Egnater and Blackstar: Guitar Center Exclusives

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Axemeister, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. Axemeister

    Axemeister Member

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    I checked out both of these amps yesterday. The Egnater and Blackstar amps are nice products. I was impressed with the tones and apparent build quality.

    However, I am just a bit put-off by the fact that these are basically Guitar Center products. From what I can see they are both amps that are designed by skilled amp techs, but built in overseas factories for widespread sale at Guitar Center stores here in the U.S. BTW, the salesman at Guitar Center actually proclaimed that "Guitar Center owns Egnater".. but I do not think that this is actually true...but they certainly seem to own the Egnater Tourmaster 4100 amp line. Not sure about Blackstar. I imagine that these amps may have other distribution and availability internationally, so they may be just be Guitar Center "exclusives" here in the U.S.

    If you go to the Youtube video of Bruce Egnater giving a demo and description of the Egnater, he says that these are available at Guitar Center...no mention of any other distribution. I am OK with the overseas sourcing, but I am not feeling overjoyed by the market control of Guitar Center.

    I know that I should not hold a grudge over this, but there is something about this that bothers me just a little. I am probably being foolish and short sighted, since this is bringing nice amps to a broader group of people, but it just doesn't feel right. That said, I am still very impressed with the Egnater, and could consider owning one...so I am a bit of a hypocrite to bring this up.
     
  2. kurtsstuff

    kurtsstuff Member

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    No.....your not alone nor a hypocrite....I feel the same way......:FM
     
  3. GVDub

    GVDub Member

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    Upfront disclaimer: I currently work for Guitar Center as an advertising copywriter, before that I worked for Line 6 for most of a decade doing marketing and customer support stuff (most of the copy in the Line 6 manuals, at least pre-2005, was initially written by me), and for M-Audio/Midiman before that, so I've got a fair amount of time in the industry.

    Guitar Center does have exclusive distribution on both the Egnater Tourmaster and the Blackstar amps in the U.S. The bright side of it for both Bruce (who I've known for a decade or so) and the Blackstar guys is that they get their amps in front of a huge number of people who might not otherwise ever see their products. I don't see that as such a bad thing. I've played both the Egnater and Blackstar stuff, and it's all been well worth considering.

    The fact of the matter is that, if you don't build overseas, or, specifically, in Asia or in Eastern Europe, labor costs are going to make amps, especially hand-wired amps, prohibitively expensive. Any amp maker who aspires to be competitive with Fender, Marshall, Mesa, or Line 6 (who is, I believe, #4 these days) is going to have to find ways to get quality product out there at affordable prices, and the less familiar your name is to the large mass of guitar players, the better that price is going to have to be. I've seen people say that Bruce has "sold out" by making this deal with GC. I also saw people say the same thing when he had a deal with Randall a few years back. Knowing Bruce, I don't think so. He just wants more people to be able to afford and get their hands on better amps, and figures the bigger market he can reach, the better the chances of that.
     
  4. kccheers

    kccheers Member

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    It's all about options and variety...you can still call the Amp Lounge and have Bruce and the Guys (sorry Chris :)) build you a MOD 50 if that's what floats your boat....I DID!
     
  5. Axemeister

    Axemeister Member

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    I understand and see all of that. In particular, that Egnater amp is really quite awesome for the price.
     
  6. jharpersj

    jharpersj Member

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    The Tourmaster was really cool and for that kinda money is a steal, you can still get one of Bruce's Mod 50 for a reasonable price ($2K I think) and that is a stellar amp I would put up against anything. As far as selling out, we all get up and go to work, most of us doing somethign we don't like for money, Bruce has made a killer product available to the masses, I'd say thats pretty damn cool, consider that with his engineering skills he could go work 40 hours a week at some company and probably make more money and not be at the shop at 10 PM every night, ... my 2cents
     
  7. MartinC

    MartinC Member

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    So far in Australia it's only the smaller, independent retailers that stock Blackstar. Mind you, there isn't a huge all-dominating chain like GC here. There are chains, like Billy Hydes and Allens Music, but they aren't stockists. I hope Blackstar succeeds 'cos value for money-wise, for a hand-built, non-PCB amp they're amazing.
     

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