Hi Cadman-LT. Yes, counterfeiting is widespread. It takes a wide range of forms. In some cases, a factory that is making components for a U.S.-based company during the day shift will run a nightshift where they make the same components to sell as counterfeits. So the parts are good, but they've stolen the IP from their customer.
Thanks Frank. Counterfeit parts can come through reputable dealers or suppliers when the accept returns. Also, I would guess the legitimate parts made in China would be fine. So the problems I hear about are not from all Chinese parts, just the counterfeit parts.
This was back in the mid 1990s and I got the capacitors directly from the manufacturer--no middleman. Of course, they might have outsourced the parts. It was one of the most reputable makers of capacitors in the world. You just can't tell!
I have never had that problem with Chinese made capacitors. The company is still in business, so what happened to me must have been an aborration, a very costly aboration.
One of the hardest parts of manufacturing is quality control, especially for a small company. As noted, the cabinets were made of oak. The saw mills do not have tight quality control and thus occassionally wood is slightly thicker. This was too rare to make a fuss and took only minutes to correct. Occassionally mistakes are made and must be corrected.
Regarding the speakers, they appeared to be very high quality. The problem could have been poor glue, or improper application. It could also have been too cold when the speakers were made. Or maybe the manufacturer was just sloppy.
Getting good parts is not as easy as it seems. A number of years ago, I bought 10,000 capacitors from a highly reputable US manufacturer. They were used for general bypass and coupling. After six months of use, they started leaking (internal resistance dropped) and the commercial receivers started failing to the point where the system failed. It was expensive to recall and replace perhaps 5000 capacitors. I have never had that happen with Chinese parts.
Regarding documentation, with a staff of four employees, we did not have time to document everything, especially if it was a rare occurance, such as cabinets out of tolerance. Nobody is perfect!!!
The choice of a poor quality glue is as much a design flaw as any other. Of course, a much better design would have included a shape detail that would hold the magnet in the correct position. And some speakers haveincluded a sheetmetal stamping that serves no purpose except to assure that the magnet stays in the correct position.
The fact is that delivering top quality usually means providing more than only just enough to meet the specifications. I am fully aware that there are those that will challenge this concept, and claim that just barely meeting specifications is all that it takes, but those folks only know about maximizing profit and probably are unaware of what actual high quality consists of.
When a 15$ radio fails because of poor quality components it's my fault for buying rubbish in the first place. But if I buy a top quality audio product, maybe a radio from a company whose name sounds like an Italian dish, or a term in trigonometry, or the capital of a US state, I don't expect it to fall apart because someone saved a few pennies in production, or sold "quality" at "quality price", without actually verifying the quality of the product. In the long run, the cheap mass produced products have more stringent manufacturing procedures and automated final test methods, and are more reliable.
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