Sunday, December 26, 2010
I sincerely hope everyone has an enjoyable Christmas. Mine was kinda weird. For starters I lost my mother several years ago to pancreatic cancer on Christmas day. So for me , it doesn't ruin the holiday but I always remember. I mean how could you forget your mom passing away on Christmas day ? Among a string of personal fiasco's I dealt with this year, my marriage of 16 years completely collapsed. So this was my first real Christmas alone. I'll admit I did not deal well with it, to be honest with you it sucked. Your first holidays going through and dealing with a loss is tuff, but you get through it and get on with things. Still I will admit an empty house void of Decorations and my wife and dog made for a less than festive atmosphere.
We are currently dealing with an Ebay issue so we were limited on how much we could list. As far as total sales went it wasn't too bad. If we had everything listed we could have we probably would have surpassed last years Christmas numbers. We chugged along holding our own, but that was it. 2011 will be a make or break year for C & S, We will either firmly establish ourselves as the " Home of the Other Name Brands" or we'll collapse. It's either or for us. We need to recoup some lost ground we suffered in 2010, Hopefully an expanded selection of products and our own website will contribute to a healthy sales increase. We also will be really launching our wholesale division this year , Which should contribute to an increase in our bottom line.
As much that went wrong for us in 2010 we need to go right in 2011. That's a tall order, I'm willing to put in the time and work, I just hope we can keep attracting a good customer base. We are assembling a really good customer mailing list with some new software we have purchased. Transferring and categorising all of our past transactions for the last 2 years is a daunting task, But I have someone in mind who needs work and to get paid. I have the work and somehow the money to pay her to do it. This will allow us to really work our past customers with special mailing and the like.
Now just a quick word about the comings and goings of the C & S store. Our Ebay store has a new logo in our header check it out when you get a chance. Our new Audio/Video system is an absolute smash hit with our customers on You Tube. The positive feedback and accolades we have received is really amazing. We will use this new piece of equipment to it's full potential. I even enjoy watching our video's now. You gotta remember I film it , edit it, post it, update it so they get old pretty quick. The newness and increased quality of our recordings still hasn't worn off on me and there's still lot's to learn to really master the system. So that occupies alot of my time. We also will be launching Slide shows for product's that don't warrant a Video, Thrones Cymbal stands, HH stands Pedals and the such. This will allow us to visually reinforce our written description of the products. It's just another tool to make the time someone spends on any of our sites more engaging. Till next time..........T
Thursday, December 23, 2010
T here it's kinds late at the moment, Tuesday night/Wens morning. It's about 2:50 am and among other issue's I have to deal with is sleeping. Some night's I'll just toss and turn the entire evening. I figured I'm up let me bang out a blog or at least part of one.
Today Cymbals & Snares Debuted our new Audio/Video set up. It's visual capabilities are shooting the Video in Hi-def. Now our old system had hi-Def capabilities but it stopped at the 720 setting. This new rig were using goes as high as You Tube will allow, when your watching our Vids from here on out make sure to set the You Tube Video player at a maximum 1080p. The Picture is crystal clear, for those of you who have upgraded HD monitors It's gotta look great.
The big and most important change is the Audio. We now have the capacity to shoot in Digital true Stereo, and what a difference that makes. Things just got away from me today so we only finished 6 Video's shot on our new system. It has about a million and a half settings and took us the better part of a day and a half to settle on what we felt was the best Audio/Video presentation we could produce. We asked our subscribers, friends and passers by to leave a critique of our new set-up.
It was obvious to me instantaneously when I played back the first Video on the settings we agreed upon, Just listening to my voice it was crystal clear . I anxiously awaited the first blow, when it did come a few seconds later all I could do was smile. I said to myself all alone and outloud WOW !, That sounded dam good. Apparently 99.9% of you also agree. It was a rousing success and an upgrade sorely needed. It was money very well spent. As I listened to the New Size Wuhan China's The shortcomings of our "old" system became obvious. It's kinda funny in a way, our old system is a nice system shooting video's in Hi-Def with very clear audio. It's only when you compare it to our new system you can really here the difference.
I think the several major factors that separate the New from the Old is the Dynamic range this new system encompasses. Our old system and for that matter most other Instrument Video's on You Tube do not come close to being able to record and reproduce the dynamic range that is involved with Drum & Cymbals. This new system makes easy work of it and what a difference it makes. Alot of video's on you tube involving drums and or Cymbals are essentially "FLAT". meaning to a large part the volume of a cymbal stays static through most of the recording. Yes when someone smacks a Cymbal hard it gets louder, But that's all that usually happens. The subtle nuances of that smack are not reproduced correctly leaving the listener wanting more. Most times I'm sure they are unaware that this situation exsist's but it does.
By upgrading our Audio/Video presentations everyone wins. We are a company and we are in business our Video's are meant to show off our product line. However that's not the only reason we do it, We also want to contribute positively to the Drumming community at large, and by putting our Vids on You Tube anyone can watch, listen and learn a little more about the Brands and products we feature. It cost nothing to watch our Video's and since we specialise in the "Other Name Brands" it's not like there's 10,000 other Vids on YT showing the same product. Our Niche in the Percussion Retail Business is unique, We are the only store who concentrates on the angle we do, so there for so are our Video's. To us it becomes critically important to present those brands and Products with the highest quality Video's we can.
I think we can say we have attained that goal. We have decided the Sound and picture quality is so good and allow's the viewer a better than average YT viewing experience. We now begin the task of re-shooting 150 or so Video's because we want every video on our channel to be shot with our new system. I don't mind one bit because it will only enhance our contribution to You Tube and the Drumming community at large. Till next time............T
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Got some interesting stuff to update you guys on. First Our little blog now is read a little over 800 times a month. I'm happy with that, I just still wish some of our readers would sign up and subscribe to our Blog, but as long as there reading it I'm happy. It's really gratifying to know so many people share the same intrests as myself. Sometimes you think to yourself "Am I the only Drummer who feels this way ?" apparently not and that makes me feel good.
Our wildly succesful You Tube Channel has broken 300 subscribers. Last night we hit 300, I had put out a call to everyone on of our YT subscribers, Our Blog subscribers and those on our Cymbals & SNares mailing list to make a push to family freind and aquintences to subscribe tou our YT channel I wanted to hit 300 subscribers by the end of this year. Inleass than 3 weeks after my request we achieved our goal. Honestly I was in awe we picked up nearly 30 subscribers inless than 3 weeks. The USA led the new signee's followed by Australia, United Kingdom and Canada all three of thos countries are large markets for us. Infact the way they are listed is the position there in regarding our overseas sales. Thank you to everyone.
Overdrive Cymbals begins production next week and we are physced if they sell nearly as good as the responce weve gotten about them they should be a succes. We also have finalized our Overdrive Logo. It's really hot and was designed by our friend Brendon from South Africa. The new logo is on the new picture when you open our blog that's what the Cymbals will look like. We'd like to know what you think so leave us a comment. that will wrap it up till next time.......T
Sunday, December 12, 2010
The Christmas selling season is in full swing, Were moving and grooving ourselves. We also have our plate full without the X-mas selling season, when you add that into the mix we are streched to the max. Our Turkish partners are going to give us a start date for the manufacture of our own Overdrive Cymbals, We are preparing another order for Diril Cymbals, They are our most expensive Cymbals we carry and are truly a Pro-level Cymbal in every scence of the word. We have decided to use Diril as our " Flagship " brand of Cymbals. They are every bit as good in quality, construction, and sound as anything the BIG3 put out, we plan on throwing the gauntlet down sorta speak at the BIG3 and get very aggresive in our internet adds and promotions of Diril, They really are exquisite Cymbals some of the best if not the very best Cymbals I have ever used.
The really big and exciting news for us is that our own proprietary website is nearing completeion. We are tweaking it right now, adding and customising our listings. For those of you who have asked Paypal will be just one of several ways to pay for your items. We will be accepting credit cards directly, which is something alot of you guys have asked for. Were also trying to allow you the buyer to decide on what type of shipping service you want to use. The options for sure will be at least The Post Office and Fed Ex, we use both of them now and have accounts already set up so intergarting them into our store's shipping section should be fairley easy.
Aftre so many starts and stops and the issue's that have plaged us on and off all year it would be really nice and give a mental lift to us here at C & S to start out the new year with our own brand new website. However my 49 years on this God forsaken spinning mudball in the middle of the Universe has taught me not to get too excited about anything until it actually happens. It's looking very good at this point and hopefully we will open by Jan 1st. That's the day were aiming for, but if we can open sooner we will. I certainly hope it's no later. It will be a little more interactive than our Ebay store and more colorful with some really neat features. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Till next time.........T
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
T here again. Today's blog is going to bring up an issue I have always felt should be implemented in the percussion world. Namely uniform standards for Drum sticks and Cymbals. There's a bewildering array of choices in both categories. It's sometimes difficult to compare products because there's no standards or uniformity any company must conform to. You can essentially produce a drum stick and call it anything you want.
Sticks, There are a few major players in the stick scene and many many smaller ones. Now I have no idea how stick identification or categorization started or what it was based on. But I do know it can be a bit confusing for even a seasoned player, a newbie has got to be overwhelmed and bewildered by his choices. He also must be thinking to himself ( as I once did ) who the hell decided on what to call the different size sticks. let's take a theoretical newbie looking at sticks the 5a's are to heavy or fat or whatever, It's just the opposite for the 7a's. To skinny or light for him/her to use. Now logic would dictate that the 6a's would probably be the perfect size, good luck trying to find them. How come there's no 6a's ? If there is I've never seen them.
The way sticks are sized and marked is just stupid. The lower the number and letter the heavier and fatter they are a 2B is gigantic compared to a 7A, I will be honest and tell you I haven't the slightest clue on how companies arrive at the designations they do. But they indeed do, a simplified and uniformly codified system needs to replace the half assed system that's in place now. If the 7a is the next size up or down from a 5a there's room for improvement. Now if that isn't bad enough once you start to move past the sticks that are designated by numbers and letters you start getting into named sticks. Rock, Extreme Rock, pro rock it just goes on and on. Then you have the Hybrid sticks with names and number/letter designations. Los Angeles 2B's, I ask you what is the difference between that and a regular 2b ?
This type of helter skelter designations hurts the consumer because it becomes very difficult, and at times near impossible to compare different brands of sticks when calculating cost. I use to have a Drum instructor who purchased sticks once a year. That's the way he did it and it becomes even more imperative when purchasing a large number of sticks that you be able to accurately compare pricing on sticks. This is where the codification comes into play. You must be able to compare apples to apples to get an accurate idea of which brand is priced better or lower.
Now I'm not suggesting imposing Nazi-like rigorous standards. I'm not saying the Consumer affairs division of your states government send out the weights and measurements teams to weigh and measure drumsticks, like they do when they pull a surprise inspection on gas stations or the deli counter at your local supermarket. However I do feel some basic guidelines should be adopted by manufactures of drum sticks and guidelines that follow some sort of linear alphabetic or numerical pattern that is obvious and functional. Today drum stick manufacturing is for the most part done on computerized machines, How hard could it be for the various companies to all calibrate there machines to fit the same standards for the same style sticks ? It wouldn't be all that difficult and like I mentioned earlier lets ditch the stupid stick ID standards we currently use for something more user friendly so we won't have a situation like we currently do. Going from a 5a to a 7a where's the 6a I ask you again !!
Moving on to Cymbals, you know when I first started playing drums nobody seemed to care what a Cymbal weighed or if they did it wasn't nearly as prominent as it is today. This is going back 30 years keep that in mind. Somewhere along the way the weights of a Cymbal became important to alot of Drummers. I don't think this is a bad thing at all, and like most aspects of Drumming it's a personal choice. personally it's not that big an issue for me with the exception of the high hats. There I think the weight differential is fairly important other than that just the designation of the Cymbals weight is OK for me. A few years back I wanted to add a 15" or 16" med/Hvy crash to my set up, not having one in that size Cymbals. Mine were all medium to light sizes and I desired something with a little more meat to it. While checking out various brands of Med/Hvy 16" I couldn't help notice the weight difference from brand to brand. What company X called Med/Hvy was Hvy with company Z. Pretty dam close in weight but with different designations I began to think this makes choosing a Pie even harder than it already is. For pricing purposes it could easily lead to a bigger disparity between brands than it had to be.
A simple solution is setting up guidelines along the same lines as my drum stick suggestion. First come up with weight name designations. Paper thin, Thin, medium, Med/Hvy and Hvy Then set parameters on where those Cymbals should fall weight wise. Now of course there's alot of factors that need to be considered. A automated sheet stamped Cymbal's weight is more easily controlled than a hand made Cymbal so an issue like that needs to be addressed. That is easily accomplished by giving each weight designation a certain parameter to fall within. let's use made up numbers for the sake of ease of understanding. For a paper thin 15" crash lets use 400grams to 450grams if it comes in Higher than 450g than it would automatically be designated in the next weight class. For the consumer this would allow for a better comparison in pricing Cymbals. If you know whatever brand of cymbals your comparing and they are the same size ( Diameter ) and have the same weight designation ( Thin ) you know they are all going to weight within a specified parameter, then pricing becomes easier to understand. Now the difference in pricing falls with quality, workmanship and other factors. With what we have now,there's no telling what the difference is in weight for the same designation cymbals from brand to brand. A medium ride can vary hundreds of grams from brand to brand which absolutely will effect it's price. Thus skewing your perception of the brand that is more costly or conversely the cheaper one.
I just think a little more uniformity in the stick and Cymbal scene would benefit the consumer in the long run. If two medium rides essentially weigh close to the same are the same diameter ( 22" ) and both are made from the same alloy, let's say B20 ( what else ? ) Now a companies ride that is $125.00 more than it's competitors needs to justify why this is so. I think the consumer is the big winner here, making Cymbal companies be more competitive for your dollars. Perhaps lowering their prices to be more competitive or making higher quality Cymbals to compete with their competition. I don't know for sure if any of this would happen, and what I'm suggesting is just the seed or the zygote of an idea. I'm open for any and all suggestions, My intention is just to open up a debate on the merits of this idea and anything I have suggested in this blog can and should be scrutinized, added to or deleted and replaced with something better. Nothing written hear is in stone. The whole concept of some sort of standardization is fluid add to it or detract from it, this is how things change and develop. I personally think some type of standardization would be a good thing in these two particular areas. What the end result would be is any ones guess, So now a little feedback from the readers of this article I'd love to hear what my brother and Sister drummers feel about this. Till next time.............T
Thursday, December 2, 2010
T here, In this blog I'd like to go over and give you guys the complete 411 on Wuhan/Agazarian/Guitar Center connection. It's kinda funny how things develop sometimes, I never realized how big apart of our business Wuhan would become. In fact I have become the go to guy for allot of people about Wuhan's, since there really is not a whole lot of info available on them considering how big of a brand they are. Now one question I get asked weekly is about what I stated in the first sentence. So much so I have decided to do a blog solely dedicated to that question. So I can reference people to this blog that will answer every question.
First and foremost Wuhan and Agazarian are in no way connected. They are complete and seperate brands. Agazarian is Guitar Center's house brand, It has replaced Wuhan in their brick and Mortar stores. Almost always displayed NOT in their Cymbal vault, but at their percussion counter either in it's own display box or in counter space Wuhan's and now Agazarian's are put their intentionally for what is called spontaneous purchases. Because of their very affordable pricing this works, you'll spring for a $20 China or a $30 splash at checkout time on the spur. Laying out $200 + for a BIG3 pie is another matter altogether.
If you've ever noticed there were always just a few Wuhan's on display, maybe their splashes and the old standby their immensely popular 12" china. As an impulse purchase you can't beat these. A year or two ago Guitar center replaced their Wuhan's with Agazarians, but only in their stores. They wisely still carried Wuhan's in the catalog and their Internet sites. It's called hedging your bets, I suppose if Agazarians bombed or for those of you who decided you wanted to stick to the original and ( IMO ) superior Wuhan's they could still be purchased from Guitar center. It's when one inquires about Agazarians or what happened to their Wuhan's the water becomes muddy. I have come to the conclusion GC has directed it's employees either indirectly or intentionally to deceive customers in giving out false information about Wuhan.
This is what I have personally heard. " Wuhan is out of Business", Wuhan only makes Chinas anymore" or the best one " Wuhan and Agazarian are the same brand " now these aren't isolated statements they have been made to me and others I know in more than one Guitar Center. The theme of the comments themselves are so similar that I begun to think this info was coming from GC's corporate offices. Could GC the largest Instrument retail chain in the country be intentionally misleading customers ( my fellow drummers) into giving out false information about Wuhan to steer any potential sales to their new house brand Agazarian ? I really began to wonder, it just seemed the info giving out by GC employees in stores to me in widely varying locations and states had too much in common to be coincidence.
Of course Proof can never be conclusively established unless a GC whistleblower steps forward with some kind of internal memo instructing it's sales staff to do just what I have accused them of. It may never be proven conclusively but I just can feel it in my heart that I'm right. 2 weeks ago I was in a GC with a guitarist friend and while looking at the drums I asked what happened to the Wuhan splashes ? The sales clerk gave me an answer I heard before, but it was a hybrid of several of the misconceptions rolled into one. Well Wuhan and Agazarian are the same brands made in the same factory and Wuhan doesn't do splashes anymore, there only making China's. That's why we switched to Agazarians there better they make more stuff and Wuhan is kinda dead he said. Hmm I inquired didn't you just say they were the same brand ? Well he clarified his position there made by the same company. I smell conspiracy.
Enough with circumstantial evidence let me give you guys some facts. :
1) Wuhan and Agazarian are completely separate brands. They are owned by different companies and have no connection whatsoever.
2) Agazarians are Guitar center's new house brand. By contracting a Chinese Cymbal maker to produce their own brand and purchasing direct GC has a higher profit margin than they do with Wuhans.
3) Wuhan last year during the development of their "New Traditional" series also consolidated Cymbal production to one factory. Previously Wuhan's were made in two separate factories. One factory made their China's and one made their Western style Cymbals. In an effort to improve efficiency and streamline costs, in addition Wuhan felt if Cymbal production were in one facility,better quality control and consistency could be achieved. I believe they have improved immensely in both of those area's.
4) The factory Agazarians are currently produced in was producing Wuhan's before Wuhan consolidated it's manufacturing. I believe this is the root cause of much of the misperception about Wuhan & Agazarian. That and piss poor info given out by the staff at GC
So I can state for the record unequivocally that the only thing that Wuhan and Agazarian have in common is Nothing. It's really funny when I ask about What happened to your Wuhans at GC ? The last conversation I had with a sales clerk , I was told " Your getting some bad info bro ". Ok , right I just don't have the heart I own a percussion retail business. But there is the story, They're not one in the same. They aren't related, they are as different as Saluda and Stagg. OOHhhh ! Now that's a whole different post altogether. Till next time, T.
Friday, November 26, 2010
It's T once again. I sincerely Hope everyone had an absolutely wonderful Holiday. Mine was just OK, Hopefully next year will be better for me. Well here we are once again and it's BLACK FRIDAY, The day that kicks off the Holiday shopping season. Contrary to popular Myth It's not the busiest shopping day of the year. That honor is usually bestowed upon Dec 23rd of every year, experts believe the last great " Surge " of last Minute Holiday shopping gets into full Blast. For an online operation like ours our " Surge " Kicks in about a good week before Christmas day so your precious goodies can get shipped and delivered before the " BIG " day.
Although, we have had some operating difficulties this year, Your holiday orders will be shipped ASAP. I have several extra people trained to pitch in at a moments notice. So stock and staff wise were looking pretty good. I'm looking forward to having a stellar year end blitz for the company. We are sorting through and already laying out our game plan for 2011, New brands and more products will join C & S's offerings. Our long awaited and terribly overdue proprietary Website will be up and running in the early part of 2011, I'm going on record and saying sometime by February 15 th.
As our Sophomore year ends we take with it many lessons any young growing company could learn from. We have made some big mistakes this year, but we realize that and we plan to learn from them. We have made mistakes dealing with Mistakes and accidents and other issue's. Like the Great Hack Attack, How we responded was admittedly poor. I was complete unprepared for it, severely underestimated it and didn't have enough cash reserves to deal with it properly. That will not happen again, Not on my watch. As long as I'm the Head Honcho here, Generalissimo T, We will not be pearl harbored again.
We had alot of good stuff happen to Us also. Our ancillary sites really came into their own this year with a really active Blog and a very popular You Tube channel. When our own website opens shortly we will finally be able to bring all the C & S family of sites to a centralized Locale, that will be nice. I personally consider many of you friends, The regulars who frequent the store or YT channel and converse with me regularly. It's very cool, something I really didn't think about when I first founded C & S.
OK enough BS lets talk about some product. We will be listing some new stuff over the weekend. A snare kit and Jr snare Kit, for you newbies and baby newbies out there. We are gonna Dissect a TKO 101 jr Drum kit for you with lots of Video and Pictures. These are one of the nicest jr kits on the market, If you or someone you know is looking at a " First Act" brand Drum kit stop Them !! These are so much nicer, really in a completely different league. A true drum kit only scaled down. So many times these jr drum kits are just absolute Crap. It's nice to no for even a very young starting player there is some decent and affordable equipment out there. Splash/Cymbal arm Packs will be available for both Wuhan and Silken. There will be some additional Cymbal packs Available from Wuhan.
We also will be permanently carrying TKO's 1200 series line of Cymbal stands, These are absolutely fantastic. For the money these are the nicest stands we have found. They are an excellent buy and we are happy to sell them, if your not happy with these you won't be happy with anything HONEST !! That is why we have decided to add these permanently to our inventory. We also will be unveiling Cannons 800 series HH stand, Like the TKO stands they are well built and very affordable. With some basic care and maintenance you should get years of use out of it. We like to cherry pick products from different companies, trying only to bring you what we feel is a good solid product and priced accordingly. That's the basic idea anyway. Lastly as the New Wuhan's become available we will be adding them to our line of products. So that ends today's Blog have a great weekend everybody. T.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
T here, Just wanted to fire off a quick blog and wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. So far this hasn't been the best year for Cymbals & Snares. I was sick and need a few surgeries in May/June which seriously sidetracked the company. My personal life completely crumbled with the separation and pending Divorce from my wife. The Hack Attack of September is still having repercussions as we still have a few discounts to issue. With the numerous neutral and negative feedback's we received from that complete debacle, it's amazing were still in business.
I am very grateful for all the emails and messages of support we have received from our supporters, friends & subscribers to our Blog, You Tube Channel and our store Newsletter. We are just gonna have to work our way out of it and through it and put this disastrous year behind us. I can only hope and work hard to ensure 2011 is a better year for the company and myself ( personally ) It really couldn't get much worse. In fact for it to be any worse than this year the company would have to go belly up and I would have to die. Which lately doesn't really seem that bad of options. To be honest I would be more upset about closing the company than Being Deceased. Who would be the voice for the " Other Name Brands " ???
Okay, enough with crap about me let's talk Drums & Cymbals. C&S has just signed on with a new distributor among the products were looking at to carry are moongel and some cool little knick knacks for your kit. Some novelty Items that I think, if not functional are totally cool, Dice knobs for the top of your Cymbals, Bass Drum tuning rods that are Hands holding the front drum head on, Nothing earth shattering but very neat little stuff. Hopefully we will be signing a distributorship agreement with PEACE drums and begin to carry their line Of drums after the first of the year. We also will be one of the first companies to carry a quick release HH clutch from a new company. They have some pretty interesting products which we think look really nice. However like all Products C & S carry we will give it a rigorous testing before putting it up for sale. We have always maintained " If we ourselves wouldn't use it then we won't sell it " that's not a line of marketing BS. That's a fact. and that's it for this blog have a great holiday T. Cymbals & Snares
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Just a quick update for our loyal readers and supporters. The true cost of the great Hack Attack continues to mount. The attack effected over 100 orders, and made our ability to operate and comunicate with our customers nearly impossible at first. As we slowly began to emerge from the damage that was done, It became apparent to me this was going to be far costlier than anyone had envisioned.
Our reputation on Ebay is at an all time low. The flurry of negative feedbacks has effectively dropped our feedback rating to 98%, the lowest it's ever been. That in turn has resulted in a drop in sales, which then begins to affect our ability to operate effectively. We have finally cleaned up almost everything from our disaster. A few more refunds and we'll be completely passed the physical damaged incurred. However, building our reputation up is going to be a long and hard process.
So here we sit, It almost feels the last two years were for nothing. All we put into building this company and the idea's we espouse sit precariously on the edge of oblivion. I hope we can fully recover. We are pressing ahead with Overdrive Cymbals, developing our Wholesale company and continuing with work on our own Website. I hope we can pull this off. I have never felt less sure of myself or Cymbals & Snares since I first hatched the idea of doing my own thing. I hope it wasn't for nothing. Till next time. T
Thursday, November 4, 2010
It's a cold dark and rainy morning here in Jersey, Perfect morning for a blog entry. I figured I would update you on our product selection this Morning. I was looking at a double cymbal stand from Pearl yesterday, It was beautiful and well made. ( Only a drummer could think a Cymbal stand was beautiful Right ?) Then I looked at the price take $179.00 !! Yikes ! Holy Shit I exclaimed to myself. That is a lot of money for a stand. I was checking it out for a reason, C & S is doing a major expansion into the hardware arena. It's probably our weakest area, One section of drumming that is poorly represented. That is about to change.
We just got a delivery in from TKO. This company has long been associated with entry level drums and Hardware But late last year they introduced their 1200 series stands. These things are unbelievable for the money. Sturdy, well built double dipped chroming, Euro style on off switches replace the normal wingnut tightening system , double braced there's really nothing to not like on these stands. The best part ?? The price their top of the line 1206 Boom stand with a telescopic lens and large counterweight so even your largest most precious cymbals are safe tops out at $79.00 retail. IMO it's a deal and a half. There are alot of inexpensive stands on the Internet and Ebay, be very careful because you often get what you pay for.
We should have most of the 1200 series listed by the weekend. Anyone looking for stands whether it's a straight stand or boom should give these a good looking at. They are a fantastic value as is there entire 1200 series. We like variety and so we also will be bringing in Cannon's 800 series and Howitzer line of stands and bass drum pedals. Like TKO's both of these line bring excellent quality and value to the drumming community. There bass drum pedals in particular are single or double chained and have precise and smooth fluid like movement. These Pedals can compete with the big name brands in their categories very easily. Both TKO and Cannon offer great double bass pedals for under $200. This presents to every drummer a very affordable way to expand his capabilities by incorporating a double kick into his playing.
We can't leave out a mention of Taye drums. Taye who's drums are without question great. It also makes really nice hardware. In fact they have some really neat innovative hardware that you won't find anywhere else. Their Snare " Boom" stand is just one example. Other companies have attempted this type of stand but Taye has mastered it. The boom extends far enough and is stable enough to place your double kick pedals connecting bar INSIDE of the snare drum stand alleviating a real nightmare for alot of drummers including myself. No more trying to get the pedal configuration just right. Now there's nothing blocking it. I swear by that stand. What a great little idea. It has really had an impact on how I set my snare/hi-hat combo. My double kick is infinitely more comfortable. So look for some great selections in stands this holiday season. T
Friday, October 29, 2010
Gonna be a quick posting today. I just wanted to let everyone of our average 600 readers a week here, That Overdrive Cymbals has launched a informational website. It has basic background info about the company. Expected launch dates, contact information and the like. We will be adding some video's to it this weekend. We will be keeping you informed about all the happenings at Overdrive over the next few weeks. So log on and to your favorites and check it out OVERDRIVE HAS ARRIVED !! the link to the site is as follows. www.overdrivecymbals.com As always were are interested in some honest feedback. Just remember it's just an informational site. It's a work in progress. T
I was reading a blog the other night and couldn't help think about how divided the drumming community is over Cymbal care. Do you clean your Cymbals or do you allow that much hallowed " Patina " to build up ? This of course is strictly a personal choice. One way is not inherently better than the other. It what you like to do. However there are so many theories around supporting both sides I find actually comical. Especially about buring your Cymbals. I'm not going into each theory but I did want to mention that one in particular. Sabian buries X amount of Cymbals a year and then sells them at an exorbitant price. Sonically it supposed effects the Cymbal from my understanding from lab test done it just gets the cymbal dirty.
I like brilliant finished Cymbals, I like shiny Cymbals So I clean mine. It actually brings out the high end a bit. Supposedly not cleaning them has the opposite effect. I won't argue that it doesn't. It probably does. I just prefer nice clean and shiny Cymbals. Don't get me wrong it's a pain in the ass doing it. I'm currently using 23 cymbals on my kit, so I just gradually grab one or two a week and clean them. I work my way around my kit.
A friend of mine is in the no clean camp. He prefers the Patina that builds up and says it mellows out his cymbals. I'm not so sure that's his reason or he's just lazy, he also doesn't clean his Kit, car, or anything he owns. perhaps he's hoping for a Patina to develop on his car ? Now if your in the not cleaning camp your done hear For those who do read on. There's all kinds of products to use to clean your cymbals, and all kinds of ways to do it. Here are some of the technique's and products I've employed successfully over the years.
Every major cymbal company has a cleaner that is specially formulated to clean there cymbals. Bullshit, plain and simple. It's just some kind of metal polish they contract out and have their label put on it. Then they sell tiny bottles for $10 bucks a pop. I have used a brand called " Weinmans" It's available at Wal-Mart and it's like $2.00 for a large bottle. It works great I've used it for years with no adverse effect on my beloved pie's. This is not a recommendation I'm just telling you what I use. I also use their scouring pads for really stained spots. It's like those scrubby pads for pots and pans. But wait T !! won't that scratch my Cymbals ? NO just make sure you get the ones that are formulated to clean Glass cook tops. If they don't scratch glass they ain't scathing a Cymbal.
If I'm really into it or got a good buzz going I take my car buffer and lightly I mean LIGHTLY buff your Cymbals I leave the buffer on a spot only a few seconds if you do it too long you can heat up your Cymbals and change the molecular structure and ruin your Cymbal. I then finish it off with a nice hand buffing One of those buffing pads they use for cars. Slip your hand into a holder on one side and buff away. In the end you get a gorgeous looking Cymbal. To me It actually sounds a little better coaxing a little bit of high end out of it. Just curious Are you a cleaner or not ? Till next time T.
Monday, October 25, 2010
T coming at you yet again. We have decided on a series name for Overdrive's first line of cymbals. We have decided to go with the ego-centric and simple T20 name. It's not just because it's a nick name of mine, I really like how it sounds Like a Russian WWII era tank or something. So it's now official The official designation will be Overdrive T20 line of cymbals.
I'm pretty happy with that. It's easy to remember it will be easy to market ( as is the Overdrive name itself) So all in all That worked out well. I think I myself added the 20 to someones suggestion of just the T series. We are looking through our records to see if that was the case. Although we didn't use any one's exact suggestion if you are the person who submitted the T series as a suggestion your going to win the Cymbal anyway.
Now don't disappointed if you suggested it and don't win. We had a surprising amount of Duplicate suggestions and hundreds of responses. Who ever suggested it first wins. We had hundreds and hundreds of suggestions, and we would like to thank each and every one of you for participating. So that really it for today folks just wanted to disseminate that info out there as soon as possible. Till next time, T.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
I got an interesting email this morning concerning yesterdays blog content. Among other things I mentioned that Overdrive Percussion is considering building a line of custom snares. Perhaps I didn't explain it correctly, or make it clear to what exactly we are attempting to do. So allow me to elaborate a little on it this morning.
One of the issue's I have with the hundreds of Drum Boutique manufacturers that have popped up over the last few years is among other things low resale value. I don't care how " custom" a drum is if it's from a small or unknown company, when you sell it generally your gonna take a bath. That being said it seems to me that many of these companies do little more than assemble a drum. Aside from the finish they all appear pretty much to function the same.
Many use Keller shells which you can purchase from a variety of sources. You can get these shells pre-drilled and the finish already applied some companies just slap on hardware and they're done. I want to emphasise not all boutique companies do this, some make your kit from scratch. They do everything from bending and gluing the ply's to drilling the hardware holes, in short they are true manufactures.
I'm not saying either approach is wrong nor did I mean to imply that yesterday or today. I do feel that many of the smaller companies the main differences between them is in the finishes. As much as I would like to be a Percussion manufacturer at the moment we have our hands full. What I did allude to was in reference to Overdrive Percussion which is already engaged in producing Cymbals that we are also working with a company to produce a line of snare drums for the US market. We are also considering offering our customers a line of customized snare drums, and like everything else we plan to do it a little different. Let me elaborate.
What we plan to offer sometime next year is regular production model snares under the Overdrive brand. We also are planning to offer drummers the opportunity to create their own " customized " snare drums. Here's how we plan to approach it. We are going to have a line or lines of snare drums manufactured, when we receive them we will then strip down the snare to the shell and existing finish. We have decided to forgo the purchasing of shells and hardware and drilling sanding and blah, blah, blah. You get the picture. Instead we have come up with a novel approach to offering drummers the opportunity to customize their snare drums. To create a truly one of a kind instrument.
Cost is always a factor in business, in an undertaking like this it's everything. We are going to have a OEM manufacture a snare drum, we will then strip it bear until only the factory finish is left untouched. This is where we differ greatly with the boutique companies, many their claim to fame is there unlimited choices of finishes. We then plan to retro fit these snares with parts purchased here in the United States from percussion hardware companies. We will do this for 1 or 2 regular lines of snares, these upgraded snares will be our " Top of the Line " snares.
At the same time will offer our customers a chance to order the exact type of hardware he wishes to " Customize" his snare. The choices will be everything from Rims, 1.5 mm, 2.7 mm or 2.7 mm power hoops. To choices in hardware style, coloring, snare throw-offs to tuning rods long, short, medium, coarse thread or fine. even the choice of drum heads will be an option. The choices are limitless and drummers will have an opportunity to create a " Customized " snare drum that won't run them $800 and take 7 months to complete. I hope I have made our idea a little clearer and stated it in a more precise way. That's the plan for now until it changes. and like always till next time. T.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Good afternoon everyone. I just wanted to shoot out a quick products and brand update from your favorite Percussion retailer. First let me speak about a brand that's near and dear to my heart Overdrive Percussion. On our You Tube channel there's 3 video's of our final Overdrive Cymbal prototypes. If you haven't already checked them out go to www.youtube.com/ilduce61 to see the videos. They are the final models which will go into production sometime in November. Initially we will be offering 8", 10" & 12" splash. a 14", 16" and 18" crashes, they will all be medium weights. Also of medium weights will be a 20" ride and the 14" HH that will comprise of the first release. Like all our other brands of Cymbals we will be putting together Packages, pretty much along the lines of our Wuhan or Silken packages. We will announce pricing very shortly.
Overdrive Percussion is modeled after Meinl . A percussion company not strictly a cymbal company. We have been working with a manufacture to release a line of snare drums. We have whittled the selection down to 6 models, They will include 2 all maple, a poplar walnut hybrid, a steel snare and a piccolo snare. They will be available at first in a limited number of colors. Like our Cymbals based on sales and demand we will expand the colors and selection if need be. We are just waiting for the first prototypes for us to inspect to arrive.
We also have a half dozen snares coming from a small company in Europe. We are having them only partially manufactured. When they arrive we are going to strip them down and upgrade the hardware from a US Drum parts supplier. It's actually more economical to have them manufacture the snares and then us strip them down and re-tool them with US made hardware. We will also be able to offer our customers custom made snare drums. Essentially we will strip the snare down to it's finished shell and refit the drum with a variety of hardware. Different hoops, Lug styles, Tuning rods and head selection. whatever the buyer chooses. It will be a way for any drummer to essentially create his own custom snares, at a fraction of the price boutique drum companies charge. Were very excited about this particular project.
We have alluded to this deal for several months, but not really wanting to let the " Kat von D " out of the bag before we really had things button up. Cymbals & Snares has inked it's second exclusive distributorship, starting sometime between November and the end of the year we will take delivery on our first order of Coreelo drum heads. We have secured the rights to be their sole US distributor. To say were a excited about this deal is an understatement. Coreelo produces excellent quality drum heads easily on par with any of the big name drum heads currently available in the US market. They make everything from Coated snare drums heads to Heads for High school marching bands. We will do an entire blog on the history and products that Coreelo produces and our plans to market them.
Peace Drums will be joining the roster of brands C & S carries. Some of you may be familiar with them. Doug Rezak, Terry Conway & Nick Mason are all Peace endorsers. In my personal opinion Peace drums along with Coreelo drum heads are just perfect examples of the " Other Name Brands" C & S specializes in. Peace Drums is a full service drum company Making everything from excellent entry level kits, Cymbal stands, bass drum pedals, HH stands to their Highly acclaimed top of the line professional " DNA " series drums. Peace is also known especially to industry insiders for their large and varied amount of snare drums they manufacture. We are looking forward to having them join Cannon, TKO, Taye and Howitzer in our Drum offerings to our fellow drummers.
Also look for Aquarian Drum heads and Moongel as new brands to join the C & S team. I love both products myself. Aquarians Super Kick II bass drum heads IMO are the best bass drum head in the business, It delivers a nice low end punch and unmistakable " Thump" drummers have nocturnal emissions over. As far as Moon gel goes I often talk about it in our product demo videos and we have several video's featuring the effects moongel has on Cymbals. I use moongel on almost every ride cymbal in my personal collection . On my drum heads I use zero rings on every head except my snare for that I use a piece of Moongel. For my money it is absolutely the finest sonic resonance dampening device on the market bar none. We are happy to offer this excellent product to our fellow drummers. Well that's a wrap for this blog I hope the 629.5 people ( that's are average) who read this blog enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. Till Next time Ciao !! T.
T is in the room. Is it just me or does it seem like Christmas was just here ? I suppose as I get older time really does start to fly. I personally look forward to this holiday season with a certain amount of trepidation. I don't mind sharing a little personal info with you guys. My wife and I have ended a 21 year relationship. It was her idea not mine, although I freely admit I was the major cause in the collapse of our relationship, I still love her dearly. Love is not an on/off switch unfortunately mine is still on.
This will be the first holiday season in 21 years I spend without her. No thanksgiving day dinner with her and my family oops her family. See it is so ingrained in me I kinda feel lost. No Christmas and all the trappings that go along with it. The only family I have left is really you guys. My C & S family. So I will pour myself into the company and hopefully that will keep me occupied. I do not mind admitting to you, at this conjuncture in my life I am very sad and very lonely.
Couple that with all the shit that has happened to the company, sometimes I really do feel like shooting myself. However that's just an expression I think the company and it's various websites and interaction I get with all of my customers friends, subscribers and the such really keep me going. Even if it's a self made illusion I keep saying to myself they need me. In the end I know that's not true. If I and C & S were to just drop off the face of the planet today, what real impact have I had on anyone ? You all would simply move on to other drum retailers, other Blogs and other You Tube pages. Up until this moment I think my impact on the drum world and any of you has been negligible at best.
C & S is really all I have, hopefully it will be all I need. I plan on pouring my heart and soul into the company this coming year like never before. I still need to clean up the mess the hacking has caused but once that is cleared up it will be full steam ahead. This morning I'm feeling a little down and overwhelmed. I didn't write this for anyone to feel sorry for me. I made the mess I currently find myself in. I just think writing it down is a little therapeutic for me. I'm so glad I have the company to focus on without it I honestly do not know what I would do. That's all I wanted to say for now. Look for my next blog which will give alot of details of what's coming up site wise and product wise next few months. Till next time. T
Thursday, October 21, 2010
T here, Unfortunately our Silken order which we were originally scheduled to receive in Roctober is now scheduled for a January delivery. This does not make me very happy, But there is little I can do. Wuhan's expanded New Traditional series is also delayed in arriving. Retailers such as ourselves have been told for almost two months now there coming, there coming. When ? I asked inquisitively. Soon very soon , It's really nobodies fault these things just happen. You know what they say " Stuff Happens" that's not exactly what they say, but I think most of you get it. So we'll just bide our time and hope they arrive before Thanksgiving.
Overdrive Cymbals begins it's first production run in November. That is something that should happen on schedule. However I have been in this bidness long enough to know there's no such thing as a sure thing. Our line is secondary to this companies primary line of Cymbals, technically were probably third or fourth string production level. This company also is subcontracted by one of the BIG3 to produce one of their lines of cymbals. So we aren't that high on the totem pole just yet since we are only just beginning our first production run, but if the response in sales is even remotely like the response we received on You Tube we will sell a thousand pies our first year.
We are starting to really crunch the numbers for our line of cymbals as to what they will retail for. These are Pro-level cymbals all the way that we will offer at a price point that will be in the intermediate pricing level. We'd like to offer the best cymbal in it's price range. To do that we will simply have to make less money than competing brands. That presents challenges all it's own. We still need to make enough money to make it worthwhile, which I'm confident we can do. We may look into another manufacture to produce a line of " High-end" entry level cymbals sometime next year if we have any success with Overdrive's initial offerings.
Hopefully if all goes well we should be offering a full line of products under the Overdrive brand within the next year or two. Most wholesale companies offer it's customers a "house brand" the quality can vary widely. We'd like to offer more than just a "house brand" but a True marketable stand alone Destination brand. That's a lofty goal I know and will take sometime to accomplish but with a lot of hard work and a little luck we should carve out a niche for ourselves and our brand. We will be starting to offer Moongel to our customers by mid November, along with some other handy little items. Our long awaited and much anticipated Web site's debut will be delayed yet again do to some personal issue's that need to be sorted out. look for a spring opening. Well that's it Muchacho's and Muchacha's just a qwikee blog this time out. Till next time............. T.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
I personally think the whole thing is just silly. Who cares how fast you can play, what is the point of it ? Simply to go fast for the sake of going fast ? Does it enhance the drumming community as a whole at all ? I really don't think so, again I ask what exactly is the point these super speed demons are trying to prove. I'm not opposed to the contest at all, I'm not opposed to being competitive. I just think the title is about as important as being the 1st man to Kayak from South America to Africa or something along those lines. Yeah you did what ? So what.
There's no doubt in my mind it is an accomplishment, But to what level is this accomplishment and to who is this accomplishment important too ? I don't know, certainly not me. Maybe you ? What exactly the reward is for being the undisputed fastest drummer in the world get you ? Maybe a new kit from a sponsoring drum company ? Perhaps the same from a Cymbal company ? Heads, sticks a life time supply of juicy fruit ? Ya got me. I've never seen an add featuring TWFD so I do not believe endorsement deals are pouring in. I know several drum publications make a big deal out of it. Good I'm glad. But eventually the technology will arrive so a robot will be able to be programed to do this. It may take another 25 or 50 years to accomplish this feat but the day will come.
Will they split the contest into different categories ? Human and android ? Or will the robots start to win every year ? I can just see a Drum magazine of the future featuring a picture of a robot on it's cover. THIS YEARS WFD-- A NOKIA ANDROID SAY HELLO TO THE MODEL XRT 4000. eventually it's going to happen. But I'm dangling dangerously close to my next blog. When will technology replace most if not all musicians. That day is coming to. But back to WFD. I don't know why the drum publications make such a big deal out of it. Probably to sell more magazines. I mean after all that's what they do. So my dear friends and subscribers what is your position on the WFD contest ? Do you aspire to this lofty goal ? I certainly don't. Does it interest you a little, Moderately, or alot ? or is your every waking moment obsessed becoming the next WFD ?
I've seen the video's on You Tube and I usually will watch a small snippet of the video for a bit. I'll make a comment to whoever is watching it with me or just to myself saying something like " Holy shit that guys is moving " and then I'm off to watch something else. Sometimes I'll laugh a bit not at the drummer or in a disrespectful way but because it looks funny someone playing so fast. There's no question it takes loads of practice and discipline to get your playing that fast. Everyone should concede that point. The one fundamental question I still must ask myself is Why ? and what in God's name is the point ? Perhaps it's like Mount McKinley it's not the biggest Mountain in the world. The WFD is not the Best drummer in the world. But people who engage in either activity do it because it's their and they can. That's okay by me. Until next time T.
Copper is the most important metal and makes up the largest portion of most cymbals. Tin is the second most widely used metal in cymbal making. In general student or entry level cymbals contain about 8% tin and 92% copper in it's make up. These are known as B8 cymbals. High end and professional level cymbals are made up of 20% tin and 80% copper. These are known as B20 cymbals and are generally considered the best alloy to use in the creation of cymbals.
Any level or quality cymbals can be made with various amounts of other materials. These can be phosphorus, gold,nickel,zinc,manganese,aluminum and silver. The type of sound required of the cymbalsmith will dictate what types and in what amounts these other metals are used.
A 20% tin and 80% copper alloy is known as Bell Bronze. This formula produces Cymbals that have excellent dynamic range. The 8% and 92% copper formula is reffered to as Malleable Bronze this can be made into sheets and stamped into shape. THis greatly reduced manufacturing costs. Cymbals made in this way are often used in student and entry level set ups. because of their relatively cheap price and they are not as sensative as B20 cymbals making them a little easier to play for the beginner who's hand coordination has yet to develop.
Two-phase or double phase alloy is always B20 bronze or Bell bronze meaning some of the tin is not completely dissolved into the copper grains,but exsistbetween them. This makes the Bronze stronger , harder and more brittle than the malleable single phas bronze. THis is important because it effects how each type of metal is formed into cymbals. There are two basic methods for forming the basic shape of the cymbal.
Let's explore casting first. My personal favorite. First copper and tin are melted together in a furnace. This cannot be done in any old hap hazzard way. The prescious amount of each metal must be mixed in, the furnance must be kept at a certain tempature this is knowledged pass down from generation to generation. The molten liquid is then poured into molds This is the way bell bronze has been made for centuries. Large and small companies still use this technique today. The mold resembles the cymbals final shape and dimensions. But much more work is required before the final product is achieved.
Stamping is the second type of method to produce cymbals. The single phase maleable alloys are rolled into large sheets of bronze. A machine then stamps a " blank" sheet of bronze into a very near likeness of the final cymbal form. B20 or bell bronze cymbals cannot be manufactured this way because of its strenght and hardness it would crack. It can only be produced by casting.
So at this point the two methods of cymbal manufacturing have produced essential;ly two blank sheets of bronze. They were arrived at in very different manners. Now the refining of the cymbals takes place. The methods of shaping are universal but how there applied and done are not the same due to the metal types B8 vs B20 Cast vs sheet stamped.
There are 3 ways in cymbal manufacturing that are used to creat the sound and finish of each model. Hammering, this serves various purposes for the cymbal especially the cymbal. The bell is less formed in the casting process, the shape of the bell is formed litterally by blow anfter blow from a blunt hammer. In sheet bronze hammering has more to do with altering the attack and sustain. The sheet stamp cymbals shap was basically formed when it was stamped out early in the cymbal making process.
Hammering can be done by several different methods. The old fashioned way by hand or a more modern method by machine. machines today can be programmed for repeatable patterns or can be controlled by the cymbal smith. Hand hammered cymbals tend to have a darker lower and richer tones. Also each cymbal is a unique instrument because the hammer blows are applied at will of the cymbal smith. Cymbals hammered by Automated machines tend to sound much more uniformed since the machines are computer controlled and can replicate exactly each hammer blow. there is much less variation between cymbals of the same size in the same series. Machine Hammered cymbals that are controlled by a person naturally fall in the middle of the others when it comes to sound. Be aware that some companies claim their cymbals are " hand Hammered" when in fact they are hammered by a machine and controlled by a person !! That's pretty cheesy in my opinion.
Lathing is where the cymbal is spun on a machine and the metal surface is actualled peeled awayby a chisel. Like Hammering this can be done by the hand of a cymbal smith or machine. For Bell Bronze ( B20) Lathing is essential for creating the shape of a cymbal. Sheet bronze lathing is essential for sound developement.
Once a cymbal is hammered and lathed now comes the final step in cymbal making creating some type of finish. Some cymbals will be allowed to tarnish, The formation of an oxide on the outter layer of a cymbal it's surface tends to give the cymbal a more mellow sound This coating on a cymbal is also known as a patina. A recent development is what is known as a " Brilliant Finish" This is accomplished by using an abrasive polish adding metal plating a laquer or a combo of these to prevent oxidation from forming. Brilliant cymbals are by far my favorites. I hope this has shed some light on the creation of cymbals. T
Thursday, October 14, 2010
T here As we approach the upcoming holiday season I cannot feel a little apprehensive. The Hack Attack of September 28th has kinda left me a little unnerved. We are still dealing with the fallout from that. Our tech who has helped repair our system believes we either caught a virus or one was intentionally installed. Suddenly our Ebay store's email is not working. We have not received a single email in 3 days, I thought it was very very odd the other morning when I went to check our overnight emails and we had none. Not a single one, This has never happened. We are way to big a company to not get one email overnight. We get a ton of emails everyday. Not to receive a single one was odd to say the least. I soon realized we had yet another problem. Ebay and our tech are working as I type to correct this situation.
Enough about the hacking I'm sick of talking about it. let talk about what's coming up for the holiday season. We should have a much larger inventory than we did last year. Curently, we stock between 100-120 items at any one time. We should be at at least 150 products for you guys to choose from. We will have Wuhan's entire offerings every China and every New Traditional they are offering. We will have more Diril Cymbals Bringing in Almost the entire D & Ice series. Hopefully we will have our First order of Overdrive cymbals in by then, Our Silken selection may be a little sparse It's looking like Silken won't be able to ship our new order until January. But were gonna make a push for at least a small portion to be delivered to us for Christmas. That's really the only potential bummer for the holidays.
We have just reached a deal with a foreign manufacture of Drum heads to be their exclusive US distributor. We will have them in for the holidays, these are high quality drum heads and we will be offering these with a special introductory price because we want everyone to try these heads. They are easily on par with anything currently on the market. We are very excited to work with this company when we receive in hand our first order we will announce the name of this brand. Along with Silken and Overdrive this makes the third product we are the exclusive US distributors for. We are going to kick our wholesale division into gear after the first of the year.
We will also be bringing in a more extensive line of student products, practice pads, metronomes and various other things the aspiring drummers needs. We will also be expanding our hardware selection for the holidays. We have been working for sometime with a drum manufacture developing a line of snare drums, we are in the final stages of development and will be placing our initial order by the end of the month. They will be marketed under our own " Overdrive" brand. Hopefully they will be ready for the holiday season. I just wanted to give you guys a quick update on the goings on here at C & S. Thanks everyone until next time. T.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
This is T writing to you again. I gotta admit I'm down in the dumps today. This Hack Attack we suffered was a major blow to us. We haven't yet fully recovered from it. We are still behind in our shipping primarily because our Paypal account was emptied. It's hard to ship product when your funds are so low. Luckily we have secured a loan to get us through this dark gloomy period of C & S history. The problem is we don't get our cash for 2 more week, In business Two weeks can be an eternity. We have done the proper thing and informed all of our customers. Most have been great and more than understanding, a few however don't care in the slightest. They ordered a product from us and they want it--- period. I can't blame them but giving the set of extenuating circumstances you'd think most people would be at minimum understanding. Sadly some are not.
I think that's what bothers me most not being able to do anything about it. I'm just sitting waiting for our loan to come through. I'm just sitting waiting to be able to ship out people's purchases. It's really frustrating. I don't like negative feedback's let's face it who does ? I get allot of customers who mention our feedback approval rating as one of the reasons they purchased from us. It's important to maintain a good feedback rating. Now I wouldn't mind half as much if these negatives came our way because of something we did. I could accept the fact we screwed up and live with that, But to get negative feedback's because of a situation beyond our control is very irritating. It really pisses me off.
Our feedback is more than good, in fact I would go so far as to say many companies would love to have our feedback. Not for our 99% approval rating but more so the comments people leave for us. It's really gratifying to send someone out their purchases knowing you've sold them a quality product at a good price. It's part of the business I enjoy immensely. However when circumstances like the one we are dealing with interferes with the operation it's extremely upsetting, for both the customer and US. I cannot stand shipping stuff late. Especially when the circumstances are beyond our control. This Hack ATTACK is clearly a set back For C & S, We will undoubtedly get a few negative feedback's. On your Ratings section they stick out like a sore thumb and in the short run they will hurt us in the long run who knows ?
So you get an idea and you work hard trying to make it a reality. Like most things success doesn't come overnight. It comes one sale at a time, one customer at a time. You look for products making sure they pass muster. You list them fill the description in, Take your hi-quality photo's and make a video and you do this over and over. At the end of the day you price your product so people can afford it, so you can be competitive with other stores and hopefully turn a profit. Then after doing this for better than two years someone comes along and in one fell swoop literally destroys what you have built. To say I'm pissed off, frustrated or aggravated is an understatement. You can start at F'n livid and go from there. It is so debilitating mentally and physically you really are lost.
A soldier plows on which I plan to do. I cannot stop now, I won't throw in the towel despite what has happened. I'll deal with the negative feedback's and deal with the fallout from unhappy customers. It's just so aggravating that circumstances beyond my control were the root of the problem. Everything has new passwords, Our tech who helped us out of this mess has added a second layer of security, But I'm sure a determined hacker will bust through that. However I suspect this was a pseudo inside job so I don't think most hackers would bother with our site. It's not like there's a pot of gold waiting for them and this ain't the other side of the rainbow. I think after the dust settles and things finally clear up we should be okay. It's gonna take a little more than a Hacking to put us down for the count. I am determined to continue to build my company to it's full potential and nothing or know one is going to stop us. Thanks everyone T.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
This is gonna be a quick one almost a blog-ette. As part of our efforts to build a nice drumming community online and increase our visibility and web presence. We knew we needed more than just a retail site. So back in February we started a Blog and a C & S You Tube channel. These avenues allow us to communicate in a more personal an indepth manner than possible with our Ebay store and until we get our own proprietary website ( where we can do anything) these sites are a godsend.
We decided right from the start that our YT channel wouldn't be just an ancillary site for C & S, we would allow all comments to be published with no censorship. A place where drummers can say what's on their mind. Unless a comment is derogatory or inflamatory in it's nature unless it critiseises someone personally other than me, we would let them stand on their own. It has proved quite successful.
We now have just under 120 video's on our channel. It has really begun to build quite a following with just under 250 subscribers and friends. Today we reached a milestone by breaking the 100,000 Views/hits mark. That is in just 8 months. I guess we must be doing something right. I'd like to thank everyone for making C & S's YT channel a rousing success. For me a total vindication that I'm on the right path and I assure all of you the very best is yet to come. Thank You everyone. T. president, Cymbals & Snares
Friday, October 8, 2010
T here again. This is a disclaimer for this posting there will be the use of bad language in this particular blog, there's just know other way to describe how I am feeling. My company Cymbals & Snares was hacked into on Sunday September 28th. To be honest some people are just Jerkoff's plain and simple. Who ever perpetrated this egregious attack will get theirs. I am both infuriated and devastated at the same time. I honestly hope whoever was behind the hacking gets killed in a horrible Automobile accident. That may be a little strong for some of you, but not me I'm just getting warmed up. It has caused irreparable harm to my company in both lost sales, money & reputation.
I have spent the last two years building a unique Percussion retail site. Trying to be everything that I thought was lacking in the drum retail market. Everything from product selection to customer service I not only know we can do it better, but for the better part of two years we have. Then something like this happens. Some really Fucked up individuals come along and screw with not only your company and business but your lively hood. This is not something I take to very well. As always I try to run a business that is open honest and transparent to it's customers, that's the way it should be.
Let me begin, September was a record month for us in many ways. We had a record number of hits on our website. We had a record number of transactions. We shipped a record number of products and naturally we set a new sales record. It was all good, We are just waiting on our holiday order from Silken. We just finalized a second distribution deal with a major foreign company, they make drum heads and we are quite anxious to introduce them to the US market. We received our final prototype of Overdrive Cymbals which have been warmly received by our customers. We were rolling and the tumultuous spring we had and it's issue's were squarely behind us. Then this happens and we once again for the second time this year face a disaster of epic proportions.
I went to turn on my computer Sunday morning. The website was having trouble coming up, This happens from time to time poor or a slow Internet connection are a hassle but usually clear themselves up in due time. I then decided to check our Non-ebay store email. Hmm that's not coming up either, don't ask me why but sometimes if I just reboot the computer it seems to clear a problem like this up. So I close everything down and hit the re-start button I'd come back to this in a little while. When I came back there was no difference. I finally got the computer up and running and I could tell instantly there was something wrong. I initially thought we had gotten a virus, soon I realized it was much more. Our analytics page did not look right, our shipping page didn't look right But I still hadn't realized the magnitude of what had happened.
It soon became apparent we had a serious problem. The magnitude was soon apparent, money had been purloined from our Paypal account, I grew both concerned and pissed off someone didn't just screw around with our computer someone had stolen from us, This was now a crime. Our computers were essentially frozen unable to access our store and soon we realized it was not confirmed to just our Ebay store. Our Yahoo mail account was compromised our Blog was screwed with ( you can access all our sites from a central point ) Once your " In " you can go just about anywhere Cymbals & Snares has a web presence.
A friend who's a computer wiz came over to see if he could straighten out the problem. After looking at it for awhile and me explaining what had happened including cash " Missing " from our account he uttered a phrase I would come all to familiar with " I think somebody Hacked into your site" At first I really didn't think that was correct. Who the hell would want to hack into my companies site ? For what ? We are a still a smaller company, but we are growing in every aspect. Sales, web presence and our wholesale business have all registered very healthy increases this year. Still what would you gain from it ? Slowly the picture became clearer. I started to form an opinion who and why this was done.
Legally I cannot accuse anyone unless I have proof who dun it. We do not. This has been such a setback for C & S it's not funny. Our shipping is in disarray, Our paypal account was emptied crippling our efforts to catch up on our late shipping. I don't mind getting the occasional negative feedback but to get negative feed backs for something beyond our control really pisses me off. I have been in contact with almost everyone who is waiting for their products and honestly so many have been more than supportive I can't ask for more. Still I do fear the inevitable 1or 2 or 3 negatives we will surely receive. I have one customer who already said he's leaving us a negative regardless of what happened. I offered him a refund with a free gift, not to "buy" him off but because it's the right thing to do. He turned it down he wants his cymbals and all I can do is wait for his negative comments. In a situation like this I feel helpless. It's just so aggravating. You work so hard to develop a company with a sterling reputation and it can get trashed overnight. Apparently some people could care less what has happened. It's aggravating and sad. So my friends that's it in a nut shell I really can't go on this is just to upsetting. I'll finish at another time. Before I go welcome subscriber 11. T.
T here. Before I really get rolling I just thought I'd throw these useless statistics at you. Although this C & S blog has only 10 subscribers as of yet, Our You Tube channel just broke 200 subscribers last week With friends included it brings the number to a total of 245 subscribers. Add the 10 loyalist from this Blog , and we get 255 not bad at all so far considering we really only got both of these two sites under the company banner in the last 8 months. So effectively those figures represent 8 months worth of activeity, I say this not to laud any accomplishments this may represent. I just think to me it's gratifying to see so many drummers in just a short time climb on board the "Other Name Brand " bandwagon. I also think it's cool when a company/person/blogwriters or whatever share some info back with the people who stop by and read a blog. This blog is now read on average 500 times a month. September 2010 we set a new "Views" record, recording a total of 797 views.Our You Tube Channel has just shy of 99,000 downloads. Not too shabby for 8 months, operating as a true ancillary site for C& S's Ebay store.
I quote stuff like this from time to time, Because I know when I go for example to a drum forum. I get inquisative about the stats of that site , how many people have been here ? Am I alone ? I dunno I just find stuff like that interseting. Perhaps you do also. I find these statistics particularly gratifying because as I stated earlier it's nice to see an idea or concept that you yourself are working on or developing , being embraced by other drummers. Continuing with my useless statistics Our blog is most popular in the following countries The United States, Australia, Russia, Peru, United kingdom, Costa Rica and Luxembourg. That's right Luxembourg, For those of you who are unsure of where luxembourg is it's one of Europe's smallest countries wedged in between Germany and France. One of the things about running a Internet business is the far reach it has.
Later this weekend I will post a complete rundown on what exactly has transpired In the HACK/ATTACK of last month. T.