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A Keyboard Amplifier for the Home? Market Research.

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A Keyboard Amplifier for the Home? Market Research.

Postby willpg3121 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:29 pm

Hi All,

As part of my A level product design coursework I am creating a keyboard amplifier designed for use in the home. My logic behind this is that I am fed up of having a horrible carpet covered reinforced beast next to my keyboard when a nice wooden, well designed, aesthetically pleasing amplifier that blends with the rest of the room could replace it. Currently I can find no such product on the market apart of course from the original style Leslie speaker, however this is rather large. If anyone knows of any others please let me know.

The reason of my posting is to beg a few minutes of your time to help me complete part of the project that demands primary market research. I have already collected some data from some other students but I would really like to sample a larger area. So if you could take the few minutes it takes to fill out my survey I would be very grateful.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/S5YT3KR

Thank you very much,

William
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Re: A Keyboard Amplifier for the Home? Market Research.

Postby zenguitar » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:34 pm

Sorry, I won't go off site to read and complete a survey.

But if you are genuinely interested in my opinion, and the reasons behind it, here it is.

You can make a nice MDF box and carpet it for peanuts. It will do a great job.

But have you seen the price of decent hardwoods? Nice, pretty, attractive hardwoods that are suitable to build a box that big? Bearing in mind that the very things that make woods look great often cause structural problems? That all the cabinet work will be very visible and will need to be done by a craftsman and not cheap labour in China?

That could double the cost of an amp, or more. You need to factor that into your survey. And then you need to factor for how people lie when they fill in surveys, lots of people will SAY that would pay extra for something that looks good, but experience tells us that when they are offered the choice they tend to compromise and buy the basic carpet covered MDF version.

Sorry, but I really hate surveys. More often than not I find that if I answer the questions honestly the overall outcome is that it is not reflective of me as a person or how I reached my decision. At best they are wishy washy nonsense, at worst they are designed to justify a decision that has already been made.

Andy


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Re: A Keyboard Amplifier for the Home? Market Research.

Postby TheChorltonWheelie » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:39 am

willpg3121 wrote:Currently I can find no such product on the market

Because nobody wants them: end of market research.
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Re: A Keyboard Amplifier for the Home? Market Research.

Postby TheChorltonWheelie » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:44 am

zenguitar wrote:I really hate surveys. More often than not I find that if I answer the questions honestly the overall outcome is that it is not reflective of me as a person or how I reached my decision. At best they are wishy washy nonsense, at worst they are designed to justify a decision that has already been made.

+100.

A considerable number of the "Which speaker/keyboard/amp?" style posts/surverys are nothing more than a vehicle for the person concerned to gain additional justification for a decision they have already made.
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Re: A Keyboard Amplifier for the Home? Market Research.

Postby ef37a » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:57 am

I am with Andy here. Surveys are the curse of the modern era.

When I am asked "how have we done? Please fill in this short questionare" I almost always respond "Stop wasting my time and your money on pointless surveys and spend it on more and better trained staff, preferable ones that that have at least smattering of colloquial English"...BT,TalkTalk, Steinberg, MAGIX,BBC and several others please take note.

Then, as Andy again says, organizations rarely take "our" views on board and change what they intended to do anyway, as fairly recent events not a mm away can testify!

Oh! The box! Nah, make it in MDF and give an option perhaps of a posh "photographed" finish at extra cost, The REAL Market will soon show the way.......Hardwoods are precious and should not be sqaundered by the hectare on cabinet finishes, keep 'em for musical instruments where nothing else will really do.

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Re: A Keyboard Amplifier for the Home? Market Research.

Postby Random Guitarist » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:09 am

Headphones, or a little roland cube thing if you must.
That's it really.
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Re: A Keyboard Amplifier for the Home? Market Research.

Postby Scramble » Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:57 am

If it's for use in the home, then what you want is to use clear plastic, and have as much wiring visible as possible. Any wiring that can be placed outside the box should be outside the box. Wives and girlfriends love that sort of thing!
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Re: A Keyboard Amplifier for the Home? Market Research.

Postby ef37a » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:01 am

Scramble wrote:If it's for use in the home, then what you want is to use clear plastic, and have as much wiring visible as possible. Any wiring that can be placed outside the box should be outside the box. Wives and girlfriends love that sort of thing!

Yo! 10mm polycarbonate would be acoustically superior to wood anyway.

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Re: A Keyboard Amplifier for the Home? Market Research.

Postby MarkOne » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:30 am

I suspect that the reason there is not a product in that niche is that keyboards that are sold into that market usually come complete with built in speakers. Job done.

But even assuming there was a market - albeit niche... A friend of mine is a high-end cabinet maker. his carpentry looks gorgeous, and he often gives the choice of hardwoods or MDF clad in veneers - The latter can look very classy. But stuff made to that level of finish is really expensive (irrespective of material). Even with his highly equipped machine shop, there is simply lots of man-hours labour involved in high accuracy well finished woodwork. I suspect very few would pay the price of an amp made to those levels of craftsmanship.
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Re: A Keyboard Amplifier for the Home? Market Research.

Postby Matt_Moose » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:48 am

Jeesh - listening to you lot, you wonder why Steinway bother french polishing their grands. Or why fender don't make teles out of MDF (or do you all prefer 60's road-worn ones because the chunks out of them "sound better"?)

OK - I jest a little, but give the kid some support. OK, we get lots of student questions on here, but this is different because a) it's A level product design, not Uni Sound Engineering b) he's not asking for the answer, but for views, c) there's a bit of work been done before posting on here.

In terms of "pro-sumer musicians who want something that looks nice" - it's a fair enough concept or people who don't have an ear but value form over function. He's even spotted the original Leslies were items of furniture - and they're more than a little in demand. It's not a Marketing essay, it's a product design one. If you've got a CP70 in your front room, why not have a nice cab with it instead of a furry carpet box?

And as for "I won't click a link to an off site survey". It's SurveyMonkey - they're legit. Do you not follow any links on here? What's your criteria for "good link"/"bad link".

I've filled it out, I teach Uni students and it's better thought through than some of their efforts. From the posts here, obviously SoS contributors aren't the target market - that in iteslf is useful info!

<grumpy old git rant over>
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Re: A Keyboard Amplifier for the Home? Market Research.

Postby zenguitar » Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:49 pm

Matt_Moose wrote:
And as for "I won't click a link to an off site survey". It's SurveyMonkey - they're legit. Do you not follow any links on here? What's your criteria for "good link"/"bad link".

I gave my reasons very clearly in my post. It's nothing to do with whether the link is trustworthy or not or the legitimacy of SurveyMonkey, it's because I am deeply cynical of surveys FULL STOP. At best they are a deeply flawed methodology, at worst they are a cynical abuse.

However, whilst opting out of completing a survey, you will notice that I took the time and effort to answer the OP and give him my opinions on the subject he is researching and some of the reasoning behind those opinions.

And there is an alternative conclusion that could be reached, SOS forum members are precisely the target market and they are prepared to give their time and effort to help, but a survey is not a very effective way of soliciting their views and opinions.

Andy
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Re: A Keyboard Amplifier for the Home? Market Research.

Postby The Korff » Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:15 pm

I imagine putting a survey together and analysing the results is a compulsory part of the course... It certainly was for all my D&T GCSE coursework!

I'm also guessing that the kind of advice you're giving is also valuable ("I asked a professional luthier for his opinion and he said..." etc). Qualitative and quantitative research, the course-masters call it, IIRC? My memories of that kind of work are vague though, I spent most of the lessons using the belt sander to reduce large lumps of wood to dust. There's definitely a knack to doing that in such a way as to not create smoke or the smell of scorched wood, thereby attracting the unwanted attention of the teacher.

Good luck OP!

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Re: A Keyboard Amplifier for the Home? Market Research.

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:23 pm

Not that anyone would care one way or the other, but I'm with Matt_Moose and Korff on this one. Cut the kid some slack and help him out by responding to his not unreasonable survey. It's part of his course work and he needs responses. He asked nicely, he explained what he was doing, he's done the work. So why not help him out!

Written responses are great too, and I'm sure he appreciates them just as much... but he needs a reasonable number of survey responses for his course work and it's a very short survey that took me only a few seconds to complete.

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Re: A Keyboard Amplifier for the Home? Market Research.

Postby Exalted Wombat » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:20 pm

The problem, as always, is in the survey design. After replying that you're not interested in such a product, it insists on you rating its features!

Could be interesting to know what people DO use when playing electric instruments at home. Probably the same speakers they use for everything else?
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Re: A Keyboard Amplifier for the Home? Market Research.

Postby The Elf » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:44 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:The problem, as always, is in the survey design. After replying that you're not interested in such a product, it insists on you rating its features!

Could be interesting to know what people DO use when playing electric instruments at home. Probably the same speakers they use for everything else?
+1

I've never seen much point in dedicated (typically mono) keyboard/amp combos. A small stereo PA for stage use and stereo amp/monitors back in the home/studio would be my choice. For stage I'd more often just DI from my mixer to the FOH.
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Re: A Keyboard Amplifier for the Home? Market Research.

Postby Dave B » Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:29 pm

Well I answered his questions. As accurately as possible - it may not help him, but he can put a tick in the box for his coursework. I do feel that people here are missing the point slightly - an A level student isn't the BBC / BT / etc and has to fulfill criteria for his coursework. It may be a banal thing to do, but he's making the effort and getting absurdly flamed for it. There's constructive criticism and then there's being old and cynical...

Shame on you all round!
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Re: A Keyboard Amplifier for the Home? Market Research.

Postby The Elf » Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:32 pm

...oh, and I answered your survey - best I could!
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Re: A Keyboard Amplifier for the Home? Market Research.

Postby ef37a » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:59 am

Ok, maybe I am a bit of a cynical BOF so I have broken the habit of 5yrs and filled in the survey.

Personally I could not give a stuff about the finish but I believe such an amp needs fairly decent spook juiced mic input?

And justfort, a 16bit usb out would cost peanuts.

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Re: A Keyboard Amplifier for the Home? Market Research.

Postby tacitus » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:06 am

Historically, home keyboards have their amplification built in, so they look reasonable next to the french-polished grand piano. Surely the whole point of a keyboard on its own is that it's for taking out and gigging? The number of people who will actively seek out a 'home solution' from gigging gear must be pretty small; about the same number who have garden chairs at the dining table by choice (I accept there may be some who do by necessity ...)

If you're really determined to have particular amplification and speakers for your keys, I think you probably wouldn't be looking at a combo amp with anything from Hardwood cheeks to wood-grained Fablon on it.

Still, I'll have a look at the survey, 'cos I'm more or less with Hugh on the compassionate side here.
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Re: A Keyboard Amplifier for the Home? Market Research.

Postby Exalted Wombat » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:44 am

The Elf wrote:I've never seen much point in dedicated (typically mono) keyboard/amp combos. A small stereo PA for stage use and stereo amp/monitors back in the home/studio would be my choice. For stage I'd more often just DI from my mixer to the FOH.

Agreed for home/studio - no reason not to enjoy the "stereo" and levels don't need to be high.

But my Roland combo always comes along on a gig. In smaller rooms, with a mic plugged in, it's sometimes the whole PA. In theatres and outdoor stages (that season's just starting now) it's a backup personal monitor which I can switch off once I'm confident the sound guy can be trusted to turn on the foldback. When he's really crap I've been known to run a cable out to a mic in front of a PA speaker just so I can hear what's going on - the sound drone usually manages to get everything in FOH!

God helps those who help themselves.
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