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My Problem With Inexpensive Electronics

Cortes

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#61
Speaking of appliances, I bought in Black Friday a coffe grinder. It costs less than most of the Chi-fi discusseed in this forum. It's a joy to use, fantastic engineering, reliable, and serviciable. It's even beutiful. For sure it has passed QC, and it's made by a normal Italian company, not a huge corporation. Obviously to make a grinder of this quality reliable is several orders of magnitude more complex than packing some circuit boards in a metallic box. So, yes, reliable HiFi electronics is possible even for small/medium companies.

https://www.espressocoffeeshop.com/...grinders-home/eureka-mignon-specialita-chrome
 

Doodski

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#63
Speaking of appliances, I bought in Black Friday a coffe grinder. It costs less than most of the Chi-fi discusseed in this forum. It's a joy to use, fantastic engineering, reliable, and serviciable. It's even beutiful. For sure it has passed QC, and it's made by a normal Italian company, not a huge corporation. Obviously to make a grinder of this quality reliable is several orders of magnitude more complex than packing some circuit boards in a metallic box. So, yes, reliable HiFi electronics is possible even for small/medium companies.

https://www.espressocoffeeshop.com/...grinders-home/eureka-mignon-specialita-chrome
We're supposed to avoid using Chi-Fi in the ASR forum. Some people use it as a racist derogatory term and that's unfair. :D
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/lets-avoid-the-term-chi-fi.18243/
 

EdW

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#64
I can't remember ever referring to audio products made in any country using a term like ' ChiFi '. AmeriFi anyone ? Heavy lumps of crap made by evil dumb corporations. ' AmeriCars ' big lumps of gas guzzling crap that can't corner ...

It would be great if we could leave this term ' ChiFi ' behind, especially when its inferred meaning is clearly derogatory.
Reputation has to be earned. That is hard work for the manufacturers but they have to knuckle down and do it. In the 1970’s British companies (think car industry here in particular) lost market share due poor quality . . . And they whined when customers complained. The upshot was inevitable. A decade earlier a very pejorative label was given to products from Japan ‘ Jap crap’. The reason poor serviceability, quality control and sometimes design. Well in the 1970s we heard a lot less of this and the Japanese cars became the byword for reliability. So. my message to manufacturers is if you don’t like the pejorative labelling of you products is to look after your customers.
 

DerRoland

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#66
As a german please let me say a word about Miele. Self we use a Miele washer (21 years old), vacuum cleaner (22 years), dryer (13 years) and dishwasher (3 years). Yes, they are pricey and not ever lasting error free, but most repairable. Cause of high serviceman costs I buy in case of a defect the spare parts self and make the maintence as DIY job.

Here in Germany exists the independent foundation "Stiftung Warentest". They test all types of home equipment, expecially for long durability.
The brand Miele is often the winner in their comparsion, second place also often Bosch, Neff and Siemens.

Important to know, the domestic appliances from Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau and Neff are build in the same factory: bsh-group.com

The bad side is our car industry. They squeeze out the last cent for the profit, the brand service centers do only exchange (very expensive) parts. A long warranty is worth the money. The motor construction with all kind of down sizing for low emission standards is terrible. Engines now hold only 100.000 miles, sometimes only 50.000 miles without defects, cause of coke and dirt in the intake manifold. Thats very odd.
 

BDWoody

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#67
This is the thing that does discourage me from considering expensive active speakers. Getting bricked when something in the active part fails. I had my RRP A$5000 Velodyne DD10+ sub fail after 4 years. Luckily there was a service agent in my new city but the only option was to replace the amp board at a A$1500 expense. Replacing it with something equivalent would have cost double I guess. Still working so far and a niggling problem it always had was fixed in the new board! (very deaf in auto-turn-on, I used to have to have a MP3 player plugged into the RCA input and would play it some bass tones to wake it up).
Actually, I forgot about my failed DD+. Yeah... That wasn't cheap. It's been working great since... Probably 10+ years ago now.
 
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Cortes

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#68
The bad side is our car industry. They squeeze out the last cent for the profit, the brand service centers do only exchange (very expensive) parts. A long warranty is worth the money. The motor construction with all kind of down sizing for low emission standards is terrible. Engines now hold only 100.000 miles, sometimes only 50.000 miles without defects, cause of coke and dirt in the intake manifold. Thats very odd.
Only bad?. After the dieselgate it should have bee extirpated.
 
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Martin

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Thread Starter #69
Man, your appliance prices are high. The most expensive dryer I can find is a Miele with heat-pump for €2399 delivered and installed, the cheapest a Beko with evacuation for €299. The Samsung DV90T6 goes for €949, and the DV81M6 is €799. Always with delivery and installation. When looking at audio equipment, more often than not it’s € for $ or worse.
i should have clarified the Samsung set I bought for almost $2000 is a stackable front loading washer dryer pair. Our LG washer has had issues in the past so I decided to replace both.

But washers and dryers are crazy expensive. The cheapest stackable front loaders are $800 each and go up to $2500.

<rant>I don’t understand the need for a dozen or more wash and dry cycles and Wi-Fi. Why the eff does anyone need Wi-Fi on a washer or dryer. Someone needs to make a washer that just effing washes clothes and a dryer that just dries them. I don’t need or want to pay for all these fancy “features” I’ll never effing use.</rant>

Martin
 

StefaanE

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#70
I don’t think that back in the 1970ies audio was a “solved” issue, given that the reference source was tape, and people were listening to LPs and FM radio.
Even very expensive amplifiers proudly announced 0.05% THD for 50 measly watts, and “full” power was often quoted at 1% THD. Maybe those distortion levels are “good enough”, and for sure, I never felt that the sound quality from my (cheap by my 1970/1990 norms) Yamaha RX-V667 7.1 receiver from 2011, was worse than the Technics SU-V50 “Class AA” from 1988 it replaced (I thought it was better, but never made a direct comparison :)).
In a sense, my current Marantz SR5013 is disappointing because it has an audible 50Hz hum when switched on. It’s partly due to the cupboard, but the Yamaha was absolutely silent in that same cupboard.

The “low-tech” way in which electronics were built in the period from 1960 to 1980 made them both repairable and more expensive: no, or very simple PCBs, discrete (and large) components, manual wiring and bespoke metal-and-wood enclosures. With advances in technology such as integrated circuits, multi-layer printed circuit boards, surface mounting, plastics casting came better, cheaper but also less repairable devices. It's not that the customer asked for these changes -- those who already could afford the more expensive previous generations bought them, and those who couldn't, aspired to buying them.

The problem is that the affordable equipment has become so good it makes differentiating the high-end very difficult. Where price was a reliable indicator of quality when devices were built largely from discrete components in an economy with relatively low wages, today it mostly indicates either market positioning from a large corporation or a product from a boutique manufacturer without the know-how to build good devices (cf. hyper-expensive CD players built around a bog-standard Philips mechanism).
 

StefaanE

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#71
<rant>I don’t understand the need for a dozen or more wash and dry cycles and Wi-Fi. Why the eff does anyone need Wi-Fi on a washer or dryer. Someone needs to make a washer that just effing washes clothes and a dryer that just dries them. I don’t need or want to pay for all these fancy “features” I’ll never effing use.</rant>
Agree 1000%. Why not concentrate on maintainability and repairability instead of frivolous features. But that applies to cars as well -- today they're computers on wheels, and these computers don't age gracefully (cf. the report on the failing SSDs of Tesla onboard computers).
 

Bob-23

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#72
As a german please let me say a word about Miele. Self we use a Miele washer (21 years old), vacuum cleaner (22 years), dryer (13 years) and dishwasher (3 years). Yes, they are pricey and not ever lasting error free, but most repairable. Cause of high serviceman costs I buy in case of a defect the spare parts self and make the maintence as DIY job.

Here in Germany exists the independent foundation "Stiftung Warentest". They test all types of home equipment, expecially for long durability.
The brand Miele is often the winner in their comparsion, second place also often Bosch, Neff and Siemens.

Important to know, the domestic appliances from Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau and Neff are build in the same factory: bsh-group.com

The bad side is our car industry. They squeeze out the last cent for the profit, the brand service centers do only exchange (very expensive) parts. A long warranty is worth the money. The motor construction with all kind of down sizing for low emission standards is terrible. Engines now hold only 100.000 miles, sometimes only 50.000 miles without defects, cause of coke and dirt in the intake manifold. Thats very odd.
Another experience from Germany: washing machine, has its 20th birthday on January 11th 2021, without any repair (Siemens), Refrigerator was bought 1997, still running, without any repair (Siemens).

My first Thinkpad lasted 13 years (IBM), my second one (T410/China) has been running, flawlessly, since 2011 - with a slim Linux these machines are fast enough, and, contrary, to the devices which are made not to be opened, you can easily take it apart, exchange the RAM, even replace the CPU. And, contrary to machines, which are designed into the very actualst zeitgeist, and thus suffer from rapid aesthetic obsolescence, these Thinkpads are/were made according to 'form follows function', timeless beauties.

Longevity and repairability are possible - we only have to demand for it.
 
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Martin

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Thread Starter #73
My father has an International Harvester refrigerator my parents bought when they got married in 1957. I think they even bought it used. It has never been serviced and is still running perfectly today. It stays so cold he has to keep it on the warmest setting and it’ll still freeze stuff too close to the freezer section. It’s been the beer fridge in the garage for as long as I can remember.

Martin
 

Katji

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#75
[...]

When I was younger my dad used to fix, to varying degrees of success , everything . He would often moan about shite American manufacturing and large American corporations swallowing up British companies . ..

Indeed I took a Kell amp and CDP to be repaired by a well respected local engineer and he mentioned how difficult it was due to being ' over engineered to the point of insanity ' , badly designed and told me I should of kept my British designed and made Quad 606 .

I can't remember ever referring to audio products made in any country using a term like ' ChiFi '. AmeriFi anyone ? Heavy lumps of crap made by evil dumb corporations. ' AmeriCars ' big lumps of gas guzzling crap that can't corner ...

It would be great if we could leave this term ' ChiFi ' behind, especially when its inferred meaning is clearly derogatory.
That was a pleasant relief to read. After 3 pages of household appliances and the theme of America being the centre of the universe, or America and China. Wrt Chinese manufacturers setting up service facilities in USA, versus individual shipping. Well maybe they think of all the other peoples they sell products to. ...Maybe they just [tend to] have a different view of the world.
 

JeffS7444

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#77
Paying a higher price is no guarantee of reliability or serviceability:

My least reliable cameras were from Leica: M8, M9, 50/1.0 Noctilux, Trinovid binoculars. Who knew that CCD sensors could corrode? Factory can no longer provide critical parts for circa 2007 M8 (5000 USD) camera, or 2010 M9 cameras (7000 USD).

Inkjet printers have been a source of annoyance to me, HP and Epson in particular. Today my brand of choice is Canon which doesn't seem so clog-prone.

I did experience problems with a new MiniDSP HA-DSP headphone amplifier (wouldn't start from battery power), and Fiio M7 DAP (lost USB functionality). MiniDSP eventually traced the problem to a faulty batch of batteries and shipped me a replacement from HK, while Fiio had me ship the DAP to a California address, and after a couple of weeks I got a working unit returned to me.

My Topping VX3 amplifier appears well-made to me, and has given me no trouble (knock on wood).
 

PierreV

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#78
So I don't know that there is a good solution here. The days of a simple fuse going bad is long gone from our electronics....
Couldn't agree more. I have a LG monitor that won't turn on right now. I was somewhat lucky to find its full service manual, marked "confidential".
There's a full schematic, an iterative test procedure and a detailed list of parts.

The first problem is that everything tests perfectly.
The second problem is that, if some things had not tested properly, I could not have sourced the parts.
The third problem is that, even if I could source the parts, I would need Louis Rossman's level of tooling and equipment.

Just like you did, I ordered a new board. We'll see, I don't expect much.

The service manual's existence is, in itself a mystery. My source, who gave me the manual "if I wanted to have fun" told me they never really repair anyway, just swap boards.

Maybe there is some kind of regulation that makes service manuals mandatory for some eco approval. If it is the case, it would be laudable, credit points for effort, but useless anyway.
 

gvl

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#79
Ditto for KitchenAid, another Whirlpool brand. Ours was repaired repeatedly and still never worked right. Absolute junk.

Our LG has been flawless. Funny what was once a cheapo Korean brand (Goldstar) has completely taken over the appliance market.

Martin
Every LG device I purchased failed. Top of the line fridge called caput after 2.5 years, the refrigerant lines corroded all refrigerant leaked out. Whirlpool devices just keep going, a Costco Kirkland fridge from 20 years ago is running strong as well as a dishwasher. If they fail parts are readily available and easy to swap DIY.
 

StefaanE

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#80
That was a pleasant relief to read. After 3 pages of household appliances and the theme of America being the centre of the universe, or America and China. Wrt Chinese manufacturers setting up service facilities in USA, versus individual shipping. Well maybe they think of all the other peoples they sell products to. ...Maybe they just [tend to] have a different view of the world.
I hate to throw out working stuff. I’ve got a Sun Blade 2000 on my desk that I don’t switch on anymore, but it’s such a lovely piece of kit I can’t put it in the skip.
I’ve always had excellent service from Miele, hence I was disappointed to find out that they quoted more than its original price to repair it - but if it can’t be done on site, by the time one factors in its 17 years of age, transport to and from the workshop, a new drum, and Luxembourgish hourly rates, it’s understandable.
More annoying was the fact that the dimensions of washing machines and tumble dryers have changed, so that there are only very few machines left that’ll fit in the provided space in my laundry. But the house is 20 years old, and when we integrated the then machines in the laundry, they were already going on 20.
Oh well...
 
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