VFE Pedals -- An opportunity to become a "licensed builder"

zgrav

Well-known member
Sharing this since some forum members may be looking for new ways to sell DIY pedals.

Peter Rucker's plans for VFE Pedals are innovative and somewhat in flux. He wants to support DIY builders of VFE pedals by selling the assembly instructions for each pedal for $4 each (presumably one purchase would let you build an unlimited number of that pedal), and may sell some custom parts for the pedals like his new jack/charge pump/relay module. Templates for the pedals are also provided on the site.

It is not clear if Peter would sell VFE PCBs to the builders, or whether the new pedal designs would be offered through another site like he has done with Madbean. Or perhaps the VFE documents are made to make it easy to order the boards from a custom shop. Anyone doing a larger volume of sales would likely prefer that option.

The VFEpedals site will feature contact information for "licensed builders" that sell VFE pedals. In order to be a licensed builder, the person pays a monthly licensing fee based on the number of pedals a builder plans to sell each month, starting at $5 monthly to sell one pedal a month. Reports of bad customer service or bad builds can result in the builder losing the "licensed builder" designation. The per-pedal price drops to $4 monthly to sell 5 pedals per month.

Note that the ability to sell Klein Bottles only comes by paying at least $50 a month in licensing fees to sell any Klein Bottles, with the $50 covering up to 12 pedals per month. Of course anyone could avoid the $4 to $5 per pedal licensing fee and just make the pedals and sell them through other places. It is possible that the pedals from "licensed builders" could carry a price premium to more than offset the extra licensing cost.

 

benny_profane

Well-known member
This is interesting. I had thought that a single builder would've taken the entire portfolio. This could be really cool. Hopefully it doesn't end up being a complete headache for Peter.
 

peccary

Well-known member
I don't have any interest in doing anything like this, but I love the creativity and innovation. It might turn out to be a big headache, but there are a lot of very qualified builders out there (as demonstrated by many people on this board alone) while the number of quality designers will be lower, and many may not have the manpower or overhead to fulfill orders. Seems like a smart way to potentially expand ones market-share without having to put the house up as leverage. I hope it works well for everyone in it.
 

Bricksnbeatles

Well-known member
Or perhaps the VFE documents are made to make it easy to order the boards from a custom shop. Anyone doing a larger volume of sales would likely prefer that option.
Just downloaded the free one (Alpha Dog) and it does in fact include Eagle files as well as the Gerbers for both the main PCB and the TrueSoft bypass board. Also has schematics, build docs, drill templates, etc.
Very comprehensive.
 

benny_profane

Well-known member
Just downloaded the free one (Alpha Dog) and it does in fact include Eagle files as well as the Gerbers for both the main PCB and the TrueSoft bypass board. Also has schematics, build docs, drill templates, etc.
Very comprehensive.
The alpha dog is an excellent take on the Rat! Give it a shot if you haven’t built one yet.
 

zgrav

Well-known member
It will be really interesting to see how the pricing on the licensed builder pedals sorts itself out. Seems like there could be enough value to being a licensed builder to warrant the additional licensing fees. It could do a lot to keep VFE pedals available on in demand, particularly since the refreshed designs for most if not all of the pedals will offer some changes as well as the 125b top-jack layouts.

This is an area where Peter has more flexibility since the designs are his own versions.
 

zgrav

Well-known member
The plans for all of the pedals will be for sale and I think they can be used without being a licensed builder. I think you can reslee the pedals through other sites without a license so long as you are not misrepresenting yourself to be a licensed builder.

Madbean may be discussing with Peter whether the new pcbs will be offered for individual sales as well. Given Peter's support for DIY I would not be surprised if that happens.
 

Untro

Member
So this is like becoming a franchised pedal builder? Ie; I used to make sandwiches, but if i call it subway i can enjoy the built in demand of a pre established license?
its an interesting idea, although i also wonder if build inconsistencies and coordination could be an issue. Not for me, but i dont see anything insidious about the idea. Pedal building can be fun and relaxing but i dont want it to be my job per se. interested to see how this takes off.
 

Barry

Well-known member
Just downloaded the free one (Alpha Dog) and it does in fact include Eagle files as well as the Gerbers for both the main PCB and the TrueSoft bypass board. Also has schematics, build docs, drill templates, etc.
Very comprehensive.
I downloaded it also, Looks like you're on your own for the artwork
 

thesmokingman

Active member
Devi Ever did this same thing right before the game console project collapsed. I didn't bite then and I wouldn't bite now. Peter's an alright-enough guy but I'm not ready to give someone 4-5 bucks a pedal for their particular recipe on a modded existing circuit.
 

Bricksnbeatles

Well-known member
Got an email from them today— the full set of files for all of the pedals is only $30 until August 8, and if you use the code MOTHERLOAD, it takes another $10 off, bringing it down to just $20
 
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Feral Feline

Well-known member
Got an email from them today— the full set of files for all of the pedals is only $30 until August 8, and if you use the code MOTHERLODE, it takes another $10 off, bringing it down to just $20


When Mr VonRutter first announced the closing of VFE (as we knew it then), he put the entire schematic/brd/eagle files set on sale for ...

$10.

That was about a year ago. He must've realised that's too cheap for all that, and raised the price accordingly.

Ahh, I see the new pricing includes ALL future designs as well. I wonder if I can pay the difference to upgrade to the future ones as well.

Also in the link: There are some exclusions due to shared IP rights, such as the Ice Scream — but you can get that info and board from MadBean, so I'm really not sure how all this shakes down.


I'm curious if the RPU will be made available in this new dealio, as thus far its schematic etc has not been released.
 
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