With the exception of the ultra-specialized niche market products, like Apple computers, do you still have faith in brand names?
I am biased in the following way: an electronics teacher told me that globalization has forced companies to use cheaper components. For example, if a knob used to malfunction after 10 000 uses, companies now use a knob that will wear down after 5 000 uses. The companies now do routine quality control and, if the supplier gave them a knob that is lasts longer than 5 000 uses, the companie changes supplier because this component will be more expensive than budgeted.
Consequence: Lower quality. Earlier pre-programmed obsolence. Not necessarily lower prices.
On the one hand, this is good in the computer products because it reflects reality: technological advances make a computer obsolete real quick.
On the other hand, for stuff like sound systems and home theaters, I don`t think one now gets what he (used to) pay for.
I bought an AKAI sound system 2 years ago (almost day for day). Cheap stuff. 230$ for amp + 6 speakers. Consider it an upgrade from my computer stereo speakers. At that price, I expected it to go broke within 5 years. Some piece just popped a couple of days ago. Sounds like the power supply.
Problem: Considering getting the amp repaired is probably going to cost me as much as a
new same quality amp, I don`t know if the extra buck spent on a quality amp is now worth it, given my bias.
What has been your experience with middle-of-the-market (or even high grade) brands? Same as before? Better? Worse? More for your buck?