Quoted from kvan99:
Not sure why you need a BOM to be convinced that the costs have not risen in proportion to material prices. You don't need to see Stern's BOM cost to figure out the new metal backbox saves money, the elimination of the service rails saves money as does the relocation of the power switch, don't forget the removal of the lockdown bar. The spike system etc...etc...
The BOM on a Stern is really no one's business or concern. They build the machines and choose to sell them for whatever they want. If they are priced too high, no one will buy. Someone buying any product shouldn't have any concerns as to what the manufacturer paid for that product. It's just no one's concern. Stern is not a non-profit organization and under no obligation to justify their price with BOM costs. If the prices are too high, dont buy. That simple.
Don't forget, a $2000 machine does not profit stern $3000 on a $5000 sale. They have to absorb all the development costs that went into the machine as well as the labor costs to assemble and the costs of just keeping the business running (managers, electric bill, etc).
Finally, just because something changes, people should stop assuming the only reason is to cheapen out and save money. A good business should constantly be asking why something is done the way it's done and not just be doing it that way "because that's how we've always done it." An example here is the lockdown bar assembly. Why is the lever better than the clasps? Both hold the lockdown bar in just fine. Why is moving the power switch important? When the old days half the circuitry was in the cabinet maybe it made sense. But now when all the circuitry is in the head it doesnt make sense to have the switch way out in the cabinet.
If I were at Stern, I would be questioning a lot more. Looking at the components in the backbox itself, there is no reason to have the backbox head be so damned tall. The boards dont fill that area up any longer. You could have an arcade style marquee, a display, and a half sized head. Sure that would be cheaper, but its wouldnt be just to save money. It would be less weight, more convenient to handle, and the only reason not to do it is "because that's how we've always done it", a very stupid reason. I'm sure if stern ever did make such a change, it would be considered only to cut costs as if the extra $3 of wood was going to make or break the company.