HAVE YOUR SAY: Right to repair

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The huge advantage we have as audio equipment consumers is it is 95% a mature technology, the vast majority of design having been nailed down decades, even lifetimes ago. As such in most cases we can just vote with our wallet and simply refuse to buy products we suspect have little life before an eternity in landfill poisoning our environment. It is our choice entirely and by applying a little pressure here and there it may help sort the good from the bad. Ours is a very small industry, we are a comparatively wealthy customer base, so we do have some real power here.

The areas I feel far more helpless and frustrated by are IT and things like TVs, microwaves etc. I buy Apple computer kit as whilst their attitude to Right To Repair stinks to high hell their products still retain value years after obsolescence, even broken as donor machines. They stand a far better chance of largely ending up out of landfill than some cheap off-brand shite from PC World or wherever. It is infinitely better than say my 50” Sony TV that will likely end up in landfill as soon as the first capacitor fails as it is basically a non-fix unit. It annoys me as I would happily pay more for a modular serviceable design with documentation.

These days I do always try and buy stuff I can fix wherever I can, e.g. after far too long putting up with a series of randomly failing cheap toasters I now have a £150 Dualit as I know I can fix that myself as spares are widely available and it is easy to work on. Hopefully it is the last one I will ever need to buy and will work out far cheaper long term than dropping £25 in the wheelie bin every few years. The Quad 303 of toasters. Similarly my guitar amp is a hard-wired valve job made in the UK to a well documented vintage Fender design. It will always be fixable, just as a 1960s Vox or whatever is. I feel we have a responsibility to think about purchases from a green perspective and to grasp disposal is by far the least green thing one can do.

Well made desirable and serviceable kit has a pretty much infinite life. I see no point in buying anything else where that option exists. There is also a huge satisfaction in rebuilding/restoring high quality vintage kit and giving it a new life for future generations. Again I view that as a huge part of what this site is built upon.

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