The Most Unrepairable Gear

What is the most unrepairable equipment, that you’d like to see manufacturers improve ?

The Federal Trade Commission in the USA recently issued restrictions on the sale of unrepairable equipment.

This has already had an affect – Expressive E in their latest update for their yet to be released Osmose confirmed they will be following the regulation.

Strangely, these FTC changes affecting us, had an origin in farm equipment repair.

I am presuming that other electronic music companies will need to be following suit. I would think this also would give leverage to individuals and companies seeking to repair equipment already out in the world. To comply a manufacturer, will need to provide some level of assistance, like documentation for repair. ( Like in the old days. )

So what products would you like to see a little more openness for those looking to repair ?

I wonder if this rule could be stretched to include software interfaces, for instance a Sysex format ?

For this thread i’d like to stretch the off-topic rules a bit, though be reasonable.

EDIT: Repaired typo – that was doable.


Smartphones and tablets. Please make them modular and easy to repair.


I think this was on the FTC list, after farm equipment, and specifically, though not exclusively Apple.


my guess is that if this were the case, they’d also be clunky and people wouldn’t want them as much. they’d likely pay more for the sleeker one you can’t repair.

for example when Apple moved to fully-internal batteries in laptops, it came at a cost: can’t swap batteries out. but it’s lighter and smaller…


Nah, it’s not that big of a change. There’s a modular smartphone already and it looks just like any android phone.

Anyway I don’t think consumers actually care about sleekness and weight as much as the companies do. They can’t really make new products with any actual, really important technical advances like longer battery life so they just shave off a millimeter every year. I would honestly be happy with an old iPhone SE if they still supported it.


if a company can repair their own product, other repair companies can too, and must be allowed to. So the product won’t have to be made clunky. Internal batteries are OK, as long as a company doesn’t put roadblocks up to prevent repair. Apple for instance stops third parties from replacing iPad screens, though the technology exists and can be done.


Roli Seaboard


well I guess my point is that “easy to repair” implies your average person can do it. versus being able to go to a third party to have it done. and your average person being able to repair their iPhone implies it’s gonna be pretty trash.

the iPad screen thing is news to me. there’s iPhone/Android/iPad repair places all over.

your keyboard might need a fix :wink:

apple stuff seems to be designed now so as to make repair/upgrade a lock out primarily for their intere$t

:elan: :elan:


Especially considering that ROLI, is faltering with the repair itself, or perhaps has abandoned repair entirely.

Meaning to discuss related issues involved in electronic equipment repair, as we have done.

Farm tractors, and burdensome government regulation, etc, will still be off-topic here.

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I don’t mind these kinds of topics meandering one bit - but still watching out for the flags !!

I was going to post something random to see if i could fly it under the radar :tongue:


Not me. I didn’t say that. I think the stress by the FTC is more on repairable rather than easy to repair.

It has to be said that for casual hobbyist repairers or hackers the advent of SMDs and ICs has made life so much harder - about a generation ago, it was just within reach to tinker a bit without a specialist skill or equipment - still much easier to fix those than my persky Farm Tractor

In all seriousness, the resurgence of analogue gear opens up a bit more opportunity to get things mended or modded and in a small way that’s another bonus of gear like that - it’s a little more within reach again even with surface mount


Coaster brake for a bicycle. Whoever designed those are genius, and never meant for them to be opened up. I don’t even remember why it was opened up. It may have been the time I was trying to put a small motor on a bicycle.

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I think this meme is appropriate for this subject.



Teenage Engineering OP-Z, the buttons are not repairable aside from replacing the whole top assembly, and further they are not particularly robust buttons suited for the use intended, bad wasteful engineering, unforgivable in my opinion. A shame because if it was not so obsessed with being small, and fiddly, it would be 100 times better.


… perhaps this is in the same category as a battery handle. :crazy_face:


Indeed, I think we don’t have to think that extreme - just having manufacturers produce things to be fairly realistically repairable. And, more absurd yet normal, not make them fall apart or slow to a halt on purpose.

Like the Apple slow-down case, where it was found out that Google searches for “why is my iPhone slow” skyrocketed the weeks before Apple released new phones. Which they were believed to be purposefully doing through firmware updates - and for which Apple settled court cases. (I’m not an expert, correct me if the details are a bit different)

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Everything should absolutely be repairable at the minimum but also easily repairable. its baffling how toothless goverments are in reducing waste and improving sustainability. at least now we are seeing small corrections.