1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

amps and ethics?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by b-ace!, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. b-ace!


    Jul 15, 2004
    Hi, I have a dilemma/question. does anyone know about the conduct of ashdown workers in indonesia/china (wherever their plant is based) that produce the MAG cabs? I'm in the process of buying either an ashdown MAG 410 or an GK backline 410.

    Are the workers fairly paid? The reason I ask is because I'm vegan and I try to be an ethical consumer as much as possible. If the ashdown workers are getting paid slave wages I will choose GK over the ashdown cab.

    I have tried looking for 2nd hand stuff (a possible solution) but its impossible here in the UK. Not much ashdown or GK is being sold on ebay. I've been looking for the last 2 months but now I'm super itching to buy my cab and head (hartke 3500-made in the US, as far as I know) because I'm going nuts without an amp!!! :hyper:

    So if anyone genuinely knows i'd love to hear from you. thanks.
  2. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    When you say slave wages, you might want to clarify whether you mean relative to wages in your country or in the country of the workers.

    Almost any employee in a factory in indonesia, korea or china will be paid less than what the equivalent worker in the US or the UK would be paid, however that doesnt mean they are not getting paid par for the course in their country.
  3. Yossarian


    Jun 24, 2004
    there's a thread on here somewhere that says ashdown factories are in China. So uh... yeah, that's all I got.
  4. b-ace!


    Jul 15, 2004
    Sorry I should have made it clear when I mean slave wages I mean wages that can't possibly support workers, and hence exploiting workers. Obviously wages are going to be different country to country but so is the cost of living. it should be relative.

    "Retailers choose to manufacture overseas in part to avoid the higher standards and labour costs demanded in developed countries. Companies manufacture in distant low-wage economies while still delivering orders on time. Top of the list of exporters to the UK in 2002 was Hong Kong, followed by India, China, Turkey and Indonesia.

    Increasingly, Eastern Europe and ultra-low-wage economies such as Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam are being used for manufacture, while typically, companies move on to new countries when workers become organised and demand higher standards and better pay. When they go they leave jobless workers and often a polluted environment."

    that was taken from www.ethicalconsumer.org

    All I want to know about is ashdown and their MAG cabs...
  5. I think that it's really cool that you take this kind of thing into consideration before making a decision.. the vast majority of people would not.

    Companies don't make it easy for you to get this kind of information, for obvious reasons. Even corporations that believe that their factories' workers are treated and paid fairly could be mistaken in certain cases... what is to stop the contractors that run the factories from lying to them about their conduct?

    I had a Chinese-made Jay Turser 4 string that I no longer even play (though I do still have it)... some might call me insane, but the more I learned about the kind of things that go on in the sweatshop factories of the developing world, the more guilty I would feel playing it. :(
  6. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I predict this will turn into an anti-Behringer thread in 5.....4.....3....2.....1......
  7. Chances are that if its made in China the labour used is basically what we would consider "slave". And you would be indirectly supporting the Communist dictatorship that rules China. I try and avoid buying anything made in China if at all possible and it usually has more to do with quality (or lack of it).
  8. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Great thread! :hyper:
  9. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003

    and this is based on?

    BTW....where are your shoes made?
  10. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    Behringer copies other companies and underpays their 13-year-old factory workers and makes their speakers out of endangered animals!

    lol.... at least the sound good ;)

    All BS aside... I think it noble that anyone puts that much consideration into ANYTHING these days. It really steams me to think that there's people around this country and around the world that dont give a crap about whats going on in society and never vote and stuff like that. :mad:

    I wouldnt think that Ashdown runs a completely unethical operation in China... but thats just an honest guess, on my part.
  11. hyperlitem

    hyperlitem Guest

    Jul 25, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    id play an amp made by cute little 6 year old kids while they were shackled and beaten if it was the best tone id ever heard. HA hA jk i do the same thing with clothes, i at least try and make sure they arent sweat shops or anything. Ive never thought about that with my guitar gear but ive always bought americans so i dont know. Well i guess my warwick is german but i think theyre paid fairly at warwick ;)
  12. TheChariot


    Jul 6, 2004
    Boston, MA
    Maybe if they paid them a little more, the workers would get rid of the neckdive. :eek:

    nyuck nyuck nyuck nyuck nyuck :hyper:
  13. Joey3313


    Nov 28, 2003
    Yorkville: Made in Canada baby!
  14. Tez


    Jan 24, 2004
    At Least they have a job its better than begging or scratching a living selling trinkets to tourists . and as far as not buying chinese goods ! so not to support the comunist government , most of the new factories in China are being funded by Japanese and American Inverors to make Big bucks on cheap labour , Wake up
  15. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I admire the thought that went into this.

    Though its not really a concious thing I usually end up buying american made gear. Doesnt mean the employees are able to make rent though.
  16. Ericman197


    Feb 23, 2004
    If you're a vegan, I'll make you a deal. Choose whichever one you like best regardless of slave labor, and if you try to flip flop due to moral concerns, I'll eat only meat for as long as it takes to make you choose on tone. I haven't been to the factories, but chances are both of them are made by the same type of underpaid workers. If one was underpaying the workers and the other treated them fairly, there'd be a huge price gap.
  17. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    So <i>that</i> explains the tiger pattern on my speaker cone. The sucker really growls........
  18. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Seriously, b-ace!, I applaud your integrity.
  19. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    In all seriousness, I think any part of someone to try and live a better life (better in their own eyes) is great and cool. My philosophy is "live the way you want to and let others do the same"...unless they ask for opinons. Hence, this being a forum, here is mine...

    Like I said, it's great that there is some conscious thought as to where this amp or that amp is made, worker conditions, etc.

    But like someone else eluded to, if you are worried about where your amp is being made and the conditions it was made in, then what about your bass? Your cab? Your cables? The electricity that probably came from a man-made, environmental-altering nuclear power plant or hydro-electric dam? As mentioned, the shoes on your feet? The clothes you are wearing? The materials your house is made out of? WHO probably BUILT your house?! The gas in the car you drive unless it is purely electrical powered, but then again, back to THE ELECTRICITY?! The job in which you pay taxes to SUPPORT (I repeat, SUPPORT WITH YOUR MONEY) a government that does all kinds of things you probably detest? And etc etc etc...

    Point is, if I were to worry about one aspect of my life such as my amp, I would feel morally obligated to worry about every other thing in my life as they are all equally if not mostly more important, or else I'd call myself a hypocrite for not worrying about, for example, the computer I'm using right now which was most likely assembled, all or in part, by labor that pays less than the living wage.

    And though I'd love to lead a life of pure, guiltless actions and purchases, I know I cannot, unless I moved into the forest and sat in my log cabin playing a bass I made myself. But then I'd probably feel bad about killing a living, breathing tree just for my own personal pleasures. Darn.

    Best of luck to anyone who, with the best of intentions, seeks out the moral high-ground, only to examine the rest of their life for the same values and chooses to ignore it.

  20. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    No offence Transverz, but that is just silly. Doing something to help improve the world situation is better than doing nothing. If everyone just did one little thing, it adds up to a whole lot of something.

    Your logic says - I can't solve the whole problem, so why try at all - thats a defeatist attitude. Can I solve the worlds oil dependance problems? No, but I can drive a car that uses less petrol than most other cars. OTOH would you just go out and buy a mack truck?