[Harp-L] re:volume control

Cletus wrote:

Subject: [Harp-L] Re:volume control product offering

too expensive in my opinion

if it were half the price i'd probably order several, and i don't imagine i'm alone in that appraisal


I make the control, so I'll tell you why it costs what it does. If there were a market for 100,000 units or more, I could probably have it made in Taiwan very cheaply. This would require however a large upfront investment - say, $50,000 or more, which would have to be amortized across the units sold. But the market isn't that big. In fact, it is downright tiny. So these units have to be built by hand, by me. They are very labor intensive.

1) There is precision machining (tolerances have to be maintained within .001 for a good, strong press fit between the end caps and the barrel.) Again, due to low volume, it doesn't pay to do this with CNC machines, which wold make sense if they were to be made in the 1000's. CNC set-up costs need to be amortized across large numbers of units. So - they are done by hand. Not cheap.

2) Search all you want, you'll find there is no such thing as the female version of the 2501MP panel mount connector. You can't just screw a ring on a 2501MP - it won't "float" above the threads. So I have to machine each 2501MP for this purpose. You'll also note you can't buy the retaining rings separately - I have to buy ungodly quantities at a time to get them at all.

3) That is a 3/4" barrel. The pot has to be inserted and maneuvered so that the shaft comes up through the hole. The shaft on those pots is too long to fit inside the barrel, so I have to cut every shaft down. I could build them with bigger barrels, and in fact I have- but they're UGLY, and they won't allow a stick mic like a Shure 533 to be placed in a mic holder.

4) Every pot has to have 3 wires cut, stripped at each end and tinned. Then they must be soldered to the pot, shrink wrap cut and installed, shrunk, and the other ends soldered to the connectors.

5) The connectors have to be press fit into the ends, secured with nuts and loctite. Then the ends have to be pressed into the barrel, again secured with loctite.

I could go on, but hopefully you get the idea. I am very proud of the product, which I think is functional, aesthetically pleasing and of very high quality. Of course, each one has to be tested, marketed, packaged and shipped. And distributors need a piece of the pie. If it is too expensive for you I understand - and respect your opinion. I just wanted to explain why a product like this doesn't follow the same laws of economics as something mass produced in a factory.

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