Current Issue

Special Report

The 2014 edition of our annual summer dealer count and breakdown represents a major milestone in how MMR collects and verifies this type of information. The numbers presented reflect a far greater degree of accuracy, providing current store counts for each state and the country, overall, as well as a percentage breakdown of how many stores provide each type of MI product to consumers.

Read more: 24th Annual Profile of the American Dealer >>>


There’s no place on Earth like New York City. A stacked mash-up of countless cultures and massive economic forces crammed into a dense corner of the coast, the City That Never Sleeps offers an almost unending variety of opportunities for business. And as one of the world’s most important musical meccas, you can be sure that it’s home to a vast amount of MI business.

Read more: New York City Market Profile >>>


Studiomaster was founded in the mid ‘70s and first came to prominence later in that decade and in the early 1980s as the company’s power amplifiers, mixing consoles, and speaker cabs became favorites of such notable acts as Phil Collins, Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott, and Spandau Ballet.

Continued innovation throughout the ensuing years (and changes in ownership) and a consistently strong reputation within the industry led to the acquisition of the group by present-day owners Soundking. Soundking’s four product lines – Studiomaster, Carlsboro, CD, and Starr – have been consolidated in the U.S. under the moniker “SCCS,” derived from the first initial of each of the brand names.tudiomaster was founded in the mid ‘70s and first came to prominence later in that decade and in the early 1980s as the company’s power amplifiers, mixing consoles, and speaker cabs became favorites of such notable acts as Phil Collins, Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott, and Spandau Ballet.

Read more: Studiomaster in 2014 >>>


Hiring knowledgeable staff, designing an inviting interior retail space, carrying in-demand instruments and products, developing a streamlined business model – these are all essential steps towards creating and maintaining a successful MI operation. But you still need to get customers actually walking through the door, and music stores have a variety of promotional strategies to choose from in order to achieve just that.

With rapidly changing technological options now at most business’s disposal, MMR decided to ask dealers what avenues they’re finding to be most successful in terms of “getting the word out” and driving sales.

Read more: How Do You Promote Your MI Store? >>>

Upfront Q&A

Approaching another big Summer NAMM Show this month in Nashville, this spring seemed like the perfect opportunity to check in with one of the industry’s most recognizable companies – Ernie Ball.  The California-based organization, now in its 52nd year in operation, has stayed ahead of the game through years of innovation and adaptation. We spoke with Ernie Ball VP Brian Ball about the changing state of the guitar industry, the resilience of the accessories market, and the importance of never rushing development on what could end up being a groundbreaking product.

Read more: Brian Ball >>>

Last Word

It’s July, it’s insanely hot, Lower Broadway in Nashville is teeming with crowds in town for the Summer NAMM Show, and all is (reasonably) right with the world. At least, that’s what we think people will be saying later this month, at the 2014 Summer NAMM Show.

Read more: Nashville NAMM Redux >>>


The Federal government and individual state governments have been cracking down on the commercial ivory trade of late. In June, the New York State Legislature passed a landmark ruling amending the state’s environmental law to ban elephant ivory sales with only a few exceptions for antiquaes, certain musical instruments made before 1975, and transfers for educational or scientific purposes or through the distribution of estates. Governor Cuomo has not yet signed all of this into law, but he is expected to do so.

Read more: The Proposed Ivory Ban >>>

Veteran Voices

The number of guitars made annually in the United States today is the highest in the history of the market. Companies such as Martin, Gibson, Fender, and Taylor are making more than ten times the number of instruments annually compared to the numbers produced in the mid-1980s. The elephant in the room is the incredible number of used instruments this brings into the marketplace and how this will affect the future market for new instruments. Unlike many other products, good quality guitars can last for hundreds of years with proper care, so in many ways the biggest competition for a new instrument manufacturer is their own vintage and used products. Guitars and other fretted instruments are also collected and traded in a manner unlike most other products and typically have high resale value.

Read more: The Elephant in the Guitar Shop >>>

At a Glance

The Drum Shop North Shore | Owner Nate Morrison | Beverly, MA | Founded in 2012 |

Secret to survival as a small, independent store: Work your ass off. I work 80 hours a week!

How to stand out: In a world where online retailing is so important, sometimes people lose the local element. I’m trying to build a neighborhood shop when everyone else’s local shop is dying.

Read more: The Drum Shop North Shore >>>


Back in 1974, banjo player Rick Shubb and Dave Coontz, a student of Rick’s and an auto mechanic comfortable with metalworking and design, decided to make Shubb’s unique concept for a fifth-string capo a reality.

Forty years later, Shubb Capos is one of the most respected names in the industry, with 16 employees, two office/design/warehouse/production facilities just outside the Bay Area in California, and a nearly endless list of string instrument players who wouldn’t use anything else but a Shubb.

We recently checked in with Rick to learn in more detail about the past and present of the company he co-founded, as well as his thoughts on the future.

Read more: At 40 Years, Shubb Capos Keeps Firm Grip on the Market >>>

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