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** Official MVP Q&A - Answers **
The guys at MVP were nice enough to take the time to answer a bunch of your questions from the question thread that ended just a few short days ago. Talk about a quick turn around! A big thank you to the crew at MVP for participating in this Q&A!
In celebration of the ridiculous amount of MVP information below, I've reduced prices on all the DGCR MVP discs. DGCR Eclipse Anodes, Ions and Axis' are only $15 and Proton Anodes are just $12.
Click here to buy one before or after you check out this thread!
Now without further ado, enjoy the MVP Q&A!
1. Are the cores for the Envy and Alias new (as someone who never really liked the MVP cores, I'm hoping so)? If so, will MVP and Axiom share cores, or will they remain exclusive to each brand?
Depending on the model type, some cores will be shared between both brands, but also some cores will be exclusive to their respective brand. For example, the Envy has a new core with a lower profile and has a more traditional inner rim without the large radius. The Alias however will share the same core as our other midranges.
2. Will there be a way to custom order various color and weight combinations?
It’s up to retailers how they want list the various weight and color combinations. We recommend talking to your retailer directly and letting them know what colors and weights you are looking for.
We allow retailers to specify notes for their color and weight preferences when they place orders. Stock availability fluctuates on a regular basis, but we will match their preferences as accurate as we can. To compensate for the vast combinations, we will do larger production runs in the Axiom brand to achieve a larger color and weight variety. Additionally, we will stock stamped and unstamped Axiom models for disc dyers and custom stamps.
3. What are the main differences in the two and what will the different "teams" focus on exclusively?
MVP Disc Sports is the powerhouse for production and distribution of Axiom products. MVP's focus is performance and technology in the product lines. Axiom's focus is to be as stylistic and beautiful as possible, meanwhile being supported by MVP for performance, quality and consistency.
4. Is there a plan for Base line cores and different over-molds for that matter-- softer/harder?
There are a lot of advantages that can be attained with GYRO™ Overmold Technology in a baseline plastic. We have done some trial batches of baseline plastic in our putters. So far we are satisfied with the performance of the material. The reason we have not released it yet is that it is going to require a new mold (core and overmold) that suits the shrink parameters of the overmold process. The combination of a new plastic line and new molds means that baseline plastic requires a larger investment and learning curve than the discs we are developing at this point, so it has not been a top priority. Since our lineup is expanding, the priority of a baseline plastic has moved closer to the top now. It's hard to determine whether we will be able to launch it this year.
On a related note, when it comes to baseline plastics versus premium plastics, both core and overmold materials have to be in the same polymer family to be bondable. Therefore, it's not feasible to do a baseline core with a premium plastic overmold, and vice versa.
5. Will we get MVP molds (Amp, Volt, Ion etc) as Axiom discs?
MVP and Axiom will have their own set of unique models with aerodynamic profiles. As mentioned before, some will share cores, but some cores we plan to keep unique to a particular brand.
6. I believe the Overmold works and I understand the theory, but have guys tested it against the same disc sans the OM in the early stages of R and D?
In our early days, we took an ultralight Wizard (~110g) and taped washers as weights to bring the overall disc weight to 175g. We did trials with mass taped in the very center, some with mass taped towards the outside, and weight distributions in between. The affect on flight from the weight distribution is very evident. The further you distribute mass away from the axis of rotation, the tighter the lateral movement of the disc. Although it was a primitive test, the principal still holds. We encourage everyone to try this experiment themselves.
Our design program allows us to calculate the moment of inertia of a design. We have experimented with numbers of practical weight distribution with our designs, and the results are larger than you would think because the moment of inertia increases at a parabolic rate with mass distribution. At this time, we keep statistical data proprietary due to competition.
A recent experiment we did was take a lightweight (150 grams) conventional disc and grind off the nose tip, essentially creating a core out of it. Then we overmolded it with our GYRO™ Overmold. Here are some pictures:
We enjoy playing with lids too. We think it would be cool to have a lid in our lineup, though it's going to be in the longer term. We feel the market size for a lid is probably quite small compared to most traditional discs. As we transition into in-house mold making we will be able to lower costs in mold making and allow us to branch out into more boutique mold styles.
8. Could you go into a bit more detail about the motivations for forming Axiom discs, and wanting to create a sense of separation in your two lines?
We attribute the exotic look of our Eclipse discs as a big factor. Many people buy Eclipse discs exclusively for the vibrant colors that result from the brighter overmold. However, the expensive glowing agents add a lot to the cost of the Eclipse Series, so we decided to branch out from the traditional black rim to make those vivid colors available at a comparable cost to the standard MVP Neutron and Proton series.
We feel that the unique appeal of the color combinations justify a deviation from the MVP brand’s traditional black rim. Words and pictures don't do justice for the beauty of Axiom Discs. We are stoked to produce discs that emulate the Optic™ effect of the Eclipse Series without the added cost of glow. Similarly, brighter overmolds on the Neutron series enhance the Neon™ effect of the brighter colors.
To answer the question, why not add the color combinations to the MVP lineup? The traditional black rim in the MVP lineup holds a strong aura with the theme of science and technology that create a consistent appearance. We felt that adding colored overmolds to the MVP lineup was too drastic of a change that didn't fit the MVP branding theme. Hence we formed Axiom Discs as an affiliate brand to MVP that was more suitable to the idea of added style from colored rims.
Last edited by timg; 01-21-2014 at 02:34 PM.
9. Could you talk about how you go about filling out your lineup? How have you decided in the past what directions to go in? Clearly when you've developed a new core you've released several molds built off of that, but more generally, what is your philosophy for choosing what types of discs to develop? If it helps, I ask because I'm generally interested, but also specifically because the two new Axiom molds seem to overlap with existing areas in your lineup while other areas (distance drivers being the obvious one, but also understable discs slower than the Amp) are yet to be assessed.
Some models between the two lineups will be complementary to each other. Since both brands will eventually have a complete lineup, some models may overlap in fundamental areas. In the case where two models fulfill a similar role, there will certainly be some differences between flight, feel, and style to suit the large array of player preferences. No two discs will share the same entire mold.
We learn more about the science of GYRO™ with every mold we produce. With this being the case, we like to start out with slower discs before working up to faster speed classes. That way, we gain more knowledge about molding that can be implemented as we work up incrementally to faster speed classes.
One example we would like to use is our reason for choosing to launch the 1.7cm wing fairway class (Resistor/Servo), compared to distance drivers with higher demand. Throughout the development of the 1.7cm fairway class, we have been able to find ways to improve our technology, offer greater levels of consistency, and wider weight ranges. It has been a lengthy process to make these improvements; the 1.7cm fairway class has required approximately 12 months of development.
With distance drivers requiring more knowledge to produce consistently and to our high standards, we wanted the development of the 1.7cm fairway class first. This fairway class was a great technological learning process to equip us with more knowledge and capability when it came time to make distance drivers.
We are 6 months into development with our first distance drivers, and are expected to have them launched this spring. We also have some more complementary understable models in development with some to be launched this year.
10. How substantial is the difference between cores/rims between molds? E.g. do a Volt and Amp have the same core or rim? From a design perspective, is it possible to tweak discs by altering just one of the two to simplify the manufacturing process?
Each respective speed class of discs has their own core (some classes have two cores). Then the overmold sets are unique to each model. For optimal long term consistency, we mold cores as uniformly as possible on all models.
11. When can I buy Axiom Discs?
The scheduled release date in stores for Axiom Discs is January 31, 2014. Be sure to ask your retailers to stock Axiom Discs. We look forward to an exciting launch!
12. Will time be spent on Axiom discs more so for the time being or can we expect MVP to continue running (I am specifically looking for baseline plastic, Neutron Eclipse, and finishing out the lineup in Proton)
Answered in 28.
13. Any New Year resolutions you mind sharing?
Our goal for this year is to launch more new molds in our lineups than previous years.
14. Do you guys ever plan on releasing a bag? More specifically a backpack style?
We've had a lot on our drawing board for disc developments, so products outside of discs have been on the back burner, including bags. We expect to flesh out a lot of our disc lineup this year to allow us to branch out into other product lines in the following years.
15. Is there a way to do a clear overmold?
The GYRO™ rim is concentrated with various mineral and metallic compounds for weighting, so the GYRO™ rim will always has to be opaque. Unless for some reason we didn't want to put weighting products in the outer rim, but we don't see a need for that at this time.
Conversely, we are able to produce bright and consistently transparent cores since the core is not contaminated with various weighting products.
16. Why is there not a link to the Axiom site from MVP, and vice versa?
We’ve added “MVP Network” links at the bottom of each site, and will continue cross-linking where appropriate. Axiom’s Plastics page is a great example.
17. Is there sponsorship in MVP/Axiom's future for tourney players, or will you stick more with a team of guys that is truly dedicated to the brand, a la Mike C?
We plan to keep our all of our resources dedicated to producing more quality disc golf products, so building a sponsored team is not in our immediate plans. As we see continued loyalty from touring or to-be-touring pros, we would be more than happy to support their tours like we will be doing with Mike C.
On this subject, we have made a deal with Mike C to have his signature series on our wholesale order form. Therefore his signature series will reach out to more stores and a percentage of sales will benefit Mike's touring.
18. What would you say is the biggest challenge in doing what you do?
The polymers used in golf discs have been some of the most difficult materials to use within the plastics industry. The variables required for molding quality and consistently are endless. Every new manufacturer will go to go through a learning process that requires years to master molding discs. We are confident to say that we are at the tail end of our learning curves with the implementation of our new molding equipment and processes.
In conjunction, it has been difficult to make overmold molds without major seams or joints. However, we are getting it down to a science so there is less guesswork involved with our mold making. Many of our recent molds have been good-to-go after their initial build. In the past, we have gone through months of development before being able to launch a product. For example, the 18.5mm (Volt, etc) and 17mm (Servo, etc) fairway classes have both required over a year of development.
19. If you sponsor MikeC will you make him wear a shirt?
It's up to MikeC
20. The Axiom Neutron overmold seems to be the same material as MVP's. But Axiom Proton's overmold is called Opaque Neon Neutron. How is this different from the overmold we're accustomed to?
The overmold materials are essentially the same between the MVP and Axiom brands. The only difference is the coloring agents used. Although this sounds like a simple implementation, the logistics in setting up machines for this many color and weight permutations is quite challenging, but we find the end result to be worth the extra effort. So far we are pleased with the amount of color and weight combinations we have attained in our initial runs. We have been able to make dozens of color combinations so far, and expect to have 100+ color combinations in future runs.
21. Is there a distance driver in the hazy future?
Answered in 9.
22. What has been your favorite disc to work on so far? And if they are different your favorite disc to throw?
Brad was most excited for the Servo during its development. We had prototypes last summer and badly wanted to release the product. However, many developments were needed before we could run production. With the methodical development process, the Servo has come out perfect and Brad's favorite.
Chad was quite eager for the Envy when he was designing it. It has quickly become one of his favorite approach discs.
23. If there is in fact a distance driver in the near future can you tell us whether it is OS or US and what speed it may fall into?
We plan to have both overstable and understable distance drivers this season. Speed class will be revealed in the near future.
24. From where you started with one mold and a few machines how has the operation expanded in terms of equipment, personnel, disc/day output?
Since we have started, we have acquired the most state of the art machines and accessory equipment. We have also built a dedicated, highly experienced team of technicians. Our molding operation has approximately 50-60 employees between machine operators, foremen, technicians, quality control, inventory control, warehousing, order processing and plant managers. Machines run 24 hours per day and 5-6 days per week. Our molding capacity is currently 10,000+ discs per week in the new modern equipment. We have the resources and infrastructure to continue expanding our molding capacity in near future.
25. Do you have any plans to expand the test team with a new lineup coming out? If so how can one approach that with you?
We just added a couple testers since we launched Axiom. We are regular followers of DGCR and other online disc golf communities. We add people to our testing team who we feel have accurate supportive reviews and show a genuine interest in our products.
26. Will there be a limited amount of any certain color/color combo, making it collectable like the FR ION?
We want to make as many great-looking color combinations as we possibly can in the Axiom lineup. In the meanwhile, there may be experiments of swirl, pearl, and glitter which will occur in limited numbers in our existing plastic series.
27. Will you offer misprint packs for different plastics, speeds, colors?
Our misprint packs will consist of an assortment of colors, weights, plastics, models, and brands. Currently, the stock of misprint lots is mostly MVP, but they will probably consist of both MVP and Axiom by this spring.
28. With the introduction of the Axiom line will we see a drop off in development of the traditional MVP line as the new Axiom line is being brought up to speed?
Not at all. We have more than doubled our molding capacity. We anticipate both brands each growing faster this year than MVP's growth rate last year.
29. Do you have any plans of doing an ace race/birdie bash type of event at all?
We have some ideas for future specialty events like this. However, specialty events like this are something we plan to pursue later rather than sooner. We still have many products that we have to develop, and want to allocate as much of our time and resources as possible to developing new products.
30. How did you decide on the disc naming scheme for Axiom?
We brainstormed a handful of names that we liked very much, but they didn’t seem to fit the MVP theme very well. These other names fit together very well for the new Axiom style-based theme.
31. Is there a chance that you will put flight numbers on your discs or list their stabilities for customers to reference when buying discs in the store?
We avoid numbers in our flight ratings because they are unable to account for many factors of disc flight. Hence we developed flight charts that visually show more accurate information about disc flight with varying power levels. We give flight charts to all retailers and have them available on our website. Ask your retailer to see the MVP flight charts if they do not have them posted in their shop.
32. Will we see soft P/N Envy on release date?
Answered in 46.
33. Will we see MVP "Basic plastic" (cheaper and could be worn in)?
Answered in 4.
34. What are the densities (specific gravity) of MVP/Axiom core plastics and overmold plastics?
Divulging the exact specific gravities of our materials would be too revealing to our competition. However, the materials used in our overmolds are as heavy as 3.0-5.0 specific gravity. This makes the overmold material 3-5 times as heavy as conventional golf disc materials.
35. How many players will you sponsor for the 2014 tour? Will there be a "MVP Team" like the other companies like Prodigy?
Answered in 17.
36. Why did Neutron plastic take over as the launch material from Proton? Marketing or is there something about Neutron that is easier in the manufacturing process?
Every model in the Neutron series has been more popular than their Proton brethren. For this reason, Neutron is the default series in which we will launch new models. Whichever MVP models become popular we also will release in Proton and Eclipse.
37. One of the most popular complaints about your discs is that they are hard to grip when weather conditions are not ideal. Are there plans in the future to address this issue?
The grip characteristic of plastics is an optimization situation. There is a balancing act of grip versus durability and grip versus consistency. It has been in review to adjust the balance one way or the other to improve grip, however we have to be careful with the adjustment in the name of durability or long term consistency.
Similarly mold texturing is another optimization situation. We found that the rough texturing on the bottom early run Ions reduced the overall grip-potential, but it helped make the plastic less susceptible to weather conditions. Our current high-polished surface has high grip-potential in prime conditions, but it is more susceptible to weather conditions. The optimization of grip-potential versus susceptibility to weather conditions has been in review for improvement.
38. Have you ever considered bringing back the textured bottoms?
Answered in 37.
39. I know you have a basic molding process vid on youtube, but have you ever considered a behind the scenes documentary on the development of a new disc from conceptual designs, testing, to finished product with comments from the staff and team members?
We see informational/promotional videos as a viable option in the future. We have many projects scoped out this year for our media department, but I see videos as a possibility in the following years.
Also, we have considered the idea of making a documentary about how our company got started and how our company has evolved. However, our company is still growing and expanding, so it would make sense to do something like this later into our history.
40. Will there be glow rims for Axiom?
Adding coloring agents to a glow rim reduces the glow's luminosity, so we don't plan to produce glow products in Axiom. With optimal glow conditions requiring a uniform rim color, we plan to keep the Eclipse glow products solely in the MVP lineup. We also want to make sure that Axiom Discs are affordable to a larger audience, while maintaining our high standards for quality and consistency.
41. What about Merchandise? Hats? Dri-fits? Any plans for those?
We will have some more accessory products this year, but we expect those types of products to be more prolific in the following years.
42. Who is Axiom? Is it the original MVP founders, Chad and Brad? Or is it more than that?
Since Axiom Discs is produced and distributed by MVP Disc Sports, Chad and Brad play a primary role in Axiom Discs. We have since added some people to our team to assist with branding and marketing efforts.
43. Will swirled overmolds going be a staple in the Axiom Discs line? ...or, is this just a rare production variant as colors are run off the line?
Color swirls, both core and overmold, are very rare and difficult to produce with repeatability and consistency. However, we try to swirl and experiment as much as possible.
44. With the release of Envy and Alias, when can we expect the rest of the line up to be filled out?
There will be a handful of additional models in Axiom this year, including drivers.
45. How do you comment on Axis vs Alias?
The Alias was designed with many aspects of the Tangent in mind, most notably the smooth modern feel. Our goal was the make it slightly more stable so that it will hold lines like a brand new Tangent for a longer period of its life. The Tangent seems to break in closer to more Neutral and Understable after much use. With the added stability, the Alias has a similar stability as the Axis, but it is slower and a more controlled speed as the Axis.
46. With the appearance of a prototype Soft Neutron core on the Axiom Discs Facebook page, what's the outlook for production runs of soft Neutron cores in the Axiom Discs line in the future?
We made a small experimental run of Neutron Soft, and so far we are pretty happy with how it turned out. The priority of a Neutron Soft release is still under planning and review.
47. Will you continue to make 150 class discs on your models, and if it is possible for the other drivers that you make besides the Servo and Resistor?
It is possible to produce our other models in the 150 class, with some being easier than others. Some models require changes to processing which will significantly impact the overall consistency, so we are holding off on these weight ranges on these models at this point. The Servo and Resistor were designed with consistency in mind for lighter weights as well as the heavier weights.
We've made some experimental runs of our putters in the low 160s and high 150s. The low 160s can be done quite consistently, though the 150s will require some further research before we can do it consistently enough for production.
48. Are you ever going to consider making some of your discs without the over-mold? If no, why?
We do not see any advantages of regular conventional discs over GYRO™ Overmold Technology, so we do not foresee any plans of non-overmolded discs at this time.
Tim, thank you for putting this Q & A session together. It was nice of the brothers to be receptive to doing this.
Can we add a new question now that MVP made Teebirds better?
Seriously though I wanna hear about the MVPbird lol