Q: Will the saber I ordered with Crystal Shard come with CS 4.5?
A: Yes. All orders for CS sabers that have not yet been built and shipped will ship with CS 4.5, you do not need to take any action to get this upgrade.
Q: Can I purchase an empty hilt?
A: We only offer expertly installed and completed sabers. In order to maintain our standards of excellence, and to offer the best value for our customers, we believe it is best to sell only sabers that we have installed. We cannot compromise detail or accuracy just to make a saber easier to put together, and we use specially designed chassis systems to ensure internal components are held securely and neatly. Because of those complexities, our installations are some of the most difficult. This means that for the best results, the sabers need to be installed by someone that not only has significant experience with saber installs, but someone who has installed that model many times, and knows it inside and out. We are also confident that this offers the best value to customers, as we can source components at a lower cost, and can perform installations more efficiently. This saves customers time and money, while providing them with uncompromising quality.
Q: How many of [insert product here] will you be making?
A: When we start a new run we don’t decide on a specific figure. Instead, we have a general idea of how many we can produce in a time period, then we keep an eye on the sales. If we see sales are slow, we will likely retire the product rather than building it in small batches. If sales are very high, we will either mark the item as “Out of Stock” or increase the lead time for new orders when we reach our production capacity.
Q: Is the Hero good for dueling?
A: The Hero was designed for maximum durability without compromising accuracy. It features a neck stronger than any accurately sized version of this saber to date, and it has no loose parts that can be knocked off. For duelers, we recommend the the emitter extension. While the more accurate emitter is no less durable, the extension provides extra blade depth for increased stability.
Q: This looks just like the Hero sold by Vader’s Vault, what’s going on?
A: It is the same Hero sold by Vader’s Vault (for the most part). Alex, the owner of Evolution Arms, did all of the CAD work modeling the Hero. Both Evolution Arms and Vader’s Vault bought into the first production run of Heroes. For the first run, Vader’s Vault offered only Crystal Shard models, and we only offered the higher end Crystal Focus models. Heroes available currently are from a new run which we are machining in house.
Q: Did you change anything after the first run?
A: The Hero was designed with accuracy as the primary concern, and this has not changed. The new Heroes retain all of the same details and accuracy of the original run. The original Heroes were machined by another shop, and a large percentage of those parts ended up scrapped because they did not meet our quality standards. As a result, we decided to bring production in house, and have adjusted some of the parts to ensure each one is as flawless as possible. This costs slightly more, but is less wasteful than the previous run.
We now offer Heroes in both sound board tiers, as well as with the new PlecterPixel blades.
Q: Which soundboards are available in the Hero?
A: Heroes are available with either Crystal Focus 9.0, or Crystal Shard 4.5.
Q: Do Heroes with PlecterPixel come with lit blade plugs?
A: During the introductory period of PlecterPixel, blade plugs purchased for PlecterPixel enabled Heroes will be PlecterPixel plugs. After the introductory period, this will be a separate and more expensive option. Heroes not purchased with blade plugs will not include any.
The Chosen One
Q: How small is The Chosen One?
A: The body diameter is only 1.25″ and an overall length is 10.05″, making The Chosen One one of the most compact sabers available.
Q: Is The Chosen One good for dueling?
A: The Chosen One is built in the most robust manner possible without compromising accuracy, but the blade depth is fairly short at only .875″. A direct blade strike on the wire loop on the emitter shroud could cause some damage, but the saber is built robustly enough to be dueled with moderately. Heavy grade blades are not recommended.
The Dark Apprentice
Q: Is The Dark Apprentice good for dueling?
A: The Dark Apprentice is slim and rugged, perfect for dueling.
Q: What is “PlecterPixel?”
A: PlecterPixel is a newly developed blade technology that goes beyond the standard tubes that defuse light from a single star of LEDs. Instead, the blade contains a long string of individually controlled RGB lights along its entire length. This allows for interesting effects that standard LEDs can’t accomplish. PlecterPixel strings illuminate the blade more evenly, and can have animated activation and deactivation, giving the effect of the blade extending from or retracting into the hilt. With each pixel controlled individually, blaster block flashes can now be localized, with visible impact points anywhere along the blade. The overall effect is far more realistic and impressive.
Q: Is the PlecterPixel blade less durable?
A: Not really, though all blades can be damaged under the right circumstances. We don’t recommend this kind of blade for those that do heavy dueling, because while they aren’t any more likely to break, they are significantly more expensive to replace. Hard impacts can cause bends, and impacts to the blade tip can knock it off, just like with regular blades. PlecterPixel blades are constructed from the same material as mid grade standard blades, and the LED strings have been tested to survive anything that the blade itself could survive. So if you’re confident that you won’t be hitting hard enough to snap a mid grade blade, you shouldn’t need to worry about breaking a pixel blade. That being said, blades will still scuff and slight bends will create noticeable marks, so be prepared to purchase a second/replacement blade if you want something nice to show off as well as something to duel with.
Q: How does this kind of blade connect to my saber?
A: Evolution Arms, in collaboration with Slothfurnace and the Plecter Labs affiliates, has developed a special connector to connect string blades. This system uses two circular printed circuit boards, one with circular contact pads, and the other with spring pins. The first board is installed at the base of the blade, while the other resides in the emitter where normal LEDs would have been. This design allows the blade to be inserted in any orientation, and to be removed and replaced easily. This also doesn’t take any more space within the saber than standard LEDs, so blade depth is not sacrificed.
The blade can be inserted and removed in the same way that standard blades are – by tightening or loosening a retention screw in the emitter. There is no harm from removing, inserting, or twisting the blade while the saber is activated.
Q: Will the blade flicker and disconnect while dueling?
A: Both Evolution Arms and other affiliates have stress tested this connection design, and have found no issues. If the blade is fully seated and the retention screw is properly tightened, the blade will not lose connection with the saber.
Q: Can I use blades purchased elsewhere? Can I use Evolution Arms blades in other sabers?
A: All Plecter Labs affiliates have worked together to standardize the PlecterPixel connector. Blades purchased from any affiliate vendor will function in an affiliate saber designed for PlecterPixel blades of the same diameter.
Q: What if I already have a blade? Do I need to purchase a new one with every new saber?
A: We intend to offer the option of purchasing PlecterPixel enabled sabers without blades in the future.
Q: What happens if I put a regular blade in my PlecterPixel saber?
A: For the most part, nothing. PlecterPixel sabers have no LED in their emitter, so they can’t illuminate a standard blade. While it’s unlikely for this to damage either the saber or the blade, the construction of the blade could result in damage if care is not taken. We do not recommend doing this, as it can’t light up anyway.
Q: What happens if I put a PlecterPixel blade in a regular LED saber?
A: Again, nothing. The connector is opaque, so none of the light from the LED can shine up through the blade. Some saber emitters are designed with parts which protrude upward into the blade, for such sabers a PlecterPixel blade could not be fully inserted, and the connector could be damaged by the emitter. We do not recommend doing this, as it can’t light up anyway.
Q: Can I have a standard LED saber I have already purchased upgraded to PlecterPixel?
A: Yes and no. It’s certainly possible, but the saber would need to be completely gutted and reinstalled. For this reason, we are not offering upgrades to standard sabers. Such an upgrade would be extremely costly, so we recommend anyone interested in PlecterPixel order it that way to begin with.
Q: Can I have a shine through blade plug on a PlecterPixel saber?
A: A blade connector can be mounted on the bottom of a blade plug with a very short pixel string, this option will be available for compatible sabers.
Q: What is a “Photon Blade?”
A: Photon blades are made of a special material that reacts to blue light. The result is that when a Photon Blade is illuminated, the material itself appears to glow brightly, increasing the overall brightness of the blade by a significant degree.
Q: What color of LED should I choose with a Photon Blade?
A: The Photon material reacts best to blue light (not royal blue), so sabers equipped with blue main LEDs will produce the brightest blades. We recommend choosing a red or white flash to accompany the blue main LED.
Q: What does a Photon Blade look like when it’s not activated?
A: Photon material is green in color.
Q: Can I use Photon Blades with RGB or PlecterPixel sabers?
A: Yes, that is available. It should be noted however, that because the blade is always green, you will not actually be able to see the full range of colors available from the LED. This is also true with PlecterPixel blades, though the effect is still quite impressive.
Q: Are all Photon Blades green? Why aren’t there other colors?
A: Currently, only green photon material exists, so only green blades are available.
Website and Store
Q: I encountered a problem with the website! What should I do?
A: If possible, take screenshots of any problems you see, and Email a report of the issue to firstname.lastname@example.org including as much detail as possible.
Q: I can’t see the payment form on the last page of Checkout!
A: The payment form is hosted externally by our payment provider, Stripe (see “How can I pay for my order?“) for security. This can at times lead to some issues. First, ensure you aren’t using an ad blockers that may be blocking the form (we don’t have any ads on our site anyway). Second, check that there isn’t anything else, such as content filters common in schools or other public networks, that could be blocking Stripe but not our site.
If there is nothing blocking the frame, it’s possible that some browsers and operating systems may not load the form correctly. Try using a different browser on another system if necessary. We have had known issues with iOS devices, though we believe those issues have been resolved.
Q: I’m getting an error at checkout, but it doesn’t tell me what went wrong.
A: Some responses from the payment processor seem to generate generic error messages, with little explanation given. In most cases, the error is caused by the card being declined for some reason. We recommend contacting the card issuer for an explanation, and for assistance completing the transaction. For more information, you can contact email@example.com and we can investigate the error further.
Policies and Ordering
Q: I forgot something on my order, what do I do?
A: We have created special order pages for adding options to your order. Simply go to the link below and select the product that matches the item you ordered. Then enter your original order number in the first box, and select the features you would like to purchase. We will do our best to fulfill orders as placed, and to accommodate special requests. We will cancel invalid orders, so please ensure you select the correct upgrades to match your order. For example, if you choose to upgrade your Hero with a photon blade plug, but order the “standard” version for your accurate emitter, that would be an invalid order.
Q: How quickly will my order ship? How fast will I get it?
A: We understand that all our customers are anxious to get a hold of their orders, and we make every effort to fulfill them in a timely manor. However, we firmly believe that quality is more important than expedience, we are dedicated to providing the highest quality products possible. To that end, we may delay orders and production runs to ensure that the parts we put into each saber are perfect. We list estimated lead times on each product page to give you an idea of the wait time you should expect. Lead times vary based on order volume, product complexity, and various external factors. Keep in mind that this is an estimate, we can’t guarantee that all orders will ship in that window, only that what we do ship will be flawless.
Q: The lead time listed on the product page is really long, am I reading that right? Is it accurate?
A: At this time all products are made to order, and produced in limited runs. This means we cannot currently offer products that are “ready to ship” or that ship within a more moderate time frame. We do apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but we are confident that you will be satisfied with the results.
Q: How can I pay for my order? Are payments secure?
A: This site uses Stripe to process payments. Through Stripe we accept all major credit/debit cards, including Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover, and others. This includes prepaid cards that can be purchased at most convenience stores if need be. We are not able to accept PayPal, nor do we accept cryptocurrencies.
Stripe is a PCI complaint payment processor, and handles everything on that front, your payment information is never transmitted to or stored on our server. Instead, it is securely transmitted to Stripe directly and tokenized (they give us a unique handle to manage the payment, but not any of the associated sensitive information) to ensure the highest level of security. The payment form itself is not a part of our site, instead it is an embedded frame hosted by Stripe. Please note that because the form is not directly part of our site, some issues can occur, if you do not see the form after clicking on the payment button, double check that your ad-blocker is not active (we don’t have any ads on our site, but sometimes other frames like Stripe can be blocked), and that you are using an up to date browser on a modern operating system. We have had a few issues with this form on iOS devices, we believe those issues have been resolved. If you do run into any problems, please report them to firstname.lastname@example.org and include screenshots if possible.
Q: Why do I have to pay upfront? / Do you offer a payment plan? / Can I pay part now and the rest later? / Can I pay when my order ships?
A: We would love to make purchasing our products as easy as possible for you, and we understand it requires a certain level of trust to pay for a product that won’t be shipped for months. In a perfect world, we would be happy to give our customers more flexible payment options, but unfortunately it’s simply not feasible for us to do so. Payment plans have been offered in the past by our partners and competitors alike, to very similar results – a large number of customers never come back or respond after creating an order or even providing a partial payment.
Because we build to order, we can’t sell an item that was built for one customer to another in many cases. This introduces the risk that an order could be built, but that we would be unable to ship the product or resell it. See “What if I need to cancel my order?” for more details.
This doesn’t mean you need to have a bunch of cash on hand to make a purchase, we do accept all major credit cards (see “How can I pay for my order?“) which provides you with the option of making payments over time while ensuring that Evolution Arms and all our customers are protected. We understand that applying for and receiving credit is not always an easy process, and that various situations can make it even more difficult or even impossible (such as being in the process of, or recently having purchased a home) but it’s really the only way that ensures that everyone is protected in the event of something unexpected. We don’t want to have to keep a deposit on a saber that a customer is unable to complete payments on any more than customers want to be on the other end of such a situation. Financial institutions are better equipped to handle this kind of thing, so we feel it is best to rely on them rather than offer credit or payments plans ourselves.
Q: Can I use PayPal?
A: Unfortunately no, we aren’t able to accept PayPal for a number of reasons. The biggest reason is that PayPal expects products to ship within a week or so of purchase, and will withhold funds if that doesn’t happen. This is to prevent shady businesses from taking too long, or simply failing to fulfill orders that have been paid for. Since we do not normally expect to ship within that time frame, this policy makes PayPal incompatible with our business model. Furthermore, PayPal has a history of causing trouble for businesses, including withholding payments for no reason (or none they feel like sharing) or suspending and canceling accounts without notice or warning. Finally, their fee structure is more expensive than many alternatives.
Q: What if I need to cancel my order?
A: We are not able to allow cancellations or returns. Invalid orders may be canceled at our discretion, but we cannot offer refunds on valid orders. We understand that this can be a problem for some customers, but made to order products can’t be returned and resold like normal merchandise. If we build an order, and the buyer cancels, it can be very difficult to recuperate the costs. We can’t just put the item back on a shelf, and ship it to the next person that orders one. For similar reasons, we can not accept returns – not only would it be difficult to resell the custom item, but it would be impossible (and unethical) to sell the “open box” product at regular price.
Keep in mind that lead times are estimated, and may vary greatly if necessary to ensure quality. We do not offer refunds for valid orders that have not shipped due to production delays.
We do understand that life happens, and customers have needed to get out of large purchases for various reasons. If you need to resell one of our products, we are willing to help out if a buyer wants verification that the item is genuine. For items that have not yet shipped, it is also possible to sell your “slot” in line to another party. In this case, both parties would need to contact us and show proof of the transaction. Then we can make a note and change the shipping address (this may require additional shipping charges). This is not a practice we encourage, but we understand that it may be necessary at times. Keep in mind that we are only able to facilitate the changes to the order, not the sale itself. We are not liable for any losses incurred as a result of such deals, so use caution.