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w w w. m m r m a g a z i n e . c o m

December 2011

28th Annual

50 50 Dealer

Alabama • Alaska Arizona • Arkansas California • Colorado • Connecticut Delaware • Florida Georgia • Hawaii Idaho • Illinois • Indiana Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky Louisiana • Maine • Maryland Massachusetts • Michigan • Minnesota Mississippi • Missouri • Montana • Ne-


braska • Nevada • New Hampshire • New Jersey New Mexico • New York North Carolina • North Dakota • Ohio • Oklahoma • Oregon • Pennsylvania • Rhode Island • South Carolina • South Dakota Tennessee • Texas • Utah Vermont • Virginia • Washington • West Virginia • Wisconsin • Wyoming

Review & Forecast

19th Annual Dealers’ Choice Awards NEW, MMR iPad APP NOW AVAILABLE

Contents DECEMBER 2011 VOL.170 NO. 12

34 Report:

28th Annual 50 Dealer/50 State Review & Forecast

MI retail operations from across the country share their views on 2011 and expectations for the coming year.

Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts Michigan • Minnesota • Mississippi • Missouri • Montana • Nebraska • Nevada • New Hampshire • New Jersey New Mexico New York • North Carolina • North Dakota • Ohio • Oklahoma • Oregon • Pennsylvania Rhode Island • South Carolina • South Dakota • Tennessee • Texas • Utah • Vermont • Virginia • Washington West Virginia • Wisconsin • Wyoming Cover deisgn by: Laurie Chesna

26 Stats: U.S. Musical Instrument Imports for Consumption – Quarterly Data for 2011

64 30th Annual America’s Top Music Chains

73 19th Annual MMR Dealers’ Choice Awards

The results of the 2011 DCAs see shakeups in a number of categories, including a new winner as the ‘Product of the Year’ – the first time the Yamaha Disklavier hasn’t taken the title in a decade.

78 Show Report: 131st AES Convention

MMR summarizes the events and overall mood at the recent AES gathering in NYC.

82 Print Music’s Top-Sellers for 2011

In every issue: 4 6 22 86 89 90 96

Editorial Upfront People New Products Supplier Scene Classifieds Advertisers’ Index MMR Musical Merchandise Review® (ISSN 0027-4615) founded in 1879, is published monthly by Symphony Publishing, LLC, 21 Highland Circle, Suite 1, Needham, MA 02494 (781)453-9310, publisher of School Band and Orchestra, Choral Director, Music Parents America and JazzEd. All titles are federally registered trademarks and/or trademarks of Symphony Publishing, LLC. Subscription Rates: U.S.A., US possessions, one year $32; two years $40. Canada one year $80; all other countries one year $159. Single issues $5 each. May Supplier Directory $35. Periodical-Rate Postage Paid at Boston, MA and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER/SUBSCRIBERS: Send address change to Musical Merchandise Review, P.O. Box 8548, Lowell, MA 01853. Periodicals circulation is directed to music dealers and retailers, wholesalers and distributors, importers and exporters and manufacturers of all types of musical instruments and their accessories, related electronic sound equipment, general musical accessories, musical publications and teaching aides. The publishers of this magazine do not accept responsibility for statements made by their advertisers in business competion. No portion of this issue may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. Copyright ©2011 by Symphony Publishing, LLC, all rights reserved. Printed in USA.



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Editorial Sidney Davis

Volume 170 Number 12 December 2011

A Failure To Respond Despite the fact that Daddy’s Junky Music, the industry’s sixth largest chain (MMR December 2010, 20 stores) recently closed its doors, the industry as a small slice of the retail pie remains relatively stable in terms of dealer longevity. In the early 1980s we inaugurated our popular 50 Dealer/50 State Review and Forecast and a check of the first respondents indicate that some 38 years later 29 of the dealerships remain in operation. This is in contrast to the Small Business Administration’s study that points out only 66 percent of small businesses remain solvent after two years and 40 percent remain open after six years. Another grim statistic to consider is that 50 percent of individuals opening a retail business lose their investment in four years and, according to the Nation’s Federation of Independent Business Association, only 39 percent of businesses remain profitable. On the positive side of the music ledger we reported 57 companies with four more stores for a total of 588 units in 1983. This compares to today’s tally (page 64) of 69 companies with three or more stores for a total of 759: An increase in both the number of chains and total storefronts. In truth, the music products segment has faired well over the past decade in comparison to others within the arts and entertainment area. While there have been significant losses ranging from the venerable Baldwin retail chain to the more recent rise and fall of MARS, the past 28 years have also witnessed the emergence of Guitar Center (eleven stores in ’83) Sam Ash (seven stores in ’83) to a combined total of 369 units in 2011. As in past reports, the comments posted in this year’s 50 Dealer/50 State feature are a microcosm of the turbulent economy, offering either a half-full or half-empty viewpoint depending on the dealer’s perspective. For New Hampshire’s Manchester Music Mill, a relatively new store, they report an increase of 10-15 percent over the previous year and hope to increase their business with the closing of competitor Daddy’s Junky Music. Flagstaff’s Arizona Music Pro reports a substantial drop in band instruments due to the elimination of all elementary school music in their district, however they have turned a negative into a positive with an emphasis on lessons and repairs. As in dealer surveys throughout the past year, the most prevailing theme continues to be the expansion of social media. Paul Decker of Montana’s Music Villa states, “We created our own web reality show that has been great for promoting the website as well as keeping the store busy.” John Barton, of Maine’s Friendly River says, “Facebook has been fantastic. Some posted items sell within hours.” Jeff Wolosyzn of Philadelphia’s South Street Sounds offers, “If business is slow, I’ll offer a free pack of strings to the first customer in the store who mentions our Facebook page.” Mike Trombley from Vermont’s Advance Music Center says, “We bit the bullet and hired a dedicated IT/Computer whiz, it has proven money well spent. We are not a shopping cart site but we have had excellent response to local events, clinics and store sales.” And Richard Caruso of Connecticut’s Caruso Music shared, “We recently listed on Facebook a 1974 Guild Starfire Bass and 15 seconds later people were already posting comments! In a final note one might consider the plight of the Eastman Kodak Company, an operation founded in 1892, which literally owned the film and camera markets for most of the 20th century. The $7 billion conglomerate employing more than 18,000 people reported in a recent financial statement that its survival over the next year hinges on its ability to sell its range of digital-imaging patents or divesting other business interests. While the demise of their core film business is the most obvious reason for the company’s woes, one might also consider its failure to respond to customer complaints (which the company disputes) as outlined in 2007 by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. The BBB file contains consumer complaints of problems with repairs of Kodak digital cameras, as well as difficulty communicating with Kodak customer service. Among other complaints, consumers say that their cameras broke and they were charged for repairs when the failure was not the result of any damage or abuse. A lesson for all…

PUBLISHER Sidney L. Davis ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Rick Kessel EDITOR Christian Wissmuller ASSOCIATE EDITORS Eliahu Sussman Matt Parish CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Chaim Burstein, Dennis Carver, Kevin Mitchell, Dick Weissman ADVERTISING MANAGER Iris Fox SALES & MARKETING MANAGER Jason LaChapelle CLASSIFIED & DISPLAY AD SALES Maureen Johan PRODUCTION MANAGER Laurie Guptill GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Laurie Chesna Andrew P. Ross CIRCULATION MANAGER Melanie A. Prescott ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Popi Galileos SYMPHONY PUBLISHING, LLC Chairman Xen Zapis President Lee Zapis Chief Financial Officer Rich Bongorno Corporate Headquarters 26202 Detroit Road, Suite 300, Westlake, Ohio 44145 440-871-1300 PUBLISHING, SALES & EDITORIAL OFFICE: 21 Highland Circle, Suite 1, Needham, MA 02494 (781) 453-9310 Fax: (781) 453-9389










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Upfront Daddy’s Junky Music Closes The message posted on said it all: “Daddy’s Junky Music Stores Inc has ceased operation as of close of business on October 26, 2011. Thank you for a wonderful 39 years.” Though the chain had closed eight outlets in the past year, the news comes as a shock to many, nonetheless. In late July, founder and CEO Fred Bramante framed the reduction in storefronts as a “restructuring,” put a positive spin on the move, and provided an optimistic outlook for the future: “Daddy’s was most successful when we had 12 retail locations within reasonable proximity to our headquarters and warehouse… We will provide a better presentation in markets where our experience tells us a brick & mortar presence still works for Daddy’s.

Our online presentation will continue to play a larger role and, in tandem with our 12-stores, presents the appropriate format to service our customers and position Daddy’s for success in the future.” Unfortunately this seems to have not panned out as hoped. Daddy’s Junky Music was founded by Bramante in 1972, born out of his experiences of acquiring, refurbishing, and selling instruments while at Keene (N.H.) State College. “I had always been a sucker for two things,” Bramante told MMR in a June 1982 cover feature. “Instruments and a good deal.” In the decades that followed, Fred and his business partner Chris

Gleason grew the operation and eventually Daddy’s expanded to field storefronts in all six New England states and New York. Daddy’s Junky Music received a number of regional and national awards and Bramante’s own profile grew in stature. He ran for New Hampshire governor twice in the 1990s and is currently a member of the state Board of Education. In MMR’s 2011 Top Music Chains report, Daddy’s had an estimated annual business volume of $23.2 million. In a report in the Union Leader (Manchester, N.H.), Bramante cited the economy and Internet sales as the main factors behind this week’s closing and described Wednesday as one of the worst days of his life: “I had to tell people who had been working with me for decades they were losing their jobs, and it was heartbreaking.”

Messina Resigns as CEO of Steinway; Sweeney to Serve as Interim CEO On Monday, October 24, Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc. announced the resignation of CEO Dana Messina. Earlier this year, the company announced it was evaluating offers for Company assets and other strategic alternatives. Messina has agreed to step down as the Company’s CEO, a position he has

held since 1996, due to his involvement in developing several of the strategic alternatives which the Company is considering. He will remain on Steinway’s Board of Directors. Chairman Michael Sweeney will serve as Steinway’s CEO for an interim period. He became a director of the

Company in April 2011 and was appointed chairman in July. Mr. Sweeney is Chairman of the Board of Star Tribune Media Holdings. He previously served as the president of Starbucks Coffee Company (UK) Ltd. In connection with Mr. Messina’s departure as CEO, Steinway will recognize a severance charge of $2.7 million.

Congressman Cooper Talks Amendment to Lacey Act In a NAMM-organized conference call held on October 20, Congressman Jim Cooper (D-Nashville) outlined the finer points for the RELIEF Act, new legislation for which Cooper is a co-sponsor, that would amend the controversial Lacey Act. Along with Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood) who is also co-sponsoring the bill, Cooper is aiming to address and remedy the concerns many have relating to perceived vagueness within the Lacey Act, as it currently stands. “I blame Congress for passing 6 MMR

an overly broad statute,” noted Cooper. “We need a permanent fix… I’m not saying this [the RELIEF Act] is a perfect bill, but it’s a darn good start.” The new act, if passed, would theoretically narrow the focus of the Lacey Act, freeing up musicians and instrument suppliers and retailers from needless legal hassle. “I’m hoping that we can have a good, clean bi-partisan coalition on this bill,” Cooper said. “The key is to start protecting legitimate businesses, musicians, and vintage instruments. We need

to make sure that this worthy goal is not drowned out by politics in an election year. Let’s keep this bi-partisan. This may seem simple, but it’s very complex and we need to do it right.” He further urged NAMM members and others concerned with the implications of the Lacey Act to take actions, themselves: “You have more power than you realize. Contact your congressman. Many who were in Congress in 2008 do not realize that they voted for this thing… If you write an intelligent letter, your voice will be heard.” DECEMBER 2011

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Upfront UAW Ends Strike at Conn-Selmer Plant Conn-Selmer, Inc., a subsidiary of Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc. (NYSE: LVB), announced in late October that employees with Local 2359 of the United Auto Workers (UAW) have ended their strike at the Eastlake, Ohio manufacturing facility, which began July 26, 2011. The UAW represents approximately 230 employees at the Eastlake brass instrument facility. In its notification to the company, the UAW also made an “unconditional offer to return to work”

on behalf of all of the striking employees and directed all such striking employees to report for work immediately. John Stoner, president of ConnSelmer explained, “The Company has been negotiating in good faith with representatives of the UAW since January. We are encouraged by the decision to end the strike and return to work. We hope the UAW will present the company’s last position to employees for approval and that the employees vote to ratify that offer.”

Antique Instruments On the Auction Block in Boston On November 6, New England auction house Skinner, Inc. hosted its bi-annual Fine Musical Instruments auction in Boston, showcasing beautiful vintage guitars, percussion, novelties, and hundreds of antique violins and bows. As a crowd of collectors and enthusiasts followed along on notepads and a full compliment of staff worked phone banks and online accounts, rare items like a 1941 Martin D-45 acoustic guitar sold

for $185,000 and a Slingerland drum set owned and played by Gene Krupa for ten years sold for $9,000. A majestic concert harp from Lyon & Healy dated to 1905 went for $6,000, while a Markneukirchen violin from 1930 went for $7,500. Skinner specialist in fine musical instruments David Bonsey was on hand to oversee the auction, which was called by Karen M. Keane. Bonsey said the fine

Corrections: In our November 2011 article on Légère Reeds, we mistakenly listed the company’s mailing address as being in Ottowa, Canada. The correct address is: Légère Reeds Ltd. 121 Welham Rd., Unit #4 Barrie, Ontario, Canada L4N 8Y3 In the feature on Saxquest in the November issue, the writer mistakenly wrote that employee Audrey Denny had played with the St. Louis Symphony. She has played with the Chicago Symphony. Also, her last name was misspelled. We regret the errors.

musical instruments market has been down for a few years but he’s seeing signs of life, as well as comfortable steadiness in perennial high-performers. “I think people are getting their confidence back from what they’ve bought lately,” he said just before the auction. “Prices are going to slowly climb back to what they were. I don’t know that the most hyped-up guitars are going to reach where they were anytime soon, but generally there are very strong things in the market.” Bonsey pointed at guitars like this auction’s Martin as constant sure bets. “It’s just like in the fine art world – the greatest paintings have not lost value. So what we’ve seen is just a general market correction in a lot of mid-range things. For now, it’s a great buyer’s market. That’s what here for today – we’re here to sell stuff!”

NAMM’s Import Export Task Force Lobbies on Capitol Hill for RELIEF Act NAMM’s Import Export Task Force, comprised of NAMM Members wanting to stay informed and involved in regulatory issues, met with regulators and representatives of Congress in Washington D.C. in early November The meetings allowed NAMM and its 8 MMR

Members to discuss import and export issues including Lacey Act compliance, address the inhibitions to trade and commerce that exist within the law, and to continue to advocate for needed changes within the

regulatory compliance framework. On Nov. 2, NAMM Members participated in issue briefings and meetings with Members of Congress or their staff. Congressman Jim Cooper (D-TN-5th) was DECEMBER 2011

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Upfront present to discuss the new Retailers and Entertainers Lacey Implementation and Enforcement Fairness (RELIEF) Act that he introduced in October. The legislation will clarify a broad federal law so that musical instrument manufacturers, retailers and resellers–among many others including musicians–would not be subject to penalties for unknowingly possessing illegal woods. NAMM is among 20 national

environmental and business organizations that support the RELIEF Act. Representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service were also on hand to offer insight into current import/export issues and federal regulations. On Nov. 3, NAMM Members participated in more than 40 meetings with

Alto Music Expanding Amidst less-than-upbeat developments (Daddy’s Junky Music, R.I.P.), some MI retail operations are providing welcome counterpoint. Alto Music is a vibrant case in point – featured prominently in a nationally aired American Express commercial last winter, one of the operation’s storefronts (there are currently five throughout New York state) is now set to expand into a radically larger location. Wappingers Falls store manager Dave Reuter, who’s been Alto for 19 years, told us that the new store (just across the highway from the current location) represents a growth from 4,200 sq. feet to 11,000 sq. feet. Additionally, th location will be doubling their staff and adding band instrument and DJ departments: “I used to pull [B&O] from other stores, but now I’ll actually have it in the building,” Reuter says. “The space constrictions haven’t allowed a DJ department in our old location, so we’ve missed the boat

on that for years. People would come in to ask for it and I’d have to send them over to our Middletown location. Once in a while I’d have the stuff transferred over to keep the sale in-house, but sometimes they’d just need to seed the stuff. So now I’ll have all the lights and scratching boxes and all that stuff those guys use.” “The thing I find most fascinating is that in a time where stores are dropping like flies, we’re expanding,” he continues. “It’s a bit odd, but I do have a general idea why this is: we work very hard, we have great staff, a great inventory, and great prices, but we’re really just very fortunate.” As to challenges facing the larger operation, Reuter volunteers, “I’ll be managing a staff that’s at least twice the size of what we have now, with new departments and longer hours. It’s just the logistics of the more mass of the whole thing, so it’ll be a whole different ballgame.”

American DJ’s Davies Honored With Lifetime Achievement Award From DJ Zone Scott Davies, the well-known “face of American DJ,” was awarded the first ever Crystal Disc Lifetime Achievement Award by DJ Zone at the 2011 LDI Conference in Orlando, Fla. Davies was presented with the award by Sid Vanderpool, 10 MMR

publisher of DJ Zone, for his critical role in promoting the DJ industry and bringing innovative new lighting and audio products to the affordable segment of the market. “This award is such an honor, since most of my life I have been a part of this industry and this industry means so much to me,” said Davies. “I feel very fortunate to have done something I’ve truly enjoy for an industry I truly love.”

members of Congress or their staff to encourage co-sponsorship and support for the RELIEF Act.

Cort Guitars Honors Gary Sinise

In appreciation of the work actor/ musician Gary Sinise is doing to help support veterans of the United States military and other charitable efforts through his Gary Sinise Foundation, Cort presented Gary with a Cort Artisan A4 bass. The presentation occurred during a fundraising event earlier this year, in Chicago, where Gary’s Lt. Dan Band performed. The concert, event, and fundraiser benefited the United

States Veterans Arts Program (USVAP). The organization strives to provide artistic tools to wounded service members of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars as well as Veterans Medical Service Organizations. Cort was honored to also provide a Cort electric guitar, signed by Sinise and given to a veteran. Sinise was introduced to Cort basses while studying under the guidance of bassist, Jeff Berlin. Throughout the course of lessons, Sinise had the opportunity to play instruments from Berlin’s collection. The Cort bass quickly became a personal favorite. Soon enough, he started using that bass at performances. Mutual friend, noted drummer and original member of the Blues Brothers, Danny Gottlieb introduced Sinise to the people of Cort.


Upfront Kurzweil Donates K250 Keyboard to NAMM’s Museum of Making Music

Vincent Choi, president of Young Chang N. America; Dominique Agnew, NAMM assoc. director of Trade Show Sales; Tatiana Sizonenko, NAMM Museum curator; Carolyn Grant, executive director NAMM Museum of Making Music; Dan Yuter, national sales & marketing manager Kurzweil Home Products.

Young Chang North America president Vincent Choi recently presented the iconic Kurzweil K250 keyboard to Carolyn Grant, executive director of NAMM’s Museum of Making Music. The K250 is regarded by many as the first true electronic musical instrument and produced sounds derived from “sampling” burned onto integrated circuits known as Read Only Memory, or

ROM. The model is considered first electronic instrument to faithfully reproduce the sounds of an acoustic grand piano. “We are pleased to have such a historic instrument on display, alongside many of the other groundbreaking instruments at the Museum’s newest Electronic Music Exhibit, “ commented Dan Yuter, Kurzweil national sales & marketing manager for Young Chang.

D’Addario to Sponsor NY State Band Directors Assoc. D’Addario, Rico, Pro-Mark and Evans will be assisting NYSBDA in expanding its series of Regional Workshops throughout New York state, the NYSBDA Symposium, and Composers Commission Project. NYSBDA was formed in the late 1970s in response to a growing concern among educators about the lack of quality professional development experiences for band directors in New York State. The founding primary goals and objectives were to assist and serve the needs

of band/wind ensemble directors in all areas of the profession and to encourage their professional growth and development. In addition to providing forums for the exchange of ideas and methods, the association has a deep commitment to fostering cooperation among symphonic band and wind ensemble directors in elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, as well as community (and military) organizations in New York State. The association also encourages and fosters the

EDA Pro Group Named Symetrix U.S. Rep of the Year Symetrix recently announced that EDA Pro Group, LLC of Snellville, Georgia earned its “Fiscal Year 2011 U.S. Representative of the Year Award” for the second year in a row. EDA Pro Group represents Symetrix products in the southeastern United States and has consistently returned sales well beyond expectation. “Symetrix makes technology that wins bids for integrators,” said

12 MMR

EDA Pro Group president Mark Adams. “That puts us in the enviable position of providing, rather than pushing, solutions that excite our clients.”

development of community bands and community music programs. D’Addario’s sponsorship will enable NYSBDA to increase the number of Regional staff development workshops its holds during the course of the school year. These important sessions offer training and clinics to music educators. In addition to staff development, D’Addario’s sponsorship helps NYSBDA continue its Composers Commission project, introducing new and exciting compositions to students from contemporary composers.

New Gemini HQ

Gemini has moved their United States headquarters to a new and improved facility in Edison, N.J. In addition, the company revealed they have opened new distribution warehouses in Redlands, Calif. and Shenzhen, China. Gemini’s new headquarters is less than a mile from their current location. As of late October, the new address will be 280 Raritan Center Parkway, Edison, N.J. 08837. The phone and fax numbers will remain as (732) 346-0061 and (732) 346-0065, respectively. All operations – sales, customer service, marketing, product development and customer repairs – will be performed from this new Edison location, which is nearly twice the size of their current office. DECEMBER 2011

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Upfront MakeMusic Purchases Recordcare Assets MakeMusic, Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire selected assets of Recordare® LLC, the Internet music publishing and software company. Closing is expected to occur during the fourth quarter. Under the terms of the agreement, MakeMusic is purchasing the MusicXML™ open format and Dolet® software technology, including copyrights, source code, and trademarks. MakeMusic also announced that the founder of Recor-

dare and inventor of MusicXML, Michael Good, will be joining MakeMusic as the director of digital sheet music. MusicXML has become a major platform for musical notation interchange and is an Internet-friendly way to publish musical scores. The technology enables musicians to distribute interactive sheet music online and to use sheet music files with a wide variety of musical applications. MusicXML will continue to be available under the same

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Vai To Receive Les Paul Award at TEC Awards

Guitarist, composer, and producer Steve Vai will be presented with the Les Paul Award at the 27th Annual Technical Excellence & Creativity Awards, to be held Friday, January 20, in the Pacific Ballroom of the Hilton Anaheim during the 2012 NAMM Show. Co-presented

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McCartney to Foot the Bill for Restoration of Motown’s Steinway Paul McCartney, an avid fan of the Motown hits of the 1960s, toured the Motown Museum in July of this year before his performance at Comerica Park, and encountered the 134-year old Steinway, which was used on innumerable classic recordings from the label’s heyday but which had fallen into disrepair. “When I visited the Motown Museum, I remembered listening to records as a kid in Liverpool, learning the songs ‘You Really Got a Hold on Me’ and ‘Money,’” McCartney said via a museum statement. “I said to myself, ‘Wow! This is the Holy Grail!’”

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“He had a ball during his visit,” said Audley Smith, CEO of the nonprofit museum. “He wants to help bring the piano back to recording quality.” In early November, the piano began its train journey Monday to the New York headquarters of Steinway & Sons, where specialists will assess it and devise a restoration plan. Repair work will take several months to complete, and the restored piano is scheduled for unveiling March 30 at the museum’s annual gala. There is no estimate as to the cost of the project as of now.

by the TEC Foundation for Excellence in Audio and NAMM, the TEC Awards recognizes outstanding achievement in professional audio production and product design. The Les Paul Award was established in 1991 to honor musical artists who have had distinguished careers as innovators in the creative application of audio technology. Past recipients include Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Brian Wilson, Peter Gabriel, Lindsey Buckingham, Herbie Hancock, Al Kooper, Steve Miller, Robbie Robertson and others.


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Upfront California’s Norm’s Music ‘Downsizing’ – No, Really… After 10 years of operating Norm’s Music on Old Middlefield Road in Mountain View, Calif., Norm Clark is calling it a day. Though, as closings go, this one isn’t as dire or depressing as most others. “The story is really this – I’m downsizing,” said Clark when we spoke with him on Wednesday. “I don’t want to be in

Manilow Music Project Donates Instruments to Joplin HS

When the tornado of May 22 – one of the deadliest in U.S. history, killing 162 – ravaged Joplin, Missouri, one of the areas hardest hit was the town’s high school. Facilities were torn apart and nearly all of the school’s library of music and instruments were decimated. Joplin residents Dr. Michael Fitterling and his wife, Margie, reached out to Barry Manilow’s ‘Manilow Music Project’ for help with the band’s fundraising drive, and the Project responded with more than anyone expected: $300,000 worth of brand new instruments. Manilow also stepped up to partner with Dr. Fitterling’s dentistry practice to host an instrument drive in Joplin, taking place now, where people can drop off new and gently used instruments, as well as cash donations to replenish the school’s music library. The drive, which took place the week of October 24, culminated with a special appearance by Manilow himself, in Joplin, to personally deliver the instruments to the students.

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the retail business on a 24/7 basis. I had a large following for doing repairs and rentals [prior to opening the store] and the violin business is really the part that I love doing. I can have a little bit more of my own life and yet still be involved in this on a part-time basis. We have a house in Puerto Vallarta and I want to spend more time there and spend more time traveling with my wife. We retired ten years ago and then started [the retail operation] and it just got bigger and bigger.” Clark will continue to provide rentals, sales, repairs, restoration, and lessons (two teachers who contract through the shop) to the school market. “It’s hard to figure out how to downscale, but I’ve

actually figured out a way to do it,” he says. “I’m excited about it. I’m not going very far – I’m just going upstairs. It’ll be a more personal, intimate kind of thing.” Currently. Norm’s is having a “Store Closing Sale” during which every instrument is being sold for 30-50 percent off. “I’m not as busy this second week of the sale, but that’s how it goes,” he says. “The first week was crazy. I’ve gotten rid of about 10 percent of the inventory so far. It’s been really wonderful, because everybody’s come in. It’s been like an old party with friends who you‘ve known over the last ten years. I think it’s just great to realize how important music is in kids’ lives. It’s not just a business.”

Pat Brown Launches New Marketing Firm Longtime music industry veteran, Pat Brown, has started a new full-service sales and marketing company. The Brown Group, headquartered in Houston, Texas, will offer consulting services in sales, marketing, market research, graphic design, print/ internet advertising, media plans, video, and more. In addition, the company has complete, turnkey printing capability.

Brown, whose background includes seven years at Fender, and 26 years at Pro-Mark is a former co-director of the Percussion Marketing Council, and past winner of the Percussive Arts Society’s President’s Industry Award. For more information, call (832) 6549831 or email

Former GC Exec Named CEO of Harry & David Gifts and gourmet foods retailer Harry & David Holdings Inc. has hired veteran direct marketing and e-commerce executive Craig Johnson as the company’s next CEO. Johnson was chief supply officer for Guitar Center Holdings Inc.

and chief executive of Guitar Center’s direct marketing business, Musician’s Friend. Johnson, who takes over as CEO from restructuring specialist Kay Hong, began his new duties on October 25.

Record Re-Investment by Schimmel Schimmel Pianos has reinvested more than five percent of its revenue in 2011 – the highest reinvestment in the 126-year history of the Braunschweig family business. At a predicted revenue of just under $25 million, the piano factory from

Braunschweig will invest roughly $1.4 million into production and innovation at the company plant. According to Schimmel, even more investments into the environment and renewable energy are planned, but not included in the above figures. DECEMBER 2011


Pulse of the MI Nation: 2011 Throughout the year, we asked dealers to provide feedback about purchasing trends at their operations by asking, “Compared to last month, sales are now…?”




















































18 MMR


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Third Quarter Results Compared to Prior Year Period • Sales of $89.8 million, up 8% • Gross margin increased to 28.9% from 27.9% • Non-cash impairment charges of $5.1 million • Income from operations of $1.1 million • Adjusted EBITDA of $6.1 million • Loss per share of $0.09 • Adjusted diluted earnings per share increased to $0.14 from $0.13

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YTD Results Compared to Prior Year Period • Sales of $251.6 million, up 9% • Gross margin increased to 29.7% from 29.0% • Income from operations of $7.7 million • Adjusted EBITDA of $19.2 million • Loss per share of $0.13 • Adjusted earnings per share of $0.39, consistent with prior year Balance Sheet Highlights • Cash of $41.2 million • Borrowing availability of over $100 million • Inventory reduced $9.0 million, or 6%, from September 2010

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20 MMR

Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc. (NYSE: LVB) recently reported earnings for the quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2011.

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CEO Michael Sweeney commented on the third quarter, “We are pleased that, despite a strike at one of our band facilities, we were able to post healthy core operating results. Demand for our pianos remained solid in the United States and Europe and our manufacturing operations were more efficient. The improvements in sales and gross margins in our piano business more than offset the impact that the work stoppage had on our band division.” DECEMBER 2011

Thanks to the Yamaha Band & Orchestral Dealers for supporting our products and programs! B&O Product Line of the Year Yamaha is proud to accept the MMR Magazine 2011 Band & Orchestra Product Line of the Year award. As a four-time recipient of this award, the Yamaha B&O Division is honored by the recognition and is committed to continue offering instruments of outstanding quality and dependability while providing dealers with the highest levels of support.

Best In Show at NAMM 2011 Yamaha is excited to introduce the new YSS-82Z soprano saxophone, one of many new products introduced by the Band & Orchestral Division at the 2011 NAMM Show. The announcement that the new Custom Z soprano was awarded the 2011 NAMM Best in Show award capped off a week-long whirlwind premier for the newest addition to the renowned Yamaha saxophone lineup.

Best Tools for Schools/Best Teaching Tool for Bands Yamaha is honored to accept the SBO Magazine Best Tools for Schools - Best Teaching Tool for Bands award on behalf of the HD-200 Harmony Director. This comprehensive tool for educators brings harmony training, rhythmic training and ensemble timing together in a single convenient device. For more details, including a demonstration video, visit:

People Music industry veteran Ed Bezursik has joined Yamaha Corporation of America as piano marketing manager. Reporting to Keyboard Division marketing director Mark Ander- Bezursik son, his responsibilities will include the development of all marketing materials and sales programs for Yamaha and Bösendorfer acoustic pianos within the Keyboard Division. Bringing more than 10 years of direct marketing and database experience, Bezursik will be involved with the integration of multi-channel efforts and communication across institutional and retail markets. An experienced sales and marketing executive, Bezursik is a former marketing executive with Steinway & Sons, Chandos Records, Ltd. and The Little Orchestra Society. Yamaha Artist Services Indianapolis, which serves as a liaison between Yamaha Corporation of America and the company’s Band & Orchestral and Drum and Percussion artists, announced Dolson that Chris Dolson has been appointed to the position of artist relations specialist. Dolson will focus on drum set and percussion artists, including artist support, artist development and managing all aspects of the artist’s relationship with Yamaha. A graduate from Illinois State University, where he earned a B.A. in Music Performance, Dolson has worked at Yamaha since 2002, when he came aboard as a marketing intern at the company’s Grand Rapids, Mich., office. From 2003 to 2008, he served as percussion product specialist at the company’s headquarters in Buena Park, Calif. In 2008, he relocated to Indianapolis to serve as market development specialist. Blue Microphones has named Brian Biggott chief technology officer. Biggott, who joined Blue in 2008 in association with Transom Capital Group’s acquisition of the company, Biggott has led Blue’s research and development 22 MMR

team through 17 product launches, from concept development to production, over the past three years. As CTO of Blue Microphones, Biggott will continue to lead Blue’s innovative product development for both the consumer and professional markets. DANSR recently appointed Gary Winder to the position of vice president of sales and marketing. Winder’s career in the music industry goes back over 30 years and he worked Winder with various music companies including G. Leblanc and Coda Music Technologies before joining Yamaha Corporation in 1997 as a district manager in the Mid Atlantic. Most recently Gary was director of national sales for Yamaha. Longtime Taylor Guitars sales associate Michael “Monte” Montefusco has been promoted to director of sales. Montefusco joined the company in 2006 as the Northeast district sales Montefusco manager after spending a decade in the musical instrument industry as a buyer and administrator. He most recently held the position of independent channel manager and will now manage all sales activities in the United States and in select international channels and will report to Brian Swerdfeger, vice president of marketing and sales. Covering the sales territory vacated by Montefusco is Taylor veteran Steve Parr, who will serve as the Northeast district sales manager. Parr previously served as the Canadian district Parr sales manager and was responsible for managing and account development of Taylor dealers throughout the country. In addition to working with Taylor dealers in his new territory, Parr will Lille continue to manage Long & McQuade, Canada’s largest multi-store retailer. The Canadian district sales manager position has been filled by Michael Lille,

who joined Taylor two years ago as a product specialist and earlier this year took on an expanded sales role. The Wenger Corporation announced that Christopher S. (Chris) Simpson has accepted the position of president & CEO, replacing William L. (Bill) Beer who retired October 14, 2011. Over 18 months ago, Bill Beer informed the Wenger Board of Directors of his intent to retire in 2011. Beer worked closely with the Board to accomplish a smooth succession process, which led to Simpson taking over as president & CEO. Chris Simpson has had an extensive and successful career with the Pella Corporation in Pella, Iowa, and with the Whirlpool Corporation in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Genelec Oy recently made two new appointments: Siamäk Naghian to the position of managing director, and Nick Zacharov to the position of director of research and development. Naghian Dr. (Tech.) Siamäk Naghian was appointed managing director of Genelec Oy in August of this year. Naghian received his Master of Science in Technology, Licentiate in Zacharov Technology and Doctor of Science in Technology degrees all form the Helsinki University of Technology, Electrical Engineering Department in Finland. He joined Genelec in 2005 as head of Genelec R&D and a member of the Genelec management team. He was appointed executive vice president in 2010, before moving into his new position. Dr. (Tech.) Nick Zacharov is rejoining Genelec following sixteen years working in various parts of the audio and telecommunications industry. Zacharov obtained a bachelor’s degree in electro-acoustics from Salford University in the U.K. in 1992. He subsequently received Master’s and Doctor of Science in Technology degrees from Helsinki University of Technology in 1997 and 2002, in the fields of acoustics and audio signal processing, respectively. Initially joining Genelec in 1990 as a trainee, and after progressing DECEMBER 2011

People to the level of acoustic engineer, he then moved to the Nokia Corporation in Tampere, Finland, in 1995, where he worked on audio quality assessment. Gemini has hired Jim Rockwell as their new director of marketing. Rockwell is a veteran manager with nearly 25 years experience, and he will helm the recently expanded market- Rockwell ing department as the company enters one of the busiest seasons in the industry. Rockwell spent his early professional life in the marketing departments of major companies like Hasbro Toy, Sportcraft and Warner-Lambert. For the past twelve years he worked in the music industry for Latin Percussion where he most recently was in charge of all marketing activities for both LP and Toca brands. On October 25, Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc. announced that it has

appointed Joon W. Kim to its Board of Directors, bringing the total number of directors to eleven. Kim is managing principal and founder of M5 Investments, a Los Angelesbased provider of investment advisory and asset management services. His insights on economic trends are sought after by the largest of corporations, including the Samsung group of companies. Prior to founding M5 Investments in 1993, Kim worked as a management consultant for Temple, Barker & Sloan (presently Oliver Wyman). He holds a degree in economics from Harvard University and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business. Mr. Kim is a Chartered Financial Analyst charterholder. C. F. Martin & Co. has promoted Tim McNair to general manager, String Division. Effective immediately, McNair will report to company president Keith Lombardi. In this position, he is McNair responsible for the growth of the company’s String business and providing direct leadership to the areas of manufacturing, marketing, procurement and R&D. Recently, under the leadership of McNair along with Martin’s Director of Promotional Marketing Amani Duncan, the company named Pennsylvaniabased Spark the new agency of record for its Strings division, and introduced a new “Heart | Tone | Legend” logo that serves as a representation of what the brand means to Martin Guitar and its consumers. McNair joined Martin Guitar in 2001 as controller, where he worked with senior management to analyze and execute financial, strategic, operational and marketing decisions. In 2005, he was appointed director of sales and marketing for the String Division. Korg USA, Inc. has appointed John Hamer as key account manager. His proven track record in the MI industry includes previous successes as an amplifier buyer and as an inventory manager Hamer for amplifiers and electric/acoustic guitars

24 MMR

at Guitar Center, and most recently at Line 6 as a category manager. In his new position at Korg, Hamer will be serving as a dedicated sales representative to build and maintain strong professional relationships and to focus on driving business and increasing brand share. American Music & Sound recently named Chris Cairns marketing director. Cairns is a drummer/ writer/producer and has also worked in live sound reinforcement. He comes Cairns to AM&S with over 20 years of experience as a vendor to several musical products companies including Young Chang, Kurzweil, and Kawai Piano. FDW Corp. has promoted Sean Sennott to the position of vice president and general manager. Sennott has played a vital role in the growth of FDW Corp as its general manager and will Sennott continue to manage daily operations and administration for the company. Going forward, Sennott will also focus on the development of FDW Corp’s overall business strategy and will work to drive the company towards achieving its aggressive sales goals. Universal Audio has announced the addition of Rob Currie to the company, as chief technology officer and vice president of Engineering. In his new role, Currie will oversee the Currie day-to-day operations of the engineering department, as well as form the longterm technical vision and roadmap. Currie comes to Universal Audio with a broad range of leadership experience in the software, consumer electronics, and audio industries. At Digidesign, Currie served as VP of software engineering where he was a member of the team that created Pro Tools. Since then, he has held senior executive positions at a range of tech companies including Research In Motion, Dash Navigation, Strangeberry/Tivo, and Marimba. DECEMBER 2011

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Note from Joe Clarity and Focus Pythagorean Theorem: 24 Words Lord’s Prayer: 66 Words Archimedes’ Principle: 67 Words Ten Commandments: 179 Words Gettysburg Address: 286 Words U.S. Declaration of Independence: 1,300 Words EU Regulations on the Sale of Cabbage: 26,911 Words (Europe’s Problems Summed Up) - Grant Williams In my opinion, one of the most important ingredients for success today is having a clear vision and being focused on what you and your company do best. With the recent news of Steve Jobs passing, perhaps Apple is a great example of this. Jobs focused on providing clear solutions that his customers could understand, and in doing so, made his company the most valuable in the world. After the tectonic shifts in our industry over the past decade, many NAMM Members have had to ask themselves what it is that they do best, what their unique value proposition is to their customers and whether they had succumbed to the temptation to be “all things to all people.”

Here at NAMM, we have the same challenge. Our Membership is diverse, representing the entire spectrum of music and sound manufacturing, distribution and retailing here in the United States and around the globe. Much has changed since NAMM’s mission and objectives were created back in the early 90s and, because of this, the Board and Executive Committee approved a year-long strategic planning project. The last step was to convene a diverse group of NAMM Member companies representing all categories of Membership to create a new Vision, Mission and set of Strategic Objectives. Their task was clear: In a world full of challenges, they had to determine the most important things NAMM could do—especially within the legal boundaries of our not-for-profit status—to serve the industry. Everything was on the table and I can tell you there were a wide range of opinions, but a theme quickly developed. The key to NAMM’s future success would be clarity and focus, doing fewer things but doing them better and having real impact on the things that mattered most to our Members. The results of these meetings were brought before the NAMM Board and unanimously approved. In many ways, it was a confirmation and refinement of what we were already doing based on NAMM’s “Circle of Benefits” model below. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve this great industry through our renewed focus on Trade Shows, Membership Services, Professional Development, Market Development and Global Impact. We welcome your feedback and look forward to seeing everyone in January! To learn more about the Vision, Mission and Objectives, visit

Joe Lamond NAMM President/CEO P.S. By the way, we cut NAMM’s Vision, Mission and Objectives from its previous eight pages and 2,242 words to one page and 205 words—that’s clarity and focus!


Strategic Planning Team

Pictured, left to right: Joel Menchey, Joe Lamond, Ken Wilson, Henry Lee, Mark Goff, Tom Schmitt, Kevin Cranley, Mary Luehrsen, Robin Walenta, Yoshi Doi, Michael Canning, Gordy Wilcher, Rick Young, Larry Morton, Chris Martin, Michael MacDonald and Dana Messina


December 2011

the up-to-date on NAMM. To keep by ewsletter ed e-n sh al bli git pu Di is back NAMM News up for our PLAY n sig , ws ne . g industry latest breakin at playbackdigi

90,000+ Registrants


Exhibiting Companies


Countries Represented



Moment #457


Moment #215

Scan the QR code to view our online gallery of NAMM Show Moments, plus add your own!


Featuring the 2012 TEC Awards!

Friday 8

:23 am


* based on 2011 NAMM Show numbers



Stats U.S. Musical Instrument Imports for Consumption: Quarterly data for 2011

Sources: The data presented in this chart been compiled from tariff and trade data from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission. * HTS: The Harmonized Tariff Schedule was enacted by Congress and made effective on January 1, 1989. The HTS comprises a hierarchical structure for describing all goods in trade for duty, quota, and statistical purposes. ** NESOI: Not Elsewhere Specified Or Included

HTS Number

First Quarter

Second Quarter Third Quarter In Actual Units of Quantity








101 105 0

199 12 5,087

125 16 1,262




16 143,210

13 147,954

44 201,251
















17 62,944 759

523 58,452 1,528

1,526 69,447 785













139,329 23,817

172,000 25,999

211,944 47,176

7,800 7,060 28,749 245,365 81,517 122,959 13,538 9,295 229,979 521,424

7,779 8,663 11,982 81,559 146,597 118,275 8,272 12,812 231,964 595,137

20,332 15,724 31,259 325,697 37,615 192,904 38,724 11,379 321,735 453,553






Bangladesh DRUMS






Cote d`Ivoire DRUMS

28 MMR


HTS Number

First Quarter

Second Quarter Third Quarter In Actual Units of Quantity


269 445

790 60

440 0




412 27 36

155 35 78

200 92 91







0 0 0

0 0 0

311 134 953

308 130 2,046 479 11,003 37,942

1,410 680 4,001 482 10,753 25,395

15 20 1,383 203 4,198 24,818

493 1,390 673 1,636 6,791 1,340 1,273 12,435 130 162 177,657

734 4,980 593 2,263 31,789 24,508 388 12,669 111 452 165,137

332 17 392 2,508 13,170 7,939 773 11,584 100 462 300,156




213 0 0 0 818

83 2,078 0 0 0

181 288 1,170 1,761 72

638 127 994 1,610 4,756 0 5,097 0

496 80 0 1,745 7,188 0 3,835 5,688

49 48 3,900 7,938 2,690 2,403 4,204 0


Ecuador DRUMS








MMR 29

Stats U.S. Musical Instrument Imports for Consumption: Quarterly data for 2011

Sources: The data presented in this chart been compiled from tariff and trade data from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission. * HTS: The Harmonized Tariff Schedule was enacted by Congress and made effective on January 1, 1989. The HTS comprises a hierarchical structure for describing all goods in trade for duty, quota, and statistical purposes. ** NESOI: Not Elsewhere Specified Or Included

HTS Number

First Quarter

Second Quarter Third Quarter In Actual Units of Quantity








19,544 5,355 3,344 5,893 53,200 7,790 46,149 104,880

28,596 3,471 2,354 4,139 97,975 0 33,245 89,939

29,064 7,975 3,310 5,927 156,989 1,800 24,677 88,894







34 18 3,213 121 55,564

29 2,671 111 159 50,604

34 25 9 124 41,201

324 78

138 102

0 0




10 3,251 1,027 1,277 1,082 15,983 2,768 5,120 6,952 150

0 3,070 965 1,088 1,578 18,381 1,699 2,435 9,371 2,290

2,436 6,432 1,161 1,497 1,644 18,264 1,559 3,053 10,222 2,703




65 484

0 618





551 183,892 0 0 312 26,336 0

105 308,248 1,546 1,686 190 28,809 51,364

2,592 348,431 2,875 0 163 24,131 2,016


Israel DRUMS





30 MMR


HTS Number

First Quarter

Second Quarter Third Quarter In Actual Units of Quantity








87 13,998

0 8,202

108 27,381




220 2,245 38,910 2,772,580

501 0 42,521 2,849,266

819 0 43,131 3,023,290

0 100 501

0 0 1,240

359 0 580

330 1,210

362 0

117 0

1,569 85 3,285

1,674 178 3,860

840 0 12,797

1,000 3,019 0

20,751 7,977 2,262

7,400 6,536 3,388




4,005 0

5,482 1,812

4,910 1,922

1,700 2,064

0 0

0 2,254













74 95

177 412

143 334









Senegal DRUMS




MMR 31

Stats U.S. Musical Instrument Imports for Consumption: Quarterly data for 2011

Sources: The data presented in this chart been compiled from tariff and trade data from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade Commission. * HTS: The Harmonized Tariff Schedule was enacted by Congress and made effective on January 1, 1989. The HTS comprises a hierarchical structure for describing all goods in trade for duty, quota, and statistical purposes. ** NESOI: Not Elsewhere Specified Or Included

HTS Number

First Quarter

Second Quarter Third Quarter In Actual Units of Quantity





887 2,796

910 142,446

758 2,878

0 5,169 209,003

0 9,671 0

1,002 5,058 0




2,693 0 2,411 1,274 169,101 4,485 28,726 5,500 1,770 551

5,994 1,574 4,851 3,402 88,464 8 34,556 1,620 3,212 0

6,715 900 4,581 1,900 131,814 7,194 31,948 1,339 1,095 93

36,914 0

43,636 900

33,170 1,559

2,232 5,534

2,327 5,381

238 5,934

58 31

40 24

38 14

9 66 192 371 13 53,824

139 137 901 645 23 54,600

536 29 2 350 101 49,282




311 984 0 600

204 2,331 697 1,800

354 839 0 791








32 MMR


50Dealer50State Report

50 50 28th Annual



In last year’s Report, we noted that economic uncertainty and the recession were the challenges most often cited by dealers as their “biggest concern” for the future. To be sure, the overall fiscal health of the nation – and the buying habits of its citizens as they struggle with employment, housing, and other related issues – remains a hot-button topic for MI retailers in 2012, but there was more… “variety” in the responses we received while compiling our 30th survey.

Review & Forecast Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts • Michigan Minnesota • Mississippi • Missouri • Montana Nebraska • Nevada • New Hampshire • New Jersey New Mexico • New York • North Carolina • North Dakota Ohio • Oklahoma • Oregon • Pennsylvania • Rhode Island South Carolina • South Dakota • Tennessee • Texas • Utah Vermont • Virginia • Washington • West Virginia Wisconsin • Wyoming 34 MMR

Myrna Sislen of Washington D.C.’s Middle C Music summed up (ironically) the myriad challenges facing dealers, aside from the more broad-stroke “economy” concerns: “What, me worry? With the Internet, MAP pricing, and competition from big box stores, this is the perfect time to be a small independent music store…” Financial concerns, school budget cuts, and competition from online and big-box outlets – the playing field in 2012 is certainly no less challenging than in recent years. Mr. Music’s (Boston) Tom Barone summarized the concerns he shares with many of his colleagues: “I’m concerned that brick and mortar stores will cease to exist, as rents have raised dramatically and the newer generation of musicians buy their equipment online. There’s a lack of loyalty to service and it’s all about spending the least amount of money.” This is not to say it was all doom and gloom – far from it, in fact. “We are excited that our 2011 sales were up almost 20 percent from 2010,” enthused Brian Winter of Salt Lake City, Utah’s Acoustic Music. “What is more exciting about our increase is that 2010 was DECEMBER 2011


up from 2009. At Acoustic Music we attribute this to building long lasting relationships with our customers.” Russo’s Guitar and Drum Center’s (Omaha, Neb.) Jim DeSchamp echoed the importance of customer service and building relationships, while also reinforcing that smaller operations, too, can capitalize on “non-traditional” retail avenues: “Traffic flow is very good, plus we strive for customer service up and beyond the chain stores. Our Web business is the best it has been this year and is growing fast.” What was most refreshing and reaffirming while collecting data for this Report was hearing, over and over again, that for most (if, indeed, not all) of the independent store owners we spoke with, the underlying drive behind “doing what they do” is a true passion for music, musical instruments, and the culture of music-making. Steve Piersol of High Desert Guitars (Santa Fe, N.M.) probably said it best: “I repair and sell guitars because I love them. I have no interest in building a financial juggernaut or becoming a guitar shipper. I simply want to enjoy guitars and keep fed.”

Alabama The Fret Shop, Huntsville Mark Torstenson, Manager 2011 vs 2010? So far, we are looking at a slight bit of growth, in the 6-7 percent range. I must say that it has been far more erratic year, however. We’ll have a mediocre week followed by an incredibly busy one. Highlights and lowlights of the year? The most significant thing for us this year was picking up the Fender line of instruments. We have primarily been thought of as an acoustic store that carries electric guitars, but now I think we will be considered more of an all around guitar store. Our electric guitar and amp sales are up about 38 percent since taking on the Fender line, so it certainly has helped boost that side of the business. As DECEMBER 2011

far as “low spots,” we did have the first Guitar Center open in north Alabama this year here in Huntsville, but so far our sales have held and continued the slight upward trend we saw before they opened.

It’s been a slow few years. We’re just waiting to get out of the year.

Working with social media? Yes, we have started making use of Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare. We have been trying check-in deals, new product announcements, and just generally talking about stuff going on here at the store. We are also starting to make use of You Tube videos for product demonstrations.


Biggest concern for 2012? My biggest concern for the coming months is the “collective mindset” of the consumer. We are fortunate in Huntsville to have a lower than average unemployment rate compared to other areas, but customers get nervous when the news reports are talking about the “doom and gloom” of the economic outlook and are hesitant to spend. I am looking forward to when the news starts talking more about recovery than recession. Product of the year in 2011? Fender Mustang amps.

Alaska Mammoth Music, Anchorage Chris Gilpin, Store Manager 2011 VS 2010? It’sprobably a little bit better, about 10 percent better across the board.

Product of the year in 2011? LED dance lights.

Arizona Music Pro, Flagstaff Lance Roederer, Owner 2011 VS 2010? Overall 2011 has been about even with 2010. Lesson revenues have seen the most dramatic increases, with year over year growth of slightly over 10 percent. Repair income has also seen decent growth. We suffered severe losses to our local school music programs in 2011 with the elimination of all elementary school band and orchestra classes. This is reflected in a large loss of revenues from our rental department. I have been working closely with a few key teachers in our school district to bring back Band as an after-school program, we are gaining traction here and hope to offer after school band and orchestra throughout our school district by next semester. Highlights and lowlights of the year? Highlights of the past year: QSC K-series Pro Audio and the Fender Mustang amps. Low spot of the year: Drum sets. . . again.

Highlights and lowlights of the year? It still sucked! We haven’t seen much in the past few years that’s been a highlight. The only thing we’ve seen grow is rental for live reinforcement. We do pretty much all the concerts for all the bars and stuff, in the city and outside of Anckorage.

Working with social media? We have always maintained an active Social Networking presence and continue to invest time and resources in Facebook and Twitter. It’s a great way to reach our local market to announce clinics and specials, and also serves as an affordable way to help create and maintain that “top of mind awareness” for our customers.

Working with social media? No, unfortunately not. We don’t have the time and money and bodies right now.

Biggest concern for 2012? My biggest concern continues to be the huge disadvantage we face against non-taxable Web sales.

Biggest concern for 2012? Staying open – everything that goes with that.

Product of the year in 2011? Taylor Guitars MMR 35

50Dealer50State Arkansas


The Janet Davis Music Company, Bella Vista

Westwood Music, Los Angeles Leslie Chew, Operations Director

Janet Davis, Owner 2011 vs 2010? Initially, 2011 began slowly. However, sales really began to pick up as the year progressed, and we are about 22 percent above 2010 at this time. Highlights and lowlights of the year? Highlights were that in spite of the economy, we are hearing from more and more customers. Also, quite a few new products are now available. Today’s technology, as well as many new entrepreneurs who have been motivated to use their creative energies toward product development, have provided many new and exciting items for the musician.

2011 vs 2010? Repairs and teaching have been up – they’re more likely to want fix the old one than buy a new one. We’ve had that in place for decades so it was a matter of putting that to the forefront by beefing up the advertising and moving the bench down to the main floor so it would be a conversation piece. Highlights and lowlights of the year? The more high-end guitars are still selling well – Collings, Santa Cruz, McPherson. Otherwise, the general decrease in traffic volume has been a bit of lowlight.

Working with social media? We use Facebook to add most of our events and activities, but not much sales activities. We tweet about most of that stuff. It doesn’t seem to make much sense to do any direct sales marketing over the social media. We try not to overdo our posts and make sure they’re all worth the read -- it’s not really a situation where more is better. Biggest concern for 2012? I’m just concerned that people don’t stop realizing the benefit of brick-and-mortar stops. As a guitar shop, the benefit of coming in and playing guitar and having a physical experience, we think, yields a better shopping and better purchase. People have to bond with an instrument before they can find the one that works the best for them. No two guitars are alike and I

Working with social media? Although it takes additional time, it has been great for communication both to and from our customers. In addition to our website, Facebook, & Twitter, our weekly e-specials to our e-mailing list have been high priority. We also try to support and, and various bluegrass music venues. The feedback is fun, too. JDMC has a newly designed website which will be launching any time and should open up even more avenues for memberships, etc. We are continuing to offer new instant downloads (i.e. for DVDs). Biggest concern for 2012? Making certain every single customer is happy with their instruments, accessories, and purchases, et cetera, and, especially, that they are enjoying playing music. Product of the year in 2011? The Sullivan Vintage 35 5-String Banjo has been very successful. This is based upon a 1935 pre-war banjo and has been very much in demand. Also, several excellent new instructional books for musicians have been highlights: i.e., The Ultimate Mandolin Songbook (Hal Leonard) and the School of Banjo Melodic Style (Mel Bay). 36 MMR

©2011 Latin Percussion



Harry Tuft, Manager

One highlight was in representing Taylor guitars at the Rock Mountain Folks Fest in Lyons, Col. Another was being nominated to be inducted into the Colorado Music Hall Of Fame. Low spot was the loss, in October of one of the three acoustic music shops in the Denver area, Acoustic Music Revival. I feel that we have a good community in the acoustic world, and even though we were friendly competitors, their loss is still felt by us.

2011 vs 2010? 2010 was our best year so far, in the 18 years in this location. 2011 seems to be at least equal, and maybe 3 - 6 percent increase

Working with social media? We are behind the curve – no Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter presence. We do have a website that folks refer to successfully

Highlights and lowlights of the year?

Biggest Concern for 2012? Too

think you lose that sense of interaction on an online-only experience. Product of the year in 2011? Martin Guitars. Even in the current conditions, they’ve stepped up their game a little bit more.

Colorado Denver Folklore Center, Denver

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many guitars, and too many manufacturers trying to dictate street price to us retailers Product of the year in 2011? Ukuleles, in general, and Kala ukes in particular

Connecticut Caruso Music, New London Richard Caruso, Owner 2011 vs 2010? Up was the only direction to go. Down was not an option. We continued to focus on the areas that had the greatest potential and worked hard to eliminate those that did not. Sometimes your “To Do” list is not as important as your “Not To Do” list. 2010 was a good year to spend some time on your “Stop doing” list. Highlights and lowlights of the year? We were named Taylor Dealer of the Year in the state for the second year in a row. We continued to establish ourselves as a destination for our high end clients and held several successful inhouse events. The low was having the heat exchanger self-destruct on the coldest day of the year and it taking six days to get the replacement. Space heaters can only do so much. Working with social media? If you are not taking advantage of social networking sites you are putting yourself at a disadvantage. We use both Facebook and Twitter. We also use Skype and are committed to keeping our Website fresh and interesting. Facebook is a great tool to get instant exposure to products and events. We recently listed a 1974 Guild Starfire Bass that had come in the store. 15 seconds later people were already posting comments. That’s pretty quick. We Tweet daily. Generally one or two Tweets. Simple stuff like a vintage guitar, great deal, or a reminder of an upcoming event. Twitter is a little tougher to gauge success-wise but because it is so easy to do it just makes sense. With the viral nature of Twitter the potential upside is huge. MMR 37

50Dealer50State Biggest concern for 2012? Simple: the economy. I can do many, many things with regard to the operation of my business. I keep an eye on my inventory, I provide excellent customer service. For the love of Mike, the business is 82 years old. I have got some momentum on my side. The drag is a bunch of greedy bastards drove the car into a ditch and the folks that were supposed to be keeping an eye on them did very little to slow them down. As a matter of fact many of them were greedy bastards themselves, but they went under the title “Politician.” I am an optimist and always believe that things will get better. The challenge this time around is how long it might take. Product of the year in 2011? We don’t have that type of business anymore. As a matter of fact the music industry as a whole does not have that type of business anymore. There ain’t no more ADATs boys, suck it up.

DC Middle C Music, Washington, D.C. Myrna Sislen, Owner 2011 VS 2010? So far 2011 is slightly better than 2010, and as we all know, flat is the new up, so I am just fine. Highlights and lowlights of the year? The summer was unusually slow and our Summer Rock Band Camps had the lowest attendance we have ever experienced. I really can’t explain why, so that was the low spot of the year. Highlights are the increasing numbers of students now, of all ages. My studios are full and I am seriously thinking of expanding, if I can work something out with my landlord. With more students comes more print music sales and also instrument sales. We used Groupon for lessons and that brought in 155 new students. Many of them are still taking lessons. Working with social media to promote your business? Yes, we are on

Facebook and Foursquare, and I will be adding Twitter soon. We definitely need these sites and we use them. Our customers appreciate that we have them. Biggest concern for 2012? What, me worry? With the Internet, MAP pricing and competition from big box stores, this is the perfect time to be a small independent music store. I am finding that creating a warm, safe, nurturing environment where my community can make music is working and my biggest concern is to keep things fresh with new activities and services that will keep my customers coming back. That is my biggest challenge. Product of the year in 2011? The Luna Safari line of half size guitars was and is our product of the year for 2011. These guitars come in steel and nylon and are well made, easy to play, come in different designs and woods, case included and very well priced. I love these guitars, and we have sold dozens of them.

Delaware Seaford Music, Seaford Dave Herring, Owner 2011 vs 2010? 2011 was down from 2010 significantly, which didn’t suprise me. When the economy started faltering, the effects were slightly delayed and businesses in my area continue to close or layoff workers. Many people hung in there the best they could, but it’s finally catching up with many of my customers. Sales being down didn’t catch me off gaurd, but that in conjunction with rapidly increasing costs has made it much tougher. Highlights and lowlights of the year? Highlights for us were being able to look past the poor economy and try to develop areas of our business where we can offer goods and services to our customers that they may not find elsewhere, or that they can’t get with a click of the mouse at 3 a.m. Low spots had to be watching the MAP prices drop, the costs of goods go up, and the margins on many

50Dealer50State products shrinking to a point where it’s foolish to try to compete. Working with social media to promote your business? We are trying to use and develop ways to utilize those sites so that we can reach out to our customers and keep them informed. Like it or not, today’s customers rely heavily on these sites to become informed and it is an effective tool to let them know what’s happening at our store. That being said, we are actually backing away from the dependance on the Internet for sales of certain products. There has become a glut of internet stores and auction site seller’s who will cut each other’s throats to make a dime and we’ve found it to be a waste of our time to even be in that segment of the game.

No real highlights – just a lot of students. All the money’s in service right now – not retail. We’re really slamming that. It’s totally just me working here, still. I just don’t take a smoke break anymore.

and plan on doing it again because it worked so well.

Working with social media? Facebook and Groupon we definitely use. We offer service and lessons on Groupon. We’ve done that once so far

Product of the year in 2011? Snark tuner. We’ve been selling it since last holiday season, it’s been a whiz-bang. That and acoustic guitars in general.

Biggest concern for 2012? Not knowing if the holidays are going to be good. The vibe is weird.

Biggest concern for 2012? I’m afraid that more and more companies I deal with are so focused on sales to “Big Box,” “Chain,” and “Internet” retailers that they are killing the small local music stores. I’ve been told many times that I “pay the same price that they do,” but everyone knows how this business operates… I recently ordered a popular guitar related product from a vendor and when it arrived, I looked carefully at the paperwork. It had a suggested retail price of $299, a MAP price of $99, and my cost was $90. Maybe I just don’t get it. Product of the year in 2011? Tough call between cables and accessories from Rapco/Horizon and the Valvetronix series amps from Vox. Both offer an outstanding value for my customers, are easy to sell, and offer me the chance to turn a profit and still be competitive.

Florida Guitars United, Jacksonville Joel Foreacre 2010 vs. 2011: I would say they’re right on track with each other, no spikes. Highlights and lowlights of the year? DECEMBER 2011

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50Dealer50State Georgia


Ken Stanton Music,

Dan’s Guitars, Honolulu Dan Takamune, Owner

Marietta, Various Scott Cameron, General Manager 2011 vs 2010? Sales were down slightly. Highlights and lowlights of the year? We opened a new store in Alpharetta. We closed a store in Snellville.

2011 vs 2010? We believe sales will be marginally higher this year. Many manufacturer are offering new & innovative products that appeal to both professional & aspiring musicians.

Biggest concern for 2012? Having to fight the sales tax issue on matching web sales.

Highlights and lowlights of the year? We too, were affected by the weak global economy, as some sales are to international customers here on vacation. Fortunately, there appears to be an upward trend in sales, & we are also attracting new customers looking for quality products & service not generally available elsewhere.

Product of the year in 2011? Fender Mustangs

Working with social media? While we do understand the benefits of social

Working with social media? We have worked hard on our website and are continuing to do so.

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networking, it’s just not part of our business model & would not best showcase our manufacturer’s products. Biggest concern for 2012? seas shipping costs.


Product of the year in 2011? PRS guitars.

Idaho Keeney Bros. Music Center Moscow Dale Keeney, Owner 2011 vs 2010? Up a little bit across the board. If anything, the band and orchestral rentals, partly due to the fact that I beat down one of our competitors and they’re no longer here. I’ve got really, really great people in this store. Highlights and lowlights of the year? We stopped the bleeding, which


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50Dealer50State is a highlight. I just had to go through a layoff, so it was a low spot at the same time. We’ve extended our hours of business – we’re in a rural area we estimate the 40 percent of our customers drive five to 20 miles to get to us, so that helped with those customers. We switched over to the the AIMsi bookkeeping system and now orders that used to take six hours in sending in a book order now takes 5 minutes.

Working with social media? We don’t do a lot of social media at this time, but it’s something I will be moving into in the coming year. I’m an old guy, but I do have an understanding of its importance. Biggest concern for 2012? I have a big concern of feeding the beast – the Guitar Centers of the world. These people sell things at going-out-of-business prices. So it puts me in a bad place – I’m

baffled. Don’t get it. Who does it help? Product of the year in 2011? Casio keyboards are phenomenal for the money. For under $1,000, you can get a really nice keyboard. Tama Drums blow my mind year after year. Anything from Godan. They had some new finishes that Godan came out with on the acoustic guitars that were especially nice.

Illinois The Music Shoppe, Normal

“The Sound”

Randy Wood, Manager 2011 vs 2010? We’re up in almost every category in 2011, including our band & orchestral rentals, so we’re pretty happy. 2010 was a very good year and we’re running well ahead of it.

as requested by you.

You asked for the playability and sound of the early Otto Links.

Highlights and lowlights of the year? Losing the MFA/BOA Summer Symposium to Ball State was a low spot. The Music Shoppe had been providing equipment through Yamaha and running a resource room at Illinois State University where the event had taken place for the last 19 years. The highlight is that 2011 is our 50th anniversary in business. My father, Tom Wood, purchased Noonan Music Co. on April 1st, 1961. He always thought that was funny – April Fool’s Day.

We listened. With structural changes both inside and out, “the sound” of yesteryear has been recaptured.

Working with social media? The Music Shoppe has a Facebook account where we post information and pictures from clinics et cetera, a website with online renting for our band & orchestra rental program, and we are about to embark on the Yamaha Paragon Program.

Otto Link Vintage for tenor sax.

Biggest concern for 2012? Our largest concern is State of Illinois budget issues. I know many states are facing these same concerns. Budget problems have such an adverse effect on school music programs. You can only cut and consolidate so much; then a program is pushed into survival mode. Product of the year in 2011? Our product of the year was Vandoren reeds and mouthpieces. Sales are so good, we

Mouthpieces for clarinets and saxophones

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DECEMBER 2011 11/16/09 2:27 PM

50Dealer50State have decided to become a Vandoren Mouthpiece Trial Center in both our Normal & Champaign, Ill., locations. It’s a pretty large financial commitment, but Dansr has been great about installing the displays and training our staff. We’re excited!

Indiana Arthur’s Music Store, Indianapolis Linda J. Osborne, Manager 2011 vs 2010? We saw more traffic, especially mid-year… it’s up at this point. We’ll know in January if that translates into a measurable increase. Highlights and lowlights of the year? Highlights: Lesson and repair volume is up. We picked up several high quality new instructors and our weekly bluegrass jam is growing nicely. Low

spots: New, brand name gear continues to decline in sales and more importantly, margin…and the roof still leaks!

Iowa Schultz Strings, Cedar Rapids John Schultz, Owner

Working with social media? We have MySpace and Facebook pages and utilize several of the music forums and link-farm sites. Along with our website and E-mail newsletters it is hard to keep current on a day-to-day basis. Biggest concern for 2012? Our biggest concern is that industry heavyweights will continue to increase franchise requirements making it difficult for independents to maintain an appropriate selection of name brands. Product of the year in 2011? Used gear. The struggling economy has a bittersweet silver lining for independent music stores. More vintage/used gear is available than anytime in our 60 year history. These purchases generate great margins and create excitement on the sales floor.


2011 vs 2010? 2011 was a great year. We saw good overall growth in the market especially in areas such as rentals, repairs and advancing student line instruments. Highlights and lowlights of the year? We were excited to have the ability to add sales and repair staff to our business. Additionally, we moved into a larger space and this has opened up the inventory we are able to offer as well as work with area teachers for studio space. I have noticed a distinct swing in how savvy our clientele is in looking for a deal. This has certainly pinched profits, but also helps us sharpen our offerings to what is truly in demand. Working with social media? We have a modest Facebook page. However, we find that our best asset is treating our clients well and getting referral business. In the mid and high end string instrument sales world trust is vital and treating our customers as we would like to be treated is the most effective tool we employ right now. Biggest concern for 2012? The health of our local public school programs. We have wonderful support for the local private music institutions and professional private teachers. These programs seem to be performing well. However, the public school arts programs always seem to be at risk and this is unfortunate. The financial market is of perpetual concern as well, especially when people are looking to invest in step up and professional equipment.


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Product of the year in 2011? We have had wonderful success with the West Coast Strings Rosalia line of instruments. We have used this to great success in our rental pool as well as a step up product for local students. DECEMBER 2011

50Dealer50State Kansas Mass Street Music, Lawrence John Flynn, Co-Owner/General Manager 2011 vs 2010? It’s good - we’ve seen more confidence in online purchasing. Also folks seem not to be as fearful when the stock market drops a couple of points – I think they’ve developed an immunity to its volatility these days.

local customers. I’m amazed sometimes at how loyal folks are to us who have moved across the country. Also we have frequent concert ticket giveaways, often with online entry forms enabled. We haven’t signed on for everything that’s out there right now, but have found some of it very useful Biggest concern for 2012? Balancing inventory – it’s become harder to predict what to buy and when to let it go. We strive to keep the store fresh with new stock while making an exit strategy for old stock.

Highlights and lowlights of the year? Highs: We have a really great and knowledgeable staff that really works as a team and has the customers at heart – it makes all the difference. Some lows: We’ve cut back on in-store concerts and workshops this past year. It’s partially the economy – folks are making choices – but it’s also that we’re located in a unique town with a really vibrant music community, so there are always a lot of competing events.

Product of the year in 2011? Both of the Eastman Parlor acoustic guitars. They’re just incredible values. Both have Adirondack tops, the E10P with Mahogany back and sides and the E20P with Rosewood back and sides. Really well made and a great price – plus the parlor size is just a lot of fun to play for a lot of folks.

Working with social media? Absolutely! In addition to utilizing Twitter, we’re very active on our Facebook page and have weekly music trivia, with prizes. It’s a great way to keep in touch with out of town and

Mom’s Music, Louisville

Kentucky Max Maxwell, Owner 2011 vs 2010? Sales in 2011 were down about 1 percent from 2010, but we

did turn our inventory five times which always makes for a great year. Highlights and lowlights of the year? GC opened in our market in 2011. This brought both highlights and low spots. A highlight was that our education department grew. Low spots: they did have an impact on the local market. Seems those guys are still in a race to the bottom, literally. Working with social media? Facebook and craigslist have changed the way all businesses advertise. We use it to sell used and aging gear, make our customers aware of clinics/workshops, find stolen gear for customers and other music stores, as well as promote how cool we all are. Biggest concern for 2012? Shrinking profit margins Product of the year in 2011? Pro Tools 9

Louisiana The Guitar Bar New Orleans Aaron Trigg, Owner 2011 vs 2010? We opened mid-2010 and the initial response was great. In 2011, our inventory greatly expanded and now includes rentals; we offer lessons for a larger variety of instruments and our bench is almost always full with repairs.

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Highlights and lowlights of the year? There are always highlights in New Orleans - the festivals are too numerous to list and the working musicians keep us busy. Another highlight over has been the trust we’ve built with customers and their “Hurricane Katrina” guitars – they’ll bring one in to test us out, and then bring four or five more once they know we can restore them near perfect condition. The low spot is always the summer. When the tourists go away, the local musicians lose their tips and/or their gigs and that affects sales. But we are happy to say we made it through our second summer and look forward to our third, fourth and so on. DECEMBER 2011

50Dealer50State Working with social media? We use Facebook and Twitter every day. We frequently list highlights from local news articles and events and use Google Reader to articles to further engage our fan, as well as any new product here. We also post photos of our repairs and engage in conversations with fans about them. Biggest concern for 2012? As a luthier, I am very concerned about the Lacey Act and the restrictions on imported woods. These are the woods we know that create great instruments and without them we are going to have to find alternatives, but we can’t afford to experiment. Product of the year in 2011? Anything Aria. They’ve been a great brand for us -- the quality of instrument consistently meets (and sometimes exceeds) that of the bigger names.


less than last year, but increased sales of $3,000+ instruments have offset that.

Maryland Turtle Hill Banjo David E. Schenkman, Owner 2011 vs 2010? My bottom line is about the same and perhaps a bit higher, although I have noticed some differences. There have been fewer phone inquiries and e-mails. Sales of lower priced instruments (under $1,000) are Multi-item_Ad_Mar11 4/1/11 12:55

Highlights and lowlights of the year? Although I am a dealer for most American banjo builders, a large segment of my business is vintage instruments. This past year my purchases have included some of the greatest banjos I’ve ever PM had Pagein 1the shop.


Friendly River Music, Cornish John Barton, Owner 2011 vs 2010? 2011 started out pretty slow, but it pick up nicely. I expect it will end up about the same… which is pretty good! Highlights and lowlights of the year? We have done very well with professional grade instruments. Taylor, Fender, and Gretsch have been very strong. Entry-level and mid priced instruments have not performed well.


Blueridge Gitane Blueridge

Working with social media? Facebook has been fantastic. Some posted items sell within hours. Biggest concern for 2012? While some products are returning production to North America, (Levy’s and Planet Waves) others are still moving production to Asia and at times failing to clearly indicate country of origan on the product. J.Navarro

Product of the year in 2011? The Taylor GS Mini. DECEMBER 2011


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MMR 47

50Dealer50State Working with social media? I have a large website ( which I keep very current. It generates several thousand hits a month. I don’t participate in any of the social networking sites. Biggest concern for 2012? I really have none, except for concerns about the economy in general. My business is very specialized, and it just doesn’t seem to be effected much by the recession. Of course, if a person is out of work he probably won’t be in the market for a banjo. For others, life goes on. Product of the year in 2011? The Nechville Banjo Company produced a limited edition of 25 banjos to commemorate its 25th anniversary. It sold out very quickly, and most of eight I purchased are already spoken for. Nechville is, in my opinion, the most innovative banjo builder in the business, and I’m proud to be one of their biggest supporters.

Massachusetts Mr. Music, Boston Tom Barone, Owner 2011 VS 2010? Sales increased by 20 percent. Highlights and lowlights of the year? Highlights: When the US Dollar crashed, selling 10 high end guitars/ week overseas. Lowlight: When the US Dollar strengthened.

matically and the newer generation of musicians buy their equipment online, there’s a lack of loyalty to service and it’s all about spending the least amount of money. Product of the year in 2011? Ukeleles, Snark tuners, Melodicas, tons of effect pedals

Michigan Huber & Breese Music, Fraser Paul Huber, Owner

Working with social media? Yes we market online via Google AdWords, eBay, our websites, and, and of course the old fashioned way of doing business, word of mouth, because we take care of our customers.

2011 vs 2010? 10 percent up!

Biggest concern for 2012? I’m concerned about the brick and mortar stores will cease to exist, as rents have raised dra-

Working with social media? Facebook, constant contact for e-mail marketing, ebay store

Highlights and lowlights of the year? All the new Gibson USA models.







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50Dealer50State Biggest concern for 2012? Profit margin Product of the year in 2011? Gibson Les Paul Axcess Customs and Firebird X.

Minnesota The Podium, Minneapolis Jeff Molde, Manager 2011 vs 2010? We are up about 20 per-

cent from last year. Highlights and lowlights of the year? We have had a lot of new small builder guitars that were superb and sold well for us and we moved way up with Taylor guitar sales. The only low spot was continued economic weakness which limited our ability push ahead further with increased sales.

w e g i v e yo u t h e co n t r o l .

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Working with social media?We are not. Biggest concern for 2012? The Economy and the big box stores and big discounters ruining the market for service oriented businesses. Martins and Taylors have been the bread and butter of American acoustic guitar stores but the large internet oriented retailers are discounting them to a 10 percent or less gross margin (without taking account of shipping costs we must pay inbound. Eventually local dealers are going to rebel at being the free showroom for national web based retailers. Product of the year in 2011? Podium Martin custom shop guitars.

Mississippi Pinkston Music Shop, Gulfport Jim Pinkston, Owner 2011 vs 2010? The first quarter felt pretty good and then April & May hit. “Wow, the dogs days of summer hit that early!” Highlights and lowlights of the year? We had a good Mardi-Gras season. Sold a lot of sound systems for the, Mardi-Gras floats. Low spots: “The whole summer!”

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Working with social media? We have tried a little bit, but I have been told by every rep. that has ever been to my store that my store is different than any other. We have a huge selection and my staff has been with me for 10 and 15 years. People shop here because they know exactly what we are talking about. That’s better any computer crap. Repeat customers and the second generations as well.

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Biggest concern for 2012? Not a concern, but more like my Biggest hope. The Chinese yen is increasing its value, which is making it closer to the U.S. dollar. Maybe, just maybe, American Companies will come back to the U.S. and that would be good for everyone. Product of the year in 2011? B-52 P.A. systems! Wow, what a great product. DECEMBER 2011

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50Dealer50State There is nothing on the market that can touch them, dollar for dollar.

Missouri Big Dude’s Music Kansas City Mark Dodd, President 2011 vs 2010? We are only slightly ahead of last year with the 3rd quarter being weak

due to July. Blah, blah, blah… The truth is we are doing more with less. Our organization is nimbler, faster, smarter and more efficient than it was a year ago Highlights and lowlights of the year? This year we put on a kids’ competition from April through October and

it has been a great experience. Nothing better than watching a kid light up when they are on stage. I guess the low spot is not doing more functions like the kid’s competition. Working with social media to promote your business? This year we started focusing on Facebook and using it as a vehicle to promote events and new products. Each one of our sales staff contributes to the site weekly. Hell it is a lot of fun and you get to talk about cool stuff. Biggest concern for 2012? Not executing fast enough or not at all. Sure I could complain about the economy and the devaluation of the dollar. But the real problem is not executing those great ideas that can catapult us into the next decade. Product of the year in 2011? The QSC K-12. Great product with fantastic gross profit dollars but a lousy gross profit percentage. I am whining now, but if we had another 100 products like it – wow!

Montana Music Villa, Bozeman Paul Decker, Manager 2011 vs 2010? 2011 started a bit slow with an increase by summer and ending slightly above 2010. Highlights and lowlights of the year? Low spots: Recovering from a down 2010 Christmas season. High spots: Increase in High-end acoustic guitar sales. Working with social media? We always like to use Social Networking. Creating our own web reality show has been great for promoting the website as well as keeping the store busy. Biggest concern for 2012? Are we going to get enough snow this year for a good ski season. Product of the year in 2011? The clip on Tuner, Anything for the i-Pad 52 MMR


50Dealer50State Nebraska Russo’s Guitar and Drum Center, Omaha Jim DeSchamp, Owner 2011 vs 2010? About the same pretty stable. Highlights and lowlights of the year? High: Traffic flow is very good plus we strive for customer service up and beyond the chain stores Web business is the best it has been this year and is growing fast. Low: price points have moved down.

unique and interesting jobs for many of our regular and new customers. Another high point was the buying and selling of celebrity owned and played instruments for our more collector minded clientele. On the low side, as we do not do a traditional retail operation, we did see less interest in generic branded guitars. Working with social media? We are taking advantage of social networking

sites, such as Facebook . Biggest concern for 2012? The biggest concern we have as I would imagine many share, has to do with the economic difficulties of the U.S. economy. The decline of the dollar however has given many of our international clients an opportunity to purchase more of our instruments and services. We hope to see a happy equilibrium in the year to come.

Working with social media? We are fully involved in social media and have been for years. We are also, starting to text in-store “deals of the day� along with media. We also post product highlights and events. It is all about branding and keeping your name out there. Biggest concern for 2012? Election year is always a concern and it may be 2013 before we start to see an upswing. Product of the year in 2011? There is no single product that stick out to me. Fender always seems to be our best selling line alone with boutique pedals.

Nevada Ed Roman Guitars, Las Vegas Scott Krell, Manager 2011 vs 2010? Overall, we found more of our customers interested in custom instruments as well as having work done to improve their existing arsenal of instruments. Aside from our custom made instruments, our shop was quite busy with repairs and restorations. Highlights and lowlights of the year? Highlights included the amount of custom work and guitars we had done for celebrities and professionals, we also had the opportunity to do some very DECEMBER 2011

MMR 53

50Dealer50State Product of the year in 2011? Our instrument of the year is really the expansion of our Quicksilver Custom Guitar line, in which we have added more body shapes and designs using our Quicksilver building techniques.

New Hampshire Manchester Music Mill, Manchester Joe A. Lacerda, Manager Product of the year in 2011? 2011 has been a wild ride! We are a relatively

Biggest concern for 2012? Biggest concern this year has been cash-flow because of the amount of trade-ins and straight buys off the street. People don’t have money to spend, but still want to shop. I can’t pay rent with Strats and Saxophones...I’ve tried. Product of the year in 2011? It is hard to pick one product that has shined over the rest. I would have to say the import Breedlove acoustics and the new Charvel line of electric guitars. Both give the customer a high level of quality with many unique features without breaking the bank.

New Jersey Ritchie’s Music, Rockaway George Sigler, Manager

new store and we have been growing an average of 25 percent each year for the past few years. We are up about 10-15 percent this year over 2010. With our biggest local competitor filing for bankruptcy this past month, we will probably capture a good portion of the Christmas market share and be on track for healthy growth comparable to previous years. Highlights and lowlights of the year? Highlights from 2011 include picking up Martin Guitars as a line and getting some incredible gear through the doors for trade-ins. A major low spot was my customers seem to have less and less discretionary spending money. Seeing people struggling to get by and having to sell their cool gear is a low. Working with social media? This year we have incorporated the social media and are kicking off a new website. We’ve been really focused on video messages and demos to get our word out to customers. We have been working on that the past few months with very positive results. Facebook advertising is also very effective for local biz because it targets musicians in the area and you pay on click-throughs, not impressions. It is the best bang for your buck for maintaining a local following in my opinion. 54 MMR

2011 vs 2010? Right up to September I was slightly ahead of last year’s sales. Our area was hit with two bad storms in September and October which slowed sales quite a bit. Highlights and lowlights of the year? Pro level drums and cymbals selling steady. Fretted instruments have been consistent sellers. Lows for me were losing sales to dealers who violate MAP pricing on the Internet. The lack of enforcement from the manufacturers amazes me.

slashing prices more and more. Our margins are shrinking so low on some product lines that it’s not worth keeping in stock. MAP policies really need to be enforced and without any loopholes. Product of the year in 2011? Ludwig Classic Maple drums and Fender Mustang Amps.

New Mexico High Desert Guitars, Santa Fe Steve Piersol, Owner 2011 vs 2010? 2011, if anything was even slower than 2010. I operate in a place that is very much a tourist economy. When people are not traveling, the local economy is also not doing well. Highlights and lowlights of the year?The early part of the summer season showed some promise, but by the end of August business had slowed down again. Working with social media? At the moment I am not. There are two reasons: One is that my web server Web Xcites crashed and lost my website with no backup and is currently holding my Web address hostage. The other is that I am pretty much of a Luddite, so using the internet is at best a pain in the butt for me. At some point I suppose that I will have to give in and explore the possibilities.

Working with social media? YouTube has been great for getting new customers to see our store and what we have to offer. I also use Craig’s List to bring in new customers by advertising sale items and clinics. Facebook is excellent for a more personal way to communicate with customers and to show off recently received items for sale with photos and information on the product.

Biggest concern for 2012? The rise of the internet and big box stores. The small retailer is now forced to sell products a fairly low margins (lower than the BB and internet stores because their buying power allows them to purchase product at lower wholesale prices). I repair and sell guitars because I love them ,I have no interest in building a financial juggernaut or becoming a guitar shipper. I simply want to enjoy guitars and keep fed.

Biggest concern for 2012? In order to be competitive with Internet sales we need to buy at the best price which usually means larger buy-ins. This can be tough when cash flow is down. My biggest concern is online stores that keep

Product of the year in 2011? Instrument repair. Problems that used to be an excuse for buying a new instrument have become a need to get the instrument repaired. DECEMBER 2011

50Dealer50State New York

North Carolina

Ludlow Guitars, New York

Acoustic Corner, Black Mountain Stephanie Wilds, Owner

Kaan Howell, Owner 2011 vs 2010? 2011 has definitely seen an upswing for us over the previous year. We have actually hired a few extra people to help continue our growth, instead of downsizing and constraining ourselves we are expanding and pushing the boundaries. Even though the U.S. economic situation still hasn’t fully recovered and perhaps won’t for some time, we want to be in a place where we can ride these turbulences out and to be in a position where we can come out on top when things do improve. Highlights and lowlights of the year? The true highlight for us was just about a year ago where we had moved from our old location to our new one just 4 buildings north of our original space. We had the luxury of building out the location to suit our needs and have made a really beautiful shop in process, equipped with isolation booths and a proper humidified acoustic room. It makes for a much more pleasant shopping experience than our last store.

2011 vs 2010? Really good, surprisingly. So far 2011 has given us four ‘best months ever,” with the summer months being truly outstanding. Highlights and lowlights of the

year? We recently hired two repair techs, both recent graduates of Minnesota State College’s stringed instrument repair program in Red Wing, Minnesota. These guys are well-trained and do wonderful work, and have really upped our reputation as a repair facility. Other highlights have been our continuing success with



Working with social media? Social marketing is a funny thing; it is more about getting information out into the world than trying to sell, partly keeping people in the loop on events and new things that are happening within the shop. We had just been part of the CMJ pedal exhibit, in conjunction with the Deli Magazine, which was a huge success. And for all those people who couldn’t attend we continuously updated and sent photos of what was going on in the shop via Facebook and twitter. Biggest concern for 2012? Economic collapse. Product of the year in 2011? I would have to say the Strymon El Capistan. It’s a fantastic digital recreation of a tape delay, small, powerful and it sounds magnificent, a real top seller here at the shop. All i can say is if you haven’t tried it, you need to. DECEMBER 2011


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50Dealer50State small vendors, such as K&K Sound Systems, Big Muddy Mandolin Company, and Souldier straps, who are great to work with and easy to sell. Our only low spot was having to discontinue one of our boutique guitar lines in favor of consignment instruments. Working with social media? We’re on Facebook, but we are not aggressively pursuing social media. We recently started using MailChimp to handle email blasts, but we still only send out four or five blasts a year. We’re just not into ecommerce and social media, and would rather spend our time working with customers in our showroom than trolling for them on the internet. Biggest concern for 2012? A double-dip recession. The end of 2010 was pretty tough for us, and we had to make some cuts in advertising, purchasing, and expansion plans in order to pay off some debts. We’ve been steadily crawling our way back up from that, and now that we’re mostly back in the black, we really want to stay there. Product of the year in 2011? Snark tuners. They’ve been selling like crazy. We’ve also been doing really well with K&K pickups, Kala ukuleles, and fiberglass violin cases from Maple Leaf Strings.

ed by the apparent lack of interest in Music making by the general public. We no longer see the same amount of people interested in learning to play the piano as we did in the past. Scary but true. Working with social media? We are trying but I am not sure that we are succeeding. We have mainly focused on a decent website as our social media point of contact. We have tried facebook, email blasts, and the like but with little success. Being old (56) doesn’t help! Biggest concern for 2012? There seems to be a decline in interest in learning and therefore owning a piano. The piano industry is slowly losing it’s customer base of support like the frog that is being slow boiled without reacting to it. We better start re-singing the benefits of “learning to play” an instrument before all of our music is engineered rather than performed. Product of the year in 2011? Probably Yamaha Disklavier. Great product. It’s popularity however also underlies some of the problems in our industry regarding the declining interest in actually learning to play a piano rather then simply listening to a piano.

Ohio Tri-County Willis Music,

North Dakota Scott’s Music, Grand Forks Steve Thomas, President 2011 vs 2010? Our 2011 sales are virtually even with 2010 as well as 2009. Like most piano dealerships nationwide, our sales dropped significantly after 2008, but we continue to work diligently to re-invent our business as we try to reestablish an interest in our products and services. Highlights and lowlights of the year? The main highlight over the past year has been our Church and School business. Our relationship building philosophy with them over the years has helped carry us through this uncertain retail climate. I remain very disappoint56 MMR

Cincinnati Kevin Schwallie, Store Manager 2011 vs 2010? 2011 started out very slow and down in most areas. However, with a change in leadership and hiring employees who care about doing a great job, we have turned around the last 6 months of the year, showing growth in many areas! The current staff get all the credit, this is the strongest group of people I have ever worked with in the 8 years of being in this industry! Highlights and lowlights of the year? We grew the number of people coming to us for our printed materials. We are always working on growing our

drums and percussion- with the help of our partners through clinics and ‘tastings’, we were able to see a small growth not only in sales, but customer loyalty. We also found success in mid-priced guitars ($300-700) in the 2nd half of the year. Low points would be band and orchestra sales. Our rental numbers grew, but sales in both entry level and step up instruments took a major dive. Working with social media? In June, we really started focusing on growth in the social network, Facebook. We promote weekend events, clinics, workshops, and live music performances at our store. We have pictures of our used gear and we will be doing videos of new and specialty products. We also highlight our customers- add them as friends, tag them in pictures, and allow them to share with their friends. Biggest concern for 2012? Price increases on Chinese imported products. Product of the year in 2011? Cymbals, particularly Amedia Cymbals. A relative new comer to the U.S. market. A great group of people to work with, and a great line of cymbals to help introduce people to authentic handmade Turkish cymbals.

Oklahoma The Guitar House of Tulsa, Tulsa Todd Cooke, Manager 2011 vs 2010? 2011 was a big change for Guitar House of Tulsa. We did a huge remodel, added a larger and much improved electric guitar section and some higher end amps as well as a new bass section. This along with our new website featuring online shopping culminated in a 20 percent growth for us. Highlights and lowlights of the year? We had a large growth in high end acoustic guitar sales. Also adding our new bass section has helped bring in a more diverse section of stringed instruDECEMBER 2011

50Dealer50State ment players. We are getting a lot of the local guys who have been making a living playing now shopping our store on a regular basis. The things that are always challenging is figuring out the best way to spend advertising dollars and trying to get the best bang for the buck. This always seems like a guessing game but I think we are starting to make some headway in our marketing and re-branding of Guitar House.

Recently, we held a Musical Pumpkin Carving Contest and encouraged our facebook fans and area music teachers to carve a musically themed pumpkin, then post to our facebook page. The top five pumpkins with the most “likes” got voted on in the store on Halloween day. We are in a relatively high volume traffic area and it was a hit. Plus, we gained lots of facebook fans, interaction and in-store traffic. We also use a texting service with moderate success.

Working with social media? Yes. Social Networking is really paying off for us. We have daily Facebook posts promoting anything from clinics, new products along with video demos. We get a great interaction with our customers this way.

Biggest concern for 2012? The economy.

Biggest concern for 2012? With product changes each year my biggest fear is buying into a line and then having them make huge improvements the next year and setting on old inventory.

South Street Sounds,

Product of the year in 2011? Taylor guitars

Pennsylvania Philadelphia Jeff Woloszyn, General Manager

Product of the year in 2011? Taylor’s 814CE

2011 vs 2010? 2011 sales were flat thru October compared to 2010, even thou monthly numbers fluctuated by as much as 68 percent.


Highlights and lowlights of the year? Highlights included recording

Philadelphia’s own The Dead Milkmen. A low point was having three jembes pop their heads after being put in the window on a sunny summer day. Working with social media? If business is slow, I’ll offer a free pack of strings to the first customer to come into the store and mention my Facebook page. I really try to get the people into the store either by selling something small at just above cost like a mic stand or guitar stand. Keeping traffic up in the store either by hosting open mics in the studio or the above Facebook is real important to me. Biggest concern for 2012? My biggest concern is how long will China supply intruments at low prices. My profit margin is quite low for retail any large cost increase could squeeze all sales to web. Product of the year in 2011? Ukulele any brand and Snark tuners are the best products for 2011. 80 percent of my inventory is chinese low cost. DR strings, CBI Cable.

Gracewinds Music, Corvallis Travis Oefelein, Owner 2011 vs 2010? Floor sales were relatively constant. Internet sales have rapidly grown due to our increased efforts into ecommerce. Highlights and lowlights of the year? Internet sales have been our highlight along with strong acoustic guitar sales, partly due to adding Taylor Guitars to our acoustic lineup. Low spots are new acoustic pianos and band instrument rentals, largely due to shrinking school music programs. Working with social media? We have 2 facebook pages and have started utilizing them quite a lot in the last 18 months. The challenge has been to engage the customers into talking about and sharing our posts with their friends. DECEMBER 2011

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50Dealer50State Rhode Island

South Carolina

B-Sharp Music, Providence

Sims Music, Columbia Jerry Sims, President

Dave Martinka, Co-founder 2011 vs 2010? 2011 has been challenging - we all know how rough the economy is right now. Our saving grace has been the fact that we are not solely reliant on retail sales - if we were, we’d have tanked, as Daddy’s apparently just did. It’s our services (guitar/amp repair) that have allowed us to stay afloat in this deluge. Highlights and lowlights of the year? The most exciting thing for me personally is the attention our in house effects pedal line (Made-Rite!) has been getting. With the state of things today, people are looking to get more mileage out of every dollar, and this has led to a huge interest in smaller, “boutique” effects pedal and amplifier companies. I can’t remember there ever being this many small companies, and I think that’s pretty great! Working with social media? You have to - it’s just the way things are going, so you either adapt or you don’t exist! We’ve got a website and a Facebook page, but we haven’t started tweeting yet. Biggest concern for 2012? Some people tell me I was born before my time - I really like the idea of small owner-run shops, where you can deal with someone directly. No salesmen, middle men, etc. you know? The increasing trend towards online commerce is good in that respect You can cut out some intermediaries and get better pricing, theoretically at least. The downside is that local shops aren’t getting that income anymore, which puts on some strain. Product of the year in 2011? We’ve done really well with Simon and Patrick acoustic guitars, and we’ve always sold a lot of Electro Harmonix effects. EH is one of the few companies that continue to evolve and innovate, unlike some other large companies that just keep re-packaging the same product - I think that, and an attention to quality, is what has kept them and will keep us going! 58 MMR

2011 vs 2010? Sims Music had a 4 percent increase in sales in 2011 over 2010. This is a small increase, but at least we were moving in the right direction. We have been in business for over 32 years and there have always been obstacles to overcome, with the past few years being no different. I truly feel that our new website has helped to keep our local customers focused on us as opposed to other sources on the Web. Highlights and lowlights of the year? Our highlight spots for 2011 were drums and percussion as well as lighting. Yes, we are a big guitar and amp store, but we can’t allow ourselves to ignore all products used by musicians and other musical related customers. Working with social media? Social networking has become important to us and our younger employees really enjoy taking charge of this form of advertising. As I mentioned earlier, we are putting more efforts into our website plus we are using E-mail, Facebook and Twitter to communicate with our customers. We are currently using QR Codes on our price tags to push the customers to our website with the information that they desire. Biggest concern for 2012? Profits are always a major concern and I think the Sales Tax issue is the biggest thorn in our side at the moment. We all know that MAP pricing usually does not allow us to make the profits that we are used to making from years past, so if we have to pull our prices back to accommodate the sales tax, we fall back even more. Fortunately, we are able to take advantage of extra discounts and free shipping to somewhat keep our profits in line…always take the discounts on invoices! Product of the year in 2011? When I think of ‘Product of the Year’, our re-

cords show more Snark Tuners being sold than any one item other than strings and sticks, but the Mustang Amp by Fender has to be the most successful individual item.

South Dakota Sioux Falls Music Company, Sioux Falls Don Saxton, Owner 2011 vs 2010? Unfortunatley, 2011 was down from 2010. Between the bad economy and road construnction, we did not do as well this year as we had hoped. On a high note, the contractor doing the road construction did keep at least one entrance to our parking lot open at all times. Highlights and lowlights of the year? I think the high point was probably our first ever bass clinic... with Bryan Beller no less! We have done many acoustic and drum clinics, but this is our first bass clinic, and it was very well received. Working with social media? We are using Facebook. We promote events in the store, as well as new products. Typically, we get 300 to 400 impressions the first day we post an article, with 500 to 600 total impressions total. Theres are people who have “liked” our store, so this is the equivilant of a direct mail campaign, with very little effort. Biggest concern for 2012? I think our biggest concern right now is that our state is considering adding another penny sales tax. This will widen the price gap between our store and internet sales. If they need more revenue, they should enforce taxes on internet sales, which are taxed by South Dakota law, but are on the honor system... if you buy something from out of state, you are supposed to report it, and pay a “use tax”, which of course no on does. Product of the year in 2011? Our “product of the year” for 2011 would be the QSC K series speakers! These are outstanding compact powered speakDECEMBER 2011

50Dealer50State ers, with a lot of power and a very clear sound. They make great monitors two.

Tennessee Wilson Music, Chattanooga Jim Reeves, Owner 2011 vs 2010? It’s kinda the same. We meet new people and there’s new gear, but by and large it’s still just a matter of maintaining a presence that satisfies the area’s needs.

to play together. Sometimes they do it right here.


Product of the year in 2011? While there are novelties, like the DR Neon strings, the most ingenious item that people quickly latch on to is the Snap Jack cable from ZZYZX. I am always pleased to demonstrate why it is superior in so many regards. I personally use them.

San Antonio Adriana Flores, Manager

Alamo Music Center,

2011 vs 2010? We changed computer systems, so we had a more efficient accounting system. A year of transition like this always has mistakes and learning curves, but by learning from the mis-

Highlights and lowlights of the year? This year we have had the privilege of adding a highly qualified piano teacher, Lydia Brown to the staff. In today’s economy it commonly occurs that the sale of one guitar is predicated upon the trade-in of another. This allows us a diverse selection of equipment that is not available at large chain stores. It is apparent that people appreciate this as much as the personal touch that keeps them coming back, frequently with friends or family in tow. On the downside… the roof leaks. Well, I guess everything can’t be perfect. Most of our approach has simply been to apply common sense. However, being musicians, we try to use common sense in moderation. Working with social media? We don’t do any social networking, although we do have a web page, found at The business was started in 1951, so because of the longevity of the business there is a great deal of word-of-mouth advertising by loyal customers. This goes a long way to solidify the bond with our customers and to court new ones. Biggest concern for 2012? We pay close attention to customer requests, even special ordering when necessary. We know many regular customers on a first name basis and we maintain a customer list so that we can contact them on repairs or when something comes up that may interest them. We know what gear they have and their preferred style. It is common to introduce them to other customers because musicians like DECEMBER 2011

MMR 59

50Dealer50State takes, I think we’re making better choices for the future. Highlights and lowlights of the year? We launched our new website. The old one was very homemadelooking. There are lots of ways to rent pianos and contact service people or schedule delivery or move over the website through forms. They can also fill out rental applications that let us run credit reports on them without them having to come into the store. There’s also some new blood in the store – some new, younger blood in the store that’s helped provide a change of perspective that’s been really helpful. We’re also trying to use our CRM contact management database, which is helping people share information internally. Working with social media? We have a couple Facebook sites and some sales people are using them on their

own to brand themselves. Other parts of the store are using it per departments. There’s a general FB page but I know there are also, for example, a piano salesman who has his own to brand himself as an Alamo piano dealer. Biggest concern for 2012? Increasing sales is always the biggest concern, since we area retail company. Just getting sales and creating a good customer service so they return and can sell for you when they’re out in the community. Product of the year in 2011? On the piano side, it’s Disklaviers and Clavinovas - the more hybrid stuff. People like options. I mean pianos are beautiful and you just can’t compare the sound, but people love having options. On the other side, it’s Fender acoustics.

Utah Acoustic Music, Salt Lake City Brian Winter, Manager

2011 vs 2010? We are excited that our 2011 sales were up almost 20 percent from 2010. What is more exciting about our increase is that 2010 was up from 2009. At Acoustic Music we attribute this to long lasting relationships with our customers. After nearly 40 years we have remained a “brick and mortar” business. We feel the process of buying any guitar is to hear it, feel it and compare it to other instruments. This attention can take hours of your time, but everyone feels great in the end. Product of the year in 2011? Not just one product stands out for the year. We have had record years with Martin, Taylor, Collings guitars and never forget the uke boom. The buyers are still there if you have the inventory. As far as the future, we hope it resembles the recent past. Lots of growth and high traffic. Good Luck Everyone

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50Dealer50State Vermont Advance Music Center, Burlington Mike Trombley, Owner 2011 vs 2010? 2011 is slightly better than 2010... we’ll see what the holidays bring!

Working with social media? We bit the bullet in late 2010 and hired a dedicated IT/Computer wiz. It has proven to be money well spent. We are not a shopping cart site, but we’ve seen excellent response to local events, clinics, special events, and store sales events. It’s all about getting the store branded and this has been a great help.

Biggest concern for 2012? The internet sales tax issue. We need to right Highlights and lowthis wrong and level the playing field for lights of the year? We the local retailer. purchased a local woodwind and brass company with a 30 year reputation. It’s Product of the year in 2011? We are been a very steep learning curve for us, fortunate enough to carry some really but the number of fresh faces and new great lines here at Advance, but I’ll give business in the store has been more than you a really boring answer here... strings worth it. We also re-purposed a very and accessories in general... we don’t get small corner of the store as a wine shop. beat up on price on these items! It’s been surprisingly well received, fun for the staff and customers, and a small moneymaker to boot. The low spot this Virginia year is the closing of the Daddy’s chain. I think the ripple effect of this will not be Guitar Works, Richmond the best for anyone in the music industry. Owner 20111121_MMR_New_Not_New_OL.pdf 1 11/21/11 Brian 5:26 Medas, PM

2011 vs 2010? So far sales are up a little. Customers don’t seem quite so bummed out as they did last year. Highlights and lowlights of the year? The high would be Internet sales are up. The low would be that on some days we get more calls and visits from people trying to sell us stuff than want to buy something. It›s everyone from music suppliers, to advertisers and telemarketers to customers trying to sell us their instruments because they need money. This is the worst I›ve seen that happen in my 33 years here. Working with social media? Not really. Biggest concern for 2012? The unemployment situation is a big concern and the big question of where are the jobs going to come from if we are exporting them all? I think I heard unemployment is about 10 percent. I’d say that’s about right and the other 90 percent are work-

50Dealer50State ing but worried about losing their jobs. Product of the year in 2011? The banjo! Go figure!

Washington Hoffman Music, Spokane Earl Smith, Vice President

grams grow that we have been instrumental in nurturing over the years. Low spots: Dealing with personal serious illnesses of two employees. Both are now on the mend!!! Working with social media? Sales people stay in contact with customers via cell phones and personal visits.

2011 vs 2010? We were down a little. It was pretty much across the board, I’d say.

Biggest concern for 2012? The continuing difficulty of students being able to enroll in music programs.

Highlights and lowlights of the year? Violins have steadily become more popular through all ages, including beginning adults as well as adults who used to play and are now back at it again.

Product of the year in 2011? Product of the year: Beginning band and orchestral instruments from all suppliers showed marked consistency in manufacturing that we know will serve our customers well.

Working with social media? We’re relatively new into it all, so I don’t know of many trends or places where we’re making any big strides. We’re just dabbling in it and picking up a few sales here and there and getting some experience.


Biggest concern for 2012? Our biggest competition of course is the internet and those big, heavy duty advertisers. Those sales are creeping in and it seems to be that way with every type of retailer. That’s a trend that will continue and we’re going to continue and grow also in order to compete with it. It’s not something that will steamroller us. Product of the year in 2011? Ukuleles. I should know why but I don’t know why. It’s kind of like the bongo craze – I remember Mr. Hoffman talking about the banjo craze of the ‘30s and it’s like that. We usually can tell where it came from – what movie or album or whatever – but who knows with this one.

West Virginia Kerr’s Music World, Charleston George Y. Kerr, Owner 2011 vs 2010? Exceeded 2010 totals with a smaller staff due to retirements. Highlights and lowlights of the year? Highlights: Watching music pro62 MMR

Guitar Shop of Wisconsin, Madison Gregory G. Ginter 2011 vs 2010? We have a month left but I think we’re up about maybe 10 percent. Highlights and lowlights of the year? I’ve seen the market go wildly crazy and I’ve also seen it get kicked in the stomach so hard in ’07 and ’08 that we’re still reacting to it. At this point, what’s great is that those new Gibson custom shop guitars are so nice that there’s no reason to get the expensive stuff. Fender has also outdone itself. Acoustic guitar sales also are fantastic. You can buy a Cort guitar for $150 with a strap and a case that Vince Gill could play it. He wouldn’t, but he could. I mean the Chinese have really raised the bar and lowered the floor, dude. The acoustic sales are up 30 percent this year. Working with social media? We’ve been here so long and I provide service that we’re the only place for and I’ve got a reputable amp team and guitar luthier that we don’t advertise at all. On my FB page I think I have 1,500 friends, and I send out little advertising blurbs, but I think Craigslist works best for that. The stuff that sells on eBay is the good and unusual, and if I sell all that on eBay, then I’ll have nobody to come to the store. I’m not a huge inter-

net guy so far, although Google is very important to me in terms of awareness. Product of the year in 2011? The Cort Earth 100DX for me. It’s the most beautiful solid-top guitar with maple binding and I hang it up at $300.

Wyoming Pickin’ Palace, Rock Springs Dave Jensen, Owner 2011 vs 2010? It’s been similar to last year. I’d have to check with Todd for numbers. We haven’t really looked it yet so much. Highlights and lowlights of the year? You know, we’ve had some really good success with the Paul Reed Smith guitars. We picked them up at the end of last year and they’ve been doing a really good job. It’s maybe tapered off a bit but it’s still doing good. Working with social media? I had a nephew that did a Facebook thing for us this year but I haven’t even looked to see how it’s going. We don’t have a big internet presence – we’re trying to depend on local business and whether we’re crazy or not, that’s yet to be seen I guess. Biggest concern for 2012? There used to be some venues in town that would hire road bands and a lot of road bands would buy from us exclusively. They’d come in and buy things from us and have us order things and then just pick them up next time they were in town. But the venues quit getting road bands in because of the economy and that’s gone by the wayside. So we’re just with the local musicians and first-timers. In general, I’d like to see the economy get better. Product of the year in 2011? PRS guitars. I don’t know if it was because it was something new in that our customers hadn’t really seen before, but it’s just a great guitar. The SE’s are really what’s going, anything on their lower end -- the imports. Of course, we’ve sold a couple of the American ones but the costs are too prohibitive for most people. The Snark Tuner also – it’s a great little tuner. DECEMBER 2011

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30th A

l a u nn

America’s Top

Music Chains Three decades in, and this year’s installment of our end-of-year survey of top MI retail chains shows that, while “the more that things change, the more they stay the same” is often spot-on, sometimes it’d be more accurate to modify the maxim somewhat to state, “the more that things change, they more they really change.” Glancing at the December, 1982 issue of MMR (in which we proudly touted our “first-ever listing of multi-unit music stores, coast to coast!”) possibly the first thing that catches one’s eye is the top-spot. Back then, Lowrey Organ Centers was “#1,” with 171 retail outlets. The current (and longstanding) top entry, Guitar Center, fielded a mere seven stores – a far cry from today’s 324 (including Music & Arts and Woodwind & Brasswind). Also immediately apparent – the relative lack of product category types compared to today. Thirty years ago, it was sufficient to ask dealers whether they carried Piano/Organ, Combo, B&O, and Sound Equipment. Categories such as DJ Equipment and Electronic Keyboards were irrelevant at the time because neither truly existed in any meaningful way for most MI operations.

Not everything has changed entirely, though. While Internet competition and MAP pricing are concepts that would’ve been met with blank stares by the dealers of 1982, the results from a survey of 450 retailers compiled in that year could’ve been pulled from any present-day e-blast sent by MMR: “The nation’s musical instrument dealers are caught in the economic storm, buffeted by discount competition and a shrinking marketplace…” Sound familiar? It’s hardly news at this point, but readers of this year’s Report will surely notice the absence of longtime industry heavyweight, Daddy’s Junky Music, which last year fielded 20 stores (5, as reported in the 1982 Top Chains Report, for what it’s worth…) and did over $20 million in business. Others have disappeared (perhaps to return?) from this annual listing, due to a reduction in storefronts – though

that’s not to suggest that by now operating fewer than three retail outlets those operations are necessarily “doomed.” We also have a handful new entries (read on to find out more) and, though overall revenues are relatively level on an individual basis, total store-count is also at a fairly even keel with 759 in 2011, compared to 767 last year*. We’re definitely not out of the woods yet – all one needs to do is go online or turn on the television to know that. But things are beginning to look up, at least according to many we spoke with. “We are quite optimistic for 2012!” enthused Tim Adrianson of Firehouse Guitars, Inc. (Jenison, Mich.) when we asked about his expectations for the coming months. Danny Saliba of Steinway Hall – Dallas (Texas) agreed: “Without question sales will increase in 2012.” That would be good news for all of us… *Not including Best Buy

64 MMR


Opened ’10

Closed ’10




$2 billion









Volume (est. ’10)

Total Units

Guitar Center (Music & Arts, Brasswind & Woodwind) 5795 Lindero Canyon Rd., Westlake Village, CA 91362 (818) 735-8800 • CEO: Marty Albertson DP, PC, FA, SR, EK, DJ, LT, IN

*Best Buy MI Store 7601 Penn Ave. South, Richfield, MN 55423 (612) 291-1000 CEO: Brian Dunn DP, PC, FA, SR, EK, PM, DJ, LT

Sam Ash Music P.O. Box 9047, Hicksville, NY 11802 (516) 932-6400 • Fax (516) 938-1437 • CEO: Richard Ash DP, BO, FA, SR, EK, PC, DJ, LT, PM

Winmark Corp./Music Go Round

“2011 was a little better than 2010. We are seeing signs of growth in several areas including the higher priced instruments” – Sam Ash, Sam Ash Music




$27 MM




$15.5 MM




$43 MM

4200 Dahlberg Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55422 (763) 520-8500 • Fax (763) 520-8468 • Director: Tim Kletti DP, BO, FA, SR, EK, PC, DJ, LT

Fletcher Music Centers 3966 Airway Circle, Clearwater, FL 33762 (727) 571-1088 • Fax (727) 572-4405 • CEO: John K. Riley PO

Schmitt Music Co. Butler Square 100 N. 6th St., Ste. 850 B, Minneapolis, MN 55403 (612) 339-4811 CEO: Tom Schmitt P, DP, SR, EK, PC, BO, FA, PM

Piano & Organ Distributors

* Not Counting Best Buy




$11 MM




$59 MM

PO Piano/Organ P Piano DP Digital Piano BO Band Instruments PC Percussion FA Fretted Instrument/ Amplification SR Sound Reinforcement/ Recording Equipment EK Electronic Keyboard PM Print Music DJ DJ Equipment LT Lighting IN Installation

$24 MM

*As the majority of the dealers represented in this report are privately held, in most cases data being presented in “America’s Top Chains” was supplied by the companies, themselves.

1473 12th Street, Palmetto, FL 34221 (941) 729-5047 • Fax (941) 729-3059 CEO: W.C. Boyce Jr. P, PO

J.W. Pepper & Son (Malecki Music, Wingert-Jones Music) P.O. Box 850, Valley Forge, PA 19482 (610) 648-0500 • Fax (610) 993-0563 • PM

George’s Music Stores Inc.




650 W. Swedesford Road, Berwyn, PA 19312 DECEMBER 2011

MMR 65




$21 MM




$5 MM




$6.2 MM




$10 MM








$20 MM




$5.5 MM




$18 MM

Volume (est. ’10)

Closed ’10

– Rosi K. Johnson, Mississippi Music, Inc., Hattiesburg, Miss.

Opened ’10

“In some departments, we are seeing an increase but then that is offset by other departments like keyboard. We are budgeting for a slight increase in our 2012 fiscal year end sales.”

Total Units

America’s Top Music Chains

(610) 640-0777 • Fax (610) 640-0908 President: George Hines DP, SR, EK, PC, BO, FA, PM, IN, LT

Sherman Clay & Co. 1111 Bayhill Dr., Suite 450 , San Bruno, CA 94066 (650) 228-2232 • Fax (650) 952-0121 • CEO: Eric Schwartz P, DP, EK

Mills Music, Inc. 10120 Main St., Bothell, WA 98011 (425) 486-5000 • Fax (425) 486-3366 • CEO: Sam Mills P, DP, SR, EK, PC, BO, FA, PM

Willis Music Co. 7380 Industrial Road, Florence, KY 41042 (859) 283-2050 • CEO: Kevin Cranley P, DP, PC, FA, EK, PM

Eckroth Music Co. 1655 N. Grandview Ln., Bismarck, ND 58503 (701) 223-5320 • Fax (701) 223-7554 • CEO: Jeff Eckroth P, DP, BO, FA, SR, EK, PC, PM

C&M Music Center, LLC 2515 Williams Blvd., Kenner, LA 70062 (504) 468-8688 • Fax (504) 468-8683 • CEO: Chris Nail, Melvin Volz, Jr. DP, BO, FA, SR, EK, PC, DJ, LT, IN, PM

Quinlan & Fabish Music Co. 166 Shore Dr., Burr Ridge, IL 60527 (630) 654-4111 • Fax (630) 654-4128 • CEO: George Quinlan, Jr. BO, PC, PM

Nick Rail Music 2801 De la Vina St., Santa Barbara, CA 93105 (805) 569-5353 • Fax (805) 687-1390 • CEO: Nick Rail DP, BO, FA, SR, EK, PC, PM

Marshall Music Co. Inc. 3240 E. Saginaw St., Lansing, MI 48912 (517) 337-9700 • Fax (517) 319-9325 • CEO: Dan Marshall PO, P, SP, BO, FA, SR, EK, PC, DJ, LT, IN, PM

66 MMR


Opened ’10

Closed ’10




$10.4 MM




$10 MM




$7.9 MM




$15 MM








$10.6 MM




$14 MM




$10 MM




$ 25 MM

Volume (est. ’10)

Total Units

Frank Rieman Music, Inc. 4420 E. Broadway, Des Moines, IA 50317 (515) 262-0365 • (515) 264-1075 • CEO: Paul F. Rieman P, DP, BO, FA, SR, EK, PC, DJ, IN, PM

Jordan Kitt’s Music 9520 Baltimore Ave., College Park, MD 20740 (301)513-1212 • Fax (301) 474-3648 PO, DP

Kennelly Keys Music Inc. 4918 196th St., Lynwood, WA 98036 (425) 771-7020 • Fax (425) 670-6713 CEO: William J. Kennelly DP, PC, BO, FA, SR, EK, PM

Piano Gallery

“2011 was tough. We are searching high and low for profitable sales.” – Scott N. Peck, Pecknel Music Co., Greenville, S.C

5478 Green St., Murray, UT 84123 (801) 266-9550 • Fax (801) 266-8445 • CEO: Stan Beagley PO, P, DP, BO, PM

Brook Mays Music 8805 Carpenter Fwy., Dallas, TX 75247 (214) 905-8614 * Fax (800) 637-9399 CEO: Bill Everitt, Jr.

Ken Stanton Music 119 Cobb Pkwy N., Ste. A, Marietta, GA 30062 Phone: (770) 427-2491 • Fax (770) 422-8455 President: Kenneth Stanton PO, P, DP, BO, FA, SR, EK, PC, DJ, PM

Jacobs Music Co. 1718 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19103 (215) 568-0021 • (215) 568-0020 CEO: Al C. Rinaldi P, DP, EK

Menchey Music Service, Inc. 80 Wetzel Dr., Hanover, PA 17331 (417) 882 7000 CEO: Joel Menchey AP, DP, EK, OR, BO, DR, SR, RE, FR, PM

Steinway Hall 109 W. 57th St., New York, NY 10019 (212) 246-1100 • Fax (212) 239-7462 • CEO: Thomas Kurrer P DECEMBER 2011

MMR 67




$29.2 MM




$5.4 MM




$7.1 MM








$5.1 MM




$10 MM












$7.0 MM

Volume (est. ’10)

Closed ’10

– David Constantino, Piano and Organ Center, Clay N.Y.

West Music Co.

Opened ’10

“Just like the stock market, business is up and down. We will be celebrating 30 years in business next year and are hoping for the best.”

Total Units

America’s Top Music Chains

1212 5th St., Coralville, IA 52240 (319) 351-2000 • Fax (319) 351-0479 • CEO: Robin Walenta PO, DP, BO, PC, FA, SR, EK, PM, DJ, LT, IN

Henderson Music Co. 910 Madison Ave., Covington, KY 41011 (859) 431-2111 • Fax (859) 431-8426 CEO: Carl Henderson P, DP

White House of Music 2101 N. Springdale Rd., Waukesha, WI 53186 (262) 798-9700 • Fax (262) 798-0224 CEO: Christopher White P, DP, BO, PC, FA, SR, EK, PM

Palen Music Center 1560 E. Raynell Place, Springfield, MO 65804 (417) 882-7000 CEO: Brett Palen PM, FR, SR, EK, EP, DR, BO, RE

Portland Music Co. 531 S.E. MLK Jr. Blvd., Portland, OR 97214 (503) 226-3719 • Fax (503) 226-6574 CEO: Mark Taylor DP, PC, FA, SR, EK, PM, DJ, LT

Ted Brown Music Co., Inc. 6228 Tacoma Mall Blvd., Tacoma, WA 98409 (253) 272-3211 • Fax (253) 572-1416 President: Whitney B. Grisaffi PO, DP, BO, FA, SR, EK, PM

Saied Music 3259 S. Yale Ave., Tulsa, OK 74135 (918) 742-5541 • CEO: Bob Saied P, PO, DP, SR, EK, PC, BO, FA, PM

Rincon Musical 1110-1116 13th Street North Bergen , NJ 07047 (201) 348-0057 • (201) 348-0075 • CEO: Amalio Santos Jr. PC, EK

Heid Music Co. 308 E. College Ave., Appleton, WI 54911 (920) 734-1969 • (920) 831-8493 • 68 MMR


Opened ’10

Closed ’10



Volume (est. ’10)

Total Units 4

CEO: Todd Heid P, DP, BO, FA, SR, EK, PC, LT, PM

Keyboard Concepts

$14 MM

5600 Van Nuys Blvd., Van Nuys, CA 91401 (818) 787-0201 • Fax (818) 787-1219 CEO: Dennis Hagerty P, DP, PM

Mississippi Music Inc.

“We are quite optimistic for 2012!” – Tim Adrianson, Firehouse Guitars, Inc., Jenison, Mich.




$7.5 MM




$3.2 MM




$5.0 MM




$3.5 MM








$7 MM




$6.8 MM




$7.3 MM

222 Main St., Hattiesburg, MS 39401 (601) 544-5821 • Fax (601) 544-5841 • CEO: Rosi K. Johnson P, DP, BO, FA, SR, EK, PC, DJ, LT, IN, PM

Trombino Music Centers Inc. 1049 Broad Ave., Belle Vernon, PA 15012 (724) 929-6707 • Fax (724) 929-2049 • CEO: Robert A. Trombino PO, P, DP

Firehouse Guitars 1961 Pine Ridge Dr., Jenison, MI 49428 (616) 532-3473 • Fax (616) 532-7153 CEO: Tim Adrianson PO, DP, FA, SR, EK, PC, DJ, LT, PM

Bertrand Music 13179-5 Black Mountain Rd. 92129 • (888) 780-1812 CEO: John Bertrand, Sr. PM, BO, EK, OR, DR, SR, FR, KA

Portman’s Music 7650 Abercorn St., Savannah, GA 31406 • (888) 780-1812 President and CEO: Jerry Portman FR, DR, DJ, AR, EK, BO, SR

Mr. E’s Music 2503 Gravel Dr., Fort Worth, TX 76118 (817) 595-1910 • Fax (817) 595-1920 CEO: William C. Everitt P, DP, BO, FA, SR, EK, PC, DJ, PM

Dietze Music House 1208 O St., Lincoln, NE 68508 (402) 476-6644 • Fax (402) 476-8962 • CEO: Tim Pratt P, DP, BO, FA, SR, EK, PC, DJ, PM

Tarpley Music Co., Inc. 2420 Commerce, Amarillo, TX 79109 (806) 355-0795 DECEMBER 2011

MMR 69




$5.3 MM












$33.0 MM




$2.9 MM




$4.85 MM




$7.7 MM




$4.8 MM





Volume (est. ’10)

Closed ’10

– Tim Kletti, Winmark Corp./ Music Go Round, Minneapolis, Minn.

Opened ’10

“The banking industry concerns me them ost... For any business, you need a solid lending partner. For this industry to grow, we need the lenders to see us as opportunity, not as a risk.”

Total Units

America’s Top Music Chains • CEO: John Tarpley & David Tarpley P, DP, BO, FA, SR, EK, PC, LT, IN, PM

Buddy Roger’s Music, Inc. 6891 Simpson Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45239 (513) 729-1950 • Fax (513) 728-6010 CEO: David Miller BO, FA, SR, EK, PC

Evola Music Center 2184 Telegraph Rd., Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302 (248) 334-0566 • Fax (248) 334-2340 • CEO: Jim Evola PO, DP, EK, PM, church organ

Griggs Music 3849 N Brady St., Davenport, IA 52806 (563) 391-9000 • Fax (513) 728-6010 • CEO: Steve Judge DP, SR, EK, PC, BO, FA, PM

Alto Music 180 Carpenter Ave., Middleton, NY 10940 (845) 692-6922 • (845) 346-0016 • CEO: Jon Haber DP, BO, FA, SR, EK, PC, DJ, LT, IN, PM

Piano & Organ Center Box 2369 Great Northern Mall, Clay, NY 13039 (315) 622-3926 • Fax (315) 652-5030 CEO: David Constantino PO, P, DP, FA, EK, PM

Jackson’s Music 1409 S. Stratford Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27103 (336) 760-9635 CEO: Douglas J. Dryden P, PM, DP, EK, BO, FA, SR

Robert M. Sides Family Music Center 201 Mulberry St., Williamsport, PA 17701 (570) 326-2094 • Fax (570) 326-5155 • President: Peter K. Sides PO, P, DP, BO, FA, SR, EK, PC, IN, PM

Samuel Music 908 W. Fayette Ave., Effingham, IL 62401 (217) 342-9221 • Fax (217) 342-9227 • CEO: Dean Samuel P, DP, FA, SR, EK, PC, DJ, LT

Keyboard World 14701 National Highway, Lavale, MD 21502 (301) 689-2534 • Fax (301) 729-0873 70 MMR


Opened ’10

Closed ’10



$9.5 MM




$ 3.9 MM




$4.5 MM








$6.0 MM








$ 3.5 MM








$3.9 MM

Volume (est. ’10)

Total Units 3 CEO: Ronald B. Klinetob PO, DP, FA, EK, PM

Skip’s Music 2740 Auburn Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95821 (916) 484-7575 * Fax (916) 484-7610 • CEO: Skip Maggiora PC, FA, SR, EK, PM, DJ, LT, IN

Jent’s House of Music 2646 34th Street, Lubbock, TX 79410 (806) 795-5579 CEO: Karen Pollard P, PM, DP, EK, BO, FA, SR

Frank & Camille’s East 482 Route 110, Melville, NY 11747 (631) 385-0606 • Fax (631) 385-1040 CEO: Camille Scheidemann PO, DP

Ace Karaoke 161 S. 8th Ave., City of Industry, CA 91746 (888) 893-7464 • Fax (626) 820-0625 •

Instrumental Music 3328 State St., Santa Barbara, CA 93105 (805) 569-5055 CEO: Brian McCann P, PM, DP, EK, BO, FA, SR

White’s Music Box

“On the minus side, the economic crisis has meant less expendable income for customers, which resulted in fewer sales. On the plus side, repairs are up and we know how to run leaner now!” – Nick Rail, Nick Rail Music, Santa Barbara, Calif.

200 South Downtown Mall, Las Cruces, NM 88001 (575) 526-6677 • CEO: Mike White P, DP, BO, FA, SR, EK, PC, PM

Kidder Music 7728 N Crestline Drive, Peoria, IL 61615 (309) 692-4040 • (309) 692-4789 • Owner/President: Beth Houlihan DP, BO, FA, SR, EK, PC, LT, IN, PM

Pender’s Music Co. 314 S. Elm St. , Denton, TX 76201 800 772-5918 President: Richard Gore PM

Riverton Music, Inc. 4650 South 3740 West, West Valley City, UT (801) 254-4489 • Fax (801) 746-1140


MMR 71




$3.9 MM




$6.8 MM




$7.3 MM




$4 MM




$6.4 MM




$8.5 MM









Volume (est. ’10)

Closed ’10

– George Quinlan Jr., Quinlan & Fabish Music Co., Burr Ridge, Ill.

Opened ’10

“School budget cuts are a concern, but program cuts are our biggest concern. Booster groups will provide funding in difficult times to sustain a program, but eliminating grade levels or an entire band or orchestra cannot be recovered.”

Total Units

America’s Top Music Chains

CEO: Kevin Rindlisbacher PO, DP, EK, PC, BO, FA

Prosser Piano & Organ 13400 Interurban Ave., South Tukwila, WA 98168 (206) 957-8732 • CEO: Kerry Prosser PO, DP, EK, PM

The Clavier Group, Steinway Hall – Dallas 5301 N. Central Expressway, Dallas, TX 75205 (214) 526-1853 • Fax (214) 526-5358 CEO: Danny Saliba P

Art’s Music Shop, Inc. 3030 East Blvd., Montgomery, AL 36116 (334) 271-2787 • Fax (334) 279-0119 • CEO: Paul Freehling P, DP, BO, PC, FA, SR, EK, PM, IN

Dave Phillips Music & Sound 377 Irwin St., Phillipsburg, NJ 08865 (908) 454-3313 • Fax (908) 859-4449 CEO: Dave Phillips DP, PC, BO, FA, SR, EK, PM, LT, IN

Pecknel Music Co., Inc. 1312 N. Pleasantburg Dr., Greenville, SC 29607 (864) 244-7881 • Fax (864) 244-7894 CEO: Scott N. Peck DP, BO, FA, SR, EK, PC, IN, PM

Meyer Music 1512 W. Highway 40, Blue Springs, MO 64015 (816) 228-5656 • Fax (816) 228-6059 • CEO: Ted Meyer, Betty Meyer PO, P, DP, BO, PM

Kessler & Sons Music 3047 E. Charleston, Las Vegas, NV 89104 (702) 385-2263 • Fax (702) 385-7966 • CEO: Charles Kessler BO, PC

Welch Music, Inc. 837 Pole Line Rd., Twin Falls, ID 83301 (208) 734-9010 • Fax (208) 734-2210 CEO: Randy Welch P, DP, BO, FA, SR, EK, PC, PM

72 MMR


19th Annual

Dealers’ Choice Awards

Once again, we’ve asked MI retailers to share their thoughts on which products, in a number of key categories, were standouts in the past year. Results of our annual survey have, this year, produced perhaps more surprises than usual… To be sure, there were a handful of expected results (Will anyone unseat the Kawai K-3 as “Acoustic Piano Line of the Year” anytime soon? Who’s got the quality, value, and reputation to knock off American DJ’s crown in the Lighting category?). However, relatively few awards are repeats of the results from 2010, with the biggest surprise being – unquestionably – the end of the Yamaha Disklavier’s decade-long reign as “Product of the Year.”

Selections were cast via online ballot, e-mail, and snail-mail, with the total number of replies (just shy of 650) beating out last year’s record as the largest response in the history of the Dealers’ Choice Awards. As always, thanks go out to all participating retailers. Congratulations to the winning companies and we’ll see you again next year!


Yamaha AvantGrand Yamaha Corporation of America Don’t shed too many tears for the venerable Disklavier, for though the console is no longer the overall winner, another instrument from the Yamaha family takes its place as “Product of the Year.” With pleasing aesthetics, a lower-than-expected (though still undeniably steep) price point, and drawing upon over a century of piano craftsmanship expertise paired with cutting-edge technological capabilities, the AvantGrand line of hybrid pianos took top honors in convincing fashion in 2011. Since the introduction of these innovative pianos a few years ago, we’ve watched the AvantGrand steadily gain ground in the “Product of the Year” category. Yamaha’s innovative Spatial Acoustic Sampling and Spatial Acoustic Speaker System allow for playback that is virtually identical to that of an actual acoustic grand piano. While it can’t be expected that anything will duplicate the lengthy reign of the Disklavier, the realistic sounds, true touch and response of the keyboard action, and versatility of the AvantGrand may make this a formidable contender for years to come. DECEMBER 2011

MMR 73

19th Annual Dealers’ Choice Awards


Ibanez Hoshino USA, Inc. Ibanez is emerging as a bit of a bruiser when it comes to this award, but it’s easy to see why. While there are plenty of worthy competitors in the field, Ibanez offers a staggering variety of models that appeal to players of many genres, ability-levels, and budgets.


Fender Telecaster Fender Musical Instruments Corp. Fender’s no stranger to this category, so it may – at first glance – illicit yawns and a collective “ho-hum” to see that the Scottsdale, Ariz. guitar manufacturer is, once more, sitting pretty as the “Electric Guitar Line of the Year” champ… But wait! Sure, Fender has won in this category 11(!) times, but it’s always been the much-loved Stratocaster that has gotten the nod. Why the Tele this year? There’s no easily quantifiable answer, though it bears mentioning that while the Telecaster has long been a go-to for the country set, it’s made greater inroads into the hard rock and indie rock scenes in recent years (which is not to suggest that Teles haven’t been beloved by rockers since… well, since the beginning: James Burton, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, Bruce Springsteen, Joe Strummer – ring a bell?). Fender’s recent Blacktop Telecaster, featuring high-output humbuckers and a low price-point, was singled out by many as especially appealing to younger players.



Fender Mustang

Lâg Guitars

Fender Musical Instruments Corp.

Lâg USA, Korg USA And the winner is… wait – what? While it’s quite possibly not one of the names you may’ve expected to see in this spot, Lâg Guitars have – in a very short time (official U.S. launch at the January 2010 NAMM Show) – made a real impact with dealers and end-users. Remarkably high quality instruments with a top-notch European lineage and an impressive range of models/price-points have resulted in Lâg emerging as a very popular (and profitable) line for retailers.

RECORDING EQUIPMENT LINE OF THE YEAR Putting the three-year winning streak for Peavey’s Vypyr line of amps to an end, Fender’s new Mustang series offers a number of amp models, USB connectivity, Fender’s proprietary FUSE software, and a sizable bank of built-in effects. “Bang for the buck” has long been the key to success in this category and the boys (and girls) at Fender seem to have figured out how to offer users a great deal of functionality at a reasonable price. 74 MMR

Zoom H4n Samson Technologies Zoom owns this category – though dealers are nice enough to mix it up some when it comes to specific products that get the nod, keeping it interesting for all of us. While the H4 and upgraded H4n were winners in ’08 and ’09, “Recording Equipment Line” honors went to Zoom’s R24 multi-track digital recorder/audio interface/sampler last year. 2011 sees the H4n reclaiming the crown, as dealers cite functionality, quality, size, and price as key selling points. DECEMBER 2011


Roland RD-700NX Roland Corporation U.S.


Peavey Impulse 12D Peavey Electronics

Roland is back on top after being bumped from this category by Yamaha’s Tyros 4 last year. The RD-700NX scores points for its SuperNATURAL Piano sounds engine, PHA III Ivory Feel Keyboard, and an improved user interface with a larger, high-res LCD display.


Kawai K-3 Kawai America Corporation Easily earning (by far) the most votes of any one, single model in any category, the popular Kawai K-3 is again top dog. It’s hard to imagine any competing instrument loosening the seemingly unbreakable stranglehold the K-3 has on “Acoustic Piano Line of the Year” – we’ll just have to wait and see what surprises the 2012 results may have in store.

Featuring a true ribbon driver and 12” field-replaceable dual voice neodymium speaker, the Impulse 12D utilizes Peavey’s IPR power amplifier technology to product 1,200 watts of power – all while weighing in at a manageable 39 lbs. Ease of use and versatility were cited as key features that draw consumers to the Impulse 12D.


Yamaha Clavinova Yamaha Corporation of America Yamaha is certainly no stranger to the winners’ podium when it comes to the Dealers Choice Awards and neither is the Clavinova, having walked away with a DCA in 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005, 2003… (you get the point). Much like the Disklavier, the Clavinova has proven to be a hit with players and retailers for a long time.


Shure SM58 Shure Audio-Technica provided an upset back in 2009, but the Shure SM58 has long proven tough to beat in this category. When you’re offering the undisputed “industry standard,” it’s a safe-bet you’ll garner a good amount of votes…

MMR 75

19th Annual Dealers’ Choice Awards


Gemini DJ GCI Technologies Corp.


Yamaha Yamaha Corporation of America Much like last year, this category resulted in votes cast for essentially all major players in the B&O field with no clear winner emerging until late in the process. Due in large part to the sheer volume of products offered – coupled with a sterling reputation for quality of manufacturing and service – Yamaha once again came out on top.

Gemini has been serving the DJ market since the early ‘70s and that deep understanding of the market, coupled with products that match technological innovation to value, makes the company’s product offerings the overall DJ Line of the Year for 2010.



Pearl Drums Pearl Corporation This is consistently amongst the most hotly contested product categories. However, when the dust settled, Pearl Drums was again (third year in a row) victorious.

Hal Leonard Hal Leonard, Corporation


American DJ American DJ Supply, Inc.

The only winner in it’s category every single DCA annual survey since yearone, Hal Leonard has set a standard unlikely to be met by any other. A massive library, unrivaled reputation for service to dealers and customers, and an active marketing strategy make this Midwest giant tough – if not impossible – to unseat as champion. 76 MMR

Last year, we asked, “Can anyone beat them?” The answer would seem to be a resounding, “NO!” as ADJ is king of the hill for the seventh consecutive year….



Sibelius 7 Avid Technology, Inc. Versatile enough to meet the needs of beginning students as well as professional-level composers, this latest generation of Avid’s iconic music notation software scored a solid hit in 2011.


D’Addario/ Planet Waves D’Addario & Co.

Mini-tuners? Check. One of the most exhaustive and well-respected lines of strings? Check. Cables, straps, polish, picks, apps, capos… “check” to all that and more. D’Addario and Planet Waves products are a favorite with so many players and dealers, and there’s so much that the brands offer, that it’s almost not fair…

WEBSITE OF THE YEAR The Avedis Zildjian Company, Inc. Whether visitors want to find a nearby dealer, get product updates, hear from their favorite artists, apply for scholarships, or satisfy any number of other needs, offers an easy-to-navigate, attractive site that can do all that and more.


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Show Report: AES Convention

131st AES Convention

The ‘World Series of Pro Audio’ Returns to the Big Apple 310 Exhibitors and 15,926 attendees descended upon NYC’s Jacob Javits Center for the 131st AES Convention in late October. In addition to the standard engineering and mastering panels, presentations, and keynote speakers which have made AES a “must-attend” event for years, the show also featured special appearances by iconic recording artists Judy Collins and Ben Folds. While numbers were down slightly this fall compared to the previous Convention held in New York City in 2009 (sound

ics/MXL. “Although there were fewer vendors than in past years, attendance was high and included many industry professionals with strong interest in our products. We found the contact quality of those we met at the show to be higher, and to include many individuals with purchasing decision power.” Cobi Stein of Eminence Speaker LLC was similarly


“ Traffic was better than anticipated and we’re very glad we exhibited.” – Cobi Stein, Eminence Speaker LLC familiar…?), the good news is: they were actually up when compared to last fall’s meeting in San Francisco (roughly 14,000 visitors, 300 exhibitors). It can be fairly stated that exhibitors seemed to see considerable upside to committing to the annual get-together. “The 2011 AES show actually exceeded our expectations,” said Kevin Weiss of Marshall Electron78 MMR

positive, saying simply: “Overall it was a good show. Traffic was better than anticipated and we’re very glad we exhibited.” Some were particularly upbeat when discussing the 2011 Convention and found it to be an improvement over last year’s outing. Chris Lyons of Shure, Inc. observed, “AES was better than we expected. Traffic in the exhibit hall was

2 1. Jaime Nelson and Wes Seely of Hal Leonard. 2. Kevin Weiss and Gina Gameroz of Marshall Electronics. DECEMBER 2011





1. Community Professional Loudspeakers’ Mike Marr. 2. Greg Beebe of Sennheiser. 3. 3D Sound Sphere’s Dimitri Tripodakis. 4. Shure, Inc.’s Chris Lyons. 5. The vintage VW Bus at the Telefunken booth was an attention-getter.

very good, and the attendees were very interested in hearing our newest microphones and headphones for themselves. Overall this was an even better show for us than last year. Attendance seemed to be up, and the visitors were more qualified, i.e. more directly involved in recording or music production. “ For many, though, the annual gathering isn’t just about closing deals and tallying the numbers, but is significant for the opportunity AES provides to connect with key players in the world of pro audio. “The 2011 AES Show exceeded our



expectations,” said Community Professional Loudspeakers’ Mike Marr. “But, at Community we view the AES Show as more [about] relationships than business. We see consultants, engineers, and dealers whom we been friends with for 10-20 even 30 years. We manufacture speakers for live install, so AES is slightly out of our initial market but we’ve attended every AES Show for the last 40 years. Our expectation for the show is not to write business but to talk with the attendees and display some exciting new products.”

Wes Seeley of Hal Leonard agreed, saying, “I believe this year’s AES did live up to expectations. Traffic was steady throughout, and we had an opportunity to introduce out newest titles – as well as a few that are just around the corner – to this important audience.” The 132nd European Audio Engineering Convention will be held in Hungary’s Budapest Congress & World Trade Center, April 26-29, 2012. The 133rd AES Convention is scheduled for October 26-29 of next year in San Francisco’s Moscone Center.

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1. Gibson’s Ken McMahan with the company’s new Firebird X guitar. 2. Audio-Technica’s Gary Boss. 3. The Eminence team: Joel Butler, Cobi Stein, Josh Martin, and Tom James.

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Keep Music Education Strong Learning to play music is so much more than memorizing notes and scales. It helps a child develop creativity and instills self-discipline, commitment and confidence. Your leadership in the community assures that music is a part of quality education for every child. Keep music education strong—go to

believe in music 5790 Armada Drive • Carlsbad, CA 92008 • 760.438.8001 •


Print Music’s Top-Sellers for 2011 MMR recently reached out to some of the biggest names in print music publishing to find out what their biggest selling titles were in 2011, to get their feedback on the past year, and to hear expectations and hopes for the coming months…

Alfred Music Publishing 1. 2. 3.

Alfred’s Basic Adult All-in-One Course (00-5753) Sound Innovations for Concert Band and String Orchestra Essentials of Music Theory: Software, Version 3 CD-ROM Educator Version, Complete Volume 4. Alfred’s Drum Method 5. Music for Little Mozarts: Music Workbook 1 6. Acoustic, Kid’s, and Ukulele Guitar Packs 7. EpiK DrumS EDU 8. Alfred’s Kid’s Guitar Course (00-25783) 9. Suzuki Violin 10. Super Mario Series (Piano, Easy Piano, and Guitar)

The current economic conditions challenge everyone. In conversations with our customers I often try to inspire hope by pointing out that even banks are challenged to find growth in this economy; and they buy and sell money, the most universally sought-after commodity of all! But the music industry has a distinct advantage over other industries. Inspiration and innovation are at the heart of the music products industry. The rise of Apple from near bankruptcy about a decade ago to becoming the most 82 MMR

powerful brand in the world in 2011, along with reflection on the recent passing of Steve Jobs, proves to us all that value is not always driven by discounts, and that inspiration and innovation lead the way. May we all aspire to those ends, especially in an industry whose products help people experience the joy of making music.

“ Inspiration and innovation lead the way.” –Antonio Ferranti, Alfred Music Publishing

Antonio Ferranti Alfred Music Publishing Company, Inc. DECEMBER 2011

Hal Leonard Corporation 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Adele – 21 Lady Gaga – Born This Way Guitar Licks Goldmine DVDs Bruno Mars Ukulele Play-Along: Chart Hits Guitar Tab White Pages Play-Along Bass for Kids Avenged Sevenfold – Nightmare Guitar Recorded Versions 9. The Real Rock Book 10. Pirates of the Caribbean: Stranger Tides

During these interesting economic times, our company attitude is to “look through the windshield and not the rearview mirror.” As we look towards 2012 our mission is clear: We need to make it easier for retailers to use all of the tools we currently have (like our Digital Retailer program and our Shopping Cart Transfer programs), so they can be suc-

cessful selling print and media. We are very optimistic about the future and to start 2012 off right, we’re estimating that we’ll have over 350 new titles released for Winter NAMM, in addition to showing our new distribution partnership with Blue Microphones and our expanded distribution of Line 6 interfaces and Yamaha Electronic Drum sets. Everyone knows

that there are a lot of questions about changing technologies and how it will affect print in 2012 and beyond. One thing you can count on is that Hal Leonard will be at the forefront of consumer trends and technology and we will continue to find ways to make it beneficial for our dealers. David Jahnke Hal Leonard Corporation

“During these interesting economic times, our company attitude is to “look through the windshield and not the rearview mirror.” - David Jahnke, Hal Leonard Corp.

Kendor Music 1.

Pink Panther – various arrangements of instrumental solos and ensembles 2. Inside the Score (with full performance CD) by Rayburn Wright – Analysis of classic jazz ensemble charts by Bob Brookmeyer, Thad Jones & Sammy Nestico 3. Contest Solos & Ensembles for Percussion by Murray Houllif – Collections for a variety of percussion instruments for all grade levels 4. Carol of the Bells arr. Michael Hopkins – Grade 3 String Orchestra 5. Sing it First (Wycliffe Gordon’s Unique Approach To Trombone Playing) by Wycliffe Gordon/Alan Raph – Trombone Method 6. Winning Snare Drum Solos by Tom Brown – 3 editions for beginner, intermediate, and advanced players 7. Dance of Fire by Frank Halferty – Grade 1 String Orchestra 8. The Jazz Educator’s Handbook (with 2 CD’s) by Doug Beach and Jeff Jarvis 9. Bach for Marimba arr. James Moore – Collection of 10 works for Grade 4-6 unaccompanied mallet percussion 10. 30 Melodious Duets arr. Carl Strommen – Collections for Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, Horn in F & Trombone


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2011 has been a very challenging year. We have learned how to make profits with less sales, but it did not come without making difficult changes in the way we do business. As I reviewed my comments from MMR’s “Print Publishing: Review & Forecast” article from two years ago, I was pretty accurate with regard to the number of dealers that continue, or are able, to stock our products, and also about our ability to remain competitive, but I was absolutely wrong about sales increasing. In the Fall of 2010, we discontinued

replicating CDs to include with our demo promotions for new jazz ensemble and string orchestra products and found ourselves faced with the reality that we had to open our own retail website. We were very nervous about making these changes, but they have had a huge impact on the bottom line. We are proud that we were able to maintain our workforce and continue to show a profit. As the global economy has gotten worse – not better – we still see a downward trend in sales of our products, as school budgets have deteriorated as well. I

do not foresee this turning around in 2012. I believe, however, that we have cut expenses as far as we can go, and we are now prepared to ride the wave until the economy improves. Digital distribution of our products will be a major focus for Kendor in 2012. We are currently licensing products to three companies that provide this service, but we are also investigating options that will offer the opportunity to more print music dealers to have secure access to our digital files. Craig Cornwall Kendor Music

“I believe that we have cut expenses as far as we can go, and we are now prepared to ride the wave until the economy improves” – Craig Cornwall, Kendor Music

Sher Music 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

The Latin Real Easy Book The Jazz Theory Book by Mark Levine The Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine Three-Note Voicings and Beyond by Randy Vincent The Serious Jazz Practice Book by Barry Finnerty The Real Easy Book – Vol. 1 The Real Easy Book – Vol. 3 The Standards Real Book The New Real Book – Vol. 1 Foundation Exercises For Bass by Chuck Sher

The way I see it, the world is a fragile place, with lots of forces pulling at it. Music is one of the only uniformly positive forces in our world, and so I think people will increasingly look to music for inspiration, sol-

ace, and a reason to enjoy being alive. That gives us in the music business a responsibility to caretake this positive force and go the extra mile to make what we do be

the best version possible. Here’s to a great year for everyone! Chuck Sher Sher Music Co.

Carl Fischer Music/Theodore Presser Company 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Arban’s Complete Method for Trumpet, edited by Edwin Franko Goldman and Walter M. Smith Technical Studies for Trumpet by Herbert L. Clarke Melodious Etudes for Trombone, Book 1 - Selected and Annotated by Joannes Rochut, edited by Alan Raph The Guitar Grimoire - Scales and Modes by Adam Kadmon Scale System for Violin by Carl Flesch, edited by Max Rostal Arban’s Complete Method for Trumpet: Platinum Edition, edited by Edwin Franko Goldman and Walter M. Smith

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7. 8.

32 Rose Etudes for Clarinet, edited by Melvin Warner Carol of the Bells for SATB Chorus by Mykola D. Leontovich, arranged by Peter Wilhousky 9. Wohlfahrt Foundation Studies for Violin Vol. 1, edited by Rachel Barton Pine 10. Schroeder 170 Foundation Studies for Cello Vol. 1

As we come to the close of 2011, it seems like this was the year when we turned the corner from the challenges many businesses have been facing the last three years. We are certainly not where we’d like to be, and we still remain cautious due to the struggles many retailers and schools continue to have. However, if this turns out to be the beginning of the recovery period, we’ll look back at 2011 as the turning point. In terms of the industry overall, digital downloads of print music was the hot button topic of 2011 for us. To date, we’ve seen more digital-only web retailers start businesses in 2011 than in previous years. As long as the customer demand is there, and we feel it will be, that trend should continue well into 2012. As far as trends specific to products, we continue to see growth in product sales catered towards the “Boomer” generation such as our I Used To Play series. It’s not necessarily a market that companies target aggressively, but one that has certainly proved fruitful for us even with the economic climate being quite volatile the last few years. Our goal for 2012 remains unchained

from previous years… and that is to produce products with “legs” that can further one’s music education and create joy for the professional or recreational musician. We always strive to create material with the objective it will be around for many years to come. While doing so, we also need to closely watch the increasing demand for digital downloads. We’re excited about the possibilities to give retailers and consumers another means towards obtaining our products, but like most new territories, that will come with its share of challenges. In our case, as our catalog of proprietary and distributed works grows (we’re now approaching 40,000 SKUs) just the workload involved at setting up the digital files can be taxing. Not to mention the more digital files that exist on the Web could make us more susceptible to illegal downloads. But nonetheless, the consumer interest is here and we are situating ourselves to be a part of that. Chris Scialfa, Sr. Carl Fischer Music/Theodore Presser Company

“It seems like this was the year when we turned the corner from the challenges many businesses have been facing the last three years.” – Chris Scialfa, Sr., Carl Fischer Music/Theodore Presser Company

New Products Casio Lighted Key LK-165 Keyboard The LK-165 allows novice users to learn 110 built-in songs phase by phase, at their

own individual pace. Aspiring musicians can learn both music notation and correct hand positioning, while Casio’s interactive Step-Up Lesson System evaluates performance, allowing users to track their progress and incremental success in order to improve their playing skills. Additional “key” features include 400 built-in tones, 10 reverb types, 10-second sampler, and 150 rhythms and accompaniments. Levy’s Embroidered Guitar Straps Levy’s new embroidered guitar straps are soft garment leather with multicolored cowboy-boot embroidery designs, foam padding, and suede backing. The extra-long taper at the end makes the strap especially suitable for acoustic guitars. Pictured is model MG62E01, one of six original embroidery designs available in dark brown and black. Fishman Presys+ Onboard Preamp System Fishman Presys preamp systems have become a popular choice with leading manufacturers since their introduction in 2008 and are currently used in guitars by Martin, Fender, Washburn,

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Wechter, Vintage, Cort and more. The Presys+ system provides maximum control and performance in a small, unobtrusive format. It features Volume, Bass, Mid and Treble controls, a Phase switch, and a built-in tuner with LED display. Delivering exceptional sound and quality at a cost-effective price, the system’s pre-wired Fishman Sonicore pickup is designed for solder-free, plug and play installation. Presys+ also includes a low battery indicator, low profile control knobs and a unique pivot design for easy access to the battery compartment. Retail price: $242.93

The Double Drive 3X uniquely offers two different types of distortion that can be used individually or cascaded together. Each is based on the power amp output stage of specific tube amplifiers: Drive A yields a “Class A” distortion, rich in even harmonics; Drive A/B provides a “Class A/B” distortion, which is rich in odd harmonics.

Yamaha 900 Grand Series Concert Toms The 900 Grand Series Concert Toms are ideal for any solo or ensemble performance, constructed with the exclusive Air-Seal System process and feature the

WIth a 100% analog signal path, the Double Drive 3X is digital only in its programmability. Users can store three custom sounds, even on the fly. Users can also choose to reserve one channel for a clean boost, up to 10dB, via the Level control by setting both Drives at minimum. The pedal also features an active 3-band EQ, a 1megOhm high impedance 1/4” input (same as traditional tube amps use), a 1kOhm low impedance 1/4” output (drives long cables without loss of signal integrity), and silent-switching custom actuators. The pedal is designed and manufactured in the U.S.A. and operable with 9V alkaline battery (not included) or optional power supply. Retail price: $215.00.

YESS II mount, which allows increased sustain and tone without sacrificing stability. Available in 6”, 8”, 10”, 12”, 13”, 14”, 15”, and 16” sizes, the toms come with the WS-860A Tom Stands and feature a ball and socket design for complete adjustment and stability. The stand offers a lean, double-braced leg design that gives the performer ultimate stability. Tech 21’s Double Drive 3X Undergoes Private Stock MOD The Double Drive 3X distortion pedal has undergone a Private Stock MOD to feature more aggressive tones, a tighter low end, and a wider Level taper. It has been revoiced for more hard rock and metal tones rather than classic, bluesy style tones. This pedal will be available for a limited time at no additional cost. It is distinguished from the original by a MOD stamp on the pedal and packaging.

Evans MEC2S Marching Drum Heads The MEC2S features the same roll-over hoop design used on all other marching tenor heads for greater durability. The hoop design is optimal for use with marching tenor drums because it can handle the tension and wear requirements


of the marching activity. The heads are available in sizes 6, 8, 10, 12, 13 and 14”. The EC2 with Sound Shaping Technology™ feature a unique damping technique that insures optimized performance for each individually sized drumhead. Ring thickness, and width are scaled based on drumhead size. Controlling the placement and mass of the ring allows the drumhead to target select frequencies for attenuation in order to fully optimize the attack, tone, length of sustain, and ease of tuning for each size head, delivering a more balanced sound across the range of drums. Retail price: $26.00 - $34.00.

the United States and worldwide. The double lacquer finish helps create a cen-

tered and warm tone, while the multi-level engravings add to the appearance. The key layout is fine-tuned using advanced computer software that enables comfortable and facile ergonomic finger positioning.

TC Electronics iB Modified GSystem TC Electronics’ new iB modified units are based on the work of Italian equipment tech Massimo Mantovani, who works on custom effects for musicians throughout Europe. One of his most popular mods is a G-System input buffer tweak.

The iB Modification has been implemented on exclusive, custom-run versions of both the G-System multi effects board (and the Nova Delay pedal). The G-System iB is available in sleek black casing and will be an exclusive, limited edition. With its unique combination of two DSP sections providing the very highest quality effects on the market, analog loops, amp switching, floor control, and even 9VDC power outputs for your pedals, the G-System offers high levels of integration. Retail price: $2,449. Diplomatte Saxophones Diplomatte Musical Instruments has introduced its new line of alto and tenor saxophones. These saxophones feature bodies constructed of the highest-grade imported “music” brass and include components manufactured from both DECEMBER 2011

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New Products American DJ Micro Hypnotic and Micro 3D The Micro Hypnotic and Micro 3D red and green laser machines each weigh just 2 pounds (0.8 kg.) and are a mere 6 inches (149mm) in length. The Micro Hypnotic projects unique “web-like” laser patterns that appear as spidery layers of lace. The Micro 3D, despite its small size, produces

more than 200 laser beams that rotate back and forth, completely filling the space with razor-sharp daggers of light. Both machines are safe and easy to operate. Both units are compliant with FDA standards, assuring they can be used safely in any venue or environment. To make things even easier, both units come with an RF Wireless Remote Con-

Meeting the Needs of Students for More Than 30 Years ... Our Best-Selling SV-175 Cremona Violin! Cremona bowed instruments have set the pace for the vibrant student and rental markets for over 30 years. Strict adherence to international sizing requirements, domestic educational set-up standards and continuous quality improvement have made Cremona Violins, Violas, Basses and Cellos proven sales leaders. Our best-selling, ebony fitted SV-175 Cremona Premier Violin Outfit has recently been upgraded to include the J.LaSalle LB-13 Octagonal Bow and the TL-33 deluxe rectangular Travelite case.

Cremona SV-175 Violin Outfit: •All-solid carved, graduated construction •Seven sizes from 4⁄4 to 1⁄16 •Long lasting ebony fittings •Finetuner tailpiece for precise, easy tuning •Rugged TL-33 Travelite case •Well-balanced J.LaSalle LB-13 bow with ebony frog



Suggested Retail


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[800] BUY-SAGA Dealer inquiries invited.

trol. Using the remote unit, users can select between Auto and Sound Mode, and control Blackout, Color Change (Red, Green Red+Green, Random), and Rotation (Clockwise, Counterclockwise, Random).

Each machine is fan-cooled and includes a dual bracket for floor-mounting or hanging overhead. The Micro Hypnotic and Micro 3D also come with a UL-listed multi-voltage power supply: 12V DC 1000-240V, 50/60 Hz. Retail: $159.95 (Micro Hypnotic), $179.95 ($Micro 3D).

Teaching Music Across the Curriculum from Alfred Music Publishing Teaching Music Across the Curriculum is an innovative teaching tool that offers ready-toteach lesson plans that build and increase students’ musical skills. Authors Valeaira Luppens and Greg Foreman use creative teaching techniques that connect students to materials, concepts, vocabulary, and ideas they’re studying in their classrooms. The curriculum helps music educators to create musical meaning while simultaneously reinforcing and supporting other curricula, such as Communication, Art, Math, History, Social Studies, and Science. Through the various lessons and activities in the book, students are provided with opportunities to create, analyze, and perform music in enjoyable and challenging ways. Reproducible student pages are included which actively engage students and allow for easy assessment. Helpful note pages are also included in the back of the book to keep records for future use. Retail price: $26.99. DECEMBER 2011

Supplier Scene Bedell Guitars Sponsors the “Right to Rock Celebration” in New York City Steven Van Zandt, Billy Squier, Jake Clemons, Matt White and Lady Gaga were among the musical personalities who came out to support Little Kids Rock at the “Right to Rock Celebration” in New York City presented by Bedell Guitars. The event raised enough funds for Little Kids Rock to provide free instrumental music lessons to more than 10,000 additional students. The event also honored the late Clarence Clemons, a key supporter of the organization, by presenting the annual “Big Man of the Year” award to Lady Gaga, whose hit song “The Edge of Glory” featured Clemons. Little Kids Rock was started in 2002 by David Wish to bring free musical instruments and music instruction into under-served public schools across the country, focusing on teaching children to perform, improvise and compose the

Little Kids Rock participants with Lady Gaga.

musical styles that they love. Schools in more than 24 major cities throughout the US are served by the program with more cities added each year. Bedell Guitars and Two Old Hippies partnered up with Little Kids Rock in 2011 as the exclusive provider of guitars for Little Kids Rock. FDW Corp Promotes Sean Sennott to Vice President FDW Corp, a nationwide distributor of professional audio, video and lighting equipment, recently announced the DECEMBER 2011

promotion of Sean Sennott to the position of Vice President and General Manager. Sennott has played a vital role in the growth of FDW Corp as its General Manager and will continue to manage daily operations and administration for the company. FDW Corp distributes over 500 brands and is a master distributor of JBL, Crown, AKG, SKB cases, Intelix and others. FDW Corp also owns and manufactures the Vu family of products, including Cable Up cables, QuietSpeed™ integrated computers and Vu music and microphone stands. Rhythm Band Instruments, LLC Partners with Note Knacks Music, LLC Rhythm Band Instruments recently announced a new partnership in music education with Note Knacks® Music, LLC. Note Knacks® is a system of music symbol manipulatives and corresponding curriculum created and developed by Kristin M. Pugliese. The system is based on visual and tactile learning in conjunction with written and community learning. The Note Knacks® system crosses disciplines and teaches broad metaconcepts in math, such as fractions and algebra, as well as comparative and relational writing skills through the use of musical and graphic notation. The curriculum is particularly effective with kindergarten through second grade children, but it also expands easily to higher grades. Rhythm Band Instruments is the exclusive manufacturer and distributor of Note Knacks®. Bechstein Artist Series at 7WTC Bechstein America recently partnered with New York Artist Management, LLC

to present internationally-acclaimed classical pianists Blair McMillen, Dina Pruzhansky, Jasna Popovic and violinist, As-

mira Woodward-Page in a performance at 7WTC, Marcus Robinson Art Studio. The concert was presented as part of the company’s ongoing Bechstein Artist Series (BAS). BAS is a series of concerts featuring some of the world’s most talented musicians performing at venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to the Blue Note Jazz Club. Abe Laboriel and Tal Wilkenfeld Join Kala U-Bass Kala has just added two new performers to its list of U-Bass endorsees – musical icon Abe Laboriel and bright new star Tal Wilkenfield. Laboriel has played on over 4,000 recordings and soundtracks and was described by Guitar Player Magazine as “the most widely used session bassist of our time.” In 2005, Laborial was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music by the Berklee College of Music. Tal Wilkenfeld has been widely hailed as “the rising star of the bass guitar.” She achieved international acclaim as the bassist for Jeff Beck. She has also ac-

companied Herbie Hancock and toured with Chick Corea at the age of 21. Jeff Beck has described her as “an astonishing talen.” Laborial has chosen the Kala Mahogany acoustic-electric while Wilkenfeld favors the California Series USA made solid body natural finish 4-string. The U-Bass is Kala’s pioneering line of 21 inch scale bass instruments that include the California, S-U-B, and acoustic-electric series. MMR 89


RATES: Classified Display: $30 per column inch for text only. $40 per column inch, 1 color, logo, graphics. $50 per column inch 4 color.

PAYMENTS: ALL ADS ARE PREPAID. Charge on Mastercard, Visa or American Express.

SEND YOUR ADVERTISEMENT TO: 21 Highland Circle, Suite 1, Needham, MA 02494

QUESTIONS? Call Maureen Johan at 800-964-5150 x 34

Business Opportunities

Visit the Classifieds on the Web: 90 MMR


Business Opportunities Are You Tired of Trying to Climb the Corporate Ladder?

is a multi-store, family owned and operated full-line retailer based in Metro Atlanta. Ken Stanton Music has over 60 years’ success and customer satisfaction.

Seeking: Certified Band/Orchestra Repair Techs, Print Music Manager, Store Managers, Sales Associates in the following departments: Guitars, Pro Audio, Drums and Percussion, and Band/Orchestra. Looking for friendly, customer service oriented, self-motivated, proven closers with good listening skills and 2+ years experience. Availability for flexible scheduling a must. Bi-lingual a plus. We feature: Competitive non-commission based pay, medical/ dental coverage, 401(k) plan, vacation/holiday/sick time, and room for advancement. Complete application online at: By mail:

Via email:

Ken Stanton Music Attn: Scott Cameron, General Manager 119 Cobb Parkway North, Suite A Marietta, GA 30062 DECEMBER 2011

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Business Opportunities • Band and Orchestra Rentals • New and Like New Educator-Approved Brand Name Instruments • Personalized Rent-To-Own Program • No Franchise Fee or Inventory Investment • No Shipping Costs • High Commissions Paid the 1st of Every Month • Exceptional Service

Music Man is a family owned and operated Band and Orchestra dealer located in West Palm Beach, FL with over 30 years’ experience serving the music education community of South Florida. Seeking: Educational Sales Representatives who are friendly, knowledgeable, professional, creative and dynamic to build and maintain long-term relationships with existing customer base through the use weekly sales visits. 2+ years of sales experience or instrumental music related degree desired. Repair Technicians w/ 5+ years of repair experience or degree from an accredited Band Instrument Repair program desired. Salary: Negotiable based on experience All inquiries will be kept confidential. Send resumes to: John Jarvis Music Man 2309 N. Dixie Hwy West Palm Beach, FL 33407 or via email to

Visit the Classifieds on the Web:

For Sale Gifts


Learn Instrument Repair

Guitar • Horns • Piano • Strings T-shirts, Hats, Stickers, Jewelry, Keychains, Miniatures, Ties, and more.

Online or On Campus

For Classified Sales Call Maureen 800-964-5150 ext. 34 • 92 MMR

New! Selling warm Florida Retail Music Store 9 teaching studios, 25 year rep, great lines, $500k inventory, buy/partner $200,000+-, turnkey! Bruce 321-725-3047 DECEMBER 2011

For Sale For sale: Heckel bassoon, 11,000 series and recently overhauled. Fair market price for purchase andflexible payment plan. Inquiries at

For Sale

50 year old successful, multifaceted music organization

Guitar Shows

Help Wanted

ORANGE COUNTY WORLD GUITAR SHOW 2012 on NAMM Weekend in Costa Mesa Orange County Fair & Expo Center January 21, 10-5 * January 22, 10-4 I-55 South & Arlington Avenue

RETAIL MUSIC SALES PROFESSIONAL WANTED Ready to live and work in a community where it’s safe to walk down the streets at night, and where there are no traffic jams or smog? Don’t want to give up the nice size music store with all the prestige and boutique brands? You don’t have to. If you are detail oriented and a customer service focused sales person with knowledge of retail music sales, and want to make a positive personal and career move, please call at 800.869.5559 or email All communication will be confidential.

Just minutes away down Harbor Boulevard from the Anaheim Convention Ctr. NAMM Show. This is a vintage and new product show featuring thousands of new, used, old and rare guitars, amps. Meet builders, manufacturers, dealers, collectors.

with profitable markets in teaching piano and all popular instruments. Instrument sales, instrument repair, sheet music. Located in affluent area of Long Island, New York.

Fly to NAMM with your favorite vintage piece and get top dollar at our great show. Take a break from your NAMM schedule and hop over to the West Coast’s largest consumer guitar event!

Call Gerry Williams 631-673-3544

*This 170th Amigos show is not affiliated with NAMM

Help Wanted

For Classified Sales Call Maureen

800-964-5150 ext. 34

Distribution Sales Manager: USA and Latin America Celestion is moving into a new, exciting phase of growth as we start to explore new sales channels. We’re looking for a Distribution Sales Manager to drive loudspeaker sales through marketleading distribution companies. The ideal candidate will be self-motivated, flexible, and results-driven with experience creating new partnerships and managing a distribution chain.

Midwest Piano Store For Sale

A dynamic and energetic individual with excellent communication and presentation skills, you will have distribution sales experience within MI/professional audio or a similar component-related industry. The ability to speak Spanish would be an advantage. In return we offer a competitive salary and generous benefits. To apply, send your resume and salary details to Peter Barnes, Human Resources, Celestion America, 10 Timber Lane, Marlboro, NJ 07746, or email to:

Visit the Classifieds on the Web: 16 year old well established and respected piano store available. Major lines and staff available. For more information DECEMBER 2011

Merchandise ACCORDIONS, CONCERTINAS, & BUTTON BOXES new, used, buy, sell, trade, repair, tune, CASTIGLIONE DISTRIBUTING CO. 13300 E 11 MILE WARREN, MI 48089 PH # 1-586-755-6050 WWW.CASTIGLIONEACCORDIONS.COM MMR 93

Merchandise Hunter Music Instrument Inc adds in an accordion line.


We Want to Give You the Business! We can deliver quality prospects to you, whether your business is Local, National, or International. Piano World is the world’s most popular piano web site. We are where people searching for piano information land first. And we get more traffic in a month than other piano sites see in a year.

From button accordion to Piano accordion, from Kid’s to adult, from entry level to professional, from solid color to combo, we have a wide selection for the accordion player.


Invest your advertising dollars wisely, get the details at: Home of the world famous Piano Forums



GUARANTEED You get what you pay for!


North American Music 11 Holt Drive Stony Point, NY 10980 Fax: (845) 429-6920

Visit the Classifieds on the Web: 94 MMR



Repair Tools

BOW REHAIRING Expert Bow Service

Order forms,Pricing and Shipping label at: Violin bows as low as $10.00 per bow in quantity incl. shipping (see website for details.) Large inventory of replacement parts both new and vintage. IRA B. KRAEMER & Co. Wholesale Services Division

“An industry leader since 1967” 467 Grant Avenue, Scotch Plains, N.J. 07076 Tel: 908-322-4469 Fax: 908 322-8613 e mail:

Print Music

Vintage Instruments

Repair Tools FAST TURN-AROUND ON STOCK REPAIRS NATIONWIDE NAPBIRT member, 29 Years Experience Contact: Dan Rieck, 801-733-4243



with Lone Wolf Trucking

is a “grand” idea!

An independent, long-distance Mover specializing in coast-to-coast residential Relocation.

1-800-982-9505 Alamogordo, New Mexico. 88310

ICC MC-256289

Visit the Classifieds on the Web: DECEMBER 2011

and ship worldwide. ONLINE APPRAISAL SERVICE GRUHN GUITARS, 400 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203

(615) 256-2033

fax (615) 255-2021





A Ac-Cetera Inc. Ace Karaoke/Acesonic USA Al Cass Allparts Music Corp Amati’s Fine Instruments Arriba

20 40 57 20 59 11

42 43

19 61 85

60 51 41 5 53

77 45

N NAMM National Educational Music Co.

26-27 49

Ohana Music Piano Empire

46 cov 2

Raw Talent Guitar Saga Musical Instruments Saga Musical Instruments Saga Musical Instruments Samson Technologies Corp. SHS International Shubb Capos SKB Corp. String Swing Mfg. Inc.

80 50 20 44

25 13


60 18 87

33 88 47 15 3 9 24 23 7

T/U TKL Products Corp. Mouthpieces U.S. Band & Orchestra Supplies/ St. Louis Music

G Galaxy Audio Gemini George L’s Graph Tech Guitar Labs

Meisel Accesories LLC Messe Frankfurt(HK) Ltd.


E/F Elderly Instruments Eleca International EMD Music Inc. EMD Music Inc. Evets Corporation Floyd Rose



C/D Casio America, Inc Chesbro Music Co. Dream Cymbals And Gongs



B J.J. Babbitt Co. Inc. Bechstein America LLC


1 48

V Vic Firth Company Vic Firth Company Visual Sound

39 38 cov4

80 17 21

H Hailun USA Hal Leonard Corp. Harmony Music Hunter Music Instrument Inc.

W/Y W.D. Music Products Inc. Wittner GmbH & Co. KG Yamaha Corp. of America

K Kala Brand Music Co. KMC Music, Inc Kyser Musical Products Inc.

L Lowrey LP Music Group

96 MMR

52 36-37





JEN CONFERENCE January 4-7, 2012 Developing Tomorrow’s Jazz Audiences Today! Created by and for the Jazz Education community, the JEN Conference delivers industry leaders in an intimate, cultural setting – making this one of the most engaging jazz events of the year. This past January in New Orleans, over 2400 attendees were brought together with top educators, marketers, presenters, performers and industry leaders to identify and discuss trends, share techniques, and leverage promotional opportunities. Nearly 100 exhibitors took advantage of this amazing interaction – sign up now to reserve your sponsorship for the conference in Louisville, KY If you’re a Jazz Educator, performer or simply want to support America’s true art form, JEN is the “Must-Attend” event for key industry professionals and market influencers like you.

Reach the highly influential audience of:


Exhibit space is limited, so go to the JEN web site and reserve your space today The Jazz Education Network

is dedicated to building the jazz arts community by advancing education, promoting performance, and developing new audiences. For complete membership information/benefits please visit us at:

MMR December 2011  

MMR December 2011

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