Overdrive Cymbals

Overdrive Cymbals
Overdrive Cymbals T20 Series

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Another Christmas - Come & Gone

Hello everyone T here,
                                            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

New Audio/Video System a Hit !!

Hey how's yous guys doin tonight ?
                                                               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

Overdrive Cymbals, Starts production & gets new Logo

Hello again dear friends,
                                            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

New Website Nearing Completion

Greetings and Salutation everyone,
                                                                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

Uniform Standards For Cymbals & Sticks

Greetings my friends,
                                  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

Is Guitar Center Intentionally lying ?

Hey Friends, followers & fans,
                                                       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.