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Special Report

A new European audio firm has been set up, following the joining of two Swiss companies and an Italian loudspeaker manufacturer.

The Schertler group comprises Schertler SA, Swiss manufacturer of high quality contact microphones and compact acoustic and electric amplification systems; SR Technology, the Italian loudspeaker systems manufacturer (wholly owned by Schertler since 2012); and Velvet Strings SA (developed and owned by Schertler).

Read more: European Beat: Audio Firms Join Together >>>

Special Report

German cable manufacturer Cordial has a new owner after a management buy out which saw MD Francois Rousies take control of the company.

Cordial was founded 20 years ago by Neutrik partner Heinz Schneckenaichner.

Rousies became managing director in 2005.

Read more: European Beat: MBO for Cordial >>>

Special Report

It’s hard to get funding for business ventures these days, when banks are keener to give out bonuses to directors than to entrepreneurs.

That’s why ambitious electronic instrument designer Nu Desine is attempting to raise extra funds to help develop and market its new AlphaSphere Me product through crowdsourcing.

The quirky musical instrument made quite an impact online last year, when AlphaSphere user’s video went viral on Facebook - racking up over 10m views in less than two weeks.

Read more: European Beat: Alphasphere Maker Turns to Crowdfunding >>>

Special Report

In other Yamaha news, it has begun the process of integrating Line 6 into its distribution network and will now be distributing the range out of its 13 European offices.

More details of how the structure will work going forward are likely to be announced at the forthcoming Musikmesse in Frankfurt.

Read more: European Beat: Line 6 Plans Take Shape >>>

Special Report

One of the UK’s best-known and well-established music retailers has undergone a transformation as part of Yamaha’s overhaul of its dealer network.

The Yamaha-owned Chappell of Bond Street in London (which is, rather confusingly, actually in Wardour Street) has now completed its rebrand to Yamaha Music London and undergone a refit to incorporate the new branding and new dedicated areas within the shop such as a Pro Sound area.

It is part of Yamaha’s overhaul of its European dealer network which saw it introduce its first set of new dealer T&Cs in nearly two decades.

Read more: European Beat: Yamaha Launches New-look Flagship Store >>>

Features

Adopting, adapting to, and competing with online commerce has been one of the major hurdles facing traditional brick–and–mortar retailers since the ‘90s. The NAMM Standards committee is comprised of a group of MI leaders who strive to create and promote best practice standards that improve efficiency and keep the “playing field” level for all.

MMR recently spoke with the committee’s system architect Dan Kessler to find out a little more about the organization’s background, current makeup, and goals for the future.

Read more: NAMM Standards: Setting the Standard – Literally! >>>

Features

The clarinet as an instrument has roots dating all the way back to Ancient Greece, Egypt, the Middle East, and Europe since the Middle Ages. Back then, they were more single-reed instruments and hornpipes than clarinets. The modern clarinet as we know it today has come a long way since then, and Yamaha’s newest release only hopes to expand upon and further the progression of the instrument.

At the Yamaha 2015 NAMM Clarinet Celebration on January 25th, 2015, Yamaha launched their CSVR clarinets. “The new CSVR was developed over the course of actually about four years, those four years are a culmination of 40+ years of custom clarinet work for Yamaha,” said Brian Petterson, marketing manager, Yamaha Winds, Band & Orchestral Division, Yamaha Corporation of America.

Read more: Yamaha Releases The Custom CSVR Clarinets >>>

Survey

Well this one was really all over the place – MI dealers who participated in this survey were in agreement on ... almost nothing related to the bass market. While, overall, folks report that low end instruments are what’s selling, it certainly felt like for every dealer who stated with conviction that inexpensive basses are where it’s at in 2015 and upscale sales are “dead,” there was an opposing viewpoint asserting that high end model basses are the hot sellers this year. Are sales up, down, or level compared to last spring? The replies amount to a whole lot of “eh?” with a virtual three-way split amongst those retailers polled (although, to put a positive spin on it, the “Up” replies were slightly in the majority).

Bass sales seem to be very much dependent on where you’re selling, to whom your selling, and – as is always vital – how you’re selling.

Read on and dive into the murky waters of this schizophrenic market…

Read more: Retailers Chime in on the State of the Bass Guitar Market >>>

Upfront Q&A

A lifelong musician who has played with the bands C.O.R.E. and Q5 and is lately writing country songs, guitarist and technological guru Floyd D. Rose developed the locking tremolo for guitar in the late '70s, ushering in a musical innovation embraced by the likes of Eddie Van Halen, Neal Schon, and Joe Satriani. His latest breakthrough, the FRX Tremolo System, designed for Les Paul, SG, and Flying V-style guitars, is a direct swap for the Tune-O-Matic and stopbar type bridge system. It has a locking nut that can simply be mounted in place of the truss rod cover. Rose spoke with MMR about his latest invention.

Read more: Floyd Rose – Still Breaking New Ground >>>

Last Word

Another Winter NAMM is in the books. The cymbals have crashed, the LEDs have flashed, several checks have been cashed, fretboard fingers mashed, cookies cached (didn’t see that one coming, did you?), snare drums bashed, hotel rooms trashed, et cetera. You get the idea. But what the long plane rides home offer is an opportunity for is reflection on what just took place. Here are five takeaways one writer took back from Anaheim.

Read more: Five Things I Learned at Winter NAMM 2015 >>>

 

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