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Announcing the Parts Express Speaker Design Team call

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  • #46
    Re: Announcing the Parts Express Speaker Design Team call

    Originally posted by kbzx35 View Post
    so will these designs made by the design team be available for purchase as a bundle package with some potential savings? =). Also, great idea to Kevin K's idea as well for an iron driver contest within the selected individuals.
    Some designs may be selected for kits, but right now I cannot say for sure how many, etc. But, the goal is to have great projects which will be displayed and featured in our upcoming flyers, on the site and I am sure there are plans for kits.
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    • #47
      Re: Announcing the Parts Express Speaker Design Team call

      Originally posted by r-carpenter View Post
      I don't think a short term listening session is the suitable format for PE purpose. Blind listening is of course a big plus but I would recommend a more of long term listening sessions.
      The other thing PE needs to do is to clean up and categorize Project Page. It's a mess. The projects range from well listened to designs by well know guys to "who knows what this thing really is". If I was a newcomer looking to build a project, I'd be lost in options and budgets.
      We actually are getting ready to launch a new project gallery - we're working on a few of the backend logistics, but it's sitting there ready to go. That part was addressed, so I assure you, you will see a much cleaner and well-organized project gallery. Coming soon!
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      • #48
        Re: Announcing the Parts Express Speaker Design Team call

        Regardless of the mixed reviews for this new initiative, I would like to thank PE and Ginger for thinking of new ideas such as this to help the DIY community. I do hope you are successful in finding 10 talented individuals that are willing to take on the challenge. I'm pretty sure this community will benefit from the combined efforts of their hard work and PE's investment in them.

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        • #49
          Re: Announcing the Parts Express Speaker Design Team call

          Originally posted by tyger23 View Post
          I have to agree. I certainly understand why 90 days could be reasonable, but in all honesty - it's tough for me to get out two high-quality designs in a year. Also, with 10 designers, that pace would produce 40 new designs a year, which seems to be quite a lot to me. I worry about that amount literally saturating the market.

          Ginger - a few questions for you:

          1. 4 designs per year can be prohibitively expensive, especially with 3-way designs requiring lots of crossover components. Will the designs be subsidized by PE? I.e. - will there be a subsidy above and beyond the "monthly stipend" and "additional credit"? I might be willing to design 4 per year for you, but there's no way I can personally afford the expense of all the drivers and crossover components required to produce 4 per year. If the monthly stipend is intended to cover these costs, then I guess that would be fine provided the monthly stipend can be adjusted based on the project being proposed/produced.

          2. Do the designs produced belong to the individual designer, or will the rights be owned by Parts Express? I'm guessing the answer to this depends on the answer to #1. To me, if the designer ponies up the money for the drivers and crossover components, the rights should belong to the designer. If the drivers and crossover components are subsidized by P.E. - then I assume the rights to the design should belong to P.E.

          3. Does this type agreement essentially make the "design team" an employee of Parts Express (like a contract employee)? What will be the tax implications, etc? Will there be W2/W4 forms to worry about or will the "monthly stipend" be in the form of store credit (which should avoid this type issue, but force any non-PE expenses to be covered by the designer)?

          Thanks for the idea, and it seems quite interesting!
          I'm going to try to answer your questions as best as possible, as we definitely want to get everything out on the table for this entire Design Team concept.

          1) My understanding is that there will be some flexibility in the number of designs per year. Right now, the agreement has a guideline of every 90 days, but again our goal is to work with our team members and if we have someone who is working on an amazing project who needs more time, it's really just going to be a matter of communication. I would say the every 90 days is more of a guideline or loose suggestion. Guidelines are there just to protect Parts Express and the individual team member. Again, the guys I'm working with on this team project are very flexible and understand it can take a while to build a speaker project, so I say just make sure communication is consistent. That will speak more than just cranking out a project every 90 days that is not your best work, and only done to meet some sort of "deadline" which can be flexible. Hopefully that makes sense.

          2) Your work is yours. While on the team, those designs may not be submitted to a competitor without permission but then at the end of the team duration (one year), the finished projects are your property and you can do so as you wish with them.

          3) You will not have any 1099s or forms to complete. It's strictly store credit and not a cash paid position. The team members will not be employees but rather it's an agreement tied to store credit for projects and project work.

          Let me know if there is anything else I can clarify. I'm here to help!
          Ecommerce at Parts Express

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          • #50
            Re: Announcing the Parts Express Speaker Design Team call

            Originally posted by johnnyrichards View Post
            I am trying to see the purpose of introducing such a competitive aspect to this?
            There is no competitive aspect. Just an application and then we choose from those. We're looking for people who are excited about speaker building, engaged in the community and who want to share their ideas and can write up plans for the projects they create. It's no different than any other type of pro staff or design team a person may apply for. There is a lot of criteria that will go into selecting the ten, which is more than just "who has the biggest, craziest project."

            Hopefully that clears up some concerns that it's a competition.
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            • #51
              Re: Announcing the Parts Express Speaker Design Team call

              Originally posted by hongrn View Post
              I don't think any of us here can crank out 4 projects a year. 1 per year is OK, two is really pushing it.
              I also wanted to bring up that projects can be varied. It does not have to be a large project to count. We will also want to promote smaller projects and how-to's which could count towards this. As I mentioned previously, the 4 per year is a loose guideline.
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              • #52
                Re: Announcing the Parts Express Speaker Design Team call

                Originally posted by GingerRohlfs View Post
                There is no competitive aspect. Just an application and then we choose from those. We're looking for people who are excited about speaker building, engaged in the community and who want to share their ideas and can write up plans for the projects they create. It's no different than any other type of pro staff or design team a person may apply for. There is a lot of criteria that will go into selecting the ten, which is more than just "who has the biggest, craziest project."

                Hopefully that clears up some concerns that it's a competition.
                That comment was directed towards the member who wishes this to include a competition-style aspect. I did not read anything into your commentary indicating a competitive aspect - which is my personal preference. I believe competition in DIY ultimately stifles innovation.
                Don't listen to me - I have not sold any $150,000 speakers.

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                • #53
                  Re: Announcing the Parts Express Speaker Design Team call

                  Originally posted by isaeagle4031 View Post
                  4 is possible, but very tight imo. No competition. There is enough of that already. Personally, I believe 3 per year is more doable depending on the size of the projects. In the last year, I've built 6 distinct builds dating back to mwaf 2014. Financially, that's been a bit rough not to mention the time commitment. I like the idea and let the designers use their own imagination and creativity. That is what this hobby is really about!
                  Agree! We want to build a team of designers who have varied levels of creativity and ideas. We want customers of all levels to be able to learn from the speaker building team. Ultimately, we're looking for a consistent team we can reach out to whenever we have new products, are looking for a project to feature in a flyer, etc. We want people who are enthusiastic about speaker building in general and look at this as a fun endeavor. We definitely do not want anyone to feel overwhelmed.
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                  • #54
                    Re: Announcing the Parts Express Speaker Design Team call

                    Originally posted by rpb View Post
                    I have questions about the costs involved. I can easily crank out some designs if PE is picking up the tab for drivers, and/or letting me return them after 6 months or so. I build ugly boxes, but enjoy doing x-overs. I like the RS drivers, or similar performing drivers from other manufacturers. I throw a new baffle on a box, and over half the work is done. For example, I could swap out my 831735 Peerless HDS woofers with the two or three other HDS drivers that will drop right into the same box. Morel tweeters might fit, if not, I'd simply modify the box. Or PE could supply some prefinished boxes maybe.
                    Your stipend is to purchase whatever you need - we're not going to dictate that. If you need prefinished boxes, then use that credit to get what you need. Our plan is to be very flexible and to show a variety of project ideas - not just elaborate speakers, but if you have a show-and-tell, and it is valuable information for those who are interested in speaker building or audio, then it should count as well. Projects is a loose term - they do not have to be full-on builds. It could be a modification of something. For instance, let's say you get a set of the DA B652s and want to modify in some capacity. That's a project.
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                    • #55
                      Re: Announcing the Parts Express Speaker Design Team call

                      Originally posted by Mark65 View Post
                      I'm fairly sure that I don't have the chops for this, but if I were to be chosen, would all work have to be my own, or could I be an idea man, and farm out the enclosures or crossovers (a la Jim Holtz and Curt Campbell), and divvy up the spoils amongst a group? And how do the finished designs arrive at PE? Are you providing for packing and shipping, or is that on the designer as well? OR, would a fleshed out concept make the cut, even if not actually built and shipped?



                      Mark
                      Yes, all work has to be your own in terms of the idea. You could not submit someone else's project as your own. (It's on the application that you agree the project submitted is your own) Also - with regards to the projects, we will only request certain ones be sent in to us and in those cases we send call tags for them like we do for flyer projects now. We're looking for team members who can photograph their projects, do the write-ups and share in our gallery and in the community. Certain ones will be chosen for flyer, potential kits, etc.
                      Ecommerce at Parts Express

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                      • #56
                        Re: Announcing the Parts Express Speaker Design Team call

                        Originally posted by Wolf View Post
                        ... It's more like a second job I just don't have time for ...
                        I'd guess that sentiment is prevalent. From the people I've read around here who actually seem qualified to do something like this - time and mental energy has got to be a (or the) massive barrier.

                        Them having quick bursts of time to whip up rough drafts of circuits, box data and the like is one thing. Doing (and implementing) complete, high quality designs anyone (starting with the one doing it) would actually want to have in their house and listen to is another matter.

                        Still an awesome concept and potential. If there's enough around able to do it there are plenty more who would take advantage of the results, especially in kit form.

                        Ginger seems to be working hard to clarify the details and scope.

                        At this point if it moves forward I can imagine:
                        - The designers doing the grunt work to come up with as complete a model as possible.
                        - Posting as much detail as possible.
                        - Experts roaming the boards not directly participating on the "team" taking a few minutes here and there helping refine the models.
                        - Team or member incorporates those adjustments.
                        - Prototype a real implementation and listen to it.
                        - Yes / No the result.

                        A lot of the above mirrors what already happens around here constantly anyway.

                        I don't know what software or CNC machines PE uses. I researched CNC options last year. Seems the typical CNC uses CAD software that needs DXF/DWG (AutoCAD). Those models need massaged quite a bit for it to be something usable. Just that part can be a huge time sink because every design is essentially a 1-off and that effort could be considered retooling. Obviously it only needs to happen once and then it can be loaded later as needed for established kits.

                        Obviously (or I assume) PE would be allocating resources to that process. Just wanted to mention it since it's one (of many) aspects to consider with such a thing.
                        Feel free to rip my assumptions apart when wrong, or fix if close.

                        Passive Radiators:
                        All PR(s) Vd must at-least double all woofer(s) Vd. Calc = Sd x Xmax to get Vd for all PR(s) and all woofer(s). If all PR(s) Vd at-least double all woofer(s) Vd they'll work.
                        For woofer(s) with large Xmax vs Sd, all PR(s) with Xmax at-least double all woofer(s) Xmax will work.
                        A PR max weight is said to be its Mms x3

                        PR Systems - tight focus with key parameters.
                        PR Speaker Design - thorough coverage.

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                        • #57
                          Re: Announcing the Parts Express Speaker Design Team call

                          Originally posted by PWR RYD View Post
                          Not that I have the chops to be chosen as one of the elite 10 but even if I did count me out. One of my favorite things about DIY speaker design and building is that I get to choose what I'm going to design and build, what my deadlines are (or aren't), and what designs I feel like sharing or when I feel like helping others out. Anything beyond that makes it more like a job than a hobby. The lure of free parts is certainly inticing... but the flipside for me greatly out weighs that. It reminds me of when I mistakenly started to build race engines and transmissions for other people's cars for money. Took all the fun out of my hobby.
                          I just wanted to address this part because it may not be clear in the initial call. What the team builds is up to the individual team members themselves. We're not going to dictate that you have to use XYZ driver, etc. That's why the team members will be given a credit and can choose. We just ask that a majority of the project feature items that can be purchased at PE, since these projects will be used in our marketing efforts as well. Our overall goal with this whole team concept is actually based on supporting the hobby rather than dictating it. We want speaker builders to be able to enjoy their hobby and share their ideas with others and incentivize them so they are excited to build more or provide an idea, etc. There may be times when we get a new product in and we'll ask the team if anyone wants to use it in an upcoming project, but it will not be mandated. It would defeat the purpose of creativity if we told the team members what they could or could not build.

                          I actually pulled this idea from a prior industry I worked in, which always was well received. We culled a team of knowledgeable designers in that industry and gave them products to work with, of their choosing. It's always better to cultivate a designer's creativity rather than to try and box it in, (no pun intended there!) and I personally think it's a great concept for the speaker building industry as well. It's good for Parts Express to have a team of designers they can go to for project ideas, upcoming bits for flyers, or even idea sharing in general. It's more about community and ideas rather than "You must use this speaker and this crossover."

                          As someone who once had a career that evolved from her hobby, I completely get what you are all concerned about. When it became my "job", it was no longer enjoyable and I had to leave that career in order to be able to enjoy my hobby again. We want to preserve that love of the hobby and not put restrictions on things. As I mentioned earlier, it's guidelines and we just want really good people we can work with who love speaker building, love to share their ideas and are just excited about everything speaker related. Do you have to be the absolute best to make the team? No, because sometimes those who are the best at something are not necessarily good at sharing or teaching others. You just have to know what you're doing and be able to share what you do.

                          I really think we're getting some great dialogue out of this in general and I hope you all continue to ask questions. I'm here to help!
                          Ecommerce at Parts Express

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                          • #58
                            Re: Announcing the Parts Express Speaker Design Team call

                            Originally posted by andy19191 View Post
                            You are not looking for the designs to form a PE kit? Or perhaps some as designs + kits and the rest as just designs?
                            Some may turn into kits, some may just be featured in the gallery, some may be featured in flyers. It really depends on the projects provided. This is a new concept for Parts Express and we're going into it excited about the options, but are not setting hard rules that they must all be kitted, etc.
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                            • #59
                              Re: Announcing the Parts Express Speaker Design Team call

                              Originally posted by carlspeak View Post
                              Is that by parts count? or $ spent? It's important to know.
                              I think it would be overall project related. Not every part count or every dollar. But, if a large majority of the project is PE, should be good. We're not going to nickel and dime it.
                              Ecommerce at Parts Express

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                              • #60
                                Re: Announcing the Parts Express Speaker Design Team call

                                Originally posted by kbzx35 View Post
                                Regardless of the mixed reviews for this new initiative, I would like to thank PE and Ginger for thinking of new ideas such as this to help the DIY community. I do hope you are successful in finding 10 talented individuals that are willing to take on the challenge. I'm pretty sure this community will benefit from the combined efforts of their hard work and PE's investment in them.
                                Thank you! Much appreciated! We really do want to do great things with and for the community and the speaker building industry in general. I am excited about the dialogue and the team in general. I think it can be very positive.
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