Soultone endorser regret?

Thebrand

Junior Member
I sent in an application to Soultone on the off chance that I'd get an endorsement deal. I got it and was so excited. I didn't think twice and accepted the contract and bought my first cymbal that day. My cymbal has arrived and it sounds great. Only thing is I love my A customs more so I am endorsing a product where I think one of its competitors are better. I don't like that feeling and I feel like I sold out. I don't want too look bad though and leave my contract with Soultone, terrible feeling. I don't know what too do is my problem. Any suggestions on what I should do?

Thanks.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
What do you want to hear? You don't want to renege on the contract, but you're admitting you still like your non-Soultone cymbals. What do you think you should do?

However, this isn't a real endorsement deal if you have to buy the cymbals. You know that, right? I say if I sign a contract and the product comes to me for free and they pay me for my likeness to tell others how great I think their products are, then that's a different thing.

Basic contract law states that there must be consideration for a contract to exist. The consideration to you would be payment for your likeness to be used to sell their cymbals to others. They're not paying you anything, and you even bought the cymbal. So, is there even a contract?
 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
Why did you even approach Soultone if you didn't like their cymbals as much as another brand? Had you even tried one before applying for your "deal"?

There are loads of comapnies offering "endorsements" like this these days, because they know that a lot of (usually young) drummers will buy their products if they market it as an endorsement. In actual fact, the drummer is only getting is a slightly lower price because he buys the product directly from the manufacturer instead of going through a store.

Is there anything in the contract that says you can be seen using Soultone cymbals from now on? If not, I guess you're free to use your A Customs as much as you like.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
First off, an endorsement means you like their product better than anyone else's and are willing to say so publicly. Most companies usually only offer endorsements to drummers who are somewhat successful and can attract other drummers to their product by being seen playing or using it.

Soultone, however, banks on the fact that lots of younger or less experienced drummers, like you (no offense intended, but there it is) will not understand how endorsements work, and therefore can sell you a cymbal for an "endorser discount" that really means buck-all when you look at the prices.

If you are not familiar with the product, and prefer other products to it, you are not an endorser. You're someone who got taken for a ride on a marketing angle.

I personally think Soultone's business model in this aspect is reprehensible, and I have heard some pretty nasty things about them from former endorsers. Hopefully they won't be able to keep up this effort much longer.
 

eclipseownzu

Gold Member
If you signed a contract read it! It will have information on voiding the contract. if you did not sign a contract then there really is no contract.

A contract requires both sides to be satisfied for the contract to remain valid. If you are not satisfied with their end of the agreement then you can legaly void the contract. In this case you can simply send Soultone a letter removing yourself from the contract and you will be legaly out of the contract.

Soultone can legaly require you to pay the difference for the "discount" you were given, but lets be honest here, you were not given a real discount, and Soultone doesn't have the resources to come after you.

Besides, I wouldnt be too concerned with your reputation at this point, unless you are worried about all of your other endorsment offers.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Soultone are not the only ones doing this. Even the big brands will do this for smaller artists, from what i hear anyway
You're right in one aspect; most endorsement deals do not involve free product, but discounts on gear and preference on ordering and special requests, support for tours, etc.

However, the "big brands" typically do not seek out no-name drummers with no name recognition to be "endorsed", the way that Soultone does. Bo Eder reports being approached cold on the NAMM floor by a Soultone representative asking if he'd like to "be endorsed". The guy had never seen Bo play once in his life.

That's not how endorsements work. A name drummer who has been playing or using a certain brand approaches the brand for an endorsement, or in very rare/extreme cases, the company approaches a very well-known drummer who is using their gear and offers an endorsement, because he's already using their gear in a way that will promote their brand.

Give Bermuda's endorsement FAQ a read. I think you should.
http://www.bermudaschwartz.com/endorsement/index.html
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Any suggestions on what I should do?
Read your contract.​
Like others have said, these types of "endorsements" are mostly just scams to sell cymbals. And you probably get out of your endorsement by simply not using Soultone cymbals, anymore.​
 

Thebrand

Junior Member
Ok I'm not trying too start anything I just thought it was cool that it happened and didn't know how it worked. After I researched the company and I heard some terrible things. This didn't make me feel to good but I know it's not a big endorsement but it's still an endorsement. And I approached them because I've been following them on YouTube for a while and went to their website. I saw that they had "apply for an endorsement" section. I did it jokingly from my phone not expecting to even get a response. So when they said welcome to te family I got excited. All I am saying is I guess young drummers be wary of endorsement deals. Unless a company approaches you there really isn't any benefit too you signing a deal with them. It's a pretty sneaky way to get people to buy their gear. I will say this the cymbal does sound good and the fact they engrave your name or logo is really cool. So thank you to everyone who posted I appreciate your feedback.
 

Florian

Gold Member
Its not an endorsement. You bought something from them. Most people call this a sale, they choose to call it an endorsement. Youve been had. (like tons of other endorsement wannabees). Musicians Friend, Guitar Center and a slew of other online retailers would like you to endorse them as well..they have tons of things you can choose to endorse, end result is the same.

F
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Ok I'm not trying too start anything I just thought it was cool that it happened and didn't know how it worked. After I researched the company and I heard some terrible things. This didn't make me feel to good but I know it's not a big endorsement but it's still an endorsement. And I approached them because I've been following them on YouTube for a while and went to their website. I saw that they had "apply for an endorsement" section. I did it jokingly from my phone not expecting to even get a response. So when they said welcome to te family I got excited. All I am saying is I guess young drummers be wary of endorsement deals. Unless a company approaches you there really isn't any benefit too you signing a deal with them. It's a pretty sneaky way to get people to buy their gear. I will say this the cymbal does sound good and the fact they engrave your name or logo is really cool. So thank you to everyone who posted I appreciate your feedback.
The cymbals are nice. When I saw them at NAMM they had that whole Turkish-thing down. But they were also not the only ones. Rumor has it there may only be one factory in Istanbul producing all the cymbals and each company brands them for consumption. Kinda like how Matsushita made everybody's VCR's except for Sony and one other. Even sneakier!

But if you do really like them, they are viable instruments. I have a couple of friends who endorse them and they love the sound, that's what matters in the end. But if you're not happy, then you shouldn't feel obligated to continue playing them. I think the deal is if you play out alot, they'd prefer for you to be displaying their cymbals. But if you don't really play out alot in the public eye, how are they gonna know? I understand being a professional and honoring your contract, but sometimes stuff like this seems so pretentious to me. If you were really in the public eye like Benny or Jojo, or any one of those superstars (and Hannah Ford has become even bigger now with her association with Prince) SoulTone would've found you and made a proper deal.

I was shocked they would offer me an endorsement deal, until I read their contract. Then I decided it wasn't for me because I really liked the Zildjians I had collected over the years anyway. But most of my public outings are anonymous or silly enough that I don't want anyone to know what I'm doing anyway ;)
 
Yeah I've been endorsed by Soultone for a few months an I'm I satisfied too. It still seems I'm not saving a lot of money, as for a little bit more money I could buy some top of the range Sabians! As I'm from the UK (I'm not sure what it is in other countries) but I get 70 percent off, then %20 VAT is added, and I have to pay some towards postage, so it amounts to more than I think an endorser should pay.
However, it's not just about money, I just don't like the feel of the cymbals, or the sound, and I've found I've been disappointed with the cymbals I have bought. A lot of this advice will also help me.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
What Soultone is calling an endorsement is only a chance for you to buy cymbals discounted. They don't know you from Adam and anyone could fill out the forms, get "approved" and buy discounted cymbals. I doubt if they will have anyone snooping around your next gig making sure you are playing Soultone cymbals. Look on their website and tell me how many of their endorsers you have heard of. Zero unless they live next door. REad the contract and see what it says. Then go Play your Zildjians and be happy.
 
The contract stated that if an endorser is seen playing a different cymbal company's cymbals the contract would be terminated, so I don't imagine they can take any legal action! I'm moving to Zildjian, haha.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
In 2008 (I think), I was at NAMM and was approached by Soultone. I had just finished doing two records with some label acts and was considering going back on some tours. (I had stopped that after my kid was born).

I fell for their story and got "endorsed". I did get some decent cymbals at a good price but it became pretty obvious that the endorser thing was a bunch of BS after a short time.

At least I can say I was one of the first.

I still use one of the crashes.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I don't consider a discount on a product whose price is inflated to begin with, to be an endorsement. It's just an avenue for sales by the company. And Soultone is hardly the only MI company that calls its customers endorsers, and uses a contract to (try to) lock them in as exclusive customers.

While most companies do offer special pricing for the majority of their endorsers, it's typically a genuine discount, often below dealer cost, and also very attractive to the artist. In Soultone's case, the 'list' prices are pretty high, and the resulting endorser price is on par with street prices of the major brands.

I take a dim view on the proliferation of "customers as endorsers" policies of many of the newer companies. Maybe I'm just too old school to accept that new paradigm, however it's obvious that the concept of a true endorsement still lingers among up & coming players, and that's why this doesn't sit so well with them, either.

Bermuda
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Remember too, as stated in that article about endorsements, in a true endorsement relationship, you're the ambassador for the companies whose products you play. People will be talking to you about what you're playing and why you're playing it. If your heart isn't behind the product, you're doing a disservice to the company. An endorsement should be that vibe you have when you're playing your favorite instruments - instruments you'd buy with your own money because you like them that much and you'd play them anyway. And according to the article, it's a two-way street between artist and company too - if you love the product, the product loves you back with great service and support.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I don't consider a discount on a product whose price is inflated to begin with, to be an endorsement. It's just an avenue for sales by the company.

Bermuda
Nor do I, but regrettably these "arrangements" are becoming more common. It taps into that recognition thing so often sought after by mostly younger players, & I think it's scurrilous to put it mildly.

At Guru, we'll have non of it, even though it would doubtless snag some welcome low hanging fruit sales. Heck, we even think twice about selling one of our instruments to someone who we believe is making an inappropriate choice. To us, a customer who isn't delighted with their purchase would be a cause for considerable concern, but for someone who's endorsing our product to be unhappy, or worse, prefer another brand, would just be unthinkable!

Only today, I was having a very nice conversation with a well known drummer who's endorsed a very well known drum brand for many years. He contacted me, & not for the first time. This drummer totally loves our instruments, & all other things being equal, would jump at the chance to endorse our drums, but alas, we can't match the international support he receives. Pity, because his prime time exposure (in Europe) is huge. We're being utterly honest about our limitations, & he's being honest about what he needs. This is a professional conversation, & the kind of conversation I doubt is a regular thing in companies who engage in these scam practices.
 

simmsdn

Silver Member
If you don't need international backline support, you probably don't need an endorsement. If they were offering a superior product at a great value, a lot more people would be jumping on the Soultone train.

Go play whatever you want and get out of that deal. I declare shenanigans.
 

Drumz

Member
The cymbals are nice. When I saw them at NAMM they had that whole Turkish-thing down. But they were also not the only ones. Rumor has it there may only be one factory in Istanbul producing all the cymbals and each company brands them for consumption. Kinda like how Matsushita made everybody's VCR's except for Sony and one other. Even sneakier!

I've heard the same thing. Word is that many of them are made by Masterworks. Not the Istanbuls - both Mehmet and AGOP have their own manufacturing. But I've heard that at least three of the others are all Masterworks that have been re-branded. Not that it makes them bad cymbals mind you.
 
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