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Updates 10/12

State Of The Cave 2017


Dear Friends and Customers:

I have usually posted the State Of message earlier, and I apologize for the delay; I gave a lot of time to creating the blog of our South Africa trip, so Cave doings took a back seat. If you did not happen to see the travel blog, you can find it here. To anticipate a Q: We don't know our next destination. Before we think about that, arthritis is going to force your chief Bear into getting a hip replacement for mobility reasons. Getting older is not always fun, but it beats the alternative.

I am happy to say that our business is healthy and stable on both the DIY and commercial sides. While we are no longer blowing our walls out all the time, we have settled into making the better part of our living by being a just-in-time/off-the-shelf supplier to many of your favorite independent pedal-makers while maintaining our no-minimum-order support for DIY.

One major addition to the Stock List this year has been the full line of Coolaudio specialty chips. I always did carry their most popular items, but customers were asking for samples of things I didn't stock. I asked Coolaudio to sell me a few less-than-minimum quantities so that I could fill sample and prototype orders, and that has worked out. The V3340, for example, is in stock, and I expect to have the V3320 VCF in a month or so. The V2164M is back in stock, and I will bulk up stock of the most popular numbers as demand warrants.

I have noticed occasional posts expressing frustration with fake or re-marked JFETs from Chinese sources. Note that we have good stock of popular types for the moment in TO-92 packaging. Necessarily more expensive than other sources, but they are real--Fairchild and other major makes that I bought years back when TO-92 was being obsoleted. At some point, I may have to resort to buying SMDs and getting them bonded to headers, but that's a ways off for now.

Russian Germanium! The supply of West-European and U.S.-made material has gotten tighter and more costly, but a number of these Cold War-era parts seem to be in good supply. They are reasonably priced and specs are very good.

An unexpected tool find is the Energizer Cliplight, SKU 2327. Judy and I were in a restaurant in Johannesburg, dimly lit as high-end places often are, and I expected to have to--as usual--move the candle to be able read the menu. But the mangement of this place had the class and good sense to provide one of these compact reading lights with the bill of fare. I noted the maker and fished for a wholesale source when we got home. I find it useful for both reading and giving me a little extra light when peering into a chassis.

On the shopping list for this coming year: Getting more knob styles, and getting set-screw styles that we already have made for split-shaft pots. If you have specific needs, let us know; many of our stock items result from customer requests.

Yours In Good Music