From the very beginning Western Dynamo faced a lot of seemingly insurmountable challenges, including all of the obvious ones that come naturally with starting a design firm on a shoestring. We’ve altered our course half a dozen or more times as we encountered new obstructions or flat out hit walls, all in an effort to find our place and become relevant in the world of Pro Audio. It’s a difficult thing, to bring an unknown product to the marketplace. Cloning vintage gear is a much safer bet– clones are all about known quantities and qualities, not new ideas. Instead, we chose to begin at what has sadly become the fringe in Pro Audio. Our challenge has been to bring you something absolutely unique and new and it seemed to us that the most expedient way to do that was to get dealers and distributors behind us– the proverbial “pushers” and salesmen, to land our products in places where recording engineers go to shop.
For 2 years we’ve been adhering to our own Dealer/Distributor Contract, and while there have been occasional hints that a dealer might pick up the 19-09 for distribution, this scenario has all but faded from view. Frankly, they’re not interested. The fact is, we’re a tiny company run by full time recording engineers. When we aren’t working sessions late into the night, we make these compressors by hand– so even if we landed a distribution deal we probably couldn’t keep up with the increased demand placed on our limited manufacturing abilities. If we violate our own Dealer Contract by advertising compressors at dealer cost direct to the public, we cut the dealer’s legs off by nulling their profit margin and permanently devaluing our own product in the marketplace. Either way, this is a big, forever kind of commitment. But honoring this unsigned “dealer agreement” keeps us in a holding pattern while we wait for some guy in an office somewhere to suddenly pay attention to us and somehow give a shit.
This means that our products are being advertised at an inflated price, because if we did have multiple dealer contracts in place, all parties have to abide by a strict pricing scheme to keep the dealers from slitting each others throats in what’s known as a “race to the bottom”– a scenario many in the industry have witnessed before, and one I personally find distasteful. Because of these rules, we are required to hold advertising at the “Suggested Retail Price” in order to protect any future dealer’s profit margin. Fact is, we’ve never sold a compressor at this fictional advertised price.
In short summary, we are abandoning the dealer model and all the bullshit that orbits it. We see this as a positive and sustainable path that is frankly more palatable in the context of our DIY personality and ethic. It will enable us to continue to innovate by developing designs already in the queue for people who really like what we do at prices they’ll find more realistic and comfortable. More importantly, it keeps us in direct contact with the people we care most about– the ones who make records everyday. Going forward, our products will be sold (and advertised) at what was previously known as the “dealer price”, direct to recording engineers. Yup. We’re cutting out the non-existent middle-man you hear about in all those Furniture Outlet Blowout commercials. I have a feeling he’s not gonna mind.