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Old 9th June 2019, 09:58 PM   #11
2bz is offline 2bz  United States
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Originally Posted by wdavis009 View Post
Nelson,

Just curious if FW has ever considered selling complete commercial kits either for currently available models or even models you have designed but decided to not offer commercially for one reason or another.
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Old 9th June 2019, 10:04 PM   #12
wdavis009 is offline wdavis009  United States
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Originally Posted by 2bz View Post
First, I think you overestimate the size of the Firstwatt market, it's not Apple and not likely on anyone's radar Also, If I wanted to steal sales, I would buy a commercial unit and have it reverse engineered in an afternoon. I am just saying that they are missing out on cash flow from DIY'ers by waiting.
Certainly not. I suspect FW's, as well as every other high end audio company's, revenue would be a rounding error for each monthly close at the company I work at. But that's the point. A few lost sales mean nothing to a company like Apple. A few lost sales mean more for a company like FW (though that is my assumption as I know nothing about FW's financials and it may just be a matter of principle versus revenue). Anyway, this is kind of why I asked if FW has ever considered full commercial kits. Would have broader appeal than strictly DIY PCB offerings (my first real amp was a Hafler kit in college), though it also might be more work than its worth in time and financial return.
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Old 9th June 2019, 10:06 PM   #13
res07njc is offline res07njc  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdavis009 View Post
Nelson,

Just curious if FW has ever considered selling complete commercial kits either for currently available models or even models you have designed but decided to not offer commercially for one reason or another.
I can't speak for NP, but if you look at the history of all this, I don't think he ever indicated that level of fulfillment. NP has encouraged self-sourced DIY (pcb's withstanding) as an intellectual and physical effort, for the shear joy and entertainment of doing so. A man simply sharing good data among kindred spirits, if you will, another DIYer, without pooping too much in his trough. And for that many thanks have been given.
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Old 9th June 2019, 10:12 PM   #14
hirscwi is offline hirscwi  United States
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Mr. Pass has been good enough to share many, many designs with the DIY community. Let's let him make some money for his time and original ideas.
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Old 9th June 2019, 10:15 PM   #15
wdavis009 is offline wdavis009  United States
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Originally Posted by res07njc View Post
I can't speak for NP, but if you look at the history of all this, I don't think he ever indicated that level of fulfillment. NP has encouraged self-sourced DIY (pcb's withstanding) as an intellectual and physical effort, for the shear joy and entertainment of doing so. A man simply sharing good data among kindred spirits, if you will, another DIYer, without pooping too much in his trough. And for that many thanks have been given.
That is basically what I expect the response would/will be. I asked from a purely selfish perspective. :-) I've lurked here since around 2002, purchased various boards in past group buys, etc. But just never got around to building one of the FW amps. When I added up the time and effort it took to find heat sinks, tap the heat sinks, order the parts for a chassis, build a chassis, etc., I always concluded my time is more valuable than any savings I would get building versus just buying a commercial product. Now that the DIY Store offers the Deluxe chassis the equation changed so I took the plunge. Call me lazy, but between other hobbies, interests, work obligations, etc. it never added up previously. :-) Of course, I am probably not the primary target of what Nelson provides here and I am sure he is more than happy to have people like me just buy his commercial products. That said, I do think commercial kits would be a potential way to draw new people into high end audio but I could be wrong.

Last edited by wdavis009; 9th June 2019 at 10:18 PM.
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Old 9th June 2019, 10:15 PM   #16
rayma is offline rayma  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdavis009 View Post
Anyway, this is kind of why I asked if FW has ever considered full commercial kits.
Kits can be a real problem for the mfr because of assembly errors, and unauthorized
"improvements." With the diyAudio store, what amounts to a kit will be available,
but without the warranty problems for NP and Pass Labs. Just one problem with a kit
would likely negate most of the profit from it. Also, you would have guys building
kits and reselling them, at lower cost than the factory could sell assembled units.
Remember that these are simple amps, and the assembly cost is relatively low,
just a few tech hours at most.

Last edited by rayma; 9th June 2019 at 10:20 PM.
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Old 9th June 2019, 10:50 PM   #17
res07njc is offline res07njc  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdavis009 View Post
That is basically what I expect the response would/will be. I asked from a purely selfish perspective. :-) I've lurked here since around 2002, purchased various boards in past group buys, etc. But just never got around to building one of the FW amps. When I added up the time and effort it took to find heat sinks, tap the heat sinks, order the parts for a chassis, build a chassis, etc., I always concluded my time is more valuable than any savings I would get building versus just buying a commercial product. Now that the DIY Store offers the Deluxe chassis the equation changed so I took the plunge. Call me lazy, but between other hobbies, interests, work obligations, etc. it never added up previously. :-) Of course, I am probably not the primary target of what Nelson provides here and I am sure he is more than happy to have people like me just buy his commercial products. That said, I do think commercial kits would be a potential way to draw new people into high end audio but I could be wrong.
it wouldn't be uncommon for a person to mull for a YEAR around the parts and actuation to complete a project. The diyaudio store has attempted to lesson this endeavor by offering a universal build method. Being an obstinate person myself, I own screw taps and source my own aluminum in order to be creative. In many respects, the engineering delves beyond just stuffing a PCB. And that's what makes it yours. It exists for any amp, the parts are just a little bigger. Go for it.

Last edited by res07njc; 9th June 2019 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 10th June 2019, 11:54 AM   #18
meldano is offline meldano  Germany
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Old 10th June 2019, 05:31 PM   #19
Nelson Pass is offline Nelson Pass  United States
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Points to consider:

On the downside -

PL and FW work through established distribution worldwide. Distributors
have been tolerant of DIY efforts to date, but have made it clear that
they don't like PL and FW stuff as kits or public schematics.

This is partly because of cloners and partly because it reduces the
appeal of commercial product as they see it.

Also, complete technical information gives the competition something to
badmouth, and/or copy...

Not to mention there is very little money and lots of support in selling kits.

On the upside -

I like doing DIY. It gives me a great outlet for creative efforts that don't
fit my commercial agenda.

I like DIYers - they are the happiest audiophiles I know, and are
remarkably nice and self-sufficient.

So what's not to like?

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Old 10th June 2019, 05:55 PM   #20
Bigun is offline Bigun  Canada
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It seems to me that a very good strategy has played out here already - the smart DIYers that have worked out how to explore and make something before the official schematic is available have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and the fame. The enthusiasm and mystery thus created may have generated some 'free marketing' for the F7 distributors to leverage off when selling the commercial version. The rest of us that are too thick & lazy to work it out for ourselves will still be delighted once the official version is released. Kind of a win win win.
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