jo anna janet trusts in instincts

       kittie heavy music from north of the border

       kenny greenberg ridin' the range

       ellis hall hears voices

       preston crump keeps it real

       andrew mcmahon straight forward & honest

       allan shamblin growing organic songs
Carter Beauford
       tom shapiro music row master

       rafeal moreira brazillian influences

       the girls of summer: a special report



Welcome to All Access. As I write this letter, I am in my third month with the Yamaha Pro Audio & Combo Division. I've spent the last 14 years with Yamaha in the mass-market channel, where I was involved with both music and computer products. However, while I was in high school and college, I sold musical instruments at retail, taught guitar, played live and ran a sound company. It's great to be back in the music business!

In the past few months I've had the pleasure of meeting with many music retailers. One of the comments I heard several times was "I think of Yamaha as big, slow-moving and corporate, but I've been surprised at how quickly you respond to the market." I see the point. Yamaha designs and manufactures almost every category of musical equipment. You would think that would lead to a stodgy, corporate environment. But each product group is really a small, entrepreneurial business. One of the coolest aspects of working at Yamaha is hearing the stories behind the products and the stories of the people behind the products. I'd like to share a few stories of the entrepreneurs behind the products that I think you'll find interesting.

Almost every recording musician is familiar with Yamaha NS10M studio monitors. They are ubiquitous. You see them in almost every home and professional recording studio. NS10M designer Akira Nakamura was looking for the purest sound possible. He searched for the proper pulps and papers to use in the speaker cones and eventually came up with an exceptionally pure pulp used by a photographic-materials manufacturer. His attention to the smallest detail gave the NS10Ms their pure sound and their distinctive white speaker cones. Mr. Nakamura's speaker design talents have continued with Yamaha's popular powered monitor speaker series, including the new MSP10 Studio. Mr. Nakamura worked to assure that the MSP10 Studio remained precise and transparent down to the very lowest volume levels.

You hear Yamaha drums on more hit records than any other brand. The Yamaha Recording Custom kit is the industry standard. Any musician will tell you that drummers are a unique bunch and very particular about their instrument. One of the legends behind Yamaha drums is Takashi Hagiwara. Like other legends, he is universally known by one name - Hagi. From the hardware, built in the same factory as Yamaha motorcycles, to the types of glue used in shell production, Hagi pays attention to every detail to ensure the highest quality of the finished products. The incredible new finishes and hardware you see today are a direct result of Hagi's dedication to Yamaha drums.

Yamaha has been using technology to teach people to play music for years. Originally, we placed lights above keys to show keyboard players which notes to play. Yamaha engineer Yasuhiko Asahi has worked to apply this accepted technology to products other than keyboards. Mr. Asahi spent countless hours designing and redesigning the EZ Electric Guitar. When he encountered resistance to begin producing the product, he took it to the street-demonstrating the EZ Electric Guitar at various events and festivals around Japan and gaining valuable consumer feedback. The fruits of Mr. Asahi's labor can be seen in the EZ-EG - part electric guitar, part portable keyboard, and all fun. No other product gets consumers playing Smoke on the Water faster than the EZ-EG.

There is a person behind almost every Yamaha product. Someone who has conceived it, nurtured it, and perfected it before you see it in the marketplace. I hope the next time you see a unique Yamaha product you will think, as I do, about the person behind the product.

Enjoy this edition of All Access.


Tom Sumner
General Manager
Pro Audio and Combo Division
Yamaha Corporation of America


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