For all its qualities, Wheel remains a complex and delicate machine to assemble and tune. Day by day, the process of building gets more streamlined, and Wheel's robustness is improving.
We spent the past weeks on swapping out the very first batch of Wheels for the current version. Yesterday we sent out surveys to backers for the next round of Wheel deliveries.
Production remains a constant process of refining and improving at all stages. Our focus is on further simpifying assembly to speed up deliveries, but we implement refinements along the way.
To name a few:
- We further improved the click lock system. The new clicker hook geometry grabs the records more securely and and unlocks more easily.
- To eliminate resonance and unbalance when used vertically, we added an inner support ring to the upper assembly.
- We changed the floating sliding plate to match the bronze upper bearing. This makes the top assembly even more rigid and reliable.
- The shape of the outer support ring was changed to take care of a wider range of record diameters.
- We tuned the software to cover for even more deviations in the RIAA spec. Especially detection of collect LP’s chock-full of music is improved.
- We developed an optical alignment device to perfectly center the new internal stroboscope into the existing plateaus.
- We designed a new motor suspension bracket that integrates the optical tracking system.
The list goes on and on, but the takeaway is this: We’re producing and Wheel matures as we go.
A while ago, I visited an early backer with one of the first ‘vertical’ Wheels. His living room was dominated by an impressive high end audio setup.
To test Wheel, our backer pulled out an early pressing of the Kate Bush ’The Kick Inside’ album, personally autographed and remarked by Kate Bush(!). After we put Wheel on its stand and connected it to the T+A integrated tube amplifier, the sound was breathtaking.
Personally delivering Wheels to backers remains valuable and fulfilling.
We continue to do what we are doing, and we won’t rest until Wheel is in your hands!
Peter and the Wheel team