“You get what you pay for” is one of those tried-and-true idioms that’s especially relevant in high-end electronics. Want a nice camera or a computer that’ll actually play Max Payne 3? Expect to shell out top dollar.

So imagine Markus Fuller’s surprise when he pulled open the chassis of a $700 replacement battery for the Nagra VI—an 8-track digital recorder that costs nearly $10,000—only to realize it was full of cheap components and a big, pink sponge.


Because there’s a higher-capacity version of this battery, Markus speculates that the sponge occupies the space that would be held by more cheap lithium-ion cells...for an additional $400. Something tells us that the “Do No Open” warning on the back is for more than just safety reasons: All told, Markus estimates the components are worth about $30. Would you want your customers to know they’re getting ripped off?


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