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Cross-Spectrum Acoustics Inc. offers Sound & Vibration Consulting Services

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Feb 03, 2015

We know a lot of people have questions about the availability (or lack of availability) of calibrated UMIK-1 USB mics, so we’ve decided to pull back the curtains a little bit and let you know what’s happening.

As most of you are aware, CSL currently sells four groups of calibrated products: 1) Dayton EMM-6 microphones, 2) Dayton UMM-6 microphones, 3) Galaxy CM-140 sound meters, and 4) MiniDSP UMIK-1 microphones. The first three products in the group are procured from distributors based in the United States - when we run out of stock, we can reorder and have more stock (weather permitting) in about 2 days. Being sourced in the USA also means we can order those products in relatively small quantities in a sort of just-in-time processing model.

However, the MiniDSP UMIK-1 microphones are imported directly from Hong Kong. Because of the shipping and customs fees involved, we have to order them in volume quantities to make the shipment cost effective. This results in two issues we have to deal with: we have to pay thousands of dollars in cash in advance to purchase the stock, and the payment process (via wire transfer) and shipping can take up to two weeks (and this doesn’t include calibration time which can take another week). The cash part in particular is difficult for us - we’re a small business that uses cash to pay for a number of travel expenses and direct costs for our consulting business and as a result we don’t always have several thousand dollars on hand to allocate to microphone inventory.

In the past we’ve tried to manage the demand by only accepting orders for UMIK-1 mics when we have them in stock. This resulted in dozens and dozens of requests to pre-order microphones. Over the last couple of months we’ve acquiesced to these requests and started offering UMIK-1 mics for pre-order. This in turn has resulted in UMIK-1 stock being sold out before we’ve received mic stock from Hong Kong! Combine this with recent inclement weather in the northeast USA, recent problems with the microphone calibration jig (which have since been resolved) and travel schedules and you get a seemingly schizophrenic availability schedule.

We realize that the limited availability of this mics is frustrating to customers. We’ve made some changes on the business side of CSA/CSL that may help smooth things in the future. For now we’re trying to find ways to help resolve the situation that don’t involve raising the price by $25 per unit (which we don’t want to do - we realize this would be difficult for much of our customer base). We will still have deal with this situation in the short-term but we promise that we are trying to do better.

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