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ALESIS - DOA?

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  • ALESIS - DOA?

    Well I saw a few posts here on this subject, which is about one one-hundreth of what is going on other BBS's.

    I'm not "in the know", but here is what I have pieced together from various rumors:

    1. Alesis blew a significant chunk of cash on setting up their own Integrated circuit manufacturing business. I take it that some $$$ came from venture capital, but I get the impression that the chip business started sucking money out of the main company as well.

    The deal was they were making their own chips, which would be used in products like the new Andromeda synth, and their HD24 hard disc recorder. They are also (or were) selling chips (converters mainly) to other pro audio outfits.

    2. Alesis's bread and butter product, the ADAT has been eclipsed by DAW's and dedicated hard disc recorders, and was not selling that well anymore (hence the price cuts on the LX down to $999). A lot of the other stuff in the line has been around for ages (SR-16, Midiverb IV, etc.) and was probably not selling that well either.

    3. Their new hard disc recorder, a 24 bit/24 track device was going to be the sales hit they needed (projected street price of $2000), but they ran out of funding before they could put it in production

    4. They have been seeking capital to put the HD24 into production, supposedly Numark (the DJ stuff company) is going to give them funding, but other Pro Audio companies that were approached could not come to terms with Alesis.

    My take on this is that these "biggies" were waiting to snap up some Alesis technology and assets at "Chapter 11" prices, rather than invest in the company now.

    5. Apparently most of the staff has been let go, and rumor has it they filed Chapter 11 last Friday.

    Some things I do know that are pretty much facts:

    a. Some folks that had new Alesis stuff on loan from the company (for reviews, mic shootouts and stuff like that) had it returned by UPS, after they shipped it to Alesis. The return shipment was marked "out of business"

    b. One of the major ADAT service facilities in the US has been unable to get parts for about four months

    c. A lot of people that bought Masterlinks are still waiting on their mail in rebates.

    As part of this "reorg", Alesis bascially gave back the DM Pro kit to Hart, and also a new mic preamp (called the VIPRE) that had been developed by Groove Tubes back to GT.

    I am just speculating here, but if Hart is selling DM Pro modules, I suspect it might have to do with some back debt that Alesis owed them for DM Pro kits they had ordered.

    I think in the long run, some of the Alesis stuff will get picked up (like the 24 track HDR) and either the company will be revived, or someone else will rebadge and sell the technology.

    I think the future of the DM Pro is real cloudy though.

    I mean Vdrums pretty much had most of the market, and now you have Yamaha in there as well.

    I wouldn't worry too much about it if you bought a DM Pro module at a great price, but I surely wouldn't pay $600 for one these days, the warranty might not get honored.

    Like I said, I don't know much of this as actual facts, but a lot of pro audio groups have been talking about this situation for several months.

    At first they were just rumors, but the last month or so, they really went down the tubes.

    So yes, it is more than just rumor, there are some big problems there.

    Good luck to the employees (e.g. 50 of them have submitted resumes to Tascam) and let's hope somebody picks up the best stuff (I kind of liked the DM Pro myself) and brings it back to market.

    Jay Storey

  • #2
    If those rumours prove to be true, then it's really bad news indeed. Alesis was a good company with some really great products. My local salesperson has told me that units shipped back to Alesis for repair were returned as undeliverable recently, and they're really alarmed about it, especially with a lot of outstanding orders.
    It'd be a shame to lose them, but hopefully Hart will carry on marketing the DM Pro, it's a good module.

    Stu
    "Fry that sound effect, Moriarty, we're having it for breakfast"

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