Update! We have been contacted by Larry Penn, Elettromedia Italy’s Area Manager for the U.S. While he confirms that the company is indeed phasing out the Thesis speaker line from Audison, he said it is due to many factors, not just the cost of neodymium. He adds, “We are not abandoning the category.”
Penn said he will contact us tomorrow with additional information. In the duration, he claimed certain comments below were incorrect.
We’ll update the story when we hear back from him.
High end Italian car audio maker Audison has discontinued its Thesis line of car speakers due to the escalating cost of neodymium, confirmed the company.
With the cost of neodymium up by
1,800 percent in the past year and a half, “it just got to the point where the cost of the materials makes the product cost ridiculous,” said Larry Frederick, technical director of Elettromedia which makes Audison, Hertz and Connection brands. The general pricing rule is cost of materials times 5. “So if something goes up by 20 times, maybe it’s only a buck, but then it’s really 20 times 5,” he said.
The line was discontinued late last week and the company is just about of stock.
It is possible that Audison will show new Thesis speakers as early as January, which will be redesigned to include less neodymium.
“I think you are going to see all suppliers of products with larger drivers that use neodymium either pass on the cost or discontinue the products,” said Frederick. He noted that with smaller drivers like tweeters, there’s less of cost problem as they may only weigh an ounce or less.
“From what I gather, China has the largest deposits of neodymium and with the onslaught of electric cars and trains, neodymium has become super important for those products, so car audio is a low priority,” he added.
Thesis speakers, among the best in car audio, carried a price of $2,500 for a pair of 6 inch models. Frederick said, they are some of the fastest speakers ever made in terms of ability to respond to the audio signal.
Audison‘s Voce line remains intact as Voce speakers use less neodymium. Also Thesis car amplifiers are still available.