It's hard to believe it's 1996 already. Seems like we just got used to writing "1995" on our checks. Maybe that's because so much has been happening here at Sweetwater over the last 365 days.
Actually, we hope all our customers have enjoyed the many new products and services we've introduced during this past year. And of course, none has been more exciting or better received than our World Wide Web site! So far, more than 25,000 people have checked out our home page - maybe you were among them. We hope so, because it's really a labor of love for everyone involved with this project. We believe it's the way most people will get their information in the future, so we've put a lot of effort into making it a fun place to visit, as well as being timely and informative. We've even recently redesigned the home page (see photo) to make it easier to access the information you're looking for, whether it's back issues of Sweet Notes, catalogs on-line, late-breaking news or any of the other areas available at our Web site.
There will always be something of interest for all our customers here, and as the Internet grows (and it's going to continue to grow at a phenomenal pace), so too will our Web site. Just access "http://www.sweetwater.com" via any Internet service provider and take a look at all the information available right on your computer screen just by hitting a few keys.
During the last few months of the year, we added free Internet mailing lists like our brand new Trading Post ("TradingPost@liststar.sweetwater.com"), a great place to sell equipment you're no longer using, or to find certain gear you might be searching for. There's also EFlash for new product announcements ("EFlash@liststar.sweetwater.com") and MusicalNotes ("MusicalNotes@liststar.sweetwater.com") where subscribers can discuss any topic relating to MIDI and recording technology.
Certainly 1995 will always be remembered as the year when Sweet Notes went full color, much to the delight of our thousands of customers. And we enjoy nothing more than delighting our customers, particularly since without them we'd be just another music store. And during the last year we introduced our exclusive Line of Credit account (see bottom of page)and expanded our leasing programs, making it easier than ever before to get the equipment you want and need.
In 1995 we were honored to be the first choice for audio equipment for the soundware departments of a number of major manufacturers and developers including E-mu Systems, Young Chang R&D, SEGA, Sierra On-Line, Origin Systems and Boss Game, just to name a few.
We also helped Science Central Museum design and install a one-of-a-kind laser triggering system on their main stairway which was used to trigger several Alesis D4 percussion modules and Roland MS1 samplers which would play various sounds as people walked up and down the stairs.
Finally, we might also mention that thanks to the support of our thousands of loyal customers, we experienced our biggest year ever in 1995, meaning that Sweetwater Sound is once again the fastest growing music technology retailer in the country (that's the third year in a row).
There's no way we can possibly express our thanks except by saying there will be plenty of surprises ahead. We will be adding many new products from some of the very best (and most prestigious) manufacturers in the music business, giving everyone more choices of exceptional products in more price ranges than ever before. We will never stop trying to develop exciting new services that will help all our customers gain access to valuable information and, more importantly, make it easier and more fun to make music.
And before we forget (as we're running out of room rapidly), special thanks to Roger Nichols, the man behind the console for all of Steely Dan's incredible recordings, for presenting a wonderful seminar to our midwest customers last fall and for mentioning in his December EQ magazine column that one of the things he wanted for Christmas was "a one-hour shopping spree at Sweetwater Sound in Ft. Wayne, Indiana." Oh, and be sure to check out Roger's Recording Guide on our Web Site, too.
Thanks, Roger and thank you all for a wonderful 1995. The best is yet to come in 1996 and beyond!