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Wholesale pro-audio suppliers


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Topic title says it all, really. I'm aware of the limited range of wholesale suppliers I use for my (admittedly very low volume) install business. I'm familier with people like RW Salt and the Impact products folk, as well as people like CPC and HBL, who are closer to retail. But finding good wholesale suppliers I can actually build a relationship with is harder - anyone care to suggest some names I should be in touch with?
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A difficult subject really...


Distributors want to sell to genuine trade users who will have good turnover on their accounts and will justify the extra discounts given. Usually, that's on a "the more you sell the cheaper it is" basis, or you have to stock a certain level to get the account in the case of manufacturers.


Some distributors are actually more expensive than the usual mail order suspects, while others don't just distribute - they might be selling to your customer, or even installing the gear in their venue.


I have used a mix of accounts with manufactures, wholesalers and online retailers. It can be faddish - you spend with one firm because they gave you a good deal or their special offer sheet had something that you fancied. What is important is the ability to build a working relationship - where the firm gives you good prices, good service and helps you out in a tight spot, and you stay loyal to them and line their pockets with cash.


I suspect that many will feel that if they tell you where they get their very best deals, they may lose out in the long run!


I suppose I could just PM you ;-)



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There are some excellent distributors in the UK but they are few and far between.

The few that are good are generally extremely helpful whereas the rest can be next to useless.


The biggest problem you'll get is that most are "box shifters" - pure and simple.

As for product knowledge, you'll be really luck to get that too.


One recent instance involved a call to the UK distributor of a USA speaker manufacturer where

all I was after was price and availability.

The item was a horn assembly but after several minutes in to the call I was told that "the

company only had the diaphragm".

I've heard some crap over my years in this game but that comment really took the bacon.

Foolishly I tried to explain that large scale 60 x 40 horn units don't come with diaphragms but

my efforts would have better served convincing the informant that the world was square.

I gave up.


Best advice - go for experience.

You may see a stunning website offering all sorts of pretty goodies whereas in truth the company

runs from their neighbours garage.

Make some calls - ask awkward questions - be persistent about your requirement for detailed info.

If they can answer your questions and they don't try to fob you off this is a good start.

If they know less than you do about one of their distributed products - steer clear.


The good folk are out there BUT - they will take some finding.

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If they can answer your questions and they don't try to fob you off this is a good start.

If they know less than you do about one of their distributed products - steer clear.

I totally agree with one minor exception. If they don't try to 'b******t you and honestly say they 'don't know' but will find out, give them a chance and agree a timescale that they will come back to you on. Any distributor will be handling a reasonable range of products and expecting everyone who picks up a phone to know for example that Ghostronics gear is all assembled with torx screws, or the answer to "What is 'close third order' distortion measure for the Dreamsound XYZ987?", is being just a little too demanding in my book. :stagecrew:

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