the Monster Cable stand on the main show floor – as opposed to the usual suite of rooms. Rumours abounded, but the word from the company is that this was a deliberate, strategic decision.

JHS picks up education brand

Los Cabos ‘a hit’ for the UK’s drummers

UK supplier hoping to make a hit with Boomwhackers tuned percussion

Red hickory drumsticks now available in Britain through Summerfield Music

JHS & Co has scooped the UK distribution for Boomwhackers, an educational instrument that employs rhythm, melody and harmony. The brand is owned by Rhythm Band Instruments. Boomwhackers are tuned plastic tubes that play a specific note when striking the hand, leg or other object. The tubes can also be arranged and hit in the same way as a xylophone, too. Each note, in whichever octave, has the same colour coding and the series can grow to include a full five octaves. Inexpensive, 100 per cent safe and environmentally friendly, Boomwhackers’ colours are based on the Chroma Notes

CANADA’S LOS Cabos Drumsticks has reached an agreement with UK distributor Summerfield Musical Instruments, giving exclusive distribution rights to the north-eastern supplier in the UK and Ireland. “I’ve handed out some samples to retailers and as soon as they touch them, they comment on the quality,” said Sean Murtagh, Summerfiled's new sales manager. Murtagh went on to say that he knew it would take a little time to establish the line in the UK. “People in the UK are creatures of habit and a new product has to be exceptional before they will accept it. Los Cabos offers sticks made from red hickory,

coloured music system, which allows for rapid identification of music notes. Boomwhackers also have accessories and tuition aids available, with CDs, songbooks and an educational software programme coming soon, developed by the inventor of Boomwhackers, Craig Ramsell. JHS: 0113 2865381

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something unique to the market which I’m confident drummers will love.” Red hickory is taken from the heart of the tree, a part that has been overlooked by other manufacturers due to availability and cost. The wood is more durable than others and is aesthetically pleasing. SUMMERFIELD: 0191 414 9000

SOUND BITES Strings & Things clicks through US The UK distributor for Ernie Ball Musicman has launched a new Musicman UK website, designed in conjunction with the Musicman US site. The new site features instrument demonstrations and photographs of Strings & Things stock, along with a run- through of the products and full warranty information. MUSICMANUK.CO.UK

Shure and ICMP collaborate Shure and the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (ICMP) have announced the launch of the 2010 Shure Songwriting Award. The competition will be judged this year by the singer/songwriter Paloma Faith, with a first prize of a year’s study at the Institute.

GfK’s December figures The retail audit of MI sales in December from GfK showed the most positive figures for months. Sales increased by seven per cent in December 2008, compared to an increase of one per cent in 2009.

LATEST NEWS STRAIGHT TO YOUR MOBILE

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miPRO FEBRUARY 2010 5


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NEWS

Behringer ups the pro ante The Music Group in search for pro speaker line, R&D centre imminent and rumours of UK distribution on cards IN AN interview held during the NAMM Show, Uli Behringer disclosed his intention to acquire a professional loudspeaker brand. Such an acquisition would be made by the Music Group, the holding company he created to maintain a distance between his entry-level brand and his surprise acquisition of Midas. “Behringer is a market leader in the low end and there’s no point pushing to be what it isn’t,” he said. “Midas is very high end and will continue to be, so next for us is to find a line of loudspeakers. We’re looking now – that’s what we want next.” A source close to the firm indicated, however, that the Music Group was in fact in negotiations with a leading brand and that a deal was imminent. In related news, Behringer has also signalled its intention to establish a ‘centre

of excellence’ for R&D in the UK, possibly in Kidderminster, the home of Midas Consoles, where it will employ ‘the very best’ audio electronics engineers. “This is part of our investment in Midas,” said Behringer. “This will give them the chance to develop as they deserve.” Finally, to add to the surge of activity from the Far Eastern-based company, Behringer is also looking to establish third party distributors around the world. Among the first of these is the Belgiumbased sales company Ampco Belgium, which has become fully independent from the Ampco Flashlight Group in order to handle distribution work. Quiet rumours are now circulating that the appointment of a UK distributor of Behringer’s catalogue is also imminent. See the full interview on page 20.

Getting the Ebow in Europe Performing Musician closed Warwick picks up exclusive distribution on the old continent for ‘magnetic pick’ and Bigsby tremolo WARWICK HAS announced that it is now handling the Europe-wide distribution of two etablished lines: the Bigsby tremolo system and the Ebow. The Bigsby vibrato tailpiece was famously designed by Paul Bigsby, which single-handedly solved the problem of whammy bars putting strings out of tune on electric guitars. Bigsby trems are still factory-installed on electric guitars, such as those manufactured by Fender, Gibson, Gretsch and Guild (among many others), as well as by luthier companies. Electric guitars can also be retrofitted with a

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Bigsby as the system requires no routing of the body and there are different varieties of the unit designed to fit different styles of guitar, such as a hollow or solid body guitar. Bigsby units ship with their own rocker bridges, though there are adjustable alternatives such as the Tune-o-matic style bridge or the Jazzmaster style bridge. Warwick will be handling the distribution for Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain, Ireland, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia with immediate effect. In addition to the Bigsby licensed vibrato, spare parts will also be offered as part of the distribution programme. Warwick is also now distributing the Ebow with immediate effect and to the same countries from the manufacturer’s Markneukirchen facility in Germany. The Ebow has been making music since 1976, with scores of guitarists using the tool to excellent effect, working to create a magnetic field which vibrates steel strings without the need for plucking and with an infinite sustain. Powered by a nine-Volt battery, the Ebow is held in place of your pick, giving you instant access to violin, cello, flute and horn sounds as well as unique sounds of its own. The recommended retail price in the UK is £99.90 including VAT. WARWICK: +49 3742 2555 3150

SoS announces immediate demise of consumer title PERFORMING MUSICIAN, the live sound consumer magazine owned by Sound on Sound publisher SoS Publications, closed during the first week of January with no further issues being produced. In a statement to MI Pro, Ian Gilby, SoS’s managing director, explained that, having bought Music Mart magazine from Trinity Mirror Group in 2006, its relaunch in 2007 as Performing Musician & Live Sound World magazine (PM) had been well-received and encouraged. “As PM entered its third year, the global recessionary climate meant that significant manufacturers, distributors and retailers indicated that they would be unable to honour well-meaning commitments to include PM in future marketing budgets for 2010. A high quality, 148-page magazine requires a minimum level of advertiser support and without this SoS Publications feels it would be better placed to deploy investment resources into its core Sound On Sound print magazine, digital editions and website, freeing up staff and management to focus on SoS’s 25th year in business. The February 2010 edition of Performing Musician was not printed or distributed and Gilby said that advertisers, subscribers, freelancers and circulation recipients were notified. PM’s editor, Dave Lockwood, remains as publisher of Sound on Sound and PM editorial staff

have been redeployed on existing publications. The loss of PM reinforces the view in publishing that consumer titles are likely to come under pressure in the coming months, due to the recession and a switch to online advertising. The closure of PM will pose particular problems for companies selling sound reinforcement products, however, who now find themselves without a single news-stand publication covering their market areas. SOUND ON SOUND: 01954 789888

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PERSONNEL NEWS

Team in place for D’Addario New UK operation settles in team after January launch with both internal and field sales D’ADDARIO UK has established its sales team, following its official launch on January 18th. Bruce Falconer is the most recent appointment, taking up the rep position for the northern region and working in partnership with John Miller, D'Addario's internal sales manager (North). Falconer joins D’Addario from WL Gore, where he was European sales manager for Elixir strings and cables, having been instrumental in the brand’s growth across Europe during the last six years. Prior to that, Falconer was involved in a number of other consumer brands outside MI. Miller joined as the Northern region internal sales manager, bringing with him 15 years’ MI sales experience, having worked for Windows and CBS Arbiter, among others. Finally, Pete Moffat joined to take care of southern region internal sales, comprising London, the home counties, Southern and South West England. He brings many years’ experience working in the music industry, having previously been with Summerfield MI

New position for MI Pro to help grow brand and work with key clients

Left to right: Bruce Falconer, John Miller and Pete Moffat and before that in retail – also with "Bruce has great experience directly Windows of Newcastle. applicable to MI accessories. We plan to D’Addario UK’s managing director, Simon utilise his expertise in sales, merchandising, Turnbull, is obviously pleased about his new training and brand building to the fullest appointments. “I know Pete well from our extent. D’Addario UK will be focusing time together at Summerfield and he’s a strongly on marketing, merchandising and great account manager. John has a lot of supporting its products, so to have Bruce on experience working in both retail and board is extremely pleasing.” Falconer can be distribution. I’m looking forward to working contacted on 07786 528020. with them both. D’ADDARIO UK: 0191 300 3000

Meanwhile, back at Laney Amp maker hires familiar face of Roger Williams as brand’s chief export sales manager ROGER WILLIAMS has rejoined Laney as the amp manufacturer's export sales manager after over three years away at HC Distribution, selling, among other things, Cort Guitars. The vacancy came about following Steve Yelding's departure to Music Force, where he is overseeing the distributor's work with the Engl brand. Williams describes himself as 'very much a Laney man', which is probably something of a prerequisite for a role that sees him managing the sales and export of the amp

brand to Europe, North America, the Middle East and Africa. In his first weeks in the job, he has been meeting up with the company's distributors in Europe and preparing for the Musikmesse in March. "The Frankfurt show is a very intense one for us," said Williams. "I'll be seeing the Middle eastern, African and Eastern European distributors and trying to ramp up business there – when it boils down to it, my job is to make sure the factories have enough to do." LANEY: 0121 508 6666

WILLIAMS: Good to be back

Freshman expands sales team UK guitar manufacturer appoints experienced sales man for South of England region FRESHMAN HAS welcomed what it describes as 'a significant addition' to its sales team with the appointment of Steve Ruck to manage the South West and South Coast area of England. “Steve comes armed with a wealth of experience of over 20 years in the music industry and I see his level of professionalism as a major asset to Freshman guitars and a continuance of our high level of service and support to all our existing and new customers in the area," commented Freshman's founder and managing director, Sean Kelly. "I am very pleased to welcome Steve.” FRESHMAN: 01355 228028 8 miPRO FEBRUARY 2010

Holdway joins mag sales team

Ruck and Kelly: major assets

MI PRO HAS hired Jodie Holdway to work alongside ad manager Darrell Carter as the brand looks towards significant growth in 2010. Holdway joins from PR and event specialist Barrington Harvey. She previously spent five years in the broadcast industry. Her remit is to work with Carter to look after a growing roster of clients in print and online, as well as looking at expanding the brand into new areas. “MI is an unusual world, so I’m always pleased to see someone take the leap and get involved with it,” commented Andy Barrett, the managing editor of MI Pro and sister title Audio Pro International. “She has already begun to make her mark and I am certain she will not only be a highly valuable member of our team, but also someone the MI trade will come to know and like.” “This is a big year for both MI Pro and Audio Pro International as we look to invest more and establish ourselves as the most influential and forward-thinking trade titles in these sectors,” said Intent’s managing director, Stuart Dinsey. “Jodie's appointment means that our MI Pro clients will get more detailed account management, plus Intent Media will be able to focus more on the fastgrowing Audio Pro brand.” INTENT MEDIA: 01992 535647

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DISTRIBUTION PROFILE FIRST LINE MUSIC Heathfield, Devon When it comes to selecting new products, quality comes first for Jay Henson from First Line Music. When he’s dealing with people, he tries to see things from their perspective – and he finds a smile helps, too... Year Established: 2006 Number of employees: Five Is business up or down compared to last year? I think the market has contracted, but our business has been up. During 2009 we introduced some new brands to our catalogue in line with our growth targets. How has the current economic climate affected your business? Of course it’s been tough for everybody; it takes longer to get paid, which affects cash flow, and many dealers have reduced their stock levels, which means smaller orders. What are your best-selling lines, and why do you think they perform so well? All of our eight brands have had increased sales this year, especially DR Strings. But probably most exciting is the new range of DBZ Guitars from Dean Zelinsky. Dean’s experience has brought some real innovation to the designs, and the production quality is just incredible. DBZ will be huge this year. What are your criteria for selecting new products? Quality first. If you have great quality from a strong brand then you can’t go far wrong, as great value always follows. What distinguishes you from the competition? I think my years of experience in retail mean I’m always thinking from our customers’ perspective. Everything starts with the customer. It might sound like a cliché, but we really believe in good customer service. If our customers are not happy,

then we look for the reason why and what we can do to fix it. I also personally check each product we sell and ask ‘would I buy this?’ How do you maintain a good relationship with retailers? Understanding the problems they’re facing, trying to be flexible with payments, and working hard to maintain good relationships with them. A smile helps, too. What would you say is the biggest challenge facing the MI industry today? Right now, probably unforgiving banks, squeezing dealers who otherwise could really start to flourish again. What are your aims for the next 12 months? Steady growth and improving procedures so we can help our dealers strengthen their sales through 2010.

CONTACT DETAILS Address: 18, Teignbridge Business Centre, Cavalier Road, Heathfield, Devon TQ12 6TZ Phone: 01626 830336 Email: enquiries@firstlinemusic.co.uk Web: www.firstlinemusic.co.uk

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miPRO FEBRUARY 2010 9


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DRUM NEWS

Ed Thigpen 1930 to 2010 THE NAMM Show this year opened to sad news for the drumming fraternity, with the death of Ed Thigpen, the erstwhile drummer with the Oscar Peterson Trio. Born in Chicago in 1930, Thigpen was renowned for his exemplary musicianship, artistry and flowing technique with wire brushes, as well as his effective teaching methods. Following in the footsteps of his father, Ben Thigpen, he pursued his early career with jazzers such as Dexter Gordon, Chico Hamilton and Art. In 1959 he joined the Oscar Peterson Trio together with bassist Ray Brown. This trio is still regarded by many to be the greatest piano-bass-drums trio. Thigpen recorded more than 50 albums with Peterson before he left the group in 1965 to tour with Ella Fitzgerald. He had a natural flair for lecturing, having been invited to The Advanced School of Contemporary Music, founded by Oscar Peterson, among others. He lived there for a while before continuing his career with the likes of Johnny Mathis, Pat Boone, Andy Williams, Peggy Lee, Oliver Nelson and Gerald Wilson. 1972 saw him move to Europe to settle in Copenhagen, where he was a hit with the European jazz

Harrison designs rhythms New book and DVD from prog drummer delves into polyrhythmic concepts

scene. He continued to collaborate with such luminaries as Kenny Drew, Sven Asmussen, Ernie Wilkins, Clark Terry, Monty Alexander and Thad Jones. He wrote and published five books based on music and drumming, the first being Talking Drums and recorded a couple of instructional videos, one of which is the acclaimed The Essence of Brushes. In later years he lectured at the

Musicskolan in Sweden and the Rhythmic Conservatory in Copenhagen. He travelled the globe and would often be seen at NAMM, PASIC and Musikmesse. “He was a humble soul with a big heart who encompassed life,” said Mike Dolbear. “The saying ‘the person you are is the drummer you’ll be’ applies to Ed – a gentle man who expressed his personality through his instrument – he will be sorely missed.”

HUDSON MUSIC has released Rhythmic Designs: A Study of Practical Creativity by Gavin Harrison and Terry Branam. The book and DVD package has been created to provide contemporary drummers with a method for developing the technical and musical skills required to perform today’s drumming styles. Rhythmic Designs expands on the polyrhythmic, polymetric concepts covered in Harrison’s Rhythmic Illusions, Rhythmic Visions and Rhythmic Horizons books and videos by offering detailed analysis of 20 drum tracks from the recent Harrison and 05Ric collaborations Drop and Circles. Along with the 204-page book of note-for-note transcriptions and exercises, the double-sided DVD features two and a half hours of video with descriptions and discussions of the drum parts, set-ups, tuning and recording processes, plus six ‘minusdrums’ playalong tracks. Branam is a drummer, educator and author who

has made a name as a drum transcriber. His articles and meticulous transcriptions have been featured in print and electronic drum media, including Modern Drummer and drummerworld.com. Harrison has performed and recorded with Porcupine Tree and King Crimson, appeared at major drum festivals around the world and topped the Progressive Rock category of the Modern Drummer Readers Poll from 2007 through 2009.

Mikedolbear.com at NAMM Show 2010 Drum specialist website offers up the most comprehensive run-through of new products from the Anaheim event MIKE DOLBEAR, the man behind the website, was to be seen pounding the aisles at this year’s NAMM Show, with the aim of bringing all the drum news to his website. The result, MI Pro thinks, is the single most comprehensive run-through of everything relevant to the drum and percussion fraternity, whether retail or end-user. Mikedolbear.com features a day-by-day catalogue of brands and their product launches as well as show news, from Sabian’s traditional 10am meet

on the opening day, through to Meinl’s colossal offering for

The exhibitors can’t wait to get their products on the site. Mike Dolbear 2010 and concluding with Yamaha, Brady and the ever esoteric Matt Nolan.

Further to all this, Dolbear has made videos for each brand featured, all of which can be accessed via links alongside the written reports. “Over the past ten years I have been, in this order, ignored, considered and finally accepted by the manufacturers,” commented Dolbear. “It’s taken some time, but now the show exhibitors can’t wait to get their products up on the website; having the video camera makes them that more enthusiastic.” MIKEDOLBEAR.COM

THIS PAGE IS SPONSORED BY MIKEDOLBEAR.COM, THE LEADING ONLINE RESOURCE FOR EVERYTHING DRUMS.

VISIT WWW.MIKEDOLBEAR.COM FOR MORE DETAILS. 10 miPRO FEBRUARY 2010

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EVENT REVIEW  NAMM

The buzz is back Which means it’s back to business – and in a big way. As NAMM returns to its delightful best, the UK MI industry is unanimous in its approval. Andy Barrett reports…

I

n what could be a world first, an MI trade show received a universal thumbs up from exhibitors and visitors alike. That’s right – not a single dissenting voice could be heard as NAMM rolled up its sleeves and got down to doing what it does best with a tangible determination. The marching bands were playing that little bit more furiously, the message from the upper-echelons of the NAMM associations was ‘the recovery begins here’, and while international visitor figures were down a couple of per cent, there was more than enough business to be done and the following month or two will reveal whether there is genuine substance to the show of enthusiasm. Many believe there will be. “This year I had more meetings than ever,” revealed EMD’s Tom Robinson. “Normally Sunday is a quiet day when you sort out what has happened over the previous three days, but this year I filled it

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up with meetings. We all know that the days are over when you’d write business in your order books at the show, but I had a lot of people who failed to commit last year admitting that they had made a mistake and would be sure to commit to container loads this year. It has been the busiest NAMM ever for me.” Obviously, many UK businesses use NAMM to co-ordinate and build on international trade. There was no less success here. “It was a very successful show for JHS,” confirmed Dennis Drumm. “We were looking to appoint new distributors around the world and increase our impact in the US. Well, we were flooded. Both goals were achieved. We have appointed distributors and the stand was a constant stream of US dealers. There has been a good word-of-mouth wave going on for Fret King, Vintage and Encore and the

dealers are responding to that. They see the genuine value for money our brands represent and are taking advantage. It was a really great show.” In terms of new product, after a couple of years of reduced R&D there was nothing revolutionary on show, but there were an awful lot of tweaks and upgrades. For many, the Jam Hub ‘silent’ rehearsal unit was probably the winner in terms of top product of the show (with SCV London cheerfully announcing that it will be supplying that for the UK). Below is the round-up of the best of the rest… MARSHALL It’s always a bit odd seeing Marshall hooked on to the Korg stand at NAMM, but such is the Stateside distribution arrangement. Actually, the two sit quite comfortably together and once in the

Marshall section, there is no mistaking where you are. The big launch for the Big Noise in the noise industry was the JMD-1. The concept, Marshall says, is simple: Take the equipment, technology and tones of professional guitar rigs and fuse them together into a single amplifier series, adaptable to any style and any situation. Less gear to transport, reduced setup and take-down time and, most importantly of all, an enhanced and uncompromised performance. There are four models in the launch range: the JMD100 100W head, the JMD50 50W head, then two ‘matching’ combos, the JMD102 dual 12-inch and the JMD501 single12-inch.

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and a 15-Watt 12-inch combo, which was well received, as was the impressive sounding Lionheart L20T, a gig worthy 20-Watt combo. Away from the stage, the new L5T offers some great tones, but not quite loud enough for the road – more suited to the studio or home. From the stage to the studio to the street and to the Linebacker, a battery powered option that’s very much a work in progress, but the concept was well received by potential customers. For the UK, the Headstock brands, Ibanez and Tama had stronger offerings this year to match the heavier traffic at the show. Ibanez brought in lots of nice Prestige models, some great new colours and models and, centre stage, the legendary UV77REMC at around £7,000 retail – not for everyone, but a good show piece. ASHDOWN The double-decker that adorned Ashdown’s stand saw the UK amp maker launch its new Valve series of bass amps to the US. No fewer than seven heads and combos make up the range, from the 550 Spyder head and 550 Touring dual ten-inch combo (guess the Wattage) to the impressive 30-Watt Little Bastard head. This pro range adds valve warmth and grunt to the traditional Ashdown sound. Really very nice. Sister company and guitar amp brand Hayden saw the launch of the new Mini-Mofo, a 15-Watt, Chinese-made version of the Mofo, which is sure to be a popular toy for the smaller gigging guitarist. Also on the stand were the new Lodestone Standard series of guitars and basses.

FACT FILE: EVENT: The NAMM Show VENUE: Anaheim Convention Center, California DATE: January 14th to 17th EXHIBITORS: 1,373 VISITORS: 87,569 VERDICT: If you had a penny for everyone who said that this was the best NAMM Show ever, you’d have at least two quid… And that’s pretty impressive for a trade show. A lot of the buzz was the result of a conviction before the fact that this would be a good show. The great news is that it worked.

Further to that, Saturday saw none other than Slash making a surprise appearance on the stand to announce the imminent arrival (some time in the summer of this year) of the AFD-100, as faithful a reproduction as possible (in the absence of the original) of the Guns n’ Roses’ guitarist’s modified JCM 800 2203 amp used on the Appetite for Destruction album in 1986. The whole research and design process is being followed on a dedicated website: afd100.com. LANEY Reporting ‘an average UK attendance’, the Laney stand saw the arrival of the new Cubs series, comprising a head and cab

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ORANGE The Orange stand saw the launch of new Tiny Terror amps, Crush and Crush Pix amps and the Rockerverb II, as well as the new Thunder 30 combo and head. The Thunder 30s are designed to replace the Rocker 30 series and are expected to hit the shops around April. Both models are 30-Watt, twin channel amps (classic vintage and overdrive), powered by four EL84 valves (two more than the Rockers), with the combo being loaded with a 12-inch Celestion speaker. Delivering more punch and with the addition of an FX loop, this series is being touted as the ideal regular gigger’s partner. FENDER Fender revealed a joint venture with eJamming in the shape of Audiio, eJamming’s software technology. Audiio provides synchronised live streaming audio over the internet in real time, enabling musicians and singers anywhere in the world to play and record together, while experiencing no discernible latency on their instruments. This means any musician can perform and record music with other musicians and singers in a real-time online session. On a more conventional theme, Fender has launched the American Special series, US-made guitars that slot into the price gap between the Mex Fenders and the US Standards. When it comes to amps, Fender is keen to make much of the G-Dec 3 Fifteen, a modelling amp with over 100 amp and effects presets, as well as userprogrammable patches and on-board MP3 and wav file storage and playback. There is a multi-function SD card slot for storage of presets and audio content, Ableton Live Lite 8 Fender Edition recording software for creating and editing additional backing track content and AmpliTube Fender LE software for practicing, playing and recording on a computer. On the general guitar front, Fender’s multiple brands had far too much to list here, but of note (on the impressive, clearly branded and compartmentalised ‘booths’) were the eight guitars comprising the entrylevel Jackson JS Series. These are affordable takes on

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EVENT REVIEW  NAMM

instantly recognisable Jackson designs, all with the company’s unique compoundradius fingerboard beloved by Jackson shredders worldwide.

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YAMAHA Much news on the guitar front from Yamaha. Specified in line with the FGX and FJX720 and 730 models, the new FSX guitars offer the dependability, acoustic and amplified performance and playability for which the FG range is known, coupled with the more focused, subtler sound of the smaller body style. On the classical side, the CG series has been completely redesigned to offer what Yamaha describes as ‘simply the best classical guitar at an eminently affordable price’. As part of Yamaha’s Generation Rock direction for electric guitars and basses, 2010 sees the launch of three new SG models specced with the custom-shop parts and finished with new simpler cosmetics. Also part of the Generation Rock initiative, the new BB2024 Super BB bass guitar, features through-neck construction, active electronics and exotic woods.

The new SMS speakers were tested and approved by two of Stagg’s distributors that specialise in PA. A great reaction was reported at the show, particularly considering a possible retail price of well under £150. Three new good-looking 40-Watt amps were on the stand too, one for keyboard, one for electronic drums and the third for acoustic double-bass. There was also a new 20-Watt battery-powered MOB-20 amp on the way. There was great reaction to the new drum kits, with the Tim 3 and Tim 6 (with heavy duty hardware and Remo heads) seeming to be great value for money.

STAGG Appreciating the difficulties many experienced in 2009, EMD’s Stagg brand focused on ‘products to stimulate business’. First up was a more affordable electro-acoustic guitar. The trade price for the SW-A6 is 60 per cent that of the SW-206 and features eq with built-in tuner.

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X Deluxe cables are made in Lichtenstein and feature ‘real’ Neutrik connectors (EMD’s quotes, not mine) – they prompted considerable attention from dealers at the show. Finally, Benz Reeds are precision made in Switzerland and were EMD’s surprise hit at NAMM. Reports from users point out that generally one only uses 25 per cent of the reeds in a box, but with these all come out perfect. EMD has secured worldwide distribution and believes this is a product that could fly. ROTOSOUND The UK’s answer for everything strung announced the imminence of Double Decker packaging, which will be available from March, where the manufacturer puts two sets of strings into one pack, offering value for money for both the retailer and the customer. They’re initially available only for the nickel wound, steel core 009 and 010 gauges of electric guitar strings. “Best NAMM I have done,” said Roto’s chairman, Jason How. “We invested heavily in the show for the USA, our export business and a new booth. Our export business last year grew 49 per cent in a market that declined overall by 8.4 per cent, so we are really pleased with our results.” ROLAND Roland introduced 11 new products. These include the HP-Series Super Natural digital pianos with V-Piano technology, the VPiano Evolution system upgrade, the Octapad drum controller, the TD-12KX in the V-Drums V-Stage series, the KC-110 and AC-33 stereo keyboard and acoustic guitar amplifiers, V-Combo VR-700 stage keyboard and VP-7 vocal processor. Of particular note are the HP-Series SuperNatural Pianos. Combining elements of the revolutionary V-Piano with Roland’s multisampling-technology, the HP-307, HP-305, and HP-302 SuperNatural Pianos promise to deliver the sound and playing experience of an acoustic grand piano. KORG Korg used the Winter NAMM show to release at least three key new products for 2010, as well as a selection of new tuners, with pride of place going to the new Kaossilator Pro. The latest in the series of Kaoss pads, the Kaossilator Pro works as a track-making tool as well as a powerful live performance unit. As a trailblazer among the instrumental gadgets that allowed anyone to create melodies and phrases easily, the Kaossilator gained a strong and dedicated user base, even among those without performing experience. Vox introduced the AC30 C2, described by the company as ‘an AC30 with The Works’. The Vox AC30 combo amp has been an icon for decades, known as

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the sound that powered the 1960s’ British Invasion. Based on the classic AC30 design, the all-new Custom series AC30C2 and AC30C2X offer numerous up-to-date enhancements, delivering what Vox says is the most versatile AC30 in Vox history. MEL BAY “Certainly not as well attended by UK dealers as previous years,” was Chris Statham’s take on this year’s show, although it must be said that Mel Bay’s core US business was flooded with interest from domestic traders. “It’s always worth attending due to brand new markets and exciting opportunities further afield.” Those that did get along to the stand were keen on the new Steve Gadd drumming transcriptions book. The book includes 30 stylistically varying transcriptions of Gadd’s style of playing. The music is clearly notated and easy to read. Attractive quotations, biography, an extensive discography and videography are an extra bonus in this book. SONTRONICS The Time+Space distributed brand displayed the new Saturn multi-pattern condenser (pictured, bottom left), the STC-10 pencil condenser, STC-20 large-diaphragm condenser, STC-2X omni/cardioid condenser and the STC-Pad/Phase inline switch. They are designed by Trevor Coley and will be in the shops within a couple of months. The Saturn is inspired by the classic vocal mics of the 1940s and ‘50s and while it was originally designed for vocals, it is reported to give good results on anything you put in front of it. With five switchable polar patterns plus dual pad and filters, it’s Sontronics’ most flexible mic to date. It has been beta tested over the last year by various artists, producers and educators including Flood and Alan Moulder and everyone is saying it’s a real all-rounder. WASHBURN Washburn Guitars previewed an all-new acoustic guitar range, consisting of 30 new models. The new range comprises a variety of body shapes and wood combinations and will be available in the UK from June 2010. Each of the new 10, 20, 30, and 40 acoustic series features different tonewoods with models available in dreadnought or mini jumbo body styles. A prefix of WD denotes dreadnought body and WMJ denotes a mini jumbo body. Washburn has also remodelled its Idol series of electrics, adopting a more classic design and a narrower lower bout silhouette. The range will have 13 new models, all available around June 2010. MEINL The sheer weight of Meinl gear launched at NAMM makes it impossible to even scratch the surface here. Check out the new products section (page 41) and go to meinlcymbals and meinlpercussion.com. In the meantime, check out the German manufacturer’s new leather look aluminium djembes. There are four finishes on these amazingly bright-sounding instruments that still project very resonant lows. A lot more from Meinl next month...

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COVER FEATURE D’ADDARIO

New York state of mind Having built itself up to be the world’s largest manufacturer of MI accessories, D’Addario is now looking to have its products in every MI shop in the world. A big step along that that path is the establishment of a new sales and marketing hub, D’Addario UK, only the second-ever direct-owned branch the company has ever opened. Jim D’Addario, Rick Drumm and Simon Turnbull cornered Andy Barrett to explain how it all works…

Joe Satriani plays D'Addario strings – pic by LeAnn Mueller 16 miPRO FEBRUARY 2010

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D’ADDARIO COVER FEATURE

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ne of the biggest news stories for the UK’s MI trade came to fruit on January 18th this year, with the launch of the D’Addario UK sales and marketing operation, based in Gateshead and headed up by the former Summerfield Music sales director, Simon Turnbull. It is news that turns heads for a couple of reasons. First, questions immediately arise regarding the existing distribution outlets in the UK, namely Summerfield Music, Barnes & Mullins and Strings & Things; second, because running its own distribution branch internationally is something D’Addario does not traditionally do. It was, then, something of an intriguing prospect to be able to talk to Jim D’Addario, the chairman and CEO of D’Addario & Company, Rick Drumm, the firm’s president and Turnbull in one of those delightfully cramped and somewhat noisy meeting rooms on the D’Addario stand at the NAMM Show. Being confronted by three clear-minded, articulate businessmen is pretty daunting when armed only with a pen and notebook, but thankfully all three were most certainly thinking along the same lines. This made for a lively series of interjections, each over the other, that left, hopefully, no stone unturned. THE NATURAL WAY OF THINGS The first thing that became apparent, apart from the obvious excitement the three were enjoying at the prospect of the new UK business, was that this is in no way part of a new global strategy. “No, not at all,” says Jim D’Addario. “This is part of a natural succession. Maurice Summerfield is nearing retirement, we trust Simon and saw the opportunity. The timing is right. No more than that. I don’t know if there are any nervous distributors out there because of this move, but if there are, they don’t need to worry.” In fact, it turns out, this is something that has only ever happened once before. “In 1988, in Canada. And the UK model is based on that,” explains Drumm. “Then, as now, we saw it as a chance to come a little closer to that particular market.”

“This is a key message,” interjects Turnbull… (You see what I mean?) “Not uncommonly, we wanted to up our market share in the UK, so the chance to get a little closer was not one to miss,” concludes D’Addario on this point. “It’s worth remembering that we operate a multi-distribution model in many areas, including the US, where we sell direct to dealers and use a distributor. Summerfield and Strings & Things will continue to sell for us in the UK alongside D’Addario UK. The thing is, whether we use a partner or distribute ourselves, we still have to invest in the operation.” “In the US we sell to some 3,700 dealers – and so does Kaman and the other distributors,” adds Drumm. “The important thing is accessibility.” The D’Addario company sees dealers and end users having easy access to its products as another key issue. “Our aim is to have our strings in every store,” D’Addario says. “Once you start limiting your channels, you start creating obstacles. It’s possible that a particular dealer might want to maintain a relationship with an old distributor. It’s never our ambition to do anything other than give people access to our products.” This means that D’Addario UK will be one of three distributors on the British Isles – which must pretty well tie up the ‘sales’ element of the new company’s responsibilities, but D’Addario UK is also a marketing outfit, which means some sort of ‘division of labour’ in the structure. “It’s not finalised as yet,” says Turnbull. “First we’ll get the business open and we will take it from there.” “Of course, artist relations is central to what we do,” says D’Addario. “In this area, the UK is often a launch pad into Europe. You have a lot of great artists coming out of Britain.” “This is very important,” says Turnbull. “In terms of activities in the UK, we are going to be looking at merchandising, artist relations, clearly targeted ads and marketing initiatives that the others might not be able to do.” “It can be very hard for a smaller company to offer the sort of back-up to

the products that we can,” adds D’Addario. “More than that, we want to make investments in marketing.” “This includes the technology,” Turnbull continues. “For example, soon the UK company will be able to use the B2B website. In America, 35 per cent of dealers use this and now the site is being converted to the UK market.” The B2B website is an old-fashioned initiative entered into in a thoroughly modern way, offering online training for all D’Addario products via streaming video. Dealers that successfully complete a product training element can earn credits towards ‘rewards programme’ gear including iPods, surround sound systems, Amex gift cards and the like. New training videos are being added all the time.

Once you start limiting channels, you start creating obstacles. We want to give people access to our products. Jim D’Addario D’Addario

Further to this, there is the Shopatron.com website, which allows local dealers to service their punters with less widely available products. Other manufacturers are able to use this site and this has been working in the UK for a year now. “It’s something that runs along in the background, adding that bit more service from us to the dealer and from the dealer to the customer,” explains Turnbull. D’Addario UK aside, the past couple of years have been a period of consolidation for the accessory giant after the purchase of Puresound Percussion in January 2008, but, as is ever the case with a company as ambitious as D’Addario, one must never say never. “If something comes along, we’ll consider it, but it has to be right,” admits

D’Addario. “It is never our ambition to do anything other than accessories, so we’re pretty well covered, but you never know.” Not integrating another new brand into the set-up, however, does not mean that D’Addario has been anything other than extremely busy. The company is a huge operation, with most of it taking place in the States – and, surprisingly for some, more is being brought back to the New York facility all the time. “The vertical integration within the manufacturing process is really impressive, from manufacturing our own wire products, through to manufacture, packaging and out,” enthuses Turnbull. “Now, with the introduction of Toyota’s Lean production system, even more is possible.” “By adopting the Lean system, we have been able to bring strap manufacture back to the New York factory and we are looking to bring cables and other small accessories back into the US operation, too,” adds D’Addario. In an era when the world and his wife are shifting to the Far East, this is impressive. LEAN MACHINES ‘Lean’ is the latest buzzword in manufacturing circles, although the idea of it goes right back to the earliest years of mass production – more particularly in post-war Japan. In 1990, James Womack wrote a book called The Machine That Changed The World, which looked at the history of automobile manufacturing and its assembly plants. He coined the phrase ‘Lean manufacturing’. The idea is a simple one: keeping manufacturing processes lean or with the minimum of waste. You would probably call it common sense, but when a plant has been developing and growing for decades, inefficiencies creep in and it takes an almost philosophical overview to see where waste is occurring. This starts by dividing each production activity into two: value adding and non-value adding and then stripping back the latter. “For example, the bowed string manufacturing area performs a lot of

Left: Jim D’Addario and Simon Turnbull both know exactly what it is they want to achieve with D’Addario and its UK operation. Far right: Rick Drumm WWW.MI-PRO.CO.UK

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changeovers because of small runs for specialised strings,” explains Drumm. “A changeover from one job to the next was taking an average of two hours. We reduced this to 15 minutes. It turned out that there were only a few people who had the skill to changeover the machine, so we trained the operators to do the job, too. We can now get some 20 to 30 changeovers in a day.” “Through adopting Lean, we have reduced waste, which means lower cost and that allows us to be more competitive,” reveals D’Addario. “More competitive means more business and more business means we have had to hire more staff.” Creating jobs in a western manufacturing plant has to be worth a round of applause. Indeed, CNN has recently filmed a report based on the D’Addario factory and its adoption of Lean. All this brings to mind the man sitting directly in front of me during the interview. Jim D’Addario and his brother, John D’Addario Junior, are the third generation company owners, with Jim very much the face of the company, as well as integral to pretty much every aspect of the business. One is hesitant to ask the predictable question about finding time, but in Jim D’Addario’s case it seems valid. “I have an excellent team around me,” is the short, simple answer. “My first love is the R&D, for sure. I’d rather work on product than human resources or things like that. Today, the most infuriating thing is time spent on legal issues and frivolous law suits. Someone will throw a trumped up suit at you and then you have three days to get an opinion from a lawyer. We try to identify all the road blocks that might occur in anything we do, but getting down to the product development and production is the part I enjoy the

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most. I look after the fretted products mostly and Rick does the percussion products. I stick my nose in, of course, but he’s the drummer. We both help out with the woodwind products at Rico. “I manage some things on a day-today basis, but it’s worth mentioning that John III gets very deep into this part of the business, too. “I also really enjoy getting involved in projects such as Simon’s and getting that underway,” D’Addario comments. “I don’t have any figures in front of me now, but the UK is important to us, so with Simon coming on board, we – and he – can now realise our full potential.” TURNBULL’S TURN Simon Turnbull could easily appear an odd person to get into the MI business. A graduate of politics at Newcastle University, followed by a stint at the DSS is not the usual route into the trade. But then again, what is? He was in the job centre after his contract at the DSS had ended when his then girlfriend (now wife) saw an ad for an assistant trainee manager for a music company. At the interview, Turnbull met Maurice Summerfield, who was then running his publishing and distribution company from a converted house, with the garage acting as a warehouse. “That was 15 years ago,” says Turnbull. “At the time, the publishing business was the larger part, but I like to think that we made some good decisions and moved things forward a lot. We started to promote the D’Addario brand just as D’Addario was growing itself by acquiring Planet Waves and so on. The timing was perfect. “When Jim got hold of Evans (drumheads), I knew that we would have to campaign really strongly. I convinced Maurice that we should do this and Summerfield Music has been growing

ever since. It now has a 12,000 square foot warehouse. It’s been a lot of fun and I’m really proud of what we achieved. The fact that it is part of the music industry makes it all the sweeter. I love music and I love being part of this business.” And the future? It’s hardly worth asking. D’Addario UK is the beginning of a news story rather than the conclusion. The manufacturing business is looking to bring more product lines back under its New York roof and there’s the ambition to be in every MI store in the world. “In terms of strings in the developed world, I think that is pretty much already

STRING THEORY D’Addario’s history is a lot longer than you might think... While Jim and John D’Addario represent the third generation of family owners of the D’Addario company in the States, the D’Addario tradition of making instrument strings goes back a mind-boggling 340 years – at least – to the village of Salle in the Italian province of Pescara. Following an earthquake in 1905, brothers-in-law Rocco and Charles D’Addario packed up and emigrated to New York. Charles’ father, Giovanni, remained in Salle manufacturing the strings that Rocco and Charles would import. By 1918, Charles had begun manufacturing his strings stateside in a tiny garage shop. As this was a family business, the kids learned the trade, completing whatever was needed. John D’Addario Senior began working for his father in 1936 (interrupted by enlistment during the war), was soon looking into synthetic

the case,” says D’Addario. “There is still work to do on the other brands and there are a lot of developing countries where we can improve, but I’m pretty happy how things are going.” “One of the biggest things is product devlopment,” adds Drumm. “Whatever we do, we have to make sure that we are adding value in some way or other.” “Yes, being socially responsible, for instance, using solar energy and being environmentally conscious with everything we do,” returns D’Addario. “This adds value for us and for the world generally. It is important to be responsible.”

alternatives to ‘catgut’ strings and later developed a method of polishing the nylon monofilament used for nylon strings (adopted by the company in 1947). Continuing this foresight, John Senior also pushed for the development of guitar strings and, later, steel strings for electric guitars and basses, as well as for acoustics, made in conjunction with sister company (also run by John Senior) Archaic Musical String Manufacturing. Following the retirement of father Charles, John Senior merged the two and created Darco Music Strings. In the late ‘60s, John Junior and James (Jim) began their input into the company, having, like the generations before them, worked in and around the business as they grew up. After a brief period merged with the CF Martin Guitar Company, the D’Addario family split off and, in 1974, after at least eight generations of string making, musical instrument strings bearing the name D’Addario were finally marketed.

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INTERVIEW BEHRINGER

Powered driver Behringer’s purchase of Midas at the end of 2009 shook the audio world, but Uli Behringer explains to Andy Barrett that this is just the beginning of some pretty high aiming ambitions…

S

ometimes the most articulate people are the most difficult to interview. There is a lot that goes on in any person’s mind, so the ability to communicate it means a plethora of information is forthcoming that needs to be sieved and analysed. That means more work for the reluctant hack. Combine that with nearly 25 years of business success, a single-minded ambition that is as strong today as it was in youth, an ego to match and statements such as “there is no future in printed media,” and you can see why journalists and Uli Behringer tend to hold each other at arm’s length. This success and ambition, however, now sees the two camps – the journo and the businessman – flung into each other’s worlds, each with a need from the other, because Behringer ended 2009 with one hell of a news story when it purchased Midas/Klark Teknik from Bosch. For the press, it’s a big story: purveyor of entry-level audio and musical kit scoops probably the single most prestigious large format, live sound console and outboard manufacturer from multinational electronics titan. For Behringer, moving into a world where people care about quality to the degree they are willing to pay tens of thousands of pounds for a single unit, there is a distinct need to establish the right image and underline the right motives. The first step was to set up a holding company that owned the mother company and the step-child to ensure separation and autonomy. The second step is ongoing. Behringer never really needed to worry about its

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reputation in the past. It is a privately owned company that gives people what they want and has made hundreds of millions of pounds doing so. Now, though, that reputation of old could hinder plans to become a major player in the professional audio world, so it needs to be addressed. Truth be told, Behringer could probably have done this years ago – but needs must… “I made so many mixers, it became boring,” explains Uli Behringer when we caught up at NAMM in January. “Behringer had been a company that followed. So I started to look at how I could make mixers in a better, more efficient way. That’s what excites me now: processes. How much can you automate? How far can we take our systems? This is what excited John Oakley, too. He had a choice of suitors, but he chose Behringer to buy his company because he saw the investment in our processes and what they could give his own R&D.” If it’s true that John Oakley ‘chose’ Behringer rather than the other way around, then there is no doubt that Behringer is a kosher outfit. Oakley is far too shrewd and rightly proud of Midas to allow one of the finest reputations in pro audio to be tarnished. Both Behringer and Oakley are also adamant that never the twain shall meet. Both are clearly as delighted with the benefits of this deal as the other. “This will be great for Midas,” continues Behringer. “We are going to establish an R&D centre of excellence in the UK that will give it the chance to develop as it deserves.” The benefits of the deal for Behringer are even clearer.

“We are never going to produce a £99 Midas console. That would be ridiculous, but the fact that we can find ways to use Midas technology in Behringer products will further improve the Behringer brand. What is important is to recognise what each brand is. Behringer is a market leader in the lower end and there is no point in pushing it to be what it isn’t. Midas is very high end and will continue to be very high end.”

It’s important to recognise what each brand is. Behringer is a market leader in the lower end. Midas is very high end and will continue to be so. Uli Behringer Behringer

So, what does the founder of the most successful entry-level audio brand do with a brand that sits comfortably at the greatest venues in the world? One simply needs to look at pretty much any other audio giant to find out. “Next for us is to find a line of speakers,” says Behringer. “We’re looking now – that’s what we want next.” As MI Pro goes to press at the end of January,

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BEHRINGER INTERVIEW

Top: John Oakley, happy to join forces with Behringer Bottom: The ever-ambitious Uli Behringer

people close to the Behringer company intimate that such a deal could well be near completion. This makes for interesting speculation. One can only assume that down the line there will be a power amp brand, DSP and maybe even a microphone company. Following on from that, even Behringer-developed software to link them all together, a la Hi Qnet… Just a thought. Uli Behringer’s thoughts on the digital/analog debate are as succinct as his ideas on print journalism, which indicates where the vast majority of the R&D will be directed. “The R&D has to be digital. Analog is fading now and the future is digital. It’s a fascinating field. There is so much processing power out there that the problem is fast becoming the end user. It is getting difficult to see everything that is possible at the end-user level. This is why I’m looking to create virtual educational tools that people can enter virtually, they can get in into them and see how to use things – they can be trained. I’ve got a team working on this now in the Phillipines. Digital is the way. By the end of 2010 I want to have a $1,500 digital console.” Behringer’s success in the past is undeniable, so there is absolutely no reason to suppose that his success in the future is anything other than nailed on. “People who continue to learn live longer,” he says. “It’s great to keep learning. That’s why I do – and Behringer does, too. The way we do this is by having the right people working for us. In the same way we aim to get the most out of our systems, we get the

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most out of our staff. People who are driven catch the drive that Behringer has and they push themselves, and therefore the company, forward. Some thrive and stay, others plateau and move on. And again, a business is the same. It will always plateau at some point, but you have to push on. It is a big part of our success. We choose people that can take an idea and develop it. This is why Behringer is a great company.” Behringer refers to his company’s greatness three times during the interview. He genuinely believes it; that much is certain. The important thing, however, is that he wants you to believe it, too. It is difficult when talking to Uli Behringer to avoid the thought that he really wants to be famous. He is a self-made man to the tune of some $200,000,000, it is rumoured; he is a classically trained pianist who delights in jamming on stage with his heroes. He would delight in the coverage afforded A-list celebrities, the chance to expound his philosophies, his plans and his achievements. Unfortunately, national and international media tend not to take audio and MI entrepreneurs to their hearts and he is left with trade hacks that are only really interested in getting a buck or two from him. Posterity will probably decide that Behringer was a major force in the MI and audio worlds and we are going to see some pretty exciting stuff issuing from the offices in Manila over the next year or so, but one can’t help thinking that it will never be quite enough for Uli Behringer. Hence the drive. Hence the ambition.

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COMPANY PROFILE FAITH GUITARS

Gotta have

Faith Making serious waves among discerning unplugged players, Faith Guitars is becoming a force to be reckoned with. Rob Power finds out what 2010 has in store...

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he Barnes & Mullins-owned Faith Guitars brand has made quite an impact since the launch of its Series 1 concept in 2001, which aimed to bring a cased, all-solid acoustic guitar to the market at an affordable price point. Now with distribution across Europe and Asia, and with the invaluable design expertise of Patrick James Eggle on board, the homegrown Faith Guitars brand looks to be expanding ever further. “It’s been quite a ride so far,” explains Faith Guitars’ international brand manager, Alex Mew. “The Series 1 models were a success, but had a certain number of niggles that needed to be ironed out before the brand could become what it is today. It was thanks to the chance reacquaintance of Brian Cleary (B&M’s joint managing director) and the highly respected British luthier, Patrick James Eggle that things really got moving. “Patrick returned to the UK from North Carolina and

moved his workshop into the B&M headquarters. His expertise was then called upon to address these little issues with Series 1 Faith guitars and from there the relationship blossomed, with Patrick taking a permanent role as Faith Guitars designer and technical consultant. In essence, what this means is that nothing happens in design or concept without Patrick being involved in every step. “This has led to the subsequent Series 2 guitars being largely in a league of their own, plus there’s the psychological assurance to all players that the Faith guitar that they own was designed by a true professional – rather than it just being a generic Asian guitar with a random name on top.” The Series 2 guitars were launched in 2006, and have gone from strength to strength ever since, with a number of additional customer-led models being 22 miPRO FEBRUARY 2010

added along the way. “We’re looking forward to the Frankfurt show,” adds Mew. “With our success at reaching Asia and Australasia through regular attendance of the Music China event, this year is the right time to cement the distribution network throughout Europe. Currently, Faith Guitars are available throughout the UK, Benelux, France, Greece, Spain and Norway, but clearly there are some omissions, which we’d like to address.” Faith promises to have first-look new models and new concepts announced at Frankfurt, information about which will be made available to the UK trade shortly afterwards. “We will also be showing the highly acclaimed Faith Signature Standard models for the first time in Europe, which will create a great buzz around the brand. “Patrick has designed these three models and they reflect his own feelings about what makes a great guitar. Once again, whereas many other brands may smother their higher-end guitars in copious amounts of abalone, intricate inlays and massive marketing budgets, our belief is simply that the instrument should do the talking. The Signature series uses only AAAgrade solid European woods and the very finest build techniques. We have seen to create a visually elegant and tonally rich set of instruments.” The three European-made models (000, OMC and jumbo) will all retail for around £1,800 and be supplied in a Hiscox case. “One other area that we are always keen to build upon is artist relations. I’ve had a good deal of success with a number of bands and artists such as The Hoosiers, The Enemy and most recently the incredibly talented Attack Attack. We also have good relationships with regular, working musicians who are keen to communicate their individual needs and desires and I think ultimately it’s these guys who are the most important. Many brand owners forget about this core market and been appropriately stung, so we’re committed to listen and act wherever we can.” With the Indonesian-built Natural, HiGloss and Eclipse series retailing from around £600 to £800 and the Europeanbuilt Signature series costing around £1,800, Faith Guitars has its feet very firmly in two highly competitive markets. With the current level of success and big ambitions for the future, clearly Faith Guitars have a great long-term outlook across the world. BARNES & MULLINS: 01691 652449 WWW.MI-PRO.CO.UK


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INTERVIEW MARKBASS

Making a Mark It took just a few years for Italy’s Markbass to become one of Britain’s best-selling specialist bass amplifier brands. Markbass’s UK distributor, Paolo Burocchi, MD of Proel (International), explains to MI Pro why Markbass rapidly became so successful and how it intends to keep that going for the future... MI Pro: How long have you distributed Markbass in the UK and how did you first discover it? Paolo Burocchi: Proel (International) also distributes B&C loudspeakers – very much top-end professional speakers – and had mentioned it to me. Then, discussing the Italian bass amplifier market with Proel in Italy and others, they brought up Markbass too, saying it was incredibly successful in that market – this was five years ago. Did you approach them on the basis of that? I went to Frankfurt and stopped at the Markbass stand to have a few words with Marco De Virgillis, the founder. Though I’m not a bass player, I am used to working with very high quality sound systems and speakers and immediately realised that the Markbass products I was hearing sounded remarkably good. Then, when I left the stand that day, I happened to walk past another stand demonstrating a major brand of bass amplifiers and the contrast was amazing – especially as what I had been listening to on the Markbass stand was from just a single 12-inch speaker. Even so, I didn’t do anything until a year

24 miPRO FEBRUARY 2010

later, when I took all our reps to Frankfurt and told them I was keen to look at it more closely and wanted to know what they thought. Presumably they jumped at it? Not at all. You can understand it – they didn’t want another line to have to sell. But I was determined and it was obvious to me that if I didn’t take it at that point somebody else would and would have a real success on their hands. So I backed my own judgement with it. Proel in the UK had a reputation at the time more as a distributor of PA and audio gear with brands like Proel, FBT and Alto, didn’t it? Was it hard to introduce an MI line? It was at the time of the London Guitar Show at Wembley that year and Marco suggested he send us the gear for the show – we already had a stand booked – and he said if we didn’t want to distribute it afterwards we could send it back. We did the show and at five o’clock on the second day I phoned Marco and said we wanted to be his distributor. There was a distinct reaction on the two days. On the first day people were making quite valid

remarks, like they were worried about buying a brand they didn’t know much about, or which might have a low resale value if they bought product and then wanted to sell it a while later. But on the second day, people were really starting to listen to the sound and get excited and I knew it was going to work. That was consumer reaction, though. How did the dealers react? From day one it began to take off. Within a couple of months we had two or three of the biggest bass specialist dealers - very reputable shops – selling it. I remember going to see one specialist with five samples in my car and once he’d heard the first one, he asked me how many I had with me, I told him, and he wrote a cheque on the spot for all five. With a start like that, it really began to take off. You seemed to have a good reaction from the consumer press too, didn’t you? Yes, we had some excellent reviews and they’ve continued. The specialist reviewers haven’t been slow to understand what Markbass is about and their support has certainly helped spread the word. The only negative comments we got was when the

yellow speaker cones were introduced – some people felt they stood out too much, but they were accepted very soon and now they’ve become almost a trademark. So how successful is Markbass? It’s hard to know what anyone else is selling but we know that for several of our retailers, Markbass is their biggest selling line in this market. You can tell how well a product like this is received when the staff start trading in their own amplifiers to buy yours and with Markbass that has happened a lot. Having managed to make a success of a completely new brand in a difficult market, haven’t you had to almost do it all over again, with the modular MoMark concept? Has that been difficult to get going? Apparently retailers need testing stations for customers to audition different combinations of the plugin components. It was launched at Frankfurt last year and it has actually gone down

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MARKBASS INTERVIEW very well. Now, four other Markbass models that were made in the conventional way are going to be available in the same MoMark format from this March. Eventually, I think, apart from the F1, the Classic and the Little Mark series, all the Markbass amps will be available in the MoMark format. Obviously, not every retailer has the space to stock the MoMark testing station, or the capital, but with the new models on the way, that problem will be overcome. In my opinion, by doing this, I think it will help the sales of the MoMark itself, as it will get people used to the idea of being able to, say, plug in a graphic equaliser or a new pre-amp.

business, but you’ve proved it can be done. What do you think the secret is? It can be done and others have done it too, if you look back to Line 6, say. But the the product has got to be innovative. It’s not always about price – you’ve got to have a product that offers something that nothing else does – high quality, interesting gear, with innovative features. Then people will start discovering it, appreciating it and buying it. Coming to the market with something that is more or less the same as everything else just doesn’t work these days. The secret is that you’ve got to have a truly innovative and exciting product.

You’ve also introduced a range of bass effects pedals too, haven’t you? Yes, and they have gone down fantastically well too. New models are arriving all the time and just today I was talking with one of our dealers about the new distortion pedal and he was saying it’s one of the best on the market. We’re very, very pleased with the pedals.

Markbass has some fantastic endorsees too. Have they helped? Endorsements help but, again, you wont get the endorsements without having a great product. Top musicians won’t associate their names with just average products. There is also one other very important thing that has helped Markbass succeed – and I’m sure of this. The

It’s not always about price. You’ve got to have a product that offers something that nothing else does. Paolo Burocchi Proel International Was it your success with Markbass that led you recently to take on MTD basses – the Mike Tobias range? Oh yes, we already knew the dealers who were serious about bass and most of them already knew about MTD and were just looking for someone to distribute it over here. In a way it was an easy decision to make, because it already has a name over here, so it wasn’t like trying to introduce something that was completely new – not even to the end-users, as a lot of them had heard of MTD and even if they hadn’t they know who Mike Tobias is. We haven’t stocked the American series yet, but already we are starting to get calls about it and the interest is certainly there. Going back to Markbass for a moment – a lot of people say it is almost impossible to introduce a new brand to a market as crowded as the amplifier

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company has people who can deal with questions – technical enquiries about products, help on how to use the products, help with problems and general advice – and they are available online, virtually 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are only a small company, but having gone to the trouble to offer this has, I’m sure, begun to pay big dividends for them. Users feel they have help and support available at any time and that has been very beneficial. Is Proel still looking for Markbass dealers? We’re always happy to talk with people but we are just about complete with Markbass, now. We've had great support and we hope soon to fill in the last remaining gaps with a major dealer we are talking to at the moment and that will be about it.

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COMPANY PROFILE KMI

Staying alive on the

Emerald Isle A lot of hard work, some fine products and boundless enthusiasm for the industry have rocketed KMI to the top of the distribution tree in Ireland. Rob Power takes a jaunt across the Irish sea to find out more...

S

ince KMI was founded by the enterprising Lesley Kane last January, things have been pretty tough across the sea in Ireland. While the recession hit hard in the UK, it has had a disastrous effect on the Irish economy, something that has been reflected throughout the MI industry there. However, thanks to a product roster that can boast some of the biggest names in the British Isles, KMI has gone from strength to strength, pushed along through these tough times by the irrepressible Kane. “I started KMI last January and began trading at the end of February,” she explains. “I’d worked at my previous employer for 21 years and the time had come for me to move on. The demographics had changed, the industry had changed and you have to change with it. Sales and marketing is what I do, so it was time to be courageous. “I represent lines including Marshall, Ashdown and Casio, which was new for me, a real challenge and an interesting company to work with because of the changes that have been going on there. “I’m also working with Pearl. It pulled out of Ireland in 2008, and I was brokenhearted when it went, but it was a

26 miPRO FEBRUARY 2010

Japanese directive to go direct in Europe. When I set up KMI I approached Pearl about the possibility of becoming its agent in Ireland, because I think with smaller markets you have to work for every sale and have a relationship with every single dealer. It worked out really well, so we’ve got Pearl back where it should be and it has a lot of the market share.”

Music is an important part of our culture and no recession is going to change that. Lesley Kane KMI

With so many big names under the KMI banner, it’s clear that 2010 is going to be an exceptionally busy 12 months for the company. “After NAMM and seeing how much new product is coming, it’s looking like a hell of a year to be doing Marshall on my own. It’s great to work with such a

progressive company, but I regularly question my sanity – what was I thinking setting up a company in the middle of a recession?” Of course the economy is never far from the mind of any Irish businessman at the moment, but thanks to Kane’s dedication and relentless energy KMI is managing to navigate through some pretty dangerous waters. “We depended so much on multi-nationals and there have been so many challenges that I think it’s going to take Ireland a long time to get out of the recession,” she explains. “The banks collapsed in April, so there was no lending, which means we have to fight for every sale. “It’s firms like X Music that have tipped the balance in the right direction. It’s a 20,000 sq ft retail operation in Dublin, and I think that because it had the courage to set that up and put its money where its mouth is, it made a lot of dealers step up and improve. If you’ve got a good relationship with your dealers, you’ll get there in the end. They do a lot of business with us and they’re all great sales guys doing a great job. “The thing about Ireland is that there is a huge amount of innovation and a lot of

young progressive people. For example, the itab was a big hit at NAMM; it’s a little product that is made in Ireland and was one of the hottest products there, which was great to see. Music is an important part of our culture and no recession is going to change that. “It is quite a similar market to the UK, with a lot of the business around the seaboard. A huge amount of business is done in Dublin, Belfast and Cork and there are a lot of small dealers that own their businesses and have a real personal relationship with their customers. Overheads are higher and dealers need to make a margin, but it’s not hugely different from the UK, there’s the same sort of trends. “The traditional market is huge as well and is helping to keep music going in schools – we’re all busy fighting to keep the industry alive here.” With brands like Grover Allman, Woodies invisible wall hangers and Australian guitar brand DSL alongside the likes of Marshall and Casio, it’s clear that KMI has the products, the ambition and the determination to become a leading light in Irish MI circles. KMI: +353 1 835 9431

WWW.MI-PRO.CO.UK


MI Pro grem ad A4 Sept 09:full page grem ad.qxd

15/09/2009

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Just a few of our Leading Brands...

Blueridge have taken America by storm with their authentic vintage style guitars, and now we have made them available in the UK. This range, renowned for spectacular value for money, continues to receive excellent reviews in all the best known guitar press, including Guitar & Bass, Guitarist, Guitar Buyer, Acoustic Magazine... For the Gypsy in your soul! These beautiful guitars pay homage to the Selmer and Maccaferri guitars of the early 20th century. They have solid tops, are a joy to play, and look and sound like the real thing, right down to the excellent reproduction of the original tailpiece. More to the point, they are very affordably priced.

The best selling aluminium whistles in the UK. Renowned for their clear sound, they appeal to whistle players of all standards. Though ideal for beginners, they are professional instruments and are used on stage by many leading players.

The Kentucky mandolins are the pinnacle of affordable bluegrass instruments, and offer exceptional quality at excellent prices. These mandolins are a very welcome addition to our growing section of great quality bluegrass instruments, which includes mandolins, banjos, dobros, guitars and more.

SK120 Rated ‘Exceptional’ in Acoustic Magazine. “A wonderful little amp designed by people who understand what musicians need”. Also Guitar & Bass have awarded the SK60 a massive 82%. We distribute these ShireKing Acoustic Amps along with Headway’s very popular pickups for acoustic instruments, including the Snake 3 and SA1 pickups, and the ‘Band’ violin and cello pickups.

A competitively priced range of student squeezeboxes, including Piano Accordions from 12 to 120 Bass, B/C, D/G and Cajun one-row melodeons, and Anglo and English concertinas, all ideal for beginners.

The leading brand of resonator guitars, with a long US heritage, available in the UK exclusively from Gremlin Music. Saga Music, have applied the same dedication to quality to these guitars as they have to the Gitane and Blueridge guitars, and the results are spectacular.

A professional quality range of Acoustic Guitars, Mandolins, Banjos & Fiddles, Basses, cases, electrics and more. This is the largest range of mandolin family instruments, banjos and ukuleles in the UK, and the Ashbury name is associated with high quality and excellent value.

As well as being the first point of call for all the hard to find traditional musical instruments your customers are asking you for, Gremlin Music is a one stop shop for any musical instrument retailer. We can supply a massive range of acoustic musical instruments, spares, accessories, strings, books and DVDs. Become a Gremlin Dealer and give your customers a better choice! We pride ourselves on the personal touch - you can always reach us by phone during working hours, and we’ll always send your order as fast as possible, no matter what the size. If you’re a dealer, you can browse our website for prices (retail and wholesale), contact us by email, and place orders online! We’ve been in the business for over 25 years, and can offer you an experienced, friendly and professional service.

www.gremlinmusic.co.uk

post@gremlinmusic.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0) 1903 203044 (9.30 - 5.30 Mon - Fri) | Unit A, Easting Close, Worthing, West Sussex, BN14 8HQ


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COMPANY PROFILE HARDCASE

Just in case... For every instrument sold, a case can be the perfect add-on sale. As Hardcase expands its lines, Gary Cooper chats to UK sales manager Dave Eyre about how the company has met the challenge of making a simple plastic case into an invaluable and best-selling accessory for musicians...

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he recession may have hit hard, but not everyone is suffering from its iron grip. Take Derbyshire’s very own Hardcase, for example. Not only is it one of the small band of British manufacturers managing to hold their own against Far Eastern imports, but Dave Eyre, the company’s UK sales manager, reports that business has actually been booming in recent months – so much so that Hardcase has just announced a major investment in production and a change of its business model. The result, Eyre says, is going to be yet more of a good thing for end-users and retailers alike: “Originally, we were just a marketing and sales organisation for our associate company, Amber Plastics, which a lot of retailers will remember dealing with in the past. Over the last five years Hardcase has come on in leaps and bounds and we now do everything except mould the actual plastic cases – this is done by Amber, which is about 100 yards away. But now, our MD has decided to

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make us totally autonomous and we are having a brand new machine built at this very moment, which means we will be responsible for everything that we do.” One of the immediate effects of this is that because Hardcase is now in total control of its own production, it can expand its range as the market dictates and Eyre says plans are already well under way for new models and ideas. “In the last article MI Pro wrote about us, you mentioned that we’d introduced new colours for our cases and this new development means that we will be able to take that further, but what it also means is that, although we are already known in the UK for our fast turnaround, we are going to be able to improve even more. “We always emphasise in our advertising that we are British made and extremely proud of that – and we are, but this new development takes it one stage further. We were always 100 per cent made in the UK, but now we will be

100 per cent in control of our own production, too.” The source of the decision to keep investing is the best of all reasons – success, Eyre says. “It has been quite

We were always 100 per cent made in the UK, but now we will be 100 per cent in control of our own production, too. Dave Eyre Hardcase

phenomenal – we seem to be growing exponentially. January, for example, has been the third month in a row that we’ve gone over our forecast and that’s both for the UK and export.”

Ironically, however, Hardcase’s export market doesn’t include the USA, Canada or South America at present – though Eyre says they receive many enquiries from end-users wanting to buy the products they hear about in magazines, websites and via Hardcase’s extensive endorsee list. The problem, he says, is the high cost of shipping a product which, though light in weight, takes up a huge physical volume. This makes cases prohibitively expensive to ship to, and then across, North America – while South America is plagued by import tariff barriers. Europe, fortunately, doesn’t suffer the same problems and the list of countries in which Hardcase is active is just about complete. So to what does Dave Eyre attribute Hardcase’s success? It’s taken for granted that the company makes a fine product, but presumably there is more to it success than that? “A great product is the main thing. I’m a player and I know what I want to see when I walk into a shop and it’s that

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HARDCASE COMPANY PROFILE

which we try to put into our products. We’re a small company and that enables us to be very focused on what we are doing and apply more attention to detail. What we’re making isn’t rocket science – it’s a simple plastic case in essence, but because we listen to what people say and do what they request if we can, it makes the cases very tightly focused to what users want.” Hardcase also has admirable customer support policies, Eyre reveals. For example, if a customer needs a spare part and gets in touch, it is supplied free of charge. “There aren’t many companies which do that, I realise, and people sometimes say ‘don’t you lose a lot of money that way?’. But look at the waste of raising an invoice for one rivet or a clip – and think of the goodwill. We get so many emails from customers thanking us for the fantastic service and usually saying ‘by the way, I’m just off to buy another Hardcase’. That’s worth its weight in gold. We always say to people that we’re only a phone call away – and we are, although one thing we don’t ever do is sell directly. We’re a manufacturer and that’s all we are – we

aren’t retailers. We’re there to support the product and they’re there to sell it.” Another important recent change has been the decision to revamp Hardcase’s marching band products. “We’ve expanded that range from about nine cases to just short of 40 models and we’ve only got two more models left to do, which will be coming on board as part of our switch to manufacturing the entire product ourselves.” NOT JUST FOR DRUMS... While perhaps most MI retailers will be familiar with the Hardcase kit drum products, Eyre says that the marching, pipe band and bugle corps markets are also tremendously active. “The pipe band market, in particular, has been absolutely fantastic for us. We’ve got Jim Kilpatrick on board as an endorsee and he has spread the word to such an extent that we can’t keep up with orders from marching bands.” How big a range does Hardcase actually offer, we asked? “Beside kit drums, for which we’re best known, we also do marching bands, ethnic drums, a bit for orchestral and we’ve recently gone into the brass band market.

We do a mute case now and we’re looking to introduce another two styles of mute cases. Then there are music stand cases and sound and lighting cases and both of those are likely to be expanded in the near future, as well. “We are also looking to expand our amplifier cases and we’re working on that right at the moment, so expect to see some more information at Frankfurt.” Even though Hardcase is promising it will soon be able to improve its turnaround time for orders, Eyre says that its current delivery time for most products is just a few days. “We sometimes get calls asking if delivery is five to six weeks and I say ‘No, you’re probably looking at three to five days’. If we can’t do it, we’ll tell you and the maximum it will be is two weeks.” This is particularly important for smaller retailers who simply don’t have the space to stock more than a token of Hardcase’s enormous range, Eyre says. “If you take a really small store with a shop frontage of, say, eight foot by ten, he’s got to put what’s going to be the most valuable products on the floor –

that’s where the money is. So we say treat us as your warehouse. Relay to your customers what we can do for you – they’ve all got brochures, we’ve got a great website, so just keep, say, a cymbal case or a snare drum case in the corner to give the customer a reference and order what the customer wants from us. That said, most people are familiar with Hardcase when they go into a shop, anyway, but people often make the wrong assumptions – that we’re expensive, or that we can’t deliver quickly and they’re wrong on both counts.” As a shop that sells any product without at least offering a case to put it in is missing a serious profit-generating opportunity, and as Hardcase is now setting its sights on the wider world of cases of all kinds, it is clearly going to become an even more important supplier to an even wider range of retailers. “It is a beautiful position to be in,” Dave Eyre admits cheerfully. “The product almost sells itself and our job is to support it. We're here to try and help you and if there’s anyway we can help you, we’ll do our damnedest to do it.”

You might be surprised at just how many different types of case Hardcase produces


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PROFILE

I WOKE UP THIS MORNING SIMON HALSTEAD – FOCUSRITE UK marketing manager Wars over music and torturing sales are just part of a day’s work for Focusrite’s Simon Halstead. He also manages to answer emails, ring stores and market lots of gear...

I

get up at about 7:30, and am unable to speak until I at least get in the car. I share a lift with a friend who lives around the corner and works in the same office. When we arrive at our picturesque industrial estate in High Wycombe I open my laptop and grab some porridge and coffee. Then it's a power struggle with my office manager about what music we'll have in the office. If he wins, it's the Rocky theme tune punctuated by press ups, which is a vain attempt to get fit again after Christmas. Then I'll read all the magazines and mail-outs – of course the MI Pro newsletter is a crucial part of my morning. After that, I tend to ring up our sales team, who are very driven and competitive, and torment them with news of our competition, and then I'll fill out my media spread, check all the reviews we've had, confirm advertising and read any news items that have emerged. Emails are the next thing, which is always a perennial nightmare. Then I'll give our artists and press relations guy a ring to discuss anything that's emerged or is in the pipeline. Prior to my job here, I used to run a little studio in south London. I did a PhD which lasted seven years and was very much an all-encompassing project. I landed this job about 18 months ago. It's a fantastic industry, and I couldn't have asked for a more appropriate job at a better company. It was a bit intimidating to begin with, not knowing any of the faces, but as people are so friendly and it's a pretty small community of people that go round the shows, it's been very

WWW.MI-PRO.CO.UK

welcoming. As I have an academic background and knew a fair bit about the gear because I'd been involved in running a studio, all the background for this job was there for me, so I only had to learn a few skills and become familiar with the ins and outs of marketing. The biggest project we've undertaken here has been the Novation Launchpad. We knew it was going to generate a lot of excitement as anything to do with Ableton usually does, so we had to do a lot of groundwork before announcing it. After trying to get emails nailed, I'm on phone calls – I try to give store managers and store marketing guys at

I ring up our sales team, who are driven and competitive, and torment them with news of our competition.

our key retailers a ring. I'm always really happy when they ring me as it means they're happy with our brands. I generally leave work at about half six. I play the cello and get a lot of opportunities to play live, and I play the drums, too, although not very well. I gig quite a lot, but it's more for fun than for money. I play in this DJ Shadow tribute thing which has been doing very well, and we got to play all the festivals last year.

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CONTACT DETAILS

ACOUSTICS SECTOR SPOTLIGHT

WESTSIDE 0141 2484812 MUSIC FORCE 01780 781630 FENDER 01342 331711 440 0113 258 9599 JHS 0113 286 5381 FRESHMAN 01355 228028 TANGLEWOOD 01937 841122 IBANEZ 0121 508 6666 SOUND TECHNOLOGY 01462 480000 YAMAHA 01908 366700 BARNES & MULLINS 01691 668310 EMD 01293 862612 STRINGS & THINGS 01273 440442 CORT 00353 5991 34268 FARIDA 01925 632591 STENTOR 01737 240226 SUTHERLAND 029 2088 7333

Faith Signature Series 000: £1,839 Designed by Patrick Eggle and handcrafted in central Europe, the Faith Signature series 000 is made from AAA-grade solid timber and is supplied with a Faith/Hiscox UK-made hardcase.

Martin 1 Series OM-1: £999 An affordable, all-solid Martin for the masses that looks and sounds every inch the part, the OM-1 is available alongside a dreadnought shape and is already proving a canny re-release.

Tanglewood TW1000 N: £569.95 A nicely put together solid spruce topped dreadnought from the MI Pro retail-survey-topping brand that cements the company’s place at the table amongst the best acoustic manufacturers around.

Acoustic chamber

The clamour for a stronghold in the acoustic market continues, with a seemingly endless line of models being introduced on a monthly basis. From the highest end down to the entry level, there is something for everyone, but what about those that fall in the middle? Rob Power takes focus…

A brand that, for many, defines quality acoustics is Martin.

WWW.MI-PRO.CO.UK

T

here is always plenty to get excited about at the higher end of the acoustic market and 2010 looks sure to be a bumper year for players who prefer their guitars resolutely unplugged. Kicking off with a brand that, for many, defines quality acoustics, Martin has reintroduced the hugely popular 1 series, music to the ears of many players on a budget who pine after the fabled tone. An affordable solid wood instrument in the tradition of the Style 15 and Style 17 guitars that were unveiled during the Great Depression, they feature a spruce top, and sapele back and sides. Available in dreadnought or OM sizes, this is a range that is sure to prove successful in the current tough climate. Elsewhere at Westside, Dell’Arte has introduced a new range of gypsy jazz

guitars that includes the DG-P1 Pigalle at a tidy £549 and a Robin Nolan signature model, the DG-RN1 at £769, both of which feature all-solid construction and some eye-catching finishing. Music Force's Mariner brand has plenty to offer in this area of the market, such as the E-6AR at £799. An auditorium-style guitar with an abalone bound rosewood veneer headstock, grover machine heads and a spliced mahogany with maple and rosewood neck, it's a great looking guitar with plenty of tasty features. As home to any number of brands nowadays, it’s no surprise that Fender has lots on offer to acoustic players with plenty of cash lining their pockets. The Takamine TN10, a natural satin finished solid cedar top dreadnought, that

features sapele sides, chrome hardware and a rosewood fingerboard, alongside some rather nice looking decorative touches such as the rosewood and ovangkol rosette, has a MSRP of £807.16. While Baden Guitars may be a new brand to some, ex-Taylor man TJ Baden's guitars have received critical acclaim both here and the US for their dynamic tonality and modernist styling. The Baden A Style employs a unique ‘non cutawaycutaway design’, while the D Style manages the impossible with a fresh take on the ubiquitous dreadnought. Prices start from £699 and rise to £1,599 for an all-solid handmade instrument including hard case, an impressively affordable feat. 440 Distribution also carries K Yairi guitars from Japan, which has been handmaking guitars in Gifu for over 75 years.

miPRO FEBRUARY 2010 33


NOW BUY DIRECT in THE UK

0191 300 3000

contact us to open an account

A3 ELEVENTH AVENUE TEAM VALLEY GATESHEAD NE11 0JY email:SALES@D


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SECTOR SPOTLIGHT ACOUSTICS

Vintage VS1800: £549 A nice addition to the Vintage line of acoustics, the VS1800 is a well appointed and nicely built instrument featuring a solid spruce top, rosewood back and sides and some eye-catching binding. A slotted headstock and gold Grover tuners make for a stylish treat.

They are especially well known for smaller body sizes, as well as some baritone and bass models. Starting from £749, Yairi guitars include traditional vintage appointments, such as dove tailed neck joints, bone saddles and bridges and scalloped tops. Yairi only uses naturally seasoned woods and it is this, alongside the company’s long established craftsmanship, that makes for a unique position in the marketplace. JHS’ line of Vintage acoustics has been impressing players all around the world and its V1700 series looks a sure bet to win even more over. The V1700 vintage sunburst, for example, comes in a £589 and packs an impressive list of features, including flame maple back and

36 miPRO FEBRUARYY 2010

sides, multi-layer ivory and black binding, mahogany neck with a rosewood fingerboard and gold Grover machineheads. A natural finish along with a 12-string option are also available. Fast becoming one of the leading UKbased manufacturers, Freshman is a brand on the up with an air of confidence that is reflected in its latest products. The Open Plains series, built from graded tonewoods and aiming to remove any bells and whistles in order to concentrate purely on the tone, looks like a sure-fire hit. Only unveiled in January, keep your eyes peeled for this range as its simple aesthetic and dedication to tone is sure to hit the mark with a wide range of players.

As you'd expect from a brand that has performed consistently well in the MI Pro surveys, Tanglewood has a number of models that perform particularly well in the over £500 area. The TW15 H is a solid spruce topped dreadnought with mahogany neck, gloss Kluson-style tuners, some striking walnut and herringbone binding and retails at £629.95. The parlour-bodied, cedar topped TW73 is a sweet finger picker with solid mahogany back and sides, a one-piece volute neck and ivory ABS binding that has sold through nicely for Tanglewood. Ibanez has a big presence in the acoustic world as well as the electric, and one only need take a look at the likes of

the EP9-RRB to see that it knows exactly what it is doing. All solid and with a beautiful finish, it retails at £949. Sound Technology is also home to the Larrivee line and its 03 series models. Manufactured in Vancouver, these guitars have many features in common with higher end models, including all-solid construction, Sitka spruce soundboards, single piece mahogany necks and ebony fingerboards and bridges. As with all Larrivee guitars, the 03 neck is made with a dove-tail joint. The 03 also features the Graphtec TUSQ nut, saddle and bridge pins for superior tone, synthetic tortoiseshell pickguard and 18:1 chrome tuners. Body shapes include the hugely popular auditorium-type Larrivee shape,

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ACOUSTICS SECTOR SPOTLIGHT

Simon & Patrick RM Folk: £1,439 From the Showcase series, this solid spruce topped folkster is a beautifully crafted instrument featuring a compound curve design, mahogany neck and fully compensated tusq saddle.

The Lag Tramontane is great to look at, with its striking headstock in natural finished ebony.

WWW.MI-PRO.CO.UK

Dreadnought, OM and even an acoustic bass. Yamaha’s handcrafted L-series is its biggest player in this area of the market. With models played regularly by the likes of Jimmy Page and Joe Bonamassa, these guitars are built to satisfy the expectations of some of the biggest names around. Available in a choice of body styles: the modified dreadnought LL, the folksize LS or the mini-jumbo LJ, it's a comprehensive range with something to suit pretty much every style. The 16-series models carry a retail price of £700 and feature a solid Engelmann spruce top and solid

rosewood back and sides. The 16-series guitars also ship with a semi-hardcase which bridges the gap between gigbag and hardshell case. Sitting at the top of the L-series are Yamaha’s finest in the form of the 36series acoustics. These guitars feature some impressive craftsmanship and a price tag to match at £3,264. With Mexican abalone binding, a maple bound fingerboard, snowflake and cat eye position marks and an ultra-thin nitrocellulose lacquer, these are nothing short of premium guitars. Barnes & Mullins is lucky enough to have two high profile acoustic brands in the form of Lag and Faith.

Lag’s most recent addition to the acoustic range is the Tramontane. Taking a visual cue from the new Imperator electric models, these acoustics are great to look at, with striking headstocks clad in natural finished ebony with a contoured, stepped centre strip. There are three ranges currently available – 111, 222, 333 – all with a selection of natural and black finishes. Hand built by Godin Guitars in the remote village of La Patrie, Quebec, Seagull and Simon & Patrick guitars are constructed from indigenously sourced eco-friendly materials and are tonally superb instruments that sell through extremely well for EMD.

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SECTOR SPOTLIGHT ACOUSTICS Baden A Style: £1,599 Freshman FOP 3DN: £699 Forsaking elaborate frills in favour of a straightforward, tone-oriented approach to guitar building, the 3DN sits proudly atop of Freshman’s all-new Open Plains series, and looks destined for great things. AAA spruce tops, mahogany backs and sides and chrome teardrop style machine heads all help make this a guitar worth checking out.

A genuinely beautiful looking guitar that reflects the huge amount of acclaim Baden guitars have been receiving on both sides of the Atlantic. Well worth checking out.

T80D: £529

A smashing looking guitar that represents the cream of the Timberline 80 series, the T80D features solid Javanese rosewood back and sides, Canadian Engelmann spruce soundboard and deluxe grover machineheads.

Larrivee -03: £914

A great looking all-solid addition to the Larrivee line, the 03 series features the Graphtec TUSQ nut, saddle, and bridge pins for superior tone, synthetic tortoise-shell pickguard and chrome tuners.

Farida R-52e RRP: £579.99 A guitar that is in the hands of a number of high profile players, the R-52e combines an Engelmann Spruce soundboard with mahogany back sand sides and a grand auditorium body in a highly versatile guitar.

The Seagull S6 model remains one of the best-selling guitars in the US, while the sister brand Simon & Patrick enjoys a wider popularity in the UK. The S6 CED, retailing at £519, has won several awards and is perhaps the instrument that best represents the Seagull philosophy, offering entry level players the opportunity to experience great feel and tones often associated with much more expensive instruments. Strings & Things' range of hand-crafted acoustic is Timberline, with the 80 series sitting nicely in this price category at £599.95. With dreadnought, concert and auditorium sizes available, this is a range that, thanks to its high quality construction and attractive gloss finishes, is sure to catch a few eyes.

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Sutherland weighs in with the Stonebridge brand, manufactured by Furch in the Czech Republic. The Furch company was founded in 1981 by Frantisek Furch, a bluegrass player who found it impossible to buy decent instruments in the restrictive conditions of the then communist Czechoslovakia. Furch first made an instrument for himself and then for friends, gaining a respected reputation, so that, when the political climate changed, he started his own company. The Stonebridge brand (named after the stone Charles Bridge in Prague) was created as an easier word for Englishspeaking customers. Stonebridge is, according to Sutherland, “a very nice niche product in the UK, sold

through selected dealers as the value for money is outstanding when compared to similar performing products from the USA. We look for knowledgeable, specialist acoustic guitar dealers and work with them to promote the product.” The Canadian guitarist Antoine Dufour, playing the GS23CR, has done a lot to raise awareness among guitarists, making it the UK’s best-selling Stonebridge model. For something a little to the left field, don’t forget that Stentor is the home of the popular Ozark range. While Ozark’s acoustics tend to hit the sub-£500 market, the maker’s resonators cost a little more. Of note here is the wooden bodied tri-cone model, with its flamed maple top in sunburst finish, lyre inlaid fingerboard, lizard head inlay and gold plated fittings.

The Stonebridge brand by Furch is a nice niche brand sold through selected dealers.

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NEW PRODUCTS ACCESSORIES  BACKLINE  BASS & GUITAR  DRUMS  PRINT

NEW PRODUCTS ACCESSORIES ACCESSORIES SPOTLIGHT

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2 1. FISHMAN AURA SPECTRUM DI PREAMP £469

2. GATOR GM-1W SINGLE WIRELESS SYSTEM BAG £29.99

They say: The pristine sound of a studiomiked instrument to undersaddle and soundhole pickups. For: Electro-acoustic players Range: Fishman electronics Spec: 128 acoustic ‘image’ presets, threeband eq, compressor, volume, blend and image controls, automatic feedback suppression, built-in tuner (with bypass), effects loop, balanced XLR DI. From: JHS 0113 286 5381

They say: The same innovative concept of the GM-1W bag – this is a new robust and more compact version. For: Wireless system users Range: Gator bags Spec: Holds most half rack wireless units, receiver, handheld mic, power supply, beltpack transmitter, lapel mics, slim, rigid 5mm EVA rubber foam construction, zipper access allows antenna to be in place and functional while in bag. From: Freestyle 01924 455414

3. SNAPJACK SNAPJACK CABLES FROM £22 They say: An ingenious solution for guitarists and bassists, reducing the risk of damage to their equipment. For: Musicians Range: Snapjack cables Spec: Precision magnetic design for jack to detach from cable under excess tension, now available for wireless systems, pedal boards and XLR with ID tag, in 15ft, 25ft, 30ft and 35ft cable lengths. Guitar cables available with locking and silencer systems. From: JHS 0113 286 5381

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GRIP CLIP STRAP AND CABLE CLIP £3.50 They say: Are you tired of constantly treading on your guitar cable and having to kick it out of the way while you are playing? For: ‘Cabled’ performers Range: New product Spec: Moulded plastic strap clip with cable clip, the Grip Clip eliminates the possibility of kinking while protecting against the likelihood of a stepped-on or snagged cable. By clipping high on the strap behind the player’s back, it produces a wide, gentle loop which

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By clipping high on the strap behind the player’s back, it produces a wide, gentle loop

4. CRUZ TOOLS GROOVE TECH STRING CUTTERS £9.99 They say: Ordinary cutters have difficulty cutting strings made of hardened stainless steel or nickel. For: Guitarists, bassists, wire-strung instruments Range: Groove Tech accessories Spec: Cutter blades made with induction heat treatment process, cuts any string (even bass guitar low B strings) without damaging cutting edges, high-leverage handle, vinyl grips, under six inches length. From: Westside 0141 248 4812

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5. MADAROZZO 2010 RANGE GUITAR & FRETTED INSTRUMENT BAGS £POA They say: Designed and manufactured by Martin Ritter – a name you surely know in the gigbag industry. For: Fretted instrument players Range: Madarozzo gigbags Spec: Now 85 products available in a range of designs, price points and colours, incl banjo, mandolin, ukulele and all standard guitar shapes. All with headstock, bridge and endpin protection, luggage grade polyester, padded handle, mobile phone pouch. From: Sutherland 029 2088 7333

6. REUNION BLUES CONTINENTAL GUITAR CASE FROM £165 They say: Designed to outperform common wood and plastic cases. For: Guitarists Range: Reunion Blues cases Spec: Water-resistant exterior around lightweight flexoskeleton of high-density foam and EVA impact panels, velvet tuck interior, solid-cell neck brace, soft meshlined side panels, hideaway backpack straps, exterior pockets. From: Summerfield 0191 414 9000

reduces stress on both the strap and input jack and keeps the guitar cable out of the way of your feet. It allows users to position the guitar cable out of harm’s way and prevents the inadvertent unplugging of guitars, basses, and other strapworn instruments. Fits almost all guitar straps up to three-inches wide and holds nearly all guitar leads. This product was awarded Best in Show guitar accessory at 2009’s Summer NAMM in Nashville. From: Wildchild Distribution 01273 702224

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DRUMS NEW PRODUCTS

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DRUMS SPOTLIGHT

SABIAN SBR BRASS CYMBALS £POA They say: A higher quality of brass cymbals made specifically for the entry-level drummer. For: Drummers Range: Sabian cymbals Spec: Responding to the universal demand for quality cymbals at all price points, Sabian has introduced SBr, a new series of brass cymbals designed to offer improved quality and value for the entry-level drummer. Produced from a special formula brass alloy, the budget-priced SBr is available in a full range of popular

1. MEINL MARCHING CYMBALS £POA

2. MEINL SYMPHONIC CYMBALS £POA

3. ZILDJIAN 22-INCH K BOUNCE RIDE £TBC

They say: A new line of professional and student marching cymbals is now available. For: Marching bands Range: Meinl band & orchestral Spec: 16, 18 and 20-inch tonally matched hammered cymbal pairs made from either B12 or B10 bronze in medium weight. B12 bronze with dark tonality. B10 bronze with brighter character. Student range pairs in 14 and 16-inch from bronze or brass. From: Active Music 020 8693 5678

They say: Designed with Jens Herz, principal percussionist of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra. For: Orchestral percussionists Range: Meinl band & orchestral Spec: Nine different cymbal pairs in three weights: thin, medium and heavy, with diameters of 18, 20 and 22-inch in each category. Also five suspended cymbals in 14, 16, 17, 18 and 20-inch. From: Active Music 020 8693 5678

They say: Designed in conjunction with jazz legend Kenny Washington. For: Drummers Range: Zildjian K Constantinople Spec: Medium thin weight, 22-inch ride, traditional hammering with pronounced lathe grooves, eight cluster overhammered marks on top for ‘trash’ sound. From: Yamaha 01908 366700

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The special brass alloy offers improved quality and value for the entry-level drummer.

sizes and models, each featuring deep, large-peen hammering and pinpoint lathing. SBr is available in natural finish only. The SBr series includes hi-hats, splashes, crashes and rides, as well as sonically matched pre-packs, including the Performance set (14" hihats, 16" crash, 20" ride), the First pack (13" hi-hats, 16" crash) and the 2-Pack (14" hi-hats, 18" crash ride). From: Westside 0141 248 4812

4. SABIAN VAULT ARTISAN CRASH £386.22

5. SABIAN HHX FUSION HATS £449 & £499

6. ZILDJIAN ORIENTAL CHINA TRASH CYMBALS £TBC

They say: A remastered sound for Sabian’s premium crash. For: Drummers Range: Sabian Vault Artisan Spec: B20 bronze, extra-thin to thin weights, natural or brilliant finishes, high-density hand hammering, available in 16, 17, 18 and 20-inch sizes, two-year warranty. From: Westside 0141 248 4812

They say: One of Sabian’s most popular cymbal innovations is now available in the company’s Modern Dark series. For: Drummers Range: Sabian HHX Spec: Lathed medium top and heavy, unlathed, hand-hammered bottom, available in 13 and 14-inch sizes, B20 bronze, two-year warranty, natural or brilliant finish. From: Westside 0141 248 4812

They say: The addition of two new cymbal models to Zildjian’s extensive effect cymbal offerings. For: Drummers Range: Zildjian cymbals Spec: 15 and 13-inch Oriental China trash cymbals, ‘trashy’ Chinese sounding, additions to the 12 to 20-inch models, both with proprietary hammering and brilliant finish. From: Yamaha 01908 366700

THIS PAGE IS SPONSORED BY MIKEDOLBEAR.COM, THE LEADING ONLINE RESOURCE FOR EVERYTHING DRUMS.

VISIT WWW.MIKEDOLBEAR.COM FOR MORE DETAILS. WWW.MI-PRO.CO.UK

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NEW PRODUCTS RECORDING AND HI TECH HI TECH SPOTLIGHT

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1. ABLETON MAX FOR LIVE £229.99 They say: Puts the power and potential of Max MSP inside Ableton Live. For: Ableton users Range: Ableton Cycling 74 software Spec: Software tool for making new devices (audio and MIDI effects and instruments), API to control Live sets, tracks, clips, loops, parameters etc, extended hardware connectivity, simultaneous Live play/Max edit. From: Focusrite 01494 462246

2. AKAI MPC 2500 SE SEQUENCER/SAMPLER £949.99

3. TOONTRACK SDX CUSTOM & VINTAGE EXPANSION PACK £125

They say: Special edition available in white with carbon panelling; it comes equipped with extra RAM and CD-R drive. For: Musicians, producers, DJs Range: Akai samplers and sequencers Spec: Black MPC pads, slider caps, knob caps, data wheel and buttons, blue LCD screen, white painted body, 128MB memory expansion, DM-25 CD/DVD drive, carbon fibre sidecaps and front panel. From: Numark Alesis 01252 341400

They say: Extensive stick and brush recordings of a unique collection of drums and cymbals. For: Superior Drummer 2.0 users Range: Toontrack plugins Spec: Recorded at 2Khz in London on EMI TG desk, drumming by Chris Whitten, produced by Peter Henderson, recorded using classic kits from 1920s to today. From: Time + Space 01837 55200

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GENELEC 8260A MONITOR £3,780 They say: The latest addition to the TEC Award-winning 8200 series. For: Studios Range: Genelec monitors Spec: Frequency response of 29Hz to 21kHz with maximum SPL of 120dB, the 8260A features the revolutionary Genelec MDC Minimum Diffraction Coaxial mid/high driver technology. Like all models in the 8200 series, the 8260A features internal Genelec DSP signal processing responsible for all loudspeaker functions, such as the

Provides a consistent and accurate frequency response for a multichannel audio system.

5 4. MUSIC LAB REAL LPC VIRTUAL INSTRUMENT £202.30 They say: Covers practically all sounds, articulations and techniques a professional guitarist can produce on his Les Paul. For: Computer musicians, producers Range: Music Lab plugins Spec: Multi-channel layering technology taken from every fret of all six strings, Unique Floating Fret Position technology, Guitar Touch technology to imitate basic guitar techniques, Sound Humanise technology to reduce ‘machine gun’ effect on note repetition. From: Time + Space 01837 55200 42 miPRO FEBRUARY 2010

5. SAMSON Q2U RECORDING PACK £TBC

6. NATIVE INSTRUMENTS SCARBEE JAY BASS £POA

They say: Fulfils all your live sound and digital recording needs. For: Studios Range: Samson mics Spec: Dynamic handheld mic with XLR output and USB I/O, simultaneous live performance and computer recording, built-in 3.5mm stereo headphone jack with volume control, 16/48 A/D converter. From: Korg 01908 857100

They say: The latest release in the partnership between Native Instruments and sampling expert Thomas Hansen Skarbye. For: Computer musicians, producers Range: NI plugins Spec: Software instrument built on Fender Jazz bass tones, built on Kontakt 4 sampler, over 4,000 individual studiograde samples, Player Profiles for various genres, eq, effect controls. From: 2Twenty2 0845 299 4222

crossover filters, driver equalisers, driver position alignment, room response alignment, calibration, and equalisation related filters, as well as distance compensating delays. The Genelec Loudspeaker Manager software manages all these functions, allowing the 8260A to be used together with other 8200 series DSP monitors and 7200 series subs in the same setup. The Genelec AutoCal room calibration and system alignment method provides consistent and accurate frequency response for a multichannel audio system in widely varying room environments. From: Source Distribution 020 8962 5080

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NEW PRODUCTS PRINT BOOK OF THE MONTH AUTHOR: BRIAN WHITEHOUSE THE RAMIREZ COLLECTION Target: Interest, guitar Comment: Every now and then a book comes along that has been researched and written with a passion that surpasses interest and need and Brian Whitehouse has produced one of those with this attractive edition. As the owner of the Anglo Spanish Guitar Company (and thus the UK distributor of Ramirez guitars), one could

easily be cynical about the book, but that would be a mistake. Once you start looking into the pages, it becomes instantly clear that this is not an attempt at marketing, it is a work of love. Whitehouse goes through the collection of antique guitars at the Ramirez Museum one-by-one and not only photographs them and describes them in detail with history, luthier methods and modern comparisons, but also then plays each one. The result is an accompanying CD of carefully chosen music, each piece

selected to best represent the guitar in terms of sound and era. The two combine to make a quite unique journey through this remarkable collection, where one can see, read and hear, simultaneously, a master crafted instrument – a few of them well over 200 years old. They say there is at least one book in all of us and Brian Whitehouse has certainly proved that to be true here. ASG MUSIC: 0121 561 3811

EDUCATION AUTHOR: COHEN/YANDELL (EDS) ALL SORTS Series: Trinity Repertoire Target: Viola/cello Comment: Two new books in the All Sorts series, covering repertoire for viola from beginner to Grade 3 (over two books) and cello to Grade 3 in a single volume. The styles range from ‘easy classic’ to original scores, all specifically arranged to suit the technique and abilities of the young learner. Simple piano accompaniments are included for the teacher. TRINITY: 020 7820 6100

ARTIST: CARR/OSBORNE SOUND AT SIGHT FRENCH HORN/DOUBLE BASS

AUTHOR: ALAN BULLARD JOINING THE DOTS Series: Joining the Dots Target: Piano Comment: This (initial) five-book series is designed to help piano students gain confidence with sight-reading. This approach uses ideas of key familiarity and improvisation to help pupils learn the skill more quickly and easily. Each volume includes warm-ups, technical exercises and some original pieces for sight-reading practice. The books cover Grades 1 to 5 of the ABRSM’s sight-reading tests. ABRSM: 020 7636 5400

AUTHOR: RALEIGH GREEN JAMAICA

Series: Sound at Sight Target: French horn/double bass Comment: A new series from Trinity Guildhall introducing a number of short pieces aimed specifically at each of the eight grades of Trinity’s sight-reading requirements. As the title indicates, sight reading is the interpretation of the lines and dots and transferral into playing sound. These two books contain pieces that are designed to help students develop skills and build confidence. TRINITY: 020 7820 6100

Series: Guitar Atlas Target: Guitar Comment: Alfred extends the Guitar Atlas series with the guitar styles of Jamaica, notably ska, reggae, mento and rocksteady, taking the student through a chronological development of music on the island. This book is a wealth of information, as well as tabulation and ends up with a chapter in the style of Bob Marley. Some fine tips and tricks in this one to improve any player’s mental library of riffs and licks. ALFRED (FABER): 01279 828989

AUTHOR: VARIOUS (COMPILED SLATFORD) TIME PIECES FOR DOUBLE BASS

AUTHOR: JERRY SNYDER BASIC INSTRUCTOR: GUITAR VOL 1 & 2

Series: Time Pieces Target: Double Bass Comment: Rodney Slatford continues the Time Pieces series with a collection of eraspanning pieces aimed at giving students a taste of a range of styles from the 16th century to the present day. The arrangements are crafted to practice the keys and note ranges found in Grades 1 to 3 (book one) and 4 to 6 (book two). Piano accompaniments are included, making this an essential for bassists and their teachers. ABRSM: 020 7636 5400

Target: Guitar beginners Comment: There are only so many ways one can learn to play an instrument, thus this book (originally published in the 1970s) is something of a timeless classic. This latest reissue contains new songs, exercises and photos designed to inspire the player from the onset. Each of the two books is divided into two parts: chords theory and accompaniment, and notation solos and ensemble. ALFRED (FABER): 01279 828989

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NEW PRODUCTS PRINT EDUCATION AUTHOR: RUDOLPH & FRANKEL YOUTUBE IN MUSIC EDUCATION Target: Education Comment: The website that is famed for its ill-thought ‘broadcasts’ by the untalented and the stupid, it turns out, can be utilised as a tool in the classroom. Educators Thomas Rudolph and James Frankel go through the basics of using YouTube and then find ways of teaching audio, video and musical lessons with it. A real shot in the arm for teachers a bit at sea with the digital wizardry of pupils. HAL LEONARD (MUSIC SALES): 01284 702600

AUTHOR: HUGO PINKSTERBOER) FLUTE/TRUMPET TIPBOOKS Series: Tipbook Target: Flute, piccolo, trumpet, trombone Comment: The Tipbooks continue – and is it me, or are they bigger? These latest two in A5 format offer a reference guide for everything one could need to know about the instruments. Purchasing, maintaining, playing and a comprehensive list of further resources, these books make an ideal companion and reference for everyone but the most advanced players. HAL LEONARD (MUSIC SALES): 01284 702600

ARTIST: DAVE GILMOUR (HUMPHRIES ED) SLOW BLUES/PINK FLOYD THE SOLOS Series: Quick Licks/Learn to Play Target: Guitar Comment: Three DVDs from Lick Library’s collection of ‘how to’ lessons take the learner through the style of Dave Gilmour. One of the most melodic rock guitarists (and thus one of the most underrated), one can learn bucket loads from Gilmour’s harmonic awareness and his unparalleled use of space as well as notes. A real must. LICK LIBRARY (MUSIC SALES): 01284 702600

AUTHOR: DON MOCK MASTERING THE DOMINANT CHORD Series: Audio Workshop Target: Guitar Comment: Sub-titled ‘Real-world concepts and techniques for improvising’, Mock takes the idea that the dominant 7th adds movement, energy and tension. Most players understand the value of the V position 7th, but this looks at secondary dominants and a variety of 7th voicings. The lessons deal with usage and greatly expand a player’s understanding and negotiation of complex chord changes. ALFRED (FABER): 01279 828989

AUTHOR: DAWN RICHARDSON BEGINNING ROCK DRUM Target: Drums Comment: Another of Mel Bay’s pamphlet-style publications, comprising a three-page table of practice elements that make up a reference tool for the learner. This one takes 36 rhythms and lists them in easy-to-read notation and tablature, combining to give the learner a good basic collection of technique layers. MEL BAY: 020 8214 1222

ARTIST: GAIL SMITH PIANO FOR SENIORS Target: Mature pianists Comment: Smith has spent her career teaching piano to students aged from three to 96 and sees no barrier to learning when it comes to age. This book is designed to give older learners a selection of varied styles that they will (hopefully) find appealing. The book is mostly original works, although the likes of Vivaldi and Debussy make cameo appearances. MEL BAY: 020 8214 1222

POPULAR ARTIST: RODNEY BRANIGAN LIVE IN INDIA

ARTIST: VARIOUS PROG METAL GUITAR TAB

Target: General Comment: Mel Bay UK’s pride and joy with a DVD of footage of his 2008 tour of India, featuring footage from Mumbai and Jaipur, with additional material taken from the City of Westminster College. Branigan’s unique style can easily be mistaken as novelty, but this is a serious and clearly talented young guitarist who speaks with a voice that is both accessible and challenging. A clever mix. MEL BAY: 020 8214 1222

Series: My Tunes 4x4 Target: Guitar Comment: Enjoying something of revival (great in the ’70s, crap in the ’80s, now good again) Alfred comes up with 16 songs from four US proggers, Rush, Dream Theater, Killswitch Engage and Mastodon. A complex style, this book of tablature fills up over 150 pages of complex noodling and time signatures and will delight the new generation of guitarist, which is looking again to virtuoso challenges, rather than strum-along songs. ALFRED (FABER): 01279 828989

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RETAIL NEWS, OPINION, DATA NEWS $64,000 to MS Society, Richards Guitars, Christine Churchill

LOCATION REPORT Our intrepid journeyman takes to the lanes and discovers the joys of Brighton

INDIE PROFILE Mark’s Musical Instruments of Melksham, Wiltshire has its say on the business

Guitarguitar to open Birmingham store 4,000 square-foot shop aiming to offer customers ‘products previously unseen in the region’ LEADING GUITAR retailer and brainchild of Scottish retail pair, Graham Bell and Kip McBay, Guitarguitar has announced the addition of a fourth guitar store in the heart of Birmingham. As with the existing stores, the aim of Guitarguitar in Birmingham is to cater to all guitarists from first-time buyers to existing and experienced players. The new 4,000 square-foot premises will offer a substantial selection of instruments, similar to that already offered by the branches in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle. It will aim to provide the same extensive selection of high-end guitars and amps, many of which, the company insisted, will never have been seen before in the region. Steve Mills, who previously worked for Line 6 and the Fender Custom Shop, will be running the new store.

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“We’re extremely excited to be introducing the Guitarguitar experience into the midlands and look forward to welcoming our existing and new

We are extremely excited to be introducing the Guitarguitar experience to the Midlands.

Steve Mills Guitarguitar Birmingham

customers into the store,” he said. The store will be opening in the spring of 2010 and job applications are already being taken. There are currently vacancies

available for sales advisors and all CVs should be sent to jobs@guitarguitar.co.uk. In related news, Guitarguitar has also announced another expansion plan to create Scotland's first dedicated hi tech store under a new brand called GG-Digital. Based in Glasgow, the 6,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art complex will feature Scotland's largest Roland Planet and has been created with the remit to provide customers with the latest technology for enjoying and creating music. “We have an awful lot going on during 2010,” Mark McKenzie, Guitarguitar’s marketing manager, told MI Pro. “The Birmingham store and GG-Digital is all part of that, of course, but watch this space for some other excellent news stories through the year. It’s going to be a really exciting time.” GUITARGUITAR: 0141 552 9896

BE H IN D

TH E

C O U N TE R

Business is good, but while the secret retailer sells strings, some bastards are enjoying Californian sunshine

ALL INSIDE THIS MONTH miPRO FEBRIARY 2010 49


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RETAIL NEWS

Richard’s Guitars extends site Retailer extends online to competitors brand-by-brand RICHARD’S GUITARS has further opened up the classified adverts section of its website, giving the general public the chance to advertise their secondhand instruments for free (with up to nine images accompanying) and other retailers also having the opportunity to upload new and used guitars for sale – again for free. The key to the new site, however, is that any shop in the UK can sponsor the site for a single brand that is important to them, with, for example, Hartnolls having taken the Gibson slot, MB Music advertising Fender and World Guitars plumping for PRS. To remain a ‘sponsor’, the shop must simply keep its adverts up-to-date, with the supplier in agreement that the store

is the authorised dealer that it says it is. Each shop has a profile page with several images available where it can tell the consumer why it chooses to sell this specific brand. One reason Richard Chollerton, Richard’s Guitars’ owner, feels the idea should be successful is that rather than offering a free service for dealers to use when they feel like it, he can now point out that there is a line of shops who would give their right arm for the brand being represented. This will ensure those ‘sponsors’ will maintain their levels of online quality on the site. “I think the concept of losing the position for the brand should keep shops active,” he said. RICHARD’S GUITARS: 01926 833389

Avant Grand across the board Hybrid piano a hit with classical, jazz and pop artists YAMAHA’S HYBRID piano, the Avant Grand, has enjoyed no little success since its launch in 2009, but now, following news of Paul Carrack’s use of the piano on his recent UK tour, the product has found even more prestigious users. Artur Pizarro, one of the world's most renowned concert pianists, is joined by jazz legend, composer and bandleader Julian Joseph as an endorser of the piano. “How do you recreate the touch and tone quality of a concert grand piano in a baby grand sized piano?” asked Pizarro (pictured). “How do you practise on a concert grand quality instrument without bothering your neighbours? The answer to both questions is the Avant Grand. Do I want one? Yes, I do.” Joseph added that this is an instrument he can work with: “Of course, I still love the acoustic piano, but the Avant Grand is a new genre of piano – it’s an instrument sensitive to the musician.” YAMAHA: 01926 833389

Cheque sticks it to MS PMT bosses hand over takings from the world record

TERRY HOPE and Simon Gilson have handed over a cheque amounting to £64,000 to the MS Society, having collected the moneys from the Stick it to MS world record attempt held at PMT’s Drum Fest and Guitar Fest event in Birmingham in the summer of 2009. The event saw a total of 582 drummers – including a number of

celebrity musicians – smash the previous world record of 533 drummers, set in the United States quite some time ago. Drummers as young as five and as old as 50 (which, of course, isn’t old) travelled from across the UK to take part in the record bid, believed to be the UK’s first attempt.

Christine Churchill 1948 - 2009 ALAN CHURCHILL, the co-founder and former partner of MI Direct has announced the death of his wife Christine. After nearly two months in a Cretan hospital she was flown back to the UK, where she was admitted to St Peters hospital in Chertsey, but sadly lost the fight against her illness two weeks later. Alan and Christine had been married for over 35 years. She is survived by the couple’s two children, Claire and Stephen. Alan Churchill left his partnership in MI Direct in September 2008 and started a new life in Crete with Christine. He had been in the music business since 1971 and had built up very good relationships with many dealers over nearly four decades.

The couple made lots of friends in a new venture and both enjoyed their last year together. Many of the UK dealers who had associations with the company would have spoken to Christine on the telephone. She handled most of the accounting and also tended to sales calls and queries that the dealers may have had, in an efficient and friendly manner. The couple met while working for Hohner in the early 1970s. Alan Churchill would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone in the trade who has sent best wishes and flowers for Christine. He can be contacted by email at church_illa@hotmail.com or by phone on +30 697 706 7363.

A Lifetime of Satisfaction In 2007, we introduced a unique Lifetime Warranty* across our 40 Series studio microphones and in 2009 we are going a step further and extending this offer to include both our Artist Elite and Artist Series ranges of wired microphones. Unsurpassed in the market, our Lifetime Warranty offers genuine added value to every sale and reinforces our commitment to unbeatable customer service. Call us today on 0113 277 1441 – and experience more. *Terms and conditions apply. Visit www.audio-technica.com/warranty for full details.

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LOCATION REPORT RETAIL

Brighton Liberal heaven on the south coast, home to endless candyfloss, slot machines and the stoniest beach known to man, Brighton is one of the UK’s most popular seaside resorts. With plenty of excellent MI shops around, it’s also a haven for all varieties of muso. Rob Power sees whether anything out there tickles his fancy... 1. ADAPTATRAP Just round the corner from guitar-based competition Brighton Guitars and GAK, Adaptatrap is a slightly different beast. World percussion is the name of the game here, and boy do these guys know their way around ethnic noise makers. The perfect destination for musicians looking for something interesting sounding or simply fun, the walls are packed with digeridoos, banana shakers, various glockenspiels and a whole host of other weird and wonderful devices with equally exotic names. There is so much in here that demands to be hit, squeezed, tapped or twanged that Adaptatrap is a huge amount of fun to browse, and with some of the friendliest and most knowledgeable staff encountered in Brighton (no mean feat) this is certainly one to visit if you are heading down to the south coast.

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2. BRIGHTON GUITARS Situated in the heart of the bustling Laines shopping area above a suitably cool retro clothing shop, Brighton Guitars is a slice of vintage guitar nirvana. Walls chock full of everything from 1930’s Gibsons to the weirdest-shaped sixties’ beauty reveal that this is a shop run by folks with a real passion for the guitar. Crammed full of curious eyes and serious buyers, this is the sort of store where a real bargain could easily be discovered. Plenty of second-hand effects and amplifiers help fill out the space, while a content looking dog nestled by the sales desk adds to the laid-back air. Beautifully positioned, full of beautiful kit and with plenty of charm, there are not enough guitar shops like Brighton Guitars out there.

3. AGUILERA GUITARS Tucked away on a side road not too far from the sea front, Aguilera Guitars is a homely little shop focusing on the acoustic side of things. A bright and attractive shopfront beckons you in and no doubt attracts a lot of passing custom as the premises is situated on a busy road. Once inside, it’s a oneroom store with plenty of variety, from battered vintage instruments through to brand new starter guitars and ukeleles. Friendly staff and a laid back atmosphere make for an extremely pleasant visit.

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1 4. GUITAR AMP KEYBOARD As one of the biggest online retailers in the UK, you’d be right to expect a highly impressive shop front from GAK. There’s a staggering amount of kit packed into the store that is nestled on the edge of Brighton’s main shopping area. There are comprehensive displays from pretty much every manufacturer you can think of, including Gibson, Fender, Gretsch, Dean, Rickenbacker, Epiphone, Martin, Tanglewood and Boss, making this the perfect spot to while away the hours dreaming about the perfect rig. An adjoining recording and keyboard shop and a nearby drum centre cater for anything that’s not in the main store. Plenty of keen staff prowl the space, proffering help to all and sundry. A quite simply phenomenal shop.

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5. ACKERMAN MUSIC Recent winners of its second MIA Award, Ackerman Music has quite the reputation and thankfully it is no letdown. A well organised and thorough printed music section is the main feature, with pretty much every base conceivable from vocal to bassoon arrangements covered off. Extremely pleasant and approachable staff are on hand to answer anything you can throw at them and a wide selection of instruments makes this a nicely rounded store. Electric and acoustic guitars line the walls, and plenty of brass and woodwind is on show alongside a couple of cases stuffed full of music gifts. All in all, this is a clearly well run shop that covers a lot of bases.

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INDIE PROFILE Mark Peaple of Mark’s Musical Instruments, Melksham, says big brands need to think about the smaller shops... How is business compared to this time last year? December sales were exactly the same as last year on paper, but there seem to be little upturns. Although the figures are the same, business is gradually creeping up, so there are still one or two people out there with money. How do you market the shop? Through the website, local advertising and the BT phonebook. Most customers find us on Google because we come up on the first page. I get people phoning me up telling me they can get me on the first page for £2,000. I tell them: ‘don’t worry, I’m already there and it cost me nothing’. There’s a local gig guide called The Scrumpy we advertise in. That works well. How do you compete with the online competition? We offer a service – information, knowledge and experience. We do free setups and customers are more than

52 miPRO FEBRUARY 2010

PEAPLE: Business is creeping up, so there are still one or two people out there with money welcome to play our instruments before they decide to buy them. You don’t get any of that online. And you can’t just drop into a website for a chat. What are your biggest strengths? Customer relations are our biggest strength. All of us here are good at dealing with people and helping out. That’s our biggest thing really. How do you ensure a good level of customer service? By listening to the customer and finding out what they want – spending a bit of

extra time with them. This is my living, so I have to offer good service. What is the one product you couldn’t live without? Guitar cables. We can’t sell enough cables and picks. I’ve just ordered a load more. How can the industry do more to support retail? The big manufacturers such as Fender, Marshall and Gibson should look at the smaller retailers and not force them to spend so much just to get an account. I could sell one or two high-end guitars and

it would help me have a bigger range. The smaller shops are the ones that are keeping on going, while a lot of the bigger ones are going under. These brands should pay more attention to us.

FACT BOX Address: 11 Bath Road, Melksham, Wiltshire SN12 6LL Phone: 01225 899046 Owner: Mark Peaple Established: 2005 Employees: Four Best-selling lines: Westfield, Enigma, Ashton

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BEHIND THE COUNTER

SNOW WAY WEATHER CAN BEAT THE MUSIC Our undercover retailer gets NAMM envy as he toils away in the British chill. s the country ground to a halt thanks to Jack Frost’s overly enthusiastic sprinkling of seasonal snow, our little musical outpost remained defiantly open, laughing in the face of extreme weather and keeping our customers stocked up with strings and plectrums just when they needed them the most. With a surprising amount of local shops taking the chance to close and stay closed for a few days while the weather showed us all who’s boss, we found that the arctic conditions were nowhere near enough to keep local musicians indoors. As opposed to the deadly quiet time that was expected, we found ourselves having a frankly staggering few days. Maybe it’s because everyone took a day off and decided they could treat themselves to a new guitar, maybe it’s God’s way of rewarding shops that stay open when all around are closing, who knows, but

A

whatever it was, we like it. It’s made 2010 a rather successful year thus far and given us all a healthy glow of optimism that even well below zero temperatures can’t remove.

While we froze our bits off, the luckier side of the industry decamped to LA for NAMM.

In a nice bit of ‘screw you’ timing, as we were all freezing our bits off in the harshest winter for many thousands of years (probably), the luckier side of the industry decamped to LA for NAMM. Nice for them, I’m sure, but as ever it will be interesting to see which new products will actually have any impact

At least the customers keep coming...

on the High Street. It’s a difficult one to call, because of course everything looks good when it’s bathing in the LA sunshine, surrounded by scantily clad, out-of-work porn actresses and models and hyped to the heavens by relentlessly enthusiastic American PR folk. In the cold light of a British winter’s day, however, things can be a little different, so hopefully this year’s show will bring us products that will sell through and help us all make 2010 a lot easier than last year was for many. Of course, we won’t know what is and isn’t going to work until new gear has started arriving in the UK and reps have had a chance to get it all to us, but it will certainly be interesting to see. In the meantime, it’s probably best to concentrate on making the winter months fruitful while trying not to get too bitter about the lucky sods lapping up the LA sunshine...

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THE PLACE FOR BUSINESS

MIMARKETPLACE TO ADVERTISE CALL DARRELL CARTER OR JODIE HOLDWAY ON 01992 535647

440 DISTRIBUTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0113 258 9599 A ALLPARTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0870 442 3336 AVSL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0845 270 2411 B BILL LEWINGTON . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01268 413366 C COVERNOTES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0121 327 1977 CBAC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0208 816 8368 D DADDARIO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . SALES@DADDARIO.CO.UK DBT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0800 234 2848 F FOCUS MERCHANDISE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 8245 9035 FCN. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01892 603730 FUSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0113 320 0304 G GHANA GOODS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0117 955 8668 GUITARRAS DE ESPAÑA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0117 973 3214 H HC DISTRIBUTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 00 353 5991 34268 HERGA MUSIC SERVICES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 8861 1590 HOT ROX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0115 987 3163 J JAM PERCUSSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0151 494 1492 L LEED REPRESENTATION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01243 378050 LEISURETEC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01525 850085 M MARSHALL AMPLIFICATION. . . . . WWW.MARSHALLAMPS.COM MCELLAND/GREMLIN MUSIC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01273 491333 MEL BAY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 8382 8010 MUSIC SHIPPING CO. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01562 827666 O OCARINA WORKSHOP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01536 485963 R RICH ART . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . WWW.RICH-ART.CO.UK ROBERT MORLEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 8318 5838 ROTHWELL AUDIO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01204 366133 S SAXOPHONE UK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01892 662 533 SOAR VALLEY MUSIC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0116 230 4926 STEVE CLINKSCALE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01573 225 885 T TEAC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 01923 438880 TOM AND WILL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0845 0945 659 W WIND PLUS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0116 243 1698

SUPPLIER SPOTLIGHT

MARKETPLACE INDEX

The generic source Tascam put the word ‘Portastudio’ in the dictionary 30 years ago and hasn’t looked back since… AT THE 1979 AES in the New York Waldorf Hotel, Teac unveiled a product that would change the nature of recording and the relationship between the musician and the recording industry – forever. The Teac 144 cassette multitracker was the world’s first Portastudio. Integrating a miniature mixing console, tape transport, and a mix bus that enabled two or three tracks to be bounced across internally, or four tracks to mixed down to another stereo cassette deck, into a single compact box, was a major leap in design and engineering. The 144 provided the blueprint for the most important home recording product ever: the first of a long line of ‘porta’ products, now in its 30th year. Tascam is the professional products division of the Teac Corporation, a $1.2 billion electronics company based in Japan. Founded in 1953, Teac is a market leader in various technology sectors including data storage, consumer electronics and industrial products.

Tascam was formed that same year and all subsequent products bore the Tascam badge. While Portastudio is a Tascam trademarked term, it rapidly fell into common use – a generic description for cassette multitrackers. Tascam began supplying open reel tape recorders over 55 years ago, and subsequently developed pro cassette, CD, DVD, MD, DTRS, mixers and flash memory systems as well as amps and control devices. After 22 years with Teac, UK division manager, Tony Gravel, stated: “I’ve seen Tascam become a must-have line for UK dealers and end users since we started in 1987. “Earning a reputation for innovative products offering years of unfaltering service, Tascam today provides that same level of quality and value for every new generation of media. 2010’s solid-state products are designed to exploit to the maximum the advantages of file-based digital media networking and connectivity in MI and AV installations.” www.tascam.co.uk

CLASSIFIEDS: MINIMUM 12 MONTHS - ONE ANNUAL CHARGE QUARTER PAGE £1,295 54 miPRO FEBRUARY 2010

WWW.MI-PRO.CO.UK


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MI MARKETPLACE ABROAD REPRESENTATION

ACOUSTIC DISTRIBUTION

For full dealership details contact your local area representative

IRELAND & N.I Walter Hennessy

087 2596183 SCOTLAND & NORTH EAST Steve Clinkscale

07958 351712 NORTHERN ENGLAND Chris Hind

07958 830072 SOUTH WEST CENTRAL ENGLAND & WALES Steve Preston

07554 454054 HC MUSIC DISTRIBUTION LTD

00353 5991 34268 sales@hcdistribution.com www.cort-guitars.co.uk www.myspace.com/cortguitars

ACCESSORIES AND GIFTWARE

LONDON & SOUTH EAST Ian Collins

07836 237337

AMPLIFICATION

To find out more about the JVM Series and other Marshall products contact: Marshall Amplification plc Denbigh Road, Bletchley, Milton Keynes MK11DQ www.marshallamps.com

WWW.MI-PRO.CO.UK

miPRO FEBRUARY 2010 55


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MI MARKETPLACE DESIGN

DISTRIBUTION

DISTRIBUTION

GROUP

CLASSICAL GUITARS

Order online

A leading distributor within the Audio Visual, Sound & Light, Public Address and MI trades.

Friendly sales team

0845 270 2411 0845 270 2433

Over 4000 products in stock

sales@avslgroup.com www.avslgroup.com

56 miPRO FEBRUARY 2010

WWW.MI-PRO.CO.UK


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MI MARKETPLACE DISTRIBUTION

DISTRIBUTION ttt+a_qb`eklildfbp+`lj

>`qfsb#m^ppfsbpmb^hbop

Ifkb^oo^v

FkB^o#Tfobibpp

Mr_if`^aobpp

Qebplrkalcbumbofbk`b a?Qb`eklildfbpRH .3Tefqb_b^j@ilpb Kbtebv)Ol`ea^ib LI.31KA Afob`q7 -426234/.24 Cobbmelkb7-5--/01/515 j^fi7p^ibp=a_qb`eklildfbp+`lj ttt+a_qb`eklildfbp+`lj

DISTRIBUTION

^jbj_bolc

DISTRIBUTION

…more than just a gig bag!

Saxy! Visit us online at www.fusion-bags.com Distributed by + 44 (0)1483 238720

WWW.MI-PRO.CO.UK

miPRO FEBRUARY 2010 57


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MI MARKETPLACE GUITAR PARTS

ier Guitar, m e r P ’s K U The ts Supplier r a P p m A & Bass

t r a p a k c Pi p mp Am eA ge tag inta V Vin

• Amp Cabinets • Amp Kits • Capacitors • Grill Cloth • Pots • Hardware • Speakers • Resistors • Transformers • Transistors • Valves • Tubes ... and much more ! ! !

To order call 0870 442 3336 Low call rate 0845 345 59

51

Order online @:

www.allparts.uk.com or email us: info@allparts

.uk.com

DISTRIBUTION

DISTRIBUTION

Your Box

Ready to Snatch 01525 850085

www.leisuretec.co.uk

Sound • Lighting • Special Effects - Established 1990 - Distribution Power Squared

58 miPRO FEBRUARY 2010

WWW.MI-PRO.CO.UK


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MI MARKETPLACE

WWW.MI-PRO.CO.UK

DISTRIBUTION

DISTRIBUTION

DISTRIBUTION

DISTRIBUTION

miPRO FEBRUARY 2010 59


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MI MARKETPLACE DISTRIBUTION

ETHNIC AND FOLK

Call Tom Harrison on 01132 589599 or email - tom@440distribution.com GUITAR AND ACCESSORIES

INSURANCE AND BUSINESS

BRITAIN'S FINEST BOUTIQUE EFFECTS Rothwell effects pedals are truly hand-made here in the uk and built to the highest standards. The cases are hand polished and the electronics carefully assembled by skilled uk workers. The circuit design is innovative and original (we don't do clones, repros or mods) and the sound is the sound of classic rock guitar - pure tone. Our pedals are quickly gaining a reputation for superb quality and are being played on some of the world's biggest stages. The Hellbender (overdrive) and Switchblade (distortion) are currently being heard by thousands of fans on Justin Timberlake's world tour, played by Mike Scott (also Prince's main guitarist), who says "you make truly great, great pedals". Why not join our growing list of uk and international dealers and stock Britain's finest boutique effects pedals.

WWW.ROTHWELLAUDIOPRODUCTS.CO.UK 01204 366133 60 miPRO FEBRUARY 2010

WWW.MI-PRO.CO.UK


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MI MARKETPLACE MUSIC PUBLISHERS

OCARINAS

tel: 01536 485 963 fax: 01536 485 051 email: sales@ocarina.co.uk

Making Music in Schools Since 1983 UK made rainbow ocarinas from Ocarina Workshop are easy to play and great fun to teach with. These pocket-sized instruments are popular with kids & well-tuned. Together with 'Play your Ocarina' music books, they are the key to successful music-making in many schools around the country. Make sure school ocarinas are on your counter-top and available when customers request them! Quote ‘MI Pro’ when you order 12 Ocarinas & 12 Books and be amazed at the ocarina’s potential... Trade orders are sent by return: free delivery & no minimum order

www.ocarina.co.uk PERCUSSION AND DRUMS

WWW.MI-PRO.CO.UK

PERCUSSION

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MI MARKETPLACE PROMOTIONAL

PERCUSSION

62 miPRO FEBRUARY 2010

REPAIRS

PERCUSSION

WWW.MI-PRO.CO.UK


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MI MARKETPLACE WIND INSTRUMENT

PIANOS (RH)

Ro

MORLEY Co Lt d

t ber

020•8318•5838

Grand & Upright Pianos by Elysian, Grotrian-Steinweg, Bechstein, Monington & Weston and other famous makers John Morley Clavichords, Spinets, Harpsichords, Virginals & Celestes

Antique, Modern & New, Rental, Repairs, Sales lists & colour brochures on request.

34

EN

Robert MORLEY & Co Ltd. Piano & Harpsichord Makers Established 1881

G AT

E S t. L O NDON S

7H E13

A

www.morleypianos.com WIND INSTRUMENT

MI MARKETPLACE GREAT ADVERTISING OPPORTUNITIES

CONTACT JODIE HOLDWAY CALL: (0)1992 535647 WWW.MI-PRO.CO.UK

miPRO FEBRUARY 2010 63


X Series High performance cables featuring genuine Neutrik™ connectors for the ultra discerning audiophile, seeking the highest possible ďŹ delity and endurance.

N Series Professional cables designed for the busy working musician doing live and studio sessions, who must adapt to each playing situation and requires premium quality gear that can be relied on to deliver at all times.

S Series High quality rugged workhorses that are the quintessential companion for your rehearsal room, jam session, open mic or sweaty club gig.

Stagg. Quality cables for all applications, budgets and requirements. www.staggmusic.com

&DEOHVB0L3URB8.LQGG




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D IN THE L AST WOR

MI PRO

MI Pro prides itself on bringing you hard-hitting news and analysis, but, we reckon you’d also enjoy seeing your peers in their more ‘off duty’ moments. So, we’ve expanded CODA to include a permanent pictorial spread of the month’s social highlights. If you have any snaps from an event you’d like us to include, please send them to mipro@intentmedia.co.uk...

RETRO

NAMM SPECIAL AT THE CHAIRMAN’S BASH No sooner have the doors closed on the opening day, than NAMM’s organiser gathers the great and the good of the world’s MI trade. The Chairman’s Reception is one of highlights of the networking itinerary. To the left is either a great advert for all the fine food and drink on hand or a dreadful promotion for the latest California weight loss fad. In this (hardly candid) shot we see Barnes & Mullins’ co-MDs Brian Cleary and Bruce Perrin flanking Wolfgang Lücke of Musikmesse and some ugly gate-crasher who had no right being there.

MARCH 2005 Cover Stars: Jason How’s Rotosound is The Incredble String Brand – and what’s more, with the world and his wife running scared from European manufacturing, How is intent on keeping it British News: Sound Control buys Turnkey, Loud Tech buys St Louis Music, Numark Alesis buys Akai, Future buys Highbury House Publications, Roland sues Behringer, Hendrix Estate wins copyright Features: Yamaha/Lloyds TSB direct to education, Piens’ Music Planet, Silclear, Freestyle Music

S’MORE FACES The great thing about international trade shows is having the chance to bump into and catch up with people you would only normally see at... Er, well, international trade shows. Clockwise from the right, we see Kevin Bolembach of (would you believe) Godlyke Distribution looking pretty chuffed with his SuBo edition of MI Pro. Trying to run away from California, we couldn’t escape Andy Jones and Oz Owen of Feedback PR in the Jetsons bar at LAX. Jason Tavaria of Dolphin was back into gear, keeping all his meetings at his exclusive office at the show. Keeping up with the Joneses is always tough, expecially if it’s Ian and Howard of HHB and Source. Ian Jones has sent MI Pro’s editor to Coventry after missing his Christmas dinner. Barrett has promised he’ll make the next one.

Products: Digitech Hendrix Experience pedal, JJ Retro Lux guitar, Peavey 6605, Parker Mojo Singlecut, Taylor T5 Koa Custom, Peavey PV series mixers Number one singles: Stereophonics: Dakota, McFly: All About You/You've Got a Friend, Tony Christie featuring Peter Kay: Is This the Way to Amarillo Number one albums: G4: G4, 50 Cent: The Massacre, Stereophonics: Language. Sex. Violence. Other? 64 miPRO FEBRUARY 2010

WWW.MI-PRO.CO.UK


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IN ASSOCIATION WITH

CONTINUED...

SAVING THE BEST ‘TIL LAST Clockwise from top: The MIA’s Paul McManus and NAMM’s Joe Lamond flank an, as yet, unnamed member of the US trade. MI Pro’s ad manager, Darrell Carter, utilises his super power (the inability to get a hangover) to disconcert the competition (Nick Beck also learned from Carter and Steve Connolly that in order to get ahead in mag ad sales, he will need to do something about that haircut). Marshall endorser Joe Bonamassa is apparently also using Palmer effects pedals and DI boxes these days – whatever next? Ignoring that, Paul Marshall and Steve Greenwood finally decide to stop working and celebrate Greenwood’s birthday... or do they? Mia Walter of Future, Lee Worsely (with his MIA hat on), Paul McManus and Claire Dove (also of Future) are surely not discussing the London Music Show... or are they? The mighty Lemmy digs out his favourite hat for a lengthy sitting and signing on the Marshall stand on the Friday. Turn it up, Lemmy...

MI ICON

Gretsch Country Gentleman

I

ntroduced in 1957, the result of a successful collaboration between Gretsch and Chet Atkins, the Country Gentleman is a rare guitar that lays claim to having immense playability, a distinctive sound and an undefinable air of class. Originally featuring a single cutaway and fake f holes (a concession to Atkins who wanted to cut down on feedback), it moved towards its more recognisable double cutaway shape at the beginning of the 60s, when it also acquired a slimmed down body. It was a 1963 Country Gent that was picked up in London's Sound City by the guitar's most famous owner, The Beatles' George Harrison. An established Gretsch fan who had already played a variety of Gretsch's throughout the Beatles’ early career and Hamburg days, it was to be the Country Gent that was to become most closely associated with Harrison

LATEST NEWS in the US, thanks to the band’s 1964 appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. The guitar continued to go through minor cosmetic and electrical changes and became a huge success. While production hit a stumbling block in the 70s as Gretsch, now under

the control of Baldwin, began dropping features in order to cut costs, the Country Gent was destined to return. Sitting near the top of many guitarists’ wish lists, we should thank Chet Atkins for his achievement of creating a true MI Icon.

STRAIGHT TO YOUR MOBILE

Bookmark us in your phone:

MOBILE.MI-PRO.CO.UK

SEND YOUR PICTURES TO CODA@INTENTMEDIA.CO.UK WWW.MI-PRO.CO.UK

miPRO FEBRUARY 2010 65


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IN ASSOCIATION WITH

SOUNDALIKES THEM CROOKED VULTURES

MI SPACE

Tom Harrison Company/job title: 440 Distribution/ owner Years in the industry? I started in 1991, so that's quite a long time, 19 years now First single bought? That was Fun Boy Three featuring Bananarama – It Ain’t What You Do, It’s the Way that You Do It. It was cool ‘cos it had Terry Hall, so I win points on that, but lose them for Bananarama Favourite album? I'm very tempted to say 'Best of the Beatles' but I don't think everyone will get the reference, so it'll have to be Pet Sounds or Holland by the Beach Boys Currently listening to? An mixture of Fountains of Wayne, Calvin Harris and Eagles of Death Metal Favourite musician? Brian Wilson Which instruments do you play? Just the guitar Are you currently in a band? Not at the minute with two young kids

The super group to end all super groups, featuring members of Led Zeppelin, Queens of the Stone Age and Foo Fighters, rock fans are still getting used to the fact that such a monstrous entity even exists. Here’s how they make their noise... the international monthly magazine for music instrument professional and everyone in the MI business

Managing Editor

Advertising Manager

Circulation

Andy Barrett mipro@intentmedia.co.uk

Darrell Carter darrell.carter@intentmedia.co.uk

Paul Little mipro.subscriptions@c-cms.com

Editor at Large

Sales Executive

Editorial Production Manager

Gary Cooper gary@garycooper.biz

Jodie Holdway jodie.holdway@intentmedia.co.uk

Helen French helen.french@intentmedia.co.uk

Associate Editor

Designer

Publisher

Rob Power rob.power@intentmedia.co.uk

Claire Brocklesby claire.brocklesby@intentmedia.co.uk

Dave Roberts dave.roberts@intentmedia.co.uk

Deputy Editor

Production Executive

Managing Director

Rob Hughes rob.hughes@intentmedia.co.uk

Rosie McKeown rosie.mckeown@intentmedia.co.uk

Stuart Dinsey stuart.dinsey@intentmedia.co.uk

JOSH HOMME – Guitar and vocals – Various custom Maton electric guitars, Fender Black Face Bassman, Vox AC30, Dunlop QZ-1 Crybaby Q-Zone, Electro Harmonix POG, Electro Harmonix Bass Micro Synth, Lovetone Meatball, Boss GEB-7 equaliser, Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive, Aqua Puss analog delay, MXR Phase 90, Whirlwind Selector, Smart People Factory overdrive, Smart Peoples Factory distortion and fuzz box, Ernie Ball volume pedal JOHN PAUL JONES – Bass and keys – Fender Precision fretless bass, Fender Bass V, Custom made Pedulla Rapture

MI Pro has a monthly circulation of well over 6,000. It is distributed to all MI retailers and industry professionals plus carefully selected pro audio executives and resellers.

66 miPRO FEBRUARY 2010

DAVE GROHL – Drums – DW Collector's series kit, 24x 16 bass drum, 13x 9 mounted tom tom, 16x 16 floor tom, 18x 16 floor tom, 14x 6.5 DW stainless steel/aluminum snare, 22" or 23" DW gong drum, LP tambourine, hi-hat tambourine, Zildjian 15" K Light hi-hats, 24" Sound Lab Prototype ride, 18" A Custom EFX, 20" A Custom crash,19" or 20" K Dark China, 20" A Custom ReZo crash

SUBSCRIPTION UK: £50 Europe: £60 Rest of World: £90 Enquiries, please email: mipro.subscriptions@c-cms.com Telephone: 01580 883 848 Charges cover XX issues and 1st class postage or airmail dispatch for overseas subscribers. MI PRO is published 12 times a year, reaching well over 6,000 readers throughout the UK and international market.

miPRO is a member of the PPA © Intent Media 2010 No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior permission of the copyright owners. Printed by The Manson Group, AL3 6PZ

ISSN 1750-4198 Enquiries to Mi Pro, Intent Media, Saxon House 6a St. Andrew Street, Hertford SG14 1JA.

MI PRO Magazine. Saxon House, 6a St. Andrew Street. Hertford, Hertfordshire. SG14 1JA ISSN: 1750-41980 Copyright 2010 Printed by The Manson Group, AL3 6PZ

bass, Acoustic Control Corporation 360 bass amp, Hammond organs, Hohner Clavinet, Hohner Electra-piano, Fender Rhodes, Mellotron, Korg Kaossilator

Tel: 01992 535646 (Editorial) Tel: 01992 535647 (Advertising) Fax: 01992 535648

NEXT MONTH

The first in a three month series looking forward to, being at and reporting on Frankfurt’s Musikmesse, the prestige electric guitar market, the world of electric drums and none other than the mighty Dunlop on the cover. Don’t you dare miss it... EDITORIAL: ANDY BARRETT mipro@intentmedia.co.uk ADVERTISING: DARRELL CARTER darrell.carter@intentmedia.co.uk


Classically Spoilt for Choice . . .

Albéniz:

Isaac Albéniz 26 Pieces Arranged for Guitar

España Opus 165 by Albéniz

Albéniz for Acoustic Guitar

The Newman & Oltman Guitar Duo - Cantos de España

transcribed by Stanley Yates Book • 97344 • £21.95 • €31.95

transcribed and arranged for guitar by John Griggs Book • 98913 • £6.95 • €9.95

by Laurindo Almeida Book • 97041 • £12.95 • €18.95

performed by Michael Newman & Laura Oltman DVD • 97550DVD • £17.99 • €25.95

Tárrega: C

M

Y

Best of Tárrega for Classic Guitar

CM

edited by Joseph Castle Book • 93434 • £3.50 • €4.95

MY

Tarrega in Tablature by Ben Bolt Book/CD set • 95689BCD • £19.95 • €28.95

Francisco Tárrega His Life and Music by Stanley Yates & Graham Wade DVD • 21754DVD • £17.99 • €25.95

CY

CMY

K

GFA Winners:

Marcin Dylla: GFA International Competition Winner 2007

Martha Masters GFA Winner 2000

performed by Marcin Dylla DVD • 21932DVD • £13.99 • €19.95

performed by Denis Azabagic, Martha Masters, performed by Martha Masters DVD • 99786DVD • £13.99 • €19.95 Lorenzo Micheli, Judicaël Perroy, & Fabio Zanon DVD • 21366DVD • £17.99 • €25.95

Classic Guitar Artistry

Guitar Foundation of America Int'l Guitar Competition Winners, Vol. 1

performed by Denis Azabagic DVD • 98407DVD • £13.99 • €19.95

Follow Us:

Mel Bay

twitter.com/melbaymusic

MUSIC, LTD.

facebook.com/melbaypublications

Excellence in Music

Visit Us: Judicaël Perroy in Concert www.melbay.com

performed by Judicaël Perroy DVD • 98386DVD • £17.99 • €25.95

Fabio Zanon Classic Guitar Solos

Lorenzo Micheli: Guitar Foundation of America International Competition Winner 1999

performed by Fabio Zanon DVD • 97280DVD • £17.99 • €25.95

performed by Lorenzo Micheli DVD • 99787DVD • £17.99 • €25.95

To order or for more information: 0800 432 0486

• e-mail salesuk@melbay


MI Pro February 2010 Issue 117