Brand Snobbery

2010 Feb 10, 2010

Everyone, in some way, has a predisposition to what I call “brand snobbery.” That is, the phenomenon where people won’t even consider certain brands as they are viewed as inferior. We favor certain brands of a product over others, but usually without having tried the “lesser” brand. It’s based more on what other people say and less on what we actually know about the brand.

This is especially true with the audio gear industry. There are certain “elite” brands and there are certain “accepted” brands. And of course there are certain “garbage” brands that you’d be a fool to purchase any of their products. But who determined that to be true? Have you or I tried out each product of each brand to know this to be fact? I think not.

Via Joanna Poe Flickr

Do You Behringer Bash?

Let me give you an example. One brand that seems to always be in the “dog house” of audio internet forums is Behringer. According to “people” they are a cheap company that makes even cheaper gear. If you own or use any of the gear you’re not a serious player. And if you DO happen to own some Behringer gear, then you wouldn’t ever consider using it on a “real” project. Would you? I would…and I do. Over and over again. Why? Because it sounds great. I could care less what brand is on the faceplate of a preamp or on a microphone. If it works and sounds good, then bring it on!

There Are Two Problems Here

The problem you see is laziness. People are too lazy to actually try a product out for themselves. So instead, we just buy something based off of reviews and hear-say, and then defend that purchase to the death. Is that logical? Heck no. Instead we ought to assess our needs and our budget, do some research, try out some products if we can, and then make a decision. Then use that product like crazy and don’t look back.

The other problem is simply that it “feels” right to us that expensive always equals quality and affordable always equals lesser quality (or just plain garbage). “You get what you pay for” people will tell you. Well strictly speaking, that may be the case. You do get beautiful, premium made components, and a heritage of excellence when you buy a Neumann mic let’s say. But you could also just spend $100 on an MXL mic and get just as good of a result in your studio. Can we still justify the more expensive purchase? That is up for you to decide. I’m just trying to make a point.

The Point

The point is, don’t knock something till you try it.Don’t assume that a low price tag means low quality and bad results. It would be wise to spend as little as possible on gear that gets you the results you want, that way you can still have money take your girl out to dinner!

Bottom line, use the tools for what they are and don’t align your self worth with your purchases, good or bad. OK? Cool.

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