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Old 5th January 2007, 05:06 PM   #1
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Default Why has Zaph not gone pro?

Everyone knows of John "Zaphod" Krutke, creator of many brilliant and low-priced speaker systems. His speakers are known for being overall excellent, and very reasonably priced, with every factor taken into consideration. I get a headache just reading his design guidelines.

So, why has he not gone pro?

Unless he's making a huge amount of money yearly, I can't see why he would not be hired by some small audio start-up to design speakers commercially. While I have yet to build one of his designs, I've read through several of them, and have been impressed by the attention to detail - there's no audio voodoo, just careful engineering.

And he's got the rave reviews to back him up.

In this world of hideously overpriced speakers, Zaph's designs could likely be very, very competitive against similarly-priced commercial speakers, even if only produced in a small number.

Mind you, I like free designs as much as anyone - but I'm half surprised no one's recruited him!
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Old 5th January 2007, 06:40 PM   #2
preiter is offline preiter  United States
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Lots of possible reasons...

He has a well-paying day job that he also enjoys and doesn't want to give up.

Getting paid for something totally changes your perspective on it and can sometimes ruin the fun.

Designing a product for commercial production is a whole different game from designing a product for personal enjoyment and maybe he wouldn't like those aspects of the design.

Personally, I love to cook, but I would never ever want to be a professional cook. The hours are long, the pay is low and you make the same thing over and over and over. Yuch!

Just because you enjoy doing something as a hobby doesn't mean it would make a good career for you.
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Old 6th January 2007, 02:27 PM   #3
Zaph is offline Zaph  United States
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Preiter, you pretty much hit everything right on the head.

I may sell a kit someday, but it won't be for much profit. It would be more for a glimpse of what it's like to sell something.

Small startups are inherently poor and on the edge of going bankrupt. Wondering if you will be in business next month can kinda take the fun out of things.

I could never see working for any larger company unless they dangled a 6 digit salary in front of me and gave me 100% creative control.

So, it remains a hobby - and I continue to have fun cranking out my own designs.
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Old 6th January 2007, 02:45 PM   #4
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I completely sympathise with Zaph.

I used to sell hifi and home cinema systems, and found that I lost all interest in designing and assembling systems for fun.

Now I design AV control systems (lots of Crestron, AMX, Extron etc.) and have got my love of audio back.

It's great when you can work in a field closely related to a hobby, but as soon as you are 'doing your hobby' for a living your passion suffers.
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Old 6th January 2007, 08:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zaph
Preiter, you pretty much hit everything right on the head.

I may sell a kit someday, but it won't be for much profit. It would be more for a glimpse of what it's like to sell something.

Small startups are inherently poor and on the edge of going bankrupt. Wondering if you will be in business next month can kinda take the fun out of things.

I could never see working for any larger company unless they dangled a 6 digit salary in front of me and gave me 100% creative control.

So, it remains a hobby - and I continue to have fun cranking out my own designs.

I'd instead look for a model within R/C airplanes. There are a few dedicated hobbyists out there who have "gone pro" only in that they're so bloody good that their inventions have been picked up by commercial firms who, in turn, figure out how to mass-produce them.

A good example is Alexander of RCgroups. He's spent years working on very clever R/C helicopter design, with his lightest example weighing a bit more than a gram. His design was picked up, but he's still a hobbyist, and I think he actually has a seperate job.

You can see his helicopter in most RadioShacks, and all over the Internet. It's called the PiccoZ.

Yes, THAT PiccoZ.
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Old 6th January 2007, 08:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by preiter
Personally, I love to cook, but I would never ever want to be a professional cook.
Same here. I have been offered but refused as cooking is a passion and part of my home life, not work.

Quote:
Originally posted by sharpi31 I used to sell hifi and home cinema systems, and found that I lost all interest in designing and assembling systems for fun.
Again, same here. After a day at the store, the last thing I was interested in were more speakers. Took a few years before I got back into it.

Besides if John went pro, we might lose him here and that's a less than desirable scenario. Thanks for all your contributions John. Your hobby has helped many of us.
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Old 11th January 2007, 02:09 AM   #7
KBK is offline KBK  Canada
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zaph
Preiter, you pretty much hit everything right on the head.

I may sell a kit someday, but it won't be for much profit. It would be more for a glimpse of what it's like to sell something.

Small startups are inherently poor and on the edge of going bankrupt. Wondering if you will be in business next month can kinda take the fun out of things.

I could never see working for any larger company unless they dangled a 6 digit salary in front of me and gave me 100% creative control.

So, it remains a hobby - and I continue to have fun cranking out my own designs.

Quote:
Originally posted by sharpi31
I completely sympathise with Zaph.

I used to sell hifi and home cinema systems, and found that I lost all interest in designing and assembling systems for fun.

Now I design AV control systems (lots of Crestron, AMX, Extron etc.) and have got my love of audio back.

It's great when you can work in a field closely related to a hobby, but as soon as you are 'doing your hobby' for a living your passion suffers.
Absolutely. Which is why I'm selling a product unrelated to audio. Keeps audio fun. Of course, now I'm about to jump headlong into audio, with an extreme gusto. That'll kill it dead.

First thing on the block...cables! Why ...the world's best of course!!! Makes all others obsolete, overnight. Buy my product! Satiate your monkey itch called 'Anal paranoia' Etc.


Well. I won't exactly use that as press material, but the cable will be in the $1k a pair area for a 1 meter interconnect. Ouch. The cost-vs-retail pricing contains NO gouging either. I'm getting the main components at a price that is lower than ayone else could ever manage. The price is..what it is. That is, if the physics of what I'm about to attempt stands up to the hypothesis. Tonight, a fun part. The experiment!MMMMWWWWHHHUHAHAHAAAAAAA! Evil audio scientist. Fug. Where's my lab coat?

The one simple way to maintain fun in the speaker or audio biz..is to force the fun to be maintained. Like I just did. However, the warning of loosing the fun came to me once, straight from Joe Grado. He said something along the lines of.."have fun now, as you sure won't be when the product starts hitting the streets".

"Popopycock!" I said, with typical audiophile inbred tight assed narrowminded music hating white boy pomposity.

Different business now, but I do know he was right.

Edit: Does that mean Priests hate their job?
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