Beware of Knockoffs
It's come to our attention that multiple companies are producing stands that are nearly identical copies of our original designs. Although their stands are similar, there are key differences which are compelling reasons to choose KVgear. We ask that you continue to support us so we can continue to support you and your synthesizers.
Analog Cases XTS Stands are unauthorized knockoffs of KVgear Utility M1 and Utility L1 stands. We call XTS stands knockoffs because they're nearly identical copies of KVgear Utility stands with a few tweaks that make them less adjustable, less adaptable, and less expandable. In addition, XTS stands use lower quality trim and knobs which occasionally lead to inadvertent loosening of knobs (leading to instability of the stand) and a slight tendency for gear to slip out of position on the stand.. The same is mostly true for Innox and Headliner 2-Tier and 3-Tier desktop synth stands which are slightly enlarged knockoffs of KVgear Utility M2 and Utility M3 stands. It appears that these knockoffs might all be manufactured by the same company in China.
KVgear stands are unmatched for adjustability and expandability: telescoping tubes for width adjustment, options for standard or extra-long telescoping tubes, mounting points for an add-on upper tier, two different mounting points for Adapt Wings which provide stability for extreme loads, and hook extenders to securely hold odd-shaped gear. KVgear stands are unmatched for quality: extra grippy rubber trim that stays affixed to the stand and securely grips valuable gear, plus premium knobs that look great and hold tight. And KVgear is unmatched for innovation: we've introduced several unique stand designs to the market and have more in the pipeline. Our warranties are the longest in the business.
See the Timeline below for perspective on how this situation has developed.
Synth Stand Mystery, Part 1: Tainted Love
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Analog Cases must hold KVgear in high regard. Why else would Analog Cases copy KVgear products and then lavish praise on the knockoffs, describing them as "a unique extendable design", the "most versatile ... stands on the planet", "the ultimate in stability", "a revolutionary new solution", and "innovative tools for your studio"? We’re blushing at the idea that Analog Cases thinks our designs are deserving of those words. But the color in our cheeks is also due to multiple false claims from Analog Cases.
KVgear originally created these stands in 2016 with enhancements in 2020, and we've been selling them worldwide ever since. Copying old designs is the antithesis of “revolutionary” and “unique”. And, if Analog Cases XTS Stands lack the adjustment and expansion features of KVgear Utility stands, how can they call their knockoffs the “most versatile”?
Their behavior is a mystery. Perhaps Analog Cases has a bad case of reality-is-the-opposite-of-whatever-we-say syndrome. Or, perhaps the reason for bizarre behavior by Analog Cases is that they adore KVgear’s designs so much that they got overexcited and said things they’ll regret in the morning. Alas, we cannot reciprocate their tainted love.
Synth Stand Mystery, Part 2: The Curious Case of the Enthusiastic CEO.
The plot thickens ...
In December 2022, a person in Los Angeles placed an order for a Utility M1 stand. This would be followed over the next 4 months by six more orders, totalling to five Utility M1 stands, an Adapt L1 stand, plus Expansion Shelves in large and medium sizes. During this period, the customer emailed us several times with praise for our Utility M1stands. This customer asked a few probing questions about sizing of our stands and comparisons between our different models of one tier stands. We communicated in our normal upbeat and open manner. We love helping customers and were happy to give him whatever information he requested. Little did we know that there was trouble afoot in Los Angeles which would soon head our way. After the launch of the Analog Cases XTS stands, we examined our records and discovered that the CEO of Analog Cases placed all of these orders for stands, with most of the orders being shipped to an address that had at one time been the official business address for Analog Cases.
See below for a timeline of how KVgear and our products have evolved over the years. A simplified overview of Analog Cases is included alongside.
|2013||KVgear is founded and launches with Volca power supplies and wood cases|
New products launched: Key Dog, Volca daisy chain cable, Volca case with integrated power and audio jack panel.
New products launched: Lobe V3 and V4 stands, Model A stand and shelf.
New products launched: Utility M1/L1/L2/XL1, Volc 45 -2/3/4, Ramp Rack short/medium/long, Expansion Shelf Medium/Large, Stiletto Angled/Flat, Boo-1/2/3
New products launched: Vixen mixer, Utilility M2/M3/Mx0x, Volca Eurorack Mounting Kit
Both production batches of our Vixen mixer sell out.
Analog Cases begins.
New products launched: Captive B2/B3/B4/EK2/EK3/V2/V3/V4, Adapt L1/L2, Adapt Wings, Stand Risers
New products launched: Gear Rail, SubPiggy, EDS-1K/2/3 stands, EDS-UX add-on tier, Stand Risers.
Upgraded all stands to use extendable telescoping connectors.
Our stands continue to sell great worldwide.
Sales of existing stands remain strong.
Heads down and nose to the grindstone, we've been redesigning our entire catalog of stands to use a new system that can accurately be described as revolutionary, innovative, unique, and the most versatile. We expect to receive at least 2 patents for the new system. We're almost ready to launch.
And then ... we discover our old designs have been copied and slathered with hyperbole.
Analog Cases makes bewildering claims for their XTS Stands: "revolutionary new solution", "innovative", "unique extendable design", "most versatile"
Big things are coming from KVgear in early 2024. For real.
What revolutionary things will the Copy-and-Paste Department at Analog Cases drop in 2024?
A CALL FOR HELP
Please purchase original stands directly from KVgear: Utility M1, Utility M2, and Utility M3. Also consider our Adapt L1 and Adapt L2 stands which are evolved versions of our Utility stands. And please spread the word about KVgear stands online. If the issue of knockoffs comes up in your online conversations, feel free to share a link to this page. We devote most of our time to designing, manufacturing and shipping stands. We spend too little time on marketing, so any noise you make on our behalf would be helpful. But don’t worry, we’re not dependent entirely on word of mouth. Coincidentally, we had been planning on ramping up our marketing efforts in November anyway. See our KVgear YouTube channel for our latest developments.
Why Avoid Knockoffs?
A knockoff is usually designed and manufactured with less attention to detail than the original, often resulting in reduced performance. Analog Cases XTS knockoff stands suffer from a lack of expandability due to omission of mounting holes, a lack of available accessories, and they suffer from minor stability problems due to the edge trim material, plus the knobs have a slight tendency to loosen in some situations.
A knockoff is usually less expensive than the original. Curiously, Analog Cases is charging more for their knockoffs even though their stands are manufactured in China and they were able to save substantial money by taking advantage of R&D conducted by KVgear.
But even if the knockoffs were less expensive, is it in the consumer’s best interest to buy them? If we limit our judgment only to the short-term, then yes, consumers benefit from knockoffs. But if we extend our vision further, we’ll see that the host company is damaged when consumers support the parasites, which leads the host company to take any or all of the following actions: go out of business, stop or reduce development of new products, raise prices to cover the high cost of patents, or refuse to develop interesting but non-patentable products. The end result is less innovation and possibly less competition.
Why Support KVgear?
We’ve been developing and manufacturing stands and accessories for 10 years. We are the oldest producer of power supplies and daisy chain cables for Volcas. We stand behind our products and provide exceptional customer support. Our stands have proven their durability worldwide for nearly 10 years, which gives us the confidence to offer the longest manufacturer's warranty in the business. We frequently give free advice to musicians who request help in organizing their studios. We created The Volca Guide as a service to the community. Most of our manufacturing and shipping processes are optimized to reduce waste and environmental impact. We manufacture all of our stands here in Chicago in the USA.
We’ve worked tirelessly developing a long list of innovative synth stands and accessories. Check out our unique Key Dog key weight and our Adapt line of stands that boast a tremendous amount of versatility and adjustability. And don’t forget about our unusual and highly useful SubPiggy and Gear Rail stands. All of these products have been developed with expert engineering and an obsessive attention to detail. And there’s more to come. We will soon unveil a series of major new products that will be game changers for our customers.
All of this is evidence of our commitment to synth users and our desire to make this tiny sliver of the world a better place.