Jade Design Acquires Bob Carver's Company and His Expertise

By Lindsey M. Adler June 19,2013

Bob Carver’s audio engineering prowess will now become a permanent fixture with the Emotiva and Sherbourn high-end audio brands as part of Jade Design’s recent acquisition of the audio legend’s company.
 Dan Laufman, left, and Bob Carver, right.

The acquisition expands Emotiva’s PureDirect sales model with the addition of Bob Carver vacuum tube amps. Additionally, Bob Carver has agreed to exclusively license his name, technologies, and engineering skills “for a variety of other projects” to Jade Designs, according to Dan Laufman, president of Jade Designs.

“Bob is a very active engineer, constantly in the lab developing things,” Laufman said. “He needs someone like us to take a napkin [design or prototype] and take them to market in a meaningful way.”

Bob Carver amps are built entirely in the U.S., allowing Jade Designs to switch some of its manufacturing away from Asia. It’s an initiative about which Laufman spoke candidly and passionately, during a press briefing on Wednesday afternoon.

Laufman has a deep-rooted background as an OEM and has experienced first hand the necessity of moving operations to China in the mid-1990s. “What’s happened is the pendulum has swung the other way now,” he said about seizing the opportunity to build in the U.S. again.

“American manufacturing is something I did my whole life up until the last 10 to 15 years. It’s in my blood,” Laufman said. “And this gives me the motivation to get that effort going again. Everyone here is fired up about it. We miss doing it.”

Bob Carver LLC’s operations have already been moved from Kentucky to Jade Design’s headquarters in Franklin, TN, near Nashville.

Laufman insisted that Jade Designs has “no desire to change the way that [Bob Carver] tube amps are designed,” with the assurance that the Bob Carver line will be expanded “to be a full line of electronics.”

Some of these new products already in development include a powered subwoofer, a smaller stereo power amp, a tube-based DAC, a smaller version of the Black Beauty mono block amp, and a high-performance preamp, which Laufman expects to be introduced by the end of the year. “We’re very actively pursuing a lot of loudspeaker ideas,” he said.

Read a review of the Bob Carver VTA20S Black Magic 20-watt amp here

All existing Bob Carver dealers will be offered the PureDirect Partner program, which does not compete with online pricing of Emotiva and Sherbourn products. The Bob Carver amps will be sold direct to consumers from the website, as well. Laufman described the program as an effort to “bridge the gap” between the old dealer model and the direct-to-consumer model, insisting that “we won’t undercut the dealer.” Read what Laufman had to say recently about Sherbourn’s decision to sell AV components direct to consumers here

Jade Design has already started shipping Bob Carver amps, working to cut into the significant backorder there has been for dealers and international distributors. The products should be available for online purchase in a few weeks.

Bob Farinelli, Bob Carver’s original partner has moved on to launch Smart Farm LLC, using automation, RF control, and monitoring techniques to control water pumps and reduce energy and water consumption for farming.

Read a Q&A with Bob Farinelli about Bob Carver LLC in its earliest days, here



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