I have purchased a fair amount of studio gear in the last ten years. I've owned countless Apple computers, several microphones, outboard preamps, audio interfaces, monitors, headphones... the list goes on... and recently I've noticed a bit of a studio gear reliability trend in my studio. Before I get into explaining this I just want to mention that I have never been the type of person who buys the cheap option when choosing studio gear, instead, I like to invest mid-table or higher because studio gear in low price brackets, generally speaking, can have a bit of bad reputation for reliability... at least that's what I used to believe.
The trend I have noticed is that studio gear can develop a fault regardless of how much it cost, especially if the gear was used regularly, if not daily. That said, the only long-standing gear I have in my studio setup that has never let me down due to breakage is my set of ADAM Audio P22A studio monitors, and these have had an obscene amount of punishment from me over the last ten years.
I've had two Apple computers blow up, a monitor control section on a control surface develop a buzz, audio interfaces that started sounding weird, preamps with channels that refuse to work, microphones that crackle, headphones that have popped, guitar amps & instruments that have gone south... but my humble mid-table ADAM monitors that have been used hard, day in day out, over the last decade have kept on working without fault.
So, to answer the question laid out in the title of this article... What is my most reliable piece of studio gear? By a large margin, my main ADAM Audio P22a monitors that are over ten years old. I'll be honest, I am surprised that my monitors haven't required any type of repair as several of my music producer friends at some point have experienced trouble with their monitoring setups in the past, why not me?
How about you guys in the community, look around your studios and let us know in the comments below what studio gear you own and use regularly that has never needed returning, repair or replacing.