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Re: Looper development and production costs?

At 02:41 PM 10/16/2001, you wrote:
>OK.  Sure.  Don't come to me when Gibson decides (again) that the EDP 
>isn't worth

actually, Gibson never made such a decision before. Rather the opposite, 
they've kept the echoplex around even when divisions collapsed around it. 
They've even very recently devoted substantial effort and money to keeping 
it going, making improvements to it, and bettering the manufacturing 
process. That is why they are currently easily available. Gibson has 
believed in looping for a lot longer than just about any other company 
that's touched the idea.

>My guess is not only will there not be an EDP 2, but within a
>year, there probably won't be an EDP at all.

It is impossible to know for sure what the future holds, but I don't see 
that. As Tom pointed out, we are about to release a major new software 
generation for it, allowing us an opportunity to reintroduce it to the 
market and get new attention for all of the new functionality. In any 
what Gibson decides to do isn't the same as what Aurisis decides to do. If 
they don't want to do the EDP anymore, we find some alternative. At the 
current time though, they seem to be pretty enthusiastic.

>The reason I don't own one is
>because it didn't exist when I was in the market for one, and when it 
>was a better alternative.  Because Electrix is aiming at a broader 
>they'll win.  If you don't think it's a numbers game, you're asleep.  I'm
>suggesting (and offering my services for free, BTW) a logo redesign 
>because I
>don't want to see the EDP go away, even though I'm glad I went to the 
>There will be a big change soon, and Trace-Elliot should be worried.

Actually, they had more to be worried about when Electrix was constantly 
delayed in releasing the Repeater. A lot of people delayed buying 
until Repeater was out, so they could compare. The longer Repeater was 
delayed, the longer that lasted. Now that Repeater is out and people have 
looked at it, I've noticed more people buying echoplexes again. I don't 
have sales data yet to know for sure, just a guess from comments people 
have made to me in the past month or so. Decisions go both ways, depending 
on what people want. People other than Mark seem to find quite a bit of 
difference between the two. Some find the repeater is what they want, some 
find the EDP was what they wanted after all. Probably some are buying the 
RC-20 or the boomerang or dl-4 or Cycloops. The fact that there are quite 
bit of differences among all of these gives sales people something to talk 
about to differentiate and sell their thing. This has resulted in much 
worry, not more, because the real situation is clear.

>I can say no
>more.  There are more DJs than there are looping musicians, and Electrix 
>hitting both bases.

I'm sorry, but I don't see many DJ's talking about the Repeater. Where do 
you see that? I see a lot more discussion among dj's about the Cycloops, 
which is a cool new looper well aimed at that market. In fact, I've 
that after the initial excitement, discussion of the Repeater has died 
a lot. Impossible to say if that means less sales. But I would guess there 
was a sizable group of people built up over a year of waiting, who all 
bought right at the beginning. After that big wave, sales are going to 
from new people coming into the idea, which will be necessarily much 
than the initial rush. Timing for Electrix probably couldn't be worse, 
given world events and economic situations. But NAMM is coming so probably 
they can get a boost out of that.

>If what Kim says about EDP sales is true, there aren't many
>EDP sales in a year.  Barely enough to make it worth making, if I'm 
>reading him
>correctly.  If Electrix takes a chunk of their sales (as they did with 
>conversation will be moot.

No, what I'm saying is there are not many Looper sales in a year of any 
kind. This message comes from all different manufacturers. Lexicon said 
this after the jamman was a major money-loser for them. Their execs 
considered looping a joke after that and laughed members of their staff 
of the office for suggesting a jamman 2. Line-6 has just said this, when 
they indicated it wasn't worth it to them to hire one programmer to work 
the looper functions of the echo pro. TC says this in regards to their 
delays. We see this in our own numbers. Etc.

It is a tiny market, and you organize your resources accordingly to be 
successful in it. I think it is a growing market with a lot of potential, 
but it is still very small. Principles that are true for high-volume 
consumer goods are not true here. Yet the engineering effort required is 
very high, as high as it would be for any consumer electronics product. 
Loopers are very complex devices, much more so than the average effects 
processor. You have to make smart choices based on what you can really do 
with the money available and the expected ROI, and a mistake will quickly 
put you out of business. Just because the market is small does not mean 
that you cannot do well with it, you just have to operate on a scale 
related to the actual market, and make rational decisions accordingly. 
is the message I am sending.

Electrix actually helps the EDP, because they bring more attention to the 
whole idea of looping just by existing. When there is only one product, 
people think it is a niche and many stay away. When there is more than 
people see a market with choices, and they get interested just for that. 
More choices makes it seem bigger, even if it isn't. Significant growth in 
sales of loopers does not happen by stealing customers back and forth from 
one manufacturer to the other. That pool of existing loopers is too tiny 
and not worth fighting over. Bringing new people into the pool is how it 
grows. Electrix is a new entity doing marketing about looping. If Electrix 
draws new attention to looping, many of those people will want to make 
comparisons before they buy. Some of them will choose to buy something 
different from the Repeater. No matter what, it is a new customer for 
looping products, which is ultimately good for everybody. Who knows, maybe 
that customer will buy a second looper next year, which will be a sale for 
somebody else.


Kim Flint                     | Looper's Delight
kflint@loopers-delight.com    | http://www.loopers-delight.com