StereoManuals began with Rick selling a small, then growing number of reproduction
audio manuals and other literature items on eBay in early 2001. Our first
big literature acquisition was a large number of Pioneer service manuals
in the summer of 2001. By spring/summer of 2002, we were probably the largest
manuals seller on eBay. Along about then, an auction buyer by the
name of David Swaffer purchased an item and was pleased. Some months later
he made another purchase through the auction process buying a service manual
for his Pioneer SX-1980 receiver.
He must have liked what he received because he began contacting me to make
direct purchases of several manuals at a time. Over the course of several
months, David purchased approximately 80 literature items consisting of
service manuals, user manuals and various color brochures for his growing
Pioneer collection. He actually stated he preferred our reproductions over
Through the many exchanged emails, we grew to respect each other
and became friends. In our first phone conversation, I was surprised
to hear his strong British accent. I got tickled at him because he reminded
me of so many British film characters with his accent, his laid-back view
of things, and his extreme politeness and kind manner of speaking. I had
him to send me some pictures of his Pioneer collection and built
this page to share
with our website visitors.
I told him that I was planning to use the specification pages of our Pioneer
library to produce an exhaustive Pioneer specifications reference.... *sometime*.
In early fall of 2002 he began independently working on creating his own
compilation of Pioneer specifications which started out to be additions
to, then corrections of an existing Pioneer spec booklet originally compiled
by William Jahn. I agreed to supply *a bit* of additional information but
basically did NOT want to be involved much because I was struggling with
my own projects and had *less than zero time* to be involved.
Well, so much for that! He used his British charm and politeness
to suck me in little by little. Pretty soon we were collaborating
on a joint project and thought it would be finished in perhaps October or
November of 2002. The type size kept shrinking and page density kept growing.
Before long, I had spent a lot of time pulling hundreds of manuals and sending
him copies for research. We worked together on writing and rewriting various
sections, layout and formatting issues, etc. After awhile, it became apparent
the project had already grown far beyond all original expectations. This
thing was becoming quite large, quite extensive.
Along about the beginning of 2003, we thought it was nearing completion
and I put a Pre-publication discount offer on the website. It stated
the book would be about 60 - 70 pages and ready for shipping approximately
the end of January. David couldn't be satisfied of course so it
kept growing. It was taking on a life of its own. Like a run-amok
futuristic computer... "Give me data. I need data. Must have data!" There
seemed to be no limit to how much time he would spend searching the internet,
writing to buyers and sellers on eBay, etc. in search of additional information.
I eventually pulled the Pre-publication offer from the website and polled
the existing customers to see if they would prefer additional information
or immediate publication with what we had. They wanted more and were willing
David continued to cajole me, plead with me, beat me, whip me, humiliate
me and force me to continue with further collaboration on the project.
He was relentless. I had to proofread, make corrections, suggestions,
help with or make decisions about design issues and the final printing format,
etc. Its really amazing how little he was able to do on his own.
I wish he would pay me a nickel for every word I've had to either read or
write in our emails. At printing time, there well in excess of 400 emails
in my Swaffer folder... some of which are quite long.
Of course I am just jesting above. David is a former American Express executive
and it is easy to see how he was able to achieve that position. He has remained
throughout, extremely through and dedicated to this labor of love.
I still do not know why he did it but he did and all who enjoy this
publication and those who will in the future, owe him a debt of gratitude.
For without him, it might have never seen the light of day. It
is amazing to me that a person like Dave would spend the amount of time
it required to complete. I often referred to him as my pet data slave.
After writing the Pre-pub buyers a few times to announce the 'any-day-now'
printing /shipping, it is finally *going to press* in late April, 2003.
Now at 136 pages, the first edition is double the original predicted
size. In some discussions after the first edition was printed,
I discovered that David had spent in excess of $2000 of his own cash to
purchase literature items for the sole purpose of obtaining the specifications
data. I knew he had spent some money but was surprised at that level of
expenditure. I had supplied the information for many hundreds of models
from my Pioneer literature library which was acquired at quite a high cost.
It would be difficult to exactly determine, but between our time,
our labor and our out-of-pocket costs, this publication's real cost to produce
is in the *several* thousands of dollars range. In light of this, we believe
it would be a bargain at two or three times the actually selling price.
I do have a fair idea of how much time I spent on this project and I know
that David's work exceeded mine many times over. Literally hundreds and
hundreds and hundreds of hours have gone into it. So in behalf of the entire
community of Classic Pioneer fans, I salute you David. Thanks for a job
well done. You have every right to be proud of your part in bringing this
project to completion.