What is really going on at Sakae Drums?

Treviso1

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What is the truth of what is happening at Sakae drums? Have they ceased to exist? I see zero activity from them on any level. No new endorsers? Has anyone recently ordered and/or received a drum kit or add on?
 

franke

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I have a friend who is a rep for Korg and Sakae is one of the lines he carries, so as far as I know they're still around. There are a couple of people here who have Sakae kits (and they seem to like them very much). Keep in mind that right now is the worst time to be in the musical instrument business - either as a retailer or a manufacturer - for various reasons, chief among them (in my opinion) is the collapse of the recording industry.
 

mikeylicious78

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I love my trilogy kit and snare!
I have heard some things up here in Japan but have no idea how true any of it is..
If you are interested in the drums, I'd say get them while you can.
 

Hazelwood7

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I had heard that Korg Japan might buy them but it seems like the hour is getting late. Maybe they announce at NAMM, maybe not. They are not making drums right now. Who knows. They are great drums. The celestial kit is one of the best kits i have ever played. I will post a review in the future.
 

Treviso1

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There is no question regarding how great the drums are .. They are amongst the best in the world. They are master drum makers for many generations.
 

Vistalite Black

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Why do the mods allow idle speculation like this that serves no real purpose, but potentially damages the company?

That's as big a mystery to me as why drummers (not gear nerds) would be interested?
 

Neal Pert

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Vistalite Black said:
Why do the mods allow idle speculation like this that serves no real purpose, but potentially damages the company?

That's as big a mystery to me as why drummers (not gear nerds) would be interested?
It should be really easy to be able to tell if a company exists, no? I'd want to know if they still exist for several reasons:

1. Their reputation suggests that they make really good products.
2. If I owned or was thinking of buying a kit, I'd be wondering about resale.
3. It's just inherently interesting to imagine that the company that made some really iconic drums for Yamaha over the years was not able to keep things going on their own.
 
S

skinsman

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Think Deloreon.
Guy was a top designer for another company, but his own worst enemy for himself.
Sakae makes killer drums, but can't seem to do themselves much good marketing the same. I guess the thought that piggybacking your new brand on the back of an iconic marketing powerhouse like Yamaha didn't work out for them.
Their brand doesn't sell for whatever reason and resale is pathetic. Too bad really because I hear guys heap on the praises.
 

Treviso1

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Vistalite Black said:
Why do the mods allow idle speculation like this that serves no real purpose, but potentially damages the company?

That's as big a mystery to me as why drummers (not gear nerds) would be interested?
I don't understand why you have such a boner for not wanting information to be discussed regarding Sakae. If you don't like it, tune out, brother. We can discuss whether a company still exists as a viable company or whether they only exist on paper all day long without you being the warden or gatekeeper. If they exist, let them prove it. At this point, I see no evidence that the company still exists viably, producing what it claims to produce. Discussing this doesn't put another nail in their coffin...they are where they are due to their own actions and lack of a viable, sustainable business model. Like McDonald's figured out a long time ago...you have to not only make hamburgers...but, you also have to sell them. To just make them and pile them up in the back doesn't work...you have to sell them. Sakae made a lot of drums, but selling them was the real trick and they didn't manage to make that happen. I see no evidence that a single drum has come out of that plant for the majority of, if not all of 2017. Not speculation...just reality.

For the record, I like you Vistalite Black, but you are dead wrong here... Sakae was made or broken by their own hands, not a discussion on a drum forum by a handful of interested parties. I happen to be interested in a kit, but wonder whether I'll be able to get parts should a lug break or a part strip out. There are kits out there (one on this site) that have sat for sale for a long time... There seems to be very little interest in Sakae drums in general.

Also, I am not a gear nerd, but a real player. I played 200+ nights/week for nearly three decades. I also owned a 24 track studio for over 10 years back in the 90s...I've been around the block plenty, believe me. I am no newbie...
 

Drum Gear Review

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I recently purchased a Trilogy kit, and dealt with Korg directly for a lot of the process. I didn't really get a vibe one way or the other, but the rep I spoke with was still really enthusiastic about the drums and happy to talk through details while I made my decision. Didn't seem like someone just getting rid of lingering stock.
 

ARGuy

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Vistalite Black said:
Why do the mods allow idle speculation like this that serves no real purpose, but potentially damages the company?

That's as big a mystery to me as why drummers (not gear nerds) would be interested?
So you're saying that real drummers can't be interested in drum gear?
 

franke

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Musical instrument manufacturing is depressed at the moment. Too many manufacturers, many of which are in China, a country that manipulates their currency so they can always undercut prices if need be, coupled with a lack of interest in playing music among most young people, and declining earning potential for established musicians. These three things taken together mean that right now is not a very good time to be in this business.

The segment that Sakae is trying to enter is subject to what marketers refer to as the "rule of three", which like luxury cars - Mercedes, BMW, Lexus - we have DW, Sonor, and Yamaha, and Sakae is Alfa-Romeo. In normal circumstances it might take them seven to ten years before they were Audi, but in circumstances like today's, which I don't think will improve in the near-term, this may never happen. Small, boutique builders like C&C, Noble & Cooley, etc., companies that are typically owner-operated that have less than ten employees, can hang in with sales of five-hundred-per-year or less, whereas Sakae, which has a higher operating costs simply because they're based in Japan and most of their market is outside of their home country, can't.

If Sakae is indeed out of the game, then this would bear out what I'm saying, for the split from Yamaha meant that they would have establish a new brand within the higher end of the product category without Yamaha's well-established marketing, distribution, and dealer networks, a pretty daunting task at any time, but near-impossible now.
 

Carlos McSnurf

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I wonder how Sakae does in Japan. What is their domestic market share.
I see them trying to endorse some metal drummers within Europe and direct selling through independent artists, teachers on Facebook. Plus some presence in the music shops. I like their quality,but there's something holding me to spend money on their kit.
They don't have a good strategy on their brand
 

drawtheline55

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I like my Trilogy kit, I know DCP has them in stock. As a matter of fact this is my go to gigging kit, super light, very important as we age, at least to me.
I am amazed at how many drum co. there are. I wouldn't think the market was big enough. But maybe it is.
 

Olderschool

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franke said:
Musical instrument manufacturing is depressed at the moment. Too many manufacturers, many of which are in China, a country that manipulates their currency so they can always undercut prices if need be, coupled with a lack of interest in playing music among most young people, and declining earning potential for established musicians. These three things taken together mean that right now is not a very good time to be in this business.

The segment that Sakae is trying to enter is subject to what marketers refer to as the "rule of three", which like luxury cars - Mercedes, BMW, Lexus - we have DW, Sonor, and Yamaha, and Sakae is Alfa-Romeo. In normal circumstances it might take them seven to ten years before they were Audi, but in circumstances like today's, which I don't think will improve in the near-term, this may never happen. Small, boutique builders like C&C, Noble & Cooley, etc., companies that are typically owner-operated that have less than ten employees, can hang in with sales of five-hundred-per-year or less, whereas Sakae, which has a higher operating costs simply because they're based in Japan and most of their market is outside of their home country, can't.

If Sakae is indeed out of the game, then this would bear out what I'm saying, for the split from Yamaha meant that they would have establish a new brand within the higher end of the product category without Yamaha's well-established marketing, distribution, and dealer networks, a pretty daunting task at any time, but near-impossible now.
Some intelligent insight up in here :)
 

Hazelwood7

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One big problem was the distribution in different countries. I think they will better received with age. Their build quality is a good as any. Heres hoping they pull through.
 

clowndog

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Just had dialogue with the US distributor and the Australian distributor this week. They were engaged and appeared to still be receiving a paycheck so to speak.
 

rymivo

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I'm crossing my fingers! The biggest reason I value sakae is their access to Hokkaido Birch. DW and Yamaha China use American Birch. Most others (Pearl,Sonor, and etc.) use Scandinavian Birch. A group of drummers and I compared all the birch kits at our drum shop. The Hokkaido Birch sounded distinctively different. In my opinion... Hokkaido Birch is the Canadian Rock Maple (aka American Maple) of the birch world.
 


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