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Re: Wanted LOVETONE schematics

8/11/2000 7:52 PM
Daniel R. Haney
Re: Wanted LOVETONE schematics
Mark Hammer said:  
"Let them make a bit of money and pay their employees and bank before you start undermining their revenue base by posting schematics willy-nilly."
The circuitry in these pedals isn't fluid dynamics, folks. Having a schematic is not having a pedal. Building one pedal does not make a pedal business.  
The only way a publicized schematic can hurt sales is when the represented product has more cachet than functionality. Though no intent of Bill Finnegan's, his Klon Centaur falls there. For the opposite, check Rane's copious schemata over at <>  
If you were a gigging musician, would you rather have an experimental breadboard effect or a finished product with a warranty?  
Second, airing a schematic on these particular forums does 12 months of R&D in 4 weeks, as shown in those seemingly interminable threads on the Big Muff PI and the Mini Tube/Sweet Thing. If someone wants to wring out a design, the EFFECTS and STOMPBOX forums stand ready and waiting for schemata.  
After all that, you'd think Mike Matthews would want to release a limited run of BigMuffPi-2 pedals that incorporate the best of tweaks presented herein.  
"If they seem overpriced it's because that's what you have to charge when you make a quality product for a select market on a small scale."
Amen, and Holy Sh*t!! Custom enclosures, paint jobs, and ciruit boards can ruin you if you don't plan your production runs carefully.  
And now, a word from our sponsors:

8/13/2000 6:04 AM
Mark Hammer
"The circuitry in these pedals isn't fluid dynamics, folks. Having a schematic is not having a pedal. Building one pedal does not make a pedal business."
True. Although we saw the recent attempt to pass off a homebrew SHO as an actual Z-Vex, and it was pretty damn scary. Occasionally I sell things I build, but I make sure that it is depicted not as the original, but as a variation on the original. I even go so far as to make up names for them when I label them (e.g., I'm looking at a BMP with the name "Muffy").  
I am heartened by the approach of some manufacturers like Rane and Morley, who post full schematics for their products on the corporate web-site. It should be noted, though in both cases, that having a schematic doesn't give one either a layout or a pedal mechanism, which are essential to low noise (in the case of Rane) and functionality (in the case of Morley). So, these folks have the luxury of being generous with info. IN Rane's case, it is surprising how much of their products' innards are textbook circuits.  
You're right when you mention about the speed with which a basic design can be optimized by collaborative effort here. That doesn't mean that manufacturers want such things, though. I sent a note to EH about an "Ultraballs" they might want to consider as an upgraded Bassballs (analogous to the Q-Tron/Q-Tron+ relationship). It outlined simple mods that would increase the functionality. I never heard back from them. My guess is that even if a product can be improved here by making it public, manufacturers would prefer for their products to remain a fixed and known quantity, and not have their market confused by variations, even if their product is not all it can be.  
Good discussion here. Shows thought.  
8/13/2000 10:29 PM
"...the speed with which a basic design can be optimized by collaborative effort here. That doesn't mean that manufacturers want such things, though..."
Yet another manefestation of MBA Disease. We have a slew of them at work, and I get regular dumps of the mind set.  
As long as the stock item is selling well enough, it is considered positively silly, possibly dangerous to release a new model with any substantial changes. Theoretically it poisons the "brand image". Only when things have declined to a commodity market do the MBA's want to put the word "New!" on the stuff coming out. Where everything in the market is about the same (legally: members of a "parity class") is the excitement created in the buying public judged to be worth the hassle. Any substantive change requires disposing of old inventory and poisoning your dealer network while you change over, R&D costs to get the changes set in concrete, then changeover of the manufacturing pipeline, which is often three or four months long.  
In the strange world of MBA-speak and government regulations on advertising, the term "best" can only be applied where you can prove it. The only good way to prove it is to note that all similar products are about the same, so they're all the "best". If you say "better" than something else, you may be forced legally to prove that it's better.  
Another one. The FTC considers that something is only "new" or "improved" if there is a noticeable change, and then it's only "new" for about six months. You got it. That's why all the packages change appearance every six months, or the gunk inside changes color, odor, viscosity, or some other quality totally unrelated to the job the stuff does.  
One of the straitjackets we all struggle under is the "invisible hand" of economics. Manufacturers want ***money***. Any of them that are not interested, hardworking, and cold blooded enough to be returning a very healthy rate of return - say, two to three times what you can get in an interest bearing account - will die, no matter how much they care about "quality". If they fail to return the proper rates, their fellow manufacturers, or the bankers, or the mortgage, or labor costs, will kill them, and eat the flesh off their bones. The other parties may not particularly want to kill their fellow, but they **have to** or they, in turn will die (metaphorically speaking of course). It's only where economic competition is not king that non-money-optimized things can exist. I suspect that there's a logical proof in there somethere that non-purely-money-oriented business can't exist over a long period of time in a free market.  
It's like you can be absolutely certain that no one can predict the stock market any better than chance consistently. If they could, they would already own it all.
8/14/2000 1:06 PM
paul perry

RG is on the ball as usual with the "MBA disease".  
I like to explain the difference between what we do here & the really big companies like this: A big company like Boss aims to provide gear with as few features and as cheaply manufactured as possible, so long as it satisfies the less discriminating 95% of customers. What we are interested in doing, is making as interesting and useful unit as possible, using whatever methods and components we think best.  
So, there is not much danger of a mass market manufacturer wanting to use anything from the list here. I'm not knocking Boss etc, they have plenty of happy customers (and I even like a couple of their boxes!). I'm just saying that I dont expect to see ideas from here appear in a shop real soon!
8/14/2000 5:46 AM
zachary vex it's not over yet.
this is the guy who faked 11 sho's and sold them to my dealers in japan, where all of them were intercepted before they were sold to the public. the stores are required to collect information from people who sell them equipment, and he is a British citizen who is living in Japan. he is being sued by the Tokyo store Ishibashi Music for misrepresentation and fraud. i have retained a lawyer here who speaks Japanese and English fluently and works in Japan often. i hope to get him deported. what a complete prick. he is still faking the signtures on the pedals and forging the artwork, but it's easy to pick them out because of the junk parts he is using... you just look at one of the nuts on the jacks and you can see it's not a machined switchcraft. it's not that he is cutting into profits so much as scaring my potential customers... i answer 10 emails a week asking if a pedal someone is looking at is a real one or a fake. it's incredibly upsetting. i wish this guy would dry up. i hope he gets a painful, incurable disease that slowly drives him completely mad, but lets him linger, paralyzed, alone, without rescue, lying in his own filth.  
Robin Watson  
3-1 nagase-bldg #202 Sugiyama-cyo, Ida  
Nakahara-ku, Kawasaki, Kanagawa  
Phone: 044-594-9996 (not correct, i don't think)  
Birth date 1965/10/24  
alien id #131762461  
and if that's not enough, there's some guy on ebay trying to sell what seems to be an SHO pedal (he hints at this in an email he wrote to a friend of mine), called a space lotus. no one has bid on it yet.  
zachary vex
8/14/2000 9:51 AM
Mike Burgundy

Hey, you got him, cool. Now let's hope you can get him to stop, for ever.  
This whole discussion is hopping on two legs - "respect the hardworking little guy and don't post", vs. "it's always good to see new circuits and ideas, post".  
Someone already said that if Lovetone (or ZVex, or Klon) circuit's were posted, they would download them. Me too, honest, in a blink. I'd love to see what's going on in a FuzzFactory, but on the other hand, out of respect for guys like Zach I myself wouldn't post stuff like that.  
Let's face it, when you do have a schem, you'll build it too, if only to see if it works, right? But that's not a production-run. For one thing, I would not copy ZVex, Fulltone (I pulled the 69 layout, too)etc. pedals for friends or money, just the one-off. And as for public designs, Aron and Jack's names are splayed all over the bottom of a pedal I did build for a friend.  
So, what's it gonna be?  
I would dearly like to see those schematics, but I think I'll vote against posting them on the net.
8/14/2000 1:25 PM
Mark Hammer

Good for you. Mature decision.  
There's a difference between being a spy and being an anthropologist. When venerable products that have recouped their R & D costs (or aren't impinging on the viability of a company) are posted for people to understand, that's one thing. When fresh products that are the lifeblood of an emerging company get posted, that's quite another.  
Maybe it's peer pressure. Maybe just a solemn, sober rethink. Whatever the source, I'm gratified to see the extent of self-restraint here, compared to some previous threads on this matter.

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