Guitar Center, Musicians Friend, Music & Arts, Woodwind & Brasswind, Music 123 - ALL THE SAME COMPANY..pretty much!

Guitar Center, Musicians Friend, Music 123, Music & Arts, etc. In this world of business buyouts, acquisitions, and takeovers, it should come as no surprise that a company you do business with in some way is probably owned (or partially owned) by one or more other investors or companies. Many restaurants, various retailers, shoe stores, hotels, clothing companies, etc., etc., are owned by someone else. So it's not surprising that a large investment firm called Bain Capital (that's Mitt Romney's company) bought out the Guitar Center company and all of its affiliate companies in 2007. Guitar Center is the largest retail music instrument chain in the world and its other businesses include Musicians Friend, Music & Arts, Brasswind and Woodwind, Music 123,, Giardinelli, and other related firms. Did you know they were all pretty much the same company? Small world huh?!

When a buyout like this happens it can infuse extra cash into those companies so they can do better, but it can also reduce the actual competitive nature of that entire category of business if many of the companies are owned by one firm, such as in the case of Guitar Center and Bain Capital. Love it or hate it, many investment firms have a lot of money and invest it in other companies with hopes that they will reap a good profit. Although some aspects of Guitar Center and its other related companies are better since its buyout such as guitars, drums, and pro audio, others aspects are not as good. And if you're in the market for a new keyboard or digital piano, based on my experience, Guitar Center usually doesn't have salespeople who know what they're talking about. In fact, good, qualified piano & keyboard specialists are hard to find because it is a very specialized part of the music business and there are fewer players and product experts as compared to guitars & drums. With regard to prices, you'll notice that they are pretty much the same throughout the various Bain company music store holdings. Are they the lowest prices you can get an instrument for? Definitely not, you just have to shop around.

So if you're in the market for a good digital piano or keyboard, my advice is that you can still get a great price at smaller companies (even lower price sometimes) and possibly with better service & knowledge if you look for an "independent" music company that has a reputation for digital keyboard/piano products and know what they are talking about. The companies I listed above are all part of the same large organization and although there is nothing wrong with that at all, I find that many of the people that work there know very little about digital pianos...and that's what this blog is dedicated to. So if you really want to know what's going on with the latest greatest digital piano and you are looking for the lowest prices, let me know and I can help you. 

If you're looking for a new digital piano from Yamaha, Roland, Casio, Kawai, Kurzweil, Korg, and others, you can contact me and I will give you expert advice along with how to get them at lower prices.

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