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Developing a “Sell After Build” Ethos

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by James Knox, Oct 21, 2020.

  1. James Knox

    James Knox Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Jim at Lil Dawg is way beyond where I want to go! Great guy, great Business model. For sure. I remember back when he was first starting out. Seemed like he started with a slightly modded 5E3. The Big Boys at the time were Victoria, Clark and Kendrick. Now he has a great Website with all kinds of buildS and options, as well as a satisfied client list a mile long. Place an order and he builds it!

    I just want to build Maybe one every month or two or three. I’m retired. And often just tired, lol.
     
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  2. James Knox

    James Knox Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I tried building a couple pedals. Dinky, tiney little pedals, lol. Just wasn’t the same for me. For some reason It was. It was more frustrating and less relaxing.

    Interesting though regarding liability issues.
     
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  3. tubeToaster

    tubeToaster TDPRI Member

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    I was an insurance agent for 20 years. LOL

    As for pedals , I struggle with the size also but I recently bought one of those round lamps with the big magnifying glass in the middle. It has helped tremendously. Oh and stronger reading glasses.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2020
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  4. jmp81sc

    jmp81sc Tele-Meister

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    You can build decent tolex covered cabs with 5 power tools. Circular saw, jig saw, router, drill/driver and sander; and you could get away without using a circular saw. I consider these to be very basic tools that any homeowner should have around.

    I look at garage sales for tools. My router is a beautiful vintage Craftsman that I got for $20. I got a great set of hole punch dies for $1. Around here they basically give away files, rasps, punches etc.

    If you want to do box joints then a table saw is nice, but it is possible to use a router.

    Aluminum hammond enclosures are easy to drill and cut openings with a drill, step bits and jig saw.

    For some people time is money, but for me I like messing around in the garage so my time spent building is enjoyable.
     
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  5. Nickfl

    Nickfl Friend of Leo's

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    I've thought about the liability issue too, its definitely worth considering but as a practical consideration I think the risk is relatively small.

    The real liability issue would arise if you were making amps that could harm someone who was using them as intended (playing their guitar through them). But that is why we use safety grounds, mains fuses etc.

    As for someone poking around inside, it is probably worth while to add a warning label like a commercial amp would have saying "Danger of electrical shock, no user serviceable components inside" both as a CYA measure and to protect the genuinely ignorant.

    If you really want to get serious about liability, you could setup as a hobby business with a LLC and sell all of your amp building supplies to it and keep a separate bank account for it. You would not be likely to be able to get liability insurance for that as they would start asking about UL listing etc, but it would limit the liability to the assets of the LLC, which would be minimal. This would also have the advantage of allowing you to write off some of your costs (everything up to the amount you take in, or all of it if you actually make a profit). Operating out of your home etc still presents some issues, but even so it makes it much more unattractive to go after you, hopefully to the point that a lawyer wouldn't even take the case in the unlikely event that something bad happened involving one of your amps.

    At the end of the day, everything you do involves some risk of liability. Selling a used amp could theoretically get you sued too, especially if you serviced it at some point. Pedals may not contain potentially lethal voltages, but what if someone tripped over one or plugged it into an old widowmaker amp? It might not seem reasonable for someone to try to sue you in those situations but they could certainly try. Having owned a couple of businesses has taught me that anyone can sue you for anything, you just have to accept that and make a reasonable effort not to be a target.
     
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  6. James Knox

    James Knox Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    This is probably the key
     
  7. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    This is kind of an interesting discussion.

    On the subject of liability, it seems some people have the skills to hurt themselves with something as benign as a spoon so I guess we need to be wary. I think if you’re considering building and flipping your amps or any amp for that matter, a decent warning sticker should go on the chassis, indicating that it is a high voltage device with enough voltage to be fatal. On the amps I’ve built, I’ve added safety features like bleeder resistors on my capacitors and quick release power plugs but I think I might get some warning stickers in case I loan one out. Just in case. I’d put them beside the screws on the bottom plate. Mine have covers.

    My dad built dozens of amps and I’ve inherited all of the ones that didn’t go to his friends. They’re all HiFi amps. Really nice stuff. I have no idea if he took any safety precautions with his power supplies. I think I have some work to do, lol.
     
  8. James Knox

    James Knox Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Good points! I’m adding bleeding resistors on all my builds now also. I’ll have to think about the stickers, lol!
     
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