Author Topic: Suggestion for producing a highly quality large amount of pedals  (Read 1836 times)

fair.child

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So, here's the story. One of the local retailer/ guitar shop asked me whether I want to do a co-development for their new pedal batch. Totally custom. Let's say they want to have one product for an Overdrive and another one for a Delay. I have done the breadboarding, creating the fabrication/prototype, and debugging. We haven't set the price yet, though we have a concrete plan when to launch it.

Now, the question, what is your suggestion for me as a builder to complete 100 pedals? Should I assemble it myself, or ask another third party company to assemble it for production? I have no idea with the cost outside/ with the 3rd party company. I need to know which company does the assembly and possibly other fabrications (paint, etc)

My goal is to be breakeven and get the product nice shootout to the market. I think this is the time that I want to get the name out the market so I can build a better product.

midwayfair

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Re: Suggestion for producing a highly quality large amount of pedals
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2018, 04:40:20 PM »
If you're building a hundred pedals, 'break even' better damn sure include your bench fee.

Figure out what it costs you to build a pedal by building one, timing yourself assuming a screen printed enclosure, and pay yourself a fair wage. Quote that as your price. If they negotiate you down, either figure out if the reduction in your pay is still a fair wage or offer to have them cheaply assembled in China.

There is no planet where designing a pedal that sells a humdred copies is playing for exposure.
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fair.child

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Re: Suggestion for producing a highly quality large amount of pedals
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2018, 04:52:35 PM »
If you're building a hundred pedals, 'break even' better damn sure include your bench fee.

Figure out what it costs you to build a pedal by building one, timing yourself assuming a screen printed enclosure, and pay yourself a fair wage. Quote that as your price. If they negotiate you down, either figure out if the reduction in your pay is still a fair wage or offer to have them cheaply assembled in China.

There is no planet where designing a pedal that sells a humdred copies is playing for exposure.

Thanks, Jon. Now, here's the real ask. When you mentioned the how much it costs to build one, did you mean the material cost or as well including the time to assemble, debug, and do the artwork? Honestly, if it requires silkscreen, I totally suck at it. Waterslide, I still can do it nicely. For 100 pieces and up, I am looking for 3rd party company like PPP who can do the printing and I just cut the cost of assembly.

I did a research from other builders like J.Rockett Pedal for an example. They contracted the third parties for the metal enclosure, assembly, and packaging. I think the most important thing is how I can represent myself to the existing pedal market (competition out there). Also, we have a plan to do custom swirl for like a limited edition. That is still what the current discussion right now.

California fair wage for assembler is about $12-$18 an hour. Depends on the material (Through Hole or SMD). Plus on the top of that, there should be a design fee. For the bench fee, I think I won't charge crazily and it shouldn't be repetitive. Regular bench fee usually does for troubleshooting ($75-$100/hour).

As a side note, I also mentioned who is going to perform the repair and warranty. Goop or not goop, as well with the lawsuit.

I set time frame around Christmas/ Black Friday time period for production. Development is almost completed and we are on the market to figure the numbers out.

If anyone here can chime in, that would be awesome!

alanp

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Re: Suggestion for producing a highly quality large amount of pedals
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2018, 06:03:37 PM »
Prime candidate for looking into SMD and pcb-assembly by a third party with pick n place machines.
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jimilee

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Re: Suggestion for producing a highly quality large amount of pedals
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2018, 07:06:47 PM »
2 words, sweat shop.


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gordo

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Re: Suggestion for producing a highly quality large amount of pedals
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2018, 08:31:29 PM »
You have a lawsuit already?
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culturejam

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Re: Suggestion for producing a highly quality large amount of pedals
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2018, 08:54:03 PM »
My advice is to hand-build 10 of whatever pedal you want to market and sell. Start with one product. See if you can sell 10 in a relatively short period of time. If you can, then move on to the next product and start thinking about how to scale up.

The kinds of questions you are asking suggest to me that you aren't ready to design for manufacturing, which is what will be required for higher-volume production. Or you could simply outsource all of the design and manufacturing, which would short-cut you to "big boy" operations and save you a ton of time, but would require a LOT more capital to get going. You can't utilize "free" sweat equity when everything but R&D is outsourced.

Goop or not goop, as well with the lawsuit.

Haha, what the hell does this mean?  ;D


fair.child

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Re: Suggestion for producing a highly quality large amount of pedals
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2018, 09:51:07 PM »
You have a lawsuit already?

I hope not. It's just the matter I need to discuss that with his design. If there is any layout duplicate or an exact clone on the market or whatever, there could be a potential lawsuit. I usually tend to overthink things. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad.

fair.child

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Re: Suggestion for producing a highly quality large amount of pedals
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2018, 09:55:10 PM »
My advice is to hand-build 10 of whatever pedal you want to market and sell. Start with one product. See if you can sell 10 in a relatively short period of time. If you can, then move on to the next product and start thinking about how to scale up.

The kinds of questions you are asking suggest to me that you aren't ready to design for manufacturing, which is what will be required for higher-volume production. Or you could simply outsource all of the design and manufacturing, which would short-cut you to "big boy" operations and save you a ton of time, but would require a LOT more capital to get going. You can't utilize "free" sweat equity when everything but R&D is outsourced.

Goop or not goop, as well with the lawsuit.

Haha, what the hell does this mean?  ;D

You know what it means... ;D ;D ;D I just don't want to end up like the Kansas City builder. That's true that I am not ready for the manufacturing. I'll take the idea to sell 10 handmade first and market it nicely. Probably, will do Kickstarter. It depends on the agreement of the second partner. I need to make sure that I am not responsible for the marketing, because I suck at it. So, let it be him does the marketing and the artist relationship.

gtr2

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Re: Suggestion for producing a highly quality large amount of pedals
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2018, 01:09:36 PM »
Be prepared to face many challenges that you'd never expect...I actually wouldn't recommend it haha...

I've helped launch a fair amount of successful projects and also do some high volume building.

You need to charge more than you would expect...always!

Get everything in writing with whoever you are working with.

If you plan on doing anything more than 100 units, start with an SMD hybrid design to begin with, there are a few companies now that do small SMD batch runs for a reasonable fee.
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fair.child

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Re: Suggestion for producing a highly quality large amount of pedals
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2018, 01:28:14 PM »
Be prepared to face many challenges that you'd never expect...I actually wouldn't recommend it haha...

I've helped launch a fair amount of successful projects and also do some high volume building.

You need to charge more than you would expect...always!

Get everything in writing with whoever you are working with.

If you plan on doing anything more than 100 units, start with an SMD hybrid design to begin with, there are a few companies now that do small SMD batch runs for a reasonable fee.

Well, jimilee already mentioned it's a sweat shop. I am kind of getting the feel from what he mentioned. I slept on it and thought about taking the chance or not, so I decided to take a chance for it. I'll start with 10 first and see how it goes. After that, I'll scale it to larger batch (say 100). I tend to persuade the partner that you should make people enjoy building the pedal by selling the PCB. However, he just told me that nobody wants that because most of guitar players just want to plug and play. Plus, the time for it isn't always the option ("I am too lazy" or "I don't know how to solder" excuse ) which is I am totally understandable.

Muadzin

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Re: Suggestion for producing a highly quality large amount of pedals
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2018, 02:44:37 AM »
Well, jimilee already mentioned it's a sweat shop. I am kind of getting the feel from what he mentioned. I slept on it and thought about taking the chance or not, so I decided to take a chance for it. I'll start with 10 first and see how it goes. After that, I'll scale it to larger batch (say 100). I tend to persuade the partner that you should make people enjoy building the pedal by selling the PCB. However, he just told me that nobody wants that because most of guitar players just want to plug and play. Plus, the time for it isn't always the option ("I am too lazy" or "I don't know how to solder" excuse ) which is I am totally understandable.

I wish that the bootweek builders would also offer to sell their PCB's for the DIY crowd. I understand that most guitarist are just plain lazy, or suffer from solder insecurities. And that is fine. But methinks by selling PCB's to the DIY crowd they can cater to that market too. And not see their designs get reverse engineered online and PCB's of them sold by others.

gtr2

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Re: Suggestion for producing a highly quality large amount of pedals
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2018, 08:43:41 AM »
I would never relate it to a sweatshop personally, but keep in mind that when a hobby becomes a business, it is much less fun...
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juansolo

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Re: Suggestion for producing a highly quality large amount of pedals
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2018, 10:07:54 AM »
I built 8 klones in a row once and realised that it was just not for me in such a big way. Boredom/tedium set in really fast...
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Rockhorst

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Re: Suggestion for producing a highly quality large amount of pedals
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2018, 03:55:04 AM »
I wish that the bootweek builders would also offer to sell their PCB's for the DIY crowd. I understand that most guitarist are just plain lazy, or suffer from solder insecurities. And that is fine. But methinks by selling PCB's to the DIY crowd they can cater to that market too. And not see their designs get reverse engineered online and PCB's of them sold by others.
Exactly the idea behind my start up little buzz...I'll build you a pedal, or you can do it yourself if you like that. If I don't, it'll just get cloned ;) Of course, I offer some clones myself.