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T O P I C     R E V I E W
Member # 2814
 - posted September 07, 2004 06:49
Why isn't it possible to buy GOOD QUALITY stuff anymore? It seems that price and brand doesn't matter anymore. With anything.

I generally buy 'better' brand stuff. Meaning if I buy a new stereo amp, I'll buy Pioneer. I won't spend all kinds of coin and buy Denon, but I won't cheap out and buy Technics either.

When I buy car audio stuff, I buy Premier.

When I buy video cards for my computer, I buy nVidia GeForce cards.

Now, I realise I'm not forking over dough for top quality stuff. I'm not about to buy a ATI XT800 video card at $800 a pop. Regardless of that, I'd like to think things I buy will last a decent amount of time. And if it does break, I would hope parts to fix it are at least slightly available, especially in today's day and age of the Internet.

Oh what I'd think and wish for are so much different from reality.

Computer hardware is getting cheaper and cheaper by the day.

An example would be my GeForce 4 Ti-4200 card. I spent $300 on that stupid card about a year ago. A lot more than someone such as myself would ever spend on a simple video card.

I bought it to replace my MSI GeForce4 440MX card whose GPU fan died.

The new GeForce card is less than a year old, and its fan is already dead. My house is certainly NOT dirty, so "excessive dirt buildup" is not a valid reason.

I have plenty of cheaper cards. Various ATI OEM AGP cards, Matrox, SiS, S3, etc. NONE of them can provide a clean crisp picture at 1920x1440 @ 85Hz like the GeForce does when its fan works.

So it seems if you buy a decent card, you get screwed. You buy a cheap card, you get screwed.

So I go on eBay in an effort to buy a replacement fan. HAHAHA GOOD LUCK! The only stuff you can find is that overpriced overclocker cooling JUNK that people spent absurd amounts of money on to overclock a video card so it can perform at the rate of a card that would have probably been cheaper just to buy after you add the cost of the cheaper card plus cooling. (forgive the long drawn out sentence with no punctuation, I'm ranting damn it.)

Computer hardware isn't the only thing sucking.

A few years ago I bought a $600 car deck. A Pioneer Premier DEH-P630. No MP3, but it was sexy. Motion video on the display, 3 gold-plated sets of 4V pre-outs, the works. It was nice. After about 2 years, the faceplate didn't want to work anymore.

I pulled it apart and did some testing. I found one of the circuit boards that connects the faceplate to the rest of the deck to have a faulty connector on it. I check pioneer's website (even though the site crawls at a rate of approximately 80B/s), and availability on the part is "out of stock, expected available replacements in december 2004". That's inexcusable.

I bought a Clarion amp about a year ago. A decent amp. Nothing out of the ordinary. A Clarion APX 201.2. It sounded good, but lasted about a year. POP. It let the smoke out. The 4x50 Kenwood amp that's probably older than I am that sat and worked directly beside it still works beautifully to this day.

Why is the quality of all consumer electronics seem to be going straight down the tubes? The old adage, "they don't make 'em like they used to" is so true.

*dismounts soap box*
Member # 1959
 - posted September 07, 2004 07:06
I blame Walmart! (I don't shop there, I hate the place!) Well and america in general. We want the best deal on everything. In turn corners get cut and it gets made in some 3rd world country where they pay the workers $5 a day. And now we have to buy the extended warranty just to cover our butts. I have a VCR I purchased in 1986 that still functions, but for my main VCR I am on my 3rd one in the past 6 years!
The Famous Druid
Member # 1769
 - posted September 07, 2004 07:13
Tell me about it.

I'm old enough to remember when 'HP' was synonymous with 'quality'. I still have the HP calculator I bought in 1980, it's a thing of beauty, and would withstand a nuclear blast.

The 'HP/Compaq' PC I've got on my desk at work is a heap of shit. The keyboard won't even sit flat on the desk, it's warped, and wobbles around annoyingly whenever I use it. The fan is loud and annoying, the CD drive only usually works, but the floppy drive is so bad I don't even try to use it any more.

Member # 955
 - posted September 07, 2004 09:12
I agree with Bibo. The problem is that we (as a society) don't expect quality anymore, we expect a low price. We've gone from a quality society to a consumer society. If it breaks, oh well, it's cheap enough to go buy a new one.

And really, when you can buy a new Dell for $449 with free shipping and all that...who cares if it's a piece of shit and dies in two years?! You got your $500 out of it, just go buy a new one. This makes my job really hard since no one wants to spend more then $100 to fix their computers anymore because they can just get the previously mentioned Dell instead. ARGH!

This topic is so broad that I could go on for days. The invention of the assembly line incrased factory output by enormous amounts, but it did so at the expense of quality. Workers no longer get to see the finished product, they just see their own little piece of it, and it's the same piece, every minute, every day. Workers can't take pride in their work anymore because their work is mundane, and repetitive, and they never get to see the fruits of their labor. When workers can't take pride in their work quality suffers. But... output increases, and that's all companies care about. Screw worker morale.

Add to that the fact that almost everything we buy now days is built in a 3rd world country by people in an assembly line, who never have the opportunity to take pride in their work, and on top of that get paid shit for the work that they do. It's no wonder stuff sucks.

What we are reaping are the fruits of the consumerist society. Few take pride in their work anymore, and who can blame them? There's little to be proud of being a cog in a machine, someone who could just as easialy be replaced by a robot, if it were deemed by the executives to be more cost-effective to do so. But as humans we need to be proud of something, and so we are taught, trained, programmed to be proud not of the things we do but of the stuff we have. So we work, not for the sake of accomplishing something good to be proud of, but for the sake of making money so we can buy lots of stuff to be proud of. Our goal isn't quality, our goal is the acquisition of stuff.
Member # 1177
 - posted September 07, 2004 12:48
DNM: Speaking of video card coolers, I might have one that's no longer needed lying around somewhere. It's a Thermaltake Crystal Orb; should be more than enough for your ti4200. I'll gladly give it away for free as long as you're willing to cover the shipping cost (if I can find it, that is).
Member # 450
 - posted September 07, 2004 12:49
Most of the time, though, you can get quality and reliability and good service. You just have to be willing to pay more for it. Most people favor cost, so there are more products that appeal to them. My Mini is a perfect example. It has less room than a Kia, but costs a lot more. I've paid a premium for a car that is built in the (very expensive) UK, to BMW's standards. More people opt for the cheaper car.
Member # 2814
 - posted September 07, 2004 13:26
Originally posted by dp004i:
DNM: Speaking of video card coolers, I might have one that's no longer needed lying around somewhere. It's a Thermaltake Crystal Orb; should be more than enough for your ti4200. I'll gladly give it away for free as long as you're willing to cover the shipping cost (if I can find it, that is).

That would be very sweet and most gracious of you. drunkennewfiemidget at gmail doht com if you don't mind.
Member # 2814
 - posted September 07, 2004 13:27
I would happily and easily pay more (mind you, not stupid amounts more) for a better item. But when I pay $300 CAD for a video card, forgive me for thinking I've already done that. [Roll Eyes]

On (probably a whole other thread) the subject of customer service, that's gone out the god damned window too.
Member # 2416
 - posted September 07, 2004 15:09
Originally posted by quantumfluff:
My Mini is a perfect example ... I've paid a premium for a car that is built in the (very expensive) UK, to BMW's standards.

Hmmm, On one hand I agree, my Mini is built in the UK which is a very expensive place to manufacture export goods right now... on the other hand I have to disagree about BMW "quality"... my Mini is about to reach it's third b'day... and it's falling apart. Trim rattles everywhere, warning lights coming on at random that the dealership cannot trace, stalling when cold, stuttering at low speeds and now the petrol gauge reads empty everytime I fill the tank...

If it wasn't for the fact the thing puts such a damn huge smile on my face everytime I drive it I'd have sold it by now!
Member # 2118
 - posted September 07, 2004 17:39
I blame Walmart! (I don't shop there, I hate the place!) Well and america in general.
As much as I Love America, I can't stand alot of the people who live here. As a society we really take things for granted. People look so much more at the meaningless numbers called price and not what they are accually getting, but it doesn't matter because it's all disposable anyway. I would love to have a solution, but even if i did, people would not follow it. Beofre they realize how good they have it, it'll have to be taken away. That sucks for those like me, who know how good it is.

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