Dear Sir / Madam,
I am writing this letter
to acquaint you about the huge demand increase of the phono cartridge market
sector for Audio applications. We are a firm delivering hand-made products under
the name of Jan Allaerts. The consequence of being a small firm, like we are, is
that we are not able to fully follow this market and thereby have a longer
waiting period for our customers.
Yes, of course we can
work a bit faster. But as a consequence of this we can make the same mistake as
a lot of cartridge manufacturers in the past already made. We as a firm are not
going to do this, because we do not want to make the same mistake. When making a
top product you have to make decisions. My choice is to place quality over
quantity. Therefore the quantity of the product is of course limited. I hold the
view that the expensive product has to be handled with care. So the precious
materials in the product are treated in the same way. The materials are build up
with utmost precision and care. That is how the final product has a
unprecedented quality and lifetime. Regrettably I cannot support all
recommendations and therefore the waiting time will stay this long with
reluctance of some dissatisfied customers.
We have started our firm
in 1978 but it was only in 1990 when we fully saturated and started working full
time on the Audio Cartridges. At that moment we finished all product components
to assemble a complete system. This was the MC 1 Boron with FG I needle. We
designed the system in such a way that all components of the system (even the
propeller of 2.5 millimeter to assemble the cartridge itself), can be
substituted. The lifetime of an element is more than twenty years, because of
the high quality products used in such an element. Only the needle of the
product can wear out, or the boron can break when overloaded. But this is the
only thing that can happen when used in a normal and careful way.
We have produced almost a
thousand cartridges since 1990. The problem that arose from this, is that these
cartridges come back to us for service. You would probably say that we could
also let another firm work on this service. Yes indeed, we could. But we have
seen what the service firms do to our products. They do not know the
adjustments, they do not know how to deal and handle with certain materials etc.
As a consequence there will not be much left of the element or cartridge. The
product does work, that is not the problem. The problem is that it only works on
about twenty percent of the usual ability that we have a after a reparation.
With this letter I want
to clarify that it takes a lot of work and time to build and repair products.
Even if we would have 72 hours in a day, we would not be able to process all
repairs and requests for new products. At the moment we make all products in
just one room. This is a small room, because that is the best to keep dust,
temperature and humidity at a constant level. When trying to come to a solution
we decided to add a second room to work in. That second room is still in
We could also build other
components that are beyond all margins with the high quality tools we possess.
We could for example build an electro motor of 1 millimeter diameter, or a
speaker of that same diameter. We would even build a microphone of 0.5
millimeter. This is just to indicate what is possible with such equipment
knowledge and material. Yes, I do this work alone - so there are only two hands.
When the second workroom is finished it would be helpful to have two helping
hands. But the question is, who is able to do that work? Are there people that
can work as accurate, as patient and as passionate on the product. Do they have
the knowledge of the precision lathes of Boley, Schmidt Lorch etc. And also
important is that they do not look on the clock to count how many hours it still
takes before it is time to go home.
An economist would
certainly say what we do is a problem. Anyway - you can do this sort of work, or
you don't. I am really pleased to be able to this work day after day and week
after week with the highest accuracy of 1μmm.
However, doing it takes a lot of energy and obviously there are limits on our
In the future, with the
new workroom finished and maybe some helping hands, we hope to be able to comply
with the service and requests for new products a bit faster, but still with the
same high quality. Because the quality of the products is of course the most
important of all.
We hope that after you
have read this letter, you also have some sympathy for the work we do. Quality
takes time, a lot of time and that is also the reason why it takes so long to
finish some repairs and to build new products.
Thank you for your