• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Patreon Donations for Audio Hardware Review and Measurements

amirm

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#1
Hello everyone. A cornerstone of our forum is measurements of audio gear. It is where audio science meets engineering. I have enjoyed making these measurements as they are kind of like a reality show: I never know what the outcome is until that graph materializes on my computer screen.

As you all know, I have been funding purchase of this gear out of my own pocket. I don't mind doing that but there is this massive explosion of products out there, even if we limit it to DACs and headphone amps. Yet there is next to zero objective data on vast majority of them. Over time, it would be good to measure them all. For that, my personal funds are not going to make this happen.

I have thought about different ways of making this work. I tried asking for review equipment but quickly felt like an insurance salesman pleading for equipment at the last audio show. And worse yet, what to do if I get the gear and it doesn't review well. Likewise, I can set up Amazon associate links where I would get a small percentage if folks buy the product. Problem with that is that one can be accused of saying good things to drive such sales. Indeed I have seen some sites/youtube channels being consumed with promotion of such links, putting in doubt what they have to say about the product.

That brings us to last option: donations. I can set up paypal account but the most common method online seems to be Patreon. They are kind of greedy in that when it is all said and done, one loses 10% of the donations to fees and their cut. On the other hand they seem to be a trusted brand unlike their competitors who may not stick around. And many people already are donating to it so it is easy for them to add more "content creators."

So I thought I give that a try. I created a quick account to see how it goes. Here is the link: https://www.patreon.com/audiosciencereview

Your donations there go to general funding of the work I do here. I have nothing exclusive to provide to donors other than the pride that they are helping this effort for the general good of everyone.

If you do decide to donate, please go above $1 if you can as that incurs the highest expenses relative to amount donated.

Feel free to give me feedback on any and all of this.

 
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watchnerd

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#2
Can we pay in cryptocurrencies?

I don't want my wife to see the credit card bills and think I have a secret mistress named 'Amir'.
 

watchnerd

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#3
But, seriously though, you should also add some kind of avatar badge / zazzle / flair / bedazzle for people who help financially support the site.
 

NorthSky

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#4
I knew this was coming; it's always about money, product advertising, promoting, ...all that hacking bitcoin jazz... ;-)
Twitter is exactly the same.

Merry Christmas Happy New Year Warm Wishes in this Holiday Season.
 

amirm

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#5
I knew this was coming; it's always about money, product advertising, promoting, ...all that hacking bitcoin jazz... ;-)
It is not about product advertising or promoting. It is the opposite of that. By using donations, we don't have to be beholding to advertisers or companies.

Unlike other forum owners, we create unique content here (i.e. audio product reviews and measurements). It is funding that which is expensive. The forum can run for free as its costs are minimal.

I watch a ton of educational videos on youtube which are enabled by such funding model. The amount I have learned has been more than a lifetime elsewhere.

Good news is that this is all voluntary and being on Patreon means that there is no change to this site. If you want to donate money, you can go and provide it there, or not. Nothing is changed here so please don't measure it by how others are trying to monetize forums.
 

amirm

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#6
But, seriously though, you should also add some kind of avatar badge / zazzle / flair / bedazzle for people who help financially support the site.
Yes, I plan to do that assuming I can cross correlate the donations to members here.
 

Wombat

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#8
A nice thought but with only 40 members you may be being somewhat optimistic about doing so much.
An alternative would be for a member to proffer an item for testing and interested members contribute toward the postage.
 
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watchnerd

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#9
Yes, I plan to do that assuming I can cross correlate the donations to members here.
I think Patreon provides a receipt.

You could have members forward the receipt, take a screenshot of it, etc. That's what I've seen done on other sites.
 

amirm

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#10
A nice thought but with only 40 members you may be being somewhat optimistic about doing so much.
We have 10 to 20 times more visitors than members. They all can contribute to Patreon. No one needs to be a member of this forum to contribute.

Also, we have nearly 500 members, not 40. :)

That said, I will continue to fund such work myself. Patreon will enable me to do a lot more and be more responsive to member requests.
 

amirm

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#11
An alternative would be for a member to proffer an item for testing and interested members contribute toward the postage.
I am happy to continue to pay for the postage myself. And members are contributing. But that is probably 5 to 10% of the equipment I review. There is just so much gear out there that even if we were 100 times bigger, it wouldn't cover all the need that is out there.
 

Wombat

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#12
We have 10 to 20 times more visitors than members. They all can contribute to Patreon. No one needs to be a member of this forum to contribute.

Also, we have nearly 500 members, not 40. :)

That said, I will continue to fund such work myself. Patreon will enable me to do a lot more and be more responsive to member requests.
Apologies, my bad. 500 members could do it if they were so inclined.
 

NorthSky

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#13
Yeah, still not clear why we're trying (or were trying) to cover Bitcoin here. It's not like there is a shortage of other sites that cover that.
Humor doesn't have to always work with everyone.
 

NorthSky

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#14
It is not about product advertising or promoting. It is the opposite of that. By using donations, we don't have to be beholding to advertisers or companies.

Unlike other forum owners, we create unique content here (i.e. audio product reviews and measurements). It is funding that which is expensive. The forum can run for free as its costs are minimal.

I watch a ton of educational videos on youtube which are enabled by such funding model. The amount I have learned has been more than a lifetime elsewhere.

Good news is that this is all voluntary and being on Patreon means that there is no change to this site. If you want to donate money, you can go and provide it there, or not. Nothing is changed here so please don't measure it by how others are trying to monetize forums.
Youtube we pay for that; the internet monthly fees.
Forums we pay for that; time contribution/participation.

We know how expensive today is living. We all pay the price to be alive.
I invite family and friends over; freely, no attach to it, wine and food and music and fun living all provided.
I ask nothing, everyone's welcome to bring whatever makes them happy.

Soon adds will appear, we'll make them disappear, and they'll ban us for life for buying their products.
The world is crazy enough as it is without getting messages like the one I posted recently from avforums.

It's all fine Amir; I took the opportunity to express some. You are not like avforums.
And ASR is one of the best resources to learn deeper into the digital audio world today.
 

tomelex

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#15
Amir,

I see two possibilities here.

One: folks pay to help you out on patreon.
Two: folks make a donation to the site, as that other site we used to frequent before we all " ahem left".

I would like to see something show up below my avatar or wherever to show the year I made a donation. This will help me keep up with helping the site out.

In short, I want recognition that I value the site to help support it (your efforts and other members fine technical contributions) and to encourage others to help out.

Can you somehow show which or both ways we donated and the year? Or can we have a link we hit that goes to you to show we donated?
 

amirm

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#16
Can you somehow show which or both ways we donated and the year?
Yes, as long as you use the same email address in Patreon that you do here. Then I can search for it and add the designation in the forum. Ditto for the year.

If different email is used, then I need a PM to tell me what that was so that I can connect you to that donation.
 

Wombat

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#17
Strong focus on digital gear so far. That may well reflect forum membership.

Some considerations:

For listening and/or mixing/ recording use?

Can performance be related to brand,

or particular chip/s,

or interface compatibility, enabling some performance predictability?

Are 'boutique' versions generally overpriced and can be ignored unless they offer desirable features not generally found elsewhere?


There is just so much product out there that some form of targeting of test subjects is desirable.

A thought:
Name an item under consideration for test.
Interested members could PM a 'pledge'. If the total pledged amount would cover resale loss and other considerations, then proceed.
 
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tomelex

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#18
Yes, as long as you use the same email address in Patreon that you do here. Then I can search for it and add the designation in the forum. Ditto for the year.

If different email is used, then I need a PM to tell me what that was so that I can connect you to that donation.

So for the patreon that's a link you have already, will you generate another link or whatever for a non patreon donation, is that too complex, if so, then I could use the patreon but would like the option to do a non patreon if possible.
 

amirm

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#19
Youtube we pay for that; the internet monthly fees.
For that, you get cat videos and such on youtube. If you want experts to buy products to tear down and review, then someone has to pay for that. Expecting that the experts put in both their time for free and their money for the product itself to provide information for you is not a recipe for anything that works for individuals like me. Companies can do it but then you are being advertised to.

Here is your fellow Canadian, and mechanical engineer extraordinaire, explaining this concept:


It is through Patreon donations that he can buy a $700 track saw and tear it down, smoke it to find its limit, etc. Not going to see that in a woodworking magazine.

BTW, the Patreon issue he talks about is resolved and policy reversed.

This is really the next frontier in education as AVE mentions. You fund what you want to learn and you get direct information with no interference from company.
 
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amirm

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#20
So for the patreon that's a link you have already, will you generate another link or whatever for a non patreon donation, is that too complex, if so, then I could use the patreon but would like the option to do a non patreon if possible.
I will create that in the future. Patreon is just easier even though it costs (me) a lot more. Let's go with this one choice for now and then we can expand.
 
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