Selling

I own one of Joe’s Amps , the build quality is second to none. As support him as I do/try to with anyone in the UK that brings hifi to us all .
I would say you're wrong in that. In the long run it would simply discourage original design work.

I do though think that PassLabs may get more sales on their lower cost or legacy products to people not able to build their own by either selling direct or possibly by licencing production of older products by one legit company with agreed sales prices and quality/specification. This could possibly even be done in cooperation with DIYA as the PCB/kit/product producer. I do wonder how DIYA are happy to sell this volume of PCB's to one customer (it they are DIYA's PCB's) as it can be seen what is happening.
Just my 2p's worth. Don't mean to offend.
 
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originality is tricky issue when speaking about entertainment electronic gadgets, there were myriad clones/copies made during the time

some of them even being modest or even more successful commercial items

plenty of them never being uncovered/declared as such, manufacturers even claiming Mana from Heaven exclusivity

but, blatant copy, even when it's not a Clone, is more than obvious

no possible excuse for business of selling blatant copy, be it decently made (as those being subject of this thread, or plain POS as Rawson's are)

and yes, that being written by someone who is heavily stealing Papatricks but, if nothing else, I'm always trying that each of mine is having at least small significant quark of difference
 
What do people think about someone selling DIY amps to people who can't or don't have time to build them themselves? And just charging some reasonable fee for the assembly costs? I confess I did this once for a friend of a friend, who heard said friend's Whammy and really wanted one for himself.
I already have a day job, so I don't plan to make a habit of it....
 
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Extreme_Boky

Member
2003-12-07 11:57 am
Yeah.... my sentiment as well.

Many people know a thing or 2 about DIY but do not have time to gather all the parts, source PCBs & chassis, and put everything together due to work and/or family obligations.

Plus (and it's a big plus), the risk of something going sideways, or blowing up completely - is zero.

The same people most likely already know/appreciate Nelson's approach to amplifiers or may have already heard Pass house sound.

I look at it as just another way to bring FW clone amplifiers to a wide populous.

I'd also expect that the same people may be more inclined one day to move to genuine FW amplifiers or even Pass Labs amps/preamps.

At the same time, I do know and appreciate the fact that Nelson himself has spent many hours helping "true" DIY-ers at many amp camps, so... I think his true motivation here on these forums is to help DIY-er build stuff themselves, and broaden the ideology and skillset. Nothing sounds as good as an amp built by yourself.

It is just unfortunate when that true DIY-er (at heart) doesn't have time to explore the inner drive... So, having an option to get a ready-made amplifier shouldn't be scrutinised so harshly.
 

jean-paul

diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
2002-09-20 7:20 am
Germany
Not everyone that wants such a device actually can build it him/herself and the original ready made version may be a tad to expensive. So if the designer/brand does not wish DIY versions to be sold he/she better stops facilitating DIY devices (PCBs, schematics, kits) as otherwise self built devices should apparently be scrapped or recycled (and not sold).

It would be quite environmentally inadequate to build an amplifier for a few hundred Euro en than not being allowed to sell it and to have to throw it on the landfill. A loss-loss situation. And.. if that builder charges for the hours spent there is IMO not much wrong with that either.

I think the red line is when someone builds and sells more than 1 of one and the same device so series production. That could be a direct threat to the original manufacturer. So if someone orders 25 PCBs of a certain device in the diyaudio store then there should ring a bell. Problems are best solved at their root.
 
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IMO, when Mr. Pass has made his schematics and designs available, it seems that the expected audience is for DIY audiophiles and would-be DIY audiophiles (as a way to get them inspired and cross the threshold to actually building). This is true from the first article I remember him writing - a design in the old Audio Magazine, through the multiple designs published in Audio Amateur/AudioExpress, and then on his own site, PassDIY (it is embodied in the very name of the website).

I do not think that Mr. Pass' intent would be for individuals to take his design and convert it into a profit-making enterprise by actually designing a specific implementation, buying the parts for multiple copies, assembling the implementation in a "production run," and marketing these to individuals uninterested in DIY or not willing to make the effort to do construction (including design, parts selection, purchasing, and testing/troubleshooting). Those who cannot DIY but want a Pass design should purchase a new First Watt design, or purchase a used version of a Threshold, Pass Laboratories, or Adcom. There is indirect value to Pass Labs current commercial offerings to maintaining a market for the older products: the reputation of the designer and the company is enhanced if prior products are well sought after and retain value. Consider old Macintosh, Klipsh, and Marantz and the value that the old products had in increasing the cachet of the current brand. This is not the rotten kind of commercialism that passes for capitalism these days; it is old school where companies provided products of real and long-lasting value to consumers.
 
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I always enjoy some indication of each individual's own ethics/morals in the conversation along with some discussions of practicality. However, the laws of the land(s) are reasonably clear. Perhaps they differ between some posters' jurisdictions and/or the IP is not protected in all relevant jurisdictions. I'd personally start there. However, if one's own interpretation of what's "right" or "should be allowable" is more important, then enjoy yet another rehash of the topic.

If the seller of this item posted something akin to below for an F6 replica, I'm sure some people may still buy it... but would any of you? That's rhetorical, I really don't want to know.
-------------
I have made for sale to you an interpretation of a First Watt F6. It does not use some of the same highly sought after parts as an authentic F6. I have no idea if its audio performance is similar to an authentic F6. I've simply reposted some specifications of an original F6. The F6 you buy from me may not perform this way at all. I've seen other people that have built amps like this one call it an F6, and it's based upon the circuit of the F6, so I am sure it's close enough.

An authentic First Watt F6 was sold by General Amplifier and/or affiliates through authorized sources. They are no longer in production, and they were made in limited runs. The primary creator of these products, Nelson Pass, has released the schematics of the F6 for Do It Yourself use. I've chosen to turn this into a business opportunity because I assume you, my potential buyer, either can't or simply won't Do It Yourself and build one. I'll also assume that you either do not have or simply do not want to spend the money to get a real one. Note that this circuit design, the First Watt name and logo, and the name Pass Labs, may still be protected by copyright(s), trademark(s), and/or patent(s). Heck, the boards I use may even be protected. I've chosen to use all those things in order to lure you to my sales page. However, it may be illegal for me to sell this product to you, and it may even be illegal for you to possess it in your jurisdiction. I don't know, and I have not bothered to check. Lots of people on internet forums think that it's okay, and I've gotten away with it before. What I do know is that lawyers are expensive, and it's unlikely that either of us will suffer any consequences. Enjoy your amp!

BTW - I hope you'll also check out my Neurochrome stuff. I'm not sure where I sit on this legally either, but it's AWESOME!
-------------------
That's tongue-in-cheek. Maybe it's all legit. Different cultures have different personal boundaries around "knock offs" for commercial sale. As stated, I haven't bothered to look up all the relevant info re: a stance on legal grounds. I'll give the seller the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise, but I admit to wondering if something's afoot at the Circle K.

:cheers:
 
@AllInMyHead, thanks for adding a bit of clarity with humor. I think most of us agree that what's being done on EBay is not OK. He's using Pass Labs trademarks, etc, as well as essentially doing a 'production run' of F6s on his own. When someone is actually producing a competing product (even if it's something that's out of print, as it were), then that's definitely a violation of both the letter and the spirit.
 
I always enjoy some indication of each individual's own ethics/morals in the conversation along with some discussions of practicality. However, the laws of the land(s) are reasonably clear. Perhaps they differ between some posters' jurisdictions and/or the IP is not protected in all relevant jurisdictions. I'd personally start there. However, if one's own interpretation of what's "right" or "should be allowable" is more important, then enjoy yet another rehash of the topic.
Law represents the minimum required by society, college actively determined (in a democratic republic or similar form of government) through their relected representatives. What is lawful is one thing, but is not necessarily ethical or moral (except where the law embraces a specific aspect of etghics or morality, or in fact adopts it as in the Code of Professional ethics in individual states of the US).

Intellectual property protection is clearly a matter of law of each individual national state. What I was trying to convey - in somewhat truncated form but now must expand due to your attempted self-justification - is that Mr.Pass has decided not to invoke the leases of IP in the US or elsewhere (except where he actually states that non-commercial use is the only permitted use of his IP), but has essentially appealed to our good sense of ethics and morality to permit him to share his teachings to help uplift the audiophile community. I do recall reading that Mr. Pass also determined that the cost of enforcement of his IP under current US law and legal process is prohibitive from an economic standpoint.

You, Its All In My Head, have made your choice. I appeal to others on DIY Audio not to embrace and facilitate your choice.
 
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It certainly is an interesting topic. My comments were directed toward no one specifically. I appreciate and moreover understand your thoughts @Halauhula.

Perhaps my theoretical post was a bit "on the nose" for some. However, that was simply what it was... a theoretical post.

To assume that I have made either a choice in the matter or have offered anything other than food for thought, would be patently false.

To assume that I could not offer an argument from either side of a position would also be patently false.

Cheers to all that engage in the conversations to learn from each other, and I apologize for lack of clarity.
 

tomchr

Member
Paid Member
2009-02-11 12:58 am
Calgary
www.neurochrome.com
If someone wants to buy my boards and/or modules and make a high-quality amp for resale they're more than welcome to do so as long as the quality of the build is high and that they don't claim to be endorsed by me or Neurochrome. The build quality here looks excellent, so I have no issue with this builder using my boards to generate a little beer money. It would be very different if they claimed to be an official Neurochrome reseller/builder or otherwise used the Neurochrome name and branding for their personal gain. I do appreciate that they included a mention of the Modulus-686 product page.

I have quite a few folks who've built Modulus amps for friends in exchange for beer money (or at least the cost of parts). That's fine by me. I'm happy to support larger scale commercial productions as well.

When you make a product available in a store you do run the risk that people will buy and use it. That's sorta the idea behind running a store... If someone buys many boards from the diyAudio Store so they can sustain their little amplifier building business it benefits diyAudio. At least I'm assuming that there's some profit from the store and that this profit is funnelled back into diyAudio, though that is my assumption.

Had they blatantly copied my boards and claimed them as theirs my opinion would obviously be very different.

I'm curious about the notion that selling products based on circuits bought legally from the diyAudio Store is somehow against the spirit of the forum or the forum rules. There is a mention in the forum rules about not selling or renting material from the forum. I interpret that as, "don't turn a forum thread into a book that you sell for a profit". Also note that the diyAudio forum is different from the diyAudio Store. They're different business entities. I quickly scanned the Terms of Service for the diyAudio Store and don't see anything in there about commercial use of the circuits purchased there. So I don't see any legal or moral issues here. But I'm not a lawyer and I'm not an ethics expert.

Above is my opinion. I obviously cannot speak for Nelson Pass, diyAudio, or the diyAudio Store. All I am saying is that I am completely okay with this builder building amps for resale using my circuits.

Tom
 
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If someone wants to buy my boards and/or modules and make a high-quality amp for resale they're more than welcome to do so as long as the quality of the build is high and that they don't claim to be endorsed by me or Neurochrome. The build quality here looks excellent, so I have no issue with this builder using my boards to generate a little beer money. It would be very different if they claimed to be an official Neurochrome reseller/builder or otherwise used the Neurochrome name and branding for their personal gain. I do appreciate that they included a mention of the Modulus-686 product page.

I have quite a few folks who've built Modulus amps for friends in exchange for beer money (or at least the cost of parts). That's fine by me. I'm happy to support larger scale commercial productions as well.

When you make a product available in a store you do run the risk that people will buy and use it. That's sorta the idea behind running a store... If someone buys many boards from the diyAudio Store so they can sustain their little amplifier building business it benefits diyAudio. At least I'm assuming that there's some profit from the store and that this profit is funnelled back into diyAudio, though that is my assumption.

Had they blatantly copied my boards and claimed them as theirs my opinion would obviously be very different.

I'm curious about the notion that selling products based on circuits bought legally from the diyAudio Store is somehow against the spirit of the forum or the forum rules. There is a mention in the forum rules about not selling or renting material from the forum. I interpret that as, "don't turn a forum thread into a book that you sell for a profit". Also note that the diyAudio forum is different from the diyAudio Store. They're different business entities. I quickly scanned the Terms of Service for the diyAudio Store and don't see anything in there about commercial use of the circuits purchased there. So I don't see any legal or moral issues here. But I'm not a lawyer and I'm not an ethics expert.

Above is my opinion. I obviously cannot speak for Nelson Pass, diyAudio, or the diyAudio Store. All I am saying is that I am completely okay with this builder building amps for resale using my circuits.

Tom

Wonderful statement of your position on the use of your Neurochrome boards by others.

Personally, I think it is an easier thing if one friend is building an amp/preamp for a friend - with the bit of "compensation" for the time and energy expended on the construct which the DIY probably undervalues significantly because it is fun for him/her. That is clearly non-commercial and probably runs close to the spirit of DIY.

My line is where I am trying to make a "profit," and trying to market to the public (anyone other than friends and close family). At that point I either should get the rights/permission in writing, or refrain from pursuing the commercial venture.
 
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I've seen one of the amps linked at the start of this thread. It uses the diyaudio boards, genuine fets and parts and I would say it was very well built. Do you think it would be fair to call what he is selling an assembly service? He is not taking the design and representing it as his own as such. I know in an ideal world someone who wanted one of these would take on learning how to do it but I would say there are some who would never be up for the challenge of doing that.

Having posed that, I also think the red line mentioned by @jean-paul above of serial production represents a step change. Also, just because it is happening quite a bit with clone boards etc doesn't mean it is acceptable.
 

tomchr

Member
Paid Member
2009-02-11 12:58 am
Calgary
www.neurochrome.com
My line is where I am trying to make a "profit," and trying to market to the public (anyone other than friends and close family). At that point I either should get the rights/permission in writing, or refrain from pursuing the commercial venture.
Why? I don't have to have a license from Hypex/Purifi to build an amp based on their modules. Now, if I was to sign an OEM agreement I'd get considerably better pricing, but there's nothing unethical in buying the parts from Hypex/Purifi and building amps for profit. There are many, many companies who do exactly that.

The F5 boards in the ePay listing seem to be Chinese clones. I do take issue with that. I would rather that the builder had bought the boards from diyAudio Store. I do take issue with cloning (even though many DIYers don't).

Tom
 
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jean-paul

diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
2002-09-20 7:20 am
Germany
Maybe it is an odd thought but the PCBs/kits that are sold and never finished or that were a failure maybe should be taken into account. It possibly compensates the more than average quality builder that sells impeccably built amplifiers based on the same PCBs/kits for profit.

In the end the seller of the PCBs/kits still makes a profit on both that PCBs/kits regardless of who buys them. Both PCBs/kits are not even in the way of the original ready made products as they’re simply not the ready made versions. The customers for those will not even look at “second source” versions of the original as DIY or “second source” is not their cup of tea and not a possibility to show wealth either.

A lot of words to say that it are different markets both served by one and the same brand.

Just a thought.

PS clones or copied stuff made in the far east in series really is something different and more of a threat to a brand (I assume). Those are look a likes not only in appearance but possibly also in performance as layouts are not the same, parts can be used/fake etc. Contrary to the failed version of a DIYer or the impeccably built version made by the guy that makes a profit the seller of the PCBs/kits now does not receive a penny.
 
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