Albright sent me an email breathlessly announcing a 4th of July closeout sale. This came as quite a shock -- not only because Albright (sarcasm) NEVER (/sarcasm) marks down any of their products, but also because it included a lot of models form the EXS series that was originally discontinued more than 5 years ago, and I thought the remaining stock had all been liquidated through Sierra Trading Post at the time. I picked up a couple of EXS rods back then, and while I am a harsh critic of Albright's more recent business practices, I do love my EXS rods.
This new "closeout" EXS sale is offering them for $180, more than 50% off the original $375-$425 list prices these rods had when they were still in production. (Who knows what Albright is calling the "MSRP" these days. When I looked this afternoon I thought I saw a figure in the $700+ range, but this evening they aren't quoting any MSRP.) This is not quite as low as the lowest discounts that were available when STP was blowing them out, but it's still a great value for a very nice rod.
But there's very little info on the Albright website about the EXS series itself and why it's suddenly available again, other than what looks to be some old ad copy about the hardware fittings, high-modulus graphite and quartz scrim. The old rods were sweet if you got a good one, but had some problems with consistent quality control. Does anyone know why another batch of EXS rods is suddenly available so long after they were discontinued, and what their provenance is? Are they first-quality old stock, or old rejected blanks that stayed in the warehouse after the best stuff was sold off, or a new production run? And if they are new production, are they any different from the old ones?