7 hours from Los Angeles to Chicago thanks to one heart attack and one flight re-route. A tornado in Chicago coupled with torrential downpours and oxygen-sapping humidity. Micah and Lee arriving 5 hours late on Friday. All of that to spend a couple of days testing/auditioning new speakers for the new Stage 1 kits. Was it worth it? I would of course answer an emphatic "yes!", but in the end you'll all be the judge. Below is a brief summary of my Chicago happenings.
We didn't make it downtown, so next time it will have to be. Further, none of you made any suggestions as to where we should grab a bite to eat. C'mon now! I'll be back in Chicago in a few weeks for final testing, but the products and drawings I've seen are very impressive. We've managed to shave 4mm off of the depth of the 100mm offset drivers, so depth is no longer an issue with the cars requiring shallow-depth drivers.
After two complete re-designs, I think we're good to go. I wish it wasn't so expensive to tool these loudspeaker baskets, but it's important to get it right before we commit to buying large quantities. We've made that mistake before, and I don't want a repeat of that fiasco! I was able to sit down and go over every drawing of every product we offer with our design engineers to ensure that no details are being overlooked in our assembly/production lines. Finding only one small error in over 100 products is pretty darn good if you ask me. I of course fixed the error (which was really a minor detail, but necessary to be addressed), and moved on to the actual production area where our products are assembled.
The process is smooth and leaves room for no errors to be made. Our quality control ensures that every speaker, subwoofer, and amplifier is tested not only for basic functionality, but also to make sure that the speaker is playing as it should. A full sine sweep is played across each driver, and if anything sounds or looks out of the norm, it is taken off of the assembly line and further analyzed. So, know that if you've ordered anything from us speaker-related that it's been put the rigors of our quality control and is guaranteed to function perfectly.
We've also gone so far as to take photos of each Stage 1 kit and place them atop each set of instructions to further eliminate any chance that an incorrect speaker has been sent out to the end user. Coupled with a description of what should have been received, it minimizes any wasting of time in dealing with mistakes made on the shipping end of the business. We're not perfect, but we try! After seeing the assembly process in action using all of our new BSW products, it was time to take a look at how we package everything. One thing I want to stress with everyone is that BSW is a very environmentally conscious company.
We do our absolute best to use recyclable materials in all of our packaging, and ask that you recycle the packaging further once you receive your order. In some cases we use recycled paper to pad our speakers in their boxes, and this too can be reused in your own packaging. Most of our products have custom designed cardboard inserts that secure the speakers into their respective packages, but some of the older kits (E36, E39, E38) use a combination of the aforementioned paper and basic cardboard inserts folded around the speakers.
Not as pretty as we'd like, but again to keep costs down on the older kits for you guys, a necessity. That covers day one for me.. Enjoy your weekends, and check back Monday for more interesting tidbits from our travels. I'll see if I can't get Micah or Lee to contribute a paragraph or two..