CharterOak Acoustic Devices
CharterOak is a US-based pro audio equipment manufacturer led by Michael Deming. The company began by sourcing components from around the world, taking advantage of aggressive pricing on certain materials and parts from Asia; assembly and finish work was done in the US. Beginning in 2013, Charter Oak moved all its production to the US, and changed suppliers for all but a very few electronic components, to US companies.
As an example of the company’s original approach, Deming said of the M900T, “We order the PCBs unpopulated from Asia as they come from a preexisting platform, and then populate the circuit boards here with our component set… Basically, PCBs and raw metal parts, cases, and accessories come from Asia; we do all metal finishing, machining, plating, laser engraving, powder coating, and assembly of electronics and mechanical parts and testing here in Connecticut at our own facility, and at a number of local precision subcontractors.”
In the company’s early years, some printed circuit boards were sourced from China, prepopulated. Charteroak’s US staff would replace and upgrade key components, at a relatively high cost. Beginning in 2011, the company began transitioning PCB manufacturing to the US, both to increase board quality and reduce costs associated with component removal.
As of early 2014, nearly all components are sourced from the US, and the company’s product literature bears the legend, “Made in USA.”