Overengeneured and too expensive

In my previous post I wrote critically about e-drum manufacturers. This post will be the opposite, at least for some small e-drum producers. I spotted a lot of comments on YouTube and Facebook from people complaining about the prices of products related to electronic drums. The most common complaints relate to trigger systems.

To make one thing clear, being critical is always good, I am critical myself and constructive criticism is needed. Most people are able to be constructive, but some arguments are simple… I write it in a polite manner… unintelligent. Starting with my favorite comment:

“This product is totally overpriced, I can build it myself for 5 bugs.”

These people see a product, well designed and complain about its price. They literally take the price and compare it to the prime costs of the raw components. A product that costs 100 bugs can content material worth only 10 bugs. But that does not mean it is over priced. The guy who engineered it had to take his own money and time to build a couple of prototypes, test them and improve them a couple of times until the final version turns out.

During that time he studied the subject, did extensive research and compared prices of suppliers. He also had to buy expensive tools and machinery to fabricate it. After running many tests, he is finally ready to produce. Until this point he did not make but spend a lot of money.

As “electronic drums” is a very small niche market, he will most likely not have employees and does everything himself in his spare time, while his friends get drunk in a bar. He takes care of marketing, writes instructions, answers to customer questions, does the sales and the shipping. After he sold a couple of his products, he is responsible for the customer support too. All them activities cost much of his time.

Meaning, you get exactly what you pay for. A well engineered product, that not only contents enormous amounts of effort, time and money, but also support in case YOU have problems or further questions. That is why you pay 100 bugs. You don’t have to buy it. You can build your own stuff if you are able to. But please stop comparing the price of your little DIY with an actual product. Apart from this does not everyone has the time and patients for a DIY.

“This product is way to overengeneured,  I would never use this thing and rather go for the other one.”

We all have our opinions on anything, which is fine. But I explode when I read a comment saying: “This product sucks, you should all buy this one instead!” You are basically saying everyone who does not have the same opinion than you is stupid. This behavior reminds me somehow on politics.

The most common phrase about products, especially from Germany is: “Overengeneured”.

tv_freeIMG_8967I know, especially the Germans like to overdo things a little, I am no exception. But this is how we are and there is a group of people out there who appreciates the effort. We want our goods to be precise and accurate and they have to last forever. It is a weird perfectionist. People keep asking why we don’t keep it simple and some are even complaining about the attention to detail. Again, this is what you pay for, a high end product which costs more than others because of the effort put into it. You pay the effort. The other way around people complain about some simple and cost effective solution which are supposed to fulfill their purpose only, regardless of being perfect. There is a niche for every product, no matter if simple and cost efficient or well detailed. It is like with cars, some just want to drive from a to be, others want to drive in a Lamborgini from a to b.

For the people who speak badly or even complain about a certain product: Stop it! Be happy that someone sacrifices his time to create something nice that people want. Be happy about each person who invents something new to give you the choice between not only 2 purchasing options but 10.


6 Replies to “Overengeneured and too expensive”

  1. Everything that you wrote is purely human and nice, we have another choice now and that’s a plus of course. My opinion is that all trigger systems can be much, MUCH cheaper.
    My second opinion is that it’s better to go on quantity with acceptable quality. What he (or she I dont know..) done is bring to us well-little-overengineered trigger system which is builded for small group of ‘perfection fanatics’. And I know it’s nice to have clean, aluminium system, same as to have nice car to care and… but 95% of customers dont have that amount of money to spend on just one trigger system let alone a whole set.
    I mean 17 euros for 70cm long aluminium ‘U’ bar, 25 euros for ‘Kick pad cushion’ which is just a little piece of high density foam, 250euros for bass drum nice-looking-alu-web-stile… trigger system, hm…
    You dont need some big machinery to produce those alu parts, all you need is some litlle CNC which you can make for not so big amount of euros. Old miling machine will do the job too…
    Same as big names all they do is complicate things. It’s not race for better trigger system, not at all, it’s just a competition of designers .

    • Thanks for your comment. I would not consider the systems as a design battle. There is a technical reason for them to be designed in this specific way. Although I share your opinion that many people don’t have the money to build a full set with high end triggers. Same as many don’t have the money for a Roland TD-30KV. It is only a small group that will and can afford these prices. But for these customers, you have other products, and that is exactly what I mentioned in the post. There is a budget matching product out there for everyone.

      The kick pad cushion is a different story. Its price of 25 Euros is valid, because there is no competitor except Roland itself that offers this part. This product is probably not sold as often, but still required inventing time and has to subsidise other products and investments of the producer company.

      Buying a milling machine will not do the job. Renting a place for the machine and spending time and money inventing the product requires more money though. Don’t forget the support in time that geos away for potential and existing customers.

      About the “Perfection Fanatics”: This is something with Germans that will never change:) It is just a cultural thing I guess.

    • You think about patents of my design? Good luck! All my designs are already done by companies based in Europe. One of them has already a patent and 2 already established companies would be forced to stop their business, but only if your patent is detailed enough and if buy it for whole Europe, which is not really cheap. I can tell you this much: If a patent on “my pad designs” would make sense, people would already have bought it. Don’t want to be negative, but this is the badest business idea ever.

  2. I know this is a older subject, but I just want to add my opinion. I have been a drummer for 30 yrs with a break of 5 yrs. I can tell you that in acoustic drums, if you want quality you pay for it. But in electronic, I think Roland rips people off for their products. And I’m so thankful that new companies have started giving people a great alternative like you Marcel. I don’t mind paying a little more for good quality. Because your still giving people a better alternative then Roland. I’m just trying to figure out what the best quality trigger system I can buy for my Acoustic shells ?

    • R-drums.com makes the best triggers you can get for converting a kit.

      About Roland. I thought that first too, but: Consider buying the most expensive Roland TD-30KV for 7k + mac book pro with Logic Pro X recording software 1.2k + Superior Drummer for 0.2k. This setup can produce professional drum recordings for 8.400$ in total. Compare that with a real kit + good cymbals + good mics + mixing desk + recording studio. The last one would probably cost a quarter of a million dollar and you would have the same outcome as with the first setup. This is why I don’t think it’s a ripp off:) You can produce high quality records in your bedroom, thanks to companies like Roland. BTW. I don’t want to pay 7k either. I buy everything used.

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