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Thread: Twona goes to Sweetwater Sound!

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    Twona goes to Sweetwater Sound!

    Drove to Fort Wayne, Indiana at the end of December to visit Sweetwater Sound's campus and store. It was a nice little road trip. Maybe a 4 1/2 hour drive, I don't remember. We packed up the Gladiator (more like my friend did, she brought a pillow, blanket, and road snacks) and rolled out around 8 am.

    The store entrance is around the side of the main building



    Once inside, there is a museum of sorts. Sweetwater founder Chuck Surack used to run a mobile recording studio out of a Volkswagen bus





    Then there's a variety of vintage gear





    Sweetwater was a big Kurzweil dealer and I think one of the last remaining service centers. I would love a 250, there's a couple on Reverb that I've been watching for a while. My friend asked "where the fuck are we going to put THAT?" and "what does that do that none of the other ones you have do?" So she might have won the argument for now

    Last edited by twonabomber; 02-07-2024 at 12:00 AM.
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    More vintage stuff










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    Probably my favorite section. A Jupiter 6, but no Jupiter 8. She asked "don't you have that one?" when she saw the D-50 and the JX-8P. My DX7 is one of the newer ones, with the real buttons instead of the membrane switches





    Beyond the vintage gear is a huge cafeteria that is open to customers also. Across from the cafeteria is a small receptionist desk and...a motherfucking SLIDE



    Slide is pretty fast, too. Those kids were almost getting launched off the end



    Campus reminded me a lot of when I worked at Progressive. There's a gym, and a hair salon, and a little "grab and go" section with snacks, drinks, and prepared sandwiches. Looked like employees just scanned their ID to pay

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    We went through the acoustic guitar room first





    Outside the guitar rooms there is a huge display of guitar and bass pedals





    There are also some stations with guitars and pedals set up, they were all full and I didn't take pics

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    Then we hit the electric guitar room. Holy hell they got everything






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    The bass room







    I had never seen a Billy Sheehan Attitude bass in a store, only when Billy's playing it onstage and we did go to one of his clinics at a local store in '95. I played on this one for a minute. Would have been less expensive than what I ended up buying...


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    Didn't take a lot of pics in the keyboard room, but not because you guys would laugh at me the pianos were behind us. A nice Yamaha grand was priced at $25k and had a "sold" sign on it





    Mics? More than you'd ever need





    The mic room case was two sided and a lot of them could be seen from the main area of the store



    Live and DJ gear, mixers, speakers, lights, DJ controllers etc


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    Drums! Played on a couple Roland e-kits and while they are nice and responsive, I am going to suffer with my Alesis kit that I have been building for a few years. I upgraded to mesh head drum pads last winter and tried some of the cheap Lemon cymbals and they are working out well







    More pedals and accessories in the center of the store. They have a service and repair area also and there is a huge wall of strings near the accessories






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    You would be sorely mistaken if you thought I drove all the way out there and didn't buy anything. I got a hoodie!



    Oh, and...





    It's amazing.

    I have an older Roland digital piano that my cousin gave (loaned) me, it was a student model that his brother in law got at an auction at the University Of Toledo and his sons didn't play it. He asked if I had a home for it, and I said sure and if they ever decided they wanted it back they could have it. So my friend walks by the piano one day and asked "is that thing on?" and she's been playing it ever since. I also put my Roland Jupiter X in the living room and now she's playing that. We joked that she's been playing the Jupiter X enough that I had to buy something else, so that was the Oberheim.

    I got $500 in "bonus bucks" that I have to spend and another month to decide. Probably some more wall mount brackets for the keyboards and maybe a drum pad stand. I thought about the new Roland SP-404 mk 2 but I already have a ton of samplers.

    Bigger items are stored in the warehouse at the back of the property. Drive back, pick a numbered parking spot, and text and your gear is brought to your vehicle. They have a lot of open land available, on the other side of the main building there is an outdoor pavilion. They've also got a full recording studio inside, Billy Sheehan posted that they just finished the upcoming (last) Mr. Big album at Sweetwater. The drummer on their farewell tour works for Sweetwater too.

    If I go back it'll be in the middle of the week when kids are still in school. I think it was December 29th when we went and kids were still on vacation. I keep saying "I'm done" but I think this time I mean it. And then I found an Agile Les Paul copy at the Guitarget on the west side and picked that up a couple weeks ago...
    Last edited by twonabomber; 02-07-2024 at 12:05 AM.

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    Sweetwater has also added a room for used gear and there is some displayed outside that room. And a room with studio, podcast, and camera gear. I thought about putting the $500 toward a Blackmagic cinematic camera but I'll suffer with the GoPros and the Canon Vixia I already have.

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    Some of the sales reps at Sweetwater make six figures. Fort Wayne is dirt cheap so you can live pretty good there on that.
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    So it's a "safe space" for middle-age dads.
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    Itís man cave junk the wife would love to see disappear and have the money in the bank account instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitro Express View Post
    Some of the sales reps at Sweetwater make six figures. Fort Wayne is dirt cheap so you can live pretty good there on that.
    I frequently get "you shop here, why not work here" emails from Sweetwater but I have no desire to go back to being on the phone all day and I am not relocating to Indiana.

    I never talk to my sales engineer and I rarely answer his emails. I don't want to be bothered.

    When I shop brick and mortar music stores I have usually done all my homework and research and know exactly what I want. There are times a sales turd comes up and I tell them "this will be your easiest sale of the day. Go get me one of (whatever)" and I am on my way.
    Last edited by twonabomber; 02-08-2024 at 12:36 AM.

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    I like someone available if I need them but I donít like being bothered either. I donít need a follow up call when I bought a pick guard and some screws.

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    When I used to call on the Ft. Wayne GM Truck Plant, I used to go to that Sweetwater all the time. It's fucking huge.
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    How much different could this Frankenstrat sound/play/feel from the $30,000 one? That price point was pure lunacy. This is in a considerably more realistic STRATosphere.

    Thought I was posting next to the Frankenstrat pic. Whoopsy.
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