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.