People who check my website more frequently may have noticed that over the last few months various models became sold-out and have not yet been replaced. This has led to many speculations and questions whether or not I will continue to produce headphone-amplifiers.
Please be assured. New amplifiers are in the pipeline and sales will certainly continue. The main reason for having such little stock is, that winter sales have been extremely good and that there simply wasn’t any time left for designing new models.
Nonetheless, the sales-program in future will be a little bit smaller than it used to be. I’ve decided to stop working 60 hrs a week and give quality of life a higher priority. Sales will be reduced (almost 2000 amplifiers last year!) and that only can be done by limiting the number of models sold. For instance HEADSIX/XXS as well as the SWING (after it has been sold-out) will not be replaced. I will concentrate on more innovative designs that use digital volume controls, active balanced ground, crossfeed (except for the STEPDANCE successor) and other upcoming innovations. That’s more fun then producing amplifiers that are more conventional in design and technique. Nonetheless I will continue keeping my prices as affordable as possible. CORDA amplifiers have a tradition of providing fine value-for-money. That will not be changed. (The current poor exchange rate of the Dollar does put a lot of pressure on the Dollar-prices though!).
It’s not the first time that I had to rethink my business-model. Although it originally wasn’t planned as a real company Meier-Audio has grown from a small hobby into a full-time job. In the beginning only DIY-kits for headphone amplifiers were produced, accompanied by the selling of headphones. The latter was lucrative because at that time the dollar was strong and the headphone prices in Europe relatively low. Soon assembled amplifiers were produced (by hand!) and at a given time selling headphones was dropped to keep the work-load manageable. Sales still continued to grow and a few years later production was given in the hands of an external company. Now I only make the designs, do the quality-control and sell the ready units.
People may argue, that I should consider hiring people to handle the increasing work. However, this would require serious investments in finances (wages) and infrastructure (office space). The market for headphone amplifiers is in my opinion too limited and too divided between many small one-man companies to take the risks. Sometimes it’s much better to stay small. Makes me sleep much better.