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Research on valve equipment....

 
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Elemental



Joined: 28 Oct 2003
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2004 5:15 pm    Post subject: Research on valve equipment.... Reply with quote

Hello people, I am currently doing some research on behalf of a friend....

I would like to ask, how many of you would be interested in buying a valve EQ / filter / distortion unit / pre-amp / spring reverb, made by a guy I have come to know with 30 years experience building and fixing valve equipment.

He is brilliant at designing mad circuits and building high quality gear, but crap at promoting his work or even knowing his market. He dont have a computer or a mobile, he works in a very old-skool way which I like.

I am not the first to suggest to him that if he could design a product and make, say 30 copies of it, that he could sell them and make some money - at the moment he just about manages to pay his rent.

I know he can make wicked equipment, especially with valve EQ's and filters, he just doesn't think it will sell - I disagree.

So, dogs, I ask for your suggestions - what kind of valve (and hybrid solid-state) equipment would you seriously be interested in buying? And for what kind of price (serious only please!!)

I am currently thinking along the lines of a stereo or 4 channel valve distortion unit, something which could be patched in a modular fashion.

He has also designed a 40-400 Hz parametric valve EQ which can boost bass and give wicked wah effects when swept... if he could get that controlled by an LFO or an external CV that would be the bomb.

He showed me this thing he built last night, basically it had four parts to it, a valve distortion/amp section, the eq section, and a highpass filter followed by a lowpass filter (all valve). The highpass was fucking wicked with the distortion, but I reckon most people would mainly want the valve overdrive, especially to compliment VST's and digital audio.


Any suggestions appreciated!!
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Mike Zee



Joined: 20 Mar 2001
Posts: 766
Location: NY, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2004 8:30 pm    Post subject: Research on valve equipment.... Reply with quote

I'd say many dub-producers would be 'interested' in buying any usefull and especially uniqu analog gear. BUT! very few (if any) will actually go for it and buy. One of the reason is that such equipment simply can not be 'cheap'... the other reason also maybe - producers who can REALLY appreciate and know how to use and get most out of such equipment also are "Do It Yourself" guys :)
******
Now, generally speakin', if your friend can not or will not for what ever reason dedicate time and effort actively promoting/marketing his product, then this idea is not going to work, regardless of how great the product is. This is just reality :(. To delegate marketing/promotion to somebody else - means pay for it, which simply ends up as adding to already high cost of equipment.
******
I'd say, (well if I was in your friend's shoes) and if I just wish to try to sell some limited amount of products on my own, I would make a few units, set-up some simple web-site, where I could create a detailed on-line presentation and set-up contact/questions. And try to use ebay and/or any other available on-line e-store. Ebay is good also if he is not sure about 'price' for his product.... and then start from there. It will take time and effort to find market.
Also, running/managing website/e-store isn't a free ride. It cost nowdays. So I'd say it may be a good idea to do some 'supporting' biz on the site...he can sell parts, info-documetation, offer some services etc. etc.

well, good luck,
/respects,
/Mike Zee aka Dr. ZEE
zee dub lab

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HM



Joined: 06 Mar 2001
Posts: 235

PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2004 1:22 pm    Post subject: Research on valve equipment.... Reply with quote

there is a great market for tube pre-amp´s, but
usually I think the first stage is still based
on transistors or FET´s assuring extremely high
S/N ratio, then a TUBE stage is fed somewhere in
the middle of the chain, you got to be able to
graduately dose the tube-sound, som opto-based
compressors with extremely fast attack is also
popular, anyway I would say it has to look GOOD
and silk-print frames for the front and other
start-expenses might very well demand series
on 500 or more before the profit is present,

Something Else

It´s not possible to play sololy at the "tube-
card" the "filter-only-market" is very little,
and the most popular device might very well be
the Filerbank from Sherman link

shermann never used tubes to achieve position

HM
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Elemental



Joined: 28 Oct 2003
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2004 9:45 pm    Post subject: Research on valve equipment.... Reply with quote

Thanks guys,

I am currently thinking that a stereo tube saturation device would be a good one to start with. I think the next step is to put some audio up on his website and make up some possible products and prices, then see how many people are interested...
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Mike Zee



Joined: 20 Mar 2001
Posts: 766
Location: NY, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2004 11:43 pm    Post subject: Research on valve equipment.... Reply with quote

yeah, must look GOOD :)
which is a sort of hand-craft art...
I was looking for a sort of example web site, here's one for general idea: welborne labs
there are couple "simple" gear there...which are not cheap at all. This stuff is for reack people only: ..heh heh
But I'd say he for sure needs to set-up at least some presentation and buy-on-line option. Nowdays it's a must thing to do for any 'real store' ...shopping on line becomes our way of life...if not the No.1 choice, especially for 'specialty items'.
Foe pro-gear the 'spread the word' means allot. This means if you wish to actually sell some good amount of gear, you've gotta get known in pro-community. Connections would mean allot here. As a thought: if he could get some of his gear into 'well-known' producer's studio and get somewhere/somehow a good review from the 'well known' producer...this will make a difference. As "investment" it maybe even a good idea to contact and give away couple of units to some 'famous' guys for a 'review' in axchange...

,again, good luck,
/Mike Zee aka Dr ZEE

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Elemental



Joined: 28 Oct 2003
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2004 2:00 pm    Post subject: Research on valve equipment.... Reply with quote

Hey Mike, thanks for the good points.
I've been thinking along these lines also, he has a website at the moment at http://www.tube-electronics.co.uk/

Thats how i found him i the first place.

About things looking good... I think that is a fair point, but personally I would choose something cheaper and with good sound than the same thing more expensive and more pretty...
however solid construction safe eletrics is very important.

I am gonna get some samples of sounds put thru his gear this week, hopefully we can put up some sounds on his site soon.

I think your point about a famous producer is good... thats the kind of thing that makes people interested... 'as used by Dr Dre' or whatever...
Also just getting user comments on the website is good.

Also about Click and Buy ... thats the way to sell things now, make it easy as eBay, just click, use PayPal or something and its on the way. People are too lazy and impatient nowadays.
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Mike Zee



Joined: 20 Mar 2001
Posts: 766
Location: NY, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2004 5:54 pm    Post subject: Research on valve equipment.... Reply with quote

The site looks good. So he already has a basic starting point. Also, man, somebody who's into analog equipment for over 30y sure knows well what and where the 'market' is... at least from 'shopper' point of view :)
Just make some product and try to sell it... start as hobby, see how it goes.
*********
speaking of Doctors. well... I'd say, be careful choosing a doctor :)
Even thou Dr.Dre'himself can get his hand on every top-sh*t golden-plated audiophile analog gear with diamonds on every knob if he wish, but his fans and his followers (read potential market) have no connection, nor sense, nor desire for valves, nor they ever will appreciate the "power of it"... nor they really need it to produce what they are after.
Your friend needs to try to 'infiltrate' rather different crowd. He'll be much better off with Dr. John :) - THE DOCTOR IS IN... heh heh
Seriousely, the products we are talking here about are more for people who deal with recording of acoustic instruments, jazz, classical etc etc (producers who simply must deal with 'mother nature' on the way of capturing hi-quality sound by default, and thus they experiment, learn, compare allot, and thus can really appreciate the DIFFERENCE... - audiophile culture crowd. Electronic music producers in the past used to be audiophile guys too... but not anymore. Pop , hip-hop - all out of picture..., same goes to rock as well more and more. Only few rock bands/producers still are trying to keep connections, but it's goin' goin' gone situation.
Classical, jazz, some specialty/acoustic recordings etc - these are the areas to 'fish around'....

/respects,
/Mike Zee aka Dr. ZEE

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interruptor



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 1138
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2004 7:14 pm    Post subject: Research on valve equipment.... Reply with quote

not sure about that one mike..
when recording acoustic instruments you can count on the natural warmth of the subject in your recording booth (unless you destroy the sound with inappropriate mics or the like).

i feel the bulk of music producton is more or less digital nowadays and many producers who went digital because it's convenient are easily convinced that a tube device can bring that "missing certain something" to their work.

this is the main market of all those tube warmers like this one here

we are talking about selling a handmade product here though. this means in the eyes of the mainstream hobby-ist it will never compete with the industry products in terms of "bang for buck".

so one would really have to target the more sophisticated crowd, people who want something special that not everybody has (dub producers maybe?) and are ready to pay the price for it (rather not the dub producers.. )
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HM



Joined: 06 Mar 2001
Posts: 235

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2004 7:28 pm    Post subject: Research on valve equipment.... Reply with quote

In europe law on equipment is so restrictive
that it would most likely not be possible to
produce in small series,.. certificates etc.

HM
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Mike Zee



Joined: 20 Mar 2001
Posts: 766
Location: NY, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2004 8:28 pm    Post subject: Research on valve equipment.... Reply with quote

heh heh, Daniel..you're right. But, I think I need to make more clear what I was trying to say. I mean, guys (some of them!!!) who work with acoustic instruments, who listen to the walls, woods, spending hours placing mics etc etc ... listening allot period...and also are mad about mini-details of their recording and then reproduction of their recording... these guys can actually hear the difference...even if the difference (what ever it may be) is only a product of thier own 'twisted brain' . These guys also love to mystyfy (spelling???) all sorts of things ..heh heh, so...my guess this is a potential circle of people who may look for some very special and unique equipment... to get that 'something something'-thing
And, speaking of 'twisted brains' - yeah...dub-producers, who really DO Believe that there's a ghost in Da'Mixer ..heh heh - we love mystery. Don't we call our gear like : "mystery black box"? ...and uglier it is - better it runs ;)
*******
also, speaking of 'good looking' again. This is a very special side. When I say good looking, I don't mean it to have shiny-golden cornes/plates. But it simply must be attractive. It can be ugly as hell, but gotta have a 'character'...sort of speak, and WELL built. Like it or not, but you have to do some handy craft.
*****
HM, I also thought about 'LAW-issues'. Also I'm not an expert, and have no idea how it is in europe, or canada... I know it's different than in US. And here in US, ohhhh man, If I decide to make some electrical device for sale ... I'd think many many many time TWICE... In our country you can make, sell tube-amp, then some idiot will decide to cook eggs-up for breakfast on it, burn the eggs, and then sue your ass off for emotional damges. You'll be alright if you make no money... but if you are succesful...just give it a time..it'll get you.
Seriously, before you start selling something, you need to get some bassic law-info, get all safety requirements docs., make sure you meet them in your 'products', get it approved in appropriate agency, and get yourself some electronic equipment liability insurance techinsurance to take a look as example ... and then you may re-think the whole idea...

...mz

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KoCha



Joined: 25 Jan 2002
Posts: 259
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2004 8:11 am    Post subject: Research on valve equipment.... Reply with quote

I don't think a 2-channel tube distortion woul be buy by Dub Master.

But which type of effect can you do ?

Have you sound sample ?

KoCha
www.Almighty-DUB.com

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KoCha, reggae-dub producer

Almighty Dub Records - Independent Reggae Dub Production
Open Dub Foundation - The WorldWide Dub Meeting
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Elemental



Joined: 28 Oct 2003
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2004 12:17 pm    Post subject: Research on valve equipment.... Reply with quote

I will be making sound samples tonight!!

We will be re-doing the website soon, the sounds will be on there when its done!

KoCha - the tube distortion I am thinking would be more for digital/computer-based producers who want some valve power in their sound... for the dub-heads the valve eq and spring reverb might be more up your street.
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KoCha



Joined: 25 Jan 2002
Posts: 259
Location: Switzerland

PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2004 10:15 pm    Post subject: Research on valve equipment.... Reply with quote

So avertise us when you update your website, a 2-channel valve eq would be very nice, 1 channel for delay and the other for reverb.. or for another stereo signal.

Looking forward to your works,

KoCha
www.Almighty-Dub.com

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Almighty Dub Records - Independent Reggae Dub Production
Open Dub Foundation - The WorldWide Dub Meeting
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