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Special Report

Full lines of electric guitars, racks of blinking new effects pedals, and walls full of shiny cymbals? Check. Now it's time to look into stocking up on products you might have missed out on earlier in the year. While most of the country is just settling into some cooler fall weather and new school schedules, retailers nationwide know it's already time to start gearing up for the holidays. For this upcoming season, MMR has combed through this year's releases for a few key products that could lead to some sure turns and cash register magic.

We've broken down some of the year's important gift items into price categories to make it easy for you to make sure you've got your shelves stocked with attractive goods at every price point.

Read more: 2014 Holiday Buying Guide >>>


As anyone who's been paying attention to the industry knows, music has been going through some growing pains. World-conquering guitar heroes aren't the norm. Number one albums sell less than ever. Things are fracturing into ever smaller niches.

"Across-the-board stuff doesn't work anymore," says Lace Pickups president Don Lace. "You've got to figure out where you want to go, specifically, and do that the best that you can."

That's not necessarily a bad thing. As the modern crop of guitar parts makers - purveyors of pickups, knobs, nuts, saddles, tuning pegs, and more - can attest, consumers' tastes are becoming more refined by the year. Chalk it up to the growing diversity in music, or maybe the unprecedented access to gear info for players across the country, but a pickier public is also one willing to tinker with the details until the sound is just right.

That's where you come in.

Read more: Making the Most of Aftermarket/OEM Guitar Parts >>>


MMR recently surveyed over 400 MI retailers who stock guitars, basses, amps, and related gear on the topic of in-store repair facilities. The response rate for this poll was significantly more robust than the norm and the replies reinforce the notion that this feature is no mere "add-on" for a guitar store - with 93 percent(!) of participants in our survey saying that they do offer repairs on-site, it's a safe bet that if you're a retailer of fretted gear and you don't provide such services, you should look into it. Of those guitar dealers who don't offer repairs to their customers, virtually all cited the same reason behind that decision: lack of space.

Read more: Getting a Fix on In-House Repairs >>>

Upfront Q&A

Ori Bukai, founder and owner of N.Y.- and Connecticut-based Allegro Pianos, shared his impressions about how and why Bösendorfer has been gaining more traction in the U.S. market over the past dozen years. "A decade or two ago, the higher price range of the North American market was completely dominated by Steinway," says Bukai. "A rise in the amount of information available on the Internet gave consumers the knowledge to discover that there's more than one game in town, and so in the past few years, there's been a greater openness toward true high-end pianos coming from Europe. Bösendorfer has benefitted from this trend and it continues to grow.

Read more: Allegro Pianos' Bukai on Bösendorfer in the U.S. Market >>>

Upfront Q&A

At over 185 years old, Vienna-based Bösendorfer is one of the oldest piano manufacturers still producing instruments to this day. The brand boasts several key distinctions: it's been widely acclaimed as one of the top-built brands in the world, and several times has held the informal title of "world's most expensive piano" for several of its models. The Bösendorfer artist roster includes not only highly accomplished pianists of many genres, but also major concert halls around the world. Several 92- and 97-key models (offering more keys than nearly any other commercially available piano on the market) were created for specific performance scenarios requiring an expanded range.

Read more: Bösendorfer in 2014 >>>

Last Word

When MI retailers see guitar players or keyboardists as simply musicians in their stores, they're leaving money on the table. An industry that has long looked at its customer base as a set of vertical silos - musicians, composers who need automated musical instruments, home-recording producer/engineers - should be viewing them horizontally, as musicians who record the songs they write and as aspiring producers who recognize the economic and creative benefits of being a composer and a musician.

Read more: Why MI Needs to Embrace Pro Audio >>>

Veteran Voices

Technology is all around us. Every day, we read about some new advancement - sometimes several in any given day.  It's become a part of life for us, personally and professionally. As a dealer, there are many - let's call them "technological conveniences" - you can take advantage of to grow your business, streamline procedures, save time, and more, regardless of the size of your business. I'd like to share three good starting points.

Read more: Technological Conveniences That Can Help Grow Your Business >>>

Show Report


This inspirational shirt was observed at a Group Ukulele session over at Music City Center.

Read more: The Best & Worst of 2014 Summer NAMM >>>

Show Report

12,442 registered, up from last summer’s total of 11,498

This year 438 exhibitors were on-hand, compared to the 422 who set up booths last year.

103 suppliers were first-timers at Summer NAMM.

Read more: Summer NAMM By the Numbers >>>

Show Report

"Seeing our members meeting on the show floor, attending NAMM U sessions, and enjoying themselves in the vibrant Nashville scene was gratifying, the optimism was palpable," says NAMM president and CEO Joe Lamond. "This show is very different from Winter NAMM. It's a unique opportunity to get a lot of business done in a very thoughtful and human manner.

"In my opinion, there is a vital business imperative to connect with one's business partners more regularly. This can be done in many ways, but for a NAMM member retailer or manufacturer, there is no way you could see over 1,000 companies in three days of normal business travel. Being able to do that at Summer NAMM just makes such economic sense. I believe that is why smart companies use this event to further their business goals."

Read more: Summer NAMM Continues Climb >>>

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