February 2011 Archives

2010 JMT Annual Music Retail Market Survey

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102 Dealers Responded: Best Sales in 3 Years
Japan Music Trades conducted annual survey on music retail market sending a questionnaire to 149 retailers throughout Japan. 102 retailers responded, and their report confirmed that the music products market improved in 2010 after 2 years of decline.

29 retailers, or 30% of the total, reported sales increase which was a substantial rise in comparison with 2009 (10%) and 2008 (20%) results. Not satisfactory level, but consumer spending is back. The recovery of the retail market is evidently reflected on the holiday season sales. 42 retailers, or 44% of the total, reported that their business went up during the year end and new year period. In 2009 only 14 stores replied sales increase. Number of retailers with decreased sales significantly declined to 31, or 32% from 63, or 64%, in the year before. 

Despite improved sales, music dealers aren't optimistic about 2011 business. While, 20 dealers predict upturn, and 53 expect flat sales, 26 consider slow business will continue for the coming months. 

Looking into sales by category, almost all products gained except grand and upright pianos. Woodwind and brass instruments, electric guitars, amps, acoustic guitars, violins and recording gears marked nearly or more than doubled growth over the previous year in particular.

Music dealers reported that they expected much in Yamaha acoustic pianos made in Indonesia for high standard of quality for their price range that they will be appreciated by consumer stayed behind during the economic turmoil. They also expect those pianos can be a good alternative to used and digital piano and for trade ups. They see demands will continue to grow for acoustic instruments including woodwind instruments, violin family instruments and guitars.

What do they expect for 2011?
20 music dealers expressed positive prospects for this year's business saying that store traffic was increasing and customers were willing to buy more than the last couple of years. One dealer commented that economy wouldn't recover much this year, but consumer is adapting to the reality, and they buy what they really want. They are positive in market development staging concerts, clinics and hands on experience.

Fifty three retailers, the largest group of the responded, see business will be flat this year as the market is uncertain, appreciation of yen against U.S. dollars and Euro goes on, stock price remains low, economy continues to struggle and U.S. market stumbles.

Twenty six dealers expressed negative comments on 2011. They see no bright sign in Japan's politics and economy, and further sales decline in hobby market. MarketResearch2010.pdf

Chitoshi Kojima (1933-2011)

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Chitoshi Kojima, chairman emeritus, Kanda Shokai Corp., passed away on January 16 at the age of 77.

Born in Kani-shi, Gifu Pref. in 1933, Kojima joined Kanda Shokai after graduated from senior high school. He was instrumental in making the company evolved as one of the leading distributors in Japan during the guitar boom. In 1972, he was named president in recognition of his extensive experience and sense for business. He founded Fender Japan Co., Ld., co-funded by Fender U.S.A and Kanda Shokai to serve president in 1981.

He will be remembered by Japanese music products industry members for his strong leadership in inaugurating Musical Instruments Fair Japan.

Memorial services took place on 19 and 20 at Keishoden, Gokokuji Temple, Tokyo.

Roland Digital Piano

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V-Piano Grand
Roland has introduced a flagship model of the V-Piano line. The first V-Piano stage model came into the market in January 2009 in pursuit of advanced expression capability and musicality. It successfully reproduced authentic piano sound initiated by interaction of various components from strings, hammers, soundboard, dampers to tonal resonance.

The V-Piano Grand features new sound system that provides wide and spatial sound thanks to Roland's exclusive RSS multi-dimensional acoustic technology. It allocates each and every component of the piano sound to the most suitable location. For example, noise elements developed by hammers when they strike strings, are allocated closer to pianist to achieve greater dynamics. Laying out components of string vibration at the back and various resonance components of frame, damper and soundboard further at the back, the piano creates sound image generated entirely from the instrument. Thus pianist and audience can enjoy most appropriate piano sound matched to their listening point.

The V-Piano sound engine provides new piano models in addition to upgraded traditional Vintage Piano Model and futuristic Vanguard Piano Model voices. The rich piano voices allow unlimited edit by changing tuning of strings, stiffness of hammers and so on to create original tonal color. 

The PHAIII Ivory Feel keyboard action and Progressive Damper Action Pedal system which are familiar with former V-Pianos are standard.

The new mirror-polished grand piano cabinet has Acoustic Position keyboard lid which employs characteristic two-level sliding system to conceal LCD display to make it look and feel acoustic piano.

Further information is available from:

Yamaha Digital Piano

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The YDP-161 and 161C for entry level pianist have a new model in black wood type cabinet. It has all features of the sister models including rich and natural sound produced with the Pure CF Voice, Grade-hammer (GH) keyboard action highly acclaimed for delicate key touch which makes the player feel heavier at bass range and lighter at treble range, 2-track recording capability and other rich functions for practice.

Further information is available from:

Roland V-Drums

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TD-9KX2-S (V-Tour) (photo top)
TD-9K2-S (V-Tour)
TD-4KX2-S (V-Compact) (photo bottom)
TD-4K2-S (V-Compact)
The compact structure V-Tour and V-Compact series V-Drums have been expanded with 4 new models featuring a new KD-9 kick pedal for advanced natural striking feeling, much improved sounds and expression capability. The KD-9 has cloth pad instead of rubber for the conventional models in pursuit of upgraded sensitivity and comfortable play feel. It also provides more stable and simple set up.

Except the TD-4K2S, they come complete with CY-12C and CY-13R specially designed crush and ride cymbals. Size, weight balance and thickness of the bell (cup) are redesigned to match the new models.

The V-Tour models featuring mesh pads for advanced quietness and striking feel come with a new TD9 sound engine that provides 40 additional drum set voices to fit every genre of music. It allows the user to enjoy session play with WAV and MP3 music saved in USB memory.

The V-Compact models for entry- and intermediate- level player has on-board Coach function for efficient and fun practice.

Further information is available from:

Yamaha Silent Bass

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SLB200LTD ¥420,000
Yamaha has refined the Silent Bass after 10 years of initial launch.

It features ebony fingerboard, nut, saddle and tailpiece, fine curly maple neck, spruce and mahogany body finished in antique brown.

The internal structure of the hollow body has been redesigned to achieve body resonance well comparable with double bass and reduced weight. Combined with the built-in piezo pickup, it delivers natural acoustic sounds played with bow or in pizzicato.

The new on-board preamplifier is capable of producing much upgraded sound at reduced power consumption. A passive type direct switch is provided to output signals from the piezo pickup directly.

The gold machine heads with advanced gear ratio are also redesigned for delicate and accurate tuning. The newly designed bridge delivers clear and open sounds. The end pin comes with upgraded rubber for increased durability.

It comes complete with a soft case, mute, hexagonal wrench and 9-volt battery.

Further information is available from:

ESP Electric Guitars & Basses

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ECLIPSE R-VIII SIG. SUGIZO Model Limited Edition ¥800,000 (photo left)
ECLIPSE R-VIII SUGIZO Model ¥580,000 (photo right)
Designed after the ECLIPSE R-I which was first introduced in 2000, the new SUGIZO model comes with the same pickup layout of the S-VIII. Limited Edition model in production of 30 units and regular model are available.

Both models in black finish feature alder body, 3-piece hard maple neck, and 22 frets rosewood fingerboard. The Limited Edition model has two Seymour Duncan SSL5 pickups for the neck and middle, and one SP90-3b pickup for the bridge, a special black nickel-plated rod cover, while the regular model is equipped with two AN TIQUITY II surfer pickups for the neck and middle, and one SP90-1b pickup for the bridge.

The Limited Edition model assembled exactly under SUGIZO specifications by ESP technicians also comes with an authorized card autographed by SUGIZO, Duplex flight case and an exclusive strap.

J-TVB-V -Fire Black- Sig. J Model Limited Edition ¥750,000 (photo left)
J-TVB-B -Fire Black- J Model ¥530,000 (photo right)
Two black sunburst models joined the J-TVB ?Fire Black- bass line. They feature fine quilted maple top, white ash body, 3-piece hard maple neck, 24 frets ebony fingerboard, and one individual Seymour Duncan SJB-1n and SJB-1b pickups for the neck and bridge.

The Limited Edition model comes with a special chrome-plated rod cover, J's original logo on the hadstock, an authorized card autographed by J, Duplex flight case and an exclusive strap, and is specially assembled by ESP technicians with a built-in gain boost buffer amp.

Further information is available from:

Roland Guitar Synthesizer

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The latest model of the GR guitar synthesizer features hybrid sound system of synthesizer and guitar modeling sound engines to provide over 900 voices including piano organ, strings and wind instruments as well as a myriad of guitar sounds. Two pickups specially designed for the GR-55 allow the user to enjoy thick layered sounds, for example, strings and synthesizer lead voices added to guitar sounds.

The on-board COSM amp and effect voices equivalent to BOSS GT-10, top model of the multi effects processor line, provides the user with greatly advanced sound production from heavily distorted guitar voices to upgraded synth sounds with effects.

It responds to fast play thanks to the state-of-the-art pitch detection technology and no-latency guitar modeling sounds. Delicate picking nuance by finger play and edgy pick work are provided.

The GR-55 has a large LCD display for easier control, 270 useful pre-programmed guitar voices, EZ Edit function that enables the user to get desired sounds simply by pointing the cursor.

Further information is available from: