Jade Design Acquires Bob Carver, LLC

The Bob Carver Black Beauty monoblock power amplifier will continue to be made in the US; Jade Design only plans to make it, and other Carver products, more accessible to more people.

When I visited Jade Design in Franklin, TN, last December, Jade’s president, Dan Laufman, hinted that his company was on the verge of making a major acquisition. Today, Jade Design, parent company of Emotiva, Emotiva Pro, and Sherbourn, has completed the acquisition of tube amp manufacturer Bob Carver, LLC. The acquisition includes a long-term intellectual property agreement allowing Jade Design’s brands to utilize Bob Carver’s engineering ideas.

“This is a milestone in audio,” said Laufman, in a press release. “Bob Carver is a legendary name. It’s no exaggeration to call him one of the most brilliant, creative, and innovative designers in high-end audio, and I am thrilled to now call him my colleague.”

Bob Carver said: “Watching Dan and his team create the first truly successful direct-to-consumer high-end audio brand has brought me great pleasure, and I can’t think of anyone I’d rather partner with than Dan Laufman.”

All Carver products will continue to be handmade in the US, but will now benefit from Jade’s larger and more efficient manufacturing facilities and Emotiva’s PureDirect sales model. Current Carver dealers will be able to continue selling through Jade with its PureDirect Partner program—a streamlined, territory-protected model that provides full support and shipping.

While Jade’s brands will still be sold direct via the Web, the company is determined to support existing dealers. “We won’t undercut the dealers,” said Laufman. “And there’ll be no need for the dealer to discount below the website’s advertised prices.” Any discounts advertised online will carry over to the bricks-and-mortar stores, so that the dealers’ margins stay the same.

The retail prices of Carver’s components will decrease accordingly, sometimes dramatically: The Black Beauty monoblock power amp, originally $13,000/pair, will now cost $7999/pair; the Cherry 180 monoblock, originally $9000/pair, will cost $5999/pair; the Black Magic stereo power amplifier, originally $2500, will cost $1690. For current owners who bought through dealers, Jade Design will offer a 50% discount on the direct price for an upcoming Carver Black Velvet preamp.

All of Bob Carver, LLC’s operations will move to the Jade Design facility in Franklin, TN, which in turn is being retrofitted for Carver production. With Bob Carver’s vision and expertise, Jade plans to expand the line to include subwoofers, speakers, and several new tubed products, including a DAC. “Emotive will take these ideas to market in a meaningful way,” said Laufman.

For Laufman, the opportunity to build electronics in the US has “stoked a fire.” He hopes to soon move production of certain Emotiva products to the US, as well.

“US manufacturing is in my blood,” he explained. “We’re excited to get back into it. We’ve got a great team here and we’re going to be successful with it.”

IgAK's picture

An interesting matter in itself, but perhaps an even more interesting general portent within this announcement?

Best of luck to them, but what gets my attention is Emotiva wanting to move at least some manufacturing back into the US. A sign of a changing business climate? I've been expecting that eventually Chinese labor costs would inevitably rise until making everything over there would become a lot less attractive, especially given how difficult the Chinese can be to do business with ethically, besides. The increasing proliferation of ever improving audio products at steadily increasing prices directly under Chinese brand names is indicative, but now I'm hearing more talk about manufacturing here, and it's becoming less nationalistic wishful thinking and more doing, it seems like.

Is America going to get back into manufacturing before we lose the ability to do this? I'm not really big on patriotic rah-rah but we really have to stop outsourcing everything before it's too late. Hi-end audio, at least, has been one area in which we held on, so let's not make that a "was an area in which we held on" lament. So I have to consider this good news.