hello, nym here.
quick bit of background: the quneo + bidule/reaper has recently replaced my workstation of ~10 years, an MPC1000 running jjos. i use the quneo primarily as a drum pad controller, as well as a bank of CCs and modifier buttons that do cool stuff in bidule (transpose, arpeggio rate control, modwheel/pb etc). i perform live using a custom programmed combo of quneo, launchpad as autoharp-style arpeggiator, and handmade infrared gesture controller.
i have a lot of experience with pressure sensors, homemade/programmed midi controllers, and comparing/critiquing finger drumpad controllers. i love the quneo. generally, i really like the design, but these are some important points. i'll list my issues first, and then post what i've done to solve them.
first issue: upon taking apart the quneo, i noticed that the unit is glued together on the sides in addition to several screws holding it together. after putting it back together, i was never able to get as tight a unit, unless i re-glued the sides. this is a little disappointing, as "screws > glues." this discourages end user modification. generally speaking, this will never be a problem for most users...but i do wish there was a screw smack in the middle of the quneo to hold it tightly together without glue. the more "flex" in the frame/rubber pad layer, the less tightly the conductive material is held against the sensors -- this negatively impacts performance. it goes without saying that a metal frame would be the best option. potential accessory/upgrade?
second/third - this sucker is tiny!!! i love its compact, tablet sized design...but when i play, i sometimes bump the quneo and it skitters around a bit. this is a problem because of the microusb terminal. i understand that it was used due to its tiny size, but jeez, that sucker is unreliable. having the quneo go down mid performance can be a disaster - especially if it's used in a host that requires a restart to re-initialize the device before using it again. (aside: use bidule/loopbe for this, that way you can just restart bidule instead of your host!!!).
fourth, big one - the rubber/silicone material comprising the control surface. i have no complaints about the faders, rotaries, and buttons. however, the drumpad surfaces leave a lot to be desired in that there is not a lot of material in between the finger and the sensor itself. in a pressure sensor, the more soft material (rubber) in between finger and sensor, the wider the range of velocity sensitivity. the quneo pads stick up a bit from the frame, but should be at least 3 or 4 times thicker than they are -- as well as softer -- for the discerning finger drummer.
fifth: another possible issue: conductive fabric. the conductive material in between sensor and rubber pad. the quneo appears to use a sort of conductive fabric glued to the back of the pads, unlike most drumpad units which use a conductive rubber or a force sensing resistor. this is not necessarily a bad thing - due to the (normally) tightly-held-together form factor of the quneo, the fabric is held against the copper sensor coils and as such, there are no moving parts. in addition, there is no air gap between the sensor, fabric, and rubber -- great!! such a gap is terrible for finger performance. however, i wonder if pressure-transducing, carbon impregnated rubber might not have been a better choice instead of the fabric material.
so! that's a lot of complaining -- what have i done to solve these issues?
first/second/third: in order to both increase the size of the quneo, i used a hand router to route out a frame for the quneo. it now sits in a larger frame of dense composite material (surface of a school desk, no less). the surface of the plastic frame of the quneo is flush with the composite. i glued silicone feet to the underside of my frame so it doesn't flop around as much. i also sawed a channel for the microusb terminal and plan on creating a silicone mold around the microusb cord male terminal that will sit tightly in place so as not to risk disconnection. this still leaves me with the issue of the glued frame. originally i wanted to use washers in the frame i built, but the composite material doesn't hold screws well, so i'll probably opt to re-glue the quneo sides to get it as tight as possible again.
fourth: pad thickness/softness!! i'm in the middle of this one. i bought some 100% silicone from the hardware store in a big tube for 6 bucks. i put plastic wrap on a smooth surface and taped it taut, and then did the same to another smooth surface (top). i then squeezed out a glob of silicone and smushed it between the 2 smooth surfaces and let if cure for a couple days (this much silicone takes a LONG time). after peeling off the plastic wrap, i had a disk of soft, bouncy silicone. this i sliced up with a sharp knife into pad-shaped squares (not worried about the rounded edges). positioning these squares over the quneo pads makes a HUGE difference in pad performance -- i'm getting better feeling/response than i was with my MPC. my issue now is gluing them to the quneo pads. silicone doesn't bond well to silicone, and i don't want to have to reglue these at every turn. so, i will likely have to roughen up the surface of the quneo pads -- perhaps even drilling some shallow holes -- to make more texture to which the silicone can adhere and never come loose.
(bringing me to the question...can i buy a replacement rubber pad assembly if i completely screw this one up?)
last! the conductive fabric. with a little more searching, i hope to find (make?) some conductive rubber with which i can replace some of this conductive fabric, just to see if there's an appreciable difference.
i should have some pictures for you folks soon, but meanwhile this is where i am. please add your advice and comments, but if you're the type to discourage people from truly owning/modding their equipment, kindly find another thread.