What a great year it’s been!

Hello everyone and apologies for the long silence. It’s been a busy couple of months.

I’m writing this from Nanjing, China. We are here at the Mook festival, showing HiFi-M8 to a large audience of Chinese audiophiles.

The last two months have seen me traveling non-stop. I have been to Asia and back three times, and that’s quite taxing (my jet lag recovery takes a long time), yet it was all worth it. CEntrance has great support in Japan, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and other asian countries.

Where do we stand with shipping?

Great news! All preorders have been sent out! Yet more orders are coming in daily.

We have worked non-stop in the last two months, building, testing, packaging and shipping. We hired help and increased our speed. Still, it’s hard to keep up with new orders. We cannot do any other work. We are just building product.

This means only one thing. We need professional help. The next HiFi-M8 production run will not be done by the CEntrance staff. We will hire a factory to do it.

It’s better this way. We are not a factory. We are a design lab that is pretending to be a factory. So, we will outsource as much assembly as possible, leaving only the most important testing stages to our trained staff. The customer will not see a difference in quality, but will definitely see a difference in shipping speed.

As we approach the end of he year we are looking at a rapidly decreasing backorder pile (recent orders that need to be shipped). We expect to clear all backorders by the end of the year. We are arranging a new production run for the near future.

I want to thank each and everyone of our readers and supporters for helping us being this product to market. It was a fun year filled with challenges and breakthroughs. Most importantly, we released and shipped the product and now your hearts and minds can be filled with music.

Happy holidays to everyone and best wishes for a happy and healthy 2014, if we don’t get to talk in the next couple of weeks.

Next Shipping Update

Hello all. As you know, we have switched completely to the fulfillment mode and have been working really hard on sending the remaining orders out. We hired additional help as the amount of orders is large.

Stacie and I sat down this morning to understand the remainder of preorder shipment and I need to make a statement about that. Stacie has done a tremendous job keeping us on schedule, but we faced another roadblock, which we anticipate will introduce a three week delay. Our factory is late in delivering the second half of our order. They are doing some rework on the PCBs and were waiting for additional parts.

The end result is a humble request for just a little more patience. All preorders should be cleared up by mid November.

This was certainly a fun year. I anticipate that by December we will be in stock in all shipping products.

Most Versatile and Powerful!

The most versatile and powerful portable DAC/AMP

This just in from UK’s own Hi-Fi Plus:

For CanJam, CEntrance was essentially celebrating the full production release of its long-awaited (and oft-delayed) HiFi-M8, which is an exceptionally versatile portable product that combines an iDevice, Android, Mac, and PC-compatible, high-res, asynchronous USB DAC with an extremely powerful fully balanced headphone amplifier ($699).

Good news: Though HiFi-M8s are still in relatively short supply, CEntrance managing director Michael Goodman graciously provided a sample for Hi-Fi+ to review. Watch for our review of this ambitious product to appear in the next month or two.

And now the main quote:

CEntrance’s HiFi-M8 is arguably one the most versatile and powerful portable DAC/headphone amps on the planet.

Delightful!

Here is a linkto the show report

Shipping update

Our own Stacie, the undisputed leader in shipping efficiency has an update for the Jan 1- May 1 preorder people:

She telegraphed in this morning:

“We need to let the people know that their units are ready today, but due to lack of cables, we will not be able to ship until Wednesday the 16th”

New cables are coming in shortly and shipping will re-commence.

Moving on to MixerFace

CEntrance fulfillment team

CEntrance Fulfillment Team

We’ve picked up the fulfillment pace considerably in the last several weeks. We are shipping dozens of units of HiFi-M8 every day.

This is huge progress compared to where we were before. The design has improved, there are no bugs on the PCBs and rework is no longer necessary. Manual rework slowed us down in the past, but now the assembly process is a breeze! This means that all outstanding orders will be sent out soon.

As someone who is responsible for product development, I’m declaring the R&D part of HiFi-M8 project complete and moving on to MixerFace, which we will be talking about very soon. Stay tuned for that.

I will leave you with a 5-people selfie. These are the wonderful individuals who are working very hard to bring your HiFi-M8 to you.

See you at RMAF

CEntrance will be attending CANJAM again this year at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest (RMAF).

If you are coming to Denver next weekend, please stop by to say Hi! We would love to see you.

It will be exactly one year since we introduced HiFi-M8 to the public. This has been a fun-filled year and we sure had our share of challenges!

The good terrific news is that HiFi-M8 is finally shipping, our backlog is rapidly decreasing (despite many new orders) and that means that the M8 R&D project will finally see an end in sight — HiFi-M8 will convert into just another excellent, shipping product.

In just two short weeks after RMAF, I will go to Tokyo for the annual headphone fest. October is all about travel and shows for me, it’s all marketing-related stuff. It’s obviously important, but it reduces my ability to do any product development work, which is my first love. No sweat, we have some cool stuff cooking in the pipeline, which I will return to once I’m back at the office.

Don’t worry, this cool new stuff will not compete with HiFi-M8, we are not intending to compromise this excellent product. We are working on very different things and this blog will soon shed some light on that.

Meantime, I’m so happy that back at the home office we have a well-oiled fulfillment machine, working like clockwork, pumping M8′s out at the highest speed!

On a Roll

We are on a roll.

All last week we’ve been measuring our assembly times at various operations – attaching batteries, programming firmware, assembling and testing a unit, etc.

HiFi-M8 assembly is 4-5 times faster now with the new PCBs!

Our process has improved and that means you get your order fulfilled faster!

 

The People have Spoken

MasterClass 2504 Reference monitors

Thanks to everyone how replied by comments and email! We listened and complied.

In the result of your feedback, we now have two new specials:

A pair of MasterClass 2504 Reference Monitors at just $249.95. Loved by mastering engineers, musicians and producers, these speakers are incredibly revealing. Imagine the sound of the HiFi-M8 at the desktop!

For an extra $50 you can add our 2.5M Reserve Series Speaker cables. These cables feature triple-conductor design, resulting in reduced loss, extra soundstage, punch and clarity. They truly open up the sound of the speakers, as proven by multiple reviews and customer feedback.

 

Click on the offer below to be taken to our store page.

Offer number one:

Offer number one

 

Offer number two:

Offer number two

Space conflict

I’m heading back to Chicago to help the team work the shipping dock. It’s mad season as far as shipping is concerned.

Here at the factory we just shipped a bunch of assembled HiFi-M8 PCBs to Chicago. They are going by air and will be landing later in the week. Even more are coming in another batch later.

That’s all great news, but we have a bit of a dilemma on our hands.

At it happens, and as you can see from the picture, a large shipment of our MasterClass 2504 speakers is coming in from the supplier at about the same time.

Tom Jung recently commented that he has never heard such revealing midrange out of desktop monitors… Dweezil Zappa mixes on these. Teddy Riley likes them too.

Everyone loves these speakers, but this shipment is bound to create a bottleneck in our warehouse.

We don’t want that to happen. And that could mean only one thing…

Have been thinking about some mastering-qualtiy near-field monitors for X-Mas but didn’t want to shell out the big bucks?

Please comment on what you think is a fair price. These speakers retail for $499, but we will need to move them fast, to make space for HiFi-M8′s…

We will offer them with and without our 2M, triple-core audiophile speaker cables.

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Shipping Update

This just in from our own Stacie, the unstoppable logistics manager:

Dear Evaluation Group Customers,

Very good news: if your unit was paid-for by May 1, your HiFi-M8 will be shipping by October 11.

All remaining evaluation group units will be sent by October 25.

I will be email you your tracking numbers as units get sent.

At that time (starting October 28) we will begin fulfilling dealer orders and in-store orders of HiFi-M8′s.

Hurray: light at the end of the tunnel, and not just another [smaller] tunnel! :-)

Also, please rememeber that the units now being sent are update-capable for the 24/96 upgrade.

You will be able to download and perform this firmware update from your home when it becomes available.

Thank you all for your support and enthusiasm over the last several months. It has been a pleasure.

~Stacie