Current Issue

Survey

To gauge the relative health of the drum & percussion market, MMR recently polled over 350 dealers from across the country. While responses to our surveys of this sort often indicate a clear trajectory for a given market segment, this time around the results are a little murkier.

Read more: The Beat Goes On - Disparate Feedback from U.S. Drum & Percussion Retailers Indicates a Market in... >>>

Upfront Q&A

In the 10 years since Mike Skinner, Greg Greime, and Bill Gray founded Illinois-based DANSR Inc., the company has emerged as one of the major players in the world of B&O accessories. Rising to the challenge of overcoming the 2008 recession while still a very young organization, DANSR picked up distribution for Jones Double Reeds, Denis Wick brass products, and handles all of Vandoren’s U.S. operations. The company is focused on helping to expand market reach of Vandoren’s still-new (introduced in 2012) JUNO line of student-level reeds.

Read more: DANSR’s Mike Skinner >>>

Last Word

Guitars and drums have long had their celebrity-endorsed versions, iterations customized for a particular player’s specifications and tastes. The hook here is obvious: they focus the aspirational qualities of the instrument on a musical hero, be it Les Paul or Dimebag Darrell. But MI manufacturers are having some success with heroes of the non-musical sort, too. Fender earlier this year came out with its Major League Baseball-themed guitar series. Each Stratocaster guitar in the series will feature official team logos along with custom-designed landmark imagery unique to the team’s market, as well as the MLB logo adorning the neck plate. In September, Peavey added to its line of Marvel super-hero products with new Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy musical instruments and accessories, including guitars, ukuleles, straps and picks. Hey, even talking raccoons gotta play, right?

Read more: Connections >>>

Editorial

Ever since the 2008 refinement of the Lacey Act and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department’s 2009 raid on Gibson, our guitar industry has debated the fairness of governmental regulations that hold each of us accountable for verifying the legality of the harvest and chain of custody of the woods we use in our instruments. Is this governmental overreach and interference in free enterprise, or appropriate accountability for respecting and honoring the resources our instruments rely on?

Read more: Is Protecting the World’s Hardwood and Rain Forests Our Responsibility? >>>

Editorial

A few weeks ago, Peavey Electronics announced that they were “reorganizing manufacturing” under a new globalization plan (reported on page 6 of this issue). There are many facets to this development and plenty of angles to consider, but one of the most immediate is that, beginning later this month, the company will be laying off as many as 100 factory workers at its Meridian, Mississippi facility.

Read more: The Re-Shoring Myth >>>

Anniversary

I  guess they were Fenders,” says Art Rivasy, Sr., founder of Collinsville, Illinois’ Swing City Music, when asked about the first lines carried by his store 50 years ago. “When I opened the first Collinsville store at the Orchard Shopping Center, we were probably also selling an amplifier by Baldwin back then. It was sort of blue and brushed silver. [Likely the Baldwin Professional line – Ed.] I recall going over for the first time to the wholesale house and they were trying to sell us all the banjo strings and violin strings and we didn’t even have any of that. [laughs]. We just did guitar strings, from what I can remember. But, anyway, it was a lot different back then. First I had to get Epiphone and then, after another three years, I got Gibson.”

Read more: Swing City Music’s 50th Half a Century of Serving the Musicians of Metro St. Louis >>>

Show Report

Music China 2014 took place October 8 – 11 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre. This year’s gathering saw increased numbers across the board, with more than 1,775 exhibitors (up from from 1,680 in 2013) from 30 countries and regions (up slightly, compared to 29 last year).

Read more: Music China 2014 - Annual Gathering was the Largest in Show’s History >>>

Show Report

It’s been 12 years since the annual Audio Engineering Society show made an appearance in Los Angeles, this time returning to the L.A. Convention Center from October 8-12, 2014. For audio professionals, this was the place to be, with the exhibit floor, panels and technical sessions packed all four days, thanks to the 15,403 registered attendees and 307 exhibitors/sponsors.

As with past AES shows, the emphasis tended to be on higher-end recording technologies, although the presentations at the Project Studio Expo and Live Sound Expo were also popular attractions, along with the usual technical panels featuring world-class producers and studio engineers. 

Read more: The AES Convention Returns to Los Angeles and Reveals a Few Surprises >>>

Roundtable

It seems simple enough, right? Single-reed woodwinds need something to keep the reed attached to the mouthpiece in order to produce sound. String, shoelaces, wire, and even tape have all been used to satisfactory effect throughout history. What’s there to add about ligatures in the modern age, really?

As it turns out, quite a lot.

Read more: Keep it Together - Key Ligature Suppliers Chime in on the Trends of the Day >>>

Small Business Matters

In the past year, high-profile instances of data theft at Home Depot and Target, affecting tens of millions of customers, brought the problem of cyber attacks to the forefront of public consciousness. If retail giants – with cutting edge systems and highly trained personnel – are, nonetheless, potential victims of hackers, what risk do such breaches represent for smaller operations? MMR reached out to Martin McKeay of Akamai, one of the premier providers of secure cloud services for businesses, worldwide, to get some answers.

Read more: Data Theft - Smaller Retailers are Even More Vulnerable to a Security Breach >>>

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