I've never fully bought into the idea that Asian products are sold on price alone and that low price is due to stealing patents and designs, and cheap labour. Firstly everyone builds new ideas on the back of others. Secondly we are surrounded with clone products (how many Coke clones can you see in a supermarket?). It's hardly stealing, just imitation, and we've had them in Europe a long time, since the Eastern Communist Europe made copies of instruments in the 60s -nobody was fooled they were anything as good as the 'real thing' though. And although labour costs in Asia have been incredibly low - they are on the rise, along with shipping and fuel costs, and addressing health and safety issues. Let 's not look backwards - I know a lot of the patent infringements, copying, and design and R&D theft, issues run deep, and in some cases have run companies out of business. But things are changing. The components you can buy for any amp or rack are pretty much the same for all manufacturers. The amount of labour one might put into assembling an amp could be the same anywhere in the World - it is down to hourly rates - which actually for a single amp might in fact be a very small part of the final construction costs and - very few amps are actually made by hand with soldering irons and chassis' which is a labour intensive way - low labour costs are probably off set with shipping costs and delays, and long supply chains. So are we set for a rediscovery of our home produced amps, basses, racks? I think it is coming soon. Most Japanese manufacturers have basses in their ranges that now exceed the prices of many home made products that often have better pedigree and vibe. Even some Chinese brands no longer look really inexpensive. (I don't think $1000 -15000 basses and guitars are cheap) We are seeing the same happening with amps and racks - prices are creeping up whilst nothing is really added to the product in the way of features or quality. It is because of rises in wages, shipping costs, safety costs, property costs. Asia is becoming a more expensive place to manufacuture - and fast. Is this the time to make the change and start buying from our home manufacturers again? I know the case for buying locally and why, but the exceptionally low prices in the past have been a mighty persuasive arguement for many buyers. But now I don't have to 'love my neighbour' to do the right thing. I think we have reached the point where we can do the 'right' thing, AND there are good, product, price, and quality reasons to buy from local manufacturers. I think the music industry is on the way home again. What do you think?