Music & Sound Award Finalists Exemplify Excellence, Innovation And Dedication

By Dan Ferrisi

In this story, we proudly present the products, manufacturers and company personnel nominated for Music & Sound Awards this year, the 27th annual presentation of the industry’s biggest, most-sought-after honor. Of course, a host of dealers was also nominated, and you can find the complete list of retailers that have been singled out for excellence on page 36. Here, though, not only will you find the unabridged list of product and manufacturer honors, but also comments from company executives, talking about what a Music & Sound Award nomination means and why the product, company or, in some cases, individual is deserving of being crowned the winner at NAMM next month.
We included as many quotes as we could, within space limitations; some companies did not provide a quote by deadline and, thus, could not be included. Quotes were provided by the companies, and may have been edited or shortened for space.

The Retailer congratulates all the nominees!

BEST NEW Acoustic Guitar of 2012
Fender’s Sonoran SCE Acoustic Guitar
“We are extremely honored and excited to be nominated for a Music & Sound Award. Here at Fender Acoustics, we work hard every day to craft and design truly unique acoustic guitars for our customers to enjoy and cherish for years to come. We truly have a great team of people who are extremely passionate and take their skill very seriously, so we are appreciative and pleased to have our dealers take notice and give us this nomination.”
—Jim Bryant, Product Manager, Fender Acoustics

Martin’s DRS2 Acoustic-Electric Guitar
“We are thrilled to have received a Music & Sound Award nomination for our DRS2 Acoustic-Electric Guitar. The Music & Sound Retailer has been a great longtime supporter of Martin Guitar, and we are excited to have one of our outstanding models receive such acknowledgement from our industry peers.”
 —Skip Beltz, Director of Product Management, Martin Guitar

Seagull’s Natural Elements CW Mini-Jumbo Heart of Wild Cherry SG

Taylor’s 714ce Acoustic Guitar
“We’d like to thank all who nominated the 714ce this year. It’s an honor to be recognized for a classic Taylor model that underwent a major makeover in 2012. The vintage sunburst finish and our heritage ivoroid diamond inlay pattern reflect the Americana feel of the traditional acoustic instruments of the past. We decided on an Engelmann spruce top to provide the 700 Series with its own distinctive rosewood/spruce voice in the Taylor line. The blend of new aesthetics and refined tonality proved to be incredibly successful, increasing sales of this model by over 60 percent. To say we’re pleased would be an understatement. We truly appreciate the support for the 714ce from both our valued dealer network and guitar-playing fans.”
—Monte Montefusco, Director of Sales, Taylor

VMI’s Merida Extrema Acoustic Guitars
“It brings us great pleasure to earn a nomination for Best Acoustic Guitar of 2012 in one of the industry’s leading trade magazines, The Music & Sound Retailer. We have worked incredibly hard to make this line something that not only would we be proud of, but also that our retail partners would be proud to sell in their stores. We are humbled and honored to know that so many dealers across the country feel the same way about our guitars that we do! We will continue to work hard to offer the best guitars, best value and best service in our industry. Thank you to all who nominated Vision Musical Instruments and Merida Guitars. We are sincerely grateful.”
—Mike Spremulli, CEO, Vision Musical Instruments

BEST NEW Electric Guitar of 2012
Fender’s American Standard Telecaster
“We’re extremely proud to see that a modern take on one of our earliest designs is winning praise and moving the needle in retail channels. The American Standard Telecaster is what Fender is all about: tonality, playability, American-made craftsmanship and overall value. Thanks to all the retailers out there who nominated this Tele for a Music & Sound Award.”
—Justin Norvell, Vice President, Marketing, Fender

Godin Guitars’ Session Custom Guitar

Ibanez’s S-Series Premium S970WNT

Peavey’s AT-200 Auto-Tuning Guitar
“What an honor! When we began the process of developing the AT-200 with our partner Antares, we knew that we had the opportunity to release a market-changing product. The proof of a great partnership is that the sum is greater than the parts, and we are truly proud to partner with Antares. This guitar really symbolizes Peavey’s spirit and dedication to innovation, in that it delivers unprecedented technology at an unheard-of price point. It was important to us that we delivered the AT-200 at a price that would make it a high-velocity, must-have product for all our dealers. We have had an amazing year with the AT-200 so far, and to top it off with this nomination is truly humbling. Thank you.”
—Michael Smith, Product Manager, MI, Peavey

Taylor’s SolidBody Standard Double Cutaway
“Thank you to our pioneering dealers who have been continuously supporting and growing the Taylor electric guitar line. We’re overjoyed by the recognition of our SolidBody Standard Double Cutaway guitar. Since its introduction, guitar players around the world have been discovering and embracing this high-quality alternative to the conventional offerings in the marketplace. As guitar makers, blending a performance-ready feel with a modern tonal palate was our first objective. Bob Taylor applied his expertise in neck design and precision craftsmanship to design an electric guitar that plays as you would expect from any instrument with a Taylor headstock. Combined with innovative Taylor pickups, an original, high-performance bridge design and an industry-leading online guitar configurator, the SolidBody series continues to attract a new generation of players who are savvy about identifying and defining their own style and tone. We are deeply grateful for our dealer network and their commitment to our line of quality Taylor electric guitars.”
—Monte Montefusco, Director of Sales, Taylor

BEST NEW Bass Guitar of 2012
Alvarez’s AB60CE Electric Acoustic Bass
“We’re honored and excited to be nominated for this prestigious award. Over the past few years, we’ve gone back to the drawing board to remake and improve every single Alvarez model, and the Electric Acoustic Bass is no exception. We found that, too often, other E/A basses don’t sound as good unplugged…sound thin…and we remedied that with this model. The hand-sanded, scalloped bracing allows for a full, rich, big sound. Then, you plug it in and the SYS650 Dual pickup, blend system EQ provides all the volume you need, while maintaining that beautiful acoustic tone.”
—Chris Meikle, SLM Senior VP and Alvarez Brand Manager

Cort Guitars’ Curbow Series of Basses

Fender’s American Standard Jazz Bass

Ibanez’s ATK Premium ATK805E Bass

Squier’s Vintage Modified Telecaster Bass
“Squier’s Vintage Modified series has been incredibly satisfying to work on, as we’re able to create instruments we always hoped were made back in the day, but never were. This Telecaster Bass is one of those models. By combining the popular Telecaster body with unique Fender pickup configurations, we’re able to provide one more way for bassists to find their own voice, at a tremendous value. Thanks to all the retailers who nominated us for this prize. It’s a huge honor.”
 —Chris Gill, Director, Squier

BEST NEW Guitar Accessory of 2012
Asterope’s Premium Instrument Cables
“Asterope is honored to be nominated for a Music & Sound Award. As last year’s Best New Manufacturer of the Year, we understand the value and importance of these awards and we’re delighted to be included again this year. Asterope is dedicated to providing artists with the industry’s best sound and helping them improve their music. By teaming with Fishman as our exclusive worldwide distributor for instrument cables and XLRs, Asterope products will be available in retail outlets throughout the United States and in more than 70 countries worldwide.”
—Dariush Rad, President and CEO, Asterope

D’Addario’s Dynacore Classical Guitar Strings
“Dynacore strings are the result of an interesting cocktail of professional classical guitar player requests, material innovation and just the right amount of good fortune. The technical advancements we’ve made in a new core process and the perfection of a contemporary treble string material creates a whole new experience for the discerning player…bold projection, musical brightness and a flexible, dynamic feel…a modern take on a familiar D’Addario tradition.”
—Brian Vance, Director of Product Management, D’Addario

Dean Markley’s Helix Strings

Gator Cases’ G-TOUR Mini Amp Cases
“We are honored to have two Gator products nominated for Music & Sound Awards. Thank you to all our dealer partners for honoring us; we truly appreciate your vote for these prestigious awards. Both products—the mini amp cases and the PreSonus case with the articulating arm—were designed to meet a new demand in the market for a way to move and use these very hot products. It is exciting to see how well they have been received and that they are up for these awards!”
—Crystal Morris, President, Gator Cases

On-Stage Stands’ GS6000B Mighty Uke Stand
“We’re so happy to hear that people dig our Mighty Uke Stand! After we won Best in Show at Summer NAMM for this product, it blew up across the industry and we knew we had a winner! With the uke market still on a rapid incline, it was a no-brainer for us to help support that market with a profitable and fun add-on accessory. Without our dealer partners, we couldn’t have made such a great product and we, of course, would not have been nominated for this award. So, an enormous thanks goes out to the BEST dealer base in the industry!”
—Jeremy Payne, OSS Sales & Marketing Director, The Music People, Inc.

BEST NEW Floor Effect of 2012
Electro-Harmonix’s Crying Tone Wah Wah Pedal
“The wah wah pedal has been around since the 1960s and guitarists love them. But they also complain to me that the moving parts wear out, break and need to be replaced. Now, almost half a century later, technology has advanced to where we’re able to create a wah wah pedal that sounds incredible and is super sensitive. And, the Crying Tone has no moving parts.”
—Mike Matthews, President, Electro-Harmonix

MOD Kits DIY’s Tea Philter Pedal
“We at MOD Kits DIY are very proud of this nomination. MOD Kits are designed to give novice and experienced musicians the opportunity to build their own amps and effects pedals. The Tea Philter pedal, the newest do-it-yourself pedal kit from MOD Kits DIY, produces a fixed wah tone, allowing you to lock it in without rocking the pedal back and forth. Every guitar/wah combination has a certain sweet spot that is perfect for lead and chord work. The Tea Philter lets you dial in everything, from your favorite vocal mid-range tone to thick lows. Using point-to-point wiring and easy-to-follow instructions, you can have a working fixed wah pedal in a matter of hours.”
—Orin Portnoy, CE Distribution

Osiamo’s Mooer Micro Effect Pedals

Rotosound’s Fuzz Pedal
“Rotosound has been a huge part of the British music scene for over 50 years, working with some of the greats, including Jimi Hendrix, John Enwistle and Humphrey Littleton to name but a few. Our strings have always been known for their distinctive sounds, and so was our prototype pedal, originally only ever available in limited numbers in the 1960s. With the advances in modern technology, Rotosound has been able to re-invent this celebrated pedal whilst still keeping it faithful to the original sound.”
—Jason How, Chairman, Rotosound

Tech 21’s Boost Series Pedals
“Being nominated two years in a row—not to mention winning last year for the Roto Choir—is an unexpected and exceptional honor. The Boost Series, like every Tech 21 product, are pedals I wanted for myself and are designed with the working musician in mind. Each feature is useful, not gratuitous or gimmicky, which players seem to appreciate. Being a lifelong fan of vintage pedals, my goal is to capture the tones and eliminate the drawbacks: being inconsistent and unreliable. Of course, I always like to add something new, which, in this case, is the Boost function. Back in the ‘70s, I modified a delay pedal and installed a boost circuit to give my solos more volume and presence. Plus, it was much easier not having to tap dance across two different pedals. When I developed the Boost DLA and Boost RVB (the first pedals in the Boost Series), naturally, I incorporated this concept. The Boost Series pedals are priced affordably, are easy to sell and provide a good return for our dealers. It’s the icing on the cake to receive this nomination and get this kind of recognition from our dealers.”
—Andrew Barta, President, Tech 21

BEST NEW Keyboard/Sound Module of 2012
Casio’s XW-P1
“As the epitome of innovation, value and quality, we are thrilled the XW-P1 Performance Synthesizer was nominated in the keyboard/sound module category. Equipped with Casio’s Hybrid Processing Sound Source (HPPS), the XW-P1 provides screaming virtual analog monophonic leads and basses, drawbar organs, complex layers, stereo pianos, drums and more to produce the sounds and real-time control any performing musician needs. We feel the XW-P1 delivers an unprecedented sound quality and truly enables performing musicians to create complex compositions with ease.”
—Mike Martin, General Manager of Marketing, Casio’s Electronic Musical Instrument Division

Nord’s Electro 4D

Peavey’s MuseBox
“On behalf of everyone at Peavey, I would like to thank our valued dealers and The Retailer for this nomination. In partnership with Muse Research, we set out to make the MuseBox a truly unique product in the industry, and we succeeded. The MuseBox puts the cutting-edge technology of a hardware virtual instrument and effects module within reach of practically all musicians. In true Peavey spirit, we worked hard to deliver an innovative product that was both affordable and profitable for all. Thanks again for the continued support, and we wish everyone continued success in the coming year.”
—Scott Mire, Marketing Director, Peavey

Roland’s A-49 MIDI Keyboard Controller

Yamaha’s PSR-S950
“It’s tremendously gratifying to be recognized in such a highly competitive category. We believe the PSR-S950 represents an evolutionary leap forward for the Arranger Workstation line, offering sound innovation, vocal harmony features, pro-quality accompaniment and comprehensive recording capabilities. Above all, we feel this nomination affirms Yamaha’s exceptional sampling technology and the value it offers musicians in all genres. In essence, the S950 represents the latest expression of Yamaha’s outstanding Style technology. Performers can now enjoy greater expressive potential by adding real audio drum and percussion parts to Yamaha’s Guitar Enhanced Style engine, producing a natural feel, ambience and warmth: features that blur the line between audio and MIDI. Impressive vocal features include new Vocal Harmony 2 from Tyros, MIC input with EQ, dynamic and effects processing, and audio player with Vocal Cancel. With all the keyboards out in the market today, we’re thrilled that the market recognizes that the PSR-S950 is a powerful addition to any musician’s arsenal.”
—Mark Anderson, Director of Marketing, Yamaha Keyboard Division

BEST NEW Speaker of 2012
Eminence’s Impero Series
“On behalf of everyone here at Eminence, I’d like to say we are truly honored to be nominated for this prestigious Music & Sound Award. The Impero Series professional audio loudspeakers are built by hand in the U.S.A., and offer high performance at a great value. This nomination validates all the hard work that has been put forth, and we are so thankful to our invaluable Eminence dealers for the recognition.”
—Cobi Stein, Marketing Director, Eminence Speaker

JBL’s PRX400 Series Passive Portable Speakers
“We developed the PRX400 Series to bring true, professional-quality performance, power handling and durability to more affordable price points. Since its introduction, the PRX400 Series has been a tremendous success, offering the same exceptional sound and rugged reliability as the PRX600 Series in a passive loudspeaker format. We are thrilled to see the PRX400 Series nominated for a Music & Sound Award, as they continue to be the passive loudspeakers of choice for touring musicians, DJs and live-performance venues.”
—Mark Gander, VP of Marketing, JBL Professional

Marathon Professional’s RMS Active Speaker System
“We are greatly privileged to be nominated in the Best Speaker category for the 27th Annual Music & Sound Awards. We are conscious of the dedication that’s needed to pursue the best of an active speaker system. This new edition provides unwavering performance that can be used for live, sound-reinforcement, PA and DJ applications. We tend to elevate the speaker’s presentation to a new level, while breaking through perceived price and quality barriers. That is one of the major reasons that we are proud of our speaker systems, and maybe that’s why it got nominated for this award.”
—David Saghian, President, Marathon Professional

Peavey’s PVXp 12 Speaker
“We are thrilled to be nominated in this category. Peavey Electronics is proud of its contributions to the pro audio industry over the last 47-plus years, and it is an honor to be recognized for our continued efforts. The PVX Series truly is the culmination of all those decades of experience building the best portable, all-in-one sound-reinforcement solutions possible. With the PVXp, our goal was to deliver legendary Peavey reliability and clarity in a modern, feature-rich package, while still retaining another legendary Peavey feature: value.”
—Fred Poole, GM, Product Development, Peavey

QSC’s K12 Active Loudspeakers
“We can’t be more pleased and honored to receive this prestigious nomination. The K12, as well as the entire House of K, has been nothing short of a phenomenal success for QSC and our retail channel partners. When we introduced the K Series to the market, we knew we had raised the bar for products in this category. What we didn’t know, however, was whether the end-user customers would value the many attributes we built into the product that made it better than what had come before. We’re grateful for all the support we’ve received from our dealers in choosing K Series and QSC as their ‘go-to’ brand for their sound system customers, and are enthusiastically motivated and challenged to continue development of innovative, new technologies and system solutions that offer real and lasting value to our customers.”
—Ray van Straten, Director, Marketing Communications, QSC

BEST NEW Instrument Amplifier of 2012
Fender’s Vibro-King 20th Anniversary Edition Amplifier
“Thanks to the readers for nominating us! The Vibro-King has been the flagship of the Fender amp line for nearly 20 years, and we are very pleased that its tone and performance continue to be admired by players everywhere. The most important part of the story is the list of artists who have employed this amp in making great music, so we are most proud that our newly refreshed 20th Anniversary Vibro-King amp is stunning and delighting top guitarists all over again. We at Fender are glad to make it happen, and we look forward to many more years of great guitar tone coming from the Vibro-King amp.”
—Shane Nicholas, Senior Product Manager, Fender Guitar Amplifiers

Fishman’s Loudbox Performer

Ibanez’s Tube Screamer Amplifier Combo TSA30
Orange Amplifiers’ Micro Terror Guitar Amp Head (MT20)
“A nomination for the Micro Terror is the equivalent of a pat on the back from our entire dealer base. It’s a confirmation that we’re doing something well. The music industry isn’t usually perceived as ‘cutting edge.’ We’re not digging through mounds of paid-for analytics in order to decide that Jimmy Guitarist wants an amp that he can fit in his pocket. Most of this industry’s product development takes place within the minds of a handful of developers who have that ‘gut instinct.’ So, when the Micro Terror is nominated for an award by the dealers—the people who invest in Orange as a means of supporting their livelihoods—it validates our creative decision. It shows that we’re still in touch with our dealers and, thus, the entire guitar-playing community. We couldn’t be prouder.”
—Alex Auxier, Marketing Manager, Orange Amps

Peavey’s MAX 115 Bass Combo Amp
“We humbly thank our valued network of dealers and The Retailer for this honor. For over 30 years, Peavey has enjoyed phenomenal success in the bass combo segment. Our efforts in this category are an ongoing story, and the new Max Series is one of the most exciting chapters yet. Combining the tone, power and portability that made Peavey bass combos famous with our ongoing commitment to innovation and dealer profitability, we feel the Max Series is an ideal product for today’s marketplace.”
—Michael Smith, Product Manager, MI, Peavey

BEST NEW Power Amp of 2012
Crown’s I-Tech 4x3500HD Power Amp

Electro-Voice’s Q99 Amp

Mackie’s FRS-2800 Power Amp

Peavey’s IPR 3000 DSP Power Amp
“Thank you for nominating the IPR 3000 DSP as Power Amplifier of 2012! It is always an honor to be recognized by our dealers and The Retailer. The IPR Series is the culmination of decades of power amp innovation for Peavey. More than 30 years ago, we were the first to break the dollar-per-watt barrier in the power amp market. Not long after that, we became the first manufacturer to mass-produce a class-D amplifier for use in live audio applications. We debuted our first switch-mode power supply over a decade ago. Now, with the IPR DSP line, we are the first and only power amp line to feature Wave Maxx-Bass psycho-acoustics technology. The IPR Series represents the refinement of these technologies, but, more importantly, it represents our continued commitment to providing our dealers with innovative products that sell.”
—Fred Poole, GM, Product Development, Peavey

QSC’s GX7 Amplifiers
“We are delighted and honored to have received this recognition. While it is evident that the marketplace is continuing to embrace powered loudspeakers (like our own K Series) at seemingly an ever-increasing rate, there are still significant numbers of applications for which power amplifiers and passive loudspeakers are either the best or only solution. For many, the words ‘power amplifier’ and ‘QSC’ are synonymous, and the GX Series very well typifies the essence of the QSC brand: real value. While there are products in this category that offer, perhaps, more ‘features’ than GX, given the line’s popularity, it is very gratifying to know that, for so many customers, the simple elegance of a thoughtfully engineered product, manufactured to the highest professional standards, is still a winning formula.”
—Ray van Straten, Director, Marketing Communications, QSC

BEST NEW Cabled Microphone of 2012
Audio-Technica’s AT2005USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone
“Audio-Technica was one of the leaders in USB microphone development, with our original AT2020USB microphone setting quality standards in the category. We are honored to have received a Music & Sound Award nomination for our latest USB mic, the innovative AT2005USB. This recent Music & Sound Award nomination helps convey a very important message to our end users: that the AT2005USB delivers sonic quality and innovative features that are worthy of our world-class heritage. We are grateful for the honor.”
—Gary Boss, Marketing Director, Retail, Live Sound & Studio, Audio-Technica

Galaxy Audio’s Carbon Boom Microphones

MXL’s CR30 Large-Diaphragm Condenser
“We are honored to be considered for this award by The Music & Sound Retailer. They are a recognized source of reliable and unbiased information by the serious musician. Having the MXL CR30 associated with such a strong brand as The Music & Sound Retailer will certainly help spread the word for this new mic. We built this mic specifically for the music industry. Both the sound quality and the unique black chrome finish will appeal to the musician community. We want to thank The Retailer for recognizing the work we put into this mic.”
—Perry Goldstein, Director Of Sales & Marketing, MXL

Sennheiser’s evolution 900 Series
“Sennheiser relaunched the e900 wired microphone series this year as we continue to see an increased demand from our dealer network and artists alike. The 900 Series was designed to precisely capture the timbre of whatever instrument they are reproducing or recording; with a true-to-life sonic picture that’s critical for in-ear use, large-scale PA or recording, the 900 Series delivers the consistency that Sennheiser customers have come to expect from our brand. We are very pleased that The Music & Sound Retailer’s readership has recognized the e900 series in this awards program, and assure them that Sennheiser will continue to provide them with the tools to contribute to their own pursuit of perfect sound.”
—Robb Blumenreder, Regional Sales Manager, Americas, Sennheiser

Shure’s KSM9HS Handheld Vocal Microphone
“The sound engineer’s job is to get every bit of realism and emotion from an artist’s performance, despite obstacles like poor room acoustics or the performer’s microphone technique. The KSM9HS was designed to help sound engineers deal with those kinds of grimy realities gracefully. Its nomination as Cabled Microphone of 2012 recognizes the importance of capturing the artist’s performance, and Shure’s commitment to helping them do it.”
—Chad Wiggins, Category Director/Wired Products, Shure

BEST NEW Wireless System of 2012
Audio-Technica’s System 8 VHF Wireless Systems
“We are very proud that Audio-Technica’s System 8 VHF Wireless Systems have been nominated for recognition by the Music & Sound Awards, whose standards reflect our focus on quality. As an leader in wireless technology, we strive to exceed expectations regardless of price point. We are especially honored that our dealers recognize this passion. Thank you so much for the nomination!”
—Gary Boss, Marketing Director, Retail, Live Sound & Studio, Audio-Technica

OnBoard Research’s Intellitouch Freedom One

Sennheiser’s XSW 65 Vocal Set
“With XS Wireless, Sennheiser offers reliable performance at an affordable price. Quick set-up, great sound and incredible flexibility make it perfect for use in clubs and small venues, as well as houses of worship and corporate applications.”
—Kevin Waehner, Channel Manager, Integrated Systems, Sennheiser

Shure’s ULX-D Digital Wireless System
“The ULX-D system’s unprecedented combination of audio quality, signal stability and spectral efficiency is the result of Shure’s quest to develop a new and unique digital wireless audio technology. The result is a tremendous breakthrough in wireless audio quality, and its nomination as Wireless System of 2012 recognizes that achievement. While available spectrum may be shrinking, the demand for wireless audio is growing. The ULX-D system addresses this issue by raising the bar for spectral efficiency. Its intermodulation performance enables a dramatic increase in the number of simultaneous active systems in one TV channel, making the most of the available spectrum. The addition of robust encryption and intelligent rechargeable batteries delivers added value for a wide range of users.”
—Erik Vaveris, Category Director/Wireless Products, Shure

Sony’s DWZ Digital Wireless Series
“We’re extremely proud of the new DWZ series. Sony designed every aspect with the user in mind—from the sound quality to its transmission reliability, even down to the smallest details like its distinctive yellow coloring, so engineers can easily identify the gear in darkened environments. This nomination is great recognition for all the hard work that went into its development.”
—Jeanne Lewis, Pro Audio Marketing Manager, Sony

BEST NEW Drum Set of 2012
Gretsch’s Renown Purewood Limited Series

Mapex’s MyDentity
“We are deeply honored and thankful to be nominated for a Music & Sound Award for Mapex MyDentity. Our goal with MyDentity has been to fulfill the desire of our customers to own a great-quality, customized drum set at an affordable price. We didn’t just assume this was what our customers wanted…we asked them. And the response has been overwhelming. We expected the majority of activity to be at the consumer level, but we’ve found several retailers are using the design software to make custom drums to put on the retail floor and sell to customers. They tell us the program gives them control to design drums that are appropriate for their local market. No one knows their customer better than they do. They are the best judges of local tastes.”
—Michael Robinson, Director of Marketing, KHS America

Sonor’s Safari
“Our goal in creating the Sonor Safari kit was to be able to offer drummers a high-quality, great-sounding drum kit in a very small, easily transportable package at an affordable price. Sonor already had a successful legacy in this small niche market with its premium ‘Jungle’ kit. So, we had a clear blueprint to follow. At every design choice, we opted to make sure that the tiny Safari kit sounded as big as possible. The market’s response shows that we succeeded in reaching our goals, as the Safari has become the most successful drum kit ever offered by Sonor. Safari kits continue to sell in large volume, and Sonor has carved out a new market niche for itself with this very special drum kit.”
—Scott Emmerman, Director of Marketing & Sales, Hohner

Tama’s Starclassic Select

Yamaha’s DTX400 Series Electronic Drum Sets
“When we created the DTX400 Series, the goal was simple: offer pro-level sounds at entry-level prices. These drums are the truest expression of bringing Yamaha quality and technology to a new level of affordability, and we feel that this value is unmatched within the industry. To keep up with the times, and help musicians learn, we developed a series of free apps to help users develop their technique. There are a lot of companies getting into the electronic drum arena, but not only have we been making technologically advanced electronic drums since the early 1980s, but we’ve also been crafting some of the best acoustic drums for over 45 years. It means a lot to us for dealers to recognize our efforts with this nomination of the DTX400 for a Music & Sound Award.”
—Athan Billias, Marketing Manager, Pro Audio & Combo Division, Yamaha

BEST NEW Cymbal of 2012
Dream’s Dark Matter Cymbals
“It is such an honor to be recognized by our peers in the industry for the creation of the Dark Matter series cymbal. As a mere babe in a field crowded with sage elders, Dream has always been deeply committed to exploring sound that is undeniably musical, and making it fairly priced for everyone to enjoy. The Dark Matter was a pure experiment born from ‘I wonder what will happen if I do that to a perfectly good cymbal?’ The fact that the end result has been nominated for an award fills everyone here with a sense of accomplishment that we are on the right track. Not that we are resting…we still have 350 years to catch up on.”
—Andy Morris, President, Dream Cymbals and Gongs

Meinl’s Benny Greb Signature Byzance Vintage Sand Cymbals
“Meinl Cymbals is honored and proud to be nominated for Best Cymbal in the 27th Annual Music & Sound Awards. Our collaboration with Benny Greb to develop the Byzance Vintage Series Sand Cymbals has been very successful. Many drummers have found their own voice through his creative ideas for cymbals that are unique and different from the traditional ideas that have been promoted for so long. Meinl is also proud to have established a new standard in the finishing process for cymbals. We are already seeing a growing trend for more cymbals with a sandblasted finish in this market. Thank you to all our customers and The Music & Sound Retailer for recognizing this achievement!”
—Gabriel Harris, Sales Manager, U.S. and Canada, Meinl USA

Sabian’s 17-Inch Holy China Cymbal

Supernatural Cymbals’ Heritage Series

Zildjian’s K Constantinople Crash Cymbals
“The Zildjian Company is honored to be nominated by The Music & Sound Retailer for its K Constantinople Crashes. We introduced three new Crash cymbals in 2012, the 15-inch, 17-inch and 19-inch, to complement the 16-inch and 18-inch Crashes currently in the product line. These instruments feature a new hammering technique, an additional pin lathe on the top and bottom, and new vintage style cups (on the 15-inch and 17-inch models). These new features allow the cymbal to maintain the dark, expressive quality of the K Constantinople line sought by drummers the world over and incorporate even more overtones and nuances. In addition, we improved the 16-inch and 18-inch Crashes, incorporating the same features as the new 15-inch, 17-inch and 19-inch models. By utilizing new hammering techniques, these Crashes open up with more dark overtones, distinction and musicality than ever before. The new pin lathe, added to the top and bottom of each cymbal, serves as an additional tonal groove, adding to the overall complexity of the sound produced.”
—Laura Rivera, Vice President of Strategic Marketing & Branding

BEST NEW Percussion Accessory of 2012
Audio-Technica’s ATM25/LE Limited Edition Hypercardioid Dynamic Instrument Microphone
“In celebration of our 50th anniversary, we decided to bring back our classic ATM25 as a limited edition. Your in-depth knowledge of the field makes the Music & Sound Award nomination and recognition of the ATM25/LE even more meaningful to us. Thanks to everyone for the nomination and your support over the past 50 years.”
—Gary Boss, Marketing Director, Retail, Live Sound & Studio, Audio-Technica

Evans’ Black Chrome Drumheads
“Our Black Chrome Drumheads were designed for drummers with the need for speed, heavy attack, and a sleek and smooth aesthetic! We knew these would turn both ears and eyes!”
—Dick Markus, Evans Product Manager

Hercules’ Percussion Table (Stand DS800B)

Remo’s X14 Snare Drumhead
“With the continued success of our X series line of drumheads, we felt that there was market demand for a highly durable, 14-mil, single ply snare head with attack, volume and overtone control. We have had really positive feedback from our customer base all over the world. Remo artists currently using X14 include Aaron Spears, Teddy Campbell, Tommy Lee, Gerald Heyward, Eric Hernandez, Adrian Young, Matt Cameron, Matt Greiner, Gil Sharone, Dave Elitch and Stix Zandia. We are very honored that the X14 was nominated by our dealers for this award, and many thanks for their continued support.”
—Bob Yerby, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Remo

Sonor’s Perfect Balance Bass Drum Pedal
“The response to the Perfect Balance Pedal by Jojo Mayer has been spectacular and a fitting tribute to the personal journey Jojo Mayer traveled to create this product. Jojo experimented with many designs and performance features, looking for a specific feel, quality and performance level, always keeping in mind that design is incomplete without an elegant look to match. Once satisfied with his design, Jojo approached his longtime partners at Sonor to help with the actual production. Sonor contributed German precision engineering and production and devised an innovative solution for the folding mechanism and self-mounting hoop clamp that work at the push of a button. This nomination has been seconded by the response in the marketplace, and it is very gratifying to have been nominated for a Music & Sound Award.”
—Larry Nelson, Product Manager, Hohner

BEST NEW Instructional Book/Video of 2012
Alfred Music Publishing’s Jimmy Haslip: Modern Improvisation for Bass Method
“It’s an honor that Jimmy Haslip: Modern Improvisation for Bass has been nominated as Best Instructional Book by The Music & Sound Retailer. In this book, Jimmy has provided us insight into his unique perspective on improvisation. In addition to his innovative method of exploring theory, song structure and exotic scales, he uses classic songs and recordings to illustrate concepts bass players need to improve their improvisational techniques. The innovation continues in the instructional book itself by offering the audio normally provided on disc as a quick and easy Web download. We thank The Music & Sound Retailer for their nomination, and hope it will provide greater exposure and inspiration to bass players throughout the world.”
—Link Harnsberger, Editor-In-Chief, MI, Alfred Music Publishing

eMedia Music’s 50 Blues Rock Rhythms You Must Know

Hal Leonard’s Metal Drumming Concepts: Vital Beats, Exercises, Fills, Tips & Techniques
“We are thrilled to have Metal Drumming Concepts nominated for a Music & Sound Award! This unique instructional book/DVD pack features Andols Herrick, the longtime drummer for Chimaira, masters of the new wave of American heavy metal. Andols teaches metal drummers everything they need to know—from time signatures to double bass beats to drum and cymbal fills—both in the book and up-close on the DVD to really enhance learning. Dealer response to this book/DVD pack has been tremendous and, as a drummer, I can personally say it’s very cool! We’re truly honored to be nominated for this award.”
—David Jahnke, VP of National Sales, Hal Leonard

Lick Library’s Learn To Play Slipknot

Mel Bay’s Christmas Guitar Portraits: Christmas Favorites for Two Acoustic Guitars

BEST NEW Music Software/Multimedia of 2012
Avid’s Pro Tools 10

MakeMusic’s Garritan Instant Orchestra
“Our goal for Garritan Instant Orchestra was to offer a completely new type of sound library, designed to create orchestral music very quickly and easily. We wanted to provide an empowering experience where almost any musician can sound like an A-list Hollywood composer, by simply creating just a few staves of music. Being recognized for this development is very gratifying, and it’s an honor to be nominated for this award by The Music & Sound Retailer.”
—Gary Garritan, MakeMusic Director of Instrumental Sciences

Native Instruments’ New Generation of MASCHINE

Propellerhead’s Reason 6.5

Serato’s Scratch Live 2.4.3
“On behalf of our customers and hardworking staff, we are honored to have SONAR X2 Producer nominated in the Multitrack Recorder/Recording & Mixing Software category. Our goal with SONAR has always been to provide modern musicians with the power to deliver top-quality recordings to the masses; this nomination means a lot to us on many levels and we appreciate the support.”
—Michael Hoover, President, Cakewalk

Olympus’ LS-100 Linear PCM Recorder

Roland’s R-26 Six-Channel Portable Recorder

TASCAM’s DR-40 Handheld Four-Track Recorder

WaveMachine Labs’ Auria
“Auria being nominated for a Music & Sound Award is a wonderful and welcomed honor to all of us here at WaveMachine Labs. We are truly grateful. Not only is it a validation of our hard work and dedication, but it is also a comforting indication that the world may be ready to embrace such a technology. It is a reflection of the growing presence of iPads—and other tablets in general—in the recording industry. No longer can these devices be viewed as mere ‘toys’ or ‘gimmicks’ but, rather, as serious and professional recording solutions. We hope this mentality continues to grow, and The Music & Sound Retailer’s recognition of our achievements is encouraging to that end. Auria was a bold step forward in this market, and it is humbling to think that we had, and will continue to have, a hand in encouraging this new outlook.”
—Chris Miller, WaveMachine Labs

BEST NEW Bag/Case of 2012
Gator Cases’ G-TOUR PreSonus Case with Articulating Laptop/iPad Arm

Marathon Professional’s Flight Road Cases/Tour Ready Cases
“I’m really thankful for the opportunity that the Music & Sound Awards has given us to be nominated under the Best Bag/Case category. We are committed to the utmost quality and dedication, as our dealers, distributors and valued consumers can attest to. Our cases are built with excellence and affordability, which are marketing keys that are complex to combine. That’s why we’re consistently looking for ways to deliver these qualities, to accommodate the needs of music and sound enthusiasts. Being nominated for this is a great justification of the passionate efforts and perseverance of our company.”
—David Saghian, President, Marathon Professional

Odyssey’s FFX Glide Style Cases

Reunion Blues’ Aero Series

KL’s Vectra Cases
“We are honored that our Vectra cases have been nominated for this award. We feel strongly about the quality of all of our U.S.A.-built cases, including the Vectra series, which is reflected by all the musicians who continue to respond positively to our cases. Musicians looking for the latest innovations in instrument protection appreciate the security offered by the Vectra’s elegant lines and progressive design. Vectra cases are both lightweight and extremely strong, owing to our patented processes, which makes them an excellent choice for any active musician looking to protect a valued instrument.”
—Tom Dougherty, President, TKL

BEST NEW Mixer/Console of 2012
Allen & Heath’s ZED-16FX

Behringer’s X32 Digital Mixer

Cerwin-Vega!’s CVM-1022 10-Channel Compact Mixer
“Gibson Pro Audio is thrilled to have its recently introduced Cerwin-Vega! CVM-1022 Compact Mixer nominated for a Music & Sound Award. Since this mixer is a new foray for the Cerwin-Vega! brand, it is a great honor to have its unique qualities recognized for such a prestigious award. We want to thank our family of committed retailers and devoted fans for making this nomination possible. We look forward to continuing to bring you the groundbreaking, high-quality gear for which Cerwin-Vega! is well known!”
—Stacy Payne, Gibson Pro Audio

Mackie’s DL1608 Digital Live Sound Mixer

PreSonus’ StudioLive 16.0.2
“We particularly prize this Music & Sound Award nomination because it reflects the views of retailers—people who are in the trenches, working with customers. They see it all, and we interpret this nomination as their endorsement of our product-design philosophy as applied to the StudioLive 16.0.2 digital mixing system. That philosophy is straightforward: Integration of hardware and software provides benefits that are not possible with either approach alone. We build solutions for our customers, not just boxes, and we listen closely to our customers and our dealers in an effort to constantly improve our products. Almost everyone on our staff is a musician, and we won’t release a product we aren’t eager to use ourselves.”
—Jim Mack, CEO, PreSonus Audio Electronics.

BEST NEW DJ Product of 2012
Allen & Heath’s XONE XD2-53 DJ Headphones

Casio’s XW-G1
“This past year, Casio re-entered the professional synthesizer market with the launch of its XW series. The XW-G1 Groove Synthesizer symbolizes Casio’s dedication to surpass past achievements and transform the way musicians express themselves. We feel our XW-G1 redefines what musicians should expect from a synthesizer by merging a number of features that currently do not exist in one instrument. We are honored to be a nominee in this category.”
—Mike Martin, General Manager of Marketing, Casio’s Electronic

Musical Instrument Division

Pioneer’s CDJ-2000nexus
“The Pioneer CDJ has been the industry standard for top DJs and clubs worldwide for years. Being nominated for this award is very meaningful to Pioneer because, without the support of our dealers, we would never have had the successful market penetration that we have today. We are very honored and humbled for this nomination by our dealers and The Music & Sound Retailer.”
—David Arevalo, Sr. Manager – Marketing/Artist Relations, Pioneer DJ

Rane’s Sixty-Two Mixer for Serato Scratch Live
“Recognition like this means a lot to all of us at Rane. We’re a small, privately owned company that continues to design and manufacture all the products we sell at our own factory here in the U.S. Our mixers are the instruments for DJs, and we are proud when we watch and listen to DJs perform using our products in clubs, as members of bands, on the radio or at private events. Many of our products, such as the nominated Rane Sixty-Two mixer, are designed to tightly integrate with Serato Scratch Live software, so we are pleased to see that the software has also been nominated along with our mixer.”
—Dean Standing, Director of Sales, Rane Vestax’s VCI-380

BEST NEW Lighting Product of 2012
American DJ’s Mega Go Par64

Blizzard Lighting’s Puck Q6 Unplugged
“Blizzard Lighting is thankful to all of our dealers and to The Music & Sound Retailer for this nomination. We are overjoyed that the Blizzard Lighting Q6 Unplugged has been recognized as an innovative and exciting lighting effect. The Q6 Unplugged is the first to market with its high-power, 10-watt quad LEDs and built-in programs that can be used anywhere. Our customers have discovered that the Q6 unplugged truly gives them a portable and powerful battery-powered LED light, with the wireless DMX options they want, at a price they can afford.”
—Frank Luppino, Blizzard Lighting

Chauvet’s Rotosphere LED
“We are delighted to have the Chauvet DJ Rotosphere LED nominated for a Music & Sound Award. This versatile fixture is quickly replacing the use of conventional mirror balls and pinspots, and is being used in a variety of applications, ranging from mobile gigs to permanent installations in nightclubs and ice skating rinks. We are thrilled and thankful to see our dealers recognizing Rotosphere LED as a must-have effect light.”
—Ana Jaramillo, National Sales Manager, Chauvet DJ

Hyper Audio Visual’s HyperActive YoYo

MBT Lighting’s LED Kandy Bar Lights

BEST NEW Manufacturer of 2012
Dynamo Amplification

GJ² Guitars
“Grover Jackson and I are proud to receive this nomination in the Best New Manufacturer category. While the GJ² Guitars brand is a new one, as are many of our product ideas, we both bring decades of industry experience to the venture. As one of the great innovators of electric guitar manufacturing, Grover Jackson is now able to build on previous successes without compromise, and raise the bar even further with GJ² Guitars. Since our debut at the 2012 Winter NAMM show, we have been embraced by markets around the world. So, it is truly gratifying to receive this nomination as recognition of the outstanding work of our staff and the enthusiastic support from our dealers.”
—Jon Gold, CEO, GJ² Guitars

My Life Designs
“Thank you for the nomination. Having had no prior experience in manufacturing, my journey in bringing GuitarDocks to market has been quite an adventure. From concept to fruition, the road has been long and difficult at times. But, with determination and perseverance, it is possible to succeed. Believe in your product and don’t take rejection as a negative. It would have been impossible to launch my product without the advice and guidance I received from industry professionals. Utilize this resource, as they want to see your product succeed.”
—Bob Elliott, President, My Life Designs

Option Knob
“We are thrilled to be nominated and consider it a major accomplishment for our small start-up company. We quickly learned that being a new manufacturer in this industry is not easy, and it has been a tough uphill battle to ‘break in.’ However, this nomination proves that, with patience and persistence, you can bring a new concept into the industry and become recognized as a viable manufacturer. This nomination is proof of our momentum. And, so, we would like to thank the dealers and musicians who have helped us along the way. Thank you!”
—Chad C Smith, Vice President Sales, Option Knob

Pladd Dot Music
“As a new manufacturer, being nominated and noticed in the industry means a great deal to us. When you have an idea for a product that you truly believe in, you spend a great portion of your time bringing that dream to reality. When others appreciate and share your dream (and nominate you for such an honor), you know you’re on to something. Our CMG guitars won Best of Show at NAMM and our Devilcat Amplifier sales are doing great. We’re happy that people appreciate affordable, American-made instruments!”
—Chris Mitchell, Owner, Pladd Dot Music

2012 Product of the Year
American DJ’s Mega Go Par64

Casio’s Privia PX-850
“To be nominated for 2012 Product of the Year is a huge honor. We at Casio are extremely excited to be recognized in this category for our new Privia PX-850. With an authentic acoustic piano feel and Casio’s new proprietary sound source ‘AiR’ (Acoustic and intelligent Resonator), the PX-850 offers sensational dynamics, damper resonance and even compensates for the speed at which hammers strike strings at different velocities and key ranges, truly making it a groundbreaking digital keyboard. We are proud to be a nominee and hope that musicians recognize our dedication to creating quality instruments.”
—Stephen Schmidt, Vice President, Casio’s Electronic Musical Instrument Division

Fender’s American Standard Telecaster

Fishman’s Loudbox Performer

Shure’s ULX-D Dual and Quad Receivers
“Our industry continues to be faced with spectrum challenges, but system integrators are still being called upon to deliver large-scale wireless systems that operate reliably. The ULX-D Dual and Quad receivers reflect Shure’s commitment to deliver smart, scalable wireless solutions. Their nomination as 2012 Product of the Year is an honor that makes it clear that spectrum issues will not limit the continued growth and viability of wireless products in the future. System integrators continue to push technical boundaries for their clients, and the ULX-D multi-channel receivers enable that with features like High Density mode, which permits 47 systems to operate in just 6MHz of spectrum. We’ve also included integrated Dante digital audio networking for unparalleled flexibility in large-scale system configurations. This is wireless that gets the job done.”
—Mark Humrichouser, General Manager, Americas Business Unit, Shure

2012 Representative of the Year
Billy Bohanna, KMCMusicorp

David Balmer, Fender Specialty Sales
“It’s an incredible honor to be nominated for this award and to be working for FMIC. In a highly competitive marketplace in this down economy, things are tough for everyone. I hope what this means is that I’m providing excellent customer service and practical solutions to dealers’ problems. We’re all having to get creative and work harder these days. My partnership with the independent dealers is my primary focus. I’m looking forward to a prosperous and exciting 2013 for all of my dealers, as well as everyone here at FMIC.”
—Jim Mingo, The Music People, Inc.

“Going the extra mile for our customers is the core of what we do at TMP, and it is an incredible honor to personally receive a nomination for Representative of the Year. When one of my customers needs a solution, I have the ability to look at all available brands and make a recommendation based on my real-world experience. That ability, and the obvious satisfaction I get from helping the great people in our industry every day for the past seven years, got me this nomination. And now that I got it, my competitive juices are flowing and it would mean a great deal to win this thing!”
—Neva Defibaugh, KMCMusicorp

Troy Richardson, The Revolution Group
“I am truly honored to be nominated for Representative of the Year for the fourth year in a row. Maybe the fourth time is the charm; maybe I’m on my way to becoming the Susan Lucci of Representative of the Year. I’m glad to be remembered either way. Relationships matter in our industry…maybe it’s one of the few where they still do. It’s been great to keep working with everyone since I struck out on my own two years ago when the recession seemed to be at its worst. I’m certainly glad to be a part of it, with all the great people we all have the pleasure to work with.”

2012 Outstanding Community Service Award
“Since 1981, the D’Addario Foundation has been committed to inspiring and assisting the growth and appreciation of music—throughout the world—by supporting community-based music-education programs in underserved areas. Our hope is that our love of music can be seen and felt in everything that we do.”
—Suzanne D’Addario, Director of the D’Addario Foundation


Korg USA

Taylor Guitars
“In the last year alone, Taylor Guitars has donated over 500 guitars to benefit organizations across the nation, including the Wounded Warrior Project, the Red Cross, the Challenged Athletes Foundation, the March of Dimes and many others. We’ve also had the privilege to support causes that are close to the hearts of our dealers, including organizations like Six-String Heroes (Fazio’s Frets and Friends) and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital (Martin Music). In cooperation with the San Diego Music Foundation and our Taylor Guitars for Schools program, this year we’ve gifted nearly 100 guitars to local schools for music instruction. Since the program’s inception 10 years ago, we’ve donated 1,700 guitars for area music-instruction programs, benefitting over 20,000 children. It’s truly a privilege to serve those who serve others.”
—Chalise Zolezzi, Communications Manager, Taylor

“At Yamaha, one of our greatest assets is our people. True…we are a company at the leading edge of music and technology, innovation and customer service. But, ultimately, what drives us is our people. We have a very socially committed group of employees, with tremendous generosity of heart. They recognize the importance of giving back, and they embrace opportunities to donate their time and effort to causes that impact their communities. Our efforts are guided through Yamaha Corporation of America’s charitable arm, Yamaha Cares, an ongoing initiative that gives our employees a chance to make a difference in the communities where Yamaha does business and our employees make their homes. Our outreach projects with Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Camp Pendleton, The Special Olympics and Alissa’s Angels are just a few examples of the diverse initiatives we support, along with a wide range of other projects that help bring the gift of music to people throughout the country. We are thrilled to be considered for this honor.”
—Tracy Bargielski, GM, Human Resources Division, Yamaha

2012 Lifetime Achievement/Hall of Fame
Bob Taylor, Taylor Guitars
“It’s an honor to be nominated for this award, and to be recognized for our contributions to guitar manufacturing and building quality guitars. Thank you to the many dealers and friends of Taylor Guitars for this prestigious nomination.”

Chuck Surack, Sweetwater
“I am extremely honored to be nominated again for the Lifetime Achievement Award by The Music and Sound Retailer. Every day, I arrive at the office excited by the thrill of working with the finest professionals in the MI field: Sweetwater’s more than 500 employees. Our team has built a growing, exemplary and innovative company that is laser focused on providing the best expert advice and customer service in the world. In 2012, we broke ground on a major expansion of our facility in Fort Wayne, which was originally completed only five years ago. This achievement is a testament to the hard work and professionalism of my team. I also want to thank our more than two million customers for their loyalty and support, and the partnership of the hundreds of manufacturers whose incredible products never cease to inspire all of us here at Sweetwater. Finally, I want to thank my wife, Lisa, whose love and support have made it all worthwhile.”

Larry Fishman, Fishman

Mark Gander, JBL Professional
“I am delighted and humbled to be considered for this Lifetime Achievement Award by The Music & Sound Retailer. I have been very lucky that my career has enabled me to pursue and enjoy my passion for music and sound. In doing so, I experienced many remarkable events in music, business and technology, and I have met and worked with some of the most interesting, intelligent and creative individuals in this community. I am very grateful to The Music & Sound Retailer for considering me, and I congratulate all of the other award nominees this year. My 36 years at JBL have given me the opportunity to work with incredible people throughout the MI and audio industry, and to create products that have enhanced customers’ experience and enjoyment.”
Rick Young, Yamaha

“It’s both humbling and rewarding to be nominated for the Lifetime Achievement/Hall of Fame Award. Since the dawn of my sales career more than three decades ago, my goal has been to merge a passion for music with professional goals to make a mark in this dynamic and ever-changing industry. Most important, I have always wanted to tap into the power and potential of music to help make a difference: by bringing people together, offering a path to greater health and wellness, and a means of creative expression, as well as sharing these gifts with new generations. With Yamaha, I have found the perfect venue to pursue that goal. I am grateful for the opportunity to work in such a dynamic industry, along with some of the world’s finest design, business and artistic talents. This nomination will continue to inspire my work at Yamaha, and amplifies my commitment to promoting the transformative power of music.”

2012 Manufacturer of the Year
“This is a tremendous honor and validates our commitment to continuously developing and introducing innovative products to the marketplace. We look forward to launching additional electronic musical instruments in the future that not only raise the bar within the industry, but also help music dealers drive their business and musicians aspire to go beyond sound.”
—Stephen Schmidt, Vice President, Casio’s Electronic Musical Instrument Division

“I know I speak for the entire Fender Musical Instruments team when I say what a tremendous honor it is to be nominated for the Manufacturer of the Year award. We are dedicated to creating innovative, compelling products that inspire players around the world to create new music. A salute from Fender to every retailer working hard to grow and place quality instruments into the hands of our valued customers. Thanks again for this nomination. It is a tremendous honor.”
—Richard McDonald, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Fender Brands

“This year, we have seen the launch of the PRX400 and STX800 Series passive portable PA loudspeakers, as well as the VTX Series line-array loudspeakers. Moreover, we have experienced considerable sales growth in our existing lineup of portable PA loudspeakers, studio monitors and more. This award nomination is a testament not only to JBL’s commitment to delivering innovative solutions that push the cutting edge of loudspeaker technology, but also to the hard work and dedication of our retail partners, with whom we work closely throughout the year to ensure that we are delivering effective services and programs.”
—Mark Gander, VP of Marketing, JBL Professional

“We are honored to be nominated for Manufacturer of the Year after our 47-and-a-half-year history. Peavey has consistently introduced ever more advanced manufacturing methods, from wave soldering in the late ’60s to CNC machining of guitar parts and speaker parts in the mid ’70s. Peavey has always endeavored to be the best with the conviction that, to be better, it is necessary to be DIFFERENT! Having operated under the same ownership and management for nearly five decades, our accumulated experience in manufacturing, design and marketing is unequaled in our end of the music and sound business. Only by combining the cumulative experience of many decades with stability of ownership, management and location has Peavey advanced the state of the art in so many disciplines applicable to both music and sound products, and we are honored to be recognized for that effort.”
—Hartley Peavey, Founder/CEO, Peavey

“Very few businesses survive and thrive for 125 years, but Yamaha has redefined most of the categories in which it competes. Beginning with the production of a single reed organ in 1887, Yamaha has blossomed to include a diverse offering of unsurpassed musical instruments and sound-reinforcement equipment. There are many facets to Yamaha’s success. Chief among them is the ability to keep pace with technological innovations to create industry-leading products, streamline our processes and transform how we relate to our customers, our artists and our retail network. We also continue to think outside of accepted boundaries to drive innovation and reinvent instrument categories, like the hybrid AvantGrand piano and the Silent Series of string instruments. Another expression of our innovation is the establishment of Yamaha’s own proprietary record label, which is an industry first. One thing, however, is certain: We could never have achieved such a remarkable milestone—and, likewise, this wonderful nomination—without the valued partnership and ongoing support of our exceptional dealer base. It’s gratifying beyond words to receive this nomination, especially on such an auspicious occasion as our 125th anniversary.”
—Tom Sumner, Senior Vice President, Yamaha

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