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September 2011

BASICS: Piano Retailers Embracing Education

Show Report: Summer NAMM NEW, DIGITAL VERSION: www.mmrmagazine.com


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Contents SEPTEMBER 2011 VOL.170 NO. 9

30 Spotlight:

Back to Basics – Piano Dealers Embracing Education

By delving deeper into music education – taking a more active role in creating new players and rekindling a sometimes long-dormant interest in former keyboardists – some dealers are finding effective ways to boost sales and remain competitive even in a difficult retail climate.

Cover design by Laurie Chesna

26 UpFront Q&A: Dennis Murphy

Vice president of GE Capital, Dennis Murphy, sits down with MMR to discuss what his organization aims to provide for music merchants, and the benefits of working with a skilled financial partner, overall.

44 New and Notable Piano & Keyboard Products

48 National Piano Travelers Association – Charting

We speak to Glen Cutter and Dawn DeMars – president and secretary/ treasurer of the National Piano Travelers Association, respectively – about the 107-year old group’s history, new initiatives, and outlook for the future.

52 Show Report: Summer NAMM

Attendance was somewhat down, but spirits were (mostly) up in Nashville this summer. As with most things in the current economic climate, one must take the bad with the good, but it was encouraging to see and hear so many standing strongly behind the

annual industry Show. We offer a summary of some of the key events, seminars, and the first-ever “Top 100 Dealers Awards,” as well as some reaction and insight from exhibitors.

61 Best & Worst of Show Awards 68 Unique Squared Mobile Studio Takes to the Road

Unique Squared, an otherwise Internet-only MI business, has embraced an approach befitting its name – taking a state-of-the-art mobile recording studio tour bus on a cross-country tour to educate and entice potential consumers.

In every issue: 4 6 22 74 79 88 90 96

Editorial Upfront People At a Glance: Arthur’s Music’s Amy Osborne New Products Supplier Scene Classifieds Advertisers’ Index

70 Forestone Japan: A New Reed Creed

A relatively new player in the U.S. market, Forestone Japan is looking to change players’ (and dealers’) perceptions of synthetic reeds.

72 Fresh Faces: Finely Tuned Music

76 Retail: Cripple Creek Music Co.

www.mmrmagazine.com

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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SEPTEMBER 2011


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®

Editorial Sidney Davis

Volume 170 Number 9 September 2011

How Are You Going To Create Traffic?

PUBLISHER Sidney L. Davis sdavis@symphonypublishing.com

For those of our readers who may not be aware, Boston is a pretty good sports town, with all four professional teams having climbed “Mount Everest” winning at least one national championship during the past decade. Life was not always this good, though, and in the midst of a rocky stock market and recent pronouncement by the Federal Reserve forecasting a slow recovery through mid 2013, I am reminded of former Boston Celtics’ coach Rick Pitino’s comments during a prolonged losing streak. Referring to the halcyon days when the wearers of the shamrock were busy racking up a league-leading 16 championships, Coach Pitino vented his frustration to the press by declaring, “Larry Bird is not walking through that door, fans. Kevin McHale is not walking through that door, and Robert Parish is not walking through that door. And if you expect them to walk through that door, they’re going to be gray and old.” The message (although Pitino did not stay around long enough to complete the mission) was one of returning to the basics and rebuilding the team. In essence, the sports metaphor might well be applied to the state of the keyboard market which, in a real sense, is tied to a prospective buyer’s aptitude to learn, nourished by a feeling of accomplishment. For this month’s cover report (see page 30) we offer a supplier perspective on how their more successful dealerships are approaching a less than enthusiastic consumer. While education and teaching are not a panacea, it’s a far better approach than waiting for the showroom door to open. Steinway’s Anthony Gilroy makes the case, “The best dealers are putting efforts in education and seeing results. I think the dealers that have adapted through education programs, and seen opportunities with hosting recitals and getting students involved in their showrooms, end up seeing sales out of it.” Grotrian’s Burkhard Stein asks, “How are you going to get more people into the store? A good way is to install your own music store… this brings in students, their parents and teachers – all potential customers.” Hailun’s Basilios Strmec comments on the relationship between teacher and dealer: “A successful approach is for the dealer to have a teacher on their payroll, make education an integral part of the business… this way the teacher is more invested into the business, including moving pianos out the door.” Kawai’s Brian Chung cites the benefits of in-store teaching: “It builds relationships, creates repeat traffic and sells accessory items such as sheet music. Petrof’s Al Rich points to Blake Cooper an Atlanta piano dealer as an example of how to foster an educational climate. “They have in-store teachers and maintain a venue where they hold piano student recitals and concerts and they use a space on their web site to feature videos of past performances.” Yamaha’s Paul Calvin stresses the experience aspect of piano learning: “ Part of our program is to look beyond the instrument itself… getting the person involved in singing, clapping movement, an all inclusive approach. It’s important to give the new player a little experience at what it feels like to play their first song.” On a final note, while researching the piano market, one finds 937 brand names and “house brands” listed (many, many of a by-gone era) including the Starr Piano Company which, in 1912, claimed to be the “largest manufacturer of pianos in the world.” The Indiana-based company once had a facility covering 12 acres, employed 600 and produced 40 pianos daily, which were sold through 13 company stores and several foreign markets. The company later moved into phonograph records and, prior to fading from the scene, survived on making radio cabinets and refrigerators. For those seeking a piece of piano history, a Starr Piano Co. stock certificate is available from scripophily.net for $495…

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

sdavis@ symphonypublishing.com

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SEPTEMBER 2011


Upfront Unsolicited Proposal for Steinway Band Business; Company Announces New Chairman In July, Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc. announced that chairman Kyle Kirkland, CEO Dana Messina, Conn-Selmer president John Stoner, and certain members of management made an unsolicited proposal to acquire the Company’s band instrument and online music divisions. In connection with the proposal, Kirkland has agreed to step down as the Company’s chairman, a position he has held since 1995. The board appointed a Special Committee to consider this proposal and strategic alternatives. In addition, the board has appointed Michael Sweeney, one of the Company’s independent directors, to the position of chairman. Sweeney is currently chairman of the board of Star

Tribune Media Holdings and previously served as the president of Starbucks Coffee Company (UK) Ltd. “First, it was a profound honor for me to serve as chairman of the Company for so many years. Dana Messina and I have

always felt that it was our duty to maintain the integrity of this American icon, and I believe we have been successful despite many economic and competitive challenges,” stated Kirkland. “Second, although it was a difficult decision for me to step down, we felt it was appropriate to have an inde-

pendent director lead the board through the process of evaluating offers for company assets. Finally, I am looking forward to continuing as an active member of the board and will serve the interests of all our stakeholders with the same respect for our people and brands that I’ve always had.” In connection with Kirkland’s departure as chairman, the Company will recognize a severance charge of $1.1 million. Details of the management offer for the band and online music businesses have not been disclosed. There can be no assurance that any potential purchaser or the Company will enter into a definitive agreement for any transaction or that any transaction will be completed.

Sweetwater Opens Expanded Retail Store Sweetwater Sound celebrated the opening of its greatly expanded retail store on August 2nd at the Sweetwater campus in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The expansion was the result of Sweetwater recently becoming the exclusive authorized Yamaha piano and Clavinova dealer in the region, including northeastern Indiana, Northwestern Ohio, and South-Central Michigan. A press conference was held on August 2 and included Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, Yamaha national sales

director Bob Heller, and Sweetwater founder and president Chuck Surack. There was a “passing of the torch” between Fred Myers Pianos owner David Myers, who held the Yamaha dealership for 28 years, and Chuck Surack. The passing of the Yamaha dealership to Sweetwater was especially fitting since Surack bought his first keyboard instrument, a Wurlitzer A200 electronic piano, from Fred Myers in 1975. David Myers presented Surack with the framed copy of the original receipt for

Sweetwater’s expanded retail space also accommodates more product lines from its huge warehouse and shipping facility, plus a Roland Foresta display of Roland keyboards. 6 MMR

that transaction during the event. Since the original Sweetwater retail space was completed in 2006, the company has added an additional 3,500 sq. ft. to the store, almost doubling its footprint to 7,500 sq. ft., in order to accommodate the new piano and keyboard inventory. The added space also includes the area’s largest Apple products display, plus room to display additional product lines from Sweetwater’s on-site warehouse and shipping facility.

From left to right: David Myers of Fred Myers Pianos, Sweetwater founder and president Chuck Surack, Yamaha Keyboard Division district manager Don Smith, Yamaha National David Myers presents Chuck Surack with sales director Bob Heller, Pianist Mike Garson the framed invoice of Surack’s purchase of (on the tv screen), Yamaha designer/mara Wurlitzer A200 electronic piano from Fred keting consultant Craig Knudsen, and Fort Myers Pianos in 1975. Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. SEPTEMBER 2011


Upfront Daddy’s Junky Music Announces ‘Restructuring’ In a press release issued on July 27th, Daddy’s Junky Music, Inc. announced changes to their retail store strategy, “in response to changes on the retail landscape brought on from the impact of the current economic conditions.” CEO and founder Fred Bramante states in the release, “Daddy’s was most successful when we had 12 retail locations within rea-

sonable proximity to our headquarters and warehouse. Many markets have changed and it no longer makes sense to service those markets with retail storefronts. We have indentified 7 such markets, and will move to close those locations in the near future.” Bramante adds that, going forward, “We will provide a better presentation in markets where our experience tells us

GC Opens Store in Alabama, Sixth New Outlet in 2011

The storefront of Guitar Center’s new Huntsville location.

Offsetting the recent spate of MI storeclosings and chain “restructurings,” Guitar Center continues to barrel ahead. On Thursday, July 28, GC hit a milestone as it opened its 220th store, its newest retail location in Huntsville, Alabama. A 14,202-square-foot location, Guitar Center Huntsville also features Guitar Center Studios, an on-site lesson and rehearsal facility.

Lamond to Deliver Keynote at 4th IMC World Forum on Music The organizers of the 4th International Music Council (IMC) World Forum on Music recently announced that NAMM president and CEO Joe Lamond will be presenting a keynote address at the 4th IMC World Forum on Music on September 29 in Talllinn, Estonia. In keeping with the overall conference theme of “Music and Social Change,” Lamond will address the role of commerce and the music products industry to create access to music making for people of all ages and NAMM’s ongoing music education advocacy efforts. “NAMM is honored to support this gathering and is grateful for our ongoing participation with the International Music Council, which provides a forum for international dialogue and diplomacy for everyone dedicated to music making,” Lamond said. “I look forward to the gathering in Tallinn this September, and 8 MMR

communicating the vision and mission of the music products industry that joins with the noble goals of IMC to support and expand the right of all to learn and make music.” IMC presents its World Forum on Music (WFM) as a global knowledge-building platform on music and society in the 21st century, which explores a variety of topics from diverse perspectives: cultural, political and economical. The IMC World Forum on Music is considered one of IMC’s main contributions to setting the stage for the celebration of music in the world. At this year’s 4th edition, speakers and participants from six continents will discuss the correlation between music and social change. The forum is part of the Tallinn 2011 European Capital of Culture program. Registration is open at www.worldforumonmusic.org

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.”

Drum Headquarters Closing

After 30 years of serving musicians in the St. Louis area, Drum Headquarters is closing its doors for good. Citing the difficulty of continuing to operate in the current economic climate, owner Jim Uding told local television station KPLR,

“I question some management decisions, but it’s not one thing; It’s not one person. It’s a perfect storm that created a wave that I cannot continue to ride out.” Drum Headquarters ended the third and final phase of a liquidation sale in early August.

Open Door Music to Close

After 22 years in business, the Open Door Music store in Saugatuck, Mich. will be closing its doors on Labor Day. “It has become increasingly difficult to keep up with the changes due to electronic media,” said co-owner Ron Elmore in a press release. “We have provided expert advice for 22 years, and a great venue for people to come in and hear before they buy — something we did long before the big box stores or Amazon.”

SEPTEMBER 2011


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Upfront Ashdown/Hayden Appoint Musiquip as U.S. Distributor Musiquip Inc. has been appointed the new exclusive U.S. distributor for Ashdown Music and the British company’s two primary brands: Ashdown Engineering and Hayden Guitar Amps. “Having the chance to represent a proven leader like Ashdown while in-

Gemeinhardt Acquired by Angel Industries

On June 25th, all the assets of The Gemeinhardt Company and its manufacturing facility in Elkhart, Indiana were acquired by Angel Industries Co. Ltd of Taiwan. Established in 1948 by Kurt Gemeinhardt, the Gemeinhardt Flute Company has, since 1993, been under the ownership of investment banks. The past few

years have seen a much closer working relationship develop between Gemeinhardt’s management and their major supplier, Angel Industries Co. Ltd in Taiwan. This has enabled recent significant growth in Gemeinhardt flute sales, along with increasing dealer demand to extend the Gemeinhardt brand name in to other areas of woodwind instrument manufacturing. Dave Pirtle, president and CEO of Gemeinhardt comments, “We have been working for this day for the past few months with the goal of introducing these new arrangements seamlessly and thus ensure continuity for our manufacturing, staff, customers and suppliers. This really is great news for Gemeinhardt; I’ve been here for over 29 years and at last can feel that this totally secures our future.”

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troducing an exciting, younger brand like Hayden to the American market is a

fantastic double opportunity,” says John Kelley, Musiquip’s general manager. “Both Ashdown and Hayden fit perfectly

into the Musiquip family of best-inclass European brands that have exciting growth potential stateside. We’ll be working closely with Mark and his team to turn Ashdown into the USA’s premier bass amp, and Hayden into a household name in guitar amps.”

Strike at Conn-Selmer’s Eastlake Plant Conn-Selmer, Inc., a subsidiary of Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc. (NYSE: LVB), announced on July 26 that employees with Local 2359 of the United Auto Workers (UAW) went on strike at the company’s Eastlake, Ohio manufacturing facility. The Company’s labor contract with the union expired on February 15th and hourly employees have been working without a contract since that time. The UAW represents approximately 230 employees at Conn-Selmer’s Eastlake brass instrument facility. This equates to 28 percent of the band segment workforce.

The company anticipates it will be able to meet most customer needs for several months with its existing finished goods inventory, production from its Indiana brass instrument facility, and foreign sources. “The company has been negotiating in good faith with representatives of the UAW for the past six months,” commented John Stoner, president of Conn-Selmer. “In light of the economic environment, we believe we put a fair offer on the table. While we have reached agreement in many areas, we are still divided on some issues. We hope to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.”

Kingsburg Pianos Now in U.S. Yantai Kingsburg Piano Co. and DOREMI USA (Authorized distributor) have announced the introduction of Kingsburg Pianos to the US marketplace. Founded in 1988, Yantai Kingsburg piano Co.,Ltd was created after a merger between Yantai Longfeng (the original piano manufacturer) and the Yantai Huaxin Group and has grown into a

modern piano manufacturer with a production capacity of nearly 10,000 pianos annually. All Kingsburg pianos have been designed by Klaus Fenner, who previously designed pianos for Yamaha, Seiler, Baldwin, and other well-known brands. All Kingsburg pianos come with a 12year warranty.

Dept. of Justice Filing in Gibson Case A June 4 filing by the U.S. Department of Justice in a civil case over illegal wood against Gibson Guitar lays out details of its case, according to the Environmental Investigations Agency. The filing by Dept. of Justice prosecutors filing to strike claims by wood supplier Theodore Nagel and Gibson stated: “Gibson sourced its unfinished ebony wood in the form of blanks (for use in the

manufacture of fingerboards for Gibson guitars) from Nagel (in Germany), which obtained it exclusively from Roger Thunam (a supplier in Madagascar). Madagascar prohibits the harvest of ebony wood as well as the exportation of unfinished ebony wood.” The filing also quotes internal Gibson e-mails: “[A] Gibson employee…wrote that ‘[t]he true Ebony species preferred SEPTEMBER 2011


A Sure Cure for Island Fever

Nicole Fox Miss Hawaii 2008

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U-320


Upfront

Financial Steinway Revenue Up 14%

by Gibson Musical Instruments is found only in Madagascar (Diospryos perrieri). This is a slow-growing tree species with very little conservation protection and supplies are considered to be highly threatened in its native environment due to over exploitation.’ In fact, [he] spent two and a half weeks in Madagascar this June [2008],’ writing on his return, ‘I represented our company along with two other guitar manufacturers… All legal timber and wood exports are prohibited because of wide spread corruption and theft of valuable woods like rosewood and ebony.’” ”On February 25, 2009, in a reference to the potential long term solution, [he] wrote… that the company Maderas Barber ‘has been in the business a long time and may be able to help begin some legitimate harvests. Mr. [Roger] Thunam on the other hand should now be able to supply Nagel with all the rosewood and ebony for the grey market.’” The prosecution asserts that Gibson and Nagel do not have legal “standing” to claim ownership over the seized ebony because it is contraband, or inherently illegal to possess, “both because it was unfinished wood and because Claimants’ source for ebony in Madagascar was not authorized to sell it.” The court is now being asked to determine whether to strike the companies’ claims for this reason.

Pulse of the MI Nation Compared to last month, sales are now...

Level 23%

Down 42%

Up 35% Compiled from replies to MMR’s ongoing online survey of MI retailers. Visit www.mmrmagazine.com to participate...

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On Thursday, August 4th, Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc. (NYSE: LVB) reported earnings for the quarter and six months ended June 30, 2011. Second Quarter Results • Sales of $89 million, up 14% • Gross margin increased to 29.8% from 28.3% • Income from operations of $3 million • Adjusted EBITDA of $7 million • Adjusted earnings per share increased to $0.17 from $0.09 YTD Results • Sales of $162 million, up 10% • Gross margin increased to 30.2% from 29.6% • Income from operations of $7 million • Adjusted EBITDA of $13 million • Adjusted earnings per share decreased to $0.23 from $0.26 The Company incurred a $2.4 million loss on extinguishment of debt when it redeemed $85 million of its bonds in May. Also, as a result of the transition to full public ownership, the Company incurred $2.7 million in non-cash charges for additional stock-based compensation. The bond redemption, Class A stock transaction and impairment charges associated with a closed plant impacted earnings for the quarter by $0.26 per share. Legal and consulting fees associated with these transactions further reduced earnings by $0.03 per share. In addition, operating expenses increased due to the reinstatement of salaries and benefits which were reduced during the economic downturn. Piano Operations Second quarter results showed a continued rebound in the Company’s piano business. Over the prior year period, unit shipments of Steinway grand pianos rose 25% in the U.S. and 14% in overseas markets. Shipments of mid-priced pianos were at prior year levels. The shift in mix towards higher margin Stein-

way grand pianos in the U.S. and improved manufacturing efficiencies led to improved gross margins in the piano segment. The Steinway Hall building in New York City continued to adversely impact earnings, generating a loss of $0.05 per share for the quarter. Band Operations Second quarter revenue improved over the prior year period as a result of a 15% increase in unit shipments of brass and woodwind instruments. Gross margins improved as better manufacturing performance offset substantial increases in raw material costs. Labor Negotiations Commenting on the work stoppage at one of the Company’s band manufacturing facilities, CEO Dana Messina said, “We currently employ over 800 people in our band division, with nearly 600 working in production roles in the U.S. The plant on strike accounts for approximately 23% of our band division revenue. The primary objective in these current negotiations is to keep our costs competitive and these jobs in America. Management continues to work with the union representatives to resolve outstanding issues and we remain hopeful that we will be able to negotiate a reasonable and fair agreement.” Outlook Discussing the remainder of 2011, Messina said, “We expect to see continued increases in the demand for pianos and band instruments for the remainder of the year. We’ve seen a fairly steady improvement in the U.S. and, despite the financial upheaval in Europe, we’ve seen good results there as well. Given our current operating leverage, we should see gross margin improvement and better profitability as we progress through the year. We do have some short-term operational challenges at a striking band plant, but expect to see better results at all of our other manufacturing facilities.”

SEPTEMBER 2011


Upfront SLM Named Exclusive Distributor for Nagoya Suzuki Violins for the Americas St. Louis Music (SLM) recently announced that it is now the exclusive distributor of the Nagoya Suzuki violin line in North, Central, and South America. Effective immediately, all sales of the Japanese string instruments throughout the Americas will be arranged through St. Louis Music. “It was just last year when we secured the honor of distributing these fine instruments in the U.S., so we are pleased to be further trusted to bring them to more players throughout the western hemisphere,” says SLM VP Jim Eaton. “Key is our abil-

ity to invest in inventory, and we have already made a substantial commitment in stocking Nagoya Suzuki products here in our St. Louis warehouse.” He adds that SLM VP Jim Eaton with Nagoya the central shipping location, Suzuki Violins advanced logistics capabilities, and the experience of the SLM management, sales staff, and the shop personnel influenced the decision.

Martin Partners with Applied DNA Sciences C.F. Martin & Co. has partnered with Applied DNA Sciences (www.adnas.com), creator of patented, DNA security solutions to protect products, brands and intellectual property from counterfeiting and diversion. As a result, according to both companies, Martin’s customers will be protected by the “gold standard” in forensic anti-counterfeiting systems. “People around the world know the high level of quality

that is inherent in each and every guitar that features the C. F. Martin logo, and protecting our intellectual property is of vital importance, as we face new counterfeit-related challenges at home and abroad,” said Chris (C. F.) Martin IV, the sixth-generation Martin to serve as company chairman and CEO. The two companies plan to announce further details about the partnership, including timing of implementation, later this year.

Vic Firth Opens West Coast Location

Vic Firth Co. has announced the opening of a new West Coast artist relations office. Located at CenterStaging in Burbank, Calif., the new Vic Firth office is situated in a hotbed for artist-related activity, with some of today’s top bands and artists rehearsing on-site daily. “We’ve officially become a bicoastal operation,” states Joe Testa, director of artist relations. “This move not only allows us to service our current artists much more efficiently, but also to scout out new, up-and-coming talent quickly.” Staffing the office will be Ben Davies, Vic Firth Company’s current artist relations manager. “I’m really excited about being back in California,” states Davies. “I am originally a West Coast guy, so this is like a homecoming for me. Our artists are extremely supportive and excited to have a Vic Firth office out here.” The West Coast office will feature a showroom area with onhand inventory, a media lounge, and a photo and video studio. Additionally, the office will enable visiting artists and tour personnel to experience Vic Firth’s products firsthand. 14 MMR

SEPTEMBER 2011


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Upfront Alfred Launches Sheet Music Rental Library Division Alfred Music Publishing has announced the launch of its Rental Library Division, offering hundreds of band, choral, and orchestral works to performing ensembles. Alfred’s Rental Library represents the works from many of the world’s most beloved composers with a robust collection of pop, movie, and musical selections including “Gone with the Wind,” original soundtrack arrangements from “The Polar Express” and “Harry Potter,” selections from classic Lerner & Loewe musicals, and much more. The Alfred Rental Library features Christmas favorites, including “The Many Moods

of Christmas Suites,” “O Holy Night,” “Nuttin’ for Christmas,” and “Navidad Nuestra,” among many others. Music directors from amateur to professional ensembles around the world may search titles and even request a perusal score to hundreds of titles via the online portal alfred.com/rental. Orders initiated through an online form are available for fulfillment internationally For more information about Alfred Rental Library services, selections, or for a quote, visit alfred.com/rental or contact rental@alfred.com.

Shure Names S.K. Macdonald Rep of the Year Shure Incorporated has named S.K. Macdonald as the company’s Representative of the Year for fiscal year 2010/2011. President Perry D’Angelo receiveded the award at the recent InfoComm Show in Orlando, Florida. S.K. Macdonald was founded by Samuel K. Macdonald in 1926,

and has represented Shure in the MidAtlantic region since 1933. The company maintains offices in Reisterstown, Maryland, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The Shure Sales Team with Rep of The Year Winner S.K. MacDonald. Pictured from left to right are: Mark Humrichouser, Jose Rivas, Perry D’ Angelo (S.K. MacDonald), Kevin Smith, Jim Schanz, and Al Hershner.

Grand Opening of Zildjian West Coast Office The Avedis Zildjian Company recently held an open house to celebrate the opening of its new West Coast Artist Relations Office in the CenterStaging complex in Burbank, Calif. Zildjian first opened a West Coast Artist Relations office in

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1982 in West Hollywood; In 1989, the office relocated to Studio City, Calif. More than 200 Zildjian artists and industry friends stopped by to check out the new West Coast Artist Relations Office, as well as Zildjian’s new Gen16 office. The event featured a selection of Sound Lab Prototypes for artists to play and provide feedback. Artists included Vinnie Colaiuta, Gary Novak, Sheila E, Airto Moreira, Russ Miller, Gil Sharone, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, Teddy Campbell, Aaron Spears, Nisan Stewart, Gorden Campbell, Kenny Aronoff, Luis Conte, Ronald Bruner Jr., Danny Seraphine, Mike Malinin, Michael White, Vince Wilburn and others.

2011 Wholesaler Guide Additions Connolly Music Company 8 Vernon Valley Road East Northport, NY 11731 (631) 757-0110 (800) 644-5268 Toll-Free Orders Fax (631) 757-0021 E-mail: orders@connollymusic.com Web site: www.connollymusic.com John Connolly III, President Categories: PS/R, S&F, ETH, ACC Principal Brands: Strings – Thomastik-Infeld, Corelli, D’Addario, Jargar, Larsen, Pirastro, Prim, Super-Sensitive Stands and Pro Audio accessories – König & Meyer, The Realist, Mighty Bright Instruments –Heinrich Gill, Bazzini, The Realist, Bernd Dimbath, Bows – Coda Bow, Sebastian Dirr, Herbert and Christian Wanka, Georg Werner, Glasser Fittings – TempelGermany Shoulder Rests – TempelGermany, Kun, Wolf, Playonair, Resonans, Bridges—Aubert, Despiau, Teller Cases – Heinrich Gill Accessories—Wittner tailpiece fasteners, Fine Tuners, Mutes, Rosin, Polish and cleaner, Peg Compound, Tuners & Pitchpipes (Center Pitch and Intellitouch brands), Luthier’s Tools and parts, and more. Chesbro Music Co. 327 W. Broadway St. P.O. Box 2009 Idaho Falls, ID 83403-2009 (208) 522-8691 (800) 243-7276 Fax: (208) 522-8712 E-mail: sales@chesbromusic.com Web site: www.chesbromusic.com Vanetta Chesbro Wilson, CEO Tana Jane Stahn, CFO Categories: S&F, PS/R, ACC, PRC, PM, P/KB, ETH Principal Brands:Tama, Ibanez, Anthem, Eleuke. CMC Perc., books & sheets of all publishers, consignment music programs, major-brand music instrument and accessories, display fixtures/literature racks, Futoro Primitive, Musi*Key reference publication, Chesbro Music, Designer Gifts, accessories incl. Hohner, Lee Oskar, Rico, Remo, Vic Firth, Vater, Pro-Mark, Macrolus, Mike Balter, TKL, Rapco, Dunlop, Martin, LR Bags, Ernie Ball, Mighty Mite guitar parts, Cleartone Strings

SEPTEMBER 2011


Overkill.

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Upfront Korg Donates Musical Equipment to GAMA Korg USA recently donated musical equipment to support the Guitar and Accessories Marketing Association’s (GAMA) successful “Teaching Guitar Workshops” (TGW) program, conducted in partnership with NAMM and MENC. The purpose of the TGW is to introduce, as well as enhance, existing guitar programs in the classroom by training school music educators across the country. Korg USA donated Lâg guitars and over 200 Korg tuners to various TGW locations across the U.S.

Photo courtesy of GAMA

MySpace Sold to… Timberlake? News Corp has officially sold MySpace to the advertising firm Specific Media for around $35 million. While “Specific Media” may be unknown to most, ownership stake in the company will go to a name many are familiar with: musician, actor, former boy-bander, SNL skit-enhancer, and chronic boyfriend-to-the-stars, Justin Timberlake. Timberlake plans to focus MySpace more specifically on entertainment. “There’s a need for a place where fans can go to interact with their favorite entertainers, listen to music, watch videos, share and discover cool stuff, and just connect. MySpace has the potential to be that place,” Timberlake said in a statement. Of course there’s a bit of reverse

“art imitating life” at play here, given that Timberlake recently starred as entrepreneur Sean Parker in “The Social Network,” last year’s film which told the story of the early days of Facebook – the site which has decimated MySpace in terms of popularity and cultural relevance. News Corp purchased MySpace six years ago for $580 million and quickly began to lose advertising revenue due to Facebook’s growing popularity. While MySpace has certainly seen better days, the social networking site is nonetheless expected to generate over $180 million in ad revenue this year, making this seem – at least on the surface – to be a pretty good deal.

PMC Receives NAMM Foundation Grant The Percussion Marketing Council (PMC) recently announced that the organization was one of 35 recipients nationwide to receive a NAMM Foundation 2011-2012 program grant. The PMC’s “PERCUSSION! The Rhythm of Life Through Making Music” funding will help the further development and growth of the organization’s current Percussion In The Schools and Roots of Rhythm Programs. Percussion In The Schools is an educational in-school performance program targeted to introduce and provide profes18 MMR

sional percussion playing experiences to elementary through high school levels. Interactive concerts are presented to the complete school student body, inspiring children with first-time percussion instruction by PMC qualified professional facilitators and ensembles. During 2010 more than 32 in-school concerts were conducted by the PMC, reaching more than 11,000 students who experienced percussion for the first time. Roots of Rhythm produces multiple teacher/trainer workshops throughout the U.S. while working with a variety of

“Part of Korg USA’s mission is to foster music-making, and we are proud to support GAMA’s work to bring guitar instruction to the classroom,” says Michael Bradley, director of marketing at Korg USA. “We are pleased to partner with GAMA’s efforts to make music a priority in schools.” Since its inception in 1995, the TGW program has provided guitars, teaching accessories, and publications to participating teachers.

Hal Leonard to Distribute Olympus

Hal Leonard Corporation has reached an agreement with Boonton, N.J.-based Musical Distributors Group (MDG) to distribute popular PCM (pulse-code modulation) recorders from Olympus to music retailers throughout North America. Brad Smith, senior sales & marketing manager for Hal Leonard, and MDG President Steve Savvides signed the deal, which goes into effect on July 1st. Olympus digital linear PCM recorders provide better than CDquality sound, multiple recording formats, and plenty of internal memory, as well as removable SD media. High-sensitivity microphones capture every auditory detail and nuance. The Hal Leonard deal encompasses the entire line of Olympus linear PCM recorders, plus related accessories such as adapters and carrying cases. For more information or to place an order for Olympus products, visit www.halleonard.com.

SEPTEMBER 2011


Upfront educational venues including MENC, House of Blues Foundation and others. The program also provides week-long summer seminars by Roots of Rhythm author, Dr. Craig Woodson. Each event creates significant teacher and trainer

enrollments, allowing teachers to bring immediately applicable percussion learning and building curriculums to the classroom. This has reached tens of thousands of students since its creation and launch seven years ago.

Trade Regrets: Innovative luthier Travis Bean passed away in his home in Burbank, California on July 10th after a long battle with cancer. Partnering with Gary Kramer and Marc McElwee in 1974 to start Travis Bean Guitars, Bean’s ground-breaking instruments featured an aluminum center-section and neck, with pickups directly mounted to the aluminum. Praised for their increased sustain, though derided for their greater-thanaverage overall weight (much like the similarly innovative/quirky Dan Armstrong plexiglass guitars of a few years earlier), the instruments were embraced by the likes of The Grateful Dead and Rolling Stones and, in later years, have become favorites of The Arcade Fire, Sonic Youth, and others. Prices for vintage Travis Beans have soared in recent years, with the guitars regularly fetching between $3,000 and $4,000 (and higher). Kramer and Bean’s partnership was short-lived, with Kramer departing in 1975 to found Kramer Guitars. A Travis Bean documentary, “Sustain,” has been in the works for a while. On June 28, former NAMM Board member and longtime music retailer Bill McNamara recently passed away at the age of 94. While working for Thearle’s Music Store in San Diego, McNamara served on the NAMM Board in 1959 for a term and then again in 1964. He also served on the AMC Board in the 1970s. Dale Beacock, 81, founder of Beacock Music, Vancouver, Washington was killed when his bicycle veered into the path of a logging truck on

August 4. Mr. Beacock was a well known musician in the area. Beacock Music was founded in 1976 and is presently managed by Gayle and Russ Beacock. Dale Beacock was bicycling with his son, Russ, at the time of the accident. Alfred Music Publishing senior vice president, Gwen Bailey-Harbour, passed away on August 12. Bailey-Harbour began working at Alfred over 23 years ago and has had roles in marketing, sales, and operations within the organization. “We were blessed to have Gwen come to Alfred Music on June 13, 1988,” said Ron Manus, Alfred’s CEO. “Many of us knew her a long time. Over the last year, we have watched Gwen battle cancer. How she faced adversity with strength, conviction, class and character continues to be an inspiration for me. I know she is now at peace after a valiant battle. We are all mourning this incredibly tragic loss and we will celebrate her life and legacy as we pay tribute to this remarkable woman and dear, dear friend who we love so much.” Gwen is survived by her husband, Rod Harbour, and their two boys: Ethan Harbour (age 12) and Sean Harbour (age 8). A 529 College Fund as well as a Gwen Bailey-Harbour Memorial Fund have been set up to help with family expenses. For more information and to make a contribution, visit alfred.com/GwenBaileyHarbour.


People Carl Fischer Music has announced that Denise Eaton is now working for the company as choral/vocal editor. Eaton will oversee Carl Fischer’s yearly choral releases, working Eaton closely with composers. Denise Eaton has taught secondary choral music for nearly 30 years. A native Texan, she graduated from the University of Texas at Austin where she received a bachelor of music degree in education with emphasis in piano and voice. Mrs. Eaton has taken an active role in her profession and is currently serving as the immediate past-president of the Texas Music Educator’s Association. The Percussion Marketing Council (PMC) appointed Bob Jespersen and David Jewell as executive officers of the Percussion Marketing Council, effective immediately. The four PMC officers serve as equal co-executive directors, each responsible for specific areas of guidance, direction and benefit to all PMC members and the percussion industry. Bob Jespersen is the National Call Center director/ regional sales manager for KMC Music, Inc., headquartered in Bloomfield, Conn. Jespersen brings a wealth of experience with Jespersen all PMC programs, as he has spearheaded the use of many PMC activities, helping dealers realize the benefits of utilizing the PMC programs and initiatives to create more drummers and customers. David Jewell is the marketing manager of Yamaha Drums, headquartered in Buena Park, Calif. Jewell will assume direction over the PMC’s marketing strategies. He will begin direct Jewell involvement of the 2011 International Drum Month campaign and this fall’s National Percussion in the Schools Celebrity Concert. Shure Incorporated has announced the appointment of William Chan to managing director of its Shure Asia/Pacific 22 MMR

Business Unit, effective July 1, 2011. Chan joined Shure Asia as regional marketing director in 2008 and was promoted to deputy managing Chan director in 2011. As managing director of Shure Asia/ Pacific Business Unit, Chan will lead the Asia/Pacific team to oversee all sales and marketing activities and strengthen the presence of the Shure brand in the region. Coinciding with its 10th anniversary and a recordbreaking sales year, Guitar Center Professional (GC Pro) as announced the appointment of Rick Plushner to the position of vice Plushner president, effective immediately. Plushner joined the Guitar Center organization in September 2005 as general manager of GC Pro. At that time, the GC Pro division employed 18 staff members. His directive was to grow GC Pro’s sales force and develop the infrastructure to enable GC Pro to work in tandem with Guitar Center stores. Rick was promoted to director of sales in 2006 and then director of the division in 2008. Over the past six years, GC Pro has grown into a profitable division with four times the sales that it had in 2005, as well as a team of 75 employees. Guitar Center, Inc. has announced that music industry veteran Glenn Noyes has been promoted to the position of director of category management for drums and percussion. Noyes The announcement was made by Mark S. Nelson, vice president, drums and percussion division. Since rejoining Guitar Center in 2007, Noyes has served as category manager, overseeing drum sets, snare drums, cymbals and hand percussion. He has received multiple awards while at GC, including its Outstanding Service Award. In his new role, Noyes will oversee category management of all drum and percussion products for Guitar Center’s 219

stores across the United States. He will work closely with GC’s marketing department to provide input and build targeted promotions to drive sales as well as foster and maintain vendor relations. Glenn Noyes began working at Guitar Center in 1986 as drum department manager while continuing as a professional drummer working in and around the Los Angeles area. In 1987, Glenn helped create the Guitar Center “Drum Off” competition, which to this day continues to bring together thousands of the nation’s top undiscovered drummers for a chance to live their dreams while competing for prizes and national recognition. Noyes left Guitar Center in 1991 to become store/drum manager at West L.A. Music, a position he held until rejoining Guitar Center in 2007. Zildjian has appointed Adam Cocio to the new position of sales planning manager, drumsticks and accessories. Cocio will assume the responsibility for drumstick and accessory sales forecasting, production scheduling, artist requests, new product development, and promotions. In addition to his new position, Cocio will retain his responsibilities as the account manager for Best Buy. Atwell Curtis & Brooks, Ltd. recently announced an alliance with Joe Bednar, a forty-five year veteran of the music industry. Bednar joins The Atwell Companies as a liaison to the music Bednar industry offering commercial accounts receivable management services to manufacturers, distributors and suppliers. The Atwell Companies provide professional accounts receivable collection services, commercial credit reporting, and can offer a complete credit management department for a supplier or a distributor.

Breaking News! Find it in MMR’s Web site, www.mmrmagazine.com

SEPTEMBER 2011


KEYAN WILLIAMS PLAYS

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News Note from Joe .!--5AND.!--5/NLINE Attendance at NAMM University sessions at Winter and Summer NAMM continues to surge but online participation has not. Since introducing the NAMM U Breakfast Sessions and the Idea Center Sessions a few years back––and, more recently, the Hands-On Training (HOT) Zone––attendance has increased substantially. The combination of the most important topics, as chosen by our Members, and quality presenters representing the very best of the industry have resulted in consistently packed rooms and provided great value to those businesses trying to get an edge on the hyper-competitive landscape in music retail today. To help support NAMM Members and empower them throughout the year, we have also created NAMM U Online, this website features some of the best offerings from the shows, as well as, extensive courses on ďŹ nancial management by Alan Friedman and retail sales by George Hines. You can choose from sessions on technology, lesson programs and social media. In addition, you’ll ďŹ nd short videos of industry leaders sharing

$'9(5725,$/‡6(37(0%(5

visit us online at www.namm.org some of their best ideas and tips for success. While the site continues to be a work in progress, it offers a lot of great, interactive content designed to help our Members grow their businesses. However, Member trafďŹ c on the site has been so light, it makes us wonder if we’re missing something. The premise of the NAMM U sessions at the shows has been simple: ask our Members what they want and then give it to them. The results have been outstanding. But with NAMM U’s online offerings, we’ve not seen the same level of participation. Is online education––at your ďŹ ngertips whenever you want or need support––important to our retail community? And, if so, how can we adapt the NAMM U Online content to be more meaningful for you and your staff? Many of our Members have created informative websites that feature product and company content. Others have educational sites with online music lessons, and even basic information on instrument repairs. NAMM University and NAMM U Online are different; they’re designed speciďŹ cally to provide relevant, high-value and industry-speciďŹ c education programs for NAMM Members. And while the sessions at the shows are accomplishing that mission, in my opinion NAMM U Online has not. Please check it out at WWWNAMMORGNAMMU and give it a spin. Then call or drop me an e-mail with your thoughts and ideas. We want to make NAMM U Online as important to your success as the sessions offered at the shows. With your help, I know we can achieve that!

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Get Connected with NAMM U Online NAMM U Online is a convenient supplement to the standard NAMM U Idea Center Sessions you see at the shows. It offers additional ideas, useful tips and a fresh way of looking at your business.

The website is packed with great information that you and your staff can access at any time and features topics such as sales, marketing, ďŹ nance, retail, lesson programs and technology.

Plug into this valuable Member resource atNAMMORGNAMMU

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September 2011

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Upfront

Q&A

GE Capital’s Dennis Murphy In today’s turbulent economic climate, teaming with an adept financial partner behooves suppliers, retailers, and consumers. MMR recently sat down with vice president of GE Capital, Dennis Murphy, to get his thoughts on partnering with, and working within, the MI community.

“Music dealers tell us they appreciate the types of programs we offer, because it helps them be more competitive, drive repeat business, and provide choices for their customers.”

26 MMR

MMR: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, Dennis. Can you start by giving me a brief overview of your own background in finance? Dennis Murphy: I specialize in working with music merchants to provide consumer financing programs and assist retailers to drive more sales. I have over 25 years’ experience in sales and marketing in financial services. I’m based out of St. Paul, Minnesota. MMR: Can you discuss some of the specific MI retailers and suppliers GE Capital is working with and what your goals are with these partners? DM: Programs offered include the GE Money Music program for NAMM members, Yamaha Music & Sound Program and the Sam Ash program. GE Money works with its partners to provide financing programs to dealers or corporate stores, to drive customer traffic, increase sales and develop customer loyalty. MMR: What’s the reasoning behind GE Capital’s continued active involvement in the music industry? DM: GE Money is dedicated to the music space and understands the need for financing in the music industry. GE has developed strong relationships with NAMM, music manufacturers, and independent dealers. The music customer profile is similar to many other segments

GE Money serves. Music customers tend to make large initial purchases with subsequent repeat purchases. Prior to GE Money entering the music industry, music dealers had limited options for financing and limited support. GE Money has been able to solidify relationships within music by providing excellent dealer support, training, point-of-sale materials and marketing expertise.

MMR: Can you talk about the staff at GE Capital who works specifically on MI projects? DM: Our structure enables us to tap into many cross-functional areas, so we can bring a strong base of expertise and support to the music experience. This includes Sales, Marketing, Finance, Risk, Compliance, Legal, merchant services, as well as customer services. MMR: You make use of some music folks in your ads – can you discuss the reasoning behind this? DM: Testimonials and input from business owners is the best way to build awareness of our programs, as music retailers would rather hear about the benefits of our finance programs from their peers, rather than from their provider. A music retailer that uses and has had success with the GE Money music finance program is our best advocate. MMR: Do you have any observations on the state of finance, in general? Are there any SEPTEMBER 2011


Upfront Q&A larger trends that you’ve noticed lately? DM: Consumers consider their payment options more carefully in this environment.   The  finance  programs  we  offer  within  the  music  industry,  such  as  deferred  interest  programs  and  other  promotions,  help  customers  build  the  purchase into their budgets in a way that  is convenient and affordable. Deferred Interest/No Interest If Paid In  Full  Plans  charge  no  interest  when  accountholders make their required minimum monthly payment and pay the balance  in  full  within  the  promotional  period.

“A music retailer that uses and has had success with the GE Money music finance program is our best advocate.” MMR: Any final thoughts you’d care to share with our readers? DM: Music dealers tell us they appreciate the types of programs we offer,  because it helps them be more competitive,  drive  repeat  business,  and  provide  choices for their customers. It is more important than ever to have payment options  for  buyers  to  purchase  the  musical  instrument  they  want,  either  for  themselves or their family members.  GE  works hard to make our programs simple  to  use  and  easy  to  offer  in  the  stores  by  providing  free  Point-of-Sale  materials  and training for the stores.  In addition,  our credit decisions are fast – typically seconds – making the process quick and  convenient  for  the  customer,  enabling  them get approved and purchase in one  visit to the store. Check us out online at www.mmrmagazine.com 28 MMR

SEPTEMBER 2011


Spotlight

BASICS:

Back to

Piano Retailers Embracing Education

Creating future customers one lesson at a time – patiently It’s certainly not a new idea, but it’s being embraced with renewed enthusiasm: the successful piano retailer must delve deeper into the educational community. From many industry leaders’ perspectives, it’s not just a good thing to do, but potentially a matter of survival. “Those who are really struggling aren’t addressing education on any level,” states Hailun’s president Basilios Strmec. 30 MMR

SEPTEMBER 2011


It does appear that retailers are expanding their outreach to piano teachers in the community. Showrooms that have thinned out their inventory are starting to set up studio space for lessons. Adult piano classes are started or expanding. Heck, even print music is showing up in high-end showrooms. Manufacturers and suppliers are supporting the effort in many ways – from piano giveaways to more awareness of their educational programs. No one can deny the “why” of it: the piano landscape has changed dramatically. If it’s not gone forever, as some industry leaders quietly believe, the “pianos as furniture” aspect of the market – the idea that with the new bigger house comes a piano whether one has an intention of playing it or not – is certainly not coming back in the foreseeable future. What does it mean? Education is, if not “the,” certainly “a” solid path to financial success. A retailer engraining himself or herself with the local piano teacher is more important than ever. “Dealers who get involved with the piano teachers, the local associations, are really ahead of the game,” declares Al Rich of Petrof. “They are going to get the good, serious piano buyer, the one more interested in quality.” This is important because, “there’s a perception problem. Customers think all piano retailers are on the ropes – and they may be!” he laughs. “But you can’t sell under those conditions.” “In some markets like the U.S. and Asia it seems to be very helpful to have education program inside the store,” says Burkhard Stein of Grotrian. “To sell ahigh end instruments these days there needs to be much more effort than, let’s say, 10 years ago. Customers like to feel safe with the decision to spend a high amount of money for a nice instrument. So you need to build a relationship with your customer. And running a music school helps a lot to build this long term relationship.” “Times have changed, and people don’t want to be pressured into buying,” Gilroy adds. “They don’t respond to the hard sell. So it becomes more about establishing a relationship, about being patient. They are piano students, but they SEPTEMBER 2011

are also your future customers. And you want them in your show room.” Waiting for the New Normal “Money was very easy for many years, particularly in the 1990s and well into the 2000s, but when we had this economic downturn the money available for expensive pianos … well, to be frank, it disappeared!” laughs Kawai’s Brian Chung. “People were re-financing their homes and getting a little money out of it and would often spend it on pianos. The big question for all of us is: When housing returns, when employment is better, what will the new normal be? Durable goods

“Those who are really struggling aren’t addressing education on any level.” – Basilios Strmec

like pianos will come back, but to what extent?” Then answering his own rhetorical question he adds: “None of us know.” “The best dealers are putting efforts in education and seeing results,” says Steinway’s Anthony Gilroy. “Our industry has had growing pains from the recession and piano sales have decreased by about 40 percent overall, and I think the dealers that have adapted through education programs, and seen opportunities with hosting recitals and getting students involved in their showrooms end up seeing sales out of it.”

“We have seen a lot of stores addressing or trying to find a way to address the teaching component of the business,” says Strmec. “The reasons include needing to raise cash for the business overhead and to build a relationship in the community that turn into sales leads.” Stein offers a large perspective on this: “We’ve noticed a lot of dealers, especially in Asia and the U.S., who have installed their own education program,” he says. It seems especially true for stores that don’t run a full range of MI instruments, but sell only pianos. In those cases, how are you going to get more people to come in the store? “A good way is to install your own music school in your store. This brings students, their parents and also teachers in your store. These all are potential customers and if they will buy an instrument the chance is very high that they will do it in your store.” “Right now the piano industry goes hand in hand with the teaching profession, and we all have to do everything possible to create music makers,” Chung adds. “That’s really been part of our industry’s history, but when things were good some of our fundamentals were a little lost. When things are good, we tend to not focus on these critical areas that can feed the future. I really believe every dealer expanding their music education [component] is doing the very best thing for our industry.” Finding the Right Approach Strmec notes that some have approached education better than others. “We have seen those who have just invited teachers into a space and charged them rent and they sometimes do not get the returns they could,” he says. “The relationship can be less a partnership, which you want, and instead a client/ customer relationship. I have seen stores that just rent the space and I can tell you the connection is not as strong in turning [sales] leads. While some dealers are happy with the traffic such arrangements generate, rarely does it turn into a real win-win situation. The teachers feel simply as customers who rent a space and do not form any attachment to the piano MMR 31


operation and its challenges, itself. The more successful approach is to put the teacher on the payroll, make education an integral part of the business, and push it as such.” This way the teacher is more invested into the overall business – including moving pianos out the door. He says Fort Bend Music in Houston has been successful in building their music program this way. “There are approximately 380-450 students who pass through the store every week and make the store operation a viable undertaking. Rick Cochran, the owner, has made teaching a priority, which reflects in his steady growth.” Al Rich of Petrof sites Cooper Pianos in Atlanta run by Blake Cooper as an example of a dealer who has become deeply entrenched in the teaching community. “They teach in store and he sometimes supplies pianos to piano studios,” Rich says. “They have teachers on site, plus work with them in the field.” They also have the Liberty Theatre, where Cooper Pianos holds piano student recitals and concerts with a Petrof Concert Grand. They make it easy for teachers to book the space for recitals, and on their website they have a page dedicated to the theatre featuring videos of past performances. For Yamaha, part of the key of the piano program is looking beyond the instrument itself. “For instance, the program involves activities like singing, clapping, movement – it’s all-inclusive and that’s one of the reasons it’s so successful,” Calvin says. Otherwise, there is their Yamaha QuickPlay program. It instructs by lighting up which key to hit next, and is “very effective for all these people who absolutely believe he or she don’t have the talent to play. It encourages them from the first note. It’s so important to give the new player a little experience at what it feels like to play that first song. Anybody who knows how to play remembers what it was like to get to the end of his or her first song and think, ‘Hey I did that!’ We need to create experiences like that more than ever before.” None of this is easy, however. “You have to persevere,” says Chung. “It takes a while for word to get out, but if they are having fun and having a meaningful experience, the word will indeed get out. The challenge is not giving up after not having initial success.” It doesn’t have to take too long, but with the right mix of teachers and groups, it will be worth the effort. 32 MMR

… and the Right Teachers “The key to an in-store education program is like anything else – you need to bring in people who understand it,” Calvin advises. “Every market has a teacher who has run a studio before or had success with group teaching. He or she can tie it together. In the case of Yamaha, we’re fortunate to have the Yamaha Music School programs, so we can make experts available to help set up a retailer who has never had an in-store program before. We can coach the dealer, train

“When housing returns, when employment is better, what will the new normal be? Durable goods like pianos will come back, but to what extent? None of us know.” – Brian Chung

the teacher, and provide business plans. We have a turnkey solution.” Yamaha’s program dates back to 1956, with the philosophy behind it being not only to develop new customers and products, but also to give something back to the community. “It’s actually supported by the Yamaha Music Foundation of Japan and has reached over six million students around the world.” Strmec points out that some teachers are naturally going to be more business

savvy than others. “There are those who have a good student base, but are also familiar with what it takes to expand a studio. Sometimes it’s tougher for a dealer to understand the teaching structure business models. Some bigger stores can’t relate, and/or it’s been a long time since they’ve had lessons. But there are teachers out there who know what it takes and have an easier time starting or expanding a program.” “It is important that your education program has built a good reputation, so that the school program and reputation fits to the reputation of a brand like Grotrian,” says Stein. “We have a successful dealer in the Toronto area who runs a big music school and is selling the Grotrian brand very well. So this constellation seams to work.” Stein offers a perspective of what is being done in Germany – and not done. “The situation in Europe, and especially Germany, is very different to the situation in the U.S. There are some piano stores which do have their own education program, but these are only very few. Most of the dealers do have a long tradition with their stores and are well known for selling pianos. They try to stay in close contact with teachers and conservatories. Networking is a very important part or their work.” However, in Europe in general, customers might think that a company can’t be good at both selling and teaching. “This is a more conservative thinking. If you do both the risk is high that one of it could not be perfect. There is a German saying: Schuster, bleib bei deinen Leisten which freely translated means: You should stay with the thing you have been trained in and you are good at.” More than just offering leads or encouraging a new instrument involvement, could teachers actually become salespeople as well? Strmec cites the ARTI-ST Music Education Center in Baltimore founded by music educators Irene and Jarl Hulbert as a potential trend: “These are teachers who opened a studio, but also recently started selling some instruments on a small scale and that has worked really well.” Rich wonders aloud if the piano market could go the route of accordions. “A lot that are sold today are done through educational programs. Most [MI] stores don’t even stock them on the shelves, but accordion teaching schools have them SEPTEMBER 2011


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and their teachers are all involved in retailing.” Getting Creative with the Space “Teaching in-store has numerous benefits,” says Chung. “It builds relationships within your community. You have repeated visits from them. They buy sheet music. Ask any dealer who has a thriving educational program and they will tell you it’s essential and drives their business.” Dealers can be successful without an educational element, but a commitment to music education can certainly help during periods like the present. However, there is the physical space to contend with. Calvin points out that

“Times have changed, and people don’t want to be pressured into buying. They don’t respond to the hard sell. – Anthony Gilroy

sometimes space for an in-store program can be a challenge. “You built your store with a particular business plan in mind years ago that may not have included a teaching program,” he says. Some in say, a strip mall, have been able to expand into a space next door and nearby stores that have closed, and others have found that getting a space just for teaching nearby works. Otherwise, “you find a corner in the store or you convert an office – some retailers have been creative in finding space.” Gilroy of Steinway also acknowledges that many dealers don’t necessarily have a showroom that allows for in-store les34 MMR

sons. But recital space for them to use, usually for free, is more easily done and so, “off-site is a viable alternative. We have the Steinway Hall dealership in Dallas/Fort Worth/Plano that does a really good job with recitals – they literally have thousands of students coming through during recital season.” “Piano merchants who do not want to be in the teaching business have found that they can provide a lot of value for teachers by creating performance halls,” Strmec says. “Terry Winstead, store manager at Northwest Pianos, reached out to teachers across Bellevue and Seattle and books many concerts. Mr. Winstead told me that he had several dozen performances scheduled during May and June.” (To prove the overall point he adds that sales of Hailun product at the store increased by 32 percent in comparison to last year.) “Terry has created a nice space in part of his store for teachers to do performances. And I just noticed that May and June were completely booked out every day and had at least three performances happening at the store on the weekends. That’s another bridge.” Stein says he’s also noticed that some stores have been a music school first and only later became a store. “For example in China we do have a working cooperation with our business partner who started a private music school 14 years ago and four years ago he added selling pianos [to the operation]. He is very successful in selling our instruments because the parents of the students trust in the recommendation of the teachers and, so buy the high end instruments from the store which belongs to the music school.” Adults & Recreational Music: A Rebirth “About ten years ago there were retailers who didn’t think an educational component belonged in their store,” says Calvin. “But now there are many more retailers interested in creating new customers, not only the typical young student but also for adults. So we’re seeing growth in Yamaha music schools. We’re expanding more than ever, and we’re seeing an up tick for our retailers getting involved with adult group piano lessons.” Reaching out to adults comes down to basic business fundamentals: “We know there are a certain number of people who will start their child on lessons, but there are probably another 80 or 90 perSEPTEMBER 2011


Called “Test the Best,” Strmec sees it as an many, which was founded in 1954; supportcent who wish they could play. We need opportunity for retailers to reach out to the ing the ‘National Grotrian Competition to get out there and show them that they teaching community and build better ties. for future Teachers’ in Weimar, Germany can do it and it’s fun. That will be the re“This promotion will help build a strong which has taken place since 1990 and by birth of our industry and get us through alliance with music teacher. We want busithe Grotrian Piano Competition (Asian/ the current economic hard times. There nesses to be strong and survive. We want Pacific) in China which began in 2008.” are plenty of opportunities for retailers to to share resources, help them with their Hailun launched an initiative in Audo this.” For adults, the educational exgoals, and in turn help us reach our expecgust that’s putting three new pianos in perience is enhanced with a play-along tations.” The promotion invites teachers the homes of two teachers and a student. aspect for which software has provided. As for the group piano class, Calvin adds that no one should underestimate the social aspect that people enjoy. Chung actually co-authored with Brenda Dillon a book for piano teachers called The Recreational Music Making Handbook. Published by Alfred Publishing, it’s part of an effort to build awareness about this aspect of the business and to encourage teachers to embrace a way of teaching where the focus is on fun. “If we can reach out to our existing network of teachers and embrace the concept we have created, if dealers can do that too, we can all work together,” he says. “This would not take away from the ‘achievement model’ of teaching, but there are many people who think learning the piano is too difficult under that model. We have to work hard to advance the concept of playing for fun.” But Chung cautions the dealer that not just anybody can start a recreational muTel: +49.531.210.10.0 GROTRIAN sic program. “The number one challenge Fax: +49.531.210.01.40 PIANO COMPANY GmbH is finding the right teacher,” he explains. contact@grotrian.de Postbox 5833 www.grotrian.de 38049 Braunschweig “Traditionally teachers have been trained Germany in the achievement model and that’s a good model, but it’s not for everybody. This is not an either/or situation, but both models need to be available.” He suggests that the huge selection of10:33:45 Uhr GS_A_Image_4.6"x4"_en.indd 1 14.11.2008 industry as a whole has come up short to violin cases some degree in terms of successfully reachsales@benchworld.com ing out to the masses of people who always wanted to play but “were never really invited to on his or her own terms. So finding distributor since 1988 a teacher that can reach out to them, and piano benches & accessories present music making skills on their own terms can be a challenge.” And an open mind about who these programs are for: “Recreational music is not age specific, though we tend to focus on aging baby boomers because they have more discretionary time and money. But recreational music is for everybody.”

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Hailun “Hailun Pianos that are equipped with the HLPS system allowing for the grand piano lid to be easily lifted safely and slowly closed are reaching piano merchants’ stores,” reports Basilios Strmec. He adds that the system was shown off at the National Piano Technician’s Guild Conference in Kansas City in July and was positively received by the technical community. At that same conference they also introduced the new HU116, a 45.5-inch upright piano aimed at the institutional market. “A technician who played it declared it a workhorse that sings beautifully!” Hailun USA has also upgraded Hailun instruments by using premier quality hammerheads by two German suppliers. “Hailun pianos will come equipped with hammerheads from Renner Hammer Company and Abel Parts Company from Germany.” Petrof Al Rich of Petrof reports that they are still feeding off the buzz created from MusikMesse in Frankfurt, where they showed a Petrof off with Wessel, Nickle, & Gross action. “We showed one in a semi-concert grand and it was really well-received,” he reports. While using composite material in a piano bucks tradition in the extremely traditional piano market, increasingly more and more players are appreciating the allure of a piano not so susceptible to the weather. “The piano has 6,000 moving parts, and having some of it not affected by climate temperature constitutes a tremendous advantage,” he says. “I’ve been pushing the new technology for a couple of years because it makes for more accurate instruments.” Steinway “One of the hottest instruments out there today is the Lennon Pianos, which were introduced at the end of last year,” says Steinway’s Anthony Gilroy. “There are two new designs coming out and also an upright version of the K-52.” So now there are four different versions of John Lennon’s famous white piano: Come Together, Freda People, Self Portrait, and Grand

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Piano. He reports that are all already spoken for. “It’s actually pretty cool because a year ago you wouldn’t see a white piano in our factory – it’s not typically a popular color by any stretch of the imagination.”

The new designs will be created in limited series of 25 pianos each. The end game will be to have seven John Lennon limited edition styles of 25 each, for a grand total of only 175 Lennon pianos built. Lowrey Organs Frank West of Lowrey says they’ve unveiled a new entry-level keyboard, the E-Z2. “It’s a traditional Lowrey 61 note keyboard for the first time player, but it features our virtual orchestra and performer technology,” he says. “It’s aimed at a broader audience.” It has

the traditional Lowrey style, but if the player wants to play piano-oriented music, they push the piano button; guitar, the guitar button. Then there’s the E-ZP8, which is essentially a digital piano that comes with a Lowrey operating system. “There’s the one-finger chords, the E-Z harmony, and all those features, but it’s for people who want to play the

piano. It features weighted keys so it’ll appeal to those who have piano on the brain.” He thinks they are positioned to do well it because “what we’ve

found is a lot of people think they want to play piano, but the piano is actually difficult to play. With this they get the E-Z way to play.” Kawai “We’ve continue with what our symbol of elegance in pianos, our Blak Series,” says Kawai’s Brian Chung. “We feel we made an important statement with this in that not only are they proven to be of exceptional quality, but they communicate style.” The RX series in

particular continues to be strong for the company, which has evolved from the popular KG series of the 1980s and 1990s. “We see our instruments as the most advanced pianos because we’ve always been willing to embrace new materials, particularly composites. We’re proud that the composites on this material don’t shrink and swell with the climate.” Grotrian Grotrian has launched a new grand piano studio series aimed at insti-

SEPTEMBER 2011


tutions, the studio models 192 and 208. “The demand for these models came from universities, conservatories, and educational institutions,”

says Burkhard Stein. “The models have the same excellent touch, sound characteristics and strength of build for which Grotrian has been famous for centuries.” He adds that they’ve developed a scratchproof, easy-care surface of lacquer particularly appropriate for school use. “However the inner side of the fallboard is finished in a high gloss to reflect the image of the pianist’s hands. The studio line is offered in sizes 192 and 208 cm as these models are most popular as school instruments.” All studio instruments are equipped with single attached strings, fallboard brake, and a Sostenuto pedal. “All Grotrian studio grand pianos are available for institutional use only.” Yamaha “We have a new product, the T121SC which features the Soft-Close fallboard which protects the players hands,” says Paul Calvin of Yamaha. It’s similar to the popular U1 and features fulllength ribs into a notched liner, solid spruce soundboard and ribs, hard maple bridge, and spruce keys with hardwood buttons. There’s also Yamaha designed hammers with T-fasteners. Introducing Acorn There’s a new player in the keyboard market. Niels Larsen of Nektartech explains that he was working with Chinese factories supporting other brand development when over time he real-

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ized that he could get better in touch with the customer. “I saw that there was a way to supply a better value to the customer in the keyboard and digital drums market,” he says. First to be shipping is their Acorn Masterkey 49 keyboard controller, with the Masterkey 25 quickly following. “There are other products out there,

but we felt we could add more value by providing lower priced controllers with a few extra features. At the entry-level controller, you usually get little else than a keyboard and a few wheels. We felt there was a need for a more complete package. For example, on our keyboard controller you can tweak parameters – I always hated not knowing where I was on oscillating keyboards.” There are also LED displays, and features that allow the player to quickly change MIDI channels, transpose, and more. What will likely draw the most attention is that these keyboards come with Presonus Studio One Artist software built in. “You get a full version that features unlimited tracks, tons of plug-ins and lots of extras.” The street price on the 49-key Acorn is $99.99 and the 25 will be $79.99. Nord, Kurzweil, and Studio Logic Gabe Whyel of American Music & Sound offered up several new products from several keyboard companies they distribute. First there is the Nord Stage 2, which comes in three versions: an 88-

note hammer action, a 76-hammer action, and the 73-note semi-weighted waterfall action. “All support three split zones,” he says. “The Nord 2 is built to be a performance instrument, so most of the controls are on the face of the keyboard. With a Nord, you never have to sift through menus to find things.”

The Nord Electro 3HP is 73 hammer action version of the popular Elec-

tro 3, which “has really become the standard for great organ and piano sounds.” All versions of the 3HP are especially portable, with the 61 note version weighing a mere 15.3 pounds. Kurzweil has unveiled the PC3K8, “a synth workstation of the highest order,” Whyel says. “It features their dynamic Variable Architecture Synthesis Technology (VAST), and supports up to 32 layers of sound across 16 zones

and splits. It’s the most powerful keyboard workstation on the market, period.” He adds that the Kurzweils by designs allows for easily adding old aspects to the new. “If you have a 10 year old Kurzweil and you really like the sounds you created on it, you don’t have to reprogram the new keyboard – you can simply move the sounds over. It’s completely forward compatible.” Studiologic, primarily a software company, has consulted with jazz great Joe DeFrancesco himself and

come up with the Numa Organ. “He had a hand in where the controls are placed, and spent years developing this with the company,” he says. “It’s been incredible. And now it’s getting a lot of attention because players really wanted that authentic tone wheel organ in an instrument you didn’t need a forklift to carry it around!”

SEPTEMBER 2011


and music students alike to come and test a Hailun Piano at their store and submit their name for a local drawing. The grand prize will be an HU 1 Professional. Hailun will reach out to teachers and students in mailings and online promotion. Winners will be announced on December 21st 2011. Technological advancements could play a part in this “rebirth.” Yamaha’s RemoteLive technology was on display this past Winter NAMM, and those in the room got to enjoy a performance by Roberta Flack from New York City recreated on a Yamaha Disklavier Grand. But

aside from the entertainment possibilities, Calvin reports that they are exploring the educational opportunities. Imagine gathering students into a Midwest retailer’s store for a Master Class from a great pianist at a Yamaha studio in New York City. There are other ways to reach out to the community. Gilroy says they opened up a new showroom in West Hollywood earlier this year, which is actually factory-owned. They are proceeding with a way to engrain the new Steinway store with the local teachers. “We gave away three different pianos with the goal being to establish relation-

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ships with music teachers,” he says. It was a sweepstakes for both teachers and students. “The teacher had to be present, and it really helped us get the word out about or Boston Performance Edition.” He says while the piano has been out for two years it’s been “under the radar”: – “One teacher who played it said it was the closest to being a Steinway that wasn’t a Steinway.” As far as the sweepstake goes, he adds that he sees other dealerships doing something similar in the future. All the manufacturers and suppliers were clear on the importance of educa-

“The key to an in-store education program is like anything else – you need to bring in people who understand it.” – Paul Calvin

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tion. “The time is over for us to box ourselves in, to have walls between us and the teaching community,” Strmec states. “Only those dealers who make a point to reach out will be successful.” “It’s really more important now than ever, especially for Petrof,” Rich says. “Our product is not usually the first piano a family buys. Most of the time we’re the second piano. The typical family starts with an entry-level instrument, and because the average person on the street has likely not heard of Petrof, it’s important that the teaching industry be familiar with us.” “It’s not always a quick-fix,” Gilroy says. “You have to build a relationship over time. They likely have an old piano at home and come in just for the lessons … but when the time comes to wanting to buy a better one, they will go to a place that they trust and have a relationship.” SEPTEMBER 2011


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The Lowrey Paradigm: If You Teach, They Will Buy Lowrey Organs has long been in the education business. “In our minds, that’s the path for success,” Frank West says. “If you can teach them to play, they will buy your product.” This is an organization that has long made education an integral part of sales. “We have a strong in-store teaching program, and I think it’s the best program out there,” he says. “If you’re a music retailer and want to get into the recreational music business, all you need is the Lowrey Magic program. It has people playing a song in their first class. And it’s scaled: It’s for those who has never touched a key and for those who played a little when they were younger, [et cetera]. Any person of any skill level can get plugged into the program.” Today, though, they are aiming for a broader audience, one that is no mere change of semantics: “We don’t call them organs any more,” West declares. “We call them virtual orches-

42 MMR

tras.” They’ve re-issued their Lowrey Magic program to reflect the changing demographics of their customers. “We’re pulling titles from the 1950s through the 1980s for the most part,” he says. “Recreational music making is for everybody at any age.” They are dabbling in the digital piano market as well, building instruments with weighted keys, but enhanced with their virtual orchestra feature. “We’re trying to dig a little younger into the adult market – though when we say ‘younger’ everybody laughs!” Sure, an artist such as Tina Turner still has appeal, but she turned 73 years old this year. So the likes of “Proud Mary” are becoming more prominent in their program. West cites the lectures of industry legend Karl Bruhn (“who should be required reading for anyone in our business, and who some have referred to as the father of recreational music making”). Bruhn lectured that

the songs that are popular during a person’s 18th through 24th years are the most enduring. “So if someone is 55, you want the 1970s hits. Those songs will stir their emotions because it’s when they first started dating, becoming an adult, et cetera. We’re getting really good responses by doing that.” But whatever tweaks and updates happen to the machine that is Lowrey, their dealers have always signed on to the in store teaching program, and that part has not changed, nor will it. They encourage and support a heavy advertising aspect. “It’s kind of funny – if you want a customer, you have to go after them! And to support that, Lowrey instruments are not available through catalogs or online. Why would we do that? Sales are not going to happen that way because I can’t teach those people every week. I don’t have a store!”

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New & Notable Piano & Keyboard Products Acorn Instruments’ Masterkey 25 and Masterkey 49 USB Controllers total assignable real-time controls to The Masterkey series are full-size 7 including a fader and 4 programsynth-style keybeds designed to satmable pots. isfy both keyboard players and nonA three-digit LED display provides keyboard players alike. The fast reparameter and value feedback. Two sponse is excellent for function buttons just below the LED display can be assigned on the fly to any of four parameters. Quickly flip between Program Change, MIDI Channel, Octave shift and Transpose assignments for these buttons, without lifting your right hand off the keyboard. Masterkey is fully USB class comprogramming drums or any repeat pliant, compatible with Windows XP, notes with the dynamic velocity curve Vista and 7 or Mac OS, and ships adds real expression to computer muwith a full version of the incredible sic performance and composition. Presonus DAW, Studio Artist. Two rubberized performance wheels Retail price: $99.99 (Masterkey provide control over pitch bend and 49), $79.99 (Masterkey 25). modulation. Both can be assigned to www.acorn-instruments.com any MIDI CC message and bring the

Bohemia Piano Rhapsody Line Bohemia Piano America Inc., the exclusive importer of the Bohemia pianos from the Czech Republic, announced recently that the new Rhapsody piano line has been completely launched to the American market.In addition to the new upright piano models R114, R121, R126 and R132, the last shipment included the new grand pianos BT160, BT175 and BT185. The handcrafted Bohemia upright and grand pianos are 44 MMR

made in the new facility of C. Bechstein Europe Inc. (former Bohemia Piano) in Hradec Králové, Czech Republic. All pianos meet the high Bechstein standards from the selection of only the highest quality materials to the fine manufacturing process of the instruments. The tone of these fine pianos features a sophisticated European sound, a romantic tone full of delicate nuances.

Yamaha MOX8 and MOX6 Synths The new MOX8 and MOX6 procution synthesizers feature 1,217 Voices and 355MB of waveforms taken directly from the MOTIF XS. Expanded Articulation offers realistic replication of acoustic instruments and exotic synth sounds. It also includes the same synth engine as its big brother with 18 different filter types, along with the ability to replicate warm, natural vintage sounds via Virtual Circuit Modeling. The MOX keyboards come with 256 Performance patterns, 6,720 arpeggiator patterns and a four-part interactive arpeggio engine taken from the MOTIF

XS. A Performance Creator feature allows for easy set-up of splits, layers and drum parts. The integrated USB audio/ MIDI interface eliminates the need for a separate audio I/O for creating music with a PC. Record the MOX directly into a PC and add vocals or guitars through the stereo A/D input channel. In addition to the built-in 4-in/2-out USB audio interface, the MOX keyboards accommodate any ASIO based software. MIDI keyboard controller functionality controls DAW and VST programs with ease. Both keyboards come with a software package that includes the Cubase AI5 48-track DAW program, Yamaha YC-3B soft synth organ and Steinberg Prologue analog modeling synth. Retail price: $1,999 (MOX8, 88 Graded Hammer Standard keys), $1,499 (MOX6, 61 semi-weighted keys). www.yamaha.com SEPTEMBER 2011


Kurzweil CUP-2 Digital Piano

Casio’s CTK-4200, LK-280, WK-225 The latest Casio keyboards will be on display in Booth # 736 at the 2011 Summer NAMM Session. Casio’s newest keyboards are designed for any level of musician looking to create compositions, as the keyboards feature a 5-song and 6-track recorder. In addition, Casio delivers 600 built-in tones

which include stereo grand piano tones, offering a range of dynamic sounds. The 180 built-in rhythms provide a full range of accompaniment or individual drum patterns. The keyboards are equipped with Casio’s Step-up Lesson System, designed for learning the 152 built-in songs phase by phase. Utilizing the LCD display, aspiring musicians can learn both music notation and correct hand positioning while Casio’s innovative lesson system evaluates performance so users can track their progress and incremental success. The WK-225 features a 76Key Piano Style Touch-Response keyboard and has the ability to import additional songs utilizing the SDHC Card slot. The LK-280 has the additional ability to teach with the aid of the lighted 61-Key Piano Style Touch-Response keyboard. Retail price: $249 (CTK4200), $299 (LK-280 and WK-225).. www.casiousa.com SEPTEMBER 2011

The CUP-2 “Compact Upright” is the newest addition to Kurzweil’s growing family of home digital pianos. Designed in Ebony Polish and standing at 42” high, the CUP-2 leaves a very small footprint in any room but produces a full concert hall sound. The CUP-2 features 88 onboard sounds from the PC3 series Pro keyboard. Included are 10 worldclass pianos featuring the acclaimed Kurzweil “Triple Strike” Grand Piano. Also onboard are 20 celebrated vintage electric pianos and organs, sampled and modeled using Kurzweil’s proprietary chip technology. From rich orchestral voices and choirs, to realistic guitars, & bass, the CUP-2 now brings professional studio sound quality into your home.

Built-in are 78 interactive rhythm patterns in a variety of styles to choose from. The “easy play” sequencer allows you to save sounds and rhythms, then customize them with layering and effects and brought back with one-button recall later. The CUP-2 incorporates an 88note, “wood embedded” graded hammer key action from Fatar of Italy. The double dipped full-body solid black keys have a pleasing tactile surface. The CUP2’s specially designed 4 speaker, 130-watt bi-amped speaker system faithfully reproduces the sound of a full sized concert grand piano. www.kurzweil.com

Lionstracs’ Groove X7 Keyboard The Lionstracs Groove X7 workstation and MIDI controller runs on 16 realtime sounds engine with 10 multiple ASIO realtime engines, GIGA support and Audio-MIDI integrated DAW, all on a LINUX workstation. The onboad computer boasts 15GB of RAM, Quad Code CPU and a 4TB RAID SATA3 system. The keyboard includes a Dual VGA+DVI integated on the Mainboard, a power supply that emits just 10db of sound, a 76-key TP9 Fatar keyboard, and a joystick and wheels

for pitch modulation. Users can connect with 2 XLR outputs, 2 XLR Cue outputs, 2 mono jack mix outputs, 1 stereo phones jack, 2 MIDI inputs and 2 MIDI outputs. Also included are sustain pedal and stereo keyboard volume pedal connectors. www.lionstracs.com

Jupiter-80 From Roland The Jupiter-80 is a live-performance synth that pays homage to its legendary namesake (the classic Jupiter-8), yet looks to the future with its SuperNATURAL® technology. The SuperNATURAL synthesis engines are designed for vintage synth sounds

as well as realistic, organic acoustic sounds. The keyboard’s Single Tone is equivalent to the performance of powerful single synthesizer – stack

four of these to create a mind-blowing “Live Set.” Tone Blender controls can tweak multiple parameters of tones in real time for complex, emotive sonic movement during performance. The keyboard offers fast, friendly operation with intuitive front panel and color touchscreen optimized for live performance, with a 76-note semi-weighted synth keyboard and 256 polyphonic voices (varies according to sound-generator load). A USB-memory Song Player/ Recorder is on board for backing tracks or quick idea capture, and the system allows for easy integration with computers via built-in USB-MIDI/Audio interface. Retail price: $3499. www.rolandus.com MMR 45


Mojo Organ From Crumar The Mojo, released as a celebration of the original ‘70s Crumar tonewheel organs like the Organizer T1 and T2, is a double manual electromagnetic organ clone with two complete sets of real drawbars weighing only 37 pounds, designed to meet the requirements of modern musicians without compromises. The Mojo offers ultra-fast keyboard response, authentic positioning of buttons and controls, two complete sets of 9 drawbars and 2 drawbars for pedalboard in the middle, and real wood finish. The interface of the instrument is designed to offer important features to musicians: easy management of presets and drawbar sets for both upper and lower manual, rotary speaker simulation control, percussion and vibrato buttons, pedal to lower function, tone, drive, reverberation and click amount. Crumar Mojo is powered by the great VB3 Version II, which generates digitally electromagnetic sound in the same way the original organ does mechanically and electrically: how the 91 tonewheels work and interact one each other with the contribution of leakeage and crosstalk,

how rotary speaker and drive affect the sound. VB3 II’s rotary speaker simulation offers the same acoustic details as mechanical spinning horn and drum and, thanks to the interface of VB3 II, you can interact with all parameters of the simulation like cabinet dimensions, accelerations, mic positioning and others: control the simulation with the two pushbuttons for slow-fast-stop speeds and take advantage of our new “V.S. Technology” that recreate the details of rotary speakers not only in classic “stereo way” ( horizontal simulation) but also in vertical position. 46 MMR

Kawai’s CL26 Entry Level Digital The CL26 utilizes Kawai’s acclaimed Harmonic Imaging sound technology with 88-key piano sampling. In this unique process, all 88 notes of the Kawai EX Concert Piano have been digitally recorded and are then reproduced in the digital piano. This results in an amazingly authentic and dynamic concert grand piano sound. The piano is equipped with a 30-Watt stereo sound system, 96 notes of polyphony and a high quality damper pedal with half-damper capability. The CL26 also boasts a graded hammer keyboard action along with MIDI and headphone jacks. With a depth of just over 10 inches, this ultra-compact digital piano occupies a minimal amount of floor space and is tailor-made for today’s living en-

Piano vironments. Offered in a versatile Premium Rosewood finish, the sleek and stylish CL26 blends effortlessly into its surrounding environment. www.kawaius.com

Wersi’s Pegasus Wing Arranger Keyboard ments, language and Tuning. Import Wersi introduces its first new keyboard and Saving of all user data is easy and in over five years. The Pegasus Wing fast with the programming / settings combines all the legendary features asmanager. sociated with Wersi products as well as The OAS system is the first innovaexciting, new advancements in musical tive system to truly allow a hardware instrument technology. instrument to be continually updated. Users can choose from sound banks This means the Pegasus Wing will alof Theatre Organs (Includes ways remain modern and up to date in Theatre Organ Magic Regboth sound and function. istrations), World of Synths, Onboard are a 76-note keyboard Grand Pianos, World of Or(Semi Weighted, Dynamics, After gans, Church Organs. The Touch, Multi-Split Keyboard Mode), organ includes a large 10-inch modes for 2 sounds for right hand and TFT full-color display, from 2 sounds for left hand, 950 sounds (5 which all functions and editing Synthesis Types). digital effects for can be performed via touchevery sound (Reverb, Delay, Chorus, screen controls. The Pegasus Compressor Etc, Stereo Pan, Sound Wing can be programmed like Control, Tuning, Octave, Pitch wheel, all arranger keyboards, includModulation Wheel, Dynamic Curve ing the functions of accompaniment and many more). VST instrument exarranger, auto accompaniment, keypansions are also available, as well as board dynamics, Footswitch assignNative Instruments B4 VST Drawbars (Optional). Pegasus Wing players will enjoy the use of 20+ drum set sounds, Wersi-Chord, and the legendary Wersi drawbar sound. Retail price: $3671.21. www.wersimusic.com

SEPTEMBER 2011


145 years

PETROFF

sounds...

DANIEL HERTZ SA


Piano & Keyboard

Charting a

New Course The National Piano Travelers Association Plots New Turns in the Road Ahead As Dawn DeMars tells it, there was a time when someone had to step in and show presenters at early NAMM shows how to have a good time. “Back at their first trade shows and get-togethers, there was no entertainment,” she says. “There were no cocktail parties, no concerts, no suites open – nothing. And the only thing that went on was the National Piano Travelers Association’s annual dinner and annual meeting. At that time, what I’m told by the older generation was that dealers would call up their reps and try to coerce them into some free tickets for the dinner.” The National Piano Travelers Association (NPTA), a 107-year-old group of piano sales professionals, is still around and kicking, but one of the oldest musical instrument social networks in the country is about to get a reboot. The long-running and beloved NPTA is set to make the move to non-profit status and a new, all-inclusive policy toward electronic pianos. The moves, they hope, will mean

NPTA president Glenn Clutter. 48 MMR

more chances to make a difference with charities and youth groups as well as a steady growth in membership. DeMars is the NPTA’s secretary/treasurer and store manager at Keyboard Concepts in Aguara Hills, Calif. Her piano business resumé is packed — she sold her first piano in 1967, served as vice president of sales and operations for Sherman Clay, owned several piano stores, worked as an industry consultant, and has been a trustee with NAMM. She says she couldn’t be more excited about this year’s NPTA developments. “I think the spirit of those original NPTA members was to help each other and share information,” she says, noting that they’re about halfway through the organizational transition process. “By the January meeting of this next year, we want to walk into that room and say, ‘We’ve done it. Now let’s have some fun.’”

The NPTA began in 1904 as a collection of traveling independent piano representatives, formed as a social group with annual meetings and as a support network that counterbalanced labor problems in the industry, working almost like a musicians’ union. They held their own meetings prior to NAMM’s existence, but later incorporated their gatherings into its schedule. When members would have problems with piano manufacturers, sometimes getting blacklisted or having pay withheld, DeMars says that the NPTA was able to provide advice or even help with legal fees. The group’s only lapse in activity came during and briefly after World War II, and this saw not only a period of downtime, but also a disastrous fire in Chicago which destroyed much of the SEPTEMBER 2011


group’s paperwork and artifacts, including the ceremonial gavel. DeMars credits well-known piano traveler and one-time NPTA president Wilton Syckes with reviving the program. “I’m gonna tell you – that book was sent to me!” says DeMars. Today, the group meets for dinner every January in the midst of the trade show to swap stories and share ideas. Glenn Clutter, the group’s president and a traveling rep with Schimmel Piano, says the camaraderie has been the group’s greatest asset. “It helps when you travel for a living and you get along with all your other peers and reps,” he says. “You get to sit down with them once a year, have a drink, and talk about what’s going on in the industry. That’s really good. You get to know your competition and they get to know you, and it’s all a pretty friendly competition in our business.” In recent times, the group’s membership has changed to encompass not just independent reps (whose numbers are dwindling), but everyone from manufacturing executives to retailers, importers and technicians. The group recently discovered an old copy of an NPTA handbook published in 1915, which has since served as an inspiration for creating new bylaws and organization for the group. In the early years of the association, member handbooks came stuffed with helpful info on everything from new sales tax laws to railroad rates and hotel information. The group continues the goal of providing travel tips and advice to this day, with links to preferred hotels, entertainment groups throughout the world, regional tax information and a member directory for one-on-one connections. The new changes to the group came to a vote at last winter’s meeting, when NPTA found itself at a crossroads. Clutter says the decision was finally put on the table to either split up as an official association and meet informally from now on, or to incorporate, become a non-profit, and start really focusing on growing into a more active group for each other and for charities. The decision was unanimous to grow, and DeMars says they had enough donations that night to cover legal expenses involved with the transition. Actions DeMars has in mind include connecting SEPTEMBER 2011

with music education foundations to provide scholarships and free lessons with piano rentals and purchases. “So by the end of the evening, the future was really bright for the NPTA,” says DeMars. Not only that, but the group also elected to finally open membership to digital keyboard reps, a move they hope will bring in new blood. “It’s mostly because the acoustic members are all get-

ting old!” says Clutter. “It’s time we get more youth coming on board.” DeMars notes that markets have overlapped enough lately that it made sense to include reps from companies of all types. “Back in the day, an organ was an organ and piano was a piano and there was a distinction,” she says. “But most people are going to start with a rental piano, keyboard, or a digital piano, and hopefully they do great and that feeds

MMR 49


the piano industry. We want to be good friends and neighbors with digital manufacturers, their staff, and their travelers.” All in all, it’s an exciting time for the group. This year even saw a 25 percent growth in membership, DeMars says, a trend she hopes will continue in the near future with increased awareness and a more open membership. She says that she didn’t even know the group existed until a friend at NAMM invited her to a meeting ten years ago, despite having been an extremely active member of the business for decades. She suspects that many future members are also just an invitation away from recognizing the benefits of the group. “It’s all about that one evening during NAMM that the guys save just for NPTA, so they have one night where they can kick back and enjoy some music and their friends in the association,” she says. And it’s only about to get better. “Once we get to the point where we can actually do some great projects in the world, then it will be even more fun to come in and report.” For more information on the NPTA, visit www.pianotravelers.com.

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Dawn DeMars and recent NPTA president Dick Christian present longtime member Lloyd Meyer with the Lifetime Achievement Award at last year’s annual meeting.

SEPTEMBER 2011


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Show Report

Summer

NAMM 2011 Industry Convenes in Music City, U.S.A. – A ‘Mixed Bag’ of Sorts, but Signs of Life Abound…

The “official” numbers offered by NAMM for this summer’s three-day gathering in Nashville report 10,898 total registrants – representing a 13 percent decrease from 2010. However, offsetting that somewhat disappointing showing, attendance at NAMM University courses are said to have increased, compared to last year’s gathering. Also, overall attendance at the NAMM University Breakfast Sessions grew by 27 percent. There were notably more events, parties and the like than in recent years, suggestive of a rebounding (albeit still very slowly) MI industry. Additionally, this summer NAMM presented the inaugural “Top 100 Dealers Awards,” to honor those retailers who best exemplify business acumen and service to the music community, and to share their strategies for success.

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1. Tom and Alex Bellinson of Dingdrum. 2. John Coniglio, Cindy Overton, and Chris Pelletier of Strings by Aurora. 3. Paul Frederick visits with Dick Markus of Direct Music Supply. 4. Yorkville Sound’s Martin Reichhart and Phil Betette. 5. Flaxwood’s Rick Nelson, J.P. Karppinen, and Harry Orlove. 6. Frank Brockman and Adrian Hayes-Santos of Tonerite.

SEPTEMBER 2011


‘This is the Right Place…’ While the general assessments of this year’s Summer NAMM from the exhibitors and dealers we spoke with varied somewhat, all (literally) were in agreement that Nashville is not only a good location for the industry get-together; it’s the ideal location. “Nashville needs to be the home of Summer NAMM. Period,” says John Hawkins of Samick Music Corporation. “It is a great place to hang your hat for a few days and the show will grow as the economy comes back to at least ‘bad’ from the current recession abyss.” Mike Shellhammer of Morgan Hill Music/Boulder Creek Guitars agrees (“Indy and Austin were bombs. If there is to be a summer show, it needs to be in Nashville”), as does Pigtronix’ David Koltai (“Nashville is the ideal spot”) and Chris Brady of Aquarian Drum Heads (“Moving back to Nashville was a positive decision”).

“Dealers are starting to look to the future and plan again which is a good sign.”

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1. Muriel Anderson and Tierra Negra open the NAMM U Breakfast on Thursday, July 21, 2011. 2. Galaxy Audio’s Yule Jabara. 3. Amilcar Dohrn-Melendez of Cordoba Music Group. 4. Amptweaker’s James Brown. 5. Orin Portnoy of CE Distribution. 6. The Grand Opening party for D’Addario’s new Nashville Artist Studio. 7. Sarah and Bob Heil of Heil Sound. 8. Tom and Kevin Dougherty of Cedar Creek Custom Case Shoppe. 9. Pete LaPlaca of F.E. Olds with Becca Bisque of Golden Music. 10. Bill Walzak of Pro Active Websites. 11. CAD Audio’s Jeff Beck. 12. Kevin Weiss of Marshall Electronics. 13. Amilcar Dohrn-Melendez of Cordoba Music Group. 14. Floyd Rose Marketing’s Phil Claycomb. 15. Jim Klingler and Shun-Hwa Chang of American Way Marketing, LLC. 16. Mother and daughter team of Jodi Ann and Kaleight Parker of Players Products. 17. Mike and Irwin Berg of Humes & Berg.

– Tim Pfouts Unfortunately, though, location alone doesn’t ensure success across the board: “Historically, the Summer Show has always been important for us to draw the independent east coast, Midwest, and southern dealer,” notes Tim Pfouts of S.I.T. Strings. “Before moving out of Nashville the first time to Indy, the show was great. Then, Indy was a ghost town. Austin was OK, but never really pulled the dealers in the Midwest or east coast due to the location. When [Summer NAMM] moved back to Nashville, I was hoping for a return of the show [as it had been] before it moved out, but it just hasn’t happened yet. The economy, I’m sure, has played a large role in this as well. We would like the Summer Show to do well again and attract the dealers, SEPTEMBER 2011

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but it is just not there yet.” “If Summer NAMM were not in a very cool city like Nashville no one would come,” asserts Sara Heil of Heil Sound. “Anaheim rules and that will never change. Our feeling, corporately, is that the Show is most definitely moving to MI-only. They are fast becoming a little light on the pro side of the industry.” But, as previously stated, opinions on the show vary. “We’ve had buyers coming through each day, so this year’s show has been very good for us, in terms of sales,” says Levy’s Leathers’ Harvey Levy. “I think we’ve finally turned the corner.” Many, such as Shellhammer, agree: “Last year [Summer NAMM] was good for us, but this year was actually better.” Among the most definitive and encouraging comments about the Summer Show come from Joe Lamond, himself: “In my opinion, the questions about the future of the Summer NAMM are answered. This gathering offers obvious benefits to our members and the industry and I believe we’ve concluded that particular discussion. Summer NAMM will continue.”

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An ‘Industry-Only’ Convention (Mostly) The jury would appear to still be out when it comes to allowing the public to attend the convention on select days. NAMM reports that “Wanna Play Music Day” brought 1,133 visitors on the final day of the Show – which some see as a decidedly good thing. “It saved the show this year,” asserts David Koltai. “Great idea. Do it again!” Aquarian’s Brady agrees, saying, “It’s a great idea for the last day of the show.” Some were less gung-ho, however. John Hawkins says, “It’s fine for product demos, not so good for doing business with dealers. Dealers tell me they do not want to be there with all the consumers. Overall, the Public Day was done much better this year and, as an exhibitor, we much prefer to end the show on Saturday.” Others, like Sarah Heil, are even less patient with the “public day” concept: “I am very unhappy with the ‘Public Day.’ This show, as well as Winter NAMM, is an industry show. Companies have to shift into an entirely different mode for the public. Pricing needs to be carefully differentiated between industry people

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and the public. The question remains: Does it build enthusiasm for a product because [consumers can] see it at the show? We don’t think so.” What’s Going On Out There? Though we’re all tired of hearing (or reading, or writing) the phrase, nothing could sum up the sense of the overall state of the industry more accurately than, “cautiously optimistic.” “Things seem to have settled some,” says Pfouts. “Dealers are starting to look to the future and plan again which is a good sign. As a manufacturer, one of the biggest changes I have noticed is the difficulty in predicting demand. People wait a little longer to order and then need product sooner. This holds true in the whole supply chain from the end consumer all the way to the factory. I think this is indicative of the economy as a whole, not just MI. We just have to adjust.” “It seems the mid-size dealers are the ones that are taking the economy hit [hardest],” offers Mike Shellhammer. “The small, low overhead dealers seem to be doing OK and the big guys are buying each other up, or going away. The middle class dealer seems to be struggling in the U.S.A., 1. Bob Yerby of Remo, Inc., Andy Zildjian of Sabian, and Brian Levan of Remo. 2. Karl Broderix, Mary Faith Rhodes-Lewis and Todd Lewis of Breezy Ridge Instruments. 3. Joe Fucini of FuciniPro, Sid Davis of MMR, and Scott Davies of American DJ. 4. The Levy’s Leathers team – (rear): Ben Myron, Brett Marcus, DJ Levy, Jerome MacPherson, and Larry Greene (front): Rachel, Harvey and Nikki Levy with Garth Giesbrecht. 5. Tim Carroll, Elizabeth Cook, and Bones Hillman of The Elizabeth Cook Band flank Marco Soccoli of D’Addario (middle-left).

5 SEPTEMBER 2011


just like the middle class people. International sales seem to be picking up for us, even though we do most of our international business at the Anaheim Show.” John Hawkins observes, “Anybody in the electric guitar side of [the business] is asking, ‘Who turned off the lights?’ Dealers are telling me their acoustic guitar sales are doing well, but electrics are tough with the possible exception of the very high end of the market. My guess – make that a WAG – is that acoustic guitars will rule the day through Q4 and into 2012. We also are providing more and more video content to our dealers for their Websites and in-store displays. Most dealers understand they have to go get new customers, as they rarely just wander in from the streets to hand over hard earned cash. We’ll do anything we can to help since our business is built squarely on the backs of our independent music stores.” Still the Most Important Meal of the Day… Summer NAMM 2011’s NAMM U Breakfast sessions kicked off with a lively display of flamenco music by Muriel Anderson, who played her unique harp guitar and was accompanied by the Ger1. Melanie Dyer and Daniel Cooper, Coopercopia. 2. Dave Chiapetta and Rob Segall of Tone Gear Inc. 3. Robin Lewis, co-author of “The New Rules of Retail,” sits down with NAMM’s Joe Lamond at the NAMM U Breakfast on Thursday, July 21, 2011. 4. Saga Musical Instruments: Rich Ferris, David Gartland, and Tom Molyneaux. 5. Feifei Luo, Michael O’Lee, and Jing Yu of Eleca International. 6. Phil Slight, Mike Upton, and Rick Carlson, Kala Brand Music. 7. Voyage Air Guitars’ Adrian Bagale and Michael Ferucci. 8. Peak Musical Instruments’ Jonathan Tai and Pamela Liu. 9. Jerry Andreas with Steph Maffei of SKB Cases. 10. Rich McKenzie and Christopher Rohrecker of Connolly Music Co. 11. Bob Reardon, Bobby Cochran, and John Farquharson, Sonic Distribution USA. 12. Godin Guitars’ Suzy McDaniel, Bill McDaniel , and Mario Biferali. 13. Darius Seabaugh, Lucas McCully, and Tracy Dietrich of the RapcoHorizon Co.

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tion. However, he notes that, “Retail is changing; human nature is not.” Now that the consumer has such a vast array of products to choose from, retailers must move beyond simply making products available to creating a great buying experience. Lewis states that a positive buying experience can be neurologically addictive, wherein people become excited about the prospect of buying

“This gathering offers obvious benefits to our members and the industry and I believe we’ve concluded that particular discussion. Summer NAMM will continue.” – Joe Lamond of the 20th century, tables had turned and there were more goods than demand (which necessitated an increase in marketing and media); and the third wave is just getting underway now, where consumer have virtually unlimited access to and control of the goods they choose to buy. According to Lewis, these shifts have been driven by technology and globaliza-

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man duo of Tierra Negra. The topic of the Thursday session was retail, featuring special guest Robin Lewis, who runs the Robin Report blog and is co-author of the publication, “The New Rules of Retail.” Lewis spoke in detail about the evolution of trends in retail, highlighting three distinct phases: in the early 1800s, there was more demand than goods; by the middle

something, and then there is a natural rush upon completing the buying cycle, as long as the experience lives up to consumers’ expectations. In a pithy phrase, this concept can be summed up by engaging the consumer with the sensation that products are “built by us, made for you.” After Lewis worked his way through a detailed and informative PowerPoint

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presentation, NAMM CEO Joe Lamond brought out a panel of MI retailers to discuss the how trends brought up by Lewis in his presentation and in his book applied to the MI industry. The panel of music store owners largely agreed with the tenets set forth by Lewis, with some even expanding the idea. “Small is the new big,” said Laurie Supinie of Wichita, Kansas’s Senseney Music, referring to the trend in creating small, targeted retail outlets instead of the mega-stores that have been popular for so long. Lewis asserted that the three keys to success in the modern retail era are experiential superiority (providing the best buying experience), distribution superiority (providing the best goods quickly and efficiently), and John Arnold superior value chain presents the top 10 control (defining web-based trends needs, demand, and at Day 2 of the experience, and then NAMM U Breakfast optimizing products Sessions.

and methods of delivery to meet those defined goals). The second day of the NAMM U breakfast sessions featured author, consultant, speaker, and trainer, John Arnold, who shared the latest top 10 webbased trends. In summary, they were: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Local-based Marketing Instant Search Social Media Monitoring Social Media Marketing Mobile Marketing Online Display Advertising Email Marketing Social Shopping Instant Messaging Online TV

“Marketing technology isn’t about the technology,” says Arnold, “it’s about reaching people, building relationships, and staying in touch.” Arnold spoke in detail about the difference between marketing and simply keeping an ear to the ground and an eye on various social media outlets to stay up to speed on what consumers are saying. Both of these can be extremely valuable for retail outlets,

with the first being the opportunity to share sales and products and the latter being the chance to see what the consumers in a particular area are looking for, and how they feel about available retail options. Another key to bear in mind in online marketing is that not everyone is ready to buy all the time; a continuous online presence is necessary to be on the forefront whenever the consumer does become ready to purchase. As far as mobile marketing, according to Arnold, smartphones are still outsmarting consumers, but that will chance rapidly as the average user begins to grasp the full capabilities of these portable devices. It’s important to control Web space now, even if only to be prepared for whenever consumers become savvier. The bottom line is that with so many different web marketing tools, it’s critical to not get bogged down trying to do too much – look for the most relevant advertising and social media avenues in a particular region and market, develop a presence in those areas, and keep an eye on the changes in how consumers are making their purchasing decisions.

And the Winner Is… The first ever NAMM Top 100 Dealer Awards ceremony on Friday was a lively affair from the get-go, with guests jammed into the hallway outside the ballroom well in advance of the start-time. The energetic vibe continued throughout the hour-long event, with Nashville television and radio personality Storme Warren serving as host and presenter. “No one works harder than the local community music store,” declared NAMM’s Joe Lamond, as the event got underway. “It’s an honor to pay tribute to those who go out every day and help customers realize their musical dreams.” The big winner of the night wound up being Wichita, Kansas’ Senseney Music, taking away the “Dealer of the Year” award, while newcomer Fat Tone Guitars of Northbrook, Ill. was honored as “Rookie of the Year.” Aside from the Top 100 Dealers, themselves, there were a handful of “Best Of” winners who were called to the stage to accept their trophies. 56 MMR

awarded points. American Express and “Best Of” Award Winners: TSYS Merchant Solutions were spon• Best Curb Appeal : Chuck Levin’s sors of the presentation. For a full list of Washington Music Center NAMM’s Top 100 Dealers of 2011, • Best Merchandising & Display: visit www.namm.org. Artisan Guitars • Best Ad : West Music • Best Social Media : Candyman Strings & Things • Best Sales Promotion: Tobias Music • Best Website : Simon Ripley’s Music & Art • Support Music Award : West Music • Wanna Play Dealer Award: Candyman Strings & Things • Best Clinics & Events: Chuck Levin’s Washington Music Center A panel of anonymous industry figures served as judgStorme Warren, host of the first ever NAMM Top 100 Dealer es for the awards, which were Awards, presents Lori Supinie of Senseney Music (Wichita, selected based on a numeric Kans.) with the award for “Dealer of the Year” at Friday night’s tabulation of cumulative ceremony in Nashville. SEPTEMBER 2011


TONIC Seminar 2010 International Seminar: Exploring Sustainable Materials,the market drivers on why we need to use alternatives to exotic tonewoods, from the latest government legislation, to the scarcity of supply to changing demand and environmental awareness. Rob Connell chaired the seminar and told MMR that, “We were pleased to address an international audience and gain such positive feedback on replacing ebony and exotic tonewoods with environmentally responsible natural fiber composites.” He further added that, “The project team were particularly grateful, if not pleasantly surprised at the positive comments and offers of support from the NAMM members, with an audience that could have been tough to crack in terms JP Karppinen of Flaxwood Guitars, Rick Nelson of Nelson of being music industry International Associates, and Neil Lilien of RS Berkeley at traditionalists, a posiWednesday morning’s Tonal Innovation Center (TONIC) Seminar. On July 22 the Tonal Innovation Center (TONIC) hosted a seminar to discuss laws restricting the use of certain woods and other organic materials and the options presented via the employment of alternative and sustainable tone materials, instead. Attendees learned more about the use of Natural Fiber Composites, with video outlining the manufacturing process of the material from start to finish, as well as actual examples of composite guitar necks and bodies that were on-site. The seminar covered the highlights from the

tive response was gained from the media, manufacturers, resellers, repairers and luthiers, environmental groups and the attending NAMM executives.” In production at the time of the seminar was a new violin fingerboard made through a unique and patented injection molding technique using a natural fiber composite with the same density and similar look and feel as ebony with some added advantages not just in terms of environmental costs, but in terms of consistent quality, reduced labor costs (as it is a finished component) with added player advantages such as being more wear resistant and not least being impervious to humidity, such as that experienced in Nashville. A further request for support from the music industry has gone out for the 2nd International Seminar in Finland, with a welcome Reception on the evening of Wednesday September 14th and with the seminar and workshops from Thursday the 15th to Friday the 16th. To register go to www.tonal.fi.

2011-12 NAMM Executive Committee Elected The election of NAMM’s 2011-2012 Executive Committee, which took place July 23 at a meeting of the NAMM Board of Directors during Summer NAMM, denotes a change in NAMM’s volunteer leadership with Kevin Cranley, president of Willis Music Company in Florence, Ky., taking over for outgoing NAMM Chairman Tom Schmitt, president and chairman of Schmitt Music Company in Minnesota. Further election results were as follows: Chairman—Kevin Cranley, president of Willis Music Company; Vice Chairman—Larry Morton, president of Hal Leonard Corporation; Treasurer— Mark Goff, president of Paige’s Music; Secretary—Robin Walenta, president and CEO of West Music Company; NAMM Representative—Joe Lamond, NAMM president and CEO. The 2012 NAMM Show will take place Jan. 19-22, 2012 in Anaheim Calif., while the SEPTEMBER 2011

next Summer NAMM will be held in Nashville, July 12-14, 2012.

Kevin Cranley, Joe Lamond, Robin Walenta, Larry Morton, and Mark Goff. MMR 57


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1. At the Tri-Technical Systems’ booth: Margie Walker, Greg Yoki, Dave Cox, Paul Acton and Ron Koppes. 2. Sharon Hennessey and Kate Yeager of The Music People with Michael Dietz of Bailey Brothers Music Co. (center). 3. Stewart Spector, Matt Summy of Hanser Music Group. 4. Goldma Yariv of Music Creed. 5. Mike Matthews of New Sensor/Electro Harmonix. 6. Peter D’Addario at the Grand Opening of the D’Addario artist relations center in Nashville. 7. John Sheridan of Supernaturals. 8. Ernie Lansford of Ampeg. 9. Richard Galime, DANSR. 10. Ken Fuente with Jerry and Crystal Freed of Gator Cases. 11. Lorne Graham and Eugene Garb of NEMC with Dave Richards of R&H Music. 12. Yamaha Corporation of America: Rick Young, Nate Tschetter, and John Shaloup.

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1. Paul Reynoso, Gary Mobley, Dave Coontz, and Gary Swallows of Shubb Capos. 2. Danny Rocks of The Company Rocks. 3. Haw-Ren Chen of Audio 2000’s. 4. EMD Music’s Dan Barker. 5. Ukelele maker Donna LoPrinzi with Hitomi Kato of Kiwaya USA. 6. Tom Hintz and Dana Ringlestetter, Ritter Europe. 7. Osiamo’s Chester Myren. 8. Aquarian’s Chris Brady. 9. John Broermann of the MDRG. 10. Stephen and William Cornell of AMV. 11. Allen Gatchell and Steve Crisafulli, Gatchell Violins Company, Inc. 12. Mike Schwab, Warren Kost, Grant Deaton and Guy Petty of SHS Music International.

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1. Miami Audio Music: Marco Franca, Milton Barbosa, Ricardo Albuquerque, Renato Silva, Erotilde Silva, and Renan Albuquerque. 2. Kyser Musical Products, Inc.: Randall Williams, Nick Palmer, and Chuck Day. 3. Fishman’s Chris DeMaria. 4. Mike Shellhammer of Morgan Hill Music. 5. Joseph and Rick Guuriglia, Creators Touch. 6. David Jahnke and Larry Morton, Hal Leonard. 7. Kyle Eggum and Mike Wong of Crossrock Cases. 8. Neil Lilien of Berkeley Musical Inst. and Rob Connell of TONIC. 9. Dale and Sylvia Ryan of Grip Studios. 10. S.I.T. Strings Co., Inc.: Bryan Trembley and Tim Pfouts. 11. Tabor Stamper and Andy Strayer, Mapex. 12. Michael and Natalie Nash, Computerized Guitar.

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SEPTEMBER 2011


Best & Worst of Show

Awards

Best Crowd

The attendance for the two Facebook-oriented seminars at the NAMM Idea Center on Friday was amongst the largest and liveliest we noticed all weekend. I guess it’s safe to say that show-goers still “like” learning about how best to maximize the potential behind social media platforms…

Worst Meal

Did we order sushi? The entirely raw salmon filet served in the upstairs dining room at the Merchant Restaurant was… unexpected. Tip for the future: eat downstairs.

Best Ride Earlier this year, Orange County Choppers (OCC) created a unique, “cymbal-themed” chopper for Supernatural Cymbals. The bike appeared on the 2011 season premier of “American Chopper – Senior vs. Junior” and made its first public stop at Supernatural’s booth this summer in Nashville where it was a definitely attention-getter.

Best PR

Chris Martin sticking around for hours to sign autographs at the C.F. Martin Guitars booth on Sunday was unquestionably a hit with “the public.”

Best Celebrity Music Advocate

Even staunch Red Sox fans, such as ourselves, couldn’t help but be won over by Bernie Williams’ good-natured demeanor and enthusiastic support for music-making. After speaking at the NAMM Idea Center on Saturday afternoon, the N.Y. Yankee great and Latin-Grammy-nominated guitarist (jeez, Bernie – way to make the rest of us feel inadequate…) stuck around to sign copies of his new book, Rhythms of the Game: The Link Between Musical and Athletic Performance.

Worst Wake-up Call

Blasting and other construction-related racket beginning at 5:45 am each morning at the site of the new convention center site. Hopefully the new facility (which, truth be told, looks like it will be quite nice – check out the artist’s depiction of the finished building) makes as much noise for NAMM and the whole industry when it opens!

Best Appetizers

The cocktail party celebrating the launch of next May’s NAMM/ Messe Frankfurt shows in Russia boasted caviar and top-shelf vodka, among other delicacies. Na zdorovie, indeed! SEPTEMBER 2011

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Awards

Best & Worst of Show Worst Idea

Best (Nearby) BBQ

It’s roughly 100 degrees, you’re wearing relatively snug black jeans, a thick dark green polo shirt, and uncomfortable dress shoes – the obvious choice is to walk the 1.4 miles to White Castle for lunch, right? Sooooo sweaty, so uncomfortable, so tired… Curse you, White Castle, and your delicious steamed “beef” patties!

We’re sticking with our assessment from last year, which anointed Bailey & Cato Family Restaurant the best BBQ in Nashville (and, in our estimation, the whole country), but this year MMR’s editorial staff was pleased to discover a close-to-theconvention-center alternative to the (still very good) fare available at Jack’s on Broadway: Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant on 5th & Church had enough quality pulled pork, ribs, and deep-fried everything to keep us amply stuffed.

Best Victory Finally(!) besting associate editor Eliahu Sussman at a game of cricket at the Springwater Supper Club & Lounge down by Vanderbilt University. The man is frustratingly

Worst ‘What an Incredible Smell You’ve Discovered!’ Moment Rotting garbage (and worse!) baking in the summer sun consistently makes the alley behind the clubs and bars that line Broadway… fragrant. For some reason, the stench was particularly stunning the first two days of this year’s Show.

Worst Cab Ride There wasn’t anything all that “worst” about it, really, but having to wait for a cab after returning home to Boston at 1am – when you know you have to be up and nose-to-the-proverbialgrindstone in only a few hours – surely isn’t a “best” either…

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good at all types of “bar games” (pool, darts). It’s entirely possible that, after having been thoroughly humiliated in the first four rounds, I was “allowed” to win, but I’ll take it!

Best Axeman With all due respect to the many gifted, high-profile endorsing artists who showed up at Summer NAMM, this is the second year in a row we’ve been left with our jaws on the floor after watching the guitar heroics of J.D. Simo, a regular fixture at Robert’s Western on Broadway. The music is (predictably) usually of the country-ish/ country-blues variety, but Simo can do pretty much anything in virtually any style. If you happen to be a guitarist and fancy yourself to be decent, hop onto YouTube, search for J.D. Simo, and prepare to be humbled…

Best Free Swag If you’ve been to Summer NAMM in Nashville before, then you know the drill: Sure, you can count on great BBQ and bars with non-stop (and usually extremely high quality) bands, but you can also bank on temps maxing out past 100 degrees Fahrenheit. As such, Gator Cases’ complimentary water bottles were a much-appreciated freebie.

Worst Packing Mishap Referencing the hot weather noted above ^^^, anyone who’s attended Summer Session before and who plans to be doing a good amount of walking around outside in the scorching sun knows to pack at least one pair of shorts. Anyone who’s been to eight prior Summer NAMM Shows in Nashville would, presumably, be even more aware of this… Thankfully Sam’s Clothing & Shoes on 5th Avenue North stocked some Dickies shorts, which didn’t break the bank (and which worked equally well as a bathing suit!).

Best Swag – Part II D’Addario threw quite the shindig on July 20th to celebrate the opening of its new Nashville artist relations office. In addition to BBQ and live music, the company also treated guests to a wide variety of accessories, including strings, drumsticks, picks, tuners, and drum heads. Very generous – thanks, guys (and gals)! SEPTEMBER 2011


1. Ari Simon, Josh Touchton, and Tom Spaulding, D’addario. 2. MXL Microphones’ Jim Mona and Gina Gameroz. 3. Raw Talent Guitars’ team: Larry, Shaun and Scott Fisher with Marc Quadagno. 4. Brian Swerdfeger of Taylor Guitars. 5. Breedlove Guitar Co.’s Colin Besancon. 6. Bee Bantug of Retail Up! 7. Tom Beddell of Two Old Hippies. 8. Colorado Case Company’s Steve Simmons. 9. Roland’s Gary Lenaire. 10. William Wiggins of the Nashville Symphony visits with Neil Grover of Grover Pro Percussion/Silver Fox Drumsticks. 11. Marc Ingber and Amy Kenna of Score Marketing. 12. Marc Harris of Harris Music with Nick Petromelli of EKO Guitars. 13. Tropical Music’s Nelson Rodriguez and and Don Rhodes.

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1. EMG’s Scott Wunschel, Rob Turner, Hap Kuffner, and James Kearney. 2. Dave Andrus of Reunion Blues. 3. Chris Meikle of St. Louis Music. 4. Andrew Papiccio of AP International. 5. Dave Chiappetta and Rob Segall, Tonegear. 6. Zenph’s Jim Derrickson with Michael Loh of iConnectivity. 7. Eastman Strings’ Tim Finch. 8. John Hawkins of Samick Music Corp. 9. Dean Kline of Asterope. 10. Larry Morton and Brad Smith of Hal Leonard Corp. 11. Cindy Overton and Chris Pelletier of Aurora Strings Mfg. 12. Mike Birduck, Dan Roeber, and Jason How of Rotosound with OMG Music’s Mark Blasko.

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SEPTEMBER 2011


1. Panelists discuss the “New Rules of Retail” with author Robin Lewis and NAMM’s Joe Lamond. 2. DR Strings: Kim Klukosky, Anthony Corona, and Rosa Daza. 3. David Koltai and Jer Coons of Pigtronix. 4. John Coniglio, Cindy Overton, and Chris Pelletier of Strings by Aurora. 5. Dan Barker, Andrew Swift and Antony (Tony) Graham of EMD Music. 6. Keith Dudley and Loren Molinare of Blackstar with Korg USA’s A.J. Reitz and Brad Hochstetler.

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MMR 65


Retail

Unique Squared Mobile Studio

Takes to the Road

“It’ll be interesting for people who saw what we did last year to see this and just see our growth as a company and an actual authority in pro audio. . . I want to see jaws drop.” 68 MMR

When shopping for a new piece of gear, most musicians like the “try before you buy” approach. Unique Squared, Inc., an online pro audio retailer based in Atlanta, took that idea on the road this year, packing what amounts to full recording studio across the country to give potential customers up-close and hands-on demonstrations in very real world situations. The company created the mobile recording facility earlier this year, teaming up with several major pro audio manufacturers to equip a tour bus that the company intends to take all over the U.S. With equipment provided by AKAI, Alesis, AVID, Auralex, Mackie, Monster, Numark, PreSonus and Shure, the Unique Squared Mobile Studio is intended to demonstrate the quality of recording that can be obtained in a small

facility stocked with modestly priced equipment. “You don’t have to spend $34,000 on a studio,” says Unique Squared marketing director Ariff Glick. “You can spend a fraction of that amount and get a good [result].” And there are plenty of reviewable results – the company’s blog, chronicling the Mobile Studio’s travels, is already stocked with audio tracks and video produced within the bus. The SEPTEMBER 2011


Unique Squared Mobile Studio also has a visually striking exterior, decorated with an image of the Atlanta skyline, a conceptual mixing board and the names of its sponsors. Glick says the company hopes for the vehicle’s distinctive profile to be seen in more cities soon, enabling the creation of music wherever it goes. Unique Squared unveiled the Mobile Studio in March in the company’s hometown before sending it off on a journey that included stops at the Winter Music Conference (WMC) in Miami, Fla. and South By Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas. After a packed summer, the bus tour winds down this fall with stops at CMJ in New York City and in Atlanta. According to Glick, the facility demonstrates the capabilities of products Unique Squared sells by actual audio documentation of creative work performed on the spot. “We want to capture content,” Glick says. “We want to show them by actually having them record something on there. It’s all about the experience – getting them to experience recording on the bus.” Driver’s Ed There’s been quite a learning curve in the process so far, Glick says, but they’ve worked the idea into organized battle plans at every stop on the way. This includes an “A-team” of producers and project managers, detailed festival itineraries, and what’s become an increasingly advanced system for hooking up vocalists with beats. “In the beginning, it was rough,” says Glick. “But now, the team plans out the entire event. We’ve figured out how many people can walk through the studio, what are the key points to make sure they know about, getting the rigs outside and then packed up again for travel.” The utility of the studio changes depending on the type of the music. At hiphop events, the studio takes beat submissions from producers over the Internet beforehand, sorting out the best tracks in order to have great raw material to use with vocalists who visit the studio. “For example we had producers submitting tracks weeks and months ahead of time,” says Glick. “Then we had a sort of SEPTEMBER 2011

committee go through everything to find which ones would please the ears to all the artists getting set to come in.” For rock bands, the crew has found different solutions. At one event in Atlanta, the company set up shop at the Five Spot Club and threw a show with five bands, who all performed live in the venue and then headed directly into the bus to write and record a new song. “We’re planning on doing one of those every quarter, it was such a success,” says Glick. It’s all added up to scads of new reallife face time for the otherwise strictly Internet-based company. “We’re not a brick-and-mortar store,” says Glick. “We don’t have anybody walking in and out, so it’s great to have a physical presence, especially one that’s on wheels. We can share what we do with people everywhere we go.” “It’s kind of a respect thing,” he continues. “We’re getting a lot of positive feedback finally. It’s like it’s come full circle – almost literally, since we’re about to head back to the festival that we got our whole start from.” Life In the Fast Lane The Unique Squared Mobile Studio stemmed from the company’s involvement in the AC3 hip hop festival, and specifically the creation of the A3C Mixtape: Beatz and Lyrics. During the 2009 edition of the festival, participating artists recorded vocal tracks at a nearby recording studio, but the following year, those organizing the project sought a means of recording on site. With the help of manufacturers, Unique Squared provided a mobile facility (a humble Winnebago) with the means to do this at the following year’s AC3 festival, which Glick points to as the inspiration for the Unique Squared Mobile Studio. At the beginning of this year, Unique Squared purchased the tour bus from Atlanta Custom Coach, which was gutted to provide enough room for a full band of up to eight people to record. In addition to the main recording area, the vehicle features a lounge and a separate control room, where tracks can be edited on the

Ariff Glick

“ You don’t have to spend $34,000 on a studio” spot. Up to 24 tracks can be recorded simultaneously, Glick said, while Vox guitars and an Alesis DM10 Studio Drum Kit are provided in the recording area. The company’s online growth is staggering as it is. Built from the ground up by a group of friends from Georgia Tech, the retailer has gone from a tiny online presence to a major presence in just a few years. “When we showed up at AC3 last year, we had to really try to get people to understand what we were trying to do,” Glick says. “People kind of looked at us like, ‘Are these guys serious?’ “But now, we do more and more every business every day,” he says. “The size of the company hasn’t changed much, but we’re picking up new products left and right.” The bus is both reflecting that growth and, you could say, driving it, with new product sponsors lining up for next year’s leg of the tour. Indeed, it’s a long way from that initial foray into the reels-on-wheels approach. “It’ll be interesting for people who saw what we did last year to see this and just see our growth as a company and an actual authority in pro audio,” says Glick. “It’ll be funny to see their faces. I want to see jaws drop.” MMR 69


A New Reed Creed Forestone Japan Emerges with a New Take On Synthetic Reeds

Forestone Japan recently began distributing through the U.S. with the same immodest goal that it’s pursued throughout Europe and East Asia – to become nothing less than the future of reed manufacturing. Built using real bamboo wood fibers and a brand new refining process, the company’s new synthetic reeds may be just that. Wind players have wrestled with the idea of synthetic reeds for decades – the temptation to work with reeds that have proven to be durable and consistent is always strong. But many have been turned

Forestone’s mold for bari sax reeds. 70 MMR

off by what’s often referred to as a “plastic” tone. Forestone started from similar attitudes toward reeds in general, says its president, Lars Heuseler. His product inventor first got the bug when he began noticing customer complaints about the quality of reeds while working as a show room manager. He brought the issue up with his suppliers, but eventually decided to work on his own solution. The Forestone saxophone and clarinet reed as it stands today is based on two innovations – a material created by a mix of polypropylene resin and cellulose wood fiber (which is over 50 percent bamboo fiber), and a molding and refining process that gets the tip down to a pristine 0.1 mm width. The result is a

handsome-looking brown reed with a feel that is strikingly similar to cane reeds. The product took decades to develop. “At that time our inventor decided on this, in the middle of the ‘70s, he decided to develop his own reed which is perfectly consistent and would sound like a good cane reed,” says Hueseler. “He knew natural reeds could never be consistent and players would never have a reed they could be satisfied with unless it’s synthetic.” Forestone Japan thus began its long and careful development phase. The company’s first mold for a clarinet reed was created ten years ago, which led to its first actual sale in 2008. The growth since then has been spectacular. Hueseler came on board in 2007 as an international marketing manager – he had worked SEPTEMBER 2011


a lifelong interest in Japan into full-time business pursuit, concentrating on Japanese studies and economics through school. “I’m a ‘Japanologist,’ as we say in Europe,” he says. When he joined the company, they had a product, but nothing resembling a logo or even a name. Soon, they had distributors throughout Japan and in China, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, as well as countries throughout Western Europe like Germany, Swizerland, Norway, Sweden, U.K., Italy and Austria. They just began distributing through the U.S. this year. Hueseler says it couldn’t come at a better time, and points to what he sees as a general decline in reed quality across the board. “Our founder surely didn’t know 30 years ago how low the bad the cane quality could get,” he says. “Synthetic reeds are the future. But not plastic – a hybrid reed which contains wood fiber but has all the advantages of synthetic reeds.” Which means, in short, that Heuseler’s targeting not just existing synthetic reed players but those who’ve stuck by natural reeds throughout their lives. This is a strategy he’s pursued with his endorsers as well, a group of certified “synthetic reed haters” who’ve been converted by the Forestone blend and construction. The only criticism so far has been constructive – after hearing from several

musicians that a wider reed may be better suited to some styles, the company has announced a new “Jazz Cut,” which is a wider reed that’s on its way soon. The reaction from worldwide distributers has been encouraging and Heuseler notes that so far, the most difficult market to break into has been the company’s native land of Japan. “The problem is that Japanese prefer foreign brands,” he says. “But lately we have gained a lot of media presence and the Japanese have started to appreciate their own work.” A partnership with St. Louis Music here in the U.S. was given the green light this past summer and marks the next step in the company’s rapid growth. “Since we joined our first big trade show at Musikmesse Frankfurt in 2010, things have moved forward pretty fast,” says Heuseler. “The reputation so far is incredible. We’re extremely excited as the U.S. market was our most desired market and we just needed the right partner.” Forestone isn’t stopping there. They’re already deep into plans for not just the new “Jazz Cut” reeds for alto and tenor saxophone, but new reeds for bass clarinet and a professional line-up for Bb clarinet. All in all, it’s an aggressive and confident push to send Forestone’s very particular brand of synthetic reeds into the mainstream once and for all. Heuseler is ready for it. “Forestone is the future,” he says.

Forestone president Lars Heuseler at the 2011 Ekoda Sax Festival with World Frontier employee Tamoyuki Sanno and saxophonist Toro Kanayama. SEPTEMBER 2011

MMR 71


Fresh Faces:

Finely Tuned Music A Lifetime Obsession Becomes a Business

Last year, New Jersey guitar tech and live music veteran Frank Moran had no inkling that he’d soon be starting a music business. A downsized economy, a lifelong love for guitars, and a vacant storefront in a dream location all came together this year to change that. The opportunity, Moran says, was simply too good to pass up. 72 MMR

Finely Tuned Music was born in Wharton, N.J. just this past March, and it’s already a community fixture, offering guitar lessons, sales, repairs, rentals and customizations from a small building on Main Street. A lifelong retail professional, Moran had spent 27 years building up musical connections and know-how through live bands, lessons, workshops, and pure experimentation. He offered repairs and custom work for friends in his spare time and coaching students when possible. A recent position as a store manager fell through when his company went through downsizing at the beginning of the year. “I’d been there a year and a half,” says Moran. “But after the layoff, I realized I’d always wanted to do a music store. I’ve been collecting guitars for many, many years and I wanted to take what I’d learned both working at different retailers and as a consumer and do something with it.” He decided that throughout his area of Northern New Jersey, including Wharton, Dover and Randolph, there was nowhere else offering his preferred combination of lessons, sales and repair. SEPTEMBER 2011


As he was making plans for the shop, he noticed a glaring vacancy on Main Street right between a barber shop and one of the tastiest BBQ joints in the area. It also happened to face a school crosswalk, where students would be heading home from school every day, a convenience that wasn’t lost on Moran. “Sometimes when you see an opportunity, you’ve got a jump on it whether you’re ready or not. It’s not going to pose itself again.” The rest is history – Finely Tuned Music opened on March 17th this year (on St. Patrick’s Day, for good luck). Moran’s main focus at the shop is lessons, mentioning that priority number one was to get enough students on board that he’d be able to cover the building and maintenance with that alone. A longtime coach of kids of all ages, Moran says that a goal of the business was to avoid an age limit for his students – whereas many teachers will only start teaching at ten years old, Moran will adapt lessons to anyone that wants to learn. The results can lead to a head-spinning series of lessons for Moran each day – teaching “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” to one of his few six-year-olds to working through Van Halen’s “Eruption” with one of a handful of 20-something shredders. Meanwhile, Moran’s taken a very personalized approach to his inventory, which is sized to fit the small room and includes guitars, guitar amps and accessories. He works through a lot of used guitars and tends to tune up most guitars that he does order new, so everything available at the shop has a personal touch. “I’m looking for affordable guitars for kids,” he says. “My inventory ranges from $100 guitars to $4,000 guitars. Your $4,000 guitar guy doesn’t come around too often, so I try to keep it toward affordable $100-500 range for guitars and simple amplifiers.” He leans towards Fender equipment, but also speaks highly of the business he’s done with Jay Turser guitars. “Just some of the best copies out there,” he says. Moran typically works on the Jay Tursers when they arrive, rewiring and re-soldering parts SEPTEMBER 2011

for a better sound, but still maintaining an affordable price tag. Moran keeps about 50 guitars in the shop, a number that fits well enough to keep the room jam-packed with wallto-wall instruments, but he isn’t ruling out the possibility of expanding to other types of instruments if things turn that way. The main thing for now, though, is staying on top of what inventory he already has. “It’s really all about lessons and repairs right now,” he says. “Obviously I want to sell stuff, but selling the retail is probably the biggest loss leader of doing this type of business for me. It’s just a matter of selling the right guitars and trying through the inventory – being inventoryconscious is absolutely the key to a successful business.” So it’s the third tier of the business – the custom and repair work – that Moran works at constantly in the workshop to catch up to the lessons. Moran has years of diverse experience in setting up guitars, installing pickups, installing tremolo systems, changing hardware and anything else you can think of on an electric guitar. He claims he’s no woodsmith and will typically sub out work to luthier friends that he has, and he doesn’t get much into amp repair, but there doesn’t seem to be much of a shortage of detailoriented electric guitar work to keep him busy. Much of the inspiration for the business, from the lessons to the personal nature of the store, comes from Moran’s old teacher, Tom Barth, late shopowner of the Music Box in Dover, N.J. Barth taught Moran in lessons from an early age and served as a mentor and

guide for a lot of Moran’s ideas about music today. Moran even sends all his amp repairs to Dave’s Sound in Whippany, N.J., who were also Barth’s go-to amp techs. It was Barth’s approach to lessons that shaped the way Moran approaches students at Finely Tuned – do-

ing everything he could to make every student feel as if he’d been waiting for their visit all day and making sure they were interested in every piece of music in every lesson. But it might be in the store setup itself that Moran found the most inspiration. In his own retail experience, Moran was no stranger to big box types of stores and the customer experience that went along with them. Barth’s was the opposite – small but comfortable. Moran aims to base his business on a relaxed one-on-one interaction, the way Barth ran his store. “It wasn’t like Guitar Center where there’s 40,000 guitars around you and and amplifiers and 20 kids playing around you at once,” he says. “I love going to those kinds of places, really. But it’s so loud.” Visitors won’t go into sensory overload at Finely Tuned Music, but they will get to be a part of Moran’s singular, personal vision. “It’s a dream of mine to always do this,” he says. “And that’s pretty much all there is to it.” MMR 73


At A Glance Arthur’s Music’s

Amy Osborne But full-time daughter: Mom also owns two other businesses, so I am one-third manager. I also do all of the store ads, website, most of the luthier/ repair work, and work on the sales floor.

Who: Amy Osborne What: Arthur’s Music Where: Indianapolis When: My grandparents Amos and Leola Arthur founded Arthur’s Music in 1952. Grandpa was an accomplished pedal steel player and grandma played mandolin. My mother Linda Osborne took over the reigns when grandpa retired in 1971. She still owns the store today.

Music for folks: We are mainly a fretted instrument store. We are widely known for specializing in folk, bluegrass, odd and ethnic instruments, including accordions, hammered dulcimers, didgeridoos, Irish/ Celtic instruments, ethnic percussion, and, of course, pedal and lap steels. Apparently Indy has lax child labor laws…: I was born into the business, as my mother was. They tell me I was 15 days old on my first day at work. I spent it sleeping in a pedal steel guitar case. Must have been nice! Could be said for all of us: I’ve played guitar for 28 years, although I should be a lot better than I am for playing that long! I also played clarinet and tenor sax in high school and have dabbled with lap steel and ukulele (before it was cool to do so!). Career low point: The day I found out that my best friend, bandmate, and longtime co-worker had been systematically stealing from the store for years. It was a

tough life- and equally important business lesson. It broke my heart. Still hurts. Career high point: The high point of my career happens everyday when happy customers tell me that every musician they know will hear about how much they love our store. That might sound cheesy, but it really validates the enormous amount of energy and stress it takes to run a successful and respected business in an industry dominated by Internet sales and a market that still has a hard time supporting working musicians. Oh wait, and also…: That, and meeting Ace Frehley at NAMM… What generation gap? The best thing about my job is having wonderful, if sometimes crusty, old-timers bringing in their prized Martin, 1960s Gibson Les Paul or RB250 banjo to get worked on exclusively by, “that girl in the Megadeth t-shirt.” Always cracks me up. Push/pull: The most important thing about doing business with a manufacturer is knowing when to let them push and when to push back. The basic four: The most important qualities to look for when hiring some-

“ Hire for common sense, honesty, kindness, and basic courtesy. Everything else can be taught.”

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SEPTEMBER 2011


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Who I admire most in this business: Hartley Peavey. If I could change one thing about this business, it would be: Internet sales. Membership has its privileges: My fiancé, Jeremy England, is a working bass player, currently in three bands that play around the state almost every weekend. We are getting married in October 2011 and I will officially join the “band wife” club!

We’ve got you covered. 1-800-558-3877 Shoreviewdistribution.com

What can I get you this evening? For my favorite meal, I’ll have an inch and a half thick organic grain fed T-bone steak, medium rare, homemade sharp cheddar macaroni & cheese, Steak N Shake fries. And a Diet Mountain Dew. And a caramel sundae. And an oatmeal raisin cookie. Last good band you saw live (Jeremy not included): Gee, this is a loaded question! I recently saw The Steepwater Band from Chicago – a refreshingly soulful rock band from right here in Indiana. Musicianship oozes from these guys. Plus, they respect good tone! There is nothing like a 50 year old humbucker cranked through a smokin’ hot low wattage tube amp. Everyone reading this should check them out! If I was a cartoon character, I’d: Die for Dethklok! True or False: Can you be happy and rich in the music instrument business? Depends on your definition of rich... We’re still here and I’m pretty sure I have enough gas to get back here tomorrow! Words to live by: “Rock and Roll ain’t noise pollution...” – Brian Johnson, AC/DC SEPTEMBER 2011

Breaking News! Find it in the Hot News section of MMR’s Web site, www.mmrmagazine.com MMR 75


Retail

Cripple Creek Music Co. Goin’ Up to Cripple Creek to Have a Little Fun… BY RICHARD WEISSMAN

Cripple Creek Music takes its name from the famous mountain song, “Cripple Creek,” which also served as the instrumental tune that Roy Clark and Buck Owens used to play on the “Hee Haw” TV Show.

Store manager Mark De Groft.

“We almost never have a bad week.”

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One of the most aesthetically attractive acoustic stores that we’ve encountered in terms of layout and presentation, Cripple Creek is located in downtown Ashland, Oregon – a city of just over 21,000 people that has developed a worldwide reputation for its annual Shakespeare festival. The festival goes back to 1935, but has expanded exponentially, with an eight month season, eleven plays performed in three theaters, and a current budget of over twenty million dollars. The Elizabethan Stage of the Shakespeare Festival stands on the site of the Chatauqua Tabernacle, which was built to house cultural events in the 1890s. Cripple Creek manager Mark De Groft and owner Garin Bakel note that over 325,000 tourists a year come to Ashland, to go to the festival, to eat in the town’s many fine restaurants, and to visit the nearby restored western town of Jacksonville, with its Britt Music Festival. A Family Affair… Cripple Creek Music was founded by Bakel in 1976. Garin and his brother Rex started the store not in Ashland, but about 30 miles away, in a small town called Central Point. On the first day of business, the total sales consisted of a single pick. As the operation grew, the brothers then opened a second shop in Ashland, and both their father and mother were involved in the business. The store soon moved to an additional location in Ashland. Garin’s

father developed into an excellent luthier and repair person, and his mother was, as Bakel puts it, “a great salesperson. And she also taught me how to play!” In 1981 the store moved to its current downtown location, Rex sold his share of the business to Garin, and the Central Point location was closed. The current space has about 2,450 square feet upstairs, and about the same amount in the basement, which is used as a storage area. “We Do What they Don’t Do Originally Cripple Creek was a bluegrass shop, and it also presented concerts in various locations. From the very beginning the focus has been on high end acoustic instruments, with Martin Guitars being a sort of flagship. The physical layout of the store is that as you enter you see a variety of stringed instruments in the first room and, as you walk into the next area, there is a sales counter, and a large selection of guitars and a variety of other related acoustic instruments. Continuing through, there is a plentiful supply of instructional materials. In addition to sales, the store does an extensive repair business, working not only on string instruments but also brass and reed instruments. Doug MacDonell operates his Full Circle Brass & Woodwind Repair through the shop. School rentals are an important part of the mix, and school band instruments are sold, SEPTEMBER 2011


rented and traded. Because Ashland has become a very expensive place to live, with many of the residents either owners of second home or retirees, there have been two school closings. The tourist presence is a real plus for the store, and many people who come to see Shakespeare end up at Cripple Creek and buy instruments that the store then ships to their homes. Many of these visitors return to the town, and the store, year after year, and they become loyal customers. Partly due to a lack of space, the store doesn’t offer any lessons, although they did at one time. John Reischman, who is now a well-known musician in the Seattle acoustic community, used to teach here, but the owners decided that the teaching studios were too hard to manage, and they needed the space for instruments. There are a number of fine instructors in Ashland, and the store recommends teachers for prospective students. One local violin teacher even took her students to Carnegie Hall. The lack of space also keeps the store from offering workshops or master classes. Cripple Creek views itself as the premier acoustic store between Seattle and San Francisco. When I asked Mark about Musician’s Friend, which started in Medford, and whose retail store is now a Guitar Center, he commented that, “We do what they don’t do. We’re all acoustic, and have a much more unusual selection of instruments, and we do a lot of trades, and repair.”

Store owner, Garin Bakel. SEPTEMBER 2011

The store’s strongest advertising is done through word of mouth, rather than by actual expenditures. Cripple Creek does do some television spots during the Christmas season, and they advertise in the Yellow Pages. The store does not do direct mail, but they do have a welldesigned well-trafficked website (www. cripplecreekmusic.com). Cripple Creek doesn’t really bother attempting to compete directly with Guitar Center, the Internet or catalog stores. DeGroft pointed out that they have experienced customers who try instruments out at the store before buying online. He told us that most of those customers are readily identifiable, because they invariably ask for specific models of instruments. When we asked Mark and fellow store employee Michael Thacker about trends and cycles, they responded that the town has always been one of diverse musical tastes, so trends haven’t been that critical. Thacker told us, “We almost never have a bad week,” something that many stores will probably envy. Bakel emphasized that the store’s policy was to educate teachers and consumers to understand that it was important to buy a quality instrument that was set up specifically for the player. He notes that the key to service is carrying quality instruments, rather than simply looking at a price tag, and assuming that moderate cost always indicates a low quality instrument.

Martin Guitars have been a factor from the very beginning, and the store also features Taylor, as well as Blueridge, Johnson, Crafters of Tennessee, National, Takamine, Burguet and Ibanez Guitars. Banjo lines include Deering, Vega, Saga and Crafters instruments, and Weber, Johnson and Kentucky Mandolins are available. Dusty Strings and Folkcrraft dulcimers, and Dusty Strings and Triplett harps are on board. Although Cripple Creek doesn’t sell drum sets, hand percussion is well represented by the Tuca, Mountain Rhythm., Drum brothers, Meinel, Kambaca, LP and Rhythm edge hand percussion instruments. The real surprise comes when you log on the store’s very attractive web site, and find that woodwind and brass instruments are available in profusion, including Armstrong, Bundy, Gemeinhardt, Holton, Jupiter, Olds Bach, Conn and King offerings, as well as a half dozen string instrument products lines. There are even three different brands of Native American flutes, as well as Irish harps and hammer dulcimers. Strong Community Presence Currently there is a strong demand for ukuleles, and hand percussion also does well, partly because of some local drum circles. Although Ashland has weathered the recession relatively well, high end guitar sales have slowed somewhat. MMR 77


with highly regarded and classical guiThe school rental programs reach into tar programs. The repair shop also does nearby Medford and to Northern Califorquite a bit of work with the college. One nia. About five years ago California imof the store’s major goals is to guide parposed a sales tax for instruments shipped ents in the purchase of instruments. The there, and that has hurt the school rental attractiveness of the store’s surroundings program. (Oregon is one of the few reand the low-key sales approach are a good maining states without a state sales tax.) match with the culture of Ashland. The The store still has been able to do busistore sets up every instrument that comes ness in California, all the way to Redding, in to the shop in order to assure maximum because no comparable service is offered playability of the instruments. near the California-Oregon state border. Although vintage instruments are not a Despite the school closings, Ashland major portion of Cripple Creek’s business, still boasts two elementary schools, a appear middle school, a high school4/1/11 and a college Multi-item_Ad_Mar11 12:55 PMtheyPage 1 from time to time as part of

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a family’s collection that gets traded in or sold. The employees take great satisfaction in putting these instruments in the hands of fine local players, citing recent examples of an F4 Gibson mandolin and an old six string Vega banjo-guitar that were snapped up by excellent local players. Because the store focuses on service and building relationships, long-time local residents are likely to bring family heirloom instruments to the store from their attics. The store buys some of these instruments outright, and sells others on consignment. DeGroft mentioned that the key to selling such instruments in a small market is to know the right player for a particular instrument. The process is helped along, because all of the employees play, and as he puts it, “They’re all good.” There is a large section of instructional materials, and discounts are offered to teachers and their students. As is the case with many long-standing stores, it is not unusual for customers to buy their first instrument at Cripple Creek at a young age, and to continue to patronize the store, eventually bringing in their own children. Ashland has an NPR radio station that supports local music, but although there are live music venues, the population is too small to support a large population of performing musicians. Mark remarked that some really good players settle in the area, but make most of their living by touring – many tour extensively, even playing in Europe. Mark Nelson, a well-known dulcimer and slack key guitar player lives nearby, and the store carries some of his instruction books. Making it Feel Like Family Cripple Creek is seen as an attractive place to work, with employees who like what they are doing. One repair person recently retired after fifteen years of working in the store. Garin, the original owner, is still actively involved in the store, although he has a vacation rental business in Puerto Vallerta, Mexico, and spends part of the year there. By diversifying beyond the world of guitars, and by offering good service in attractive surroundings, Cripple Creek Music has been able to operate successfully in what would appear to be a very small marketplace. In a conversation with Garin, he told us that, “We want our customers to enjoy the shopping experience. The store is designed and our employees are hired with the objective of making it feel like family.” SEPTEMBER 2011


New Products Traynor All-Tube 15w Combos Traynor Amps’ new YGL1 is a 15-watt all-tube 1x12” combo. Simple Gain, Bass, Mid, Treble and Master controls make it easy to dial sounds, and the three-stage mode switch makes the YGL1 one of the most versatile small tube amps in this class. Built for affordability but not lacking in features, the YGL1 includes the popular USA/Brit/Pure switch found on the increasingly popular Traynor DarkHorse. This mode switch actually relocates the tone stack relative to the gain, giving the YGL1 either a crisp “American” style tube amp tone for clarity and definition (USA) or with a grittier, more ‘spongy’ “British” flavor associated with the great UK amps of the ‘60s and ‘70s. The third option is a “Pure” mode which bypasses the tone stack entirely, delivering a mid and overall gain boost allowing for the most direct signal path possible between your fingers and the speaker. The Traynor YGL1 is made in Canada using a solid plywood cabinet construction and a single 12-inch Celestion Greenback speaker. Retail price: $849. www.traynoramps.com Fishman Blackstack Soundhole Pickup The first product to be introduced from the new “Larry’s Garage” series, the Blackstack passive soundhole pickup allows acoustic musicians to be heard on stage with electric instruments without feedback. Fishman refers to the tone of the pickup as a “vintage roadhouse sound.” Blackstack offers the cutting vintage sound of a doublestacked humbucking magnetic pickup in a modern, battery-free design. It features adjustable polepieces that enable perfect string balance adjustment and help compensate for varying string heights between instruments. A premium TA4 mini-XLR connector is integrated into the housing for easy installation, removal and connection to the included 5 ft. cable so users can create their own custom endpin mounting solution. Retail price: $249.95 www.fishman.com

to an iPad, Amazon Kindle DX e-reader and the Freehand Systems MusicPad Pro, making sheet music even more portable. The desktop Scorecerer app, available for Mac OS X and Windows, streamlines the importation and storage of sheet music by automatically straightening out scanned pages and making them fit the screen. www.deskew.com Mighty Bright Micro Light 2-packs Mighty Bright’s new Micro Light 2-packs come packaged in pairs of Keychain lights, Carabiner lights, and Micro Clip lights. The 2-packs are the newest addition to Mighty Bright’s line of portable music lights, which are portable, convenient LED lights with countless uses. The lights are travel-sized to fit in the palm of your hand. The lightweight polycarbonate Keychain features both press-on and constant-on switches for added utility and hands-free capabilities. The sturdy, lightweight Carabiner emits a beam visible from up to one mile away and can clip almost anywhere. The MicroClip features a rotating bulb and clips-on or sits on any flat surface. The new 2-pack combines two of our five popular colors. The LEDs last 100,000 and each light comes

Deskew Scorecerer Desktop and iPad App An update this to the free companion Scorecerer iPad app, designed to accompany Deskew Technologies’ Scorcerer desktop app, lets users for the first time make handwritten notations and highlights right on the screen to enhance their understanding and clarify difficult passages on the fly. The original app enables users to scan their sheet music library quickly and easily into their computer and manage it with ease. Once sync’d with the Desktop app, sheet music appearing on the iPad can be flipped back and forth by simply tapping on the screen or by using a Bluetooth pedal. Unlike other digital sheet music products on the market, which seek to sell new versions of songs, Scorecerer’s advanced sheet music management system helps musicians effortlessly scan their hard copies of songs, songbooks, lead sheets, fake books and other collections into their desktop or laptop, which can then be imported SEPTEMBER 2011

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New Products with 2 lithium batteries. www.mightybright.com/music American DJ Accu UFO Pro Moving Head The Accu UFO Pro fills walls, ceilings and floors with 32 razor sharp red, green, blue and white beams that twist, turn, strobe and pulse. This flying saucer-shaped DMX moving head will produces a panorama of spacey effects, as it pans up to 540° and tilts 265° with smooth, microstepping movements. All light beams are created by 32 high-power 1-watt LEDs (8 red, 8 green, 8 blue, 8 white), making for an extremely earth-friendly device. The Accu UFO Pro consumes a mere 100 watts of electricity at maximum use. Users can also run all night without duty cycles, thanks to the cool operating temperature of its LEDs. Retail price: $1,399.95. www.americandj.com

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CAD Audio GXL Series Mics & Studio Packs CAD Audio is introducing the new 10th Anniversary GXL Black Pearl Mics and Studio Packs. The versatile new GXL1200BP, GXL2200BP and GXL3000BP condenser mics all feature a lustrous black pearl chrome finish along with exceptional performance specs. Compact and road-rugged, the new GXL1200BP condenser is characterized by its open, transparent sound. The mic’s transformerless design reduces distortion and optimizes lowend response, while a uniform cardioid pattern controls feedback. The GXL1200BP’s small size, accuracy and high SPL capability make it ideal for miking overheads, hi-hats, cymbals and stringed instruments. The GXL2200BP is a large diaphragm condenser microphone that features a sophisticated 1” gold vapor deposited diaphragm. Exceptional sensitivity

and low distortion make it an outstanding performer in critical live and recording applications. The GXL3000BP features a precisionengineered 1” gold vapor deposited multipattern (Cardioid-Omni-Figure of Eight) dual diaphragm capsule for maximum versatility. Its high sensitivity and low distortion make it an outstanding performer in a wide range of recording and live sound reinforcement settings. As with all GXLBP mics, a shock mount or mic clip, vinyl pouch and polishing cloth are included. Pricing: GXL1200BP map/street $79.99, GXL2200BP map/street $99.99, GXL3000BP map/street $139.99. www.cadaudio.com Rozanna’s Designer Violins A wide range of designs are now being offered by Rozanna’s Violins, featuring handcrafted designs such as “Butterfly Dream,” “Flower Power,” and “Sunflower Delight,” with others like “Mystic Owl” and “Noble Ninja” on the way. The company offers violins in sizes 4/4, ¾, 1//2, ¼, 1/8, and 1/16. Models come with solid spruce tops, highly flamed and aged maple backs, sides, and scroll. Other features include a custom transparent varnish, ebony fittings, fine quality strings, Brazilwood octagonal bow, a lightweight oblong case with silver velveteen interior and an attached music pocket and backpack straps. Retail price: $399. www.rozannasviolins.com Watertight SKB 3i-4214-PRS Guitar Case The 3i-4214-PRS Watertight Injection molded guitar case will fit any of the following PRS styles: McCarty, CE (22/24 Fret), Standard (22/24 Fret), Custom

SEPTEMBER 2011


(22/24 Fret), Single Cut, Santana, MIRA, STARLA (w/o Bigsby). Basically every shape PRS offers will fit in this one case. SKB 3i Series cases are molded of ultra high-strength polypropylene copolymer resin, featuring a gasketed, water and dust proof, submersible design (MILC-4150J) that is resistant to corrosion and impact damage. Features include stainless steel molded-in hinges, patent pending “trigger release” latch system (two with TSA locks), comfortable, snap-down rubber over-molded cushion grip handle, automatic ambient pressure equalization valve (MIL-STD-648C), and in-line skate wheels. Retail price: $249.99. www.skbcases.com

core that provides gut-like rich and complex tone, combined with power and clarity. Pitch stability is excellent after minimal break-in time, and a thicker string diameter and an overall lower tension make this set ideal for baroque, jazz and free styles. Zyex bass strings were developed primarily to offer outstanding pizzicato attacks and sustain, as well as superb bowing response. Zyex Double Bass sets and

individual strings are available in Light and Medium tensions and ¾ size. All strings consist of Zyex core with the G string (DZ611) titanium wound, D string (DZ612) stainless steel wound, and the A string (DZ613), E string (DZ614) and C-

Levy’s Southern Rock Guitar Straps Levy’s new Southern Rock guitar strap design crosses over the genres of country and rock. The 2” strap is a heavyweight, soft cotton webbing with a contrasting woven border, featuring leather ends with a cowboy-boot design embossing. Pictured is model MSSC80 available in tan, brown, and black. www.levysleathers.com GoGo TT-1 Tuner The TT-1, a clip-on tuner that features both piezo and microphone tuning methods. The main concept for the tuner is that the backlit LED screen has two colors, displaying red when you are out of tune and green once you are in tune. The side of the tuner also glows red when you’re off pitch, so you can easily see in a dark room. Adjustable via a 360 swivel mount, the TT-1 has five settings: Chromatic, Bass, Guitar, Violin, and Viola. It also has settings for drop tuning and can be calibrated anywhere from 430-450 Hz. Retail price: $29.99 www.gogotuners.net D’Addario Zyex Double Bass C-Extended-E String This Zyex C-extended-E string will augment the standard Zyex set. Like the standard set, the string uses a synthetic Zyex SEPTEMBER 2011

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New Products Ext string (DZ615) tungsten wound. The Zyex Double Bass Set (DZ610) consists of standard tuning strings. Retail price: $125. www.daddariobowed.com Samick Greg Bennett Acoustic Guitar The Greg Bennett GD100SCE PK guitar features new Thunderflex™ bracing

that provides a loud, powerful sound. It also features a Fishman™ Isys preamp, solid Sitka spruce top, Nato mahogany back and sides, multi-ply binding, and die cast tuners. The guitar is available in vintage sunburst finish and is accompanied by a deluxe 10mm padded gig bag and easy-to-read chord chart. www.gregbennettguitars.com

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Gemini’s GTX Loudspeakers The new GTX series features four configurations: the GTX-1000 houses a 10-inch woofer and handles 100 watts RMS; the GTX-1200 sports a 12-inch woofer and handles 125 watts RMS; the GTX-1500 contains a 15-inch woofer and handles 185 watts RMS; and the GTX-2150 boasts dual 15inch woofers and handles 315 watts RMS. Outstanding audio quality and impressive power handling make the new GTX speakers perfect for PA applications in schools and houses of worship, while lightweight, roadworthy construction makes them ideal for DJs and musicians. Combining performance and affordability, GTX passive loudspeakers offer a classic complement to any stage, practice space or DJ rig. Retail price: $79.95 (GTX-1000), $119.95 (GTX1200), $159.95 (GTX-1500), $239.95 (GTX-2150). www.geminidj.com Zoom H2n Portable Recorder The is the only portable recorder with five mic capsules onboard. This design enables the H2n to offer four unique recording modes: Mid-Side (MS) stereo, 90° X/Y stereo, 2-channel and 4-channel surround sound. The H2n is the first handheld recorder to offer Mid-Side stereo recording, a technique used for many years in film and broadcast, where ambiance and surrounding noise are crucial. Mid-Side recording combines a uni-directional Mid mic that captures sound directly in front of you and a bi-directional Side mic that captures sound from your left and right. By increasing or decreasing the level of the Side mic, you can control the width of the stereo field, which gives you incredible flexibility over your recordings. If you record in RAW mode, you can even adjust the stereo width after recording. Using the H2n’s Mid-Side and SEPTEMBER 2011


X/Y mics together, you can create stunning 360° surround sound recordings. Choose between 2-channel mode, which combines the Mid-Side and X/Y mics, and 4-channel mode, which records two separate stereo files, allowing you even more post-production capability. The H2n also houses an arsenal of comprehensive functions, including Auto-Gain, a compressor/limiter, time stamping and more. The H2n provides over 20 hours of continuous operation on just two standard AA alkaline batteries. Steinberg’s WaveLab LE 7 can be used for audio editing and professional-quality mastering. By using its precise waveform editing and high-quality processing, you can refine your recordings into finished works. www.zoom.co.jp New Broadway Songbooks from Alfred "Anything Goes," the Broadway revival based on the 1987 rewrite, returned to Broadway this spring. Alfred offers a 13-song piano/vocal selections folio to the hit Broadway revival, which includes additional original Cole Porter lyrics to match revisions applied to several of the songs during major Broadway revivals in recent decades. "Catch Me If You Can" is the musical comedy based on the DreamWorks film and the fascinating true story that inspired it. Memorable tunes from the high-flying musical include “Jet Set,” “Fly, Fly Away,” “Don’t Be a Stranger,” and the energetic order “Don’t Break the Rules.” "The Book of Mormon," the hit Broadway musical led by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone in their first Broadway foray, is a religious satire about comically mismatched missionaries and their expedition into an impoverished, diseased, and warlord ravaged town in Uganda. The musical’s wild and raucous songs include such instant classics such as “Hello,” “Man Up,” “All American Prophet, “Baptize Me,” “Tomorrow Is a Latter Day.” Alfred will beSEPTEMBER 2011

gin releasing piano/vocal products with songs to The Book of Mormon in early fall 2011. www.alfredpublishing.com Dream Cymbals MBAO Tuned Gongs Dream Cymbals has designed and developed a set of four octaves of tuned gongs. They are consistent and durable offering

unsurpassed sustain and clarity of pitch. From two octaves below middle C to 2 octaves above middle C, they can be purchased individually or in sets. Standard tuning is A 442 but any other calibration is available free of charge.

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New Products The MBAOPENT sets. These are pentatonic sets, with chroma-colour coded ball and string handles. Each comes with a beater and are perfect for use in educational settings such as drum circles, and Orff ensembles. Chau gongs and Tam Tams come in a variety of sizes from 6” to over 60”. These tam tams offer incredibly loud fortissimos with long balanced decays, while still pro-

viding projection at pianissimo volumes. Feng gongs, great complements to the Chau gong, also come in 6” to 60” and offer a faster response and attack but also a quicker decay. Jin ban gongs are Chinese opera gongs that bend up in pitch in a unique characteristic swoop. Tiger gongs are 10-14”, with a longer downward bend in their pitch when struck. A custom bag is also available. www.dreamcymbals.com

Tycoon Percussion Black Pearl Series Cowbells Tycoon Percussion’s Black Pearl Series cowbells are professional quality bells with an outstanding combination of sound and finish. This popular lineup is made up of four different styles - the Cha-Cha bell, Mambo bell, Low-Pitched bell, and Low-Pitched Hand bell. Each cowbell is constructed with premium quality steel, which allows for a focused fundamental pitch with moderate overtones. The Black Pearl series is designed with a rounded surface for easy playing and a sign designed for live performances as well as studio recordings. Collectively, these bells create a full range of high to low tones with an appealing black pearl finish. All Tycoon Percussion series cowbells are individually handmade and tested to ensure superior sound quality and durability. www.tycoonpercussion.com Guitar Pro 6 Fretlight Ready™ Guitar players can now view tablature using Guitar Pro 6 Fretlight Ready while watching the fingering positions lightup on their Fretlight’s fretboard. Players can now download a limitless number of guitar songs all of which can light up a Fretlight Guitar. Simply download tab files the interview, connect your Fretlight to your PC or Mac, and watch the song come to life on the guitar’s fretboard. The lights showcase the exact fingering position on the guitar while the software displays the tab notation on-screen so that you always have a reference of where you are in the song. Use the Fretlight footswitch to be handsfree and control playback features such as slowing down the tempo, pausing playback, looping a desired part and more. Guitar Pro 6 Fretlight Ready is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems and is available immediately as a limited trial download. Retail price: $79.95 (upgrade pricing available for existing Guitar Pro 5 or Guitar Pro 6 users). www.fretlight.com Keystone Electronics Bus Drive Hardware Mounting Kits Keystone Electronics introduces a new series of mounting kits for PC/104 and

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PC104-Plus bus drives. Engineered to ease assembly of new modules and multiboard stacks, the PC/104 and PC/104Plus kits may be used with any of the more than one hundred different PC/104 modules available in the marketplace. Each of Keystone’s PC/104 hardware mounting kits includes all the hardware required to mount a single-board and is supplied with four each: #4-40 threaded spacers .600” length, ,#4-40 x ¼ screws, and nuts. Kits are also available with brass, aluminum, stainless steel, or Nylon components. www.keyelco.com JZ Microphones Michael Wagener Mic Kit Michael Wagner’s new BT (or “Bat”) series, including the BT-201 and BT-301, includes interchangeable, magnetically attached capsules with cardioid, open cardioid, padded open cardioid (-20dB) and omni capsules. The distinctively shaped BT-301 is a limited edition medium sized cardioid condenser, which boasts an extremely low self noise spec of a mere 5.5 dBA. Both microphones excel on instruments that benefit from a high frequency presence boost, making them ideal for string and percussion sections, as well as acoustic guitar. Wagner, legendary producer with recording credits for Metallica, Queen, Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne and more, recently discovered the combination while tracking and acoustic guitar. Since then, BT-201 / 301 combination can be heard on all recent Michael Wagener productions. The BT or Bat series was the second range to be released by JZ, following the hugely successful Black Hole series microphones. Retail price: $1,899. www.jzmic.com Voyage-Air Telair Guitars These collapsable guitars follow up Voyage-Air’s limited edition Belair models for maximum tone, playability, and portability. Included are two custom ToneRider singlecoil pickups that are specially designed for SEPTEMBER 2011

their positions in the new TelAir. These Alnico-V pickups build on the tone of vintage guitars while adding rich harmonics from a design that’s specific to the TelAir. The body is solid Alder and the neck is solid Canadian Maple that’s topped with a solid Rosewood fingerboard. The Volume and Tone controls are in a special concentric design: Volume is the larger at

the bottom, and Tone is smaller on the top. Also included is a traditional threeposition toggle switch. Guitars come in a high-gloss Jet Black finish, with Vintage Green pickguard. The specially-designed Dura-Trans case is included, which sports a storage pocket, and concealed backpack straps. Retail price: $799. www.voyageairguitar.com

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New Products Toca Synergy Congas Toca’s new Synergy Fiberglass congas have been introduced to complement those congas while offering the unique acoustic qualities of fiberglass shells. The new fiberglass congas feature 28” tall shells with 10” and 11” head diameters. The drums come fitted with

natural rawhide heads that combine with the shells to produce penetrating projection and high, bright tones that are ideal for live performances. Additional features include EasyPlay style hoops for player comfort, chrome tuning lugs, and black powder-coated hardware. Synergy Fiberglass Congas are available in

two finishes: Deep Yellow and White. They’re sold with a heavy-duty, fully height-adjustable, double-braced, double conga stand, making the total package an even greater value for beginners, hobbyists, and budget-conscious pros alike. www.tocapercussion.com Grid 1 Pedal Jeanie Jr. The Pedal Jeanie Jr™ pedalboard is Grid 1’s new small-scale version of the Pedal Jeanie and supports six to eight effects pedals on a steel construction and battery power. The board is ultra quiet and not susceptible to AC line noise, and it comes equipped with a battery level LED located on top of the chassis. It can be charged while it is in use with universal power. The board has the same power and DC connectivity as the standard Pedal Jeanie™. The unique “patent-pending” matrix design offers a multitude of layout and configuration options. Under the chassis there are a total of 10 built-in DC barrel connections that make it easy to add pedals and keep the top of the pedalboard clutter-free. Next to every pedal connection there is an LED fault indicator light to make it a snap to find a shorted pedal or trace a potential hookup problem. Retail price: $299. www.grid1.com GoGo Tuners Introduces “The Tiki” Uke Clip-On Tuner “The Tiki” Uke Clip On Tuner is extremely simple to use and easy to read, designed especially for the small size of the ukulele. A single button functions for users to switch the power on and off and select between Chromatic mode, Ukulele C mode, and Ukulele D mode. The tuner’s 2 -color backlit screen indicates quickly and clearly when instrument is accurately tuned in low light environments. It’s powered by a CR2032 battery and has a pitch range of 435Hz to 445 Hz. www.gogotuners.net

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Kasha Chime Chorus Pedal Chime Chorus is a simple two knob design providing a lush chorus effect with a new spin of tone. It makes any guitar go from a double coil to a single coil with a flip of a switch, making recreations of some of the classic tones from artists like Summers and Edge possible. In addition, it interfaces to any instrument transparently. Six-string acoustics can mimic the tone of 12-strings, pianos turn into harpsichords. Other features include noiseless true bypass, mix dry and wet chorus, Clear and Chime tone, analog and digital tones. Retail price: $180. www.kashaamplifiers.com

Miami Audio Distributing Strinberg Guitars Miami Audio recently announced its distribution of popular Brazilian guitar company Strinberg Guitars throughout the United States. Miami Audio had been distributing the company’s prod-

ucts in Latin America and the Caribbean Islands since 2004, including its complete line of electric guitars and basses, acoustic guitars, classical guitars, wireless systems, digital tuners, metronomes, string sets, straps, ABS cases and nylon bags. www.strinberg.com

Guitar Apprentice by Legacy Learning Systems Award-winning multimedia and new technology company Legacy Learning Systems unveiled its Guitar Apprentice product at Summer NAMM. Guitar Apprentice combines the technology and interactivity of video gaming with the use of each student’s own guitar set to different levels of skills. A beginner player can now plug in his own guitar and learn how to play with Guitar Apprentice while engaging in an on-screen environment that supplies a fast, easy and fun instructional platform. Some of the world’s best known songs are included in Guitar Apprentice and feature songs such as “Hey Jude”, “Sharp Dressed Man”, and “More Than a Feeling.” The higher the level achieved throughout the experience, the more of each song a guitar player will play Guitar Apprentice offers 15 levels for each song provided, guiding the student through a non-intimidating environment which shows chords and strings on the screen when one of the DVDs is inserted to follow. www.guitarapprentice.com SEPTEMBER 2011

MMR 87


Photo by Manolo Santana

Supplier Scene Gon Bops Welcomes Orestes Vilato Gon Bops recently welcomed to the Gon Bops Artist Family one of the world’s most influential Latin percussionists, Orestes Vilato. Originally from Cuba, Orestes’ unique style on timbales is one of the most emulated in Latin music. He’s performed with musical legends from Aretha Franklin to Carlos Santana and earned a Grammy nomination in 1995 for the groundbreaking album “Ritmo y Candela” alongside fellow Cuban percussion legends Carlos ‘Patato’ Valdez and José Luis Quintana (Changuito). www.gonbops.com Blizzard Lighting to License Philips LED Luminaries Blizzard Lighting, LLC announced recently that they have entered into an agreement

with Philips Electronics to license Philips’s full portfolio of patents and other intellectual property relating to LED based lighting, as available through Philips LED Luminaire and Retrofit Bulb licensing program. Blizzard will have access to dozens of Philips’ patents covering LED color changing and tunable white luminaires, as well as Philips patented technology for control and dimming of LEDs and other SSL’s (solid state luminaires). Blizzard Lighting, headquartered in Waukesha, Wis., is a leader in LED entertainment lighting, with products like its well known Puck® series in use throughout the U.S. and world. For more info, visit www.blizzardlighting.com.

American folk musician. The guitar was presented as a door prize for the popular festival, allowing thousands of attendees a chance to handle and play the guitar throughout the weekend. This year’s event marked Samick Music’s sixth straight year of making a donation to the festival. The annual event takes place each July in Guthrie’s home town of Okemah, Oklahoma. For more information, visit www.woodyguthrie.com. Petrof Grand Piano Featured at New Jersey Jazz Festival Petrof Pianos and Petrof dealer The Pianosmith recently participated in the an-

Samick Music Donates Guitar to Woody Guthrie Folk Festival Samick Music Corporation, Inc., recently announced its donation of a Greg Bennett Design acoustic guitar to the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival. The festival is an annual three-day event that commemorates the life and musical legacy of the

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88 MMR

SEPTEMBER 2011


nual New Jersey Jazz Festival arts event. The event featured performances by renowned artists including Helen Sung, Whycliffe Gordon, Allan Harris, and Mimi Jones. The Petrof performance grand piano model “Pasat” shined during Sung’s jazz piano performance. “We wholeheartedly support the efforts put forth by so many of Somerville’s community to stage this wonderful arts event”, said Ken Smith, owner of The Pianosmith, “and it is a special privilege to be able to provide this epic instrument for Ms. Sung’s performance.” To read more about Petrof, visit www.petrof.com. Littlite’s Fackert Receives 2011 Parnelli Visionary Award Jim Fackert, president & founder of Littlite, LLC will receive the Parnelli Visionary Award for 2011. Since 2001, the Parnelli Award has served to recognize pioneering, influential professionals and other contributors to the Live Event Industry. Jim’s pioneering spirit and creative drive led him on a varied and storied journey throughout the entertainment

SEPTEMBER 2011

industry. Always content to remain “behind-the-scenes,” Jim has worked with legendary Detroit artists such as Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, The MC5 and, most notably, Grand Funk Railroad. Fackert’s real world experiences led to advancements in both the audio and lighting arenas, eventually leading to the founding of Custom Audio Electronics (CAE), Rainbo Consoles, Leprecon lighting and Littlite gooseneck task lights. Today, Fackert is still actively involved with Littlite engineering projects and is responsible for developments such as the Littlite LED line, the Littlite LLX proprietary XLR connector and the Littlite LDC/MV solid state dimming control/ voltage conversion products. Jim remains active in many community organizations dedicated to environmental issues and land conservancy. Characteristically, Jim has also been ahead of the recent Green movement as evidenced by Littlite’s super insulated, geothermally heated and cooled manufacturing facility in Hamburg, Michigan and the recent addition of a 40 KW solar power system. Jim Fackert will receive his award at the Parnelli Award gala dinner on October 29 at the Peabody Orlando. For more information, visit www.littlite.com

MMR 89


Classifieds MMR CLASSIFIEDS INFO: ☛

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 mjohan@symphonypublishing.com.

QUESTIONS? Call Maureen Johan at 800-964-5150 x 34 mjohan@symphonypublishing.com.

Business Opportunities

Visit the Classifieds on the Web: www.mmrmagazine.com 90 MMR

SEPTEMBER 2011


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: Band & Orchestra Division Manager, 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: www.kenstantonmusic.com By mail:

Via email:

Ken Stanton Music Attn: Scott Cameron, General Manager 119 Cobb Parkway North, Suite A Marietta, GA 30062 scottc@kenstanton.com

www.mmrmagazine.com

www.mmrmagazine.com SEPTEMBER 2011

MMR 91


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 john@musicmaninc.com

Visit the Classifieds on the Web: www.mmrmagazine.com

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

For Classified Sales Call Maureen 800-964-5150 ext. 34 • mjohan@symphonypublishing.com 92 MMR

SEPTEMBER 2011


For Sale Preeminent Seattle sheet music and instrument store for sale. Largest sheet music store in greater Seattle. History dating to 1919. Ideal for single store owner or chain. Call Albert Israel, CFP, owner, 206-250-1148.

Merchandise Hunter Music Instrument Inc adds in an accordion line. 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.

718-706-0828 www.huntermusical.com

Attn: PIANO DEALERS!

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. Invest your advertising dollars wisely, get the details at: www.PianoWorld.com/advertising

PianoWorld.com Home of the world famous Piano Forums

Merchandise

YAMAHA–KAWAI

CERTIFIED PRE-OWNED PIANOS Japanese High Quality

GUARANTEED You get what you pay for!

1-800-782-2694

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

FINANCING AVAILABLE

Visit the Classifieds on the Web: www.mmrmagazine.com SEPTEMBER 2011

MMR 93


Merchandise

equatone@earthlink.net

PORCHBOARD BASS The UCL-S PorchBoard Bass offers analog, clean bass rhythm with the tap of a foot. Durable passive magnetic sensor system and 3-way frequency response switch eliminates low-end feedback and delay. Features both 1/4 inch and XLR outputs. No batteries, wall worts or external power supply required. Includes carry bag. $299.95. www.porchboard.com (608) 752-2229

Miscellaneous Attention Store Owners and Big Time Collectors

We’ll buy instruments and accessories of any type! For serious interest please contact: 949-682-5236 and Ed@Bookmans.com

Repair Tools

www.mmrmagazine.com

Repair Tools

BOW REHAIRING Expert Bow Service

Order forms,Pricing and Shipping label at:

www.bowrehairing.com 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: info@bowrehairing.com

FAST TURN-AROUND ON STOCK REPAIRS NATIONWIDE NAPBIRT member, 28 Years Experience Contact: Dan Rieck, 801-733-4243 dan@utahwoodwindrepair.com

For Classified Sales Call Maureen

800-964-5150 ext. 34 mjohan@symphonypublishing.com 94 MMR

SEPTEMBER 2011


Vintage Instruments

Inside Sales Representative Orange USA Legendary British Amplifier manufacturer, Orange is hiring an experienced Inside Sales Rep for our Atlanta office. Extensive telemarketing, dedication to Customer Service, knowledge of guitar amps/tone and general commitment to excellence required. Please send resume to eric.sands@orangeusa.com Manufacturer Seeking Independent Reps for our NEW iPhone, iPad, Smart Phone & other Hand Held Products Holders. Many territories available for what could be the hottest product catagory in 2011! Email name, address, phone #, & territory to info@ac-cetera.com or Fax 412-344-0818

Visit the Classifieds on the Web: www.mmrmagazine.com

Services

Wanted Wanted: Used trade show booth for 20x20 to 20x50 footprint. Call with details: 314-727-4512. Ext: 275.

MOVING?

Let us know 6-8 weeks before your move so we can continue to send your magazine without interruption.

PASTE OLD LABEL HERE!

Sales Reps Wanted

Wanted To Buy WE BUY, SELL, TRADE and ship worldwide. ONLINE APPRAISAL SERVICE GRUHN GUITARS, 400 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203

SHIPPING YOUR PIANO

with Lone Wolf Trucking

is a “grand” idea!

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

1-800-982-9505

www.lonewolftrucking.com Alamogordo, New Mexico. 88310

ICC MC-256289

(615) 256-2033

fax (615) 255-2021

www.guitars.com

NEW ADDRESS HERE! Name ___________________________ Address _________________________

Wanted USED TUBAS ANY CONDITION-CASH PAID THE TUBA EXCHANGE 1825 CHAPEL HILL RD. DURHAM, NC 27707 1-800-869-8822 WWW.TUBAEXCHANGE.COM

_______________________________ City ____________________________ State ____________Zip ____________

21 Highland Circle, Suite 1, Needham, MA 02494 (781) 453-9310

Breaking News!

Find it in the Hot News section of MMR’s Web site, www.mmrmagazine.com SEPTEMBER 2011

MMR 95


Ad Index COMPANY NAME

E-MAIL/WEB ADDRESS

PAGE

A Al Cass

89

Allparts Music Corp

www.allparts.com

80

Amati’s Fine Instruments

www.Amatis.us

81

American DJ Supply Inc.

www.americandj.com

American Music and Sound

www.hagstromguitars.com

5 37

B Barcus-Berry

www.barcusberry.com

13

Bechstein America LLC

www.bechstein-america.com

29

Benchworld

www.benchworld.com

35

Bohemia Piano

www.bohemiapiano.cz

65

C/D Casio America, Inc

www.casio.com

39

D’Addario & Co.

www.daddario.com

19

Dream Cymbals And Gongs

www.dreamcymbals.com

20

Eleca International

www.eleca.com

59

Executive Systems West

www.QuickHornRinse.com

64

E/F

Fishman Transducers, Inc.

www.fishman.com

63

Floyd Rose Marketing

www.floydrose.com

86

Forestone Japan

www.forestone-japan.com

23

G Galaxy Audio

www.galaxyaudio.com

59

GCI Technologies

www.gci-technologies.com

88

Grid 1 Audio LLC

www.grid1.com

75

Grotrian Piano Company

www.grotrian.de

35

E-MAIL/WEB ADDRESS

PAGE

M Mason and Hamlin

www.pianodisc.com

51

Meisel Accesories LLC.

www.meiselaccessories.com

71

Miami Audio Music Corp.

www.miamiaudiomusic.com

14

N NAMM

www.namm.com

24-25

National Educational Music Co.

www.nemc.com

66

OnBoard Research Corp.

www.tuners.com

50

Peavey Electronics

www.peavey.com

7

Petrof USA

www.petrof.com

47

Retail Up

www.retailup.com

89

Roland Corp. U.S.

www.rolandUS.com

O/P

R cov4

S Saga Musical Instruments

www.sagamusic.com

11

Saga Musical Instruments

www.sagamusic.com

78

Saga Musical Instruments

www.sagamusic.com

85

Samson Technologies Corp.

www.samsontech.com

3

Samson Technologies Corp.

www.samsontech.com

9

Samson Technologies Corp.

www.samsontech.com

17

Shoreview Distribution

www.shoreviewdistribution.com

75

Shubb Capos

www.shubb.com

80

SKB Corp.

www.skbcases.com

21

Suite Musical Instruments

www.suitemusical.com

64

28

T

H H & F Technologies Inc.

www.audio2000s.com

27

Hailun USA

www.hailun-pianos.com

41

Hal Leonard Corp.

www.halleonard.com

15

House of Troy

www.houseoftroy.com

40

Hunter Music Instrument Inc.

www.huntermusical.com

82

TechnologyDrive.com

www.technologydrive.com

TKL Products Corp.

www.tkl.com

ToneGear

www.theStringCleaner.com

84

Tycoon Percussion

www.tycoonpercussion.com

60

www.StLouisMusic.com

58

Kawai America Corp.

www.kawiaus.com

cov2

KMC Music, Incsic.Inc

www.kmcmusic.com

83

Kurzweil Music Systems

www.youngchang.com

43

Kyser Musical Products Inc.

www.kysermusical.com

87

L Levy’s Leathers Ltd.

www.levysleathers.com

67

LM Products

www.LMProducts.com

28

Lowrey

www.lowrey.com

49

1

U/V U.S. Band & Orchestra Supplies

K

96 MMR

COMPANY NAME

W/Y W.D. Music Products Inc.

www.wdmusic.com

79

West Music

www.tjflutes.com

34

Wittner GmbH & Co. KG

www.wittner-gmbh.de

42

Yamaha Corp. of America

www.yamaha.com

33

SEPTEMBER 2011


RESERVE YOUR EXHIBIT AT

THE 3RD ANNUAL

LOUISVILLE, KY

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:

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Exhibit space is limited, so go to the JEN web site and reserve your space today www.jazzednet.org 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: www.JazzEdNet.org


“With the first note played on the V-Piano Grand,

I get transformed into the world of music making. The flawless touch, rich and beautiful sound, and the range of dynamics

express my soul

allow me to through this incredible piano of the future.” — Yana Reznik

Limitless Expression

Classical piano virtuoso Yana Reznik plays the V-Piano Grand because she requires an instrument that is a true extension of herself, ready to deliver every ounce of her musical passion with no limitations. With its revolutionary approach to modeling, elegant styling, and unique multi-channel sound system, the V-Piano Grand not only looks and sounds beautiful, but provides a depth of responsive musicality that is far beyond the capabilities of any other digital instrument available today.

NOW�SHIPPING! Visit RolandUS.com/VPianoGrand for details on how you can support the upcoming Roland V-Piano Grand concert tour, featuring Yana Reznik.

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