Is Ampeg no longer USA made?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mouthmw, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. mouthmw


    Jul 19, 2009
    Are there any models that Ampeg makes in the States nowadays? I've read about Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese SVT-CL and SVT-VR, and classic cabs. Are all models now outsourced?
    If so, I'm sure glad I got my 810 made in USA a few years ago.
  2. dannster


    Aug 20, 2000
    The Heritage Series.
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    loud/ampeg makes a few products in the usa through the heritage shop...heritage svt-cl, svt 810e and 410hlf, and heritage b-15. they also make their pro neo cabs in the usa. but most of their stuff nowadays is made in china and south korea...and they used to make some stuff in vietnam but no longer.

    however, aside from some qc problems for the first couple years they moved, i've used a lot of recently made ampeg stuff on the road and it's every bit as good as the usa stuff slm made, and in the case of the cabs, a lot better. firing the idiot they used to have in charge and moving out of vietnam seems to have cured their problems. and say what you will about foreign production, but there was quite a long period where slm used osb (a type of strandboard) and really dark sounding speakers in their cabs, and loud has always used actual wood and speakers that are a lot better and brighter. i'd much rather have a new foreign made 810e than a cab made in the usa from after 1998.

    while i do think it's sad that they shut down production in st louis and a lot of good people lost their jobs, the current folks in charge of loud inherited the situation from the previous idiot through no fault of their own, and have really tried hard to rebuild good will and confidence in the ampeg brand through greatly improved quality control and customer service. imho they're succeeding.
  4. I agree with Jimmy. The Micro VR is killer, and an import.

    I had the "pleasure" of dealing with the idiot Jimmy is talking about and had some interesting email communication. Corporate scum and worried nothing more than about public image over quality of product. At least in my opinion.

    That no longer exists.
  5. baileyboy

    baileyboy Inactive Suspended

    Aug 12, 2010
    I'd be interested to see how the Micro stands up to the test of time. I generally don't like to buy gear, especially foreign-made, until it has been around awhile and proved its merit.

    IMHO, gear made in foreign countries is not going to be guided by the same quality control standards as in the USA. In addition, many overseas products are produced under labor conditions that most Americans would find appalling.
  6. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Sadly, by outsourcing, America loses its edge in product development, quality and production modernization. It's not a growth industry in the US and over time, the US loses its standing. Just not big players anymore. In terms of marketing, sure. Production, no. Just my opinion.

    While China may have unpleasant labor conditions, many other overseas countries do not fall in this category, while producing very high quality gear.
  7. Needenaneden


    Feb 22, 2011
    My Chinese made Ampeg 810e is flawless and sounds amazing. In 30 years of playing I've played good equipment and bad equipment from different parts of the world. I've had poorly made US stuff and I've had good Chinese made stuff.
  8. MattyH


    Jul 20, 2010
    Long Island
    Yea I have an imported 410HLF and I LOVE the thing. It's a beast. I also had a 610 a few years ago and it was a killer. I think there may be a few duds out there but my experiences with the Chinese made ones have been great. BUT, I also have an old 1x15 made in America. Holy crap it's awesome.

    Just thought I'd give my 2 cents on the Micro while I'm here. Awesome little rig if that's what you're in the market for. It's not for everyone, but I think it's bad ass and it looks so classic. For an import, it sounds great, it has great reviews, and it seems to be a sturdy little monster. I'd love to hear it with another one of the 2x10's stacked. I believe the bass player for Jimmy Eat World runs one of those Micro heads into his 8x10!

    BUT (always a but), I was in GC a couple weeks ago, and I was running through the Micro. Another customer was running through the Acoustic 1x10 mini stack. It played me under the table. That Acoustic kicked. I'll assume the Ampeg will last longer, and get more done though.
  9. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    Labor conditions aside, QC specs are set by the home office. If no one cares up top, you can bet poorly produced goods will flow. If raw materials and manufacturing are consistent, and proper controls are in place, there should be no issue no matter where you make your product. The same is true for any industry.

    We were just passed by China as largest producer this month - 19.8% to 19.4% of total production. Most US production is high-tech goods, pieces that use many foreign sourced components, etc, so it's not really that much of a surprise, but production is still there. Just not so much in consumables, and things like bass amps...
  10. Bassdirty


    Jul 23, 2010

  11. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    Full disclosure, I'm a certified Fender technician working in a music store that carries Fender, Yamaha, and Ibanez products among others.
    I have one of the made in the US, osb-with-dark-sounding-speakers 810s that JimmyM mentioned. While the Vietnamese-made stuff I kept running into seemed to blow up, burn out, and otherwise fail under even moderate usage, if my budget permitted I'd trade in my SLM cab for one of the current Chinese-made ones in a heartbeat.
  12. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    I thought the production shift for cabs went the other way? China then vietnam? I know it's spread out over a few countries, but I can't recall the time lines.
  13. jeff7bass

    jeff7bass Inactive

    Apr 9, 2009
    As a matter of principle I’m going to avoid buying equipment made in China from now on.
    South Korea is fine though, and plenty of good American-made products to choose from.
  14. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Good luck on the China stuff. Everything from TV's to underwear is imported. Running shoes, everyday shoes. You name it. Cheap prices rule, which has lead to this situation.

    Buying in to the credo of cheap prices, has lead to finding cheap manufacturing. Your boycott would be more effective if you targeted US companies that shipped your jobs overseas so they could make better money. They're the ones damaging your once dominant position in musical instrument manufacturing.

    With time, the quality will be there. I have a bass made in China that's great. Sits next to my Sadowsky and my vintage fretless Precision. Gigged with it for ten years.

    As for Chinese labor practices, do some research first. Don't go by uninformed opinions. China is the future economic powerhouse. That country has evolved so much in such little time, it's staggering. Very competitive marketplace where quality, as with anywhere else, will sell. There are seriously wealthy people in China.
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    chian and vietnam first, now it's china and s. korea.
  16. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Well a failed pair of underwear isn't going to cost me a gig. Sorry, I won't buy the sophisicated stuff either. And if my TV failed, then all the more reason I should be practicing my bass instead. Which BTW my TV did fail after only a few years of use, talk about throwaway items. I'm sick of the products too.

    I work on my house, go to Home Depot or Lowes and buy stuff to fix, and those imported goods are junky and never last like the originals.
    And especially where I work we fix diesels, the china replacement stuff never works as good or lasts no matter the specs it appeared to be made at.
  17. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    americans refuse to work for the wages chinese people get, yet they want all their goods to be rock bottom priced. you can't have both without something giving. the people blame the companies, the companies blame the people. they are both right.

    btw, i'd like to know what amps out there are made with all usa parts. even the ones assembled here are full of chinese parts. the heritage b-15 is about as close to all-usa as it gets these days, and even it has a handful of chinese resistors. i think it's hypocritical to poop on ampeg for moving to china when every other major amp company has factories in china and/or uses a buttload of chinese parts.
  18. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    I don't think Ampeg itself makes amps anymore - just owns the sticker. From what I read, Ampeg outsources the MIA stuff to other US Manufacturers.
    Nothing wrong with that. It's a good business practice. Bass Amp market isn't huge, and finding a manufacturer that makes for much bigger markets is a good business practice.
  19. jeff7bass

    jeff7bass Inactive

    Apr 9, 2009
    I’m talking big ticket items like basses, amps, etc…
    I do realize that it’s near impossible to avoid Chinese products and my concerns are not solely about quality, although my last Chinese bass needed a complete fret-job right outa the box.
    My true concerns, without getting too political for fear of banning, is I don’t agree with the people running their country when it comes human rights + other things. I also don’t like the fact that with their buying power, they are essentially buying up our country and subverting many of our ideals through political influence. It’s a very dangerous path, IMO.
    If it is a New World Government we face, and it appears to be heading in that direction, I don’t want a bunch of commies calling the shots.
  20. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    You're absolutely right Jimmy, it's the people who are to blame.

    And it's not about units being made of all USA components...that's just not possible anymore. But a product built on a US bench generally in the same building as the original designers/engineers whatever gets better scrutinized of what goes in it, more durable, better, consistant, than specs given to some random company who otherwise has nothing to do with music whatsoever.