As we approach 2023, I wanted to update the EVOKE website and share a few updates.
EVOKE continues to do custom builds. A few have been custom Ruby’s for some close friends. The others have been some spectacular executions for music, reference and an amazing ATMOS room. Right now I’m building prototypes for the new line. I’m pretty confident in the models – they seem to make sense.
The site now lists Legacy Models with the original pages from the launch website including the two versions of Eddie and Ruby.
“Rocket” from AudioCircle started a thread with some interesting thoughts. Some other members chimed in as well. I highly suggest that you read the thread. It’s very informative and brings up some great questions.
AUDIO CIRCLE THREAD CLICK HERE (Opens in new window)
There were some quandaries as to the state of EVOKE. Let me share with you.
First, I appreciate all the positive feedback. It means a lot to have accomplished something and then to have the smartest audience appreciate it. That’s a win in anyone’s book and to all of you a big thanks from me. I’m glad to have been able to bring you closer to the music, and your energy supported in me in ways you’ll never fully know.
There was one comment about the Eddie cabinets vs. Salk. As the picture shows in the thread, the internals of Eddie are pretty over-engineered. The tolerances for fit and finish are really good. Absolute Sound commented that his was competitive for a new company out of the gate. Personally, I would have preferred an exotic wood, variant, or high-gloss finish. The immediate goal was to meet a price-point considering value/performance. If you look at the the newer Eddie legacy, you can see that it has a 3/4” aluminum face plate and high gloss black cabinet. There are a number of things about this cabinet/baffle that afforded better sound, but the cost – holy crap!
Rocket further wondered why the company didn’t “take off”. It actually did very well. We sold very EDDIE and RUBY we could build.
So what happened? JLM mentioned marketing – and I’m guessing you have a pretty good perspective on business. Let me include that in some fairly open comments.
First, I had an investor who had cash, but no business acumen. It was a constant battle. They visited the Newport show and their ego suggested that overnight they became an audiophile. I’ll gently exclude the onsite arguments that happened.
In the early days of the company, we were defrauded equal to the cost of an entire cabinet run. There were two other high cost impacts that were also stressful and made the company cash-poor. Sadly, the investor lacked vision and how numbers worked. That relationship ended badly. I do mean badly!
For my friend JLM, we speak the same language. My career has decades of marketing experience. Up front, there was a lot of money spent on the Newport show. I was in the throws of developing a dealer network and had the US covered from Beverly Hills to Washington DC. Not a bad initial start. Deep Hz Audio, to this day remains a friend. I feel the owners of this company are some of the nicest people on the planet. We had also done some targeted work on social media and had some pretty good buzz. Getting recognition by the Absolute Sound at my first show, to me was a coup. I was weak in the knees as they listened and then awaited their review. That was one of those moments where I achieved a life goal.
So what then? Cash was already challenging as we discussed. The two base models were fine, and slow, steady growth was okay too. BUT, guess what! The cabinet factory burned to the ground. For anyone that has dabbled in looking for cabinets, you can understand how horrible this is. A custom cabinet can cost anywhere from $1000 per unit and the sky is the limit. The Eddie cabinet for example cost $250 per cabinet when bought in minimum quantities of 50 pieces. . Add to that shipping and import fees and it gets crazy.
Beyond that, I had to relocate from my familiar surroundings in California to the East Coast. That in and of itself was very disruptive. Shortly following were COVID and supply chain issues. Add that the cabinet builder raised their MOQ to 250 pieces. That was a kick in the gut.
If I had a bottomless budget, I’d build and stock the full line and sell them for half the price of the competition just to piss them off – well actually just be correctly funded and offer value/performance products. Today that’s not the case. However, never say never.
I think we’ve all had successes, misses, and failures in our lives. Anyone denying this has either not lived or they are a liar. I think EVOKE experiences success and stumbled, well face plant is more honest. Me, I’ve had more successes in my life than most, and an equal number of ‘not successes’ (LOL). But, I’m not dead yet, and I hold true that “It’s All About the Music”. Stay tuned. There will be more to come.