Dutch Audio Event
We had a great weekend at the Dutch Audio Event in Veldhoven, the Netherlands. It was high time to show the fruit of our labour, and the DAE was the perfect occasion to do so. I met quite a few Wheel customers in a very positive atmosphere. I've been able to tell our story, show our Wheels, and explain the advantages of Wheel 2 over the original. To all visitors that were still on the brink, we offered the possibility to switch for €150. Everyone did.
We shared a crowded room 119 with the men from minidsp.nl, servolabs.nl and justaperfectsound.nl, and were able to let Wheel be heard through their fascinating equipment.
If you're interested in true audiophile innovation from the Netherlands, check out their websites:
The MiniDSP people are true room correction experts. They provide audiophile solutions for your home, car or theatre. The gear they offer, and their expertise put you in total control of how you want your music to sound. Check out minidsp.nl
ServoLabs builds compact active loudspeakers with a spectacular and true to life bass reproduction, thanks to a technology called Motional Feedback. It works like this: A sensor mounted on the woofer measures the signal and compares it to the amplifier input signal. The corrected signal results in a remarkable deep and undistorted bass. Philips developed this technology in the sixties. Motional Feedback was kind of forgotten when Philips stopped making hifi equipment. Luckily, Chris from Servolabs breathed new life into MFB. You really should check out servolabs.nl or better: listen to these big small speakers!
Just a Perfect Sound is a startup speaker company with a long development history. The sound of their impressive Omniwaves filled room 119 in an airy, homogeneous way. No sweet spot, no power play, just a lovely balanced and open sound, regardless of volume, position or type of music. Check justaperfectsound.nl
The entire family was mobilised for the Dutch Audio Event. Thank you Greet, Piet, Jet, Berend en Anne for helping out!
Constant Track Speed, a defining feature of Wheel 2
The Dutch Audio Event also gave us a sharper picture of where Wheel 2 stands in the world of hifi, or high-end if you like. The visitors were overwhelmingly elated by Wheel's concept, and the technologies we built into them. Especially Wheel's Constant Track Speed impressed the hardcore high-enders.
A short recap of what Constant Track Speed does: Normal good record players might run a precise 33 1/3 rpm rotational speed, but we think that misses the point. The record itself defines the playback quality as much as the player does, probably more. Wheel 2 gathers info of all its motors to calculate the correct speed of the track or groove. Even if Wheel 2 plays a record that's out of alignment or balance (believe us, most are), it plays the track of your record at a constant 33 1/3 (or 45) rpm. However, to lock the track into a constant speed, rotational speed is permanently corrected. In extreme cases that means that motor speed continuously varies between 31 and 35 rpm per revolution to achieve a true constant 33 1/3 rpm track speed. What does that mean to you? Just pop on almost any record on your Wheel 2 and enjoy your music as pure as it gets, that's what.
When do I get my Wheel?
Building of Wheel 2's expands according to plan, and we're working towards the 10 Wheel 2's per day target in November. Like the original Wheel, almost all of Wheel 2's parts are made in our shop in Schagen, the Netherlands. All our cnc machines, mills, lathe, laser and 3d printers are steadily pumping out high quality Wheel 2 parts. The challenge now is to match parts production to assembling and quality control capacity, and to further tune protocols.
To keep up, we just expanded our Wheel 2 building team with Floris. A funny detail, most of our team consists of musicians. Sometimes it's like a band building Wheels.
We've been recalculating our entire operation. To reflect the next level technology, materials and labour we put into Wheel 2, we will increase its price for new orders soon. This doesn't affect customers that already have indicated that they want to upgrade.
After a five year struggle, straightforward building and delivering without the bumps of the past is a new situation. The backlogs still are significant, yes, but from now on its a matter of time before they disappear. Our main focus is building Wheels, but we're also working on a transparent way, like a sort of online counter, to show you when you can expect yours.
Thank you for your ongoing support,
Peter and the Wheel team