Lucas here, and I hope that you are doing well!
Here is an update on the production and final delivery of the VK-X, which is divided into two parts. As a first step, I will introduce you to what has happened and what we have been working on since my last update. In a second time, I will present the updated schedule, so that you have an idea of the next steps.
(1) What has happened since our last update?
Delivery of the first components in Paris ✔️
We have started and continue to receive VK-X components at our workshop, which allows us to organize the final assembly and make the first subassemblies to save time. Here are the major deliveries (I am not talking about screws and manufacturing consumables) received at the workshop:
- The VK-X custom batteries, see my article here
- PRIMO microphones of the Noise Canceling system, see my presentation article here
- The acoustic fiber of the VK-X, which will be cut and placed in front of the speakers
- The drivers of the VK-X (pictures will be published soon)
Finalizing the VK-X passive sound signature setting ✔️
Alexandre just published a first article about it yesterday. We have definitely settled the sound signature, and are extremely satisfied, with the whole team, of the result. You can discover the full article here.
Finalization of the tests on the intelligence of the VK-X ✔️
Control of volume, tracks, active noise reduction, automatic standby, operation of the charging system, analog / digital switch of the headphones depending on the devices connected and the cables used. All these functions must be verified and tested to be certain that our VK-X will work as we wish. These tests were all performed, and have been definitively validated. We will devote an article in the coming weeks.
Error in routing the USB-C cable: a delay of 2 weeks to ensure the production of the correct cable
In our intelligence tests of the VK-X, we realized that our USB-C cable for production had a wrong routing, and reversed the left channel with the right channel. This error was due to our supplier, and was corrected to obtain the good routing, which caused a delay of 2 weeks for the production of this cable. The delivery initially scheduled for December 26, 2018 at the latest will only take place around January 15, 2019.
Detection of a slight RF noise caused by the electronic cards: a delay estimated at 3 weeks for the rapid re-development that will be carried out
We originally estimated a delivery of the main electronic board assembled with electronic components between December 20 and 26 in Paris, with a risk of delay that may extend until January 10. Unfortunately, this delay was aggravated by the detection of a slight RF noise caused by the electronic test cards, never detected before.
To solve this problem, we have been able to expand the size of the circuit board to space out the circuits and components, which highly limits the risk of RF noise.
(1) On December 28, 2018, we will be able to test in Paris the new card design model on a serie of 30 models, which will allow us to make sure that the noise has disappeared or has become inaudible. As we are 95% certain of the validity of this solution, we have taken a risk, and decided to launch the production of all the new electronic cards in China as planned, which will be ready for January 4, 2018.
(2) Since the electronic components are now all ready and available, the assembly of the card will be done, for a delivery of all units in Paris around January 15, 2019.
In the alternative where the slight RF noise persisted after this change (5% risk), we will be forced to launch a new card production in early January. In this case, this production would be directly produced and assembled in France, for delivery to the workshop planned for January 22, 2019, with the certainty of eliminating the slight RF noise.
(2) Our updated production schedule: delivery scheduled between January 25 and February 8, 2019
What are the effects of the delays I just presented on the final delivery of the VK-X?
We originally planned to deliver the first VK-Xs on December 26, 2018, and to spread shipments until January 17, 2019, by batches of 100 units. Due to the delays that we unfortunately encountered, we decided to adopt a different strategy, namely: execute all the subassemblies before the delivery of the electronic cards. This way, we will only need to place the cards and to perform quality tests once the electronic cards will be received. As a result, the delivery range will be significantly reduced, and we expect to ship the first headphones by January 25, 2019, and calibrate deliveries until February 8 only.
Please find below is our production schedule, adapted to the new constraints we encountered:
(3) What is next: more articles and pictures to come
We are extremely sorry for this additional delay, which has increased the pressure on the entire team. In the coming weeks, we will take a little break for the holidays, and focus on the first assemblies of the VK-X to advance as soon as possible on this front, so we will be able to ship the VK-X as soon as possible in January.
I will do my best to send you a maximum of pictures of the parts and different stages of the assembly so that you can see the VK-X come to life, and we plan to publish other articles, especially on the VK-X sound signature. In this regard, do you have any requests, or curiosities, that you would like us to address in future articles? Thank you for posting them in comment below and / or upvoting those that interest you too, it will help us guide our publications.
The whole team wishes you a very happy holiday season!🎄
We are of course available to answer your questions: the holidays and the assembly of the VK-X may delay our answers a little compared to what we usually do, but we will answer 🙂
Alexandre, Baptiste, Béatrice, Lucas