Hex Inverter Discontinues Eurorack DIY Projects

Hex Inverter‘s Stacy Gaudreau has announced that they are discontinuing their DIY projects to focus on assembled modules.

Eurorack DIY projects have been part of the company’s business since its early days – but they’ve found that it’s just not economically viable to develop two different levels of hardware, documentation, logistics and support.

Here’s what Gaudreau has to say about it:

After much deliberation, the development of Hexinverter DIY modular projects is coming to a close. As many of the synthDIYers who build our projects likely know, the Do It Yourself facet of our work has been a core part of Hexinverter since the early beginnings.

Currently existing DIY projects will continue to be stocked at the Hexinverter online DIY shop and through DIY dealers (Modular Addict, Thonk, Synthcube) for some time – as inventory levels slowly deplete and some (but not all) projects are completely retired. Old PCB projects have been taken over by Modular Addict. As for Mutants and the Jupiter Series: now is the time to scoop them up if you want them, as once they are gone, they are gone.

This means that no new DIY designs will be developed after the currently existing Mutant Snare (Mutant BD9, Red Dragon, Mutant Rimshot, VCNO and onwards will not be accompanied by DIY projects).

Why?…

Well, over the years, I have tried my best to keep the DIY side of things growing somewhere around equal pace with the rest of our work. As time goes on, the two avenues of products we offer (assembled retail products, and DIY projects) are more and more becoming two completely different businesses to operate. As a result, the DIY side of things is not keeping pace, and the amount of human and other resources we expend keeping DIY going is holding us back from our full potential.

It’s been a couple of years in the making, and despite trying numerous different approaches, it’s time to let go. I personally have a soft spot for DIY and hate to see it go – perhaps this is why I have tried for so long to keep it a big part of what we do! It is just no longer economically viable to develop two different levels of hardware, documentation, logistics and support for every modular product we make.

Anyway, it’s not to say it’s gone forever. Hexinverter is constantly evolving and adapting and maybe one day it will be time for some DIY stuff again. But for now, we’re saying goodbye to eurorack DIY!

9 thoughts on “Hex Inverter Discontinues Eurorack DIY Projects

  1. Sad, but understandable. Not really sure if this is the best move though- these seem to be popular to DIY, not so sure that many people bought these assembled.

      1. Well i don’t know anyone who bought an assembled. Hopefully you realize that an assembled module is usually far more profitable than selling kits.

  2. I get it, and Stacey is not the first to do this, Mutable eventually cut the DIY line as their business grew past the point where it was a viable business option. When a company is small these are a great way to get the name out and sell product, but once a company achieves a level of success they have decisions to make as to the direction the lines must take. Even Bob did it, he started out with the “Build your own theramin” kits.

    1. Took the words from my mouth.

      It’s a very understandable move but a bummer none the less. Luckily there are multiple online shops with large selections of kits today so options are still abound.

      Soooo with that, anybody build the Postman? Been looking for some lean on features quad auxiliary modules to build for simple tasks.

    2. No I understand… It just seems different than Mutable in that there seems more interest in the DIY than the completed modules. It’s more a personal disappointment.

  3. Stacy here 🙂 Since tonight is the night that the Hexinverter DIY Store closes I figure it only sound to make a little footnote here.

    Thanks everyone for your comments. I would like to elaborate some on any misconceptions, and provide some further explanation that is less vague than my original announcement for those inquiring minds 🙂 I am no stranger to making mistakes, and who knows, maybe this is one!, but I consider myself a fairly cautious businessperson and this isn’t a knee-jerk reaction or something that I deliberated over lightly.

    The TL;DR version of the numbers: DIY accounts for maybe 30% of our annual revenue, but takes I would say about 60-70% of the man-hours and effort to develop, troubleshoot, and is responsible for the overall majority of non-accountable losses Hexinverter has experienced over the years. This was something that I was okay with handling alone in the beginning, but as things have scaled up, it’s too much for any one person to handle, and the cost of employing enough people to delegate all of the added burden of DIY development, support, packing, shipping, documentation, etc. away from me will just simply not work. I’ve run the numbers over and it’s not sustainable. My work/life balance is sometimes pretty embarrassing to begin with, which I am okay with since I absolutely love what I do – that is – learning about the fascinating world of electronics and having the privilege of making instruments that people create some pretty awesome music with. But this ratio of effort:revenue for DIY means that I spent more hours dealing with stuff that isn’t electronic design, and finding myself desperately looking for the long, uninterrupted hours that developing electronics requires.

    I won’t spill any numbers, but in general there are less Mutant Drum DIYs in existence over their entire lifespan (about 3 years in the case of the Bassdrum?) than there are sold in one year of eurorack assembled.

    It took me a long time to come to grips with it, but the overall resolution I came to is that if DIY is kept around, there won’t be any more Hexinverter stuff designed, since we will either a.) flounder under the weight of , or b.) I will never have any time to do what I started this venture to do: design electronic instruments.

    Anyhoo, sorry for the lengthy post. I take this whole shift pretty personally as DIY was and is something that I hold dear. But, there are kitties to feed, and now there are other people who are also depending on us to continue on with what we do so they can feed their kitties or other dependents as well.

    So yeah, that’s it! Goodbye DIY! Thanks everyone for your patronage and support over the years, and coming along for the ride with us. 🙂

    Onward and upward!

Leave a Reply