Smallbear Electronics is Closing Down



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Smallbear Electronics is Closing Down

Postby le lambin » Sun Oct 03, 2021 12:55 pm

I don’t know how I missed this but it looks like Steve posted this on the site on 9/22:

“Dear Friends and Customers:

After 22 years as Chief Executive Bear of Small Bear Electronics, I am planning to retire and begin another stage of life with my good wife.

I have had a marvelous run: growing from a kitchen table to a 5,000-square foot warehouse, growing in tandem with both the community of DIYers and the numerous independent pedal makers who have become a major force in the effects market. Judy and I have had some wonderful experiences combining business and pleasure, from meeting domestic and overseas customers and vendors to sightseeing in locales from Alaska to South Africa.

This decision has not been forced by market conditions; business has continued as strong as ever through the pandemic. So, the store will be open as usual over the coming months. I will be selling down the inventory--first-come/first-served--and not replenishing stock. There is likely to be some confusion as we shrink. Thank you for your support all these years, and please bear with us through the transition.

Steve, Judy and the Small Bear Team”

When I used to live on the East coast, they were the absolute best place to get cheap enclosures, weird transistors, or pretty much any part that no one else had shipped fast and with no issues. Huge bummer to see him go, but at least it’s for good reasons and not because the business had problems. I had better stock up on vactrols while I can!
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Re: Smallbear Electronics is Closing Down

Postby goroth » Sun Oct 03, 2021 4:56 pm

I never bought from them and am a total hack, but even for someone like me it feels like a real end of an era moment. But good on him.
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Re: Smallbear Electronics is Closing Down

Postby LaoWiz » Mon Oct 04, 2021 2:50 am

le lambin wrote:I don’t know how I missed this but it looks like Steve posted this on the site on 9/22:

When I used to live on the East coast, they were the absolute best place to get cheap enclosures, weird transistors, or pretty much any part that no one else had shipped fast and with no issues. Huge bummer to see him go, but at least it’s for good reasons and not because the business had problems. I had better stock up on vactrols while I can!


Out of all the shit that's happened over the last 2 years, this bit of news hit me the hardest! I am a bit over it now but Small Bear was my main go to as I just really liked supporting this particular OG shop. Way back it was this place and Pedal parts plus and then starting getting stuff from Mouser. I really tried to support Small Bear the most and glad Steve is retiring rather them closing down shop because of economic issues.

Gonna really miss their pre-bonded wire, thin and classy stomp washers, double thick footswitch nuts. It's my favorite place to get pots. A couple of their enclosures made just for them I really love and will miss. Sure I will find equivalents of this stuff elsewhere. With them closing and seeing Mouser have less and less stock of through hole components is super depressing but will just have to adapt.
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Re: Smallbear Electronics is Closing Down

Postby imJonWain » Tue Oct 05, 2021 9:31 pm

Yeah, they were probably my favorite web shop. Not too many "old places" left.
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Re: Smallbear Electronics is Closing Down

Postby Gone Fission » Sat Oct 09, 2021 9:45 pm

There goes *the* specialty parts house for pedal DIY. Wow.
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Re: Smallbear Electronics is Closing Down

Postby UglyCasanova » Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:14 am

Was always too expensive to ship for it to make sense for me to order from them, but whenever I was looking for THAT part, they always seemed to have whatever it was in stock while other EU friendly shops were out of stock. Well played, SBE, well played.
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Re: Smallbear Electronics is Closing Down

Postby crochambeau » Thu Nov 25, 2021 12:08 pm

I'm interpreting some of their recent actions (planning a shut down with comprehensive inventory count, and protecting their IP in the guise of not revealing sources for a production part) as a build up to selling the company. So with luck, that may be the case and with more luck the new proprietor(s) will be able to maintain the excellent nature of the place.

I realize that's hope stacked on speculation, but I insist it's not outside the realm of possibility.
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Re: Smallbear Electronics is Closing Down

Postby imJonWain » Thu Nov 25, 2021 2:10 pm

^ Steve mentioned that there is a possible buyout in the works which is why they are doing the comprehensive inventory but he couldn't say anymore. My assumption would be that due to location if someones buys it they will be taking the inventory, name, & IP then moving the warehouse to somewhere cheaper then Brooklyn.
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