Where are they now?

KamranV holding a PHONOCUT by The Rentals at the Los Angeles Public Library

Hello Everyone. Kamran here.

We have indeed seen your posts and as one of the backers named Andy has keenly noticed, it is true that our approach is very much as my partner Flo stated as putting “all energy to have them produced as promised.” We are a small team made up of mostly engineers that prefer to “do” instead of talk about what we are “going to do.”

It seems like many of you have a background in building, hacking, and tinkering. From your own experiences, you likely understand that to deliver a reliable product that it takes a lot of planning, thinking, testing, sourcing, testing, screaming, testing, re-thinking, testing, making, spitting, screaming and testing to make sure that by the time that you get your PHONOCUT that it will perform as it should. 

Regarding features, it’s important to us that we announce any changes or confirmation in complete absolutes. What I can confirm is that we are changing the the input connection to a more sturdy single ¼” female TRS connector. These parts tend to be more sturdy and clean connectors compared to an ⅛” jack. This connection is still unbalanced stereo, as ultimately the connection to the cutter head is also unbalanced stereo. Doing this assures the cleanest, most direct connection.

To this end, we are in the process of finishing a second prototype machine which not only has the updated connector but also has improved motor+motor control, for instance. This will improve the “wow” that you heard on the examples that we posted in the past (Yay!) and we will learn a great deal more with this version before we go to mass production.

Although we haven’t been posting on social media ourselves (see why in my paragraph #1 above), some of you may have also seen a little chatter on social media about us. Most specifically, I personally have cut about 200 records in the past few months in Los Angeles. It has been really fun to see what happens when people other than us “inventors” use PHONOCUT. Here are a few examples:

Bedrock.LA PHONOCUTing (Command-Xmas)

1. PHONOCUT for good will. As some of you may have looked up about me, I also have owned a music studio called Bedrock.LA for the past 10 years. For our holiday party I thought it would be fun to see what the creative employees would do with PHONOCUT… Albert, our incredible maintenance+security guard sadly lost his mother just before the holiday and in addition to my partners and I helping Albert, our staff sure made me proud. Our inventory manager Ricardo (aka Scout.) made a direct-to-PHONOCUT recording then his roommate created some custom art and they did an online raffle to raise money for Albert’s mother’s funeral costs.

2. New Years Eve with Stones Throw + Peanut Butter Wolf. Chris (aka Peanut Butter Wolfe) and I thought it would be fun to cut records all night and play the PHONOCUTs downstairs at Chris’ club Gold Line for the New Years booty shaking. We cut records from 6pm to 2am and to say the least, this was incredibly fun. Stones Throw artists cut demo tracks that they just made. People cut all kinds of rare tracks that you’d never be able to get on vinyl… Folks even cut weird voice mails from their friends on PHONOCUT. 

3. Beatie Wolfe at NAMM and her film premiere. Beatie Wolfe and Taylor Guitars invited us for direct-to-PHONOCUT recording of Beatie’s NAMM performance on the Taylor Stage. During NAMM we were also cut records with various artists, engineers and pro-auto manufacturers. Beatie also invited for her Los Angeles Premiere of her Barbican-funded documentary where a rapid fire interview with her and the director Ross Harris by Variety magazine’s James Patrick Herman was cut direct-to-PHONOCUT.

4. The Rentals hidden in the notes of an Austrian. The Rentals’s Matt Sharp and I hid special PHONOCUTs of his new single for a fun scavenger hunt. One was even hidden in the Los Angeles Public Library in some sheet music by the legendary Austrian classical music composer Joseph Haydn.

These are only a few examples of what we already are and what you will be able to do with PHONOCUT. Stay tuned for more updates.

Thank you all for your patience and support. KamranV.