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Hey guys...we need a little rallying here... - Page 202

post #6031 of 9844
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich H View Post

It's not all my doings, and I don't want to take that kind of credit. The speaker designers and guys that helped with the SEOS design did a lot more than I did. If not for them, we'd have a ball of fiberglass, a nice piece of plastic, or a wooden enclosure with no components.
We've just gone off on a tangent about crossover schematics before they were even listed on the site as complete, when they're not mine to post anyway.
The gratitude should definitely be directed towards the designers. biggrin.gif

Erich, I have to disagree. I helped a little here and there and I'm sure these designers put in some work, but we are commodities so to speak. I'm not sure we could find another guy who would stick his neck out and put real sweat stress and money into getting this done. In all honesty, I wouldn't do what you are doing. I would maybe do it for profit, but even then I'm not sure the margins would be enough for me. I'm still surprised the SEOS made it past a a bunch of nerds chatting.

I know you are a humble guy, but guys who can design speakers are far more common than ones who are willing to do what you do. Thanks.
post #6032 of 9844
Quote:
Originally Posted by coctostan View Post

Erich, I have to disagree. ...snip... I'm still surprised the SEOS made it past a a bunch of nerds chatting.
I know you are a humble guy, but guys who can design speakers are far more common than ones who are willing to do what you do. Thanks.

Kudos, Props!, +1

I think WE need to consider that there remains 100% chance for success. Due only to Erich's efforts, that level of success is WAY beyond what it would have been otherwise. cool.gif
post #6033 of 9844
Enthusiastically agree with Max's and bg40403's posts!!!

Erich, you are one in a million. The amount of effort you have put in to all of this is mind-boggling.

You and I traded many emails when you were hooking me up with the JBL group buy pallet and discussed what you were trying to do with your future DIY site and how Zilch touched you. You might remember me trying to urge you to build in some profit for yourself, as what people will be getting will still be a vastly better deal than what else is available; even with a few bucks for you to cover your time, etc. -- of course, you said "No Way." smile.gif

Even at that time, you had stated you had $30k or so invested in various projects with plenty more coming on the horizon. As Max mentioned, there is no way I would be able to pull something like this off either -- financially, yes; intellectually, no. (and no, I'm not saying you lack intellect either! biggrin.gif Although you did keep saying you might be just a little bit insane... smile.gif )

For you to be doing all of this on your own dime, exposing yourself to all of the risks inherent with getting parts prototyped, purchased in bulk, warehoused, and shipped...with no profit to cover the overhead and inevitable bumps in the road...is truly an amazing thing that simply blows me away.

And when you add in your title of 'World's Best Box and Pallet Packer', you are simply one of a kind. biggrin.gif
Edited by Aaron Smith - 12/6/12 at 11:04am
post #6034 of 9844
Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

zilch would probably turnover in his grave to see such a great collective effort end in a secret crossover.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

i think something got lost in the translation.

Whew! Wow am I glad it was a translational error, or a whole lot of us would have lost respect for you, LTD02.
That did not translate from the original language very well at all!
I've always considered you to be a solid Voice of Reason on this forum, but for a moment there, I had my doubts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

there have been a ton folks who have made all kinds of different contributions to the seos project because the expectation was that it was "everybody helping everybody", not everybody helps to create a product that can only be purchased from one guy.

How much risk did any of us take? How much would we be out if this thing fell through with defective product arriving at our shores or whatever? None.

If we were to cut any one person some slack, my vote would be for our Professional Landscaper friend who has taken on a huge financial risk by investing a huge amount of his own personal money and time and effort into the project--and has taken some really big losses in the process from unscrupulous people (live and learn, I guess)--all so he can make high-performance audio affordable to his DIY friends.
post #6035 of 9844
Quote:
Originally Posted by LTD02 View Post

raul, anything that is freely and openly published in the public domain falls into the category of "prior art" and invalidates any ip claims filed after that date.
You are correct in theory, but there is no shortage of products that have been patented that were based on prior art (e.g. in audio see some of the bo$e patents and patents regarding spherical enclosures). Although bo$e would likely lose against a well funded defense, the problem is the latter. Again, in litigation, funding matters, whether one is in the right or wrong. Thus the reason some parties in possession of some valuable IP may derive more benefit from licensing it rather than exploiting it themselves.

PS, there is a caveat to your "openly published". For it to qualify for prior art it must have been "openly published" prior to "third" party's submission for patent.
post #6036 of 9844
I think we're all getting worked up due to the cold weather approaching! Plus the stress of the holidays and possibly gaining a few pounds from Thanksgiving. biggrin.gif It's enough to cause everyone to be a little edgy. No doubt I should make a mental note not to post after 2:00 a.m either.


Back on track.....
post #6037 of 9844
i sure appreciate what eric is doing and in favor of his view for he is the one shelling out his money and major effort with little to no guaranty of getting them back, what he is doing takes a lot of guts and patience. But i also see many other such as ltd, coc, tux, bwaslo and many others who have gone great length to contribute and promote this project as an avs open group project. personally i think anyone who wants the design should ask for it in private and i am pretty sure the designer or eric wouldn't mind. just my 2c
Edited by datranz - 12/6/12 at 1:10pm
post #6038 of 9844
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erich H View Post

**** There are no secret crossovers. ****
Again, I'm not hoarding crossovers. But I'm not going to openly post someones crossover work. I have no problem posting mine if someone wants to print it on their pillow so they can sleep better at night, but I'm not going to post one from someone else. It's not my right to do that.
Not to beat a dead horse (and my last comment on this issue), but Erich is right, the Intellectual Property rights to the x-over reside with the designer unless he or she transferred them to Erich or his company. As many have posted, if the designer has not transferred his or her rights to the IP, then he or she is free to post them on the web, but it is not Erich's call.
post #6039 of 9844
Well, I think we need to look toward somehow transforming this into a for-profit business for Erich, something that can sustain itself and eventually pay a salary for him. He needs to be talked into that, for his good and ours.

Erich is indeed crazy in a way, and is really into working out how to provide for this DIY community and has a lot of fun doing it (usually....). And I know he really doesn't like landscaping so much any more, and prefers things that use his organizational and planning skills more, like the SEOS project has.

But there's only so long this can go on absorbing Erich's savings and energy I suspect, he has to get the investment back in some reasonable time. I'd hate to see him burn out on this! And if this stuff is going to be continuously available for diyers, then this operation should become a living (or at least part of one) for him. I think that is what Erich would prefer -- to run an enthusiast's technical business rather than the landscaping business. I'd like to see him become more of a capitalist and less of a charitable provider.

I don't know how to make this transition, he is always set on providing for "the designers" (most of us who are just playing with the hobby for fun and for the joy of posting something we came up with). Maybe a few hours in a week or so most of the time. Erich's doing it "for fun" too, I guess, but $35k+, near full-time effort, and use of most of his not-small building is more than I think we should expect for the long term. Of course, the first person who needs convincing on this is probably Erich....
post #6040 of 9844
I was going to donate anything he gave me. Maybe I'll donate it to Erich biggrin.gif
post #6041 of 9844
I wholeheartedly agree, but for absolutely selfish reasons. I would love to see the fine products this project brought to life still available a year or two from now.

btw, your post count has reached the critical mass, Bill.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwaslo View Post

Well, I think we need to look toward somehow transforming this into a for-profit business for Erich, something that can sustain itself and eventually pay a salary for him. He needs to be talked into that, for his good and ours.
Erich is indeed crazy in a way, and is really into working out how to provide for this DIY community and has a lot of fun doing it (usually....). And I know he really doesn't like landscaping so much any more, and prefers things that use his organizational and planning skills more, like the SEOS project has.
But there's only so long this can go on absorbing Erich's savings and energy I suspect, he has to get the investment back in some reasonable time. I'd hate to see him burn out on this! And if this stuff is going to be continuously available for diyers, then this operation should become a living (or at least part of one) for him. I think that is what Erich would prefer -- to run an enthusiast's technical business rather than the landscaping business. I'd like to see him become more of a capitalist and less of a charitable provider.
I don't know how to make this transition, he is always set on providing for "the designers" (most of us who are just playing with the hobby for fun and for the joy of posting something we came up with). Maybe a few hours in a week or so most of the time. Erich's doing it "for fun" too, I guess, but $35k+, near full-time effort, and use of most of his not-small building is more than I think we should expect for the long term. Of course, the first person who needs convincing on this is probably Erich....
post #6042 of 9844
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwaslo View Post

Well, I think we need to look toward somehow transforming this into a for-profit business for Erich, something that can sustain itself and eventually pay a salary for him. He needs to be talked into that, for his good and ours....


Agreed. When you put your financial and personal resources at risk, you're expected to make a profit.

Additionally, I just don't see the longevity of this project IF it continues to be 'non-profit'.
post #6043 of 9844
+1

Even though Erich denies it he is the one who has put the most time, effort and money to bring this whole thing to where it is now. I am sure he has spent more time putting this together then all the designers combined. By all means he deserves to make a profit.
post #6044 of 9844
Eric, I have to agree with the sentiment that you should make something for your efforts. Ideas and designs are constantly being made available amongst the community, but for someone to single handedly take those ideas and make them ready to assemble for everyone, is a whole new level of respect.

At the minimum you should increase all prices by 10%, as an inconvenience fee for your efforts.
post #6045 of 9844
i too would like erich turn into a side business. its healthy for the long term stability. only if erich has a hand in aespeakers.
post #6046 of 9844
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwaslo View Post

Well, I think we need to look toward somehow transforming this into a for-profit business for Erich, something that can sustain itself and eventually pay a salary for him. He needs to be talked into that, for his good and ours.

Erich is indeed crazy in a way, and is really into working out how to provide for this DIY community and has a lot of fun doing it (usually....). And I know he really doesn't like landscaping so much any more, and prefers things that use his organizational and planning skills more, like the SEOS project has.

But there's only so long this can go on absorbing Erich's savings and energy I suspect, he has to get the investment back in some reasonable time. I'd hate to see him burn out on this! And if this stuff is going to be continuously available for diyers, then this operation should become a living (or at least part of one) for him. I think that is what Erich would prefer -- to run an enthusiast's technical business rather than the landscaping business. I'd like to see him become more of a capitalist and less of a charitable provider.

I don't know how to make this transition, he is always set on providing for "the designers" (most of us who are just playing with the hobby for fun and for the joy of posting something we came up with). Maybe a few hours in a week or so most of the time. Erich's doing it "for fun" too, I guess, but $35k+, near full-time effort, and use of most of his not-small building is more than I think we should expect for the long term. Of course, the first person who needs convincing on this is probably Erich....

Right on Bill,

Having been operating on my own for nearly 8 years and fully in this wacky audio business for 11, I can take a good guess as to what he's invested, and I'd be surprised if it wasn't $50k + endless time + all the space taken up by the "stuff". I thumb-to-the-wind guess that based on what Erich has posted of his determined costs and prices charged, over a 6-12 month period I he'll be operating at a 5-10% cash loss *after* he makes the initial investment in parts if he simply keeps stock of parts vs. not re-ordering.

If you factor in expansion/growth of adding other options and new kits (Erich does appear to have a problem saying NO wink.gif ), that cash loss will be 10-20% of total sold, not including any packing labor, his time not packing things and storage space. Finally, this doesn't include any consideration from a future batch of some component showing up non-functional / not fit for sale.

I've mentioned it before to Erich, but I'd be happy to be a sounding board for whatever options he's considering. I already have a business concept/plan largely sorted that overlaps the more complete parts of what Erich is offering, but of course with an approach for a sustainable operation. Who knows, maybe there is room to find some common ground or to just help build overall awareness and interest in such kits and projects.


To Erich,

The complaining and backlashes from the crowd here comes from two realities:

1) You obviously are putting together things which many people are interested in. If no one was excited about nor cared about what you will be offering, there would be silence.

2) You already have on many fronts, but I would recommend you need to more forcefully *tell* the community what you are doing, and do less chasing of every request.

To the 2nd point, you will never be able to, nor would you want to, offer exactly what everyone thinks they want. I am not saying to stop listening to requests, but rather listen, digest, and then tell everyone what options you are moving forward with first. IMO you should be focused on helping enthusiasts achieve successful builds they can listen to and enjoy. One of the biggest issues in DIY audio is that many buy parts, but many fewer actually complete the project, especially at the speaker level vs. subwoofers. You are facilitating DIYers to build the designs of others. The designer is free to post on your forum, including any design details if they feel inclined to. While a limited set of options can make sense, too much dilution of the kits you have pulled together gets away from the greater vision of having something more guys can assemble and enjoy.

Getting back to matters of sustainability, let me pose this question: If tomorrow Erich encountered some major life curveball making it impossible to donate the time and money into this project he has thus far, which one of you is going to jump in and do the same pro bono work?

Might a few be willing to jump in if they knew there was potential to earn $24k, $40k, or $60+k a year while doing something enjoyable? The current situation is unsustainable, and is just one of life's many curveballs away from moving to liquidation phase. While I suspect you already have done plenty of research, I would strongly recommend you start looking into other crowdsourced and open-source projects and see how their creators moved to a financially sustainable position. Figure out how your project mirrors the path projects in other industries and see what makes the most sense. There are many examples out there, some which have been very successful for the creators, others much less so. If you like, I do have a friend who is a co-founder of Crowdspring, who also happens to be a bit of an audio enthusiast/DIYer who I'd also be happy to put you in contact with for a different perspective.

I'll wrap up this rambling with the observation that I think your biggest stumbling block at this point is getting hung up on the lowest possible price, rather than the greatest possible value. It sounds similar, but sometimes a few $$ added can add lots of value, both tangible and intangible.
post #6047 of 9844
Very well spoken Mr. Seaton. Eric, you should listen to him. He's right on all counts. Being there years from now is part of value as well.
post #6048 of 9844
Mr. Seaton-

I agree with your entire post. From the first time Erich came to me asking about producing the SEOS I suggested he build in some margin to ensure that at the very least he would break even with comfort. I honestly don't really understand doing this as a charity. I certainly appreciate a good deal as much as the next guy, but the DIY community doesn't need the help. Hungry and homeless families need it, just as an example.

The concept of value vs low price is definitely important. If you only provide a low price you will end up providing no value because the business will not be sustainable. I'd buy the SEOS-12 at 2x the price. The DNA-360 sounds like it is as good or better than the DE250 which sells for $50 more. At the very least get $25 profit out of it. I'd also probably ditch the DNA-350. Predicting inventory with it is not worth the hassle. When it comes to pallet orders I would either take significant funds up front or build in enough profit to cover potential issues. In fact I would do both. If people don't want to pay to play then that is their problem.

Seaton Sound is a good study in value. I wouldn't call any of their products cheap. The vast majority of people can't afford them. They also don't appeal to a large market. Most people would rather go into a fancy hifi store, get an espresso and spend the equivalent funds on a product that offers inferior performance. Mark identified a small group of enthusiasts that were willing to spend the right amount of money on something different and has provided where nobody did before. It seems he is doing well.

I just don't know how long this can go on. At some point there will be thousands of hours into it and huge amounts of risk. Risk and time are the two most valuable resources you have.
post #6049 of 9844
Speaking as someone who has built a bunch of diy speakers - mostly from TechTalk and htguide - I find all the kits overwhelming just as a potential buyer. What I'm hoping is that as comparisons and evaluations come in I will get a sense of frankly which are the better ones. I can't listen to all 12(?). That's a LOT. There can only be one, maybe two. With that many kits some are just going to end up moving a lot more than others.So in the long run EricH (if he wants to) may want to narrow down the options to only 1 or 2 builds for each $ bracket.

I also think it would be great and profitable to have flat packs for harder/ more upscale builds like statement monitors, jeffb's continuums, zaph's 3 ways etc. for which PE cabs and/or lack of tools and skills can't cut it. Just the flat packs, no drivers. I will bet there are a lot of people with Overnight Sensations kits, etc. from wherever who would upgrade to these designs in a heartbeat were it not for cab skills.

Just my .02
Edited by wushuliu - 12/6/12 at 7:01pm
post #6050 of 9844
Sorry if I missed it in this thread, but how do I upgrade a kit to add the flat pack? I am looking at buying the Definimax - 12 kit, but I don't see the option to include the flat pack. Is it just not listed yet?

Thanks,
Nick
post #6051 of 9844
As a mostly lurker here, I don't comment a lot, but I'll throw in my $0.02. I agree that there are a lot of options, and it can be hard to choose. That being said, I just ordered a pair Definimax-12 kits with an extra set of 40" front baffles, and I can't wait! I figure that I can't go far wrong, and the difference between the kits is highly likely to be much smaller than the difference between these and my current speakers.

I can't justify a pair of Abbey's, but I can afford these. Very good efficiency, great parts at a good price, a high reputable designer...

I'm really looking forward to these - thanks again to everyone involved.

John
post #6052 of 9844
Yes. I would like to order a few of the Bagby Definimax 12 kits but upgrade them to flat packs as well.
post #6053 of 9844
I agree with everyone who's encouraged Erich to profit from this venture. Time is money and Erich has put in massive amounts of time into this project and if you read through this thread you'll get a general idea. I'd be happy to pay extra for the kits, flat packs, baffles etc. Erich, you're a businessman with a big heart and if I owned a business I'd want you running it. Thank you for everything you've done, but please heed the advice.

Peter
Edited by pgwalsh - 12/6/12 at 7:41pm
post #6054 of 9844
he could just charge shipping and cover a lot of cost. IMO its kind of silly to expect free shipping on a 70 lb flatpack. i think most people would understand and not have an issue with it
post #6055 of 9844
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sibuna View Post

he could just charge shipping and cover a lot of cost. IMO its kind of silly to expect free shipping on a 70 lb flatpack. i think most people would understand and not have an issue with it

It says 'free shipping' on the site, but I believe that is more for the convenience of not having to calculate shipping on each individual order. Erich does have an averaged price for shipping each flatpack built into the kit price.
post #6056 of 9844
Erich,

We the shareholders advise you that your Board of Directors in conjunction with Independent Adviser's have concluded their meeting. We need to advise you, Sir. You must give yourself a raise...biggrin.gif
post #6057 of 9844
Quote:
Originally Posted by wushuliu View Post

Speaking as someone who has built a bunch of diy speakers - mostly from TechTalk and htguide - I find all the kits overwhelming just as a potential buyer. What I'm hoping is that as comparisons and evaluations come in I will get a sense of frankly which are the better ones. I can't listen to all 12(?). That's a LOT. There can only be one, maybe two. With that many kits some are just going to end up moving a lot more than others.So in the long run EricH (if he wants to) may want to narrow down the options to only 1 or 2 builds for each $ bracket.
I also think it would be great and profitable to have flat packs for harder/ more upscale builds like statement monitors, jeffb's continuums, zaph's 3 ways etc. for which PE cabs and/or lack of tools and skills can't cut it. Just the flat packs, no drivers. I will bet there are a lot of people with Overnight Sensations kits, etc. from wherever who would upgrade to these designs in a heartbeat were it not for cab skills.
Just my .02



I woul love to build a pair of Continuums for the living room. The only thing that had been holding me back is the cab.
post #6058 of 9844
Quote:
Originally Posted by bg40403 View Post

Erich,

We the shareholders advise you that your Board of Directors in conjunction with Independent Adviser's have concluded their meeting. We need to advise you, Sir. You must give yourself a raise...biggrin.gif

Very well summarized. cool.gif
post #6059 of 9844
Quote:
Originally Posted by bg40403 View Post

Erich,
We the shareholders advise you that your Board of Directors in conjunction with Independent Adviser's have concluded their meeting. We need to advise you, Sir. You must give yourself a raise...biggrin.gif

+1

All those in favor signify by saying "aye".

Aye!

Motion passes.

No further business, meeting ajourned. smile.gif
post #6060 of 9844
Quote:
Originally Posted by robotbunny View Post


No further business, meeting ajourned. smile.gif

The board demands more build pics of SEOS / TD builds before the meeting is adjourned! biggrin.gif
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