Vertically integrated hand percussion manufacturer
stresses product value
With demand for value at an unprecedented pitch, Tycoon Percussion enjoys a fundamental market advantage: It’s the only major hand percussion manufacturer that wholly owns its factory. Beyond the luxury of bypassing the extra expense layer of OEM supplier margins, supply independence allows Tycoon to be quicker to market with innovative, value-driven products and to maintain total control over product quality. Moreover, its product designs are inherently distinguished from competitors’, many of which are manufactured by the same supplier.
Tycoon Music Co., Ltd. was established in 1983 originally as a guitar manufacturing facility—the first of its kind in Thailand—before gradually shifting manufacturing to hand percussion products in the early ’90s. Founder Stephen Yu made big investments in R&D, proprietary machinery, and employee training during this change in the company’s direction, and subsequently launched the name “Tycoon Percussion” with an aim to one day become a globally-recognized brand.
Today, Tycoon Percussion products are sold in more than 40 countries across six continents. The company prides itself on offering distinctive, innovative products, many of which are designed by its own in-house R&D team. It also actively bounces many new product ideas off the familyof world-class touring percussionists on its artist roster. “Our artists are an integral part of our team from both marketing and product design standpoints,” says General Manager Ivy Yu. “We look to these pros to give us advice on product application in both studio and live situations.”
Signature items include Tycoon’s Master Handcrafted Original Congas and Bongos, with scallop-shaped carved patterns, and this year’s 30th Anniversary Celebration Series Congas and Bongos, which commemorate the company’s three decades of manufacturing excellence. Responding to the rising popularity of the cajon all over the world, Tycoon has introduced a wide selection that ranges from traditional designs to highly distinctive models including the Roundback and Vertex Series Cajons, the Acrylic Cajon, and the best-selling Crate Cajon.
At the heart of Tycoon Percussion’s manufacturing philosophy, Stephen emphasizes the need to establish and maintain environmentally-conscious procedures in everyday production. The factory uses sustainably-harvested rubber wood taken from certified plantations throughout Thailand, while scrap pieces are productively utilized to minimize waste. Sawdust is processed into fuel; leftover rawhide pieces are used to make dog chew toys; and small pieces of wood are made into smaller instruments that are donated to impoverished children through the company’s various Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
Opportunity In Asia
In recent years, Tycoon has capitalized on what Senior Vice President Quincy Yu describes as “a significant growth opportunity across Asia, where historically hand percussion instruments have not been widely used in our mainstream music.” With support from its distribution partners, Tycoon has embarked on a major initiative to educate consumers across Asia about hand percussion and its application in many modern musical genres, thereby creating added interest for the product category.
With similar optimism, Quincy characterizes the current economic difficulties as “an opportunity to improve global awareness of our brand, especially as it relates to the value proposition that we can offer best. In these difficult times, people are more careful with how they spend their money and will look for greater value. The savings we gain from owning and operating our own factory, we pass on to our distribution partners, then to our dealers, all the way through to the end consumers. With excellent value, innovative designs, superb quality, and earth-friendly manufacturing processes, what’s not to like?”
Subscribe to The Music Trades today!