Channel Master went to selling dealer direct. I stumble upon that revelation one day while looking for something on the CM website. There was become a dealer link. I quickly signed up and someone called within a couple hours. "Dealer pricing" is 20% off MSRP with free shipping, no minimum. Go to the CM and that's the same price anyone can buy for. We always sold CM, since they were in Ellenville, NY., now we're done with them.
So I decided to give Bursma a call. The company who hadn't even mentioned the last shipment of antennas I got from them a half dozen years ago had a nearly $400 shipping charge. Talked to Patty as always. Asked about Sky Blue. Good reports from dealers. Asked how many I had to buy to get a deal, including free shipping. She gets back later and says no deals. Can't do free shipping because the cost to ship to them. I come up with the idea to see if Bursma's supplier will ship directly to us, thus eliminating one shipping keg. She'll check. Next day she sends prices $10/piece less than the day before, but not free shipping and I had to order 50 of the 8 bays. Shipping was to be over $400. I'll think about it.
A couple of days later I decide to email Sky Blue about pricing for a 50 lot. They called back promptly and we had a nice conversation. Soon thereafter All Systems (one of their distributors) left a message they had something I wanted. See other places to see what I think of All Systems. Got back to Sky Blue and said I wasn't dealing with All Systems. They decided to sell to me. Asked is I needed to order 50 like Bursma said. No. Said I'd take 30 if that was okay(50 8 bays takes up a bit space). No problem. Price was $10/unit less than Bursma's"special" price. $89 each, CM 8-bay dealer cost was $119. Ordered 20 long J-tubes, a couple dozen 30 DB amps, and the 30 8-bays. How much is shipping? Well it's free of course. Sign me up.
Got a call the following day asking if I'd mind getting only 25 antennas, because that's all they could fit on a single pallet with all the other things I got. No problem. I'd gone from Bursma insisting I had to order a minimum amount twice what I ended up ordering, for a higher price, a $400+ swing in shipping and the amps were cheaper too.
First thing I did when the pallet arrived was open one of the 8-bays and showed it my 85 year old dad, Antenna Man Very 1.0. He immediately said they seemed sturdier than the CMs. Got one of the last CM I had to compare. Sky Blue is definitely beefier. Performance wise I don't see them lacking compared to the CMs. They maybe optimized for the high VHF even more so than the 4228. Today I replaced a CM2020 or 3020 with a SB 8 bay. Our 22 was on 13 and was coming & going for the last couple of years. I'd had 4228, but switched to try to get 22 at home and at a customer's. No luck. Now 22 has switched to 7, with a brand new transmitter & antenna. It still didn't come in. Signal on my meter was an unlocked 12-13 db MER. Popped on the SB and the signal on 22(7) is now almost 24. Rock solid. All other channels are still where they were. Decided to keep the CM7777 amp where it was, because it works. SB amps are well thought out. Amp is inside a weather proof case and it's hinged inside the case to make it easy to connect to coax. Amps come in one & two inputs for the same cost.
When you contact Sky Blue, you are talking to Mess Electronics, yet another Minnesota distributor. They're a distributor trying to sell SB to other distributors. Ness was a CM distributor for over 35 years and became fed up with CM like so many others. High recommended