New chapter


Dear supporters and customers,

As the video in our previous update shows, Wheel has come full circle. We're proud of what we've achieved. We stayed close to its original concept, and it is widely acknowledged that Wheel has turned into something very special. One major issue remains. With all parts in place, it takes us 30 hours to assemble and tune each Wheel.

Tabula rasa
Two years ago, Piet and I took some time off for a challenge. The years of Wheel development have been a tremendous learning experience, and we wanted to test our skills. We kicked off a parallel project next to Wheel and started working on an all new turntable, completely from scratch.
Not bound by limitations, the project gained a lightness and sparkle we'd been missing for a long time. In the months that followed, the best ideas survived and the new turntable slowly but surely evolved into maturity.

In the meantime, Wheel's assembling and shipping issues kept confronting us with challenges. Despite all efforts, we had to face the fact that Wheel's 
design made it impossible to streamline building any further. On top of that, too many Wheels got damaged during transport, causing repairs that delayed production of Wheels even more.

Crossroads
That put us at crossroads; the new turntable, originally meant to explore new concepts for a future version of Wheel, had grown into a serious alternative. We decided to split teams. Team 1, run by Arco and Kasper, kept building original Wheels, while team 2, run by Piet and myself, went full speed ahead to turn the new record player into reality. Because it now had become Wheel's successor, we named it Wheel 2.

A new Wheel
Wheel 2 stands on the shoulders of the original Wheel. It's every inch a Wheel, but it's completely new. It is packed with innovative and functional features not found in the original, let alone any other record player. The knowledge we gained from personally delivering Wheels to users also helped us to make Wheel 2 more refined as well as much more robust. Our new approach to operating Wheel 2 is more elegant, informative, and fun to use. Wheel 2's new drive technology is also much more forgiving to records that aren't in perfect shape.
 


During development, the original Wheel (left) gained a bit of height. Starting over allowed us to build next generation engineering into Wheel 2's much lower profile.




Using Wheel 2 is more intuitive, without losing Wheel's trademark minimalism. 
Before the record starts playing, the tracks are scanned and the position of the stylus is displayed live.




Wheel 2 plays singles! Because of its new drive system, Wheel 2 plays anything between 7 an 12 inch. The new smart slide track and curved display makes Wheel 2's ease of use unparalleled.



Here's an overview of the differences between the original Wheel and Wheel 2.




What now?
If you still want to receive the original Wheel you preordered, you don't have to do anything. We continue to build original Wheels for all backers who opted for it. We expect that the introduction of Wheel 2 will somewhat ease the pressure, but please be aware that the building and shipping of original Wheels remains a challenge.

Got enthusiastic about Wheel 2? Then you can upgrade.
Wheel 2 is a step up in every way, also in price. The retail price of Wheel 2 is € 1500. Customers who haven't received an original Wheel, can upgrade to Wheel 2 for a price of € 300. If you choose to upgrade, there's no need to pay now. We'll ask you to pay when your Wheel 2 is packed and ready for delivery.
 
Whether you stick with the original Wheel or upgrade to Wheel 2, we will honor your place on the list. In earlier updates I hinted on a solution to our building and delivery woes. Wheel 2 is that solution. It is designed to be produced in a scalable, streamlined way. Whatever you choose, we'll continue to do our utmost to deliver you a perfect Wheel, but with current assembly speeds we expect to deliver Wheel 2 much sooner.
 
There is no hurry to decide, you will receive a personal survey from us within 4 weeks from now, in which you can indicate whether you'd like to use the opportunity to upgrade. We expect a bit of pressure on our mailboxes, so please bear with us and await the offer.
 
New chapter
After two years of development, Wheel 2 is ready for takeoff. Testing is behind us. All hardware has been developed and can be produced in-house. Software is fully functional. Small scale production of Wheel 2 parts has already started. We're in the process of purchasing materials and parts for volume production. New manuals and packaging are in the works. As of today, we stopped taking new preorders for the original Wheel. Wheel 2 is available to preorder now. More information will be added to the website during the coming weeks. Deliveries of Wheel 2 will start September 1st and will be scaled quickly.
 
This is a daring update to share with you, as we are weeks away from having Wheel 2's in full supplyBut I feel obligated to let you know what we've been up to. Wheel 2 is really a next generation Wheel and I don't doubt that it will win over your hearts. In the coming weeks, I will highlight Wheel 2's new features one by one in detail, and how they came to be. There's a lot to tell, and a lot to show!

We are grateful for your ongoing support.
Thank you.

Peter and the Wheel teams