Very sorry to hear about Kevin's problems! I believe the difference with bigger companies would be that these have way more substantial mark-ups than Kevin. So when it hits the fan, they can sweat it out. Maybe they are also more cunningly regarding legal issues: the manufactorer should bleed for changing the design, not Kevin. I simpathise greatly, since I am a self-employed man myself. I had my share of bad things.According to Kevin the manufacturer changed the design of the shorting ring without his knowledge/consent. When he asked them about it they said that hadn't changed anything, but clearly it had as his last batch of woofers failed after a short period of time. All issues were related to the shorting ring. Customers that bought the 18" or 21" recently almost certainly had failures with their drivers. This almost put Kevin out of business.
Kevin is now doing this part time and had to get a full time job as per the update on his website.
Needless to say if you've got a good one hang onto it! I have the gen II 18" and it's awesome.
Anyway, I hope my Maelströms 18" are not affected? I got these since Feb/March 2010. The sub cabinets are ready, but I was still waiting for the amp (Behringer NU6000) to fire them up...