Hand-built and bespoke Eurorack

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Hand-built and bespoke Eurorack
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Bespoke work - a simple(ish) guide.

Unlike some, I do offer a bespoke service if there's a module you'd particularly like but which isn't made by any of the big boys. If you'd like me to build/design a module for you then there are a number of things that you need to bear in mind:

  • Bespoke is not cheap - you'll be paying for my time (design, build, testing, fabrication materials etc.) as well as things like components and shipping. Apropos of this:

  • Know what you want - it'll save you money and me time if you have at least some idea what you want. The more information you can provide me the better - particularly important are things like size constraints and other limitations. If you can provide a block diagram of how you want your module to work then that's great - if you can provide a schematic then that's even better. Panel artwork is useful too - I'm not a designer, so if I have to do panels for you they'll be simple and straight to the point.

    I can provide panels in three materials, in approximate order of cost: 3mm perspex, 1.6mm FR4 (aka. PCB material) or 2mm aluminium. Any lettering etc. will either be engraved (perspex and aluminium) or exposed copper or silkscreen (FR4).

    I can generally turn perspex panels around in a couple of days, assuming my fabricator isn't on holiday. FR4 or metal panels will increase lead times.

    FR4 panels will be fabbed by OSHPark in the US, whilst I generally use Schaeffer AG (of Front Panel Designer fame) in Germany for aluminium or steel panels. If anyone happens to know of a UK company which can offer a similar service to to Schaeffer than I'd love to hear from you ...

    I am unable to do screen-printed panels - if you're hell-bent on screen-printing then I can provide blank panels and you can make your own arrangements.

  • The minimum run is 3 boards - at least one of which will be a fully built module. Even if you could find a fab house willing to do such things, one-off PCB manufacture is eye-wateringly expensive. I generally have bespoke boards made by OSHPark in the US - their minimum run is 3, so ....

  • Lead times will vary. A lot - bespoke jobs do not take precedence over the building of 'regular' stock items, that is stuff that I can sell immediately. Plus there's a need to factor in things like fabrication time for boards and panels, plus the time required for those things to get back to me and for the final product to be shipped out to you. A 4-6 week lead time is not unusual - sometimes it can be a lot longer; it just depends on what my workload is at the time.

    That being said, I will endeavour to complete your order as quickly as I can.

  • Prices will vary. A lot. - see above. The more work I need to do on your behalf, the more expensive the end result will be. Hence, the more information you can give me the better. If I have to do a lot of design work on your behalf then be aware that it'll get very expensive, very quickly - for design work I generally charge £15/hr. Compared to some others, this is cheap .... make of that what you will.

  • Payment - once a price is agreed, a 50% deposit will be payable immediately and I will create a draft order. The remaining 50% is payable once the module(s) are built and assembled. Once the boards have been submitted for fabrication, the deposit is not refundable.

    This bears repeating:

    Once the boards have been submitted for fabrication, the deposit is not refundable.

    I cannot emphasise this enough - consider this to be the 'point of no return'. I am unable to cancel jobs once fabbing is started - this policy is decided by the fab house and is out of my hands.

  • Shipping - once everything is finished in a satisfactory manner, your order will be shipped.

    Shipping costs will be included in the price of your job and will cover tracked and insured shipping (Royal Mail Special Delivery or Royal Mail International Tracked and Signed, dependent on location). I generally don't use couriers as they cannot be relied upon.

    Your tracking number will be emailed to you - Royal Mail only track international packages until the point at which they leave the UK. After that, you should be able to use your national carrier to track the package.

    Shipping times vary: within the UK you'll get your order by 1pm the following day (except Saturdays - if you want Saturday Special Delivery then that'll cost extra). International orders vary - 5-7 working days is usual, with the exception of Italy and Russia when 3-4 weeks is quite possible, it just depends on how vindictive the customs staff are feeling.

    Due to an unacceptably high level of returns in the past, I will not ship to Amazon Locker/Packstation-style addresses (this applies mainly to German customers - GLS, who handle Royal Mail deliveries in foreign parts, do not have access to Packstations, which are owned by Deutsche Post - as a result, the package gets returned undelivered)

  • International orders - see above regarding shipping. You will be responsible for the payment of any customs duties or VAT arising - the value I put on the CN22/CN23 will be true and accurate; I will not state a lower figure so you can save on taxes etc. because a) tax avoidance is naughty and b) if something does go wrong then I can only make a compensation claim up to the stated value - declaring your £100+ order as only being worth a tenner leaves me facing a potentially massive loss and, frankly, that ain't gonna happen.

  • VAT - I am not VAT registered, so you will not be able to claim VAT back on any purchases you make from me. For the same reason, I am unable to provide VAT invoices.