Grace Design Newsletter - June 2004
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Sweetwater- Jeff Radke
Mr. Radke in the studio
For high-end, smaller scale pro audio manufacturers, creating and maintaining an effective distribution network is essential for survival. For the first several years at Grace Design, we focused on developing a strong network of smaller, regional independent pro audio dealers who worked with customers primarily in their own territory, using the time honored business model of being service oriented and maintaining longstanding client relationships. High-end audio products can only be sold by salespeople who have a real, hands-on working understanding of the products they are selling.
So when Sweetwater approached us to represent our company, we were originally a bit hesitant. However, our apprehensions were quickly dispelled as we learned the real deal about Sweetwater.
While Sweetwater may initially appear to be a large box house, one phone call to their headquarters in Ft. Wayne, IN, and you are immediately impressed with their excellent and personalized customer service and complete product knowledge. The corral of sales associates at Sweetwater are thoroughly trained and posses a real working knowledge of all the product lines they carry, so all sales inquiries are met with thoughtful and thorough answers.
Sweetwater has created a pro audio dealership that blends the best of both worlds- intimate product knowledge and dedicated customer service with a large infrastructure to represent a very complete product line. From high-end boutique outboard gear to musical instruments and everything in-between, Sweetwater offers a wealth of selection and service.
Jeff Radke, the long standing Vice President of Sales at Sweetwater, has been a great friend of Grace Design, and is kind enough to give us some further insights into the inner workings of this remarkable business.
Thank you Jeff!
Can you give the short version of the history of Sweetwater?
What is you background in pro audio, and how did you get started at Sweetwater?
Due to the work I did with AKG, I'd known about and worked with Chuck and Sweetwater since he was running the business out of his house. I'd always really liked the value added philosophy of the company and was happy that the model seemed to be succeeding (it seemed like every time I'd visit, there was more construction going on and more employees running around!). When I became aware of a position here, it was a pretty exciting opportunity and, frankly, a fun move for me to reenter the retail world. The years I'd spent on the manufacturer side gave me the opportunity to visit hundreds of retailers and was experience that really fit nicely with my responsibilities at Sweetwater.
Its pretty amazing to call Sweetwater- the sales staff is always armed
to the teeth with information about all the product lines. How do you
guys stay so informed?
Since the word go, Sweetwater has had great success selling Grace Design
products. Why do think Sweetwater and Grace have been such a good fit?
Pro audio is a rapidly evolving business, where dealerships, both large
a small, seem to come and go every day. What are some of the key ingredients
to staying afloat and remaining effective as a pro audio dealership?
Any big, exciting changes on the horizon for Sweetwater you’d like
<<Tech Talk >>
Lunatec V3 optical/TOSLINK upgrade is now available!
Since its introduction 3 years ago, The Lunatec V3 has become the industry standard portable mic preamplifier/converter. And now we have now decided to make a good thing even better- due to overwhelming demand from many Lunatec V3 users, Grace Design is proud to announce the Lunatec V3 Optical output option / upgrade. This option replaces the existing WORDCLOCK output on the V3 with a TOSLINK optical format output.
If you plan to purchase a new Lunatec V3 preamplifier, you can now order it with the TOSLINK/Optical output. Or if you are an existing V3 owner and would like to upgrade your unit with TOSLINK out, here is how to have it done.
Luntec V3 optical upgrade service includes the following:
much does it cost?
do I arrange to get optical upgrade service for my V3?
The skilled staff here at our Boulder, CO shop will be doing all upgrades. The upgrade services are being scheduled via appointments on first come – first serve basis. We have allocated Tuesday to be the official upgrade day, which means every week a certain number of V3 optical upgrades will be started on Tuesday. For the service we are shooting for a 48 hour turn around period, but we cannot guarantee this.
To schedule an upgrade appointment, please call Eve @ 303.443.7454 9am-4:00pm M-F. Before calling, please determine the dates that will work for your schedule. As stated previously, all upgrades begin on Tuesdays, which means that units must be received no later than the previous Monday. Preamps that do not arrive by Monday, will likely have the upgrade process postponed until the following Tuesday. We will be scheduling appointments for the entire summer immediately so even if you can't send your unit in right now, we recommend you set up your appointment as soon as possible.
When you call, please have your V3’s serial number handy, as it is required to set up the appointment. Eve will provide you with return details and can handle all scheduling and return questions you may have. If you have any technical questions you can contact us directly.
Thank you all for your patience as we worked to make this feature available. Hopefully it will prove to be very useful for you all. Thanks for your continued support!