Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Radically upgrade your sound and music experience with this 100dB HiFi Bluetooth speaker/portable audio monitor. 50 hours playtime!
1,083 backers pledged £84,768 to help bring this project to life.

An Update from the CTO & Head of Development Team

Posted by Frankenspiel Ltd. (Creator)
19 likes

Hello backers,

I'm Chia, CTO and Head of the Development Team for Frankenspiel.

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

In this update I will cover important information on the technical side of the FS-X, but more importantly communicate what is happening in regards to finalising for production.

Following this update, we plan to organise a live Q&A session to allow you to ask me some more technical questions.

We’ve all been working hard on the development of the FS-X and we’re just as, or if not more frustrated with these delays as you. After all it's our reputation that is on the line here.

So why the (further) delay?

Basically the FS-X represents a real step change in power and performance, not just marginal, incremental improvements. What has kept us busy for much longer than we anticipated, is ensuring its stability and reliability.

Since the latter part of last year we have been frustratingly close, but the electronic circuit boards have struggled so searching for a compromise which delivers power within capability of component parts has been our primary goal.

We are essentially fixing the performance envelope with software tuning. This is difficult because we are are working in unknown territory and we are pushing the performance envelope all the way out.

The outer boundaries of our amplification platform is currently at 25 V @ 2.8A = 70W. Remember we are using a 2800 mAh battery, not mains power to do this. As well as designing for reasonable good bass performance and without a heat sink.

Now that we've finally had the amp platform fully operational for a while, and available for intensive testing, we've seen issues with driver reliability. No driver can handle the raw power that the FS-X amp can put out. Our performance envelope is far outside what BMR drivers (or any driver for that matter) has envisaged. So we are currently governing the amp down to 20V @ 1.8A which is about 35W.

As we work on these governing/control aspects we are developing completely new techniques, many of which are patentable.

The overriding drive now is to finish mapping this performance envelope and fix the final specs by software tuning to ensure that the power and performance is matched by safe, stable, reliable long term operation.

It’s simply not worth the risk of rushing and sending out a product which sounds great out-of-the-box, but is unreliable and degrades with continuous use. If we have to recall the FS-X, it will be the end of Frankenspiel and the end of our dream.

To put it even more starkly we’re busy ensuring that the battery is safe, the electronics don't overheat and the driver doesn't disintegrate.

We hope to have this done very soon (we don’t expect it to take longer than a week), and then we will release the final production specs in an update.

We will then organise and film the demo and comparison video. And start production.

A note on performance:- the search for stability has dominated in these past few weeks, but we need to make it clear the FS-X will still be capable of delivering our ambitious max SPL goal of > 100 db whilst maintaining high-quality, undistorted sound with 50 hours battery life. This is a breakthrough in itself, unrivalled by speakers on the market today.

We are pushing the boundaries and trying to achieve something that is truly revolutionary, not just a 1 or 2 % improvement on what is currently available. We are doing something that no other designer or manufacturer has done before. This is precisely why we are experiencing speed bumps.

All the best, 

Chia 'CTO & Head of the Development Team' at Frankenspiel

...You are helping to fund dreams and revolutionise markets, we thank you for your continued support.

Our next update will be no later than two weeks from now, 19th February 2015. But we do intend to hold the live Q&A session and update you with final production specs prior to that.

All the best,

The rest of the Frankenspiel Team

iwieiwiw, Erik Mortensen, and 17 more people like this update.

Comments

Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Frankenspiel Ltd. Creator on

      Please visit http://doodle.com/2qm2uda6qkzxs7ew to mutually agree a time and date for the live Q&A with our CTO & Head of the Development Team, Chia.

      And please refer to the comments section on Kickstarter for recent tech questions and answers.

      Our next update will be on Thursday 19th February.

      All the best,
      The Frankenspiel Team

    2. Laural on

      @CbxBob: I just know that many projects don't take into account Chinese New Year, where the whole country basically shuts down till March, so .... yeah. When they were going to push out the door in Dec/January, that wasn't an issue at all - and in fact I was perfectly satisfied with that rate, only 6 months late - but now it's going to be April at the absolute earliest. And I meant what I said about not caring about the 100dB full output. It appears that this issue is what's delaying us from receiving our speakers.

      I mean, if I had known in August that's what the main issue was, I may not have been quite so adamant as I am now, but I intend to use these at home, and wouldn't actually ever push them to 100dB for 2 full days. I mean, who would? Even camping, when the battery life is far more important, I wouldn't actually turn them all the way up.

      It just seems like they picked a feature that few people would really need or use, then made that the reason to delay fullscale production. Which makes no sense to me. If it sounded really crappy at lower volumes, that would be a reason to delay, but from the very start the reproductions were very fine. So, I just don't get it....

    3. Missing avatar

      Cbxbob on

      Thank you for the update, I believe most of the people with the intelligence to understand the concept of what kickstarter is for appreciates your effort and would rather wait for a product that is up to your standards. Get it right and we will be happy and you will have a very successful company, it is clear you are creating a truly revolutionary product that if you can deliver the quality will blow the competition away. Don't shoot yourself in the foot by rushing to put out an inferior product, we all want to see you succeed.

    4. Jianwei Chen Michael on

      Keep it going guys, cant wait for the speakers..

    5. Marsha Tyszler
      Superbacker
      on

      @Frankenspiel and @everyone: It's nice to hear from the CTO/Head of Dev. He can definitely provide us with some added perspective about the technical issues. It's very hard to admit when there's some unanticipated problems in development, and I'm very much looking forward to hearing more from Chia and how he will address the outstanding questions many of us are wondering.

      The FS-X is attempting to break sound barriers (pun intended!) in the speaker world. I know that some backers are feeling a bit duped, but as I see it, I don't believe that was Frankenspiel's intention. If their prototypes couldn't achieve what they were claiming in their initial KS description, the media wouldn't have published stories corroborating a product that wasn't meeting its claimed specs. I suspect that as they began putting the pieces together to build newer prototypes in preparation for development with electronics from their manufacturers, that's when the problems may have started. I'm supposing from my observations, of course, but I've seen similar issues occur with other campaigns.

      For me, I'd be willing to wait as long as needed for Frankenspiel to correct the problems and either obtain or create parts that will achieve all promised specs. However, I know most people aren't as patient as I am and might not want to wait. I really do think that Frankenspiel can find a way to sort out the issues if given more time. In fact, I'd be disappointed if they didn't have that opportunity. For a small company, achieving the FS-X's intended specs would be a huge deal that would thrust them into the limelight as a major player and give people the opportunity to buy amazing speakers with unheard of specs at affordable price point. As backers, we want our rewards -- but our primary role is to support the company we backed in times of achievements and failures. So I'm asking everyone here to remember that. And so, above all, I'm curious to know from Chia whether you could produce everything as planned if you wee given additional time to work with your current suppliers and/or find new suppliers who could either locate or develop parts with the specs you need.

      I'm looking forward to the live Q&A, seeing a video, and hearing another update with more particulars. And I very much appreciate your honesty with this matter that must be quite upsetting to you guys. You've poured tons of time, energy, and dedication into this project -- and I hope you'll do what it takes to make the FS-X work exactly as you've dreamed. :-)

      @bsl100 was it you who asked about that particular speaker as it compare to the FS-X long ago? I thought Frankenspiel answered that, but maybe I'm confusing it with something else. Either way, I'd love to hear how Chia would address this.

    6. Missing avatar

      Giles Smith on

      Can somebody please forward me a link to the rest of the video the creators have been producing for the past 2 weeks as I can only see the first 5 seconds.

    7. Laural on

      I can't believe I speak for myself only when I say I'd rather have the lower power driver problem and speaker now, than the other way around...

    8. Missing avatar

      bsl100 on

      My comment on the Minirig speaker was to highlight that 100db sound with 50hr battery life has been achieved earlier and that its not something never done before as mentioned in the update.

      I just feel that these guys were not at the level when they wrote their 'story' and got our backing.

      Tech products can be a hit and miss, but the feeling you got from them with their 'story' was that they already had a 100db product with them and just stereo pairing and minimum quantities needed to have been booked to get the tooling and other components from their suppliers.

    9. Frederic Detienne on

      It is the update we should have had a long time back but I am glad we finally have it. Frankenspiel is not dropping the ball and the product will likely see the day so I keep being confident (but nonetheless impatient).

    10. Lee Gibson on

      A couple of things. Yes you could have bought a minirig, of course nobody mentions that the minirig is twice the price. I think the approach of communications is wrong. It would have been better to have the developer write a development and testing diary, the problem is the development team are not the company. What this has shown me is that I should use some contacts and do this myself. Be patient people, you never know they might deliver.

    11. Jason Emery, Jester of Valoria on

      The way I read it is that they had it working but found that some of their prototypes / early samples were failing early. Being a small company they can't do extensive / long term testing, and are lucky to have caught some failures.

      Now they face the unenviable decision to retool a few things (in this case attempting to limit the danger levels with software) and repeat testing, which means more time. And hope they catch everything they can in a week's time.

      Quite possibly if a user doesn't routinely crank it up to high levels to, say, provide music for a party an end user would never cause it to fail like that.

      Given the response we give them, I imagine it takes a lot of nerve to get on and write a post / put up a video. While it's unprofessional to avoid that responsibility, it is human. We're all taking a gamble that something would ever be delivered. In many cases these are shoestring operations with a fixed window of backing, at best.

      I can think of one card game Kickstarter that was very likely a total scam, looking back, but this one has produced something, even if it isn't yet what they hoped. Like anything we might do, it will fail, but I see these people at least putting forth hard effort and am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

      Like everyone else, though, I do anxiously want some nicer little speakers. It's hard because you can't tell if it will be worth the trouble until you can hear it.

      Numbers are nice, but I'll know when I close my eyes, broadcast some Vivaldi, and experience it. That will mean the difference between them being a possession or an expensive (and unusual) gift for someone else. Until then it's just a roll of the dice.

    12. Missing avatar

      Maikel Lodewijk on

      2,5 weeks for a 5 sec. videoclip!?

    13. Missing avatar

      bsl100 on

      From your update.... "A note on performance:- the search for stability has dominated in these past few weeks, but we need to make it clear the FS-X will still be capable of delivering our ambitious max SPL goal of > 100 db whilst maintaining high-quality, undistorted sound with 50 hours battery life. This is a breakthrough in itself, unrivalled by speakers on the market today."

      @Creator....Have you heard of the Minirig portable speaker. It too achieves 100db with > 50 hrs of battery life. Its been available since the last few years now. Made in the UK.

    14. Missing avatar

      ttan on

      A good update but, like the fable of the boy who cried wolf, I am afraid you will have to be more consistent with this quality of updates to earn back the "villagers" trust.

      As a point of reference for backers who attended the launch party, what was the max power output for the amp and what drivers were used in the units?

    15. Missing avatar

      bsl100 on

      Wow !!!!!

      Whatever has been written in the update is contradictory to your story on the Kickstarter main page. There you gave the impression that everything was ready and you had very little testing left to be done. Reviews and comments from magazines suggested you had a 100db product in hand.

      Also, the Deben Acoustics report (on the main page) suggested that you already were achieving 100db. You also mention there that you have tested with 2800mAh battery and you are putting in a 3400mAh battery. Now you talk about 2800mAh again.

      Your story on the main page seems like it was from a fairy tale.

      Guys, I am extremely disappointed in this just because everything seems like cooked up stories.

      It seems now that you just took your earlier product and a few CAD designs and raised funds on Kickstarter. And that you then actually had to redesign your product to go with your story.

    16. Achmad Fienan Rahardianto on

      So you mean the output power is going to be halved?

      Does that mean also the quality of the sound will be reduced as well?

    17. Ben Hodgson on

      When you said you were putting together a video, I'll be honest, I was expecting something a little, err, different...

      But thanks for the update. I hope this is a sign you're reading the various comment threads here and taking them on board.