16th Annual Dealers’ Choice Awards
In a season defined by a historic presidential campaign, MMR once again sponsored our own election, polling MI retailers to determine the top products of 2008. The votes have all been tallied and, for the eighth consecutive year, dealers have chosen Yamaha’s Disklavier as the overall Product of the Year.
Selections for all categories were solicited via e-mail and a ballot included in the October issue of MMR.
Few would dispute that ’08 presented ample challenges for vendors and this fact was perhaps reflected by the voting results for this year’s Dealers’ Choice Awards – in virtually every category, competition was tighter than in any previous year.
We extend our thanks to the retailers who participated in the 16th annual Dealers’ Choice voting..
|PRODUCT OF THE YEAR
Yamaha Corproration of America
It’s hard to argue with success and, as Yamaha’s series of high-tech player consoles inches one step closer to an unbroken decade-long reign as Product of the Year, the Disklavier would seem to be in a league of its own when it comes to achievement.
“The world’s most advanced piano” line offers a full range of instruments, from uprights to concert grands, and in 2008 the Disklavier received a series of improvements including a recent 3.0 upgrade for the Mark IV series that allows the instrument to record actual external audio and not just MIDI. Additionally, Disklavier 3.0 can be controlled by both the Pocket Remote Controller, and also by PCs and Macintosh consoles.
With continued innovations and no discernable waning of interest on the part of consumers, don’t bet against the Disklavier taking top honors once again in 2009.
|ELECTRIC GUITAR LINE OF THE YEAR
Fender Musical Instruments Corporation
With a range of models at every conceivable price-point and offering a wide selection of features, the venerable Fender Stratocaster remains a favorite with dealers and consumers alike. With continued expansion of the line and an overall uptick in guitar sales, the Strat remains atop the electric guitar heap.
|ELECTRIC BASS LINE OF THE YEAR
Ibanez SR Series
Hoshino USA, Inc.
In a very tightly contested race, Ibanez managed to edge out the competition with its SR Series being singled out – its array of different models appeal to a wide variety of players.
|ACOUSTIC GUITAR LINE OF THE YEAR
C.F. Martin & Co., Inc.
Celebrating their 175th anniversary in 2008, the folks at Martin Guitars can now also enjoy being selected as the top acoustic guitar line by dealers. A varied selection of instruments, including acclaimed custom models, coupled with the brand’s reputation and history make Martin a go-to brand for acoustic guitarists.
|AMPLIFIER LINE OF THE YEAR
Peavey’s affordable range of modeling guitar amps takes top honors in one of the most competitive product categories in this year’s balloting.
|RECORDING EQUIPMENT LINE OF THE YEAR
Zoom H4 Recorder
Zoom’s H4 is at the head of the pack in the burgeoning product category of handheld digital recorders. Dealers cite the unit’s versatility and wealth of features as strong selling points with customers.
|SOUND REINFORCEMENT LINE OF THE YEAR
Yamaha BR Series
Yamaha Corporation of America
Yamaha’s new line of affordable loudspeakers proved appealing to schools, churches, and performing musicians in 2008.
|MICROPHONE LINE OF THE YEAR
Long the industry standard, Shure’s SM57 and SM58 cardioid dynamic mics were clear winners in this category, though the company’s Beta series also received a substantial number of votes.
|BAND & ORCHESTRAL INSTRUMENT LINE OF THE YEAR
Jupiter XO Series Trumpets
Jupiter Band Instruments, Inc.
In another of the extremely tight races within 2008′s Dealers’ Choice Awards balloting, Jupiter ultimately edged out competitors with its popular XO Series professional trumpets.
|ACOUSTIC PIANO LINE OF THE YEAR
Kawai America Corporation
Popular with educators, performers, and institutions, Kawai’s K-3 Upright proved a winner in this category. Dealers point to value and brand loyalty as upsides that attract buyers to the K-3.
|HOME DIGITAL KEYBOARD OF THE YEAR
Yamaha Corporation of America
While Yamaha’s Disklavier gets the nod for Product of the Year, the company’s Clavinova – marking it’s 25th Anniversary this year – is also an undeniable hit, providing Yamaha with its third award in ’08. With a number of models at many price-points, the Clavinova appeals to a variety of players at different ability levels.
|PRO DIGITAL PIANO LINE OF THE YEAR
A wide selection of sounds and features makes Roland’s FP-7 a winner in this category. Now bundling Cakewalk SONAR LE, the FP-7 offers end users even more versatility.
|PERCUSSION LINE OF THE YEAR
Imperial Star Hoshino USA, Inc.
In yet another hotly contested category, TAMA emerged victorious as Percussion Line of the Year. Though the company’s products, in general, received a number of votes, TAMA’s affordable, feature-rich Imperial Star line, in particular, stood out.
|LIGHTING LINE OF THE YEAR
American DJ Supply, Inc.
American DJ netted their fourth consecutive win in this category. Dealers noted ADJ’s reputation in the field and innovative product developments as strong points.
|DJ LINE OF THE YEAR
Once again Numark takes home top honors as DJ Line of the Year – this time for the iDJ2, which readers felt was the most versatile iPod mixing console available.
|PRINT MUSIC PUBLISHER OF THE YEAR
Hal Leonard, Corporation
Victorious in this category since the inception of MMR’s Dealers’ Choice Awards 16 years ago, Hal Leonard yet again finds itself in the Winner’s Circle. A staggering collection of high profile partnerships and the sheer volume of available titles makes the company a tough champ to unseat.
|SOFTWARE LINE OF THE YEAR
Avid Technology, Inc.
As “the world’s best-selling notation software,” Sibelius narrowly edged out the competition in this hotly contested (and new for 2008) category.
|ACCESSORY LINE OF THE YEAR
D’Addario & Company
Breaking Korg’s three-year supremacy in this category, D’Addario strings were singled out by dealers as favorites amongst guitarists and bassists.
|SUPPLIER WEB SITE OF THE YEAR
Yamaha Corporation of America
Yamaha’s win in this extremely competitive category is the company’s fourth for ’08. Dealers applauded Yamaha’s online presence for its wealth of information and tools that benefit both retailers and end users.