The first time I had an interaction with Sweetwater Sound was about 8 months ago. I thought it’s worthwhile sharing my experience with you and put together a customer review. Before we do that, let’s just clarify on a couple of things. Sweetwater is often referred to as ‘Sweetwater Music’, however their actual name is ‘Sweetwater Sound, Inc.’. Second, I am not affiliated with the company in any way, shape or form. I am not getting paid to write this review – as a matter of fact, as I’m writing this, Sweetwater doesn’t even know about it. I am just a regular customer.
So, I thought we do this in two parts. In a first step I will tell you a little bit how I came about getting in touch and ending up working with them. After that, I will give you an overview of the factors that – in my opinion – make buying from Sweetwater Sound a unique and thoroughly pleasant experience. I will say though that, as with any other vendor or company, Sweetwater might not be for everybody. I will explain in more detail later. Oh, and for those of you who don’t feel like reading my Sweetwater customer review, below is a video review that I put together.
I always played Marshall Amps. I like Marshall products, they are awesome. However, I was just not able to get the right sound. I bought an armada of guitar pedals in an attempt to get a sound that would get me as close as possible to the early Black Sabbath albums. It is fair to say that I’m somewhat obsessed with this vintage tone and feel of that era. My main guitar is a Gibson SG ’61 Reissue (surprise, eh?) and while it sounded great trough my Marshall MG 100HDFX, there was always something missing. Anyway, after some research it was pretty clear that I wanted an Orange amp head plus cabinet. Arguably, there might be better solutions for trying to copy the early Sabbath sound, however, I felt that I needed an Orange amp, so the decision was made in my mind. I went from store to store but I was not able to find anyone who would carry a meaningful number of Orange gear. Occasionally, I found a venue that sold some selected items, but that was it. So I had to go back and focus my efforts on getting more information via the web.
That’s when I saw a bunch of Orange Amp video reviews by Doug Doppler. Doug seemed knowledgeable, so I sent him an email. I asked him what model he would recommend for me, based on what I had in mind. He responded within minutes! I was pleasantly surprised, because I honestly didn’t know if he would respond at all. Well, he did, and he suggested that I should look into the Orange TH-100.
A few months went by before I was then ready to place an order via the Sweetwater website. Speaking of their website, they did a great job. It’s easy to navigate, the ‘Search’ functionality actually works and delivers relevant results. So, I placed the order and on the same day I received a call from T.J. Bechill, who introduced himself as my/a Sales Engineer. He wanted to make sure that I’m all set and he explained that unfortunately the item was not in stock. Sweetwater delivery is usually two days if the product is in stock. In my case, I was told that I had to wait five days. I was very concerned. My experience with music stores when it comes to backordering had not been the best in the past, to say the least. But long story short, my Orange Amp arrive timely and as promised five days later.
In the following months I ordered several other guitar accessories, including an Orange PPC412 speaker cabinet and an Electro Harmonix Holy Grail pedal. Just as with my first order, everything went smoothly. T.J. checked in with me before and after the delivery to make sure everything was on track.
Earlier this week, I left T.J. a voicemail. I had a question for him regarding recording gear. I am virtually illiterate when it comes to mic-ing amps and I told him that. I explained that I wanted a solution that is inexpensive, no knick-knacks but of decent quality. T.J. called me back within 10 minutes. He said he was going to send me an email with some recommendations. By the time we hung the phone, the email was in my inbox. Based on what I shared with him, he suggested to get a Shure SM57 microphone, a stand, cable and an iTrack Solo interface. I looked at everything and felt this was exactly what I needed. I called him back, placed the order and got everything delivered two days later. Needless to say that the items T.J. recommended exactly met my expectations.
Alright, so let me highlight and sum-up the main reason for my positive Sweetwater Inc. customer review:
Competent Staff: As mentioned, my main contact at Sweetwater Sound is T. J.. However, I also had the opportunity to talk and email with other employees and all of them were knowledgeable, competent and friendly. And, not pushy at all. You explain what you want, they listen and give you a relevant and meaningful answer. They would have had plenty of opportunity to sell me something that I wouldn’t need – but they never did or even tried to do so. That goes a long way for me!
Reliability: At Sweetwater, most employees are also musicians. That’s good, because they’re on the same wavelength as you and I are. However, dealing with musicians on business matters can be a headache. Well, all I can say that thus far they never let me down. When they said they would get right back to me, they did. When I was told I will be getting an email shortly, I did. When they promised my items would get delivered on a certain day, they were.
Personalized Customer Service: Buying at Sweetwater Sound means you will be getting to work with a Sales Engineer. When you have a question, you will discuss it with the same person. You will be establishing a relationship with this person. I personally find this very helpful and comforting. I don’t need to explain certain things over and over again. As you place an order, your Sweetwater Sales Engineer will be keeping you posted throughout the process. I read that some people find this annoying. I respect their opinion, but based on my experience, the conversations with my Sales Engineer have always been pleasant and insightful. We don’t talk for hours, we just discuss what needs to be discussed, make sure that everybody is on the same page and that’s it. I don’t see anything wrong with that. So far, I never had an issue with any of my items I purchased. However, I feel very confident that if there in fact is ever a reason for me to send something back, I am sure T.J. and I will sort things out without any issues.
Product Quality: Top notch. No non-sense. I love my Orange Amp, the cabinet, and all the other accessories I bought at Sweetwater Sound. All items arrived safely via Fed-Ex, professionally and safely packed.
That’s it. I hope you found my Sweetwater Music customer review helpful. I can only highly recommend that you check them out. If you’re still uncertain as to whether or not you want to place an order with them, send them an email or call them up. I think that way you will get a good idea of what type of company and people you’re dealing with. A far as I am concerned, I’m a happy Sweetwater customer and I will continue giving them my business.
I’ll gladly answer any questions that you may have, just leave a comment below.