DW sold to Roland?

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
My long theory:

Many years ago, there was Kaman Music, later called KMC.

KMC owned Gibraltar, Toca, Ovation Guitars, Hammer Guitar, and several smaller amp companies, they had bought out Latin Percussion and had distribution deals with just about every music manufacturer under the sun. It was, quite simply the largest single music company.
instrument-related company.

Oddly, Kaman's main business was aero space and helicopters. The music division was just a small side hobby.

In 2007, Kaman came to realize that a large aerospace company having a side gig as a music company as silly, and they sold all of KMC to Fender. Link: https://tucson.com/business/local/f...nstruments,approximately $117 million in cash.


Fender had hoped that combined with KMC, they could make themselves a huge company, and go public. However, it backfired when Wall Street rejected Fenders IPO in 2012. Fenders IPO was mostly rejected due to their cozy relationship with Guitar Center and GC's debt problems. However, some Wall Street analysts were also critical of the handling of the KMC purchase and thought Fender lacked focus.

Without the IPO money, Fender had cash problems. They had borrowed heavily to purchase KMC for $117 million in cash.

So Fender put KMC up for sale.

And then DW bought mucj of it (outside the complex distribution system) in 2015:



The story sent shock waves through the music industry because it didn't make sense that a relatively small company like DW could afford such a huge conglomerate like KMC. The talk at NAMM that year was about how the heck did DW pull off such a large purchase? Rumors floated about how many bank loans the Lombardi family must have put together to make it happen.

DW then turned around and sold off as many of the non-percussion brands as it could, save Ovation Guitars. But DW didn't stop buying, as they bought the rest of Gretsch (part of it as already owned by KMC and included in the KMC purchase), and later, Slingerland.

So my guess is, the debt payments on the KMC, Gretch, and Slingerland purchases just got too much to handle. They never found a buyer for Ovation guitars. So my guess is Don and Chris started looking for alternative ways to refinance all their debts.

Roland USA main US headquarters is approximately a 2-hour drive from the DW factory in Oxnard.

So it made sense to approach Roland with an offer to sell shares in DW to pay off all their loans.

Of course, this is just theory and conjecture, as DW is a private company and does not have to disclose its books. But the fact that DW bought out a big chunk of the much larger KMC is public knowledge.
 
My long theory:

Many years ago, there was Kaman Music, later called KMC.

KMC owned Gibraltar, Toca, Ovation Guitars, Hammer Guitar, and several smaller amp companies, they had bought out Latin Percussion and had distribution deals with just about every music manufacturer under the sun. It was, quite simply the largest single music company.
instrument-related company.

Oddly, Kaman's main business was aero space and helicopters. The music division was just a small side hobby.

In 2007, Kaman came to realize that a large aerospace company having a side gig as a music company as silly, and they sold all of KMC to Fender. Link: https://tucson.com/business/local/f...nstruments,approximately $117 million in cash.


Fender had hoped that combined with KMC, they could make themselves a huge company, and go public. However, it backfired when Wall Street rejected Fenders IPO in 2012. Fenders IPO was mostly rejected due to their cozy relationship with Guitar Center and GC's debt problems. However, some Wall Street analysts were also critical of the handling of the KMC purchase and thought Fender lacked focus.

Without the IPO money, Fender had cash problems. They had borrowed heavily to purchase KMC for $117 million in cash.

So Fender put KMC up for sale.

And then DW bought mucj of it (outside the complex distribution system) in 2015:



The story sent shock waves through the music industry because it didn't make sense that a relatively small company like DW could afford such a huge conglomerate like KMC. The talk at NAMM that year was about how the heck did DW pull off such a large purchase? Rumors floated about how many bank loans the Lombardi family must have put together to make it happen.

DW then turned around and sold off as many of the non-percussion brands as it could, save Ovation Guitars. But DW didn't stop buying, as they bought the rest of Gretsch (part of it as already owned by KMC and included in the KMC purchase), and later, Slingerland.

So my guess is, the debt payments on the KMC, Gretch, and Slingerland purchases just got too much to handle. They never found a buyer for Ovation guitars. So my guess is Don and Chris started looking for alternative ways to refinance all their debts.

Roland USA main US headquarters is approximately a 2-hour drive from the DW factory in Oxnard.

So it made sense to approach Roland with an offer to sell shares in DW to pay off all their loans.

Of course, this is just theory and conjecture, as DW is a private company and does not have to disclose its books. But the fact that DW bought out a big chunk of the much larger KMC is public knowledge.
This pretty much sums it up for me. DW got in way too deep financially speaking. How many high-end drum sets can you sell and stay afloat with all the debt they have? You can't rely on selling mid-priced kits, as that's a very crowded space, and getting more so by the day. Combined with the fact, that, young people are more and more distracted by other activities that compete for their attention.
Let's remember, the sad history of guitar companies owning drum companies has not been a good one. What makes one think a traditionally electronics based company is going to be any better a steward with drum company? This is before figuring in a two year pandemic,
and 8.3% inflation Y/Y in the US. After reading the above, I can see even Roland has its plate very full now, for sure.
 

Drum Mer

Platinum Member
This pretty much sums it up for me. DW got in way too deep financially speaking. How many high-end drum sets can you sell and stay afloat with all the debt they have? You can't rely on selling mid-priced kits, as that's a very crowded space, and getting more so by the day. Combined with the fact, that, young people are more and more distracted by other activities that compete for their attention.
Let's remember, the sad history of guitar companies owning drum companies has not been a good one. What makes one think a traditionally electronics based company is going to be any better a steward with drum company? This is before figuring in a two year pandemic,
and 8.3% inflation Y/Y in the US. After reading the above, I can see even Roland has its plate very full now, for sure.
And don’t forget a heavy used market.
 

Chris Whitten

Silver Member
Sadly, all they will have to do is convince people that's true. As if we don't make the future ourselves.
No, the future is made by musicians. The simple fact is, almost none of the top 40 (for at least five or so years now) has had acoustic drums in the mix. It is all electronic sounds, programmed or drum machine. Even the die hard rock drummers are triggering hyped acoustic drum sounds in concert. For over ten years now the majority of acoustic drummers you see in concert have also been using SPD-SX sample pads.
This is the future.
If you insist on not being hybrid, you are rejecting 75% of the music that is actually going on out there!
 

Chris Whitten

Silver Member
That has been my experience, unfortunately. The Roland kits I've played were junk, and they were mid-tier kits, not bottom of the barrel. The fact that DW is associated with that in any way really pains me.
They keep using this phrase 'hybrid'.
Roland leads the market in hybrid and the products are excellent IMO.
So sample pads like the SPD-SX, trigger samplers like the TM-2 and TM-6 Pro.
Roland even have the best, most accurate triggers IMO.
 

toddmc

Gold Member
I’ve seen the patents and picks for the DW electric hybrid but what about it is so new and revolutionary?
 

Totigerus

Active Member
(I believe Remo is making those right now...).
Mind blown! Why did remo stop making their own drum kits then? Maybe too much competition, but hardly any in the kid's hand percussion field? lol Weird man.
 

Totigerus

Active Member
Haven’t seen Roland screw up an acquisition yet, but there’s always the first
That's an interesting point. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that DW will get pissed off at Roland within five years and pull out of this deal.
I mean, DW have been doing it their way, the old school way, from the ground up for 50 years. You think they're gonna like having to deal with a huge conglomerate corporation micro-managing their every thought and move? HELL NO! They just liked the sound of "85 million dollars" but when the dust settles......(screen cap this post) 😆
 
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cbphoto

Diamond Member
No, the future is made by musicians. The simple fact is, almost none of the top 40 (for at least five or so years now) has had acoustic drums in the mix. It is all electronic sounds, programmed or drum machine. Even the die hard rock drummers are triggering hyped acoustic drum sounds in concert. For over ten years now the majority of acoustic drummers you see in concert have also been using SPD-SX sample pads.
This is the future.
If you insist on not being hybrid, you are rejecting 75% of the music that is actually going on out there!
I agree that the trigger tech provides drummers with unlimited sounds, but—oof—look at those cables. Even though I have mics on my kit, and sometimes my SPD-SX is also jacked into my mixer, cables and electronics are drudgery for me. Once it's all set up and the samples are functioning, I'm good, but getting there isn't fun for me.

Screen Shot 2022-09-14 at 5.49.15 PM.png

And six TRS input jacks (for a total of 12 inputs), mixed down to four outputs, none of which are XLR, so a direct box is needed for long runs.

Screen Shot 2022-09-14 at 5.55.57 PM.png
 

Frank Godiva

Active Member
I saw your post, thx. But did I miss the big reveal? Yamahas latest modules support positional sensing on the newest drum pads and on the old cymbal pads. So that and wireless is the revolutionary part but on an acoustic set?
 

toddmc

Gold Member
I saw your post, thx. But did I miss the big reveal? Yamahas latest modules support positional sensing on the newest drum pads and on the old cymbal pads. So that and wireless is the revolutionary part but on an acoustic set?
The wireless part is indeed the big reveal and I assume they will implement it on all new e-kits moving forward but yes, particularly good for the "acoustic" Roland sets since they typically come with stands only (one step closer to making them even more acoustic-looking when you don't have cables hanging everywhere).
 

Frank Godiva

Active Member
The wireless part is indeed the big reveal and I assume they will implement it on all new e-kits moving forward but yes, particularly good for the "acoustic" Roland sets since they typically come with stands only (one step closer to making them even more acoustic-looking when you don't have cables hanging everywhere).

The wireless is really not a big deal either. It just means that eDrums are finally joining the IoT which is a concept that’s been around for decades.


Got a Ring doorbell or a Nest thermostat?


“The Internet of things (IoT) describes physical objects (or groups of such objects) with sensors, processing ability, software, and other technologies that connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the Internet or other communications networks. Internet of things has been considered a misnomer because devices do not need to be connected to the public internet, they only need to be connected to a network and be individually addressable.

The main concept of a network of smart devices was discussed as early as 1982, with a modified Coca-Cola vending machine at Carnegie Mellon University becoming the first ARPANET-connected appliance.”


So 40 years later, DW patents the concept and technology for drums?

Yawn…….
 

averageguy

Junior Member
As some have pointed out, the future is probably electronic, or at least some type of hybrid kit. I'm not overly excited about that, or direct drive pedals for that matter, but it's likely the reality of what younger generations will use moving forward.

Remember Peart's brilliant lryic- "he knows changes are not permanent, but change is."
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
DW got the distribution for gretsch, gretsch are still operating as a standalone company.
DW has the license to manufacture and distribute.

BY GRETSCH | JAN 25, 2015 | NEWS

Shortly after the turn of the new year it was announced that the license to manufacture and distribute Gretsch drums had been acquired by Drum Workshop.

Gretsch themselves has never had anything directly to do with making the Catalina and other overseas models. Gretsch never made their own shells from scratch.

Gretsch owns their name, they own their building, but not much else when it comes to the drum side of the company.
 
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