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inside SweetwaterBy Chuck and Brenda Surack
Owners, Sweetwater Sound

   We'd like to start this issue's column with a mention of our all-new 1998 Yamaha Equipment Directory. Over the last few issues, you've no doubt noticed that we have not only become an authorized Yamaha dealer, but that we've done so in a rather big way.

   Part of the reason is because that's how we always do business: In a big way, but always with an eye towards serving the needs of today's musicians, engineers and studio owners. You know all those cards, letters and e-mail you sent us over the past few years? Well, we read each and every one. So we knew that thousands of you wanted us to carry the exceptional products currently being offered by Yamaha. Let's face it, the company has always been an industry leader (you might remember a little keyboard called the DX7, which pretty much revolutionized synthesis in the 1980s), but the equipment being produced right now is truly the finest, most advanced (and most dependable) Yamaha has ever made.

   Right about the time that we began shipping copies of our 1998 Equipment Directory, the ink was just drying on our contracts with Yamaha. So we decided that we would just go to press with a special "All Yamaha" Edition of the Directory. Yamaha 1998 Equipment DirectoryThe copywriters and artists that man our in-house electronic publishing division immediately mobilized, putting an enormous amount of energy into producing this full color, 20-page guide to Yamaha's cutting edge technology.

   You may already have a copy, or one may be in the mail to you right now. If you haven't received yours and absolutely must know if it's on the way, feel free to call your Sweetwater Sales Engineer. They'll make sure you get a copy of this great-looking, highly informative publication.

   All of which brings us to our next item. No business can truly thrive in today's highly competetive marketplace without a tremendous amount of effort from everyone in the company. Though we don't often mention it here, we wanted to tell you just how proud we are of the entire Sweetwater Sound team, from sales to shipping to our technical support and service departments and our in-house creative staff.

   These are the people you deal with every day, the ones that make sure you are ordering exactly the right product for your needs. They make sure you get your orders on time and provide you with the excellent technical support you need to get you up and running (and keep you that way). Our Web masters and electronic publishing team keeps you informed of all the latest developments in the industry, usually way ahead of the major magazines which often take months to announce new products (because of their lengthy lead times for printing).

   Log onto our Web server ("www.sweetwater.com") day or night and you have immediate access to thousands of pages of information, including our entire 1998 Equipment Directory in convenient PDF format. Check your mailbox and you'll find Sweet Notes, a copy of our latest Products Directory and other late-breaking product announcements.

   Call us and you talk to a real, live operator — you'll never have to negotiate one of those ridiculously convoluted (and hugely annoying) electronic menus when you call Sweetwater. They'll direct your call as quickly as possible. Maybe you need some sound advice from our Sales Engineers, all of whom have an incredible amount of real world knowledge and hands-on experience with the latest gear. They'll help you make the most of every purchase.

   When you have a question or feel overwhelmed by a problem, don't panic, our technical support staff and highly skilled service department (all of whom are trained right down to component level repairs) will get you back on track in virtually no time. There's no such thing as a question too tough or a problem too big for them to handle.

   Want your order fast? You bet! Our shipping department is committed to getting your order sent out — if at all humanly possible — the very same day it's placed (but please don't wait until 5 PM to call… they're good, but they're not magicians). Every single order is processed the very same day it's received. If there were Olympics for shipping, these people would consistently bring home the gold.

   Longtime customers have experienced the Sweetwater policy of absolute customer satisfaction. That's why they come back time after time when they need hardware or software. They know there's a group of caring professionals at the other end of the phone that come to work every single day, ready to put in that extra effort, providing friendly, personalized service that's light years ahead of every other music retailer. If you've never placed an order with us, we know you'll be pleasantly surprised at the way you're treated here.

   We think our company has a great business policy, but we know it's our valued employees — over 130 of the best people in the entire industry — that make us, year after year, the nation's number one music technology retailer!

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