Why do McIntosh come with cheap plastic remotes?


Any comments as to why Macs come with el-chepo remotes?
Somehow this just doesn't fit with the notion of elegant and robust gear.
sonicbeauty
You also have seen the same el-chepo remotes of Audio Research
supplied with the REF 3 REF CD 7
Maybe they assume that the end user will probably use a universal remote and the included remote needent be of high quality. But I must add that I have had a number of McIntosh pre-pros/pre-amps and the remotes we of a standard quality. My last peice MX135 came with a McIntosh backlit remote and a Harmony as well. So I assume that they have changed that? Too bad. And yes the ARC remotes are light duty at best, I agree.
For one thing, plastic is light and fairly resilient. I think a lot of members and professional reviwers make far too big a deal of the way remotes look and what they are made of.
Complaints about the way they are layed out or how they function are valid. Poorly designed remotes can be annoying.
Agree with Hansk46 and Theo, ARC take the cake for cheap remotes that are not remotely commensurate the with quality of its components. The remote for the CD-8 is an embarrassment. Why not add ARC to your thread title? The McIntosh remotes may not be perfect, but they're nicer than ARC. OTOH, compare, for example,Conrad Johnson's fine quality remotes (at least for my Act 2.2), now there's a company that accessorizes with pride.
Have to disagree that the remotes are somehow substandard. Both of my new Mc units (C50 & MVP881BR) came with back-lit remotes that work very well. The soft-touch coating on the plastic has a nice feel and doesn't collect dust like the NOS replacement remote I bought for my MAC 3. That one wasn't back-lit and had a glossy metal function ID plate on the top. It scratched the moment I wiped dust off it. All the remotes are readily replaceable through Audio Classics at about $50 or so. Considering the cost of the equipment and how quickly the magnetic contact closures fail regardless of what the external housing is constructed from, I feel Mc has done a smart thing.
I have three Audio Research devices. A REF 3 Pre-amp, A DAC 8 and a Phono 6. They all have the same type of remote. Although they are ridiculously heavy, remotes made from a solid block of aluminium like some, I believe that AR concentrated (correctly) on the actual equipment, like the amp, pre-amp, etc. The remote doesn't matter much to me as long as it doesn't fall apart and that it works correctly. Which they do work correctly. If you want a hefty, solid remote like Boulder equipment, they remember, you will pay for it. I don't believe it necessary to add to the price for this extra.

Does it work? Does if fail or break easily?

enjoy
The remote quality issue becomes really important to me when certain functions can only be accessed from the remote. If the remote dies the gear can become useless.

For older gear it can be impossible to obtain a replacement should that become necessary.

Sometimes I order a spare as a backup (while I can) and also program a universal for normal use.
You can add Jeff Rowland to the list. My JR preamp comes with a small plastic remote that says 'Made in Korea' at the back. The preamp looks and sounds gorgeous but the remote is so out of place, a bit like having a plastic spoon in the midst of silver cutlery. I asked to upgrade to something more substantial but they don't have it!
I used to own an ARC Ref 3 preamp and indeed, the JR remote is no better than the ARC's.
I've some heavy remotes, some small and light remotes, and had a ridiculously large remote once. None have ever failed. So as far as I am concerned if the remote works well, cheap is fine. The guts are likely all pretty much the same.
I think finally that the remote should be considered as an extension or the unit, being of equal quality.

I'm not saying the remote should be metal, but at least of higher grade plastic design.

I own the Oppo 105. Bought an extra remote for only $ 12.00

Puts any McIntosh or ARC remote to shame. Same with Anthem remotes, great quality for the price.

Best one ever is my current Pathos Logos remote. Just a solid and gracious peice of wood with 4 unmarked buttons. Classy and in-line with the unit's looks and function.
Cost savings.
I think finally that the remote should be considered as an extension or the unit, being of equal quality.

Well said Sonic beauty. Specially when you pay mega bucks for that unit.
who needs a remote?
The more I think of it the more I applaud an inexpensive but functional remote. The hi-end is infested with too much bling. give me outstanding quality and I could not care less what it looks like.
I think manufacturers are in a quandary about how high a quality remote to provide, and how closely the remote should match the look and feel of the host unit.

They take away design and engineering focus from the unit itself, where most of the quality and product differentiation should be occurring anyway.

Custom remotes are expensive to design and build, when most of the internals and controls are standardized anyway.

I think in a few years, some manufacturers will stop providing remotes all together, and in their place, provide smartphone and tablet apps.
My 1999 construction Symphonic Line tube pre-amp came with a skimpy plastic volume only remote.

The Plinius M8 pre-amp (that I am currently using after mildly frying the SL with a bad tube) has a foot-long solid aluminum remote that I could use to bash in the skulls of any burglars seeking to steal my gear. My only concern with it would be fumbling it into (and through) my glass coffee table.
In hi-finews , april 2014( England ) an anouncement of the ARC CD6 tells us a heavyweight alloy IR remote is included !Well , well is ARC also a reader of Audiogon.Good !
I like the shape and feel of my mac remote. It's interesting that they added weights inside, so even if it's plastic is has just the right amount of weight to feel good in my hand.
It should be made of titanium and have mini-me meters with an option to turn them off.
On the upside of cheap remotes - had my LM-215 CDP remote been made out of cheap plastic instead of "brick-like aluminium" my vintage coffee table would not have a sizable corner dent in it from dropping it less than a foot from the surface during a listening session...
Good news , ARC also has a metal remote for the ARC REF 3
preamp and also for the REF CD7.
Visiting this thread from 2 years ago. I still find it unjustified to have cheap remotes on mega-dollar gear.

When you put your name on expensive audio, there should only be one quality standard across the board.

However well a cheap plastic remote can work, it is an extension of the product.

Ever seen a brand new Omega or Tag watch with a cheap $15 expendable wrist band on it instead of solid link stainless steel? Doesn't affect how the watch works of course, but still totally impossible.
I'm on the fence on this one.
Part of me says quality gear should come with a quality remote.
But the other part appreciates the option to save the money, especially if one is planning to use a universal remote.
My Modwright came with a cheap and cheesy remote. The metal one was a $200 option that I passed on.
They bumped the price up $500 last summer but it now comes with the metal remote standard.
If you want elegantly and solidly constructed remotes: buy Balanced Audio Technology gear. My VK-D5 came with one, carved out of a solid aluminum billet. The, "guts" are absolutely NOT at all the, "same" as any other, being of the same high quality construction, as the main unit. The sole downside would be a replacement price, which I understand to be around $500.00. On the other hand; mine has been functioning perfectly, since 1998, as has the CDP(or all else would be irrelevant).
Why is the sky blue?
Visiting this thread from 2 years ago. I still find it unjustified to have cheap remotes on mega-dollar gear.
Then don't buy it? Is there another executive action I'm not aware of?

When you put your name on expensive audio, there should only be one quality standard across the board.
maybe in there market research MAJORITY of customers don't care.
01-03-15: The_rang
I'm on the fence on this one.
Part of me says quality gear should come with a quality remote.
But the other part appreciates the option to save the money, especially if one is planning to use a universal remote.
My Modwright came with a cheap and cheesy remote. The metal one was a $200 option that I passed on.
They bumped the price up $500 last summer but it now comes with the metal remote standard.
I'm sure McIntosh will bump up $500 for a quality remote if there's demand. Nothing is free and someone has to pay for it.