Welcome to the DaviSound "NEWS UPDATES" Page!
NEWS UPDATE ... from Hayne Davis ...
May 31, 2018... June 30, 2018 ...
"DaviStripping" and "DaviStopping"...
(just for a little summer vacation break...for a CHANGE) ! This holiday break finds us just finishing up the first ever "PortaStrip", custom portable TB-7, DaviStrip. This little beauty is a fully custom design that features, not only portability (a first for DaviSound cabinetry), but also several other unique additions such as the route switchable headphone monitor amp and the nine volt battery (4 in series) power capability option in addition to the standard DC power supply terminal connectors.
If you would like to see more photos of this latest edition from DaviSound, here is the link ... TB-7 PortaStrip
As of this writing, the plan for July is to take a little summer break ... I have not had a real scheduled "vacation" for several years now and, while this will not be a formal, or travelling, vacation, I plan to take a couple of weeks "off" to catch up on needed projects on the homefront as well as a little R&R time along the way.
I will be "laking it" much of this coming week (only working Monday) but will be back to finish the burn-in/proofing on this new "PortaStrip", as well as other circuit work, Friday through the following week. The scheduled ship date for this one is July 17. Then, immediately after that, I will be "DaviStopping" work on DaviSound projects for the remainder of the month. There will NOT be a News Update for July but I will be returning to the fulltime grind around the first of August with an update to follow around mid August (ar at least by the end of the month).
I wish all of you a very pleasant mid-summer and I will be getting back to work finishing up the remaining two custom Tool Box projects left in the backlog in early August. Of course the custom mixer work will pick up during the final summer and fall months as well.
Until next time ...
May 31, 2018
"DaviSoggy" and "DaviSloshing" ! The last month of spring has flown by once more and we have been "swimming" in it down in the southeast again this year. Enduring flood watches/warnings each day (with the worst yet to come I'm afraid) it has rained every day for so long now I actually cannot remember when it did not. As I often report this time of year, my backyard is, yet again, the annual "mudhole", quite literally.
It has taken a bit of a toll on work too, besides the assorted daily inconveniences of incessant rain and the way it inherently affects all the regular routines, the near 100% humidity here has made it difficult for cabinetry finishing which has been a big part of the required activity this month. As any of you who are woodworkers are well aware, the Tung Oil/Polyurethane coatings take forever to dry and cure in these kinds of conditions.
We have also had another disruptive, but welcome, "flood" of sorts and that is a deluge of new orders for MasterPiece modules. To make it clear for those who do not know, the MP modules are the one DaviSound product that I have always exempted from the new order "freezes" and I always work them into the work rotation as they come in. It seems that good old-fashioned do-it-yourself analog audio is still alive and well across Europe and I am proud to be supplying these dedicated craftpersons with the finest, universal audio modules available with our DaviSound MasterPieces .
Aside from spending many hours at the soldering table on these recently ordered units, the Tool Box chronological work continues also with the new, portable TB-7 shaping up slowly but steadily (one of those slow-curing cabinets I was referring too).
I'm going to wind this one up a little early this month so that I can get back to my "NO-rain dancing" activities but I look forward to more GOOD (and, hopefully, DRYER) news for you here next month!
April 32, 2018 ...
(I actually began this update on April 30... but could not get it finished/posted in time for April...
thus the "32nd" on May 2.)
"DaviSwinging" and "DaviSplitting" ! As you know, I am famous for (among other things ) adding days to a month when needed. This month is no exception since I just could not quite get the update for April posted in time.
But we are "DaviSwinging" through DaviSpring around here and getting lots of things accomplished in varied directions.
Unfortunately, we are also experiencing some of that "DaviSplitting" which is slowing things down considerably and causing quite a bit of work duplication lately (no...it's NOT me, it is the craft wood that keeps splitting!). We have had to re-consruct several panels for recent projects because of an unusual batch of defective, exotic Padauk. This is especially perplexing since the wood appears perfect during the prepping process and there are NO signs of any hairline cracks along the grain, or otherwise, upon examination prior to applying the finish/sealant. Yet, in each of the three cases (well actually four counting an interior tube mount board that cracked after mounting inside the last TB-3 we just finished), a crack turned up during assembly of the hardware into the panels.
ALL of our craft wood is properly stored and maintained under the correct conditions so all we can assume is that we somewhow received a bad lot on our last import since Padauk is normally a very strong exotic hardwood and very durable (albeit a bit difficult to work with including the very "toxic" sawdust that flies from it during sawing and sanding).
We have constructed dozens of front panels, cabinet tops and even microphone housings for the DS-1950 handmade condenser microphone from Padauk. But, since it is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain and increasingly pricey, plus the fact that it must be becoming more diffcult to obtain QUALITY wood based on these recent experiences, I am, as of now, discontinuing Padauk as a choice of wood for our cabinets in the future. Instead we will focus on good old reliable American Red Oak with, perhaps, an occasional piece of Wenge or Purpleheart for those wanting exotic contrast. I deeply regret this since Padauk has always been my personal favorite.
All the extra work to required to re-build all these cracked panels has contributed greatly to falling somewhat behind schedule for our first quarter. This is why projections for completion of hand-made creations must always be tentative and flexible, there is just no other choice.
Our current project in the chronological work schedule is also one that was affected by this "DaviSplitting" phenomena since its completed Padauk front panel split in two places during assembly! This was the "straw that broke the back" with the Padauk so to speak. However, it did provide opportunity for what, I think, became a better layout for the control panel of this "one-off" custom, portable TB-7 "DaviStrip" unit. Below is a photo of the actual size template being laid out during the re-design process. I think this layout, fabricated with an OAK panel, is going to make for a very nice improvement over what we had initially so, as they say, all's well that ends well. Of course, this being a one-of-a-kind custom project, it also inherently goes slower than any of our "standard" Tool Box projects.
Snapshot of the custom TB-7 layout template during design.
And so it goes ...
Work continues to "DaviSwing" right along here and, while a bit behind the latest schedule (as always) it will NOT be too long before this one is ready for shipment and I can move on to the other two Tool Box projects that are currently next in line, the special TB-40 and the DUAL TB-7. Of course, as you might discern from their titles, these also are "one-of-a-kind" projects which have, each, required custom design from cabinetry through to schematics etc. thereby adding to the usual construction time. Fortunately, some preliminary work has been done on both of them so they will be far past the beginning stage once I can get them on the prioroty work table.
And then there are the MIXERS...
I have two of these long, on-going projects also in line to completed and it is my hope to finally get the first one, the "Mixer O'Tube" (a beautiful retro-styled all vacuum tube model) fully assembled and ready to ship well before the end of the year. Then, I can begin work, on the final assembly stage, of the last remaining custom mixer left in the queue.
As for all of you awaiting the lifting of the big "freeze" on new orders, I still plan to be at the place where I can begin accepting new TOOL BOX orders by the end of the summer (NO MAJOR CUSTOM PROJECTS, PLEASE!).
So, again as we always said in the good old radio days, thank you all for joining me and please "tune-in" again next time, same "station" (right here), for another progress report from DaviSound!
PS- Almost forgot that I wanted to mention that my old "studio band" (from the MCP-DaviSound recording studio days) returned to play a festival gig here on the square in Downtown Newberry on Saturday the 21st. Although the "old grey band ain't quite what they used to be", they still sound good as "The Weatherman Band", featuring local weatherman icon from WSPA channel 7 in Spartanburg, Jack Roper, on drums.
The nucleus of the group, to which I refer, includes three guys from Union County who began playing together at age 16. As they are all about the same age, 66, this marks their 50th anniversary of playing together! They are Andre' Kerr, Spokesman and Keyboards, Ronnie Hayes, Guitar, and Mandale ("Pickle") Eaves on Bass. They were always as tight as ANY precision rhythm section you have heard anywhere and aside from becoming accomplished studio musicians over the years, they toured with and backed many name artists including a three year stint on the road with Percy Sledge as "The Sledgehammer Band" and, lastly touring with Billy Joe Royal as his "Royal Family" band. In between they backed many others including The Drifters and The Temptations on occasions. It was really good seeing all of them again and "reminiscing" (speaking of which they were also, once upon a time, touring with a female vocalist and known as Gina And Reminiscing). You can read more about our early days at DaviSound Origins .
March 28, 2018 "DaviSprung" ! Yes I have been "Springing and Spranging" into "DaviSpring" at such a pace so far this year that I feel spring must have already "SPRUNG"! (also feeling just a bit "sprung" myself and feel the need a long weekend break before heading into the next project...going NON-stop here for the past several weeks!).
I just finished and shipped the TB-3 that was next in our chronology and will now be moving on to the finishing touches of the next in line ... a custom, PORTABLE (a first for us!) TB-7 with shoulder straps and all! I am hoping to have that one readied by around Mid-May if possible. But, I had hoped to have the TB-3 out by Mid-February and ran a month late with that one so we'll see. But the goal is still to have these last remaining three Tool Boxes out by mid-summer latest if at all possible ... I am ready to lift that all-too-lengthy, new order freeze!
I know I talk a lot about TIME here in these News Updates ... and how we are always running out of it ... or taking more of it than we anticipated for a given project. I wonder if any of you have ever wondered just how MUCH time goes into one of our Tool Box projects. I have often wondered that myself!
Ironically, in all these years, with all these many hundreds of projects, I have never made careful, specifically logged documentations of the time required of each project ... only just rough mental estimates (and anything "mental" with me these days is always "rough"!). Never, that is, until this last project when I decided to actually write down a description of the work involved along with the time required during each session (if you are wondering just how much time the log itself added, I didn't count that part). Of course, this doesn't really serve much purpose (other than just being a good thing to know and to record for each project) mainly because this time factor will always vary somewhat with every project depending upon all the many other unique variables and circumstances that affect the time spent. But, it should be fairly representative I would think which is why I decided to do it from now on beginning with this latest TB-3, one of the more time-intensive Tool Boxes to create from scratch.
So what was the result? Well, starting with selecting the wood for the cabinet, cutting/sanding/assembling/finishing the cabinet, gathering the required hardware and components, assembling the circuit modules and power supply, mounting the hardware to the cabinet, installing and wiring the modules and components inside the cabinet testing at each stage, final assemby and proofing, I logged 92.5 hours total on this one! Now, this does NOT include the week or two burn-in time and follow-up re-proof of performance tests I always do nor does it include the paperwork/prepping/packing/shipping process that always takes up at least a full workday at shipping time.
(hmmm....starting to look like I am working for just a little above minimum wage isn't it?)
Of course, this 90 plus hour process must be spread over many weeks or months depending on available work session opportunities (sometimes I am able to work eight to ten hours straight, even an oocasional twelve hour day like the days of old, but other times only four to six hour days are possible) and the fact that some time must also typically be devoted to the other projects behind the current one on the priority "out-bench" when circumstances justify (for example, if I am building MP-2 "Mic-All" © ™ mic amps for a given project and I have others in the chronology requiring MP-2 modules, then I would typically build several of the modules all in the same work sequence to create an "inventory" of the particular modules required for all current projects on order). And, speaking of MasterPiece modules, I do accept new orders from time to time (even during the Tool Box order freeze) on MP-1, MP-2, MP-3 and MP-4 modules, to help keep the bills paid, and work them in amongst current work log.
And, of course, as all of you long awaiting clients know, the biggest delays are often caused by the many variables of life itself OUTSIDE the work place that must be factored in. But, for the actual work time involved, it does take quite a LOT of time investment to make one of these hand-made-from-scratch creations evolve. Here is the latest result- (pardon the cell phone camera quality)
SInce the next one (the TB-7 portable) has so many "one-off" custom variables involved I did NOT keep a log on it but I anticipate it will wind up having required, at least, the same amount of time if not more including the special design time and schematic/layout drawings required etc.
So, I had best stop TALKING about time here and start maximizing some of it so that I can reward all of you "waitees" for all of your OWN time that you have invested waiting on me and my time before too much more time passes! It has surely taken SOME time, to say the least, but I do assure all of you that YOUR TIME IS COMING!
Thanks again for spending your TIME visiting the DaviSound "News Updates" page and I look forward to more good news for all of you ... NEXT TIME!
February 20, 2018
Today, February 20th, 2018 marks the BIG SEVEN-O for me!
Hard to believe ... but I have been on this planet now for seven decades! Furthermore, I have been in business for myself now for about SIX of those decades (when you consider I started my first band playing gigs at age fourteen and continued non-stop in some form of the media business thereafter). And ... in two years to come...2020... MCP/DaviSound will be FIFTY years old!
Naturally, like others of my generation, I have seen a LOT of things come and go. Some good...many NOT so good! Unfortunately, MOST of what I see going on around me today is in the "not-so-good" category (it seems most Americans never learn from past mistakes!) but, then, there are also a few extraordinarily GOOD things going on that keep me hopeful (particularly with electric vehicles and renewable energy!).
I am a true "Friday's Child" having been born on Friday, February 20, 1948 around 3:45 PM, at the old, Newberry County Memorial Hospital on Hunt Street, Newberry, SC, USA. If there had been any doubt, I confirmed it many years later when a friend (who had access to the old building after it was closed before renovation for a DHEC office) and I explored the attic looking for relics. One such relic we found happened to be from a stack of old ledger style composition books wherein the names and dates of newborns were recorded right outside the delivery room, just moments after birth, in the nurses' handwriting. Sure enough ... mine was there in the 1948 book, along with two other of my lifelong classmates, who shared that same Friday birthdate. I guess we were all named on the spot (actually pre-determined no doubt)!
Thus began a lifelong journey (which I intend to continue for more decades to come!) of many unusual events and synchronicities that have been as numerous as they have been amazing in many instances. I have been told MANY times that I need to write a book about my life for that reason alone - all the far reaching, synchronicities that have involved so many notable persons and events down through the years. I guess I truly have been most fortunate to have experienced something of a "Forrest Gump" style existence in many ways wherein my path crossed with so many others who became well known for one thing or another.
I'll spare you any further reflection here and save all of that for the "auto-biography" down the road. I will just thank all of you, who know me through DaviSound, for the experience of getting to know all of you and to be able to hand build some of the world's most unique, professional audio creations for the finest clientel in the world!
At this writing I am just a couple of weeks, or so, away from shipping the next item in the DaviSound backlog chronology, a new TB-3, "Glass Action Inner Tube", Tool Box to Louisiana. Then, its on to finishing the first ever, PORTABLE TB-7 (in a shoulder strapped wooden cabinet no less!). Then, the remaining few Tool Boxes and a custom rack mount preamp package, that I have been slowly putting together for so long, should be coming into fruition. They will be completed one at a time, about a month or so apart until ALL are proofed and shipped, hopefully, around the end of May and first of June when I can finally announce .... WE WILL LIFT THE FREEZE on new orders!
Although I am not sure as to just "why now" ... I do now have a record number of new order inquiries lately (averaging about three per week since before Christmas!) and I will be most glad when I can, once again, start receiving some of their orders enabling them to obtain their own, new Tool Boxes (and custom audiophile pieces).
So far so good on making this the year for FINALLY getting caught up on the Tool Box backlog! And, THANKFULLY, so far this year, my health is FAR better than all of last year as I have, thus far, missed the flu and the typical annual "respiratory infection from hell" I usually get in the late fall or early winter. No flu shot here ... just good nutrition, lots of rest (for the first time in my life!), well researched herbal supplements and TONS of vitamin C (about 8 grams per day on average).
Thanks for visiting and I will be posting some photos here of the new creations, as they are finalized, in the coming months' News Updates.
My best to you all,
January 8, 2018
"DaviSolutions" 2018 No ... "DaviSolutions" is not a new advertising catch-phrase for our unique handmade audio creations ... (though it might should be!). This new entry for 2018 is about NEW-soloutions instead of RE-solutions for the New Year!
And, yes, I am EARLY for a change. Instead of the usual end of the month posting I am well ahead for this month and the new year.
As I mentioned in my last month (and last year!) update, my biggest new plan for 2018, aside from being FINALLY all caught up with the Tool Box backlog, is to change the way I accept new orders/projects in the future. Instead of accepting all orders as they come in, often fully prepaid in advance, once the "freeze" is lifted later this year and I begin accepting orders once again, I will now only have one project initiated at any given time from start to completion. I will still acknowledge and confirm serious inquiries of course. However, now the inquiries will be kept in the queue from now on instead of accepting the actual orders which include a deposit or full advance payment. That minor difference, I feel, will alow me to be a bit more selective in what I undertake and when. And, importantly, it will avoid all future prepaid order backlogs!
Along those lines ...
After reading the article about Elon Musk in the latest issue of Rolling Stone magazine, I now realize that we have much less in common than I once thought. Oh, don't get me wrong. I do NOT, of course, mean that I ever thought we had anything FINANCIALLY in common. He is at one end of that spectrum and I am at the very far opposite end! But, I did think we may be "kindred spirits" of sorts due to our mutual interests. However, after reading that article revealing glimpses of his personality, I now realize we are NOTHING alike, except for our serious passions for electric propulsion, renewable energy, and a great dislike for turtle-neck sweaters!
But, there are a couple of other similarities that are in keeping with this months "DaviSolutions" theme...
Those similarities being in the way he conducts his Tesla business and the way I have operated DaviSound from day one. ALL Tesla orders are made by deposit, IN ADVANCE, and placed in a waiting list queue as they come in. And, as often happens in these situations, long backlogs are sometimes created as a result.
Allow me to quote the last paragraph of the Rolling Stone article (hoping they won't mind!) ...
"...one thing Musk is notorious for is setting ambitious deadlines that he often can't meet. The Roadster, the Model S and the Model X were all delayed from his original timeline, and now the Model 3 - with its nearly half-a-million-person-long waiting list - is experiencing its own production delays. There are many reasons for this, but Musk summarizes: "Better to do something good and be late than bad and be early". So expect Musk to get it done, just not on time. Because if he can't do it, he won't pretend otherwise". - Rolling Stone, November 30, 2017
I think that summation should resonate somewhat with long-time DaviSound clients and followers. Because in that regard, Mr. Musk and I do have a great deal in common (along side our passions for electric vehicles and solar power)!
In closing this first News Update edition for 2018, I am going to re-post my entry from this time last year here below. I do this for two reasons- first because one of my European clients took the time to send me an email suggesting that I share and reflect on this "philisophical" piece once again this year. Secondly, I do agree with him that it still very much applies to this coming year because many of my concerns eluded to therein have even greater merit, now a year later, than when I addressed them then!
So, here is the re-post of my entry from the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017-
A couple of you have asked for my thoughts on the recent election. One friend, in particular, from the U.K., knowing of my "old days" as a very vocal, broadcast editorialist, was no doubt "baiting me" with his questioning. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending upon your point of view, I will NOT take the bait this time. Maybe my cynicism has just grown way beyond the point of no return but I have come to realize that, in my case at this stage of the game, when it comes to politics and the world situation, the less said the better.
This does NOT mean that I am not concerned .... far from it! In fact, I have never been more concerned about our country, our world, our planet and our future than I am at this point in time. But, I have come to realize that there is nothing that I can say that is going to have a positive influence or change anything in any regard. The sad thing these days is, unless you are telling people exactly what they want to hear, shallow tidbits that fit into the confines of their own agendas and belief systems, they just won't read/listen to it ... period. It's that same old "don't bother me with the facts, my mind is made up". What's worse and most alarming, is that some of them, even long time friends and family members, will take offense and turn away from you in hatred if you even SUGGEST that they CONSIDER another viewpoint, or a broader perspective, let alone challenge theirs!
But the REALLY sad thing is, in this day of rampant misinformation, propaganda and exploitation by the powers that be who control the politically slanted media, the average populace can no longer distinguish fact from fiction or discern knowledge from mindless opinion in what they do read or listen to.
As for my own "opinions", mindless or otherwise, they certainly have not changed much from nearly two decades ago when I first jotted down some of my random thoughts, for publishing HERE in our DaviStatements website area, about the ever increasing "dumbing down" of our society (if you read this, keep in mind that it was prophetically written long before the "bottom fell out" in 2007... and PLEASE, read it very CAREFULLY and in ENTIRETY ... NOT taking ANY statement out of context!).
Suffice it to say, in closing out this last edtition of 2016 DaviSound News Updates, as a lifelong advocate of sustainable, renewable energy, a free and open press and non-biased, media fueled by responsible investigative journalism, I am now, at this juncture, more disheartened than ever before by what I see happening all around me based on my concerns in these areas.
I guess one of the old school, senior commentators for CBS summed it up best after the second political debate when he looked at his colleagues with genuine disgust and disbelief and simply said, "How in the world have we come to this?". That pretty well sums up my feelings.
Let's just hope we all survive what is to come in the years ahead and, as a lifelong eternal optimist I will try and keep the positive perspective as hard as that may be to maintain these days. I am certainly positive about the things to come for the new year with my own activities at DaviSound so the focus will remain on that. I will also try to be encouraged by what I see many others doing to further the noble, logical causes for renewable energy as they maintain the fight against the corrupt and greed motivated agendas of giant utility and big oil conglomerates who have ruled our country for far too long. One thing is certain, they can no longer stop the growth of the solar industry for which I have been a vocal advocate since the '70s ... I doubt they can even slow it very much at this stage. It is just too well established and proven in all areas which now include it's cost effectiveness.
So, in spite of the concerns and anxieties about our world and our environment that some of us may have for the immediate future, we must take heart for the long term and move into the new year with a positive attitude. As always, I THANK those of you who come here to this section of our website monthly to read my humble ramblings! I wish you all a happy holiday season and I look forward to presenting a lot of POSITIVE, EXCITING, PRO AUDIO related news for you in the coming year!
And so, my friends, with that I leave you until next month when I will be sharing more news about the exciting new Tool Boxes that are being readied for shipment here at DaviSound in 2018!
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