AVA Business Model - why we are still here after 40 years.

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avahifi

It has been sad to see so many small audio companies bite the dust during this rotten economy.  Nobody just has to have high end audio equipment when they can barely afford gasoline and groceries.

Audio by Van Alstine has easily weathered the economic storms over the years by being true to a really simple business model:

Don't ever take orders or customer's money unless you are absolutely sure you can fill those orders.  Put customer service ahead of filling new orders because your old customers are your most important ones.  Keep overheads as low as possible.  Design metal parts that will stand the test of time and make every piece multifunctional. Always pay your vendors promptly and never use borrowed money.  Run the business because you enjoy it, not just to make money.  The profits are secondary to the love of the music.

Finally, never be satisfied with the the status quo.  We always are exploring new and better audio circuits, and always try to make our equipment obsolete proof by, when designing new circuits, doing our best to make sure that they will allow economic upgrades to existing units.

We have two great new power amplifier designs available for you now, the Fet Valve hybrid amplifiers and the Synergy solid state amplifiers.  Both have great positive reviews coming very soon.  We still know what we are doing and still do it at a price many of you can afford.  It is still fun.

Best regards,

Frank Van Alstine

martyo

Re: AVA Business Model - why we are still here after 40 years.
« Reply #1 on: 2 Aug 2012, 04:31 pm »
 :thumb:

rcag_ils

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Re: AVA Business Model - why we are still here after 40 years.
« Reply #2 on: 2 Aug 2012, 05:05 pm »
congratulations, Frank. Many companies have made the same claim but rarely enforced.
« Last Edit: 3 Aug 2012, 04:21 am by rcag_ils »

Devil Doc

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Re: AVA Business Model - why we are still here after 40 years.
« Reply #3 on: 2 Aug 2012, 06:02 pm »
I'll give another reason. Any company, whose owner answers the phone, takes orders, gives advice and seems genuinely interested in his customers is going to get my business.

Doc

coke

Re: AVA Business Model - why we are still here after 40 years.
« Reply #4 on: 2 Aug 2012, 06:27 pm »
Best customer service of any product I've ever owned, audio related or not.   :thumb:

mark funk

Re: AVA Business Model - why we are still here after 40 years.
« Reply #5 on: 2 Aug 2012, 06:43 pm »
I took two weeks off and going back Monday and not really happy about it! I can't take too much more of this! I could really run with this! All I well say is thats all I hear where I work is more more more money, money, money, make more save more, do more for less! You know, I started in 1975 and give the better part of my life for them and belive me I made a lot of money for them doing the stuff only a few could do and I did not stick it to then! But that does not matter any more working  Sundays, Saturdays, 2nd shift, grave yard shift and countless other times I had to come in! I'am not on call!
I well not be a Chinamen!!! Sorry! See what I said? I could run a long way with this one!
I wish I could work at a place I could be happy!
Frank keep up the the ways of the USofA :thumb:
Help me out here. It's a little more then 40 years ah?
Any way how many US HiFi people are still here since 1970 let alone 1965?
Maybe I should go back to work Ah?


                                                                                    :smoke:

whell

Re: AVA Business Model - why we are still here after 40 years.
« Reply #6 on: 2 Aug 2012, 07:28 pm »
Congratulations on 40 years, and here's hoping for at least 40 more (not sure if that's a blessing or a curse!  :lol:).  I love the look and the sound of the amp that I recently purchased from you.  Looking forward to hearing your newest offerings.

All the best!

JerryM

Re: AVA Business Model - why we are still here after 40 years.
« Reply #7 on: 3 Aug 2012, 03:11 am »
Frank,

I'm glad to hear you're still having fun. :thumb:

I, too, find it pretty cool that you answer the phone, and intelligently chat about all things audio like an old friend.

Just about everybody who has entered the audiophile arena knows of Frank Van Alstine. Your business model explains a lot. The music through your gear explains the rest.
Thanks for everything you've brought to the party, for so many years.  :beer:

Have fun,

Jerry

modular747

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Re: AVA Business Model - why we are still here after 40 years.
« Reply #8 on: 3 Aug 2012, 06:53 pm »
Frank,

Congratulations on 40 years!   

One of the major factors in your business model has been your highly effective direct sales system.  Besides keeping your prices down by avoiding retail distribution and markup, it kept you in direct contact with all your customers, boosting customer service and brand loyalty.  It also avoided the "audiophile store" flakery where fad of the hour and margin are the driving principles.  Others have tried and failed at direct sales, but you have honed it to perfection. 

Glad that you're still having fun!


dlparker

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Re: AVA Business Model - why we are still here after 40 years.
« Reply #9 on: 3 Aug 2012, 07:54 pm »
Best customer service of any product I've ever owned, audio related or not.   :thumb:

Amen to that. I feel very fortunate to own five AVA units. I love 'em so much I can't even bear to part with the units I've replaced with newer models!
« Last Edit: 3 Aug 2012, 11:30 pm by dlparker »

Scottdazzle

Re: AVA Business Model - why we are still here after 40 years.
« Reply #10 on: 3 Aug 2012, 10:41 pm »
"Don't ever take orders or customer's money unless you are absolutely sure you can fill those orders.  Put customer service ahead of filling new orders because your old customers are your most important ones.  Keep overheads as low as possible.  Design metal parts that will stand the test of time and make every piece multifunctional. Always pay your vendors promptly and never use borrowed money.  Run the business because you enjoy it, not just to make money.  The profits are secondary to the love of the music."



Frank, those are words of wisdom and experience that I will take to heart.  Congratulations on your 40 years!

Listens2tubes

Re: AVA Business Model - why we are still here after 40 years.
« Reply #11 on: 4 Aug 2012, 01:25 am »
Really happy to have found AVA when I did. Frank's advise was the tipping factor during that first contact. He is the "real deal".  :thumb:

RCARP

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Re: AVA Business Model - why we are still here after 40 years.
« Reply #12 on: 11 May 2013, 01:01 am »
I think I owned FetValve 350 for around 15 years now. Never wanted to change the amp. Trouble free. Really happy with it.
Amp has been driving variety of speakers over the years.
Thanks for the great product Frank! To me, that's a big part of the business model.

dB Cooper

Re: AVA Business Model - why we are still here after 40 years.
« Reply #13 on: 20 May 2013, 12:07 am »
This might not be the best spot but I saw this on my Facebook feed and thought Frank, Wayner, and any other Minnesotans around here might get a chuckle out of it

Jeff Foxworthy on Minnesota:


If you consider it a sport to gather your food by
drilling through 18 inches of ice and sitting there all day
hoping that the food will swim by,
You might live in Minnesota.

If you're proud that your state makes the national
news 96 nights each year because International Falls is the
coldest spot in the nation,
You might live in Minnesota.

If you have ever refused to buy something becausebit's "too spendy",
You might live in Minnesota.

If your local Dairy Queen is closed from November through March,
You might live in Minnesota.

If someone in a store offers you assistance -- and they don't work there,
You might live in Minnesota.

If your dad's suntan stops at a line curving around the middle of his forehead,
You might live in Minnesota.

If you have worn shorts and a parka at the same time,
You might live in Minnesota.

If your town has an equal number of bars and churches,
You might live in Minnesota.

If you know how to say...Wayzata...Mahtomediâ?¦Cloquetâ?¦Edina... and
Shakopee,
You might live in Minnesota.

If you think that ketchup is a little too spicy,
You might live in Minnesota.

If vacation means going "up north" for the weekend,
You might live in Minnesota.

You measure distance in hours,
You might live in Minnesota.

You know several people who have hit deer more than once,
You might live in Minnesota.

You often switch from "Heat" to "A/C" in the same day and back again,
You might live in Minnesota.

You can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard without flinching,
You might live in Minnesota.

You see people wearing hunting clothes at social events,
You might live in Minnesota.

You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked,
You might live in Minnesota.

You think of the major food groups as beer, fish, and venison,
You might live in Minnesota.

You carry jumper cables in your car, and your girlfriend knows how to use them,
You might live in Minnesota.

There are 7 empty cars running in the parking lot at Mill's Fleet Farm at any given time,
You might live in Minnesota.

You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit,
You might live in Minnesota.

Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow,
You might live in Minnesota.

You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and of course, road construction,
You might live in Minnesota.

You can identify a southern or eastern accent,
You might live in Minnesota.

Your idea of creative landscaping is a plastic deer next to your blue spruce,
You might live in Minnesota.

If "Down South" to you means Iowa,
You might live in Minnesota.

You know "a brat" is something you eat,
You might live in Minnesota.

You find -10 degrees "a little chilly",
You might live in Minnesota.

You actually understand these jokes, and you forward them to all your Minnesota friends,
You DO live in Minnesota.


Devil Doc

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Re: AVA Business Model - why we are still here after 40 years.
« Reply #14 on: 20 May 2013, 12:23 am »
Foxworthy stole it from Vermont. :nono:

Doc

gjo1314

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Re: AVA Business Model - why we are still here after 40 years.
« Reply #15 on: 20 May 2013, 05:43 am »
Good to hear these pearls from a  veteran..

-A satisfied owner of an AVA preamp in Bangalore, India, probably one of the few here in India, have had it for the past 12+ years and am passing it on to my son next month for  more years of happy listening.

trans40

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Re: AVA Business Model - why we are still here after 40 years.
« Reply #16 on: 12 Oct 2013, 09:56 pm »
Have a very old Van ALstine Hybrid amp that just keeps performing.  Despite the apparent inconsistency, that does keep a good company in business.

yeldarb

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Re: AVA Business Model - why we are still here after 40 years.
« Reply #17 on: 14 Oct 2013, 01:17 am »
I have enjoyed many hours of music from my 4I preamp and have, now, all the mods I think Frank does, with the upgraded tranny and opamps.  It really does amaze me on phono and with CD, and I know it is not nearly the best he has.  Recently retired, I hope, one day, to take a buying vacation to MN.  But, if it doesn't happen, I know that I have in my system, something remarkable.  Certainly not a parsnip, please forgive my absurd sense of humor, I meant no harm.

When I sold hi-end audio, in the mid to late 70's, my boss, who went to CES, and some of the more astute sales reps in the industry, talked of Frank, even then, as if he were some kind of secret.  A no BS secret.  It took me years to get my first AVA piece and I enjoy the h-ll out of it.
« Last Edit: 15 Oct 2013, 12:08 am by yeldarb »