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inside SweetwaterBy Chuck and Brenda Surack
Owners, Sweetwater Sound

   Well, here it is again: The start of another year. We sincerely hope that each and every one of you had a most wonderful holiday season and that you're ready for all the exciting surprises and amazing technological breakthroughs that are headed your way in 1998.

   You may recall that last year at about this time we released our "Hot Picks Product Guide," a 24-page collection of our hottest, best-selling equipment. In fact, people are still calling in almost every day requesting a copy. Based upon the amazing success of that publication, 1998 Equipment Directorywe've spent the better part of a year and thousands of man-hours to produce a new 156-page version, "The Sweetwater 1998 Equipment Directory." This has been a massive undertaking, but one that's sure to please every single Sweetwater customer, because inside its full-size, four-color pages is just about every product we sell! From mics, monitors and mixers to guitars, amps and accessories — it's all here.

   Unlike most simple consumer catalogs, this is a true directory with extensive reference tables and technical information that makes it easy to compare products. We've even included hundreds of high-end, hard-to-find "boutique" items from the top custom manufacturers for discriminating musicians and engineers who demand the best. On top of all that, there are Web links on every page that will allow you to access even more information on the items you are most interested in. If this sounds like something you'd like to keep close at hand (and let's face it, this is really the ultimate "wish book" for every musician and studio owner), here's good news: Your copy will be arriving soon, since every Sweet Notes subscriber will receive one of these directories. If you know someone who's not currently receiving Sweet Notes, but might want a copy of their own, or if you need an extra for the office or studio, call us and we'll add the names to our mailing list.

   Honest, you're going to absolutely love all the comprehensive product descriptions and technical specs we've included for gear in every category and price range, making this the best, most useful directory in the industry. Nobody else has anything like it. Guaranteed to impress your friends and irritate your enemies, this is one publication you don't want to be without, so call now!

   We'd like to thank all of you who have called, faxed and e-mailed us your enthusiastic response to our announcement last issue regarding our new guitar and bass division, Sweetwater's Custom Select Premium Direct Luthiers. As all you longtime Sweetwater customers know, we never do anything unless we're absolutely certain that it will be of significant benefit to musicians everywhere. Your reaction to the news proves we were right on target with this one.

   What's different about Custom Select? Why choose your next guitar, bass amp or effect from us? Here's a story we hear over and over again: "I thought I would go down to the local guitar store. Yeah, they had some nice guitars, but half of the ones I was interested in were at a different store all the way across town. The place was also so noisy that I couldn't really tell how the thing sounded. And it's hard to get a feel for an instrument when the salesperson is breathing over your shoulder. To top it off, they didn't know very much about the axes! By the time I was finished with two dealers, I had wasted a whole day, half a tank of gas and was more confused than before I started. Three Tylenol couldn't stop my head from pounding." Sound familiar?

   What if you could play the instruments you want in the privacy of your own home or studio? What if you could choose from a huge selection of the best brands? What if you could work with a professional, courteous Sales Engineer — someone who actually cares about you and your music? What if it was as easy as picking up your phone? And to top this scenario off, what if you had a Best Value Guarantee that offered far more than price protection, but assured that you were thrilled with every aspect of your new instrument?

   When we say "Premium Direct," we mean you get the best instrument at the best value with the greatest convenience. That's three huge advantages over the old way to shop for guitars! Whether you're shopping for your first guitar or that dream instrument, there's just one place you need to call, and that's Sweetwater. We have your new guitar right here, right now!

   With very little space left, we do want to mention that next issue we will have extensive coverage of the always incredible Winter NAMM Show. As you know by now, because of our tight deadlines and talented staff, we have the first official reports on all the major industry shows here in Sweet Notes and on our Web site. If you want to know what's going to be hot in 1998, this is the only place to be!

   That's about it for this issue. Here's hoping 1998 is the best year ever for you and your music!

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