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  • 09-20-2010

    American Songwriter Review

    "The O-PORT can make a less expensive guitar-a guitar that uses cheaper woods and less-sophisticated bracing-have characteristics similar to something off the top shelf."



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  • 09-10-2010

    Local company wins big with music invention

    Two Westlake residents have patented and launched a new music accessory that appears well on the way to improving the sound coming out of acoustic guitars everywhere.

    The small plastic ring called the O-PORT flexes and pops inside the round sound hole of a standard or electric acoustic guitar, focusing and directing the outward-bound air, providing richer sound, better tone balance and less feedback, say Raymond McGlamery and David Terrell, who helped found Dare Music Group in 2007. DMG launched the O-PORT, its first product, in 2009.

    “The air inside an acoustic guitar is moving around in random directions,” McGlamery said. “The O-PORT holds that air inside, changing the way the sound resonates through the body of the guitar. Its shape controls the movement of sound waves created by string vibration. When the sound does come out, it comes out at a higher rate of speed – giving it more power, better clarity and fuller sound.”

    “It doesn’t change the unique way your guitar sounds,” Terrell said. “It just makes that sound much richer and much better.”

    McGlamery and Terrell aren’t alone in their praise of the O-PORT. The response from the music industry to the new product has been overwhelmingly positive. In fact, the response was dramatic enough to tempt music giant D’Addario, one of the oldest and largest manufacturers of strings and other music accessories to partner with DMG earlier this year in the worldwide distribution of the new product.
    “Acoustic guitars in general have this boom to them,” said Stuart Sullivan at Austin-based Wire Recording Studio. “What this thing seems to do is equalize that out within the natural guitar resonance, giving it more body.”

    Originally launched in Europe at the Music Messe Fair in Frankfurt Germany in April 2009, the O-PORT has patent and distribution agreements in place there as well as in the U.S., Asia and Italy. DMG’s distribution agreement with Planet Waves, the accessories affiliate of D’Addario, provides for coverage in 120 countries worldwide. The O-PORT hit American markets during a world launch party at the Austin Gibson Showroom in July and at the National Association of Music Merchants show in Nashville the same month.

    The sound enhancer is now carried in Guitar Center stores nationwide. It retails for $30, but Guitar Center offers the O-PORT at $19.99.
    “In little more than a year, we have gone from a prototype to having our product sold by the largest musical retailer in the world,” Terrell said.
    McGlamery, who handled prototype development for the O-PORT, comes from a long history in the music business, at times working as a vice president at Warner Brothers and vice president of Rock Promotions at Reprise Records. Terrell, who has handled much of the marketing of the product, comes from a retail background with product design experience at The Gap and Macy’s. Artist and music engineer Eric Schidt, also a founding member of DMG, invented the O-PORT. The company has three more new music products in development, with two in the final stages set for launch next year.

    All of the products brought to market by DMG are new ideas, not new versions of something that already exists, McGlamery said.
    “We are at the point where we have become a really good conduit for inventors,” he said. “Most guys don’t know what to do with it after they come up with a good product. We have that experience.”

    The two Westlake entrepreneurs say that the majority of the work that went into the development of the O-PORT was done right here in Austin, from logo and packaging design to promotional strategy.

    “We want to be known as an Austin music company,” Terrell said. “You see Austin in everything we do. We’re proud of Austin. We want everyone to know that’s where we’re located.”

    With the distribution of the O-PORT well established, McGlamery said the challenge for DMG in the near future would be in finding new capital to finance the research and development of new products.

    The O-Port can be used on any acoustic guitar with a round sound hole. It comes in two colors and sizes for guitars with a smaller (3.375” to 3.5”) and bigger (3.843” to 4”) sound hole.


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  • 08-19-2010

    Pillows, Balloons and O-Ports

    There are a few things in a guitar tech's workbox that might puzzle a casual observer. I have at various times carried around pillow stuffing, which was used to tame an overly responsive Dobro from feeding back.

    Other odd items you might see are a few black balloons. Inserted into an ES-335 or similar semi-acoustic and then blown up, they serve to deaden the top and back enough to stop feedback and they also work in acoustic guitars. You might need to wait until Halloween to get black balloons, but they do come in handy.

    If you want a more traditional approach to feedback suppression, Planet Waves offers two great products.

    The Screeching Halt, which is hands-down my favorite product name, is a sound hole plug and top dampener for acoustic guitars. The slightly tapered edge make it compatible with most sound holes.

    The other option is using the amazing O-Port. Designed to project the sound out of your guitar in a fashion similar to the ports on high quality speakers, the O-Port doubles as a top dampener.

    I use it in just that manner on Brian Nutter's Sigma 12-string. If you've been to a live Keith Urban show lately and heard "Stupid Boy", that was Brian playing the Sigma with an O-Port, standing in the spotlight at the very edge of the stage, practically in front of the house P.A. feedback.

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  • 07-30-2010

    Austin residents find success in innovation Austin residents find success in innovation

    AUSTIN — In the midst of a rough economy, sometimes all it takes to get a business off the ground is an innovative idea, a perseverant attitude and faith in something unknown.


    This philosophy and dedication helped Austin residents David Terrell and Raymond McGlamery bring to market a new acoustic guitar product called the O-Port. Within a year of the O-Port's first presentation, Terrell and McGlamery were approached by D'Addario — a guitar product manufacturing company — September 2009. They signed a deal four months ago and last week they celebrated the deal with a showcase event at the Gibson Guitar Showroom on South Congress Avenue. The O-Port is now sold in every Guitar Center around the nation.


    The O-Port is the first of its kind, Terrell said, a product so unique that bringing it to fruition was not only a challenge in production, but a challenge in marketing.


    "It's something we had nothing in, and we created our box, our design, our logo, our feel for the product from ground zero — all done in Austin," Terrell said.


    In essence, the product boils down to a cone-like shape made of plastic that fits within the hole of an acoustic guitar. It tunes the port of the acoustic guitar, similar to how speaker ports are tuned for optimal sound quality. Sound waves build up energy within the acoustic guitar, and the O-Port funnels and increases that energy to produce a tighter and richer sound, McGlamery said. 


    McGlamery was involved in extensive testing of the product in New York, where he compared the tonal quality of guitars with and without the O-Port installed. It was discovered that rattling of the guitar's wooden body is reduced, he said, and it was revealed that the O-Port actually reduces acoustic feedback when the guitar is amplified.


    Five partners, including Terrell and McGlamery, helped mature the product from just an idea to a professional acoustic product. Their friend Eric Schmitt designed the O-Port, but was unsure of how to market it. Three years ago McGlamery approached Terrell with a conundrum: how do you explain a product that has never existed before and how do you convince people that it works?


    The two hit the ground running with the branding and design of the product. After acquiring enough funds to manufacture the product, they presented it at Musikmesse, an international fair for musical instruments in Germany in April 2009. It was there that the product received its first six distributors and by the end of 2009 the O-Port was in 18 countries. This attracted D'Addario's attention resulting in worldwide distribution of the O-Port.

    "We were bootstrapped the whole way," McGlamery said, noting that working with a small initial investment brought challenges in manufacturing. "It was a good thing it happened that way, because we learned a lot. We learned how to be frugal, how to be tight budgeted, how to make the most out of something that we didn't have much of."


    They now have their eyes set on developing a larger guitar product company that specializes in innovative technology to improve not only acoustic guitars, but electric as well. Their company, Dare Music Group, is slated to release two more products with D'Addario, and they have two other products in their initial design phase.

    To other entrepreneurs looking to start up a company in an unforgiving economy, Terrell and McGlamery said the best advice they can give is to educate yourself fully in your product. Educate yourself in how it can be manufactured, but more importantly educate yourself in what it takes to appropriately advertise and market the product, they said. Above all else, you must continue fighting for your innovation, McGlamery said.


    "Don't ever just send it out in the world and let go of it," he said. "No one is going to care as much as you are at the end of the day."

    Although Terrell and McGlamery no longer have to worry about a distributor, they are not just sitting idle, waiting for cash to flow in.

    "That isn't what we got into this for," McGlamery said. "We wanted to build a company and that's what we are going to do."



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  • 07-26-2010

    Acoustic Magazine UK Review

    "When fitted with the O-PORT, the instrument displayed and evenness in tone and dynamic that it previously hadn't had"

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  • 06-16-2010

    AMY MACDONALD #1 on the European Billboard Albums charts

    “I absolutely love the O-Port, it’s made a real difference sonically to the overall quality of my guitar, somehow it sounds bigger, smoother and just generally a nicer tone, my band and crew all agree, they can clearly also hear the difference, I’ll not be leaving home without it from now on!”

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  • 06-14-2010

    South Korean Review

    The most clever way to upgrade the sound of your acoustic guitar is here, with O-Port!!

    By simply attaching it to the acoustic guitar, it reinforces and sustains the sound.
    This device was designed using audio technology to drastically strengthen mid-range frequencies, so it upgrades the sound of any guitar in a simple and clever way.

    As a finished product using sound wave technology, even a novice with no expertise can clearly hear the sound difference.
    This compact, easy to remove device is the most convenient way to upgrade your guitar without having to change its size, shape, or structure!

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  • 06-07-2010

    Big Apple BBQ

    DARE Music Group and D'Addario have teamed up with the "Austin Convention & Visitors Bureau" in sponsorship of the Music Stage at the 8th annual "Big Apple BBQ" held June 12th and 13th in New York City. This event attracts over 100,000 people over the two days and this year highlights the best of the Austin Music Scene.

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