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|Will Quality printed manuals always be available when YOU want one? Maybe not.|
Hard working USA-based family business asking for Your Support
Some of you reading this will think, "Who cares? Screw 'em". We trust most of you have better thinking skills and will understand YOU may not be able to purchase a high quality printed manual in the future when you really want one. If you care, YOU CAN HELP! The only way people can usually find us is by internet search. We do not participate with "link farms" or do other unscrupulous things trying to increase our search visibility.
We really do want to be here in the future to serve you, but WE NEED YOU TO HELP US by mentioning us (with links to our site) in your web sites, in your discussion groups, in your forums, and in your blogs.
If you are a small business owner involved in repair or sales of audio or other consumer electronics, let us know. If appropriate, we can perhaps help you with links on our site. Small business owners should stick together. If you want to know why this public appeal, read on...
These places virtually NEVER provide a item description, or any indication of what quality the item will be, nor any customer satisfaction guarantee. Almost every week, we hear from folks who say they received manuals that are not good quality, or even lousy... and usually with no recourse with the vendor. How about a manuals place that charges you a semi-flat rate of, say perhaps... $17.00 plus shipping for a manual with zero description. Then you get it and find out it's 4 pages. One vendor we know of told their customer who had that situation... "We can't control the content of the manuals". In other words... Tough shit if you don't like it!
It also seems unusual to us that so many folks make $15-$40 per hour (or more), have beautiful homes, have valuable vintage audio collections, and yet... are willing to spend their valuable time searching (perhaps hours, days, even weeks) till they find "free" PDF downloads of scanned manuals which are often partial, often lousy quality, often can barely be read on screen and printing ends up being an expensive waste of ink and paper. It's a "real joy" when your favorite gear is dismantled for repairs and those part numbers or voltage values are impossible to read.
We encourage the audio community to give this some thought and bring it up in audio discussion forums.
So, is a hard-working, honest, USA-based family business that produces high quality manuals (and has a huge library of items) worth supporting? If not, then perhaps the only place to go will be one of the nameless, faceless, impersonal PDF sites in the former Soviet-block countries that claim to have every manual ever made but after getting your money, may be unable to deliver that unknown-quality item for weeks, or months, or NEVER.
A place like us has in the past probably done 80% of our business with less than 5% of our available manuals. If many audio fans continue to think it's really a great idea for them to post (often partial and often lousy) scans of all the popular manuals for free download somewhere, then places like us are left with an extremely diminished market for only the models that were not popular and were not sold in large quantities. This may not be enough to keep us around long term. More on this issue is on one of our home pages.
As an example, if we take our 10,000 Pioneer or 15,000 Sony manuals off the market, that manual you may someday desperately want may be "unobtainium" for free or for pay. What about all those rare schematics, user manuals and brochures for the lesser-known models from companies that were not sold in huge quantities? Not too many people or places are going to have it to give for free or sell. Where will you find that information when "you" need it the most?
So we have a perfectly fine vacuum cleaner in need of bags. The other day we find the 2-3 places we used to buy them from are NO LONGER IN BUSINESS. They used to stock every kind of bag ever made. So we head to Wal*Mart. SORRY! Tiny selection and none we need. See where this is going?
When the day comes that few people support anywhere except Wal*Mart, Lowe's, or Home Depot, then you will be unable to buy anything except what they have... which will normally be only the fast selling items and may or not be of good quality. The "Wal*Marts" in this example are the all the sites that post free (and usually poor) scans, and the flat-rate pricing, no description, no guarantee manuals vendors.
Most of the so-called "free" download sites are relying on the content being given to them at no cost by their users. Then they make make money from Google and other advertising as their site traffic builds due to people looking for the free manuals. And they may ask you to make a donation to help cover their cost if you find that "free" manual. So they make money for hosting no-charge stuff that was given to them at no charge. The site's users frequently get bad quality... but it's "free"...
Some time after we posted this, we added a different version of it in an extra home page rewrite. Additionally, we aren't the only one who shares this view. We added comments made by some vintage audio tech's. See the left-side menu at the top of this page.
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