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Ringing the Changes
We all know change is inevitable, and it can occur in a number for ways for several reasons.
Prices tend to gradually increase due to costs of materials, labor, and especially overhead. Mine usually rise more slowly than these factors. That is probably a mistake.
Shipping costs rise rapidly, often faster than the rate of inflation, mostly due to fuel costs. I remember when I used to charge $3 per order for shipping, and I'd only lose money on orders sent to the West coast! My, how times have changed.
Specifications can and will change - for the better - over the years, since I operate on a principle of continuous product improvement. I do everything I can to make my products the best examples of what they can be, and of course my replacement parts also get the benefit of every improvement I can engineer into them.
I also make changes and improvements based on customer feedback, especially regarding ease of use.
Another reason for changes, which are usually only in appearance, is ongoing turbulence in my supply chain. Over the three decades I have been doing this, I have seen many vendors close up shop, retire, or get bought out. When this happens I scour the universe for a new supplier who can make the part I need properly. This sometimes results in a change in appearance, and sometimes allows me to introduce an improvement a previous supplier was unable or unwilling to accomodate. This is because during this process I don't just ask the new source for something "exactly like" what I had been using, I send them drawings and specifications of my ideal conception of the part and see how close they can get to it.
There are any number of photos on the site of parts with foam surrounds, which I have not used since before 2010. Most of the photos of my tweeters show a screen I no longer use in favor of a more robust, attractive one I managed to source. Someday I will re-take those photographs and replace the old ones.
Another example of items that change over several iterations would be kits I sell less frequently. For example, I only sell a few of the K-1000 each year, and over time I keep coming up with better ways to set up the wiring harness. I have at least three sets of photos of these in my files, all of which were out of date by the time I went to "publish" them.
For this reason I recommend buying all similar parts for a project at the same time. If you wait a few years in between replacing, say, your first three woofers and the fourth one, there is a chance the fourth one will not look exactly the same as the first three (although any improvements will simply be a matter of degree, and matching sound quality will not be an issue).
What I have just written certainly leads to the question of whether I now make a much better version of something you bought from me decades ago. It is possible. I wouldn't worry about my having caused what you previously purchased "obsolete", or sound worse (!), but if you are wondering about this, just let me know what you have and I will tell you if there are any real improvements I have instituted and if they are worth upgrading to.
7 Kelsey Road, Lee, New Hampshire 03861