Salk Future TBD

Jim put up this post over on AC earlier today…;topicseen#new


sorry reno...but I don't agree.  most people would look into the return policy and return cost....unless it says free...before making a purchase.

just as an example, go onto the tekon website and see what it says about the cost of returning their ever increasing line of giant above 100lb speakers.

jim is a super hones business guy who virtually everyone has had a great experience with...including those that own his speakers but did not buy them direct from him.

@mlsstl You hit the nail on the head!! If all these people on here think it easy and logical to buy a speaker company, they should throw their hat in the ring and give it a go! There’s a saying in racing that if you want to make a small fortune, start with a big one!! 😉

@mlsstl + 1, but it takes planning

@renosteve while your experience was unfortunate, I also disagree that Jim Salk deserves anything less than the very best. I say that because of all the folks I encountered at a couple of audio shows, he was the most gracious, down-to-earth, and professional. The other was Fritz Heiler of Fritz Speakers.

With Jim, he was the same both times I visited the Salk room. He offered information, answered my questions, and never made me feel in any way like I was wasting his time. Have you ever walked onto a luxury car showroom or high-end audio retailer, and were approached with a “what do you want looky-loo” attitude? Jim was the opposite of that.

He was always very responsive to my research emails, even after I decided to go with another brand. More recently, I was very interested in picking up his BePure 2’s as my next (and possibly last) speakers. I am disappointed that Jim decided to wind down his business due to lack of a suitable buyer. Which brings us to this point …

The reality is that the boutique audio industry is, by its very nature, very “designer centric”. There are many brands that are synonymous with their founders/designers and vice versa. Besides Salk Sound and Fritz Speakers, I’m sure we can all quickly name quite a few. When that’s the case, the business has extremely slim survival chances without the founder/designer. A rare exception might be the Backerts at Backert Labs where there is somewhat a built-in legacy.

In business, unless the owner has taken very deliberate steps to make the company “sellable” it will likely to cease operations beyond the founder/designer’s exit. Without naming them (kind of morbid), I can think of a couple of audio folks I dealt with who later died and their businesses died with them. Another industry veteran was hospitalized recently and folks were wondering what might become of his company if he was no longer there.

I was involved in the business sales and acquisitions industry during my professional career. The Salk Sound story is very common; and please understand I am not singling out Jim. But the reality is, not only in the audio industry, but also other successful entrepreneurs don’t plan for the ultimate and absolute certainty that they will exit their business eventually. That exit is certain. Either they will become tired and retire or they’ll die. Whether the company survives beyond that point is a matter of planning for the best outcome.

I thank and appreciate Jim Salk for his contributions to the audio industry. I wish Jim and his wife Mary nothing but happiness and success for the next chapter of their lives.

Return policy is often negotiated at purchase. But yes very important to know before purchasing 

I just wanted to say "thanks" for all the kind words.  I also wanted to respond to some comments so there is no confusion.

While we are going to stop building speakers, we will still be around to provide support to our owners.  In fact, I have some ideas on what I'd like to do next in the world of audio.  It just doesn't include building speakers.

As for CSS, I have the utmost respect for Dan and Kerry.  They were here almost every day for two months working with our crew and learning about how we do things.  They never charged a penny for the work they did while here.

Did they learn anything about how we do things? Probably. But I would have shared that information with anyone who asked.  Why?  Because I started building speakers as a hobby.  At the time, I knew nothing about speaker design and even less about working with wood.

Many people helped me master those crafts, providing critical information and advice.  I've always looked at it as my responsibility to do the same for others.  So I would have shared this information with CSS regardless of their interest in the company.

This is a tough business, not applicable to the faint of heart.  So it would take a special person or persons to successfully take the reigns.  

I was approached by three parties expressing interest in taking over in the past two years.  Since CSS is here in Michigan, this was the most promising.  In the end, they just didn't feel confident they could sell enough speakers to make a go of it.  I respect their decision.

I'll be 75 this year. I can't do this forever and have a few things I have always wanted to spend more time doing.  So it seemed like a good time to move on.  

I have thoroughly enjoyed working with so many wonderful customers over the years.  Many have become good friends and I treasure those relationships. 

As we approach the finish line, I have no regrets.  We've had a wonderful 20 years building speakers and have won more awards over the years than I ever imagined possible.  And for that I am grateful.

I plan to continue involvement in the audio industry. I just won't be building any more speakers myself.

Thanks again...

- Jim