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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.

China Pt. 2 (An Update from the Creator)

Posted by Frankenspiel Ltd. (Creator)
7 likes

Hello everyone,

It’s David here again, I’ve been in China for 2 weeks now helping to coordinate the final stages of our project with Chia.

We’ve been building and preparing all of our components of which we will be sending to our Amsterdam warehouse for delivery in June ready for final assembly and delivery to you in July.

Our 50 units (25 stereo sets), ready for test and review will also be built over the next week in time for my return in June.

This brings us back to the backers ‘first look’ idea. We’re glad to have received such positive feedback from you in the comments section. And we do agree that those who have been most vocal and even those who have been our biggest critics would be most appropriate to receive our 5 reallocated stereo sets.

But as we promised in our last update (in the interest of transparency and authenticity), we are leaving this entirely in your hands and we will allow backers, and backers only, to nominate.

Since many of you have already nominated backers for the ‘first look’ test & review in the comments section and we’d like to rule out all possibility of outside influence by using an online poll, we will be counting your nominations via Kickstarter. We urge those of you who have not already nominated backers to please do so in the comments before our next update, Wednesday 3rd June.

Here’s 5 backer suggestions who have already shown support from others, who have shown interest themselves and those who we feel would be most appropriate.

  • bsl100 
  • Lee Gibson 
  • Szabolcs Boszormenyi 
  • Marsha Tyszler 
  • Craig Trickett

For more information on the backers ‘first look’ idea, please visit our previous update.

The week before last we talked about the carry case, this week we’ve had the chance to finalise the external in-line control.

External In-line Control

One driver for implementing this accessory was the missing mute function, which has now been included in the button functions. The other was adding a mic so that the FS-X could be used as a speaker phone. We have thought long and hard about it in this last stage, and we’ve decided not implement the mic feature after all.

The FS-X has more power and more dynamic range (particularly bass) than envisaged. This increased spectrum introduces issues with a plug-in type mic, particularly with echo cancellation. And from a visual perspective, the implementation in a cable looks rather cheap, clunky, and it detracts from what is an overall robust and stylish product.

We understand this will disappoint some but on the other hand, the mute function has been incorporated into the button. We’ve been able to do this because other button functions are no longer necessary. For example, we no longer need a pairing button as the stereo pairing is now automatic during dual power on.

Battery Life

We answered a question from @Peter J in our last update about whether the FS-X’s battery-life will degrade if used continuously as a desktop speaker, plugged into the mains.

We explained that using the FS-X in this way, there is no need for mains power as the FS-X can be used as a desktop speaker with USB cabled power.

We forgot to mention that our Li-iOn polymer battery is not like a niMH battery (where it will remember a charge level).

Using an FS-X as a tethered desktop, as we said, would trickle charge from around 90% to full. And with a Li-iOn polymer battery, this does not amount to a full cycle. In fact one of the characteristics of this type of battery is it doesn't like to be fully discharged.

So summing up, using the FS-X in this way, it will not degrade the battery.

Next week we’ll be talking more about the accessories, providing lots more pictures, the backers ‘first look’ results, as well as answering some of your FAQs.

Here’s a reminder of our timeline:

Now to End of May

Finalising project in China 

  • Providing final specs and pictures of all accessories (carry case, fast-charger, cables) 
  • Completing pre-production and build of units for test & review 
  • Delivery of all components to Amsterdam warehouse

June

Test & review of production FS-Xs by reputable blogs

Finalising project in Amsterdam 

  • Final assembly of all FS-X units from components 
  • Packaging of units and accessories in gift boxes to be sent worldwide

July

Delivery of all units to backers

Your next update will be no later than a week from now, Wednesday 3rd June.

All the best,

David Archer and The Frankenspiel Team

Peter J, Phillip Vigil, and 5 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      Craig Trickett on

      Seeing as Production is taking place in June. Can you confirm how long each speaker takes to produce?

      Also are invidual / batches of speakers being sent out as they are ready or are you waiting for all of them to be completed first?

      Do you have any production photos of the first batch of FS-X?

      Do you have any photos of the "Gift Boxes"? Will they be Apple"esque" in quality?

      You previously mentioned that the FS-X will come with 12 months warranty. Is this still the case following the further development work that the FS-X has gone through?

      When you produce your update on the accessories please can you include all accessories including the stands. I believe you previously stated that for each FS-X purchased a backer will also receive a free stand. Is this still the case?

      Many thanks again

    2. Missing avatar

      Alain on

      @ra66itz : Agree with you. I propose a wider distribution to around 1083 backers !! :-)

    3. ra66itz on

      @Peter O. The problem with giving the five test units to the first five backers would be, that it's very likely that those first five backers are in fact part of Frankenspiel or at least associated with them. Therefore a wider distribution would be better IMHO.

    4. Missing avatar

      bsl100 on

      @ John H and Peter O.... I agree that the focus of the team has to be on completing the project. The communication has been better, but the backers need to be given substantial evidence of the progress by having pics put out with the actual product being assembled and so on.

      I also appreciate the concern about the credibility of the 5 backers who would get the review products. I am sure that most of us here are in this project because of two main reasons; to get involved in a new project and the excitement it brings with it and secondly to get a new product at a reasonable cost before it hits the market.

      Personally, I am always excited to get a product with good performance at a reasonable price. So, while I have a Marantz set up with Polk Audio speakers, a Denon set up with Def Tech speakers along with Bose and Harman Kardon speakers in different rooms in my house, I am constantly researching products and have given even the Focal Utopia and KEF Reference series speakers a listen. Do these speakers sound better than the ones in my house? Yes. Do they justify the high cost? Maybe. The question to ask would be; do we have music on CDs and High definition downloads to enjoy these systems? If yes, then these are the systems to buy.

      Now, coming to the FS-X. If we are expecting reference series sound, then its not the product for us. But, if our expectations are that it will sound like a good £50 to £100 portable speaker with good overall output and sound quality, then we might be on the right track. If I was given a chance to evaluate, I would consider the following:
      1. How far can you hear the speaker in an outdoor environment with music sounding good.
      2. Can it fill a decent sized room with good sound.
      3. Is it smooth sounding in the midrange or is it honky or hollow.
      4. Is the bass good enough to make music sound full.
      5.Is the treble clear enough to give clarity without sounding splashy and tiring.
      6. Does the battery work as claimed.
      7. Is it water and dust resistant as claimed.
      8. Is stereo pairing working properly.

      In any case all this should not distract from the fact that the creator needs to substantiate all the updates with enough evidence of the progress of the project and deliver a good product at the earliest.

    5. Missing avatar

      Peter O. on

      @John H. - the I would suggest that test units should be submitted to audio publications/professional audio reviewers that have both the experience and equipment to perform in-depth listening tests, detailed performance measurements, and comparisons. This provides a basis that we, as backers/consumers, can use gauge where they stand on matters of audio based upon their prior reviews. I'd like to know if the person performing the review happens to think that Beats Audio, Cerwin Vega, or Polk Audio are the pinnacle(s) of audio engineering, and a prior body of work helps to establish a frame of reference. As it stands, we have the names of five people with unknown audio bona fides, unknown listening material, and unknown listening skills.

      Bear in mind that the die is cast, as it were. The FS-X is all but a done deal (or a dud deal if they don't deliver) and they're going to sound however they sound, barring additional delays or rework to correct design or assembly issues. I want the FS team focused strictly on locking down the logistics of supply chain, assembly, and distribution, so we are not subjected to anymore issues.

    6. Missing avatar

      bsl100 on

      @ Creator... This last two updates do show a positive move towards realisation of the project. But, it would be more encouraging to see actual pics of the product taking shape along with pics of the accessories.

      With regard to the product itself, I am going to keep my expectations realistic. BMR drivers are smooth sounding, as long they are not overdriven. I hope that the team has focussed on this for the final tuning and left some headroom for equalisation. I would look forward to a smooth frequency response rather than a loud output with poor quality sound.

      There is no point in having a speaker that has more that 100dB output and then have it sounding shrill or honky or cause it to distort. Today small pocketable speakers and even smartphones are capable of 100dB output. But, this output is possible because the cut off frequency is quite high. Trying to generate low end from small drivers will normally cause distortion as the drivers are being overworked beyond their capacity.

      Those of us who are eventually chosen to evaluate the FS-X should give an honest feedback on its sound quality and total output and leave the heavy testing to the experts from various tech blogs / magazines.

    7. John H. Halpern, M.D.
      Superbacker
      on

      #Peter O! I hear you! The point of having some speakers going to five backers is to try to get the most critical and accurate reviews out of those five for the rest of us. As such I can't agree that it should just automatically go to the very first five backers.
      I was also a little bit worried about this proposal to begin with. My concern was that it could cause dissension in the ranks with us winding up squabbling against each other when the pressure really needs to be kept up only in one direction and that is with Frankenspiel. So let's keep positive!

      Finally, I don't know what's happened but I really am getting surprised at the extra efforts being made here to communicate with all of us. It really goes a long way to helping us feel more confident that there is light at the end of this tunnel and with good sound quality, too.

      It's only been a little bit more than one year already!

    8. Missing avatar

      Peter O. on

      @Marsha - "all backers are equally vested in the project and company. There are many variables that determine how much someone gives and when they do so -- but those variables aren't important in deciding how much each backer cares to see the campaign succeed!"

      So, in your own words, no one is more "special" than anyone else that backed this project – that includes you and me. Hence it would be most equitable to handle the distribution of available units on the basis of time in queue - like most things in life.

      Sorry to burst your bubble of entitlement.

    9. Marsha Tyszler
      Superbacker
      on

      @Frankenspiel, sounds like everything is on track! I am a bit bummed about the mic decision -- but your explanation does make sense. I think there are a couple of alternative ideas people could implement instead. If someone paired their phone with Bluetooth or even connected via cable, wouldn't their mobile device's mic still work anyway? Or if someone really wanted a separate mic for HQ audio pickup, couldn't they connect one to their iPhone via the mic port or Bluetooth? If these workarounds work, then I'd rather use those instead of sacrificing the cosmetic quality and introducing sound/feedback issues by integrating a mic into the FS-X's in-line remote.

      As far as the voting, is there a deadline for people to be nominated or self-nominate? Also, on what date will you hold the vote, and with which website if not Kickstarter?

      @all, I do appreciate everyone who will consider me as a FS-X testing candidate and vote for me as one of the chosen 5. I'd do my best to test the FS-X accurately by providing photos and videos, answering questions, and writing my detailed impressions. Since my childhood, I've been passionate about tech, music, and quality sound -- and I'm really excited about many Kickstarters that seek to make high quality sound products. (I've backed several cool tech projects aside from the FS-X that will make music/sound exciting to create and experience!) I am also a consumer with 15 years experience as a product review writer and beta tester (ie: including tech hardware of all kinds, apps, food, beauty products, music, toys/games, pet products, and much more) which I do on a voluntary basis in my spare time. I post my impressions on brand websites, blogs, review sites, and social media. I do this because I want consumers to have added information based on my experience before making a purchase, and to help companies improve their products and practices. I'd hope this experience, along with my interests in and love for affordable yet incredible sounding audio, would lend me to provide an honest, detailed review of the FS-X.

      I would also like to add that the other named candidates would also make wonderful testers. They are vocal, knowledgable, and honest, and I am certain they would give accurate impressions. I know there will probably be more names added to the list of candidates, and I'm sure that whoever is chosen will do their best to share their accurate impressions. :-)

      @Andreas, perhaps you're misunderstanding something David said. Anyone who is interested in being a reviewer may throw their name in the pool, and once a final list is compiled, David will allow us all to vote. At this point in time, David is asking for additional candidates beyond those he has listed. You don't have to wait for someone else to nominate you. So if you'd like to be officially added to the list, please say so! The above list that David wrote is not final -- he's merely stating the names, thus far, that have been nominated by backers and those who have self-expressed their interest. Moreover, a lack of commenting doesn't make you or anyone else "less interested" in this project than those of us who are more vocal -- as you said, not everyone can dedicate the time, which is understood. It is understood that anyone who backs a Kickstarter project and is willing to risk their money is highly interested in the product and company. :-)

      @Peter, huh?! Why are the first five backers more entitled?! Being first to the party doesn't make those five people any more awesome than the rest of the partygoers! It's not about how fast people back a campaign -- not everyone knows about a campaign from the moment it launches. No matter how much someone contributes or when they do so, all backers are equally vested in the project and company. There are many variables that determine how much someone gives and when they do so -- but those variables aren't important in deciding how much each backer cares to see the campaign succeed! So according to your logic, your backer number determines how dedicated you are to the project . . . and that's just silly and odd. Poor backer #1083 . . . ! (Sarcasm!) ;-p

    10. Missing avatar

      Andreas Hamm
      Superbacker
      on

      I still don't see the transparency in the voted people. Look at how many projects I backed and tell me how much time I should invest to write comments in every single update just to show my appreciation for each project. I don't get it. I was even in the chat session back then and David wanted to talk with me about an idea I had and it still didn't happen. So where's your support? Nobody ever got back to me and it's the first time I mention that somewhat public how discouraging that feels if you as a creator build up an expectation and anticipation that's not being met after some months. I've had better feedback on other projects.

      At least I appreciate it, that you didn't go for an online poll. Again I don't blame any backer, just the creator for this idea. Even if I was on the list, I would simply not accept it, because that's not fair for everyone else who's waiting for the belated delivery of the product.

    11. Missing avatar

      maandag on

      @creator, you don't mention it explicitely and since you mention only 2 drivers for implementing the external in-line control. Is there still a volume control on the external in-line Control?

    12. Missing avatar

      Alain on

      No positive news in this update, just one negative : David Archer is still in the project !!!

    13. Missing avatar

      Peter O. on

      Sorry, but I strongly disagree. Those units should go to the first five backers of your campaign.

    14. Missing avatar

      Craig Trickett on

      Suprised yet happy to see my name on the suggested list. Im happy to run various test on these of course and have a wide range of music in various formats. As for comparable speakers I only have one other bluetooth speaker but various wired alternatives that I can compare against.

      Thanks

    15. Missing avatar

      VHF on

      Still not sure why, if building and components are moving along so nicely, there are no pictures of anything. Anywhere. Ever.

    16. Ben Hodgson on

      Actually - my mistake - misread this as the whole inline remote being scrapped, rather than just the microphone. Move along, nothing to see here...

    17. Ben Hodgson on

      Positive an update as this is, it does rather neatly skip over what those of us who ordered the inline remote should do? Do we need to select an alternative in Backerkit?

    18. Peter J on

      Good stuff. Might get this for my birthday in July! :)