A music monopoly? Are these all the same company?

Posted by: adak

A music monopoly? Are these all the same company? - 02/10/13 11:24 AM



sweetwater
zzounds
musiciansfriend
guitarcenter

(what else is there?)

im suspicious because all these sites seem so samesie, they are all the same company right?
Posted by: anotherscott

Re: A music monopoly? Are these all the same company? - 02/10/13 12:53 PM

AFAIK...

zzounds and samedaymusic are related

musiciansfriend, music123, and guitarcenter are related

but those two groups are not related to each other, and sweetwater is just sweetwater
Posted by: Nomadness

Re: A music monopoly? Are these all the same company? - 02/10/13 01:35 PM

On June 27, 2007, Guitar Center agreed to $1.9 billion buyout from Bain Capital totaling $2.1 billion including debt. The deal was led by Goldman Sachs and amounted to a per-share price of $63, or a 26% premium on the June 26 closing price. The deal was approved by shareholders on September 18, 2007, and closed October 9, 2007.

As Anotherscott pointed out, MF is one with GC, as well as Music123.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: A music monopoly? Are these all the same company? - 02/10/13 01:39 PM

There's also Kraft, which AFAIK is not related to those guys.
Posted by: o0Ampy0o

Re: A music monopoly? Are these all the same company? - 02/10/13 02:30 PM

Bain Capital (Mitt Romney) owns LMI, Musician's Friend, Guitar Center, Music & Arts, Giardinelli, Private Reserve Guitars, Woodwind and Brasswind, Harmony Central and Musician.com.
Posted by: adak

Re: A music monopoly? Are these all the same company? - 02/11/13 12:28 AM

Originally Posted By: o0Ampy0o
Bain Capital (Mitt Romney) owns LMI, Musician's Friend, Guitar Center, Music & Arts, Giardinelli, Private Reserve Guitars, Woodwind and Brasswind, Harmony Central and Musician.com.


this can't be a good thing...
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: A music monopoly? Are these all the same company? - 02/11/13 06:08 AM

Why not? Everything is owned by somebody.
Posted by: Providence

Re: A music monopoly? Are these all the same company? - 02/11/13 06:46 AM

Originally Posted By: MacMacMac
Why not? Everything is owned by somebody.


Because we are moving away from a competitive market situation where prices favour the consumer. When a few traders are operating its more like an Oligopoly where traders can fix prices (not good from a consumer standpoint). If this guy mentioned above gets to own everything then it would be a monopolistic situation where he cold charge whatever he wants...
Posted by: MacMacMac

Re: A music monopoly? Are these all the same company? - 02/11/13 07:32 AM

"This guy" doesn't own everything. And despite the situation with Guitar Center et al, they're prices are still lower than at my local independent music store.
Posted by: gvfarns

Re: A music monopoly? Are these all the same company? - 02/11/13 09:26 AM

Yeah I was going to say, we are definitely not having a problem with overpriced musical equipment on the internet. Our internet retailers (in the US, at least) are very aggressive on prices. Rather we are having a problem with brick-and-mortar stores not being able to compete with them on price and going out of business. Since manufacturers only permit brick-and-mortar stores to sell a bunch of their stuff, it can be difficult to find a good (for example) console model at a reasonable price (retailers are local monopolies).

We'd be better off if all these pianos were sold by the internet retailers except for one thing: it would be next to impossible to demo the products.

The digital piano business is actually in a strange and troubling place. It's hard for me to see what its future will look like.
Posted by: poggler

Re: A music monopoly? Are these all the same company? - 02/11/13 10:26 AM

Couldn't Guitar Center be called a "hybrid" brick-and-mortar store? Any product they don't stock can be shipped to the store for free pickup. Of course, they don't really know a whole lot about DPs except what accessories go great with them.

I know what you mean though. My search for a DP took me to a few piano stores in a 40 mile radius from where I live. One has stopped selling DPs and tried to sell me their remaining floor models at MSRP. One other piano store sells only uprights/grands made in China and Kurzweil DPs at MSRP. Guitar Center by far had the largest selection of DPs... if only because they have a lot of used instruments on consignment.

You really have to search and visit many different piano b&m stores in order to try out the different brands.

GC isn't my ideal choice of piano store. However, with their return policy, you could essentially buy the DP online, try it and return it at the store. That's a step-up from Amazon, IMO.

I just wish GC could be authorized to sell some of the higher-end, dealer-specific DPs like the new Celvianos, Kawais, etc. For some of us, GC is really the only option.
Posted by: adak

Re: A music monopoly? Are these all the same company? - 02/11/13 04:32 PM

is the piano seller industry similar to the car industry?

i really prefer to buy my pianos online. i buy most of my stuff online nowadays anyways.
Posted by: Dave Horne

Re: A music monopoly? Are these all the same company? - 02/12/13 04:01 AM

Buy your equipment locally when possible. It's unseemly to go to a store to try out their merchandise and then go elsewhere to purchase. wink
Posted by: Kawai James

Re: A music monopoly? Are these all the same company? - 02/12/13 04:08 AM

+100
Posted by: MagicK

Re: A music monopoly? Are these all the same company? - 02/12/13 05:27 AM

I also buy online most of the time. Usually i research a lot to find the perfect thing and then there's no one in a brick an motar shop who could tell me something i don't know which would warrant a higher price than online. But there are exceptions. One was my digital piano. I can't play it online and the feeling was a very important part of my decision making. So i went into a local music store, played through a lot of pianos, had a few questions etc. When i enter a shop and seek assistance, then i'm usually willing to buy there. And i'm willing to pay more than i would online (within reasonable limits) to pay for assistance and to support the store.
Ok, the fact that they matched the online price made it a no-brainer :-)