Does it annoy you when companies don't show the internals of electronics ?


I noticed that merrill audio and mcintosh general don't show all the internals of their electronics. A friend of mine actually asked merrill to see pics of the internals of their amps and pres. The remark from merrill... 'people listen to how they sound they don't look at whats inside.'

But why hide it? Are they trying to protect some secrets of their tech? Might as well just show it... if you have dones something truly exceptional people will appreciate that and its going to be that easy to rip off.
smodtactical
To answer your question, no, not at all

I dismiss those companies.
I refused to buy my last car until the dealer opened up the transmission so I could look inside.........
inna, builder  3, well said...
even a pic of the internals is all i need
Audiophiles trust their ears .... except when they don't.
There is also the point of reliability.
And transformers- what are they hiding?
Let me be clear. I am not suggesting something that is not visually appealing or seems wrong from an engineering standpoint will sound bad (ie. wells audio internals that look like a train smashed into a pile of IEDs). But sometimes I think part of the joy of ownership is knowing whats inside your electronics and see the great care that was put into the design of the devices.
I always had that issue with Merrill and a few others, and particularly when companies were putting the same NC1200 modules in their amps yet passing them off as being significantly different from each other.  There just wasn’t that much that could be done short of a linear power supply like Theta did. Some had different input boards but in the end  it seems they all had the same basic NC1200 sound.
In this industry, where measurements don’t necessarily tell the whole story, there is a lot of hype and scientific innuendo used to market and sell products.  I certainly respect ingenuity and uniqueness of design, but if I am going to pay the price of a car for a piece of audio gear, I want to know and see what is inside.  Not everyone shares that opinion and that is fine with me (and with Merrill).


smodtactical OP Does it annoy you when companies don’t show the internals of electronics ?


Yes, they eventually get shown, what you don’t want is some thing like this, a very expensive two box tube preamp that many here on Audiogon rave about, because outside it's looks like a "glitzer's dream"
I say how could it sound good or consistent, as each one would sound different to the next because of the rats-nest wiring, and the yellow coupling caps flapping around in the wind, not to mention the dangerous way some HV power supply capacitors are mounted just with silicon gel, and power resistors hanging in air
https://ibb.co/q7MtPVz
https://ibb.co/K9cnNkX

Cheers George
Those Supratek pictures make me dizzy.
Not nice to see what looks like refrigerator caps.
Auricaps, alps and point to point wiring does not help much. Sound wise this thing could be nice, but how much could it be supported marketing wise?

G
Hahaha those supratek's are brutal.
I remember when some manufactures use to supply dealers with a plexiglass top cover in order to show off the internal construction. 
If you google the product and then hit "images" you can find internal shots of many products.  It works well for other images too, but that's for another forum. 
Yes...it bugs me not to see what I’m paying for... I believe that is why most audiophiles open up components when they get the opportunity ...
If you're a serious buyer, your dealer should be willing to "pop the top" of his store demo so that you can get a peak.
Some void the warranty if the case is opened, such as Tom Evans and I believe the Merrill gear too.
They have no legal basis to cancel the warranty and it becomes a small claims court case, already decided by law, in your favor.

At least in Canada.

A box seal or a ’warranty void if sticker removed’, carries no legal weight in Canada.

The government of Canada decided long ago, that people are allowed to look inside their electronics or washer or TV, with no ill being capable of being laid upon them, via the source company.

There are exceptions and it’s in the area of a gas furnace or whatnot. Where a license is required to mess with the guts.

Taking the cover off, though, only (on the given item). Messing with the innards becomes a problem, for all the right reasons.

Deciding the line of looking vs teardown/disassembly becomes the issue, if any, in the given small claims court, or civil claim.

eg, it is very likely that Merril’s ’no look inside’ warranty is invalid in Canada. AFAIK...legally unsupportable and contrary to Canadian law regarding consumer protections and rights.

Source: tech training in repair and electronics work via schooling/courses/degrees in Canada regarding following the law in repair and design/build. Or..said another way.....the information comes via government documents that explain the real world of the legal aspects of the laws, within in-situ context ----as dealt with in degree courses/instructional classes.

I suspect that US law is similar, but I don’t know for sure.

Won’t buy a piece I can’t see the insides of. Never. Most import to me as I must see both the parts and build quality. 
I could use the best "looking" quality parts and make a total unreliable unit, and I could use no-name, but quality components from China and make a product that is highly reliable.


If I saw a hand soldered PCB I would be leery of reliability but taking off the lid is not going to show that normally. Really it is not going to show much.

Are you measuring the components temperature during operation? If not, then again, just hearing with your eyes.
As a reviewer, some thoughts:
If you wish to protect your country’s small business interests, perhaps you might wish to reconsider promoting exposure of potential proprietary info that could be copied and eventually weaken the manufacturer’s sales.

I have found only a weak correlation between interior appearance and sound quality in comparison to other similar products. I have not found nice looking interior and parts to guarantee superior sound, nor necessarily better reliability. It would be nice if it were so, but I have not seen it appear as a rule for component selection - at least if the goal is building a superior sounding rig. :)

I am not interested in debating my observations. 

Could not disagree more with Doug. Not interested in debating my experience and observations 😊. Too funny.

If one knows a great deal about parts, layout, builds DIY gear, then we know what to look for. This is especially true with tube electronics. Critical to see the build, layout and such. I can look at internal pics of tube gear and know pretty quickly if I will like the sound and long term reliability of the unit.

Just show me the power supply in many dacs, preamps and amplifiers and I will know pretty quickly if I want the unit.  I get what Doug is saying if under the hood looks like foreign language to the buyer. No help in those situations.  Many in this hobby do know a great deal however. 
Not do debate you, grannyring, but I was not saying that parts upgrades are not efficaicous; I concur with that. I'm saying that by looking at a component, the sound quality in relation to any other given component cannot be determined. If you disagree, great. So, we differ.  :) 
Let me be clear. I am not suggesting something that is not visually appealing or seems wrong from an engineering standpoint will sound bad (ie. wells audio internals that look like a train smashed into a pile of IEDs). But sometimes I think part of the joy of ownership is knowing whats inside your electronics and see the great care that was put into the design of the devices.

Okay then let me be clear: You take your screwdriver....
Not seeing inside of some of those fancy CNC'ed  cases is probably a good thing.

Open some up-generic components and hardware etc. in a big box, with a HUGE price tag.
It’s simple for me. If I open up a box and it looks a PIGSTY. It goes back.. That mess George had pics of. Looked close to ALL my Carys. Just a LAZY, sloppy, layout.. It took me a few dives into their V12s and SixPacs. I couldn’t sell something looking like THAT inside.. I still have a few wires to R&R, shorten and lengthen. Any mods I do, there are chassis notes left inside for the next guy..

The SixPacs had all kinds of upgrades behind the BAD original lay out. Moving chokes, adding additional smoothing on the PS (add a .22 cap)
Hecfreds swap, and of course cap (copper and foil) and good vishay resistors. Looks like an index inside with all the changes AND notes..

I’ve cleaned up a few boxes looking like a rats nest BUT sounded OK.. I have yet to make one sound worse. The important thing I FELT BETTER, and ALWAYS look clean and trimmed when I was done.

Look inside Decware.. Now you know what "I care" looks like.

A lot of the simple designs just DON’T need schemos.. Look at Carys, I can’t think of a simpler layout.. I don’t need a schemo.. Maybe a few voltage settings.. BUT I can get pretty close, blindfolded, with a stick analog meter for the blind.. or a "voiced" DMM (it talks to ya) for 50.00 from Parts Express.

Make your own Schematics..

Keep the wires short.. Watch where and HOW you mount stuff, a twist here and there, a, relocate here or there, will work wonders for noise problems..AND LOOK better.. :-)

I’m no EE but this stuff just isn’t that NEW or that hard to figure out..
Look inside a Pass.. ANY PASS design.. pretty friggin’ simple.. AND Sound good, Real GOOD.. Why leave it messy, Pass sure doesn’t.
And you get a schemo.. :-) First Watt use to sell the parts and a schemo to build one, so will Decware.

I wonder what a bench Tech at Mcintosh factory makes a year? Now you know why I became a HD hydraulic field mechanic. Baby needs a new pair of shoes, not flip flops...:-)

Think Steampunk, Ka plunk.. OUT side the box, Mate..

Regards
Not nice to see what looks like refrigerator caps.
Auricaps, alps and point to point wiring does not help much.


This is how point to point should be done https://ibb.co/7Rs7Ry3 

Cheers George

WOW. that is beautiful. plain and simple.. WOW, a second time..

Man oh man... Truly ART!!

I was looking for a couple of my analog Remote boxes. LOL They makes my V12s look like a Yo Yo they are so simple in comparison.  A LOT closer to Georges Point to Point.. Maybe three times that amount of wiring.. For an Analog Drill rig monitor.. BUT pure ART.... German by design.. Crafted by ME... I had 7500 hours logged on building them.. Been a while now..

Regards
No. There are real things to be annoyed about.
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Mark Levinson insides look impressive. Sound, unfortunately, is not.
Tekton insides look a mess. Sound, fortunately, is quite the opposite.

Sometimes a look inside is worth a lot. When learning about Schumann generators there was a review of some $400 thing that had a picture of the inside that showed clearly all that is in there is the exact same circuit board sold on eBay for $12.   

Now really when you think about it, that is exactly what you are going to see inside virtually every component. Only instead of just one board its caps, resistors, wires, but all of it the exact same thing you can find for pennies on line.

No kidding. Just TODAY in fact there's a guy with a really expensive well regarded phono stage and he's replacing the diode with the exact OEM part and it costs fifty cents. 

When I suggest upgrading that one part to get significant improvement, another absolutely empty suit who shall remain nameless claims this can do nothing.  

So here in a nutshell is the true nature of having a look inside. We simply know so little of what matters and what does not. We can look all we want. In the end, if it sounds good then we can only admire the way it's put together. If it don't, well then who cares how it looks?


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@millercarbon
We simply know so little of what matters and what does not. We can look all we want. In the end, if it sounds good then we can only admire the way it’s put together. If it don’t, well then who cares how it looks?
I agree with you but isn’t it great when what you see correlates with what you hear? There are circuit designers who can achieve tremendous sound from relatively ordinary but reliable parts, but few to none who can do it by cutting corners. Some of us like George and Grannyring probably know exactly what they are looking at and even others like me have seen enough to know when something doesn’t pass the sniff test as to power supply, internal layout, and parts quality. As to proprietary designs, there are a few who hide small stuff (i.e., like which chip they are using) but very few who do not let you look inside.....to the point where you wonder if they are hiding something. The worst are those like about 10 years ago when Lexicon was putting Oppos inside of their cases and charging a lot more.
We simply know so little of what matters and what does not. We can look all we want.
1: How could anyone think that two of these could possibly sound the same??

2: When it goes wrong who is going to trace that rats nest out to fix it??

3: It very dangerous and definitely not approved, the way things are mounted/not mounted.

Cheers George
I had a phono cartridge grounding problem with my Mytek Brooklyn BB. Their techie told me to open the top and reconnect a wire to another socket. Apparently, when you use a low output cartridge it’s best to alter the wiring configuration a bit. The techie emailed me a couple photos to help me do it. At first I balked. The techie replied, "C’mon!" I did the job. In any case, I found the insides of the device to be immaculate. No side effects from the change, either.
It is nice to see inside, but not critical. 


Depends on what floats your boat.. I like flowers to, and a fine figured lady. I don't want one BUTT cheek bigger than the other. NO Amego!  :-)

BUT there is something about a GREAT wiring layout. It’s all routed secured and will work for the next 100 years because of the care putting it together.. There is some serious Artist out there.. look at that PIC George had.. Geez.. I don’t know what that cost.. A FORTUNE...

I like ORDER, symmetry, Screw slot alignment.. Especially in the middle of chaos. I’m PICKY...REALLY picky... :-)

Regards
Tekton uses point to point crossover construction. This is very good. They use air core inductors. This is good. They use film caps, not electrolytics for the most part. This is good. The crossover design is also very innovative and effective. This is good. The tweeter arrays are just wonderfully innovative and extremely effective. Tweeters and woofers are each homerun wired to the crossover. This is good. This is good. So when I take apart Tekton speakers I think I will like what I hear.

Some know what to look for, some do not. However, enough of us do so let’s see inside. Seems like common sense to see what you are paying for.
One person's "neat" wiring is another's excessively long conductors, lack of star grounding, lack of equal resistance/thermal paths for capacitors, etc.


One person gets thrilled by "audio" caps in a power supply, another thinks waste of money compared to high volume switch mode capacitors (that work as well), and wonders if they measured the inrush current, how is the ripple current, did anyone do in-situ temperature measurements to look at the capacitor life?

What is "clean" and acceptable for low frequency and/or where noise does not matter (i.e. an industrial control panel) could be completely at odds with a good analog layout.
Most companies don’t want you to see inside for they are mainly 
average or below bless spending $$ , I have my system modded on every piece of gear I buy . Loudspeakers I do myself  for you will never get premium quality parts with stock gear unless it’s premium quality .
So did VMPS. Point to Point.. They Never changed that part. BUT the 6 db XO went to a 12 db Quasi second order.. Ser/Par design.. You’ll see a design change, it’s the nature of a better design with Quasi Second order.. Easier to trim the mids and tweeter left to right, and mids to highs..
Hand made inductor trim...or decoil a flat coil inductor to trim.. Maybe, we’ll see..

Not at the current price though... Those business models WEAR you out... Need to get out before your WORE out.. Dedicated those guys, for sure.. I’m glad I’m retired, and could retire.

Inspecting speaker cabinets for flaws? I’d be to picky.. They would have to get the ol poly dip. Then this, then that.. Drive me nuttier..:-) Employees, bla, bla, bla..

Time to feed the chickens.. Chicken coops are a little easier to design anyways.. And a heck of a lot easier to make happy.. FOOD, SCRATCH...

Regards..
Having designed a lot of electronics in my career, I feel strongly that companies not willing to show internal photos are hiding something. The argument that they are protecting intellectual property just doesn't hold up, as its nearly impossible to reverse engineer from photos taken with the top, or bottom, off.
LOL what are they gonna hide.. This is not a missile guidance system..

What do you think is in there to hide to begin with.. Nothing that already wasn't  done 40 years ago.. Maybe better class Ds and of course DACs with their 100.00 worth of part and someone's programing to make it work..  Gen 33.3 by now, right?  It's just software.. What are we paying for again? Remind me, did I forget something?

Soldered up in whatever country, and delivered here to be put together.

Ok..

Regards
Yes....
I do my best on Google Images to said images.