development

Regarding DubFocus

As some of you are already aware, I’ve spent most of 2020 building DubFocus 12 controllers (and one 16ch). This has proved to be very time consuming, mainly due to the way how I designed the electronics and holding system inside the controller. There were also several common points of failure in assembly increasing the already high assembly time even higher. In total, I’ve made 10 of these controllers. During this time, costs were piling up without me even noticing, due to the way I was building these things (basically as soon as I’ve finished one, I started doing another). I’ve gotten into the state of “I just need to order this small thing and one more” for almost a year and then, you put it all on paper and see that you’re losing money. These things happen, but I don’t think anyone sane is willing to lose money on purpose. I certainly am not, so I’ve decided I won’t be building these things anymore.
For several months now, despite this decision, I am constantly being asked for this controller and its price. At some point it starts feeling bad saying “no I don’t build them”. I’ve obviously created something people want, and to be honest I am very proud of that. I’ve even open-sourced entire electronics of this controller and thus enabled the people to build it themselves. I guess most people don’t want to mess with that. Who can blame them? Building an actual product has very little to do with some prototypes on your desk, as people who have actually built a product can attest. Despite being DIY (I am building the controllers in my living room – no workers, no factory), I consider my products professional and I treat them as such. Otherwise, I wouldn’t sell them.
Now, regarding the DubFocus 16: over the past few days I’ve redesigned DubFocus 12 controller into DubFocus 16 – same dimensions, but 16 channels instead. There’s no need to have 40mm of horizontal spacing between components, and when I’ve reduced that I’ve realized 16 channels fit into these dimensions easily. I’ve also redesigned the electronics and the entire assembly so that assembly time is minimal, made a list of every single component I need to buy, calculated all the small extras, taxes, time needed etc. Electronic components cost higher now then they did one year ago and availability is really bad, with waiting times being between several weeks to several months. Chip shortage is very real real in 2021. With all this, DubFocus 16 price turns out to be *drum-roll*:
1200$.
Now, let’s do a comparison…
  • Vestax VCM 600 is what many producers use for the kind of setup DubFocus is designed. It came out in 2009 and it cost ~900$. Now, when you account for inflation, if it were to come out in 2021 it would cost ~1100$. This thing has 6 channels. For 1200$, DubFocus has 16. End of comparison.
  • There’s also the beloved Livid DS1, which you can get second hand for 200-300$. It has 8 channels. So you can buy two of them (if you can find them) and have 16 channels. Granted, this is much cheaper than buying DubFocus. However, the Livid is no more so support is out of the window. This might not matter to you but it certainly does to some.
So here I am, comparing myself to *companies*. There’s only me in Shantea Controls. This is also something to consider. I can’t get good deals for parts since I am not buying a truckload of components. This is low volume stuff. If you fail to realize this please don’t contact me.
Now, regarding the actual building of DubFocus, here are the rules:
  1. I can build 4 for them in the coming months
  2. Payment is done 60% in advance
  3. Price as already mentioned is 1200$, shipping not included.
  4. Build time: in about 3-4 months, not before.
If I get 4 pre-orders for this, I’ll build them. Otherwise, firmware and electronics are available here: https://github.com/paradajz/OpenDeck

4 thoughts on “Regarding DubFocus

  1. Hey you know what, I think you will be very successful when people find out about your controllers — while it sucks to not sell immediately, it’s better to find the customers who appreciate good quality for a fair price (your price is very fair!!). Otherwise you end up with idiots for customers who will complain about every little thing, always complain the price is too high, etc. Good customers will not complain about the price! And they will recommend you to other people who appreciate the same level of detail and functionality. Find those customers! Your projects are incredible.

  2. Put me down for a pre order, I’ve sent you a message through the contact form. Thanks

  3. Hi, I am really amazed with your work. I would like to build one myself, which rotary pots and faders would you recommend for a better duration a feeling? Also for the buttons, I am not really sure which ones should I use for a better user experience. Thank you again for your work!

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