Originally Posted by Harmon Fan
There are a lot of plastic fronts out there today. Pioneer Elite uses them on there SC61 and below. Actually these will not scratch as easy as metal. The only thing that is plastic is the front. The other sides are required to be metal to meet electrical standards. Behind the plastic front is usually a metal plate.
Metal can scratch, but plastic can break. Big difference. Look, my point is that these companies still charge a premium for their products, yet they're skimping on the 'ol family recipe (no manuals, over use of plastic materials, inferior speaker terminals, etc.) when it comes to quality of build. That's a sad statement for today and certainly not what H/K stood for in the years gone bye. I know I'm dating myself by saying this, but if you look at the way receivers by H/K, Pioneer, Marantz, etc. were made in the 70s (and I'm strictly talking quality of build here), you'd see what quality of build was all about: Machined knobs for all your buttons, switches, and controls, as well as machined faceplates. They both looked AND performed like a piece of audiophile equipment, not a toy like they are today. It's disappointing to have come from the golden age of audio to see what companies are putting out today. Now, in order to get the same kind of build quality today that was commonplace in the entry-to-mid-level receivers back in the 70's, you have to look at receivers costing more than $1200 MSRP. I think the only manufacturer that doesn't use plastic fronts (yet) on their receiver line-up (although I could be mistaken) is Onkyo, but their receivers make better toasters than they do receivers.
I love this hobby, but I can't stand how every year the build quality of audio products keeps getting cheapened and cheapened for the mass markets. Sure, if you've got the $$$$ to spend on high-end audio equipment, then this isn't even an issue. But the majority of folks simply can't afford that kind of equipment. But that doesn't mean we should have to settle for lesser build quality. Less features? Yes. Less power? Yes. Just don't make me buy a plastic Am/Fm radio for what should be a piece of audiophile equipment. I can do that for $25.
My rant is over.