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Getting the word out: Manley SLAM! price goes up

Member for

20 years 7 months
SLAM!: $6,600 USD
Digital I/O Interface option: $2,500
STATUS: Shipping now. Get in line. There are 170 units on backorder.
Sorry for the bad news. You ain't gonna like this and neither do we.
Sorry kids. We have just completed final build and assembly cost for the SLAM! And now that we have it in production and shipping, we can be more accurate on the costing.

The retail price for the base unit SLAM! is going up to $6600 effective immediately.

Hutch and I sorely miscalculated how much this SLAM! puppy would cost to build. We did an initial estimate of build cost back in January 2001 when it was still just a hyped up Manley ELOP. 17 months of R&D later and four million features later, a 350 piece parts count just for one side chain board, for example, well, for that matter why not mention the side chain's full featured insert patch bay that's included, 28 connectors on the back, 12 knobs and 11 switches on the front, 8 audio transformers and an outboard power supply later, all this stuff added up into the stratosphere, cost wise. Every little thing added up. When you see inside, you'll understand.

I guess we could have pulled it all off with no tubes and no transformers, no fancy metering and just used a $5.00 DSP chip and a wall wart, but you know our insanity better than that by now.

I am sorry it took so long to discover this (well, it's not like we really wanted to know how much we overran our initial cost guestimate) but anyway, bottom line is the base unit retail price for the SLAM! is now $6600.

And as for the SLAM! 24/192 upsampling ADC/DAC Digital I/O Interface, with all the added ANALOG filters, dither, noise shaping, word length selection, and sample rate selection features, word clock, super clock, and all that, that guy is also now a $2500 add on option. The first guess of $2000 retail would have worked for the main DAC/ADC engine but we had no idea how much all the getting in and out of the damn thing added up. And it did. Fussy, fussy details.

Six people lucked out and got a SLAM! at the old preliminary price, lucky them. Bask in your glorious achievement and don't rub it in.

In order to be able to be around next year and the next and bring out more fantastic products for ya'll, we need to charge what we need to to keep the big ball rolling. I was threatening last year around AES to make across the board Manley retail price cost adjustments. We didn't do it then due to the world falling into Osama's Big Toilet. And then this year, business has been so powerfully great that I didn't want to upset the applecart and jinx us as it were. Be forewarned however, that this coming Fall AES I will put a few prices up, most notably, the Massive Passive, which we have been basically giving away, and the Tube Direct boxes, also "not for profit" items.

I don't know if you guys can fully appreciate the detail and attention we put into this gear, but when I am paying our parts and labour bills every week, I sure can appreciate it... we care too much and we try too hard. We have 40 people here at the factory, here in Chino, California, USA building this stuff. We go for best sonics and highest reliability on everything we do. We are insane about this stuff. And we also know that there is a market for this and folks do appreciate the science and the art that goes into every Manley piece. And they also appreciate the long term stability of the company as well as our lightening quick and fully attentive customer
service. I am not going to apologize for these high values we hold or the real cost of such attention to detail and service for gear that should still be working in 50 years. (Maybe with a few re-tube jobs and a re-cap.) These products we build are not disposable goods, nor will they fall out of fashion in the next long while. (hopefully)

We are building for a lifetime here and we hope you and your clients will appreciate this as much as we do.

From my heart, folks. This is all more about pure passion rather than getting rich, I promise. Thank you for understanding.

Cheers, EveAnna Manley, President
Manley Laboratories, Inc. 13880 Magnolia Ave. Chino, CA. 91710
Tel: (909) 627-4256 Fax: (909) 628-2482


Member for

20 years

Mad John Tue, 07/16/2002 - 06:50
Hello Eve, I am with you!

Boy, am I happy that I got the Massive Passive, Mu (w/mod) and the duel Preamp this past year!

I find the EQ amd MU absolutly indespenceable in most of my aplications and I would not know how to go about doing w/out them, if I were parted from them! :D

I can honestly tell you from intense personal expirience (although recent) that I very much apreciate your "passion" for makeing great gear that makes Music a pleasure to sonicly operate, bless you my dear! ;)

Member for

20 years 7 months

vanimal Tue, 07/16/2002 - 07:49
Thanks everyone. John-- I need to get updated costing figures on the Massive, but last time we looked at the parts 'n' labour for that unit they were actually more than what we have just seen for the SLAM!

It is true we can juggle a little bit on setting retail price up from costs. Some units we do better than others on and hopefully it all works out decent enough at the end of the year to keep everything going.

The other thing is after we have built hundreds of any new unit, production efficiency improves. We do certainly take this into account when trying to set the retail price of a given new unit.

But, other costs do go up as with anything else over time.

It is all a big math game. I have been manufacturing gear this way since 1989 so I hope by this time that I do know how to consider all these boring pricing factors. Although looking at how off we were with the SLAM! I guess I need to actually try to be more patient and wait until after we have sold 100 of 'em to determine retail pricing. But that's kinda hard to do ain't it? ;)

My initial guess for where the retail price of the Massive is going to go is somewhere around $6000, and still there we won't be making what I would call an "inspiring" profit, but at least it will be better than where we're at now with it at $4800.

Again, this isn't about trying to make huge markups and heaps of profits that pile up in the bank. In this type of business there are so many hidden overheads and reinvesting costs that have to get paid for somehow. Taxes, insurance, electricity, advertising, rent, trade shows, customer service, inventory, employees, and R&D... to name a few. It all goes back into the big machine... on all the nearly 70 products we manufacture here at Manley Labs, there has to be an average "raw" profit on each piece out the door (at wholesale/dealer cost don't forget) that will go back into the company and allow us to continue to grow, develop new products, and refine old ones. Working for the future. I guess at the time we cease growing or improving our bottom line profit would go up, but then you would know then end is coming.

At 33 years old, that time is a long way off in my mind.

Member for

20 years 9 months

Screws Thu, 07/18/2002 - 12:52

Since reality dictates the price, so be it. Life stinks, to quote Mel Brooks.

But, how about a $3500.00 Langevin version of the Slam? No tubes, preamps, 28 point bantam patchbay or AD/DA option. Just the stereo ELOP and FET comps.

If a few of the components of the Slam could still be used in the Langevin version, perhaps there would be no need for extensive R & D, and if enough project studio guys got into it, it would actually help defray some of the original R & D for the Slam. Also the benefit of buying greater quantities of parts, since they would be going into both units. Not to mention that you'd probably sell twice the number of Langevins as you would Slams.

Think about it.

Steve Cruz