Sweetwater has announced another record year in total sales and job creation, plus a significant expansion of its campus in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Since 2010, Sweetwater’s total sales have more than doubled. Total sales in 2014 were up 28 percent over 2013, which was also a record-breaking year. December 2014 sales were up 30 percent over December 2013. Black Friday and Cyber Monday both shattered all previous records, and the company sold more than 71,500 guitars in 2015, up from just over 50,000 guitars in 2013. Drums and pro-audio were two more of the many product categories that saw growth at an incredible pace.

Read more: Sweetwater Announces Record Year of Growth and Campus Expansion

Supplier Scene

At Winter NAMM, audio specialist Sennheiser and Apogee Electronics, industry leader in digital audio conversion technology, have announced their collaboration.

At the NAMM Show in Anaheim, Apogee’s Betty Bennett and Sennheiser’s Peter Claussen have jointly announced the cooperation of their companies. Peter Claussen, COO of Sennheiser, said that “Apogee and Sennheiser are a perfect fit. We both operate in the demanding premium sector, serving professional and semi-professional audio customers across the globe. Our product portfolios perfectly complement each other, and I am looking forward to collaborate with a company that has truly pushed the boundaries of digital audio.”

Read more: Sennheiser and Apogee announce partnership at NAMM Show

Supplier Scene

D’Addario and Alvarez have struck up a pilot program in an effort to promote proper guitar humidification.

For the duration of 2015, USA-based purchasers of select Alvarez guitars that come with hard-shell cases will receive a promo card in the case. The promo card has a unique code on it and it refers the customer visit the D’Addario-Alvarez landing page. There, they enter the code and their shipping information and they will receive a free D’Addario Two-Way Humidification System ($35.70 value).

This pilot program between D’Addario and Alvarez is an attempt to educate dealers and end users about the importance of proper humidification of acoustic guitars.

Read more: D'Addario and Alvarez Boost Awareness about Guitar Humidification

Supplier Scene

Full Compass Systems, a national leader in professional audio, video, lighting and musical instrument sales, received Top Dealer awards from ADJ and Elation Professional Lighting at the 2015 NAMM show.

ADJ and Elation offer lighting and entertainment products for a variety of applications, including mobile entertainers, touring and theatrical productions, studio installations and more. Full Compass has offered both brands for many years and is excited about their growing partnerships.

“We are honored to receive these awards”, stated Jonathan Lipp, Founder and CEO of Full Compass Systems, “Both companies have been long-standing partners and we look forward to continued success with them.”

Supplier Scene

Sterling Ball, CEO of Ernie Ball, celebrated his 60th birthday this month by releasing his debut album — Better Late Than Never. A longtime musician, Ball has toured across the globe with acts including Albert Lee, Steve Morse and more.

The album was recorded alongside longtime friends and fellow musicians Dave Marotta, Jimmy Cox and John Ferraro. The country-tinged record marks a milestone for the CEO who, in addition to his role as musician, serves as a philanthropist with the Casey Lee Ball Foundation and as an award-winning professional BBQ chef.

Read more: Sterling Ball of Ernie Ball Inc. Releases Debut Album


Levy’s Leathers has appointed Ted Burger as Levy’s international sales manager. Burger is a former professional guitarist and graduate of the State University of New York at Fredonia with a degree in business management and marketing.

Burger’s MI career began at Costello’s Music in Fredonia and since that time has worked for Samson Technologies, for two years and six years at Korg USA. Most recently he has been working at The Hanser Music Group in Cincinnati. Ted’s varied experience in the different aspects of the music industry makes him an ideal t fit for Levy’s.

Read more: Levy’s Appoints Burger International Sales Manager

Supplier Scene

NAMM recently honored Chauvet Lighting of Sunrise, Florida with the Milestone Award for 25 years of service in the music and entertainment products industry. The award recognizes retailers and manufacturers who have succeeded over the years through best practices and strong community standing to reach a landmark anniversary.

“Chauvet is honored to receive this recognition,” said Berenice Chauvet, vice president of Chauvet.  “The support we’ve received from the music and sound dealers who belong to NAMM has been essential to our success over the past 25 years. We value our association with these dealers and the personal relationships that we’ve been privileged to enjoy with many of them.”

Read more: Chauvet Honored with NAMM Milestone Award

Supplier Scene

For the past eight years, KHS America has provided the wind and percussion instruments for the members of the United States Army All American Marching Band under the brands of Jupiter, Mapex, and Majestic.  Made up of 101 high school seniors from around the country, members of the band who wish to pursue a career in music education can apply for a $1,000 College Scholarship from KHS America.  There were 23 applicants this year and the winner, Chauncey Kleveland, received her award during a dress rehearsal in San Antonio, Texas on Friday, January 2. 

Read more: KHS Awards $1,000 Music Ed. Scholarship


American Music & Sound has retained Jeff Dunmire to be its nation sales manager as a part of AM&S’ recent acquisition of the distribution for Kurzweil Home Pianos. Dunmire, a veteran of over 30 years in the keyboard space, has been involved with the Kurzweil brand since 2014, and previously from 1994 to 2009. He has held sales and product management positions with brands such as Casio, Arp, Korg and Behringer. “We are extremely pleased that Jeff is with us as we begin our new partnership with Kurzweil. He has a wealth of experience and knowledge in the digital home keyboard market. Our industry leading sales and distribution capabilities will be further enhanced by Jeff’s expertise,” commented American Music and Sound’s president Lynn Martin.

Read more: Veteran Kurzweil Sales & Product Manager Joins AM&S Team


MMR received the following from Guitar Center's recently appointed Executive VP of Marketing, Michael Amkreutz, on January 29th:

Dear colleagues, associates and friends in the industry

After a comprehensive evaluation of our staffing levels, including a detailed benchmarking of staffing levels by function and department compared to similar size specialty retailers, Guitar Center’s leadership team made the difficult decision to reduce corporate and field supervision staff. The reduction included less than one percent of the overall workforce and consisted of reductions at the corporate offices in Westlake Village and field management positions. This action was designed to create a more effective and efficient organization and was based on functional area. Despite this reduction, we continue to actively recruit for a variety of positions in Westlake Village that are matched with the needs of our ongoing growth plans.


Read more: Statement from New GC Executive VP Regarding Staff Movements

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