Saga All about Valueand Soul April 2013

In many ways the Music Industry has flip-flopped! Just a few years ago, guitars manufactured abroad were labeled domestically as “cookie-cutter” products—massed-produced instruments without a soul. Then, along came computerized machine tools and domestic U.S makers orchestrated the biggest production change in the history of the industry. Of course “handmade” only adds value if the handmade instrument is superior to the one stamped out by the CNC. So the “artistry” then is relegated to the hand of the computer programmer. Every instrument is then the same—but is it really???

I just returned from a visit to Spain where the guitar was born nearly 300 years ago. In Valencia, I found that the process of building a guitar has not changed much. The flow of production is determined by the pace of the builder—rather than by the ability of the numerically controlled machine at one end of the room to spit out the identical parts that make guitar building into the mindless task that it has become in many production shops.

As you go through the Retail Music News you will find a broad array of products. For some of the entry level and middle range products, computerized machine tools make a lot of sense. At the higher end though—Kentucky Mandolins, Blueridge Guitars, Regal Resonator Guitars, Cremona Violins and Gold Star Banjos the hand of the craftsman is still there. It is all about Value…we think it is better and that it does make a difference.

If you agree—or even if you don’t—give us a call toll-free: 800-289-7242.

Richard Keldsen

San Francisco
April 2013