New showroom pushes the boundaries
Tuesday, 11 June 2019 10:02 am
German e-drum supplier drum-tec has raised the stakes with its upgraded facility outside Hannover in Germany, believed to be the biggest dedicated e-drum showroom in the world.
The new facility is located in Fischbeck, near the historic town of Hamelin, not far from the previous complex in Auetal-Rehren.
Customers entering the showroom are immediately struck by innovations such as the full-size stage, complete with guitars, lighting and amps, where drummers can convince their sceptical bandmates about the viability of e-drums in a gig setting.
“Sometimes, drummers want to know what it feels like to play electronic drums with a full band,” says store manager Markus Berger. “So, we invite them to come with the whole band. We have a mixing console, keyboards, guitars and bass, so they can practice here and find out how e-drums work with a full band.”
Drum-tec operates as a retailer, selling electronic kits and components from the major manufacturers, but also makes its own line of pads and kits sold through its three retail outlets and increasingly online to a global customer base.
The retail area is more spacious and more brightly illuminated than the previous store, with around 20 full kits on display – all set up and ready to play.
Berger says the additional space has allowed drum-tec to display more options, including a growing range of hybrid drums. He is particularly proud of the silent practice room, where drummers can combine electronic and acoustic drums to explore the new possibilities.
“There are a lot of new kits on the market, including lots of hybrid drums - acoustic drums augmented by electronic parts – and this room allows us to demonstrate the loud drums together with electronic triggers,” he explains.
Founder Konrad Müller-Bremeyer says the real advantages are behind the public areas, starting with the warehouse which is now three times the size of the original facility. “We also have the option here to grow,” he notes, adding that the site has more available showroom space and scope to expand the warehouse further when required.
While drum-tec has a significant international online business, Berger says the showroom is important for sales in Germany and its neighbours.
“In Germany, customers will often drive for three hours or more to our showroom, checking out all the kits to find their perfect drum kit,” he says.
Müller-Bremeyer points out that the facility also attracts drum buyers from as far afield as Sweden, Switzerland and further.
“The aim is to make it easier to buy high-end electronic drumming gear,” he explains.
The large-scale display also provides customers with the ability to customise their kits, trying various combinations of components together – something they can’t do anywhere else.
Drum-tec continues to build triggered drums on-site, and the extensive showroom provides a real-life test bed for new products which can be connected to various modules and played together with products from all the major manufacturers.
“We continue to develop new concepts and we like to test them in conjunction with existing technologies,” he explains.
Compatibility with the major modules remains a focus and drum-tec has been careful not to alienate the big players in the market. Müller-Bremeyer claims to be the largest Roland dealer in Europe, if not in the world, and yet drum-tec’s shell packs compete directly with Roland’s pad offerings. “We have worked out our strengths – and those lie in building drums,” he says, and the company will retain its focus on building the best drums with the widest compatibility.
Müller-Bremeyer believes the drum pads will be constant going forward. “The drummer will always play a drum set,” he says, so drum pads and electronic cymbals will remain in use. The same cannot be said for modules, he believes, which may be replaced by smartphone technology in a few years. “So, we’ll continue to concentrate on the products that we can produce professionally.”
And drum-tec is not fazed by the escalation of new products and new brands on the market. “The more, the merrier,” says Müller-Bremeyer. “Because we are a niche player, we are probably the only retailer in the world who can pool all the knowledge and experience for our customers’ benefit. You can’t call Guitar Center and ask dedicated e-drum questions, for example.”
The plethora of modules on the market has provided drum-tec with opportunities to sell kits at different price points and to pair its own products with a wide range of options, delivering more sales prospects.
“We’re not just selling instruments,” says Müller-Bremeyer, “we’re selling competence.”