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Yamaha acquisition, market dominance & price hikes

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Since Yamaha acquired L6, it's getting harder and harder to get good prices on L6 gear in Singapore where I live, and I suspect the same for other Asian countries.

 

Two years ago, shops were selling L6 gear at a price similar to online stores. The Pod HD500x was around US$480. I got mine at a sale for US$370. Then shortly after the acquisition, fewer and fewer stores were stocking L6 stuff, even giving sales for L6 display units.

 

I'm not sure if Yamaha stepped in to cut off the other distributors and monopolize the supply. I asked the guy at the store I got my Pod from, why they stopped carrying L6. He said because they're owned by Yamaha now and didn't elaborate further.

 

Now, Yamaha stores, which are quite big in Singapore, are more or less the sole distributors of L6 gear. They sell the 500x for US$618. They just brought in the Helix, and it's US$1766.

 

I could try ordering a Helix online, and after shipping and taxes will save maybe 100 bucks. In fact, there's 1 company offering to ship the unit for around US$1600 (not sure if they're a legit distributor). But then there will be the issue of warranty.

 

Yes, it's not a terribly huge price difference, and I'm in no hurry to upgrade to the Helix. But I foresee the prices will not be as competitive as they used to be.

 

On a side note, I went to another store to buy a Steinberg interface (also acquired by Yamaha). I negotiated for a discount, the store said they gotta check with Yamaha. No, i didn't get any discount in the end =(

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Ain't capitalism wunnerful? Not only is it picking your pocket , it is killing the planet. Relax, the Corporate coup d'tat is nearly complete.

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Haha, if it counts for anything, the Helix price here in Australia is $USD2127. I'm glad I got mine when it first came out, I was able to save a few hundred. That being said, I love my Helix and haven't regretted the purchase at all.

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I don't see L6 under Yamaha as being terribly different from most other major vendors whether it be Gibson, Fender, Bose, et. al.  All vendors set the allowable street price (which is different from suggested retail) at a specified level (that's why they're the same regardless of online or at big box stores).  Any type of promotional discount is determined ahead of time (how much and for how long) with the manufacturer.  Yamaha may be a bit more restrictive in this area than was L6 as an independent company, but certainly no more restrictive than most such as Bose or Gibson.  And clearly no manufacturer is likely to offer promotional discounts on any item where demand is much higher than supply as it is with the Helix, but that loosens up over time as it did for the HD500X.

 

Since L6 equipment is manufactured and distributed from the US, the price lift has little to do with Yamaha other than some shipping costs.  Most of that are individual country tariffs and taxes.  That's why it varies from country to country.  If you're in a country that uses a VAT tax system, you'll likely get hammered more if you buy it locally because the product went through more hands (each entity paying their portion of the VAT) than if it was shipped directly to you.

 

But if the whole capitalism/government tax thing bothers you, feel free to construct a Helix on your own. :rolleyes:

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I don't see L6 under Yamaha as being terribly different from most other major vendors whether it be Gibson, Fender, Bose, et. al.  All vendors set the allowable street price (which is different from suggested retail) at a specified level (that's why they're the same regardless of online or at big box stores).  Any type of promotional discount is determined ahead of time (how much and for how long) with the manufacturer.  Yamaha may be a bit more restrictive in this area than was L6 as an independent company, but certainly no more restrictive than most such as Bose or Gibson.  And clearly no manufacturer is likely to offer promotional discounts on any item where demand is much higher than supply as it is with the Helix, but that loosens up over time as it did for the HD500X.

 

Since L6 equipment is manufactured and distributed from the US, the price lift has little to do with Yamaha other than some shipping costs.  Most of that are individual country tariffs and taxes.  That's why it varies from country to country.  If you're in a country that uses a VAT tax system, you'll likely get hammered more if you buy it locally because the product went through more hands (each entity paying their portion of the VAT) than if it was shipped directly to you.

 

But if the whole capitalism/government tax thing bothers you, feel free to construct a Helix on your own. :rolleyes:

Perhaps my example wasn't clear enough.

1) Stores A,B,C sells the HD500 for around the same price since its release 6 years ago. Price remains steady.

2) Yamaha acquires L6 and starts selling the HD500 for 30+% higher than stores A,B,C. Stores A,B,C maintain pricing.

3) Within the past 2 years, stores A,B,C have stopped selling L6 gear including the HD500 for reasons unknown.

4) Today, Yamaha is the sole distributor of the HD500, a 6-year-old product (with a minor upgrade in the HD500x), selling for that same 30% higher price than the previous competitors.

 

Stores A,B&C are all local stores, and there was no change in import taxes here for the past 6 months. Not a tax issue. Increase in local market price didn't come from stores raising their prices. Rather, it came from all other stores, all of which had more competitive pricing, being removed from the playing field. And this is playing field that the Helix has now entered.

 

And no one should be bothered even the slightest?

 

I'm very thankful I got the 500x at a good price. Do I have GAS for the Helix?  :o  :o  :o At the store trying out the Helix for the 1st time, it was so much faster to use than I thought. But for now, the 500x is great, just needs a little more work, some EQ, careful use of DPS when using dual amps, and creative ways of doing the most with 8 fx slots for complex ambient patches. I'm a bit sad that my students will not be able to get the same great price for the 500x, at least in the near future. There's always hope  ^_^ Thanks L6 for a great back-saving product, will be glad to construct Helixes with you if that's even possible.

 

But my heart goes out to our Australian bro/sis... where everything, especially electronic products and musical instruments cost more. We feel your pain...

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Perhaps my example wasn't clear enough.

1) Stores A,B,C sells the HD500 for around the same price since its release 6 years ago. Price remains steady.

2) Yamaha acquires L6 and starts selling the HD500 for 30+% higher than stores A,B,C. Stores A,B,C maintain pricing.

3) Within the past 2 years, stores A,B,C have stopped selling L6 gear including the HD500 for reasons unknown.

4) Today, Yamaha is the sole distributor of the HD500, a 6-year-old product (with a minor upgrade in the HD500x), selling for that same 30% higher price than the previous competitors.

 

Stores A,B&C are all local stores, and there was no change in import taxes here for the past 6 months. Not a tax issue. Increase in local market price didn't come from stores raising their prices. Rather, it came from all other stores, all of which had more competitive pricing, being removed from the playing field. And this is playing field that the Helix has now entered.

 

And no one should be bothered even the slightest?

 

I'm very thankful I got the 500x at a good price. Do I have GAS for the Helix?  :o  :o  :o At the store trying out the Helix for the 1st time, it was so much faster to use than I thought. But for now, the 500x is great, just needs a little more work, some EQ, careful use of DPS when using dual amps, and creative ways of doing the most with 8 fx slots for complex ambient patches. I'm a bit sad that my students will not be able to get the same great price for the 500x, at least in the near future. There's always hope  ^_^ Thanks L6 for a great back-saving product, will be glad to construct Helixes with you if that's even possible.

 

But my heart goes out to our Australian bro/sis... where everything, especially electronic products and musical instruments cost more. We feel your pain...

 

I believe that one thing that came about from the Yamaha acquisition was that Line 6 is now depending on Yamaha for its international distribution channels. I'm not exactly sure how they were doing it before, in the sense that were handling it all themselves or what. But it could very well be the case that Yamaha requires larger orders from retailers in order to maintain a dealer status. That's the same reason why, for example, you hardly see any smaller shops who are Gibson dealers now. Gibson changed their policy a number of years ago so that the minimum orders they required simply priced smaller shops out of the market.

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But it could very well be the case that Yamaha requires larger orders from retailers in order to maintain a dealer status. 

 

 

Well that sux for the smaller Mom&Pop music stores doesn't it, esp. if other larger companies are requiring the same from retailers. Case in point, Guitar Center moved in to town a few years ago and since then we lost 3 local music stores that had been here for decades. They just closed their doors, and now I see why. With GC here (and internet sales )they just couldn't keep a stock worth having or looking at. And with the internet music giants (no taxes) they couldn't compete anyway. Sigh... So much for price competition between retailers (if there ever was such a thing).

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Well that sux for the smaller Mom&Pop music stores doesn't it, ......

And it's not just the music retailers, of course. Entire downtown business sectors have been and continue to be decimated by the arrival of the suburban box store malls with their Wal-Marts, Costcos, Lowe's, etc. Small retailers in any sector have difficulty staying in business. We, as consumers, could change this trend anytime we want with our shopping habits but we continue to choose lower prices, huge product selection in warehouses, reduced levels of customer service and product knowledge among sales staff, and one-stop convenience.

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And it's not just the music retailers, of course. Entire downtown business sectors have been and continue to be decimated by the arrival of the suburban box store malls with their Wal-Marts, Costcos, Lowe's, etc. Small retailers in any sector have difficulty staying in business. We, as consumers, could change this trend anytime we want with our shopping habits but we continue to choose lower prices, huge product selection in warehouses, reduced levels of customer service and product knowledge among sales staff, and one-stop convenience.

 

OR the mom & pops could do what the mom & pops in the appliance market place did and form a co-op for purchasing power in order to compete with the larger box stores.....our local mom & pop appliance store routinely kicks the big retailers in the back side on price, plus give better service, so that's where my wife and I purchase our appliances.  The store owner told me the national association is the biggest purchaser of appliances in the country and is why they don't worry about the big box stores...throwing stones at Capitalism, bigger companies, and online retailers is a cheap shot honestly.  In business you had better pay attention to trends and make adjustments IF you want to stay in business.  Putting up a good web store is not all the difficult, but you have to be a bit innovative and willing to invest. Willcut Guitars does a pretty darn good job of it, gives great service, and is where I get my guitars now. My experience is most mom & pop music stores don't invest or make smart business decisions so they have no one to blame but themselves if they don't make it.  We've lost a couple of the mom & pop music stores in our area as well and honestly it was because they didn't invest in their companies and preferred to point fingers and play the blame game.  Distribution to a ton of mom & pops IS expensive for the manufactures so they give preferred treatment to those that order in bulk, it's called a smart business move on their part, not a conspiracy against the mom & pops. 

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I don't see L6 under Yamaha as being terribly different from most other major vendors whether it be Gibson, Fender, Bose, et. al.  All vendors set the allowable street price (which is different from suggested retail) at a specified level (that's why they're the same regardless of online or at big box stores).  Any type of promotional discount is determined ahead of time (how much and for how long) with the manufacturer.  Yamaha may be a bit more restrictive in this area than was L6 as an independent company, but certainly no more restrictive than most such as Bose or Gibson.  And clearly no manufacturer is likely to offer promotional discounts on any item where demand is much higher than supply as it is with the Helix, but that loosens up over time as it did for the HD500X.

 

Since L6 equipment is manufactured and distributed from the US, the price lift has little to do with Yamaha other than some shipping costs.  Most of that are individual country tariffs and taxes.  That's why it varies from country to country.  If you're in a country that uses a VAT tax system, you'll likely get hammered more if you buy it locally because the product went through more hands (each entity paying their portion of the VAT) than if it was shipped directly to you.

 

But if the whole capitalism/government tax thing bothers you, feel free to construct a Helix on your own. :rolleyes:

Only think I have to add is while the Helix is designed in the USA, it is manufactured in China.

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Thats not competition when theres only one group screwing you over. ;) No its not a conspiracy, but it is a shame. The bottom line is how much money we can make now, and thats great for all of us until such a time when we have only "one" place to make that money, and only one place to get that shiny new Fender amp or Gibson Lespaul (or anything else). And when that last company that sells it to "US" (the consumer) for 666 times (yes that number was intentional) more than its worth, what choice do we have then but buy it, or go black market hopping. "And the road gos on forever and the party never ends"-Robert Earl Keen...

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I'm not sure I'd worry too much about the big box stores.  They're struggling just as much if not more than the mom and pop places.  There's no way they can compete with the inventory and rapid shipping of Amazon, Musician's Friend, Sweetwater, etc.  I can't remember the last time I bought a cable or accessory from any local music store.

 

Actually one local mom and pop store has found a great niche for himself as a guitar/amp store specializing in used equipment and is a direct dealer for smaller companies like G&L guitars.  He's the place to go to for decent luthier and amp servicing, while Guitar Center and Sam Ash are struggling to keep inventory on the shelves that people want.  May be a foreshadowing of what works in local retail in this internet age.

 

I have to laugh when GC or Sam Ash folks tell me they don't have it in stock but can get it for me.  I just tell them, "well heck, I can do that all by myself"!!!

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I have to laugh when GC or Sam Ash folks tell me they don't have it in stock but can get it for me.  I just tell them, "well heck, I can do that all by myself"!!!

 

Yea... I just know that has to be a canned answer these poor sales guys are "required" to say (via their luddite buying management team who's not even located in the same state), when they are really saying to them self's "how ridiculous that sounds these days". 

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You consumers in the US are so lucky. So much of prices you see online is what you pay (free shipping in US). Outside US we gotta pay for shipping and taxes on top of that. It's kinda funny that countless cargo ships from China port at Singapore on their way to EU, but when we order online they gotta ship from US a product that was shipped from China.

 

The used market is also quite weak here, due to the small population and again due to shipping costs.

 

Anyways, the difference in the L6 case here is that the smaller stores were offering BETTER prices than big boy Yamaha, which has over 10 outlets in a country 31 miles across.

 

But I'm happy that those stores are still doing as well as they had before, carrying other brands they are not prohibited from carrying. As Spikey said, no more competition for L6 gear now.

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May be a foreshadowing of what works in local retail in this internet age.

 

Many people just use big box retail chains as a place to kick the tires and actually see an item in person. Then they go home and buy whatever it is online for 10-20% less, and often no sales tax. THAT'S the future of "retail". On a long enough timeline, most "stores" will be nothing more than Amazon showrooms, loosely organized by product category.

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^^^ this, for better and worse. Local stores, even the big one, seldom have the actual thing you're looking for unless it's the flavor of the month (or last month, really), and genuine expertise is scarce. Advantage of ordering from them anyway is you can return it for free if need be.

 

Been to a book store lately? Tried to get a cab?

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Anyone looking for a good deal on a Helix may I suggest trying Andertons in the UK. I believe that the pound has dropped recently since Brexit making purchases from the UK more worthwhile. I've got a new guitar on the way from there right now. Super fast shipping too!

 

Currently the price of the Helix shipped to Australia (or Singapore) from Andertons is 1032 GBP (= AUD1801 or USD 1375). That's an amazing deal which I wish I had found before I bought mine here. Even adding some import tax onto that it will still work out as a pretty good bargain.

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Anyone looking for a good deal on a Helix may I suggest trying Andertons in the UK. I believe that the pound has dropped recently since Brexit making purchases from the UK more worthwhile. I've got a new guitar on the way from there right now. Super fast shipping too!

 

Currently the price of the Helix shipped to Australia (or Singapore) from Andertons is 1032 GBP (= AUD1801 or USD 1375). That's an amazing deal which I wish I had found before I bought mine here. Even adding some import tax onto that it will still work out as a pretty good bargain.

Holy crap, great find! Now to get approval from the import control officer, a.k.a the wife...

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Good luck to you all - I presume that is excluding vat; for us UK buyers the price started at £1077 last year (or something like that) and has now risen for all UK retailers to £1224 presumably because the import cost has gone up with our currency devaluation.  All online retailers are of course showing exactly the same price, and the UK doesn't have the loyalty vouchers that the US gets.

 

The problem with the big-name music manufacturers and Mom and Pop stores (to use the American phrase) is that Fender, Gibson etc. don't just have a minimum order value, but also insist on Merchandising rules as well. The way that it works from the store perspective (according to a now retired owner of a small independent musical equipment store) is something like this:

 

M&P: I would like to order 4 of your budget range guitars please in the most commonly sold colours for $100 each

 

Big Name: Certainly do you have an account?

 

M&P: Yes we have been selling your stuff for years - our number is nnnnn

 

Big Name: Ah yes, well I am sorry but your order doesn't meet the current directive, you will need to add a few other things as well.

 

M&P: Okaaay... what would that be?

 

Big Name: Well the minimum order is now 30 units.

 

M&P: Ummm, that is more than we sell in 2 years but I suppose we could borrow a bit from the bank. So what will it be? Is the price less?

 

Big Name: Yes and No.  The $100 guitars are now $95 each, but you are only allowed to have 10 of those anyway.  The other 20 have to be a split of 10 from the Premium Range ($899) including 5 in obnoxious colors such as puke green, and the remaining ones have to be from our Exclusive Relic range where we scuff it all up and charge only $4999 each.

An absolute bargain really because the margins are so much higher on the expensive guitars.

Oh and you have to sign our Merchandising Agreement too.

 

M&P: What does that mean?

 

Big Name: It is nothing really.. you just have to reserve a 20' long wall display section that will exclusively contain our guitars and cannot have any other products within 10', it must be immediately visible to a customer entering the store, it must use our approved fixings and obviously we get final say of whether we like how you have arranged it.
That will be an additional $5000 for the shop fittings obviously

 

M&P: &*$^"£%"!!!

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Good luck to you all - I presume that is excluding vat; for us UK buyers the price started at £1077 last year (or something like that) and has now risen for all UK retailers to £1224 presumably because the import cost has gone up with our currency devaluation. All online retailers are of course showing exactly the same price, and the UK doesn't have the loyalty vouchers that the US gets.

 

The problem with the big-name music manufacturers and Mom and Pop stores (to use the American phrase) is that Fender, Gibson etc. don't just have a minimum order value, but also insist on Merchandising rules as well. The way that it works from the store perspective (according to a now retired owner of a small independent musical equipment store) is something like this:

 

M&P: I would like to order 4 of your budget range guitars please in the most commonly sold colours for $100 each

 

Big Name: Certainly do you have an account?

 

M&P: Yes we have been selling your stuff for years - our number is nnnnn

 

Big Name: Ah yes, well I am sorry but your order doesn't meet the current directive, you will need to add a few other things as well.

 

M&P: Okaaay... what would that be?

 

Big Name: Well the minimum order is now 30 units.

 

M&P: Ummm, that is more than we sell in 2 years but I suppose we could borrow a bit from the bank. So what will it be? Is the price less?

 

Big Name: Yes and No. The $100 guitars are now $95 each, but you are only allowed to have 10 of those anyway. The other 20 have to be a split of 10 from the Premium Range ($899) including 5 in obnoxious colors such as puke green, and the remaining ones have to be from our Exclusive Relic range where we scuff it all up and charge only $4999 each.

An absolute bargain really because the margins are so much higher on the expensive guitars.

Oh and you have to sign our Merchandising Agreement too.

 

M&P: What does that mean?

 

Big Name: It is nothing really.. you just have to reserve a 20' long wall display section that will exclusively contain our guitars and cannot have any other products within 10', it must be immediately visible to a customer entering the store, it must use our approved fixings and obviously we get final say of whether we like how you have arranged it.

That will be an additional $5000 for the shop fittings obviously

 

M&P: &*$^"£%"!!!

Ugh...it's infuriating. The only consolation is that as brick and mortar retail continues to disintegrate, those dealer agreements will eventually become irrelevant. For the younger generation, buying stuff online is the norm. They live their lives through a hand-held screen. Tap,tap..."compete your order". I doubt many care about test driving a purchase first...just look at YouTube, and the myriad "un-boxing" videos that get posted. There are tons of them for guitars. So what good is mandating a pretty display case with 75 guitars in it, if there's no one one there to see it? Sooner or later some marketing genius will have that "epiphany". It'll just take a while...till the old guard is all put out to pasture. The music industry hates change. Look at how long it took them to accept the fact that digital distribution of music was inevitable. They actually thought they could bully the populace into continuing to buy CD's by suing their own customers. There's a business strategy...

 

And the "relic" guitars are probably my favorite absurdity. Build a nice new instrument, then take a belt sander and ball peen hammer to it...that'll be $5K, please. Boggles the mind.

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Yep, here in Oz Yamaha has become the distributor. It used to be music express, and Line 6 products were comparable to US prices, even after the Yamaha buyout.

 

The Helix was priced at $AUD2399 until a few months ago, when all imports stopped for a while while Yamaha became the distributor. After stock was available again, the HELIX price had jumped to AUD$2799.

 

So, if you are watching Yamaha Australia, I was going to get a HELIX until you bumped the price. I bought a Kemper PA instread, also for AUD$2799, That's right, the HELIX is now the same price as the Kemper PA in Australia. If Yamaha stops the price-gouging that happens sometimes here, and goes back to AUD$2399, or even better, AUD$2299, I will buy one, but not until.

 

For what it's worth, the Variax Standard is still at a comparable price to the USA price, so I bought one of those at AUD$1399. Hopefully, everyone in Oz will refuse to buy the HELIX until the price is not a rip-off. I certainly will not be buying one with the screw-me-over-for-being-Australian markup.

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One of the retailers here that used to sell Line 6 gear has been told they cannot get on the distribution list now Yamaha is the distributor. No reason given, just that they were no longer able to sell Line 6 gear.

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So what good is mandating a pretty display case with 75 guitars in it, if there's no one one there to see it? Sooner or later some marketing genius will have that "epiphany". 

 

Actually, they already had the epiphany, that's why they DO mandate it.   Remember, the distributor is SELLING the guitars (or whatever) TO the store...  they could care less what happens to them after that, they have already been paid.    The minimums are to ensure the distributors meet their quota of widgets to sell.    If they didn't "mandate" stores take x-number of each price point, the stores wouldn't buy more than they could sell in a month or quarter or whatever.  

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But if the whole capitalism/government tax thing bothers you, feel free to construct a Helix on your own. :rolleyes:

Galaden is right...

Also it isn't the only way to get technological advancement. There are other systems already proposed that would do a much better job of it. With far less waste (NLRBE for instance). But anytime anyone brings them up, they are shot down by the typical rhetoric that so many people are gullible to, citing such arbitrary things like tradition.

Capitalism isn't the only way, and it surely isn't the best way for the many!

 

Now on to the OP, I hope you are able to find what you want for a decent price. My Canadian, and Australian gamer associates also run into the same issue. Exchange rates, price increases, middle man prices, VAT, and other taxes.

 

Helix is well over $2,000 worth of US equivalent in some parts of the world. There was someone on here recently, or perhaps a different forum that was saying his was like $2,200.

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I don't know whether or not it is Yamaha causing the price hikes in Line6 gear internationally or not. There may be other factors in play. I do however have this to say, ever since Yamaha purchased Line6 I have repeatedly seen people refer to the potential for leveraging Yamaha's technical expertise, international manufacturing resources, and large infrastructure to contribute to Line6's technology, distribution, and to lower costs. I have seen other folks claim that Yamaha's involvement is strictly a business relationship as a parent company and that they will have little impact on or contribution to Line6. I am not sure how it will play out but I certainly hope that the end result is not simply having Yamaha raise prices.  There is great potential for a true partnership here that benefits both of these companies and customers as well.

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I think for the future, all these neighbourhood stores have to offer something different when they can't compete with online stores.

 

Some stores here do music lessons as well. After building relationships and trust, students will be more comfortable with having their teacher as a gear guide at the store.

 

For the Helix, they could do maybe a 20 minute kickstarter lesson on using the Helix if you buy from them. Some people are willing to pay for patches, so paying a little more than online retailers to get a free tutorial from a pro so you could quickly dial them in yourself? Sounds good to me.

 

Another way is customization and repairs. It's nice to have a complementary setup on a new guitar tailored to your needs.

 

To perhaps take the mod thing to a new level, stores can go in the direction of the restaurant industry, offering their own twists (mods) on "stock" recipes. Hopefully in the future, when your friend asks you where you got that special XYZ, you could tell them, only from this ABC mom&pop store.

 

For old fashioned people like me though, we're happy to pay 3-6% more than online stores for the service and simply the human element.

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If they didn't "mandate" stores take x-number of each price point, the stores wouldn't buy more than they could sell in a month or quarter or whatever.

OK...but long term that's unsustainable, and will eventually be it's own undoing. If you drive all your own dealers out of business, then what? They'd be stuck selling directly to end users, and there goes all their minimum orders. It might succeed in making the quarterly reports look magnificent for a while, but it's a thoroughly unrealistic representation of the actual number of units in use, and sooner or later, it hits a wall...it has to. They're not selling disposable crap like cell phones that half (if not more) of the population owns, and replaces every couple of years. I bought the two Strats I own about 22 and 25 years ago, give or take. Fender ain't getting rich on me.

 

Not to mention then having to suffer all the day to day crap that makes having dealers attractive...namely not having to deal directly with customers, which is a notorious pain in the a$$.

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For old fashioned people like me though, we're happy to pay 3-6% more than online stores for the service and simply the human element.

Millennials neither know, nor care about the "human element", though...and half of them are such galloping narcissists, the concept of other people is a bit "theoretical". And they're the consumers now. If it doesn't come with a #hashtag, it doesn't exist. They "interact" with little 3"x 5" screens, and have been doing so their whole lives. They whip them out mid-conversation at job interviews and medical appointments. Eye contact is a foreign concept...and certainly unnecessary for commerce. ;)

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I think for the future, all these neighbourhood stores have to offer something different when they can't compete with online stores.

 

Some stores here do music lessons as well. After building relationships and trust, students will be more comfortable with having their teacher as a gear guide at the store.

 

For the Helix, they could do maybe a 20 minute kickstarter lesson on using the Helix if you buy from them. Some people are willing to pay for patches, so paying a little more than online retailers to get a free tutorial from a pro so you could quickly dial them in yourself? Sounds good to me.

 

Another way is customization and repairs. It's nice to have a complementary setup on a new guitar tailored to your needs.

 

To perhaps take the mod thing to a new level, stores can go in the direction of the restaurant industry, offering their own twists (mods) on "stock" recipes. Hopefully in the future, when your friend asks you where you got that special XYZ, you could tell them, only from this ABC mom&pop store.

 

For old fashioned people like me though, we're happy to pay 3-6% more than online stores for the service and simply the human element.

 

I used to work at a small music store... It was about 11 or 12 years ago. So it was right around the time when online stores were starting to have more of an impact on the market at large. The owner of that store always insisted on charging more than MAP - probably something like 5-10% more or something - and his reasoning was that people would pay for the extra service they receive from the store. Some people didn't mind, but even back then, many customers knew what the price on Musician's Friend was. It's a hard job to convince people that they should pay that extra $30 (plus tax) on a Squier starter pack... Honestly, it wasn't like we were doing anything special with the guitars we received from Fender, Ibanez, etc. anyway. Occasionally, if we got one where something seemed really off we might tweak the truss rod or adjust the bridge, but if something seemed really messed up, we'd send it back. So I guess, perhaps that initial inspection might be worth something. The other thing, though, is that many of the more expensive guitars stayed on the wall for months or even years. So I think many people simply don't like the idea of buying a guitar that's been touched and played by dozens of people.

 

So personally, I don't really have any romantic notions about most mom and pop stores. Some of them deserve to fail because they aren't really trying any more. There are some that are doing some cool, innovative things, though. Those seem few and far between to me.

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Normal pricing policy is to recoup the initial manufacturing costs very early on and then make a profit. 

Once market saturation has occurred only then does Sales Promotion "buy it now's" take effect and pricing comes down.

This is wise business practice. 

 

It is a mistake to introduce a product at a price and then increase the price even as little as a year later. It causes a knee jerk reaction at the detriment of the price hiker and needs to be very well promoted ahead of time to avoid stagnating sales.

 

It is better pricing policy to keep the price unchanged for as long as possible at least 5 years. The sales will increase. 

The effects of inflation or increased material costs are absorbed by the slightly over priced introduced product line.

It is only after the product has recovered the startup manufacturing costs and made a long term profit that the price then comes down which actually increases sales all over again.

 

I feel the case with the Helix before price hike; it is well priced over the HD500x and near on par with the boutique manufacturers. (Kemper and Fractal manufacturer little else in comparison to Yamaha.)

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Millennials neither know, nor care about the "human element", though...and half of them are such galloping narcissists, the concept of other people is a bit "theoretical". And they're the consumers now. If it doesn't come with a #hashtag, it doesn't exist. They "interact" with little 3"x 5" screens, and have been doing so their whole lives. They whip them out mid-conversation at job interviews and medical appointments. Eye contact is a foreign concept...and certainly unnecessary for commerce. ;)

 

I'm not going to get into an argument about these ridiculous comments about millenials, there is enough of that elsewhere on the internet. What I will say is that none of the stores in my town stock helix physically, so I ordered online from the nearest physical store that did. The human element still matters and influences purchasing decisions for some of us.

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Galaden is right...

Also it isn't the only way to get technological advancement. There are other systems already proposed that would do a much better job of it. With far less waste (NLRBE for instance). But anytime anyone brings them up, they are shot down by the typical rhetoric that so many people are gullible to, citing such arbitrary things like tradition.

Capitalism isn't the only way, and it surely isn't the best way for the many!

 

 

Oh my...who would have thought this topic would have been so politically charged??

 

It is, however, a fascinating example of how each generation that comes along thinks they have the single answer to all of mankind's problems.  Of course it never really pans out because it almost always, as in this example, requires a global change in people's core value system in order to be implemented (or as Aldous Huxley's might refer to it as "group think").  Good luck with that.  The world's religions have all been trying to do that for thousands of years...and of course it's been tried through enforcement several times by people like Hitler, Stalin, and Ho Chi Min.

 

Of course it never works, because we're humans and we can't even come to a consistent core value system belief of whether tubes or solid-state amps are better.  :lol:

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It is, however, a fascinating example of how each generation that comes along thinks they have the single answer to all of mankind's problems.

 

"And the road go's on forever, and the party never ends...Robert Earl Keen"

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Oh my...who would have thought this topic would have been so politically charged??

 

It is, however, a fascinating example of how each generation that comes along thinks they have the single answer to all of mankind's problems. Of course it never really pans out because it almost always, as in this example, requires a global change in people's core value system in order to be implemented (or as Aldous Huxley's might refer to it as "group think"). Good luck with that. The world's religions have all been trying to do that for thousands of years...and of course it's been tried through enforcement several times by people like Hitler, Stalin, and Ho Chi Min.

 

Of course it never works, because we're humans and we can't even come to a consistent core value system belief of whether tubes or solid-state amps are better. :lol:

 

Actually, I agree that it prolly wont happen. Which will bring about our end as a result. The systems we use now are temporary, supported on traditions and habitual lies.

 

The problem is beliefs, and systems of beliefs are valued higher than logic, evidence, and critical thought. It is this right here that fuels the tribalism. The fact that we still havent gotten past the need for supersition, like these religions (which tried, and still tries through enforcement just as Stalin did) is a neon glowing sign of the mind of the masses dedicated to ignorance. Much like patriotism, and worshipping socio-economic systems while it is evident they are temporary, and already failing.

 

An NLRBE requires its people to be intelligent, much like a true democracy, which the world has yet to see. While this is already technically possible, the stupid, and the dedicated make it all but improbable.

 

Anyways, I didnt mean to get off topic. I am done talking about this, as I have learned its a real time waster. I hope the OP gets what he wants for a reasonable price. So back on topic.

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An NLRBE requires its people to be intelligent, much like a true democracy, which the world has yet to see. While this is already technically possible, the stupid, and the dedicated make it all but improbable.

 

And therein lies the problem currently....

 

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And therein lies the problem currently....

 

 

Lol. Thanks. Way to induce a great feeling of pathetic depression this morning. So sad. And they all think ignorance is funny! What the hell are young people taught today?

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"An NLRBE requires its people to be intelligent, much like a true democracy, which the world has yet to see. While this is already technically possible, the stupid, and the dedicated make it all but improbable."

 

I don't even know what NLRBE is but it scares me when people make these kind of statements. So if I look into it and disagree, I am not intelligent, stupid and dedicated (whatever is meant by that). I believe Stalin felt the same way. So did Hitler. In fact that's how most people feel about their own beliefs. Not a comment on NLBRE. But a comment on blanket closed minded statements like that.
 

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"An NLRBE requires its people to be intelligent, much like a true democracy, which the world has yet to see. While this is already technically possible, the stupid, and the dedicated make it all but improbable."

 

I don't even know what NLRBE is but it scares me when people make these kind of statements. So if I look into it and disagree, I am not intelligent, stupid and dedicated (whatever is meant by that). I believe Stalin felt the same way. So did Hitler. In fact that's how most people feel about their own beliefs. Not a comment on NLBRE. But a comment on blanket closed minded statements like that.

 

 

Let me clarify. The "stupid" is shown for example in the video above posted by DunedinDragon. That is just one tiny example of it. The "dedicated" to being ignorant, or not understanding is found largely with people that put their faith before evidence. Ignoring facts to cling to outdated notions, you know actual closed minded people.

 

And your drawing similarities to Hitler, and Stalin do not apply for the following reason.

 

Disagreement is welcomed if something is brought to the table that is constructive, or alternative. As long as critical thought, evidence, logic, reason etc are brought to the table, and not just things like faith, and beliefs which are proven to be universally unreliable.  The concept is to take on emergent data, process it, reshape ideas accordingly.. to make the best system for all.  The NLRBE systems are just the closest example that I have come across thus far. I welcome you look it up. If there are things that would be better logically I welcome them be brought to the table.  I felt I needed to address your comment, but I really feel as if I have contributed to derailing this thread enough. Feel free to PM me about if your truly interested.

 

But, I have to say, that is an odd avatar you have. There is a little chuckle inside each time I see it.

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What the hell are young people taught today?

How to take standardized tests, which is laughably regarded "proof" that they've learned something, and therfore that their teachers must have "done their jobs". We'd like an extra $12 million in the budget next year, please....our pensions are feeling a little light. Vote 'yes', because after all it's "for the children".

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