Some have asked about the status of different woofers. Some are not on the store, others are. I figured now would be a good time to give a general overview of where things are at with each line of woofers. Some pricing changes need to be made to keep woofers deliverable. I will address those as things get closer to shipping. I can no longer attempt to compete with the prices of drivers made in china. Machining on ever woofer is done in house to tolerances equivalent to the thickness of a human hair. All adhesives are the best available. Every woofer has a full copper sleeve covering the entire pole. Cones and surrounds are hand sealed and coated. Every woofer is tested and evaluated before ever leaving the doors. This is what makes AE woofers unique. This is what determines the quality and the performance. This all comes at a cost. Selling direct allows things to remain at a reasonable price, but there simply has to be enough margin to remain profitable.
IB Series woofers:
For the past year or so, IB woofers had been in very short supply. Many people had been asking them but I was not able to deliver them due to not having steel parts available. There just wasn’t enough profit at the prices I was trying to offer them before so things had to be redone. There was also a lot of confusion between the automotive IB woofers and home theater IB woofers. I am happy to announce that the IB woofers will be returning this summer in both automotive and home theater variations. I will have a more exact time frame once the parts arrive from china. Pricing will now be $199 per IB15 and $189 per IB12 or IB10. Quantity pricing at 4+pcs is $175 for the 15″ and $165 for the 10″ or 12″.
IB-AU will be the designation for automotive IB woofers. They can be made in 4 or 8ohm. You can see parameters for them here:
IB-HT will be the designation for the standard home theater IB woofers from before, also in 4 or 8ohm.
The TD series have been shipping somewhat regularly, although there have been a few long delays due to making steel parts completely in house. The group buy allowed me to purchase enough extra steel to get over this hump and start delivering the TD woofers on a regular basis. I expect this to happen over the next 2-4 months. I will also start machining all phase plugs here in house to guarantee the consistency. I am still delivering TD woofers right now in small quantity.
The Dipole series are also shipping in small quantity like the TD series. They use mostly the same parts. The steel coming from china will help shorten the lead times.
The SBP series are another item that has been delivering in small quantity. With parts arriving from china the lead times will be cut drastically on these as well.
The AV Series have been a roller coaster ride since the beginning. The originals were made by another vendor about 8-9 yrs ago now. The interest was incredible when they were announced. Then things went bad when the vendor didn’t deliver. I lost $30,000 that was never returned to me. I found vendors to purchase the parts and began building the woofers here, only to have that vendor deliver hundreds of defective cones and spiders. The decision was made for a total redesign, adding copper to the pole, increasing the VC size and sourcing new parts. Since then I have gone through 3 cone vendors, 2 spider vendors, 2 surround vendors, spend the time and effort to build a thermoformer to make surrounds here, and then had one more spider vendor go out of business. All in all over the past 8-9 years I have lost around $100,000 due to vendors not delivering parts at all, or delivering parts that were not usable. This has also cost millions of dollars in sales. At this point, the AV woofers are going to have to take a back seat for some time. I really have no time table for when they may be back. I need to find a new spider vendor, ideally one that will be around for awhile and will work with what I need. Starting over with tooling spiders somewhere else is a costly venture with no guarantees. At this time I cannot spend the time and money on a venture that has risk involved. I will reevaluate this situation once things are stable with other more deliverable drivers.
Stocking of woofers
Many people often want to purchase items immediately. The build schedule and parts availability up until now did not allow for stocking of items. There are still too many options to be able to stock even a pair of every driver made here. However, in the near future there will be some of the most popular items that will be stocked in small quantity for immediate shipment. The TD18H-8ohm is already stocked. Dipole15’s, Dipole12’s, IB15-4AU and IB12-4AU will be stocked in small quantity as well. Some of the TD woofers will be stocked like the TD12-H that is used in the TH12.3 cabinets. The TD15M-8 and TD15m-4 will likely also be stocked. Mark Seaton is planning some kits using the TD15M-4 so they may be stocked in decent quantity to have good availability for those. I will monitor the parts supply and demand of specific woofers to try to keep the most common ones in stock.