Apparently Sweetwater has added to their product line...

felonious69

Silver Member
They now have:
Brass
Woodwind
Orchestral Strings
Concert Percussion
Marching Percussion...

Interesting.
 

felonious69

Silver Member
That'll probably quickly put them over the $2BN mark.
 

felonious69

Silver Member
School programs don't generally buy the higher end stuff do they?
 

BruceW

Senior Member
School programs don't generally buy the higher end stuff do they?
higher prices don't necessarily equate to higher profits...there very well could be decent profit margins in school program equipment. (might not be, too, but I expect its gotta be decent else why bother adding the line)

The iPhone is the least profitable cell phone on the market, for example.
 

GetAgrippa

Diamond Member
As long as they quit adding candy and rotting peoples teeth out-I have a bunch of dentist in family so I support good dental habits-important and key to good health is oral health. , I also have a bunch of physicians in my family (for generations)-I bucked the line getting a PhD because I'm a frigging idiot. Still I like SweetWater the Dental Society probably supports it because it support them ROFL. I'll have to check out the alto saxes-timely post thanks.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
higher prices don't necessarily equate to higher profits...there very well could be decent profit margins in school program equipment. (might not be, too, but I expect its gotta be decent else why bother adding the line)

The iPhone is the least profitable cell phone on the market, for example.
Correct. At some point sheer numbers will work in the retailer's favor.

The reason there's so many Acrolites on the used market is because they were sold to almost every school band program in the country. An Acrolite currently runs about $300-400 new (wow, inflation). My small high school in New England probably had three dozen percussion students between three bands. If we do an average of $350, we're talking $12,600 of snare drums. What's a retailer's cut of that overall cost? Probably at least enough to cover operations plus a profit margin.
 

felonious69

Silver Member
I was looking at their saxes...950 for the cheapest one and over 12k for the top end Barritone.
 

Ransan

Senior Member
Damn:

The once active field of local knowledgeable band and orchestral instrument sales is a lost art.

I did Band and orchestra sales (including drums and percussion) for 3 1/2 - 4 years.
A local music store with extensive business ties of 60+ years we had the market ourselves and another competitor.

Instruments were on a rent to own policy no obligation to own.
I went from school to school covering the whole Texas Panhandle, I’m talking Canadian to Lubbock and everywhere between.
Long drives routed by region servicing and helping directors by bringing a mobile accessories shop to them.

Making sure the gig trunks were always stocked before I left was very important. I did go to my schools once a week - Tuesdays and Thursdays by my planning were long days.
Sometimes it was bringing by slide oil, practice pads, cleaning cloths, Christmas sheet music, or few band books, sometimes it was picking up a Conn tuba to repair a bent valve or sticking key.
We had a full service shop that I was learning to work before I left.

I can remember replacing flute key pads and checking alignment, hand hammering a bent trombone slide covered in shop towel, with a small rubber mallet hammer.

The fun part was coordinating instrument plans whether it was a H.S. using the brighter sounding trumpet over the smaller yet darker sounding coronet, sousaphones over euphoniums, straight vs curved bell baritones, etc…

Then there were brand issues such as whether to go King or Conn brass, Leblanc, Yamaha or Selmer clarinets, in addition with stock or upgrading to a Vandoren B45 mouthpiece.
Another fun part was talking to kids and parents educating them on what type of reed to buy, applying key/slide oil, or even if their kid is ready a rovner sax ligature, or another’s model student was ready for the Buffet R13 clarinet.
Assessment of aging students who play string instruments whether they could step into a full 4/4 violin from a 3/4 sizing them myself, showing how to apply rosin to bows, I also did rebridging and restringing cellos, violins, violas.
Recitals were always pleasant to work and hear.

I’m not fond of the accounts receivable side of things where we would have to pick up instruments that had past due rentals, that was always a ball buster.

(Accountant hat comes on) This is where online retailers can take advantage. Lower profit margins (cheaper to consumers) and their average days of A/R (accounts receivable) outstanding can be longer than a local ma and pa shops terms plain and simple, notwithstanding the capacity to handle it.
———
The company I did work for ended up contracting the account out to Music and Arts, so this isn’t surprising, but it is a killer.

I could go on and on…

I was looking at their saxes...950 for the cheapest one and over 12k for the top end Barritone.
Yea back in the day the YAS - 23 (Yamaha beginning model) standard alto sax was going for $1199.00.
 
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felonious69

Silver Member
Small ma/pop music places are all but gone here. The only little places that I can think of are guitar shop and spruce tree music.
 

Jeremy Bender

Platinum Member
Yes I got a small newspaper advert in the mail last week from them showcasing band and orchestral instruments as well.

I've never sold instruments but I've been around them for 40 years and one thing I can't understand is how someone can call an 800 number, talk to a "sales engineer" and expect to get accurate knowledgable information about an Apollo Audio Interface and that person can recommend a clarinet?
 

felonious69

Silver Member
Like I said... interesting.
 

Ransan

Senior Member
School programs don't generally buy the higher end stuff do they?
A more foundational approach, or (used to be) happened during budget planning between the state and/or local bureau and the ISD or independent school districts. It used to rely on above average KPIs such as student body volume of participation, and performance grades at regional and state participations.

In the government and educational grant and fund pools - the funding department would more likely consider higher attendance/performing schools when budget proposals are sent in, as I’m sure an application to apply for grant will entail detail of ‘said school’ #of students by grade, years performance in review, etc…

Now schools across the board have seen drastic cuts in their music program directly.
This may be the root of the shifting.

Also, especially in Texas there are 3 kinds of money; oil, farm and ranch, or that plain ol’ Tex money. This is where booster support via fundraisers and donations really excel.
If you go to a public school where the town either smells like bull crap or oil - you’d know you were in a rich school.

The poorly supported schools usually the inner city ones of Amarillo or Lubbock, though some outliers exist, this is another thing, and it was night and day how well one schools entire outfit looked over another.

My theory, and it’s sorta obvious is, these inner cities are pass through and see kids come and go as opposed to a small town homegrown K-12 institution that will have its students support likely seen through.

But that didn’t and still doesn’t stop determination and talent.

Through these measures, the schools try to buffer their initial buy in purchase. That’s why it’s incumbent on a local fully serving music company to have excellent lending, loaner, rental or financing programs, and let the band salesman to do their best.
Everyone wins with a genuine friendly and helpful attitude.

Yes I got a small newspaper advert in the mail last week from them showcasing band and orchestral instruments as well.

I've never sold instruments but I've been around them for 40 years and one thing I can't understand is how someone can call an 800 number, talk to a "sales engineer" and expect to get accurate knowledgable information about an Apollo Audio Interface and that person can recommend a clarinet?
That I was going to mention and I alluded to it.

How is a sales engineer going to size a 12 year old student boy or girl for a violin and tell them they need one sized over the other?
Also, reeds easily break, and as a student doesn’t always have an extra, is now under the mercy of e-commerce delivery.

Just saw their 40 point inspection guarantee:
Does this occur after the delicate flute has been shipped to my door?

Where is their repair shop?
Do consumers have to send in?
Because a shop time estimate is critical due to concerts, chair tests, etc… I know this was highly sensitive routine and if you told a mom the students instrument was 2 weeks window for shop keep, you’d better run for cover.

Finally, the local shops perpetually relied on these revenue measures and in kind they would provide the benefit of serving a large region, and it was done the old fashioned way, door to door or school to school.
 
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felonious69

Silver Member
I don't know if music should be mandatory in schools, but it should be far more important than it is now-a-days.
Seems like it takes a back seat to most other subjects.
 

felonious69

Silver Member
@Ransan ...do you know how I could repair this?
2 Valve Bugle (G)...missing (pin)? at rotation point.
Getzen told me this bugle is discontinued.
Just curious...Thanks
 

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felonious69

Silver Member
One of the reasons I suppose a lot of parents can't afford to have a "Home instrument" for their kids.
When I was 13 ('78) Mom asked what I wanted for Xmas...told her this Gibson guitar I was looking at...she asked how much it costs...told her 450
"So when do you start your new job?"
I did...After all summer...Gibson L6-S
Ransan was talking about "upkeep"...yeah...school instruments tend to take a lot of abuse. :(
When my son started strings he brought his violin home. After checking it out (not knowing a thing about violins) I deduced there were serious issues! I took it to Spruce Tree Music and they restrung it and replaced the missing and broken fine tuners...only charged me 15 bucks and it sounded WAY better!
I would imagine a band/strings teacher can't assess and repair ALL the instruments on their own.
 

Bozozoid

Silver Member
We've got a mom&pop store here hanging on for life and school band instruments keep them afloat which I'm grateful and happy for. I hope Sweetwater doesn't put that in danger or become a dark cloud over such existing stores.
 

someguy01

Gold Member
The iPhone is the least profitable cell phone on the market, for example
That is incorrect. The new SE is the least profitable of their line, but Apple holds a 66% profit share in the phone market. They're the third best selling phone worldwide, but they hold the largest profit share in the market. Samsung is second at 17%.
Apple makes a mint on their products.
 

felonious69

Silver Member
We've got a mom&pop store here hanging on for life and school band instruments keep them afloat which I'm grateful and happy for. I hope Sweetwater doesn't put that in danger or become a dark cloud over such existing stores.
Does the school system usually pay for this?
I would guess that what I paid for having done was a lot less extensive/expensive than could be for, say, a trumpet or sax or whatever.
A lot of parents probably can't afford some of it.
 
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