Interview Peter Kolkman – The Future of Wheel

Four years ago, author Yung supported Wheel’ s Kickstart, by purchasing the special record player. But what about now, more than four years later? We sit down with Peter Kolkman for a chat. He talks candidly about the stumbling blocks and above all: the solutions and current status of the Wheel record player. An idea is something else than its complete implementation. That’s kind of the conclusion we can draw after this interview. Wheel was a great idea. But designing a turntable like that and making it ready for production is a whole other story.

Peter Kolkman of Miniot – the company behind Wheel – talks about his problems with outsourcing (especially quality problems) and his choice to redesign everything so that things can be made in house. Because, he says, keeping control of the production process is crucial if you want to keep quality high.

An additional advantage is that you can redesign and adjust much faster. Now redesigning just takes time. And actually, a design phase of four years for a product like Wheel is not bad at all. It may look like a simple product, but at the end of the day there is a lot involved. For example: what record player can play horizontally and vertically? There is a lot of electronics behind that feature. And that’s just one seemingly small detail.

We thought it would be interesting to take a look behind the scenes at Wheel. A beautiful, Dutch company with an innovative spirit. For all the details you can listen to the interview or watch the whole thing.

Listen to the interview with Wheel

Watch the interview with Wheel

9 Comments

      1. After five years of development the original design is too fragile to ship so Peter has been delivering them locally but cannot ship them without damage/misalignment of which retuning can’t be done by the end user. They created a new design that is more robust and can survive shipping but require an additional €150 from Kickstarter backers that have waited patiently. I understand the sunk cost of all of the parts and materials of the original turntable but that model can be still be sold retail in the Netherlands or picked up locally. The model that can withstand worldwide shipping should not be held hostage from the people who supported this project. Thank you for listening.

      1. I have had some e-mail contact. He is very sorry things went the way the went. Wheel ‘1’ is discontinued for all customers. It’s very fragile and not rubust enough. Only people that absolutely want Wheel 1 can still pick one up. Only to serve very persistent customers.

        Wheel 2 is much more expensive to build. The extra 150 is not enough to cover the extra investment. But Peter knows that the initial 300 was way to much. He got a lot of critisism. He says he is doing the best he can.

      2. I must say, this is the frustrating part about dealing with Peter. The story changes based on who he’s trying to convince. Both stories can’t be true.

        Per the last Kickstarter update: “The original Wheel has turned into a beautiful but very complex machine. Thorough recalculation learnt us that it costs us a staggering €2800 to build one. Right now, we need to build lots of Wheel 2’s to fund building of original Wheels. The only reason we still build original Wheels is because we love them so much and we want to fulfill on our promise.”

        I don’t want to criticize but I’ve gotten various stories over the last five years and now that they have a product that can fulfill the Kickstarter agreement the deal has changed. He is preying upon the desperation of people who’ve waited so long to get their turntable that they’re willing to be extorted for more money just to have this be over. They’ve pulled a “bait and switch” and I don’t want to reward this tactic.

        Thank you for your time following up on this.

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