"Consumer Electronics" is low grade affordable electronics. Is wrong to want premium grade, or commercial grade electronics that last?

Why is it so difficult to find premium grade stuff that lasts a lifetime built out of the best materials and design.

What are some things you have that have lasted 20 or more years and still function like the day you purchased them?

14 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    I am very heavy into radio. The last 40 years, I buy DOD surplus or industrial strength when I can get it. I do have a couple 'cheapo' Chinese counterparts, but they are oh so delicate. I have actually used my Harris 2-way radio for an anvil, doesn't phase it.

    I have an FRT-24A, 50 year old, looks and works as it did 50 years ago. My aunt had a Hoover upright, used 40 years and like new.

    My mom had an Electrolux 40 years, just a new cord.

    My new Chinese made Dyson lasted almost 8 months and became dumpster fodder.

    Attachment image
  • 1 month ago

    secondary markets tell a lot,,esp upscale AV shops,competitors to best buy & others thrift shops,where donors het only a tax  write off for donations  garage sales yard sales,,some guys have nice stuff

     not open to view till they spy an interested prospect who  is an old electronics fan. the item he has stashed could be worth 4 -5 hundred bucks,still works perfectly,lets it got for a  hundred or two

    buying stuff off the net? never do it,big box stores? never  go in them,you have to shop around spend shoe leather,flea markets,garage sales,you can get great stuff for every house and inside the garage if you make effort and look around

  • 1 month ago

    I have many appliances that were made over 20 years ago that still work great.  My fridge was made in 95, washer and dryer were over ten years old when I bought them in 02, and my oven is the original from when my house was built in 62.  My Ford Explorer is a 96.  As for electronics, I still have a 70's console stereo with turntable and radio. 

    What makes all these things last this long?  They were made in America, not China.

  • 1 month ago

    Usually, the first examples of a new technology will last quite well. Simply because they might not know  how quickly that technology will advance. But what is the point in making, for example, a laptop, that will last a lifetime? The physical unit might last that long, but there are other qualities to consider. In 10 years, your top of the range laptop, is going to be so hopelessly outdated, that you'd WISH it would break. Or you'll just buy a new one. Where technology isn't advancing, we already make things that can last lifetime. If you buy an expensive hammer, it is going to last. The hammer manufacturers don't have to invest money into hammer research. It's a brick on a stick. Hammer technology is good enough.

     But I'd say it's easy to find top-end stuff. You can buy a Linn stereo, for example, made from all the best components. It will cost a lot, but it will last a lifetime. And it will be able to play all current media. If you want that, and would be happy to buy a stereo that costs that much, who can tell you it's wrong? It's not wrong. But when a new form of media emerges, you won't be able to play it without an upgrade. You're also depending on the voltage and frequency of the mains electricity not changing. Ever.

    Guitar amps from the 50's still work just fine today.

     Cassette players - as long as they used gears and not rubber bands to drive the mechanism - still work just fine. But would you even want them too? It was a terrible format. The tapes themselves degrade over time.

     So you have to consider what else the technology depends on. A cassette player may be built to last a lifetime, but a cassette won't. Nor will it sound good in comparison to newer technologies. A 50's guitar amp does it's job, but it still has an unbalanced input and a power supply built down to a budget, so it hums, hisses, snaps, crackles and pops.

    Knives, forks, spoons, hammers, chisels, etc...things that are essentially just a single lump of steel. These are things you can buy to last a lifetime. Sure, a slightly better steel might make its way to the market, but who cares about a few milligrams less pushing required to cut a carrot?

  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    It isn't wrong, but it is difficult.

  • garry
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    some so called cheap grade actually do out preform the high grade and some last a week , difference is the premium have a good name , read up and you would be surprised on low grade and premium grade .best rule is you only get what you pay for but dont get the latest out , they can still breakdown.

  • 1 month ago

    I'd say "Consumer electronics" means things people but for domestic use, rather than any particular quality. 

    eg. You can get audio gear ("HiFi") that is abysmal quality and restricted functions, or really high quality and likely to last decades. (And ripoff stuff, where more is spent on advertising that manufacturing, aimed at suckers).

    The problem is that a lot of people do not have the technical knowledge to separate well made device & equipment from the low quality / over-hyped stuff, they can only go on advertising claims.

    And, with a lot of people, purchases seem more fashion-inspired or because someone else has the same make, or they like the makers logo!

    The most basic thing is look at proper independent reviews of whatever type of item you are buying, before making a decision.

     Washing machines are one thing that have drastically dropped in quality over the last decade or so.

    My previous one lasted over 25 years. When that failed and I researched new ones, I found most only last a couple of years & have welded plastic drums so they cannot be serviced.

    From research I found some washer dryers still had metal drums, so I got one of those with good reviews. Three times the cost, but hopefully ten times the life.

    Laptops are another example of extremes. A lot of cheap ones have good specifications on paper but are poorly made and overheating or the case flexing and cracking (or cracking the circuit board) is not unusual.

    At the other extreme there are metal or carbon fibre cased machines with much better manufacturing quality, but several times the cost, too much for most people to justify.

    The trick with those is to get a secondhand one that is eg. a year or so old, so the price has dropped to practical levels. They can still be better performance than a new cheap machine, and can last many years without any problems.

    I sold a previous one on at around ten years old as it could not run a specific program I needed. It was still perfect, working a looking pretty much as new.

    (It was one that would have cost over 3000- if bought new)..

    It's not so much that good quality does not exist, that it's buried in vast quantities of low grade stuff & takes some finding - but you can, if you make the effort.

  • 1 month ago

    It isn't wrong, but it is difficult.

  • 1 month ago

    With the goal of making a profit, companies have to do whats called making products to scale aka make lots and lots of the product at a low production cost that allows profit for the company and affordability to the consumer. The cost to source aka obtain the product and the cost of purchase factors in. This takes a good deal of focus and time, which is also why u see companies utilizing cheap labor from other countries like Taiwan where people work for like a nickel and a Cheerio every other day. If a companies uses top of the line, always the most expensive materials to make a product, that means their purchase cost is higher, which decreases the amount of profit they can earn as they will pass this cpst on to the consumer, meaning it will be a high price and they will have less consumers which goes against the goals of mass production for profit. Lamborghinis are a premium price as they use premium products, yet, not selling millions a year of these is not an issue when your entry cost starts at $200K for the Urus up to $500,000+ per Lambo. 

    I have a television that I have had since 2002. That is the longest electronic item I've had that shockingly still works just fine.

  • 1 month ago

    Why would a manufacturer want to build something that lasts a lifetime? It would cost more than the competitor's products and you and others would tend to spend less. And a company doesn't succeed by selling just one item for life. Consumer electronics does NOT mean low grade. It means products built for home users, such as a table radio or microwave or TV.

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.