Hello!

Xaudia offer microphone re-ribboning and repair services.

2020/09/08

Working through a crisis! My experience of 2020 so far.

I have been meaning to write something about being overwhelmed, but have been too busy to write!

This year has surely been an extraordinary one for everyone on the planet. At Xaudia, we have been comparatively lucky - we have remained healthy and there has been constant demand for our services. I am extremely grateful for that. But it has been an extremely challenging period, both from professional and personal viewpoints.

Many of you will be wondering why your repair is taking so long. I think we have sufficient hindsight now to be able to look back and see what happened. Everything was running smoothly until the middle of March. We knew that trouble was on the way, but it didn't happen exactly as we had expected.

My fear was that demand would drop off the cliff and we would have to shut Xaudia for the duration of the epidemic and claim government support. We did close for the first couple of weeks when the virus lockdown was announced. 

But the repairs kept arriving in as normal. And then more and more arrived. It seemed than many studios took the lockdown period as an opportunity to tidy up, take stock and get things fixed. Other musicians asked for microphones for home recording, and almost all our stock of budget used ribbon microphones were sold in April. We went back to work, taking it in turns to man the workshop so that we could be safe and not contravene the safety guidelines issued at that time.

Demand was higher than ever, but our working hours were down. We were trying to do twice as much in half the time, which simply could not be done.

And then we ran into supply chain issues. Around the world, factories were either closed, or (like us) working at reduced capacity. We ran out of certain magnets (especially those for B&O microphone repairs), certain XLR sockets that we fit to microphones, and then transformer laminations. Those problems are now all solved, so now we just have to catch up with the work. And there is a lot of it. I estimate there are around 100 microphones in the repair queue.

I think overall we have probably lost around 6 weeks of productivity. If we are lucky and the pandemic stays under control then we should catch up by Christmas, just in time for the new Brexit rules. :-(

Stay safe!

Stewart

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