It all started with reading things on this forum and seeing quite a few comments like; 1. Japaneese made basses are much better than American made. 2. Japaneese, Korean, Chinese made basses cost less than American made ones. And other comments that are very similar. Now, keep this important statement in mind when you continue to read this post. I'm talking about American makes like Fender, Gibson, etc, not the boutique stuff like Alembic, Sadowsky, etc, and the Japaneese makes like Ibanez, ESP, Fender Japan, etc. I'm also not talking about the Squier, Epiphone, etc stuff, even though a lot of that stuff has good quality There's a reason the stuff made in the Orient can be made cheaper, and is of usually better quality. The people in the Orient take pride in everything they do. They usually put their heart and soul into their craftsmanship. They are also willing to do it for less money, which means that the company doesn't have to charge as much for the product. On the other hand, in America, most (notice I said "most" not "all") people go to work and the first thing they think of is what they're going to do when they get home, or the weekend sports game. They don't seem to put 100% into their jobs like in the Orient. They don't seem to take pride in what they do. Plus, they ask to get paid more money, which means the company has to charge more for the product. Again, I used the word "most", because I realize that not all Americans are like that. Some do actually give 100% and more to their job, but it is becoming far less common over here. I didn't type this to put down Americans, heck I'm an American. It's just something I've noticed. Please don't turn this thread into a flame war. Maybe others here might have more to add to this, or other observations about this subject.