Price Increases on Vapor Audios Website

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csmgolf

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Re: Price Increases on Vapor Audios Website
« Reply #60 on: 6 Jul 2017, 11:32 pm »
There are multiple items Vapor needs to clear up to make a run of this. First and foremost is that they need to make good to all of those that have been waiting for years before they start working on new orders. I endured a 40 month wait to receive a satisfactory pair of speakers. 40 months!!! I had serious doubts for a while that I would ever see them and that I would be out all of the money for my speakers. I counted 5 of the 10 items in the list that Phil posted that were problems during my build. That is a recipe for failure. If they believe otherwise, it will be a short run during this reboot. Building great looking and sounding speakers, which they do, is not enough. Now, perspective owners are being asked to shell out a lot more with no guarantee that any of the issues have been resolved. It is a deep hole to dig out of. Imagine having 10k or more tied up in a pair of speakers and not having them for a year or two or three or more. Then, when you try to find out what is going on with your investment, you can't get in touch with the company. I am not trying to stir things up either, but perspective buyers need to be aware of all sides of the story before investing that much money. Tread carefully.

Pete Schumacher

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Re: Price Increases on Vapor Audios Website
« Reply #61 on: 7 Jul 2017, 03:17 am »
There are multiple items Vapor needs to clear up to make a run of this. First and foremost is that they need to make good to all of those that have been waiting for years before they start working on new orders. I endured a 40 month wait to receive a satisfactory pair of speakers. 40 months!!! I had serious doubts for a while that I would ever see them and that I would be out all of the money for my speakers. I counted 5 of the 10 items in the list that Phil posted that were problems during my build. That is a recipe for failure. If they believe otherwise, it will be a short run during this reboot. Building great looking and sounding speakers, which they do, is not enough. Now, perspective owners are being asked to shell out a lot more with no guarantee that any of the issues have been resolved. It is a deep hole to dig out of. Imagine having 10k or more tied up in a pair of speakers and not having them for a year or two or three or more. Then, when you try to find out what is going on with your investment, you can't get in touch with the company. I am not trying to stir things up either, but perspective buyers need to be aware of all sides of the story before investing that much money. Tread carefully.

Ryan hasn't taken a new order since before the death of his wife.  He's not going to until every build in the queue is completed, and he's doing it all by himself.

He's still working with lawyers to resolve the wrongful death of his wife who was the major breadwinner for the couple.  Who knows when that will be over with.  He didn't receive a death certificate from the state of Ohio for almost a full year.  How would you guys deal with that kind of nightmare?

I know the prospective owners are frustrated and they absolutely have a reason to be.  They put money down for speakers and expect delivery.  But until the lawsuits are over, Ryan simply doesn't have the means to hire help to make things go quicker, and I simply am not around enough to make much difference.  I help when I can on the occasional weekend when I'm not on the road, and I do it gratis because I love to make speakers and I like my friend.

Patience is the only thing I can suggest for everyone involved.  Nothing else is going to get the product in your hands.  And when the dust finally settles and things start looking up for a man who lost his best friend and life partner, I've little doubt that the future will be a very different picture than it has been for the past couple years.

Bob in St. Louis

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Re: Price Increases on Vapor Audios Website
« Reply #62 on: 7 Jul 2017, 03:26 am »
Pete, that information is long overdue. I can't say how glad I am that it's finally been posted.
I've never felt it was my place to say that. So thank you for putting it out there.

pconley2

Re: Price Increases on Vapor Audios Website
« Reply #63 on: 7 Jul 2017, 04:35 am »
Pete (and Ryan), thank you for the update, I hope it will put the kvetching to an end.  As you point out, some people have a genuine reason to be upset and hopefully they will be made whole.  I hope all who would want a set (or as I understand, some have ordered more than just a pair) get to enjoy these wonderful works of art.  I am also very glad to see that you are also working with an actual builder/reseller of speakers with the Vehement line of speakers.  the past is past, hopefully it can be put to rest and I hope that Vapor can soon resume the place it was assuming as one of the great builders of beautiful sounding and looking speaking works of art.

If anyone in the SF Bay area would like to hear what some of these speakers sound like, send me a PM.

Phil

Wind Chaser

Re: Price Increases on Vapor Audios Website
« Reply #64 on: 7 Jul 2017, 06:46 am »
If anyone in the SF Bay area would like to hear what some of these speakers sound like, send me a PM.

Phil, that's a great offer and if I could take you up on it, I would. Buying direct certainly requires a leap of faith. Even though some manufacturers have trial periods, that can involve costly shipping on the buyers part if he doesn't want to make the purchase. So what you are doing is truly a huge favor for both the vendor and the potential buyer.  :thumb:

« Last Edit: 7 Jul 2017, 02:50 pm by Wind Chaser »

toddc2

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Re: Price Increases on Vapor Audios Website
« Reply #65 on: 7 Jul 2017, 02:47 pm »
Ryan hasn't taken a new order since before the death of his wife.  He's not going to until every build in the queue is completed, and he's doing it all by himself.

He's still working with lawyers to resolve the wrongful death of his wife who was the major breadwinner for the couple.  Who knows when that will be over with.  He didn't receive a death certificate from the state of Ohio for almost a full year.  How would you guys deal with that kind of nightmare?

I know the prospective owners are frustrated and they absolutely have a reason to be.  They put money down for speakers and expect delivery.  But until the lawsuits are over, Ryan simply doesn't have the means to hire help to make things go quicker, and I simply am not around enough to make much difference.  I help when I can on the occasional weekend when I'm not on the road, and I do it gratis because I love to make speakers and I like my friend.

Patience is the only thing I can suggest for everyone involved.  Nothing else is going to get the product in your hands.  And when the dust finally settles and things start looking up for a man who lost his best friend and life partner, I've little doubt that the future will be a very different picture than it has been for the past couple years.

Well Pete, thanks for the post but none of that information is news and none of it addresses my concerns. Let’s ignore my issue with Ryan’s lack of communication as water under the bridge.

It’s clear Ryan has been making progress lately:

Nov 2016 - Cris’s Arcus (40 month wait)
Feb 2017 – James’s Joule (about 3 year wait)
Jun 2017 – Steve’s Nimbus (about 4 year wait)

I obviously don’t have full visibility into the delivery queue, but I figure that leaves 5 or 6 pairs of speakers in the “new” queue. I totally understand Ryan is having throughput issues working through his personal tragedy in parallel with trying to complete the remaining builds. The question I have is does Ryan have a detailed project plan and supporting cash flow plan to finish these speakers up? If not, does he need help with either?

Todd

pdj

Re: Price Increases on Vapor Audios Website
« Reply #66 on: 7 Jul 2017, 05:45 pm »

If anyone in the SF Bay area would like to hear what some of these speakers sound like, send me a PM.

Phil

Same offer as Phil's if you're in the Richmond, VA area.  Ryan delivered my Joules last February.

sellagogo

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Re: Price Increases on Vapor Audios Website
« Reply #67 on: 14 Jul 2017, 07:48 pm »
To me it seems like they would best be served by having a lot of carcases ready to go. A dealer or direct (you can do direct for states without dealers, and any states with dealers can not do direct, you have to maintain MSRP while direct) just chooses a limited set number of veneer's and colors. Each speaker can have say two classes the normal and SE, where the SE receives upgraded crossovers. (yes only two options). They all have the best standard binding posts that work the best for the speaker/vapor/customer. Inquires for custom veneers can be made at a painstaking extra charge, and I do mean like $3000 probably min. Even though the veneer may only cost $100 more, the problem is the value of the time taken for that would have been spent making a lot more money doing something else. This all would equal much faster delivery times, ideally never exceeding 3 months. They need the prices to hire skilled guys so that all stages of production can be happening at the same time, and an office person is a must to keep it all organized. Ryan will obviously continue R&D, HR manager, quality control, training, etc.


  I echoed this exact thing many times on audiogon years ago when Vapor was getting bashed by long delays and inferior fit and finish ,but obviously it fell on deaf ears.....Have 2 or 3 basic veneer finishes,cabinets ready to go..offer 2 or 3 upgrade paths...and if a customer insist on the custom personal approach speakers,direst that customer to the custom line with all details of waits etc ..Im actually in the market for new speakers and was thinking Id try Vapor,was blown over with their price increase and dropped that idea rather quickly.They have no resale value compared to the more notable makers,which is a big big deal for me as I change the music flavor every couple years ..Long waits,issues on finishes,increase prices (that are basically double),receipt for disaster

Russell Dawkins

Re: Price Increases on Vapor Audios Website
« Reply #68 on: 14 Jul 2017, 08:55 pm »
I seem to remember a similar pattern with SP Technologies/Aether Audio—long waits and a shocking price increase just before the crunch, both Vapor and Aether having merit as speaker designs but seeming to need better business management. I'm not saying there will be a crunch at Vapor, by the way, but it looks a little dicey.

I suppose there's nothing to the name similarity—Vapor...Aether.

Unfortunately, what is behind both Vapor and SP Tech's too-low initial pricing is the desire by a couple of decent people to put the best possible spealer on the market at a price the average person can afford, but was too low to sustain forward momentum and growth.

Wind Chaser

Re: Price Increases on Vapor Audios Website
« Reply #69 on: 14 Jul 2017, 09:59 pm »
Unfortunately, what is behind both Vapor and SP Tech's too-low initial pricing ... too low to sustain forward momentum and growth.

Then what is the formula for determining gross margin?  :scratch:

Russell Dawkins

Re: Price Increases on Vapor Audios Website
« Reply #70 on: 14 Jul 2017, 11:18 pm »
Then what is the formula for determining gross margin?  :scratch:
If I knew that my own speaker designing/building enterprise might have succeeded way back in the 70's when I tried to do the same. My speakers were very good, but there wasn't enough profit in the business plan to survive, let alone prosper and grow. I worked long hours, but when I sat down and worked out how much I was making, it looked like $0.75 per hour, if I was being honest with myself and counting all expenses and all my time. This was ridiculous, even in 1976! When I took a job in a hospital just to survive I literally had holes in the soles of my shoes and needed dental work badly! Working for a salary felt like a vacation!

What I needed was a business manager to say "You can't do that and survive, buddy. Raise your prices or find another enterprise". I wasn't big enough (or rich enough) to afford one—at least that was my thinking—again, fallacious.

(edited for spelling)
« Last Edit: 15 Jul 2017, 04:46 pm by Russell Dawkins »

fex02

Re: Price Increases on Vapor Audios Website
« Reply #71 on: 15 Jul 2017, 10:09 am »
Thanks for your honesty.

Phil A

Re: Price Increases on Vapor Audios Website
« Reply #72 on: 15 Jul 2017, 12:57 pm »
If I knew that my own speaker designing/building enterpise might have succeeded way back in the 70's when I tried to do the same. My speakers were very good, but there wasn't enough profit in the business plan to survive, let alone prosper and grow. I worked long hours, but when I sat down and worked out how much I was making, it looked like $0.75 per hour, if I was being honest with myself and counting all expenses and all my time. This was ridiculous, even in 1976! When I took a job in a hospital just to survive I literally had holes in the soles of my shoes and needed dental work badly! Working for a salary felt like a vacation!

What I needed was a business manager to say "You can't do that and survive, buddy. Raise your prices or find another enterpise". I wasn't big enough (or rich enough) to afford one—at least that was my thinking—again, falacious.

Great story - here's some important things for a small business:

http://articles.bplans.com/10-things-every-small-business-in-america-needs-to-do/

There are many talented and brillant people I've met that just don't have the skills to manage a business.  It's no easy task when one is in the middle of dealing with everything.

DaveC113

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Re: Price Increases on Vapor Audios Website
« Reply #73 on: 15 Jul 2017, 02:35 pm »
IMO... the speaker is the easy part. It's not that difficult or complicated. OTOH, industrial design, branding, marketing, distribution, etc. considerations are much more difficult for me. I've had a speaker design ready to go for over a year, it's the other stuff that's complicating things.

Wind Chaser

Re: Price Increases on Vapor Audios Website
« Reply #74 on: 15 Jul 2017, 02:39 pm »
Great story - here's some important things for a small business:

http://articles.bplans.com/10-things-every-small-business-in-america-needs-to-do/

In addition to those 10 things, there is the element of luck. Around here, 9 of 10 new ventures fail within the first year because the business never takes off.

Wind Chaser

Re: Price Increases on Vapor Audios Website
« Reply #75 on: 15 Jul 2017, 03:00 pm »
Then what is the formula for determining gross margin?  :scratch:

Having reflected on this, there doesn't seem to be a one size fits all answer. From a retail perspective, I've seen gross margin range anywhere from 10% to over 80% depending on the commodity.

A manufacturer of high tech also has to consider the cost of R&D and then factor that in against the number of units he can hopefully sell. If objective falls short, it can be catastrophic.

Hugh

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Re: Price Increases on Vapor Audios Website
« Reply #76 on: 15 Jul 2017, 04:29 pm »
Assuming you got enough capital to get you through the initial launching step, customer service is Job No. 1.

Brettio

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Re: Price Increases on Vapor Audios Website
« Reply #77 on: 15 Jul 2017, 06:09 pm »
Assuming you got enough capital to get you through the initial launching step, customer service is Job No. 1.

+1

mresseguie

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Re: Price Increases on Vapor Audios Website
« Reply #78 on: 15 Jul 2017, 06:19 pm »
I'm not looking to stir up a hornets' nest, but I've often wondered why some of these start ups don't seek out investors - especially investors who are like-minded audiophiles. $50k to $100k could make the difference between just scraping by and having that cushion to get over that dry spell that must happen periodically. [From reading this thread, I understand Ryan may have been supported by his late wife.]


Folsom

Re: Price Increases on Vapor Audios Website
« Reply #79 on: 15 Jul 2017, 06:21 pm »
Well, investors don't give money for free so there's risk with it too... sometimes you get tied to them as they own some of the company as well.