Does the brandname of a product influence your audio purchase? How?

In the last poll, many of you named companies you felt could be depended upon to deliver the goods. How important is a product's brandname when you decide what to purchase?

Does the brandname of a product influence your audio purchase? How?
Extremely influential
13% (39 votes)
Very influential
37% (107 votes)
35% (101 votes)
Not too influential
12% (34 votes)
Not influential at all
3% (8 votes)
Total votes: 289

Jason Lesarge's picture

Of course it makes a difference. First off, my dealer will only supply certain brands. Also, I like to know that the company will still be around to support my warranty. However, if you only stick to certain brands, a lot of great companies will never have the oppritunity to take off.

Rob Nelson's picture

Depending on the brand, of course, it is very influential. If I am familiar with other products, I feel more comfortable on quality—and, more important, a good brand tells me the company will be around a few years later for repairs or whatever. I learned that when I bought Audio Alchemy gear four months before they went broke.

Chris's picture

It's help to own a product with a well known brandname as the re-sale value and potential is much higher.

Al Earz's picture

I know that is not what new companies want to hear, but the brand reflects reputation. I would always want to buy McIntosh or Conrad-Johnson, before I would consider Hovland. I realize that Hovland is better in the "white paper" area but how can I be certain it will retain value and have service available in the future? I hear speakers that sound good but they are new to the US market and I am a little gun-shy. A 10 year warranty is no good unless the company is there. I also realize that even Mc and C-J can go broke tommorow, but if they did I would be very confident that the product would still offer years of performance. Another and final note, I feel the brand issue is a failed point, if you don't keep up with the company's evolution. Thanks to Stereophile for the industry news to help. When I was younger TEAC and Nakamichi were pillars of the taping industry. Now they are just names on generic components. I realize that McIntosh is owned by Clarion, but that transistion seemed to leave the folks in New York in control of design and quality. I am sure that Madrigal and Harman are wise enough to leave their companies in charge of their destinies or risk losing the reputations they paid for.

Woody Battle's picture

A good brand name gives a measure of confidence not only in the performance of the product, but also in the reliability and long term support for the product.

Michael D.'s picture

The cable or the piece of gear that comes from the company you never heard of and is supposed to sound as good as products costing 5 to 10 times as much never does.

Paul Stiles's picture

The brand name may get my initial interest, but the piece of equipment still must measure up to scrutiny. A non-brand name may need to offer something extra to get noticed. A brand name, resting on its laurels, may be noticed negatively. Stereophile provided us with the service of new brand introduction as well as new models from tried-and-true brands. Even so, a brand name offers the security that the company will (hopefully) be in business when it comes time for a repair or upgrade.

art's picture

A well known, respected brand in any industry denotes (one hopes) good workmanship, a steady thus continuing business (impt. for future performance issues & fixes)and ease of availability. It's for these reasons I might choose a Krell integrated (as I did)over another I had not heard of, or was new and without pedigree so to speak. Ofcourse also a name like Krell means also a good resale value. I have had no reason to regret my purchase three years ago and would certainly go to them first if I had the money to upgrade. But the main reason I chose it was because it was the best amp available then within my budget.

Oliver's picture

Influential not in the sense I want to have a dedicated brand only for the name. But I prefer to buy brands, which prooved quality over a long time. Never would buy a dayfly.

Colin's picture

There are companys out there that just don't put out bad products, then again, sometimes they do. Listning is ALWAYS the key to a truly good and satisfying system.

Bambang Purnomo's picture

Experience make perfect.

Mike McC's picture

Brand name is only as influential as a company's long-term track record of producing high quality, dependable, and in my case, fairly priced products.

Joe Hartmann's picture

During my 30 year career in high end I have purchased equipment from start up operations(ie the Apt Holman pre amp.) But today I rarely consider units from 'new' manufacturing companies because my needs are often met by them. Still in most instances I am still dealing with very small organizations. Just hearing the units I am interested in is often a multi month or year job.

Travis Klersy's picture

The reputation a brand has is an influence, but not the only one for me.

Mannie Smith's picture

The manufacturer's ability to compete in business and track record for dependability of its products are as important as sound quality, if you intend to keep a product for a reasonable length of time.

Charlie the Tuna's picture

Reputation over a long span is important for any product. Generic and hi-fi just don't go together. I would not by a Ford Taurus nor would I buy Best Buy/Circuit City mass market BS. Quality last!

Tim Bishop's picture

Why I am a Dapper Dan man myself; it is the pomade! I mean I am a Linn, Rega, Musical Fidelity, MSB kind of man!

vsoares's picture

when it comes to buy, whe make sure thats build to last, like the brand name

Mike Healey's picture

The brand name is important, and the related products that define the brand name. Personally, I've been seeking audio products that have sonic integrity, innovative design, reliability, beauty, and good customer support.

AKA Herb's picture

When I spend the little I do on equipment, I want it to sound good and last a very long time. When something goes wrong I want to be able to get it fixed in a reasonable time and for a reasonable price. If a company treats me well in these ways I will buy only from them in the future. So their brand name becomes very important to me. For example, I have Bryston equipment that is no longer on warranty and they have fixed it for less than others wanted to do an estimate, with apologies for taking more than a day to do the repairs! How could I ever buy another brand of amp?

Patrick E griffith's picture

Very often good sounds come from experienced manufacturers. Why not choose from famous companies(listeningwise)

Marco Taggiasco's picture

demanding is the knowledge of the brand's worths on the champ, not on the advertising pages... obviously

John Rau's picture

As a general rule, unless you have seen a piece of equipment reviewed in a magazine such as Stereophile, you find out how well-built and reliable it is only by having it fail. On the other hand, some brands have built a reputation for quality and performance.

Douglas Gordon's picture

I am among those who are unable to upgrade components very frequently, so when I do decide to make a purchase you can believe I begin with some brands in mind.

casey's picture

Reputation has a big influence on everything.

Pedro Vidal's picture

When you talk about a certain brand name, especially a high-end brand name, whether it be a Rolex, Ferrari, or in Audiophile terms, something such as Mark Levinson or Martin Logan, a sence of great quality and respect and dignity are brought to your mind. So, yes! of course a brand name is influential in your purchases. It is NOT the most influential cuase to the effect of your purchase, but it is very important. It is like asking a millionaire why he would buy a Ferrari rather than a Ford, well its pretty obvious it is because of the well known recognition of the quality and performance of the car, the same with any other audio component.

Chris L.'s picture

A good brand name is earned from prior experience with other products from the manufacturer. If I've used/owned/heard a product or two from a popular brand and liked it, I am likely to buy, buy again. There is comfort in knowing something about a product before you buy.

Louis P.'s picture

There are a couple of reasons why brand name matters. First and most obvious is that you want the manufacturer to be around if the product needs servicing down the road. The second is resale value and opportunity. If nobody cares about the product, it doesn't matter what its book value is. I realize that this is rough on new companies, they are just going to have to make their products extremely attractive on a price/performance basis to break into an already crowded industry.

Joe Esposito's picture

Perception is reality. I categorize brands as either "friend" or "foe" and only buy product from "friends." Brands like Bryston are "friend" because they care about their customers (20-year warranty)and offer multiple and reasonable price-points for entry. Brands like Wilson Audio are "foe" because the price of admission is obscene, which means they don't care about me or want my business. Then there are brands like Thiel, who ought to be "friend" but because of arrogance manifested by the likes of Thiel's Kathy Gornik, are on my "foe" list. Ms. Gornik, you'll recall, was reported by Sterophile to have said (Jan 9, 2000) that Internet shoppers are not the kind of customer that Thiel wants. That means Thiel doesn't want any portion of the $10,000 that I've spent over the 'net in the past three years. That's fine with me.

Taking No Chances's picture

I only buy brands that have been in the marketplace for at least five years and have a reputaion for quality and durability.