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Barrie's Blog July 2009

Barrie’s Blog
July 2009

2009 marks the 5th year of the new Hammond UK and of course it also celebrates the 75th year of the Hammond Organ.
Having been personally involved with the Hammond business for over 40 years it continues to amaze me how this fundamental ‘pipe organ substitute’ invention, has stood the test of time and continues, almost in it’s original style, to form the basis of most of the musical genres we hear today.
The’ New Generation’ Hammond instruments are a tribute to the dedication of the Suzuki Development team in Japan, who have worked tirelessly and with a focused dedication for over 20 years to ‘get it right’ and without doubt they have certainly achieved that.
We are now seeing the introduction of a second wave of these instruments, due mainly to the changes in EU design regulations especially in the lead content ‘RoHS’ Regulations. This has meant the need to virtually re design the complete range with the discontinuation of some lines and the improvement of others. Fortunately this procedure is now finished and our product range is again complete, from the iconic ‘new B3’ through the amazing XK3c and associated system, to the Xk1 and XM2 module. Also on the Leslie Speaker front we now have the full line available from the compact 2101 the incredible 3300 to the vintage 122.
The success of the range has been underwritten by the increasing endorsement of the highest profile of professional performers. We have been privileged to work with some of the UK’s leading artists and bands eager to include new generation Hammond instruments in their line up.

My greatest pleasure has come from the increasing amount of home players who are returning to their 60s roots and enjoying Hammond performance as a major hobby.
Also from our extensive promotional activities of regional workshops and master classes we see a major increase of interest in Hammond Playing from a much younger customer age group.

It has been obvious, and coincidentally one of my personal interests, that a sharing of knowledge through some form of education program has become an essential part of our marketing program. Malc has worked tirelessly on this front and not only helping with product development and producing and managing all our i.t activity, he has been instrumental in our education program by fronting the Hammond Player activity. The Hammond Player DVD is now up for its first reprint having been distributed all over the world and has become the major resource for budding Hammond performers.

Hammond Lab

We now are embarking on a totally new program of education, product demonstration, and personal performance development, with the launch of the very first Hammond Laboratory. Or ‘Ham Lab’
This project is being pioneered buy Malc at Hammond Centre UK and opens later this month. I am confident this operation will develop with a number of Ham Labs opening up across the country to provide a specialist centre to help novice keyboardists become complete Hammond Players.

Our recent new retail strategy has resulted in an updated countrywide family of UK Hammond stockists who have been personally selected to offer the highest level of support to regional Hammond customers. You can find your nearest outlet and their current stock availability on the web site under UK Stockists. We will endeavour to profile each of these companies in more detail on the site.

Despite the current economic climate Hammond is currently doing very well, with sales across Europe developing nicely, unlike many other keyboard brands.
I am convinced we are only just touching on the true potential of Hammond sales in the UK and even in these difficult times we will enjoy a successful year

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