Wow, that is sad.
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@noro - Where did you hear they were "closing"? On their website it only says this -
" Jelco is now unable to accept new orders from April 2nd, 2020, due to the availability of transportation and delays in production due to the spread of the serious infectious disease COVID-19. Thank you for your understanding."
Our son lives in Tokyo, and he has been working from his apartment for at least 6-7 weeks. An established company like Jelco could certainly halt production temporarily or cut back to just doing repairs, without the extreme measure of going out of business entirely, it would seem to me on the surface. I have to wonder whether there is some other motivation, but in any case, it's a loss to our hobby. I worry more about the plight of hundreds of thousands of people who run the many thousands of tiny restaurants that are a part of what makes Tokyo such a great place to visit (and eat). Dan says you can get carry-out here and there, but many restaurants are just closed up entirely. He formerly used his kitchen to store clothing, but now he has had to clear off his stove for cooking, which he does not like to do.
“For the past few years, the business has endured a decline in labor productivity due to health issues arising from our aging skilled engineers. Furthermore, due to our obsolete mechanical equipment, performing maintenance on them has become difficult.”
Here is the other part of the story behind closing doors. The company have not invested in recruiting new talent nor replaced equipments to keep up with modern times.
In any case, It’s sad and unfortunate to see them close their doors.
imhififan"Compare to other tonearms in the market, I think Jelco priced too low to survive."
It was priced about right and I am sorry to see Jelco go but let's be candid, honest, and straightfoward in evaluating, assessing, and qualifying Jelco's products they were "budget" products designed, marketed, and intended for "beginners" to vinyl playback and there are other alternatives priced in the similar budget category to replace them the Jelco arms were never anything special.
I'm not trying to pick a fight, or argue, but regarding the comment that Jelco arms "were never anything special"... Hmmm. That strikes me as a little bit overly simplistic. Perhaps I’m simply being overly sensitive, since I am getting ready to install a 750L on my Garrard 401 project table, and I’m delighted with the quality of the arm.
But the comment does make me want to ask which arms are, actually, something special? Rather than simply made from exotic materials or expensive? There are certainly many arms which could be classified as being "middling" but which, when partnered well with other equipment, provide superb value and can be satisfying over the long term. Actually, I think providing satisfying performance in the mid-level price range, is where the juice is. It's easy to find high performing arms that cost a lot of money. That's not a challenge. Finding something I can afford that will provide a "high enough" level of performance and not distract me with the feeling I need to upgrade something, that's the challenge.
I, for one, am sad to see them go.