The Internet Connection: Part II

by Chuck and Brenda Surack
Owners, Sweetwater Sound

Last issue, in our Tech Notes column, we mentioned that Sweetwater is now on the Internet. We thought it would be a convenient way for many of our customers to contact us while working on-line on their computers. But nothing could have prepared us for the avalanche of e-mail we began to get almost immediately.

For those of you who may not have received the last issue of Sweet Notes or simply missed the article, you can now send Sweetwater e-mail at our Internet address. You can send it directly to your personal sales engineer (or anyone else at Sweetwater) by using his or her name exactly as follows: "". Be sure to include the underline between first and last names. If you don't remember their name or if you are a new customer, simply send your e-mail to: "". Within moments, thanks to modern technology, your message appears on our in-house electronic mail system. It's as simple as that.

In the majority of cases — usually within 24 hours — you'll be receiving a phone call from either your sales engineer or the technical support staff. You can ask us questions about specific products, pricing, availability and even check the status of your order. We'll do all the necessary research before calling you back, so you won't have to hang on the phone waiting for an answer to your question (we know you've got a lot more interesting things to do).

Obviously, with the proliferation of personal computers, e-mail has caught on big time. There's no question that it's fast, inexpensive (in some cases absolutely free) and convenient — no more searching for stamps and envelopes. And while the Internet was somewhat of a mystery to non-tech types only a few years ago, pretty much everyone with a computer and a modem knows how to "surf the net" these days.

It's really rewarding to see our customers use this new service, particularly since everyone here at Sweetwater is always looking for ways to make buying from us and getting technical assistance a painless, hassle-free experience. And e-mail is just the start. We're looking at many new, innovative ways that you and your computer can quickly interface with us here at Sweetwater. We don't want to jump the gun at this point and say too much, but keep an eye out for some startling developments down the road a bit.

You may also recall that last issue we asked you to give us your input on ways we can make your music-making more enjoyable. We'd like to remind all our customers that we listen to every one of your suggestions and give them the consideration they deserve. We want you to feel like dealing with Sweetwater is like dealing with a trusted family member. The simple fact is, we love hearing from you.

See, we never forget (no, not for even a single moment) that it is you, the customer, who has made this company so successful. Without our cus-tomers, it wouldn't matter how many great products we offered, or how affordable those products were, or how knowledgeable our sales and technical support staff might be.

So when our customers ask for something, we listen. In fact, much of this issue of Sweet Notes is devoted to products requested by a large part of our customer base: guitar players. Seems like there are a lot of you out there who play guitar as your primary or secondary instrument. You've asked us for more on guitar-based equipment and we've obliged.

We've actually spent years trying to track down a really dependable MIDI guitar and we're convinced we've found one in the Godin Multiac (see page one for details). Then there's the new Roland VG-8 V-Guitar System (see page two) with Variable Guitar Modeling (or VGM) which uses Composite Object Sound Modeling to allow your MIDI guitar to sound like virtually any make or model of guitar on the planet. Now that's impressive! Pair up the Multiac with the VG-8 and you have what is unquestionably the ultimate MIDI guitar system.

It's going to be a really great year for guitar players and other musicians everywhere. The quality of today's equipment is unquestionably at an all-time high, as is affordability. We're glad to be along for the ride as we take the latest technology into the next century.