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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.

Shipping Update / Final Specifications / Lessons Learned / SubWoofer

Posted by Frankenspiel Ltd. (Creator)
32 likes

Firstly we’d like to address what has been coming out of the comments, especially in the last few days, the worry that the final FS-X that emerges will disappoint and fail to live up to its promise.

This is precisely the same concern that we have had in the back of our minds and this is what drives us. Yes, we admit to promising significant improvements in performance midway through the campaign. But in terms of both features and build quality, we obsess about getting things absolutely right. We have now achieved those enhancements to the FS-X.

If we are to overcome all the fears and misapprehensions, we have to keep on obsessing and keep on taking the flack while we concentrate on getting things absolutely right. We will never release a product, regardless of a few negative comments, if we don’t think it is perfect.

We are not immune to criticism, nor unaware of just how frustrating the wait has been. But we are almost there now, and we feel confident that the FS-X will not disappoint, not in terms of features, nor in terms of build quality.

Shipping Date

We're pleased to give you a shipping date.

The evaluation and thorough testing of the new components has now been completed and we couldn't be more satisfied with the results. Our production partner is now in a position to begin final assembly and does not expect any further hold ups. They will start shipping at the end of this month.

Final Specifications - will it have been worth the wait?

As you are all aware, the final spec of the FS-X exceeds the spec indicated in the original project. Actually that should read "far exceeds". There have been several important improvements, which we'll post shortly, but the main one lies in the output power of the audio (significantly louder, but still with no distortion).

Some of you have suggested that perhaps to save time, we should revert to the less ambitious original spec. However, you may remember that we did make extra output power (boost to max SPL without distortion in Update #14) a stretch goal, and we have now incorporated this into the final design so that there would be absolutely no benefit or time saved at this stage in reverting back to the original.

Our aim with the FS-X is to produce a truly advanced mobile speaker which relies for wireless operation only on standard Bluetooth so that it works with all your Bluetooth audio devices. We are confident that when you get the FS-X into your hands you will be able to enjoy a sound and music experience that, until now, has not been possible in a Bluetooth speaker.

Right now we are doing measurements on:-

  • peak current
  • peak voltage
  • RMS (audio power)

We will publish our figures, (just as we did at the start of the campaign). First to Backers, then publicly. What we can already say is the numbers are surprising. Unlike the FS-1 which was governed because of USB, the FS-X is not. Irrespective of its size, the FS-X puts out an awful lot of power, it puts out a lot of current and a lot of voltage. Instantaneous yes, but sustained enough for good bass.

Current is important for audio, higher current is what gives the magnetised voice coil (speaker driver) its rich sound, not voltage. This what the whole of the delay has been about - ( much) better sound. 

So, was the wait worth it?

The judgement will be yours to make.

Lessons Learned

Would we do it differently next time out?

As far as our obsession with breakthrough features and build quality - no. As far as introducing step changes in features midway through - yes.

SubWoofer

A silver lining in the cloud of the wait is that it has given our engineering team a chance to push on with other projects including development of the new SubWoofer.

For us, one of the main lessons of the FS-X has been not to introduce significant specification/feature creep into the project because of the possible effects on timing. For this reason we will shortly pre-publish the main planned features to our FS-X backers and ask for feedback on them before project launch. This should ensure we take Backers wishes into account without it leading to a lengthening of the project timeline.

All the best,

The Frankenspiel Team

iwieiwiw, Sarah, and 30 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Ben Hodgson on

      Totally fine with the wait. It's the nature of Kickstarter. You've been good at providing updates on what's going on. Too many people back things on here as though it's a shop of ready-to-go products, and forget that delays and issues are always going to be risks.

    2. Luke Osborne on

      Shame we missed the summer though....

    3. Missing avatar

      bsl100 on

      Fantastic update. Looking forward to a fantabulous product.

      Kudos to the backers who sound almost like Kickstarter 'employees', helping projects and keeping the comments section flowing. They will go all out to support a project no matter what. After all, Kickstarter isn't a Billion dollar company by its own. It requires 'employees' who can write about projects and come out in droves to protect a project whenever there is an adverse comment made. Makes for interesting reading.

      The rest of us "online shoppers" can only sit back and analyse how a product which gets a million dollars in funding on Kickstarter, can sound like crap and get pulled out of online retail.

      Or how backed products suddenly come out at almost the same price as at the time of funding and even lower at times.

      Or how an 'independent' lab report can be written by a company which produces the very same components.

      Really guys, give us a break. You don't need to come out and protect every adverse comment. The other backers are only wanting a few words of encouragement from the project managers and not some lengthy update. There was never any pressure to ship the product early. Only some comments as to the progress or lack of it.

    4. Marsha Tyszler
      Superbacker
      on

      Rob and Andrew are right! I've said both before! Frankenspiel has been running a great campaign. Campaigns always have high and low points. Almost all have problems and delays. It is all how those issues are dealt with that counts. You guys have kept us informed and have done your best to get a stellar product into our hands by not taking shortcuts. It's fine for backers to be constructively critical to keep the company accountable and on its toes to deliver its promises, but people who get huffy over crowdfunding projects that clearly work their tails off and keep backers constantly informed ought to stick with traditional online shopping. Those people are in it to get the reward at a great price and fail to realize and care about the point of crowdfunding: to help startups jump start their company with a flagship product and/or a help a young company bring a new idea to expand their product line. The reward is not required, but it's how most companies thank people like us for risking our hard-earned money and having faith in them. It's quite easy to tell those backers who are here for the right reasons as opposed with those who just want their prize NOW. Most of us truly want to see amazing companies flourish -- and we will be reminded of the journey we went through with the company to help spread word and improve a product whenever we see/use it.

      Frankenspiel, you can only be proud, and many other campaigns could learn from your practices from the FS-X campaign. Your idea for the subwoofer campaign might help you integrate some great feature feedback into its design before the official campaign starts. In fact, a campaign I backed will be holding a second campaign in a couple of months -- but they shared a secret link with its first campaign's backers to gather feedback. They even found a way to let us back the new KS project before its launch in order to let us take advantage of its lowest possible pricing. They are somehow using an outside service that works with KS from what it seems. (Although some 2nd time campaigns simply designate one reward category for prior backers, and should they notice a new backer pledge in that category, they contact them to inform them that new backers cannot get that reward price.)

      While getting our feedback early will help, you should not give up on using stretch goals which attract new backers. You should also not give up on amazing ideas that new backers may bring to the table if they're worthwhile and reasonably doable. Fact is, you may be delivering later than your original deadline, but you are shipping far faster than other similar campaigns. To me and other seasoned KS backers, you are shipping about on time or early! Don't let a few people pressure you to drastically change your successful campaign methods. Most of us care about what's best for your company and shipping a novel, amazing subwoofer -- and less about shipping dates when the FS-X isn't all that late in the scheme of things. You had SO many things to do, and you've done it all in a manner of months when most others nay have needed 2-3 years! Perspective! :-)

      That said, when do you expect to launch the new campaign? And do you know an approximate price point? I just want to plan my money spending ahead!

    5. Gustav Öst on

      Now this update is more like it!
      Lets hope it's smooth sailing from here!

    6. Marcus Sundman on

      Except for the delay of yet another month (didn't you say the final assembly is going to take only a couple of days and not a month?), the rest is very good news indeed!

    7. Peter J on

      Nice informative update! Thanks!
      The FS-X is an example of how a KS should be done.

      Below is a link to the first KS I ever backed. Estimated shipping was Feb 2014. The last update suggests the PCB build process may have to start again so who knows when it will turn up.

      The FS-X should be great - Cant wait to get hold of it, but im happy to wait for it.


      Dont do this to backers! :(
      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/568411200/rubicon-3d-scanner

    8. Missing avatar

      Luke Pierce on

      Given my experience with other Kickstarter projects, I applaud your attention to product detail before rather than after delivery. Thank you for keeping us informed here and focusing on the details so we don't have to :)

      I look forward to hearing about your new subwoofer.

    9. Missing avatar

      Andrew Peachey on

      Thank you for such an honest and transparent update, along with a confirmed shipping date. I know you have had your critics, but you really have been a model of how to run such projects (there are alot of other technology KS projects that could learn from you). You have always said this was a development project, and without compromising your 'secrets' you have kept everyone in the loop. Seriously well done. I hope you get to enjoy a cold beverage and relax just a little in between your endeavours. I'm looking forward to the FS-X!

    10. Missing avatar

      Filip Murmak on

      I second Dragonbait's notion :)

    11. Martin on

      I think you are on the right track with your ambitions to deliver a solid product and that may take a bit longer to develop and test.

      Thanks for the update and all your efforts.

    12. Dragonbait
      Superbacker
      on

      Would be nice if there was an extra cheap 'early bird' style pledge level with the subwoofer for FS-X backers :)

    13. Missing avatar

      Filip Murmak on

      Yup, take your time guys, as long as you deliver stellar product you promised, who cares about extra weeks or months.

      ((Well perhaps I do a little bit as these badass little babies were intended as a birthday present to my beloved, but that's 2 months gone anyway :)))

    14. Jay on

      Totally agree with @rob. Nice job guys!

    15. Missing avatar

      rob westcott on

      thanks. take your time. someone who can't wait a couple months needs to just shop at amazon dot com !

    16. Sarah on

      Thank you for the update ! But what about the IPX rating, have you done any tests on that?