The Korf Blog

The inside story: our research,
development and opinions

17 June 2020
The Post-Coronavirus Update
This is just a quick update on what's going on at Korf Audio. It feels a bit strange not to share any measurements with you, but we do a lot more than just measure stuff!

Because of the coronavirus-caused disruption, we will stay away from the ambitious blog posts for the time being. Product development and the obligations to our clients have priority. But we do have a few things to share.

First, there's some seriously good news. We have received a second batch of ceramic headshells.

To give you some idea of how the virus disrupted the global suppy chains -- they were ordered in November 2019!

The new ceramic headshells are a little bit heavier. They will use custom fully gold-plated contact pins, and better wires too.

Another change is double locking pins, a la SME headshell. We're still waiting for the custom fingerlifts, and wires, and... Will let you know once everything comes together.

Second, I can now show you a little preview of what we are working on. As many of you have already guessed, it's a tonearm.

It would be available to retail customers under the Korf brand, and if you have an OEM interest that can be accommodated too. Geometrically, it's a straight drop-in replacement for a Jelco SA-750 series.

As it usually happens with prototypes, the real thing would look nothing like this one, except for the armtube and the headshell connector collar.
And I thought it would be fun to show you some of the 3D printed parts that we had to go through before the first metal was cut:

Speaking of Jelco, we are all saddened by their decision to close down. For many decades, Jelco has practically defined the category of a quality affordable tonearm.

Jelco's JL-45 tonearm lift can be seen in dozens if not hundreds of small-series perfectionist tonearms. They'll all have to look for replacements now.

There are lessons to be learned from Jelco's untimely closing. Resting on one's laurels is seldom a good strategy. When they did realize the need to innovate, lack of R&D resulted largely in changes for changes's sake. And while the setup convenience is important, on-the-fly VTA cannot compensate for less than stellar fundamentals.

I am not a sales professional, but I think that the huge dealer stocks of previous model Jelco arms also contributed to poor sales of the new series. The dealers dramatically discounted the older arms, and Jelco lost control of its pricing.

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