Vote for the Dealers' Choice Awards
The 2016 Dealers’ Choice Awards (DCA) process represents “year two” of a far more comprehensive approach, resulting in enhanced participation and verifiability.
This year, MMR readers were more actively involved than ever in the nomination process for brands and instruments/gear across all categories. Additionally, the safeguards put in place last year to ensure against multiple votes from the same party (the dreaded “ballot stuffing” of years gone by) have not only proven to be extremely successful, but also have actually lead to more reader participation in the entire voting and nomination process. This year’s voting represented an uptick even over 2015’s record-setting levels of reader involvement which, when combined with improved authentication, makes the 24th DCAs the most meaningful yet.
Our thanks to all who participated in the nomination process this past summer and who then cast their votes this fall. Read on to learn more about the 2016 Dealers’ Choice Award winners...
PRODUCT OF THE YEAR: KAWAI GL SERIES
Kawai America Corporation
Kawai set out to provide “exceptional touch and tone that endures” with their GL Series and dealers have confirmed that customers are “buying it.” The third evolution of Kawai’s Millennium ABS Action introduced carbon fiber, allowing the company to create a lighter system that remains sturdy. Combined with longer keys making the action more fluid, the repetition speed quicker, and dynamics more accurate across the board, Kawai has made waves in the market this past year in more ways than the just the shape of their beautiful solid spruce soundboards.
ELECTRIC GUITAR OF THE YEAR: YAMAHA REVSTAR
Yamaha Corporation of America
The first major update to the classic Yamaha guitar body shape in a decade has proved profitable. Dealers are benefiting from the renascent interest in vintage guitars and the Revstar series design, hailing of classic cafe racer motorcycles, is right on the money. YGD pick-ups, Yamaha’s proprietary Dry Switch, and comfortable body shape add to recipe for its success. For this 2016 winner, familiarity coincides with contemporary to create the perfect prescription for the old-school-meets- new-school bug.
ELECTRIC BASS OF THE YEAR: IBANEZ SRFF805
The Ibanez SRFF805 electric bass has succeeded in validating the engineering concept by offering it to the masses and the masses have spoken. Players are loving the ergonomic fret angles and the quality tone the SRFF805 5-string and SRFF806 6-string basses provide at an affordable price point. Ibanez was on target when they took the opportunity to apply Novax’s expired patent design to their already popular SR series, this bass is a win-win-win for the customer, dealer, and supplier.
ACOUSTIC GUITAR OF THE YEAR: BREEDLOVE OREGON CONCERT E MYRTLEWOOD - MYRTLEWOOD
Two Old Hippies, LLC
For the second year in a row Breedlove Oregon Concert took the top honors for acoustic guitar by a landslide. This year’s win goes to the Breedlove Oregon Concert E Myrtlewood - Myrtlewood with its American Pacific Northwest- grown myrtlewood top, back, and sides. What makes the model unique, other than its stunning color and grain patterns, is the lively, crisp voice, and powerful projection achieved by this unusual choice of top wood.
SOUND REINFORCEMENT LINE OF THE YEAR: QSC
Our voters decided this year that QSC is delivering on their mission statement to be the “leading and most trusted provider of high quality professional audio/ video systems.” The company’s “work hard/have fun” motto has trickled down to its buyers who are abundantly enjoying QSC mixers, power amplifiers, and loudspeakers as their favorite high-end sound systems.
AMPLIFIER PRODUCT OF THE YEAR: BLACKSTAR
As predicted by MMR in last year’s 2015 DCA announcement of KORG’s big win in the same category, the Blackstar remains ahead of the pack and has firmly established itself as the “new classic” amp. Customers are singing the praises of Blackstar’s high quality, feature rich amps at reasonable prices.
MICROPHONE LINE OF THE YEAR: AUDIX
Another back-to-back winner, Audix offers U.S.-made, quality engineered, and affordable microphones that are champions with live sound engineers, recording professionals, and home- studio enthusiasts, alike. Audix microphones have a reputation as workhorses that combine functional design with sturdy engineering — qualities that are resonating with dealers as well.
RECORDING EQUIPMENT LINE OF THE YEAR: PRESONUS
PreSonus Audio Electronics, Inc.
PreSonus’ vast array of recording system offerings have taken another win, this year as the overall recording product of the year. From the Studio 192 USB Interfaces, to Audiobox Interfaces and Complete Recording Systems packages, PreSonus has every facet of recording covered to meet the growing demands of the ever-evolving recording market.
BAND & ORCEHSTRA LINE OF THE YEAR: YAMAHA
Yamaha Corporation of America
With a resounding “amen,” dealers have agreed that Yamaha Band & Orchestra instruments have aided in the way to a successful 2016 fiscal year. Yamaha’s sturdy, high quality instruments and exceptional customer service remains a favorite among school programs throughout the country. From their affordable beginner models to their custom and pro instruments, Yamaha is the clear 2016 winner from schools to stages.
ACOUSTIC PIANO LINE OF THE YEAR: PEARL RIVER Pearl River Pianos
Pearl River, China’s largest piano manufacturer, has firmly planted its feet on American soil. For the second year in a row they take the win in the category of “Acoustic Piano of the Year.” Pearl River is covering entry-level through upper-tier and offering affordably priced instruments with the features of expensive pianos.
HOME DIGITAL KEYBOARD OF THE YEAR: KAWAI CA/CS SERIES
Kawai America Corporation
For the second time this year Kawai takes home a win, this time with their Kawai Concert Artist and Classic Series digital pianos. These digital keyboards have found many homes in churches, schools, and on stages this year due to their well-known durability and depth of tone.
PRO DIGITAL PIANO LINE OF THE YEAR: ROLAND Roland Corporation
Roland is winning the hearts of the digital keyboard market with their line of grands, uprights, stage, and specialty models. Equipped with their latest version of SuperNATURAL Piano Modeling technology, a great feel, and Bluetooth capabilities, Roland players appreciate having the options to connect to their smartphones and tablets to hear their music-making apps, or interact with online lessons.
DJ LINE OF THE YEAR: CHAUVET DJ
From blacklights, controllers, moving heads, and strobes to everything in between, Chauvet DJ has come up as the clear winner in the DJ Line of the Year category. Defining their presence in the DJ marketplace even further this year, Chauvet continues to deliver unique fixtures that meet the needs of mobile performers, DJ’s, clubs, and the corporate events scene.
PERCUSSION LINE OF THE YEAR: MAPEX
Mapex takes the throne this year as the Dealers’ Choice Awards Percussion Line of the Year. The Taiwanese drum brand manufactured by KHS Musical Instruments Company were a big hit with dealers across the nation spanning the range of their affordable beginner kits all the way to their professional pieces.
LIGHTING LINE OF THE YEAR: CHAUVET DJ
Dealers have decided that Chauvet DJ is a sure winner. Making out with two awards this year, the Chauvet DJ line took the crown by a large margin.
PRINT MUSIC PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR: HAL LEONARD
Hal Leonard Corporation
For the 24th year in a row Hal Leonard dominates this category. The only brand to win every single year since day-one of MMR’s Dealers’ Choice Awards, HL has continued to keep a pulse on the needs and desires of print music consumers and maintain superior relationships with it’s dealer service network.
ACCESSORY LINE OF THE YEAR: D’ADDARIO/PLANET WAVES
D’AddariDo ’& Co.
2016 has seen no takers to challenge the virtual lock on the accessories category that D’Addario holds. Once again their innovative and solid tuners, straps, strings, cables, and more have continued to evolve and please players. Reeds were rebranded and upgraded this year, drumsticks were given heat-activated coatings, and soundhole clips added to tuners. Planet Waves keeps coming up with more reasons for dealers to love them.
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