Special cabinets - the logistics
Frankly, we are not in a position to negotiate with the cabinet maker over ones and twos in a 'non-standard' veneer. Of course, anything can be done, but at a price. I don't think you'd be willing to pay 50%+ more would you for what on the face of it is 'just' a change of veneer. But once the cabinets are underway, hand picking some nice veneer for just a pair of cabinets isn't a viable proposition at a fair price to you.
Actually it's a little more complex than this. When we order, say, 100 cabinets of any given veneer, bearing in mind the myriad of problems that can become evident during their production, the cabinet maker will (depending on model and veneer and past experience) veneer-up and turn into cabinets a larger quantity: perhaps 106 or 108 pcs.. That should, in his judgement, cover realistic 'losses' during production. If he's lucky and everything goes well, then maybe we receive 102 or 104 pcs. and I have a policy that we never refuse to accept and pay for perfect cabinets which are, legally, over-deliveries against the original purchase order. Many competitors have hard and fast accounting rules - and 100 ordered must balance against 100 received and not a piece more. This refusal to accept over-runs causes bad feeling with the cabinet maker who has no other outlet for the cabinet. He won't sit on them so they'll be turned into kindling: a straight loss to him.
So, to be sure that one perfect pair of black cabinets is available for you on the end of a run of another veneer, he may have to make not two but at least four. And then, if they are perfect, we have to buy those cabinets and sit on them perhaps forever.
I hope this gives you some insight into what is a seemingly trivial issue and why controlling the range of veneers is essential to remaining cost competitive.
Alan A. Shaw
Harbeth Audio UK