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Usefulness of Instruction manuals

by wizard_z5 / January 17, 2006 4:52 AM PST

While reading product reviews on I'll often find comments about how useless the user manual is for certain products. I sold electronics for years and was consistently consulting manuals for everything from basic operations to improving performance to technical assistance. It was a rarity that I would find a manual that didn't have the information I was looking for. Admittedly, I often had to wade through the large amount of information it had that I didn't need, but I'd rather have too much info then not enough.
While selling electronics I would always question how many people read the instructions anyway. I bought a digital camera once and laughed at the first page of the instructions, which stated in bold letters, "Please read the instruction manual." I know it was only the first of many manufacturer suggestions not headed by customers. I did read those instructions and then filed them away should I need them for future reference. Not only did I learn how to use several features I didn't know about, but I also learned about how to best care for my product and keep it running at it's optimum.
I know manuals can be difficult to understand at times, I wouldn't call them entertaining either, but I would think that those who just made a substantial investment in that product would want to know how to best use it and care for it. My opinion is the instruction manuals are useful, but that's just me.

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by stewart norrie / January 17, 2006 5:36 AM PST

Just added a new DENON 3805 to my home theater system , I was lucky because the dealer set up and calibrated the amp for me. Anyway The 10 pound owners manual really scared me. AND I OF COURSE WANTED TO PLAY WITH IT . So I took one page at a time study, study and after 2 weeks I finally have everything down pat and yess understanding your complex system is really helpful to get the best performance from it good luck stewart norrie

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don't always get what you paid for...
by sirroundsound / January 17, 2006 9:02 AM PST

Way too many people out there spend a ton of money on products, take the easy route and don't bother to read through the owners manuals, and end up not getting the full benifit of what they own.
I've been in this business for many, many years and I still have to read owners manuals for new product. If I'm expected to set up a clients system to perform at it's peak, I have to know all the new features they may have added.
My clients are typically very wealthy, so they can afford to pay me to read the manuals so they don't have to.

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