So is Sunfire dead?

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Gary Bechtold
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So is Sunfire dead?

Post by Gary Bechtold » Mon May 25, 2015 2:43 pm

Is it safe to assume that Sunfire is dead? I haven't been here in awhile and I noticed that the last bit of news from Sunfire on their website was in 2012.

While we are on it, where does one go if they need service.

I'm going to sell my Sunfire Cinema Grand 200x5. I need a different amp setup.

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Re: So is Sunfire dead?

Post by Robert R » Mon May 25, 2015 3:16 pm

For Sunfire Service: Bill Flannery - Sunfire repair in Washington - 425-232-9560.

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Gary Bechtold
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Re: So is Sunfire dead?

Post by Gary Bechtold » Mon May 25, 2015 4:33 pm

Thank you. So does anyone know what happened to Sunfire. Did the company that bought them just buy them to do nothing with them? The most annoying thing about Bob Carver is that he comes up with great stuff and then sells it and the new product and support dries up.

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Re: So is Sunfire dead?

Post by jjptkd » Mon May 25, 2015 5:05 pm

Sunfire is still alive and well and they still support their current line-up. As for the "out of warranty" repairs Bill Flannery at "Flannery's Vintage Audio" took over where Bob Carver left off.

http://www.sunfire.com/default.asp

http://www.flannerysvintageaudio.com/
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Re: So is Sunfire dead?

Post by TNRabbit » Mon May 25, 2015 8:53 pm

... And to correct your assumption, Bob didn't sell. Sunfire BoD voted him out. the same thing had happened to Carver Corp.
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Gary Bechtold
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Re: So is Sunfire dead?

Post by Gary Bechtold » Mon May 25, 2015 11:49 pm

TNRabbit wrote:... And to correct your assumption, Bob didn't sell. Sunfire BoD voted him out. the same thing had happened to Carver Corp.
You think he would have learned the lesson after the first time... :-k

That's sad.

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Re: So is Sunfire dead?

Post by frenchguy » Tue May 26, 2015 12:15 am

when the board of directors votes you out of the company, what are you supposed to do? both times they wanted to take production to china to increase profits! you think Bob should have agreed to that? you wouldnt have quality audio equipment if he did! he wanted to build stuff right! bean counters wanted more $$ what would you of done? leave & build another company like he did! [-X [-(
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Gary Bechtold
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Re: So is Sunfire dead?

Post by Gary Bechtold » Thu May 28, 2015 9:53 am

I didn't know he got booted out of Sunfire by a board of directors. Only knew about the Carver board of directors doing that. I guess the question is why did he do a board of directors so he could get shafted again. History repeats itself. Either way I see no new Sunfire product coming so they are essentially dead since he is not involved with them anymore. It's sad. #-o

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Re: So is Sunfire dead?

Post by Robert R » Thu May 28, 2015 10:38 am

You have a board of directors because you have to when you "go public". Carver Corp. did that in 1985 and acquired almost $15 million from IPO stock sales, capital used for expansion. It worked great for a few years, but gradually the board went for 'greed over all things' and wrecked what had been a great company and also a lot of Bob's reputation.

Bob is philosophical about it, essentially saying, "it's the system we have - like it or not, that's how it goes".

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Re: So is Sunfire dead?

Post by Miko1971 » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:57 pm

I watched a interview with B.C. and he stated that this huge corp. offered him such a great deal to sell Sunfire that he couldn't pass it up.

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Re: So is Sunfire dead?

Post by jjptkd » Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:18 pm

I had heard that he sold Sunfire to ELAN and that he stayed on as an "advisor" for several years after the sale. But that's just rumors I heard through his repair shop several years ago.
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Re: So is Sunfire dead?

Post by Miko1971 » Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:27 am

Correct, he said that he turned them down a few times and they offered him so much money he had to take it. Then Élan had big troubles and that's probably why they cut the Sunfire products down to what would work in their markets..home theatre etc... As much as I hated to see Bob sell, he was fortunate or very smart to sell when he did as the financial crisis was just around the corner. As far as Carver.. Yea he got boned from what I've read about it. So did Mark Levinson/Dan deagistino/ the guy and his sister that started Krell... Lots of people have been screwed. Although I think B.C. Is unfairly singled out as a guy that quits his companies..

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Re: So is Sunfire dead?

Post by Toy Maker » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:58 pm

jjptkd wrote:I had heard that he sold Sunfire to ELAN and that he stayed on as an "advisor" for several years after the sale. But that's just rumors I heard through his repair shop several years ago.
This is correct from what Bob and I have discussed. We were just starting to design the ALS when this was all going on. Elan did not buy Sunfire.. they are sister companies.
Nortek http://www.nortek.com owns them both...

Notrek was entering the higher end home theater market and made Bob a few offers. I know the financial details, but won't publish them here.
He was given millions up front with some more millions to be paid over 5 years I believe. He was also to stay on as head engineer the entire time.
As the 5 year mark came closer and closer, Sunfire began having almost all of its products manufactured in China by the same plant that builds Elan's products.
In the end, Sunfire and Elan were basically engineering firms, sending designs to china for production.
If I'm not mistaken... Nortek OWNS the factory in China as well.

Once the 5 year term was at an end, and the market was falling apart, Nortek decided to downsize even more.
Bob was offered to keep his engineering position with what would be left of Sunfire... If he agreed to move to the new offices in California.

This is where Bob had to cut ties with Sunfire when he decided to stay in Snohomish with his daughter, and then girlfriend, whom he married a couple years later.

From all of our talks, I have never heard a single bad word spoken about how or why Bob left Sunfire.
It was his decision to stay in Washington while Sunfire was being relocated to California that ended the relationship.

Bob made out like a bandit on Sunfire. He sold the company at the right time, he missed the recession by less than 6 months he told me, and was still making a very good salary from Sunfire for the next 5 years.



PS...

Just did a little digging..
Today, it loks like it goes:

Nortek > Core Brands > Sunfire

http://www.nortek.com
http://www.corebrands.com/
http://www.sunfire.com/

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Re: So is Sunfire dead?

Post by Gary Bechtold » Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:00 pm

I know it's been awhile. Thanks to those who posted some knowledge of what's going on. For what it's worth I sold my original Sunfire Cinema Grand 200x5. 19 years of good use!!! I bit the bullet and picked up a new Sunfire TGA-7401. Very pleased with it. It's noticeably quieter than the original Cinema Grand. I wish they sold a 9-channel version of either the 7201 or 7401 so I can go and do a 5.1.4 ATMOS setup.

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Re: So is Sunfire dead?

Post by peck555 » Tue Sep 15, 2015 3:20 pm

Gary Bechtold wrote:I know it's been awhile. Thanks to those who posted some knowledge of what's going on. For what it's worth I sold my original Sunfire Cinema Grand 200x5. 19 years of good use!!! I bit the bullet and picked up a new Sunfire TGA-7401. Very pleased with it. It's noticeably quieter than the original Cinema Grand. I wish they sold a 9-channel version of either the 7201 or 7401 so I can go and do a 5.1.4 ATMOS setup.
The new amp is quieter probably because the caps were at the end of there lives in the Cinema Grand, and the new amp has new caps. And you don't need a nine channel amp, just add a Sunfire Signature and rock on (after recapping of course) :evil:

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