It has been quite a while since the US Dollar started to erode in its value and, if money market wizards and their predictions are to be believed in, this trend will continue during the best part of 2008. Not only, for the first time in recent history (or even, perhaps, less recent?) the Canadian Dollar has become stronger than the US Dollar and at the beginning of this month the advantage was almost 6%. The merry-go-round of the world economies and currency fluctuations continues and who knows what may happen next...?
There is no question in our mind that several new trends (?) have developed over the past few years owing to "platforms" such as eBay and Audiogon. Combined with the rapidly developing new consumer mentality one could define as "would like to have everything for nothing and less", neither is a good omen for respectable marketing and sales of any high-end bespoke commodities of this world, high-end audio included. Needless to say, the extremely favourable exchange rate of the US Dollar feeds the exaggerated paranoia of overpricing US products in Europe, and UK even more. Leaving aside the, often unpleasant approach to a medal that always has two sides, we are happy to accept some of the reasoning consumers have given us as their feedback on the subject, and are making some adjustments accordingly. But, before we elaborate more on those, allow us to say that, we always that:a) the end user of any bespoke audio component does want to have full and undivided after-sales support and multi-year warranty arrangement in the UK, and b) that his/her calculations of cost differences will be based on the legitimate list price of the product in the US and costs of shipping, import duty and UK VAT. Rather than... you know what. While the difference in cost will still be noticeable, one must not forget that both the UK retailer and the UK distributor have to have a profit margin somewhere in there.
Now we come to the beneficial (low) value of the US Dollar at present. As a high-end audio distribution company, we (Audiofreaks) do not like to change or amend our UK price lists more often than necessary. Therefore, our present suggested retail pricing will remain as announced in September during our unPlugged 2007 exhibition event in London. However, we have already advised all our retail consultant partners that, whenever a US manufactured product of a certain value (and higher) is to be discussed with a serious potential client (end user), we would be prepared to advise the actual retail cost of that product to the client "on the day". In other words, depending on the exchange rate of the US Dollar, availability from the factory or our own existing stock and a number of other parameters relevant to the issue, we will allow the most accommodating and realistic retail price that is viable at that moment in time. We can only hope this incentive will give our existing and prospective clients a better feel of reality and more justified pricing of American products in this country. As always, your feedback on the subject is most welcome and gratefully appreciated.


All being well, we should be receiving our first couple of Zanden Model 2500 CD Players at the end of this or beginning of the next month (December). No price has yet been defined for Europe and UK, but we hope to be able to market this exciting new design from Kazutoshi Yamada for not much above £15,000 Inc VAT in the UK.


The new KA L line remote preamplifier (single-chassis version of the KA L REF model) is almost in production and we will have our first units delivered at the beginning of December. The predicted UK list price of £3,600 Inc VAT will (hopefully) remain unchanged. The new KA M 650 mono power amplifiers (650W/8 Ohm) are now shipping and in stock for our UK customers. Suggested retail price for a pair of those wonderful "little" amplifiers is £15,000 inc VAT.


Model 2500

Karan Acoustics

Karan Acoustics
KA M 650
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