Hilton Audio Is Heading To CALLERLAB – March 28-31, 2015
We look forward to meeting many of you at the CALLERLAB convention in Springfield, Missouri this year. This will be our first opportunity to introduce a couple of the new faces involved with Hilton Audio Products of Texas. We will have a well-stocked booth displaying MA-220 amplifiers, microphones, cables, and accessories all available for you to purchase and take home with you. On top of saving the shipping costs, we’ll try to have a couple special offers too.
- We WILL have 5 “European” style MA-220’s with us at CALLERLAB. While Hilton cannot currently ship to Europe due to CE regulations, what you buy while you are in the United States is your business. If you want a European MA-220, please understand that while the warranty is valid, the responsibility of getting the unit to and from the United States is yours alone. Please contact me in advance to reserve a European unit for pick up in Springfield, MO.
Aside from shaking hands and kissing babies myself, I will also be bringing my lead technician and “Grand Wizard”, Stephen Chauvin (Shaw-ven) to CALLERLAB with me. Steve is an electrical engineer, and the man (physically) responsible for carrying on the Hilton name as he personally has built every new MA-220 since I purchased the company in August. Steve is a great guy with a lot of ideas for future Hilton products. He is a square dancer, but is, as yet “un-initiated” with a big group of square dance callers…so take good care of him!
“Specialty” Mic Cables To Be Introduced At CALLERLAB
We’ve been teasing some new “Specialty” microphone cables for a while now. These new cables have a special flexible coating/wrap on them that comes in 16 different color varieties. The colors range from hot pink to red, white, and blue striped. This flexible wrap can be added to any black microphone cable for an additional $30.00 (with or without reset/mute button). We will be making these cables to order at CALLERLAB. (While the major impact of these new color choices is cosmetic, several callers have noted that the coating makes the cables much less likely to get tangled.)
Hilton Shipping Suspended While At CALLERLAB
As we will be at CALLERLAB, we will not be able to ship orders from March 27 through April 2, 2015. The online store will remain open, and I’ll answer the phone when I can, but nothing will be shipped until I return from CALLERLAB on the April 2nd. Again…as always…your best method of contact is email.
We Have Finally Fulfilled All Of Our MA-220 Back-orders!
As of March 1, 2015, we shipped the last MA-220 that was back-ordered and we’re starting to build up our stock of MA-220’s. It’s my long term goal to always have units “on the shelf” ready to be shipped immediately on order. It’ll take a little while to get enough product on hand to start “promising”, but we’re on the way.
Building Our Stock Of Accessories
If you haven’t checked out the www.hiltonaudio.com online store lately, there have been lots of additions made to our accessories. We now have speaker cables available in different colors and lengths, adapters, splitters, replacement volume potentiometers, foam turn-table pads and more. We are expecting more product in the coming weeks, so be sure to check back for new items.
Inventory Is FINALLY In Progress
Immediately after being laid off from my “day job” they brought me back as a contractor to finish a couple projects. That didn’t work out the way we expected, so I am now “officially” finished with my day job. While I continue to explore options, I’ll take this time to begin work on inventory. I know many of you have been looking for older parts. I will make these available in the online store as I figure out what we have on hand. I know I’ve said this before…but I now have the time to dedicate to this mammoth project.
Hilton In Europe – It’s Still Not Looking Good
While we are not giving up, every avenue to pursue CE Certification has proven to be cost-prohibitive. The CE Certification process is extensive, costly, and will require a re-certification process any time a modification as small as a resistor is made to the design. Every new design (as I hope to offer more than the MA-220 down the line) would require the same process and expense.
I’m going to be as honest as I possibly can regarding Europe folks…Hilton may very well have made its last sale to Europe. The thought is not pleasant for anyone, but we simply do not have pockets deep enough to fight this battle. Our forecast for sales in Europe was 6-9 units a year. It doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out that the numbers just don’t work. I hope to have better news by the summer update. In the meantime, what you bring back from the states on your own is not restricted.
So, What’s Ahead For Hilton?
We are working on some shorter and longer term goals with Hilton Audio Products in the coming months and years. Here are a few tidbits…
- Hilton will have a booth set up at the 64th National Square Dance Convention in Springfield, Massachusetts. Mary Ellen and I will be there all week and hope to meet old friends and new while back in New England. (By the way…in case you haven’t heard, I’m also the Keynote Speaker at the 64th National…not because of Hilton, but because of my history in New England. I’ll be presenting with my longtime friend and fellow caller, Ted Lizotte of Manchester, New Hampshire.)
- We would like to introduce a new Hilton speaker by Fall 2015. I’d love to say we’ll have it ready for the Nationals, but I’m not ready to make that promise yet.
- There is a new Hilton amplifier in the works. This will be a “festival caliber” unit, and it will not be available for at least another year. The MA-220 will continue to be the preferred choice for most callers, but this new amplifier will handle the biggest venues. Expect something Spring/Summer 2016. (And no, it won’t be cheap.)
Thank you for your continued support of Hilton Audio Products. We continue to be a “work in progress” but look forward to helping you with all of your dance audio needs in the future.
Paul and Mary Ellen Cote