Though some may not know this but since the late 90's there has been a modular synthesizer Renascence. This was spear headed by companies like Doepfer and numerous forums, most significantly in recent years by MuffWiggler which has not only allowed synth geeks to find each other all over the world but it has allowed many builders to have their own pseudo focus groups to discuss possible features and price point.
Today, not to many's surprise a store baring the name MuffWiggler appeared.
Although based of years of Mike "Muff"s personal ethics, the store and the forum will probably remain fairly separate and open debate, complaints and all the other stuff the internet is known for will take place uncensored.
I decided to weigh in on what some worry about in terms of impact on what is a somewhat small fringe scene. I mainly focus on what I think the choices will mean for everyone involved.
I done a fair amount of business with Shawn at Analog Haven and before that Douglas at Enport (anyone know how he's doing). I have never had any issues with either gentlemen which probably has had an impact on my not using Switched On, Control, Big City or Noise Bug or any of the other US dealers as often.
This is a market that probably needs a bit of competition as much as it needs support among users and manufacturers. At this point in time there a very few full time builders, but a huge amount of part timers. There are an awful lot of products coming out to an audience that seems very happy to try things and then resell them.
All of this is going to change to some degree, not because of the new shop but because markets change. If the shops want to stay in business they are better off supporting each other to whatever reasonable way that they can.
If buyers want to cease this moment and try to push competition, they should consider aiming those demands in areas of pricing like cabling, shipping that have a lesser impact on the builders and if the stores want yo compete they should try to keep it in the areas of how they handle customers and builders.
This is going to be a big moment that could weed out some of the utter shit product. This could be the moment where dealers try to focus on costumer service, creating their own unique style in the choices of what they carry and very importantly treat the people who build the modules with real support and respect because at least 20% of those folks would be well able to carry on doing only direct mail order and be paid better.
I wish Mike and crew the very best, this is a good an interesting moment and I hope that everyone chooses to not act like a bunch of assholes.