Something like a year ago I took the $10 speakers that I had loaned Caitlin and started cutting them up for a project. Half way through I discovered that not only was it going to be difficult to disentwine the cables and controls from holes in the plastic case, but to make matters much worse, the jackass “if it breaks, buy a new one” manufacturer had filled the guts of the speaker with hot glue, covering all the fine cables and electronics. This afternoon I finally picked it up again, and slowly ground away the case bit by bit, and then carefully went at the glue — I felt like an archaeologist clearing a dinosaur fossil — finally getting me a minimal pile of pieces that had suffered a minimal amount of damage (which tested my mediocre soldering skills but I just barely passed). All I’ve done for now is mount them in coffee cans (which wounds surprisingly improved, and can be set up with a variety of EQ-like effects by whether you have the lid on and how you orient the can), but maybe I’ll get more ambitious later.
I read somewhere lately that in the “olden days”, when you’d buy an appliance the manual would contain plenty of technical reference, component listings, schematics and exploded view diagrams, and so on… This is of course a rarity today and I can’t think of a single modern example other than a few things in the open source world (like Arduinos) which arguably doesn’t count. Anyway, I don’t know if I’m going to boycott products without manuals, but do you really have to spray the innards with glue to make me repairing or modifying my own property difficult? It’s like some sort of preemptive vandalism.