Tuners may have started as simple devices, but today features, function and price points have created a complex market that can be a little daunting to consider. In fact, the word “tuner” has become so synonymous with advanced features and functions like “auto-tune” that the old-school tuning fork didn’t even make the cut for this article. “The competition for the tuner customer is incredible,” says Peter Swaidon of BOSS. From clip-on tuners to pedals, handheld devices to dedicated hardware units, there are innumerable items available to suit the needs of today’s consumer. With gear available at prices ranging from $5 to $,5000, the question becomes: how much are you willing to pay?
For many MI dealers, student band and orchestra instrument sales have become an ever-larger segment of their business. If a dealer and a school develop a good working relationship, both parties benefit: For the dealer, the school can become a consistent, frequent customer; for a school or an idividual music teacher, the dynamic of trust and dependability in such an association is often important. To find out more about MI buying patterns when it comes to student band and orchestra instruments, MMR sent out a survey to over 1,500 music educators across the country. We found out, not surprisingly, that behind every decision is a budget. For most schools, that’s the bottom line.
Mapes Piano String Company got its start in 1912 when the Schaff family bought the name from Steven Mapes, a prominent piano string manufacture in New York City. Recently, MMR sat down with Andy Wilson, the head of piano strings at Mapes to talk about the evolution of the company. “We’ve been here almost 100 years. Our reputation of being able to produce good musical strings is out into the market and that helps us greatly,” says Wilson. “You can buy your musical instruments from anywhere in the world, but I think American made products are still number one. The Schaff family has really been very good here at Mapes to keep their company in the location that it is, and employ local people.”
A trip to remote Meductic, in New Brunswick, Canada affords an opportunity to visit local landmarks (The world’s longest covered bridge. It’s actually in neighboring Somerville, but still) and get close to nature – sighted on MMR’s recent jaunt: two large deer (alive), one huge moose (quite dead, in the back of a truck), and lots of scenic… um… scenery.
Technology Meets Demand for More Sales Opportunities
“While the acoustic drum market is struggling, the electronic drum market is growing,” declares Yamaha’s Bob Terry. Others agree: Traps Drums, who are relatively new on the scene, report that in 2008 electronic percussion amounted to 20 percent of their sales and, this year, despite the economy, that number has risen to 24 percent.