Originally Posted by Russell Dawkins
I would have thought that labor costs would be staying the same or dropping, given the state of the economy.
Perhaps, but skilled labor in the USA is a whole lot more than in China. The speakers up to recently were made in bulk in China. These are now cut and hand glued to a higher tolerance, and all done local to Berkeley. China was containers full, 30% not up to par, no credits until the following 6 figure order. That was not a workable model for the quality I want. We have worked very hard to hold prices, and at worst it's a $50-150/pr. increase that's coming this week on Black. Ebony will be around $400-500 more I'm told, unconfirmed, still working on making them, more than on pricing them!
The Black Anima speakers are all bamboo, so there is no extra step for veneer. The Ebony speakers are soon to be made of bamboo, with a veneer. Bamboo is a slightly heavier wood but also stiffer, and it's renewable, so that's the decision. The finish is also California "green" compliant. So we have gone from a cab made in Germany and then China with toxic chemicals, and shipped to the US for manufacture, to a cab being made and then assembled all in the USA, and all green/renewable.
The Black Animas are now going to be the primary model. A vast majority wanted black at first, and Allen Perkins/Spiral Groove have responded to that. They have also worked hard to keep the prices low.