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Made in USA: Basses and Cars you Drive

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by JPMcGuire, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. JPMcGuire

    JPMcGuire Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    Lake Orion, Michigan
    Made in America for basses has come back in the last 10 years. Fender, Rickenbacker, Sadowsky, MTD, etc.etc. seem to be leaders in quality worldwide. Does this also transfer to other big ticket purchases in TBers lives? What country is the car you drive made in?
  2. landau roof

    landau roof Reupholstered User

    Jul 29, 2010
    Downstate CA
    I'm sorry, but you must be confused. There is no shift in production to the US, particularly not in the past 10 years.

    The T-Bird above isn't mine. My car is Japanese, built in Japan.
  3. smperry

    smperry Administrator Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 3, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Martin Keith Guitars
    Since the thread seems to be more about the country of origin for cars, I've moved this to Off-Topic.
  4. Tony Flow MMMM

    Tony Flow MMMM

    Dec 4, 2012
    American designed vehicles are absolute crap, cars and motorcycles. It seems we do things ass backwards, or only care about driving the heaviest cars with the biggest engine in the straightest lines. I could go on forever.

    And then look at our motorcycles...
  5. JPMcGuire

    JPMcGuire Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    Lake Orion, Michigan
    The quality has been on par lately for American cars compared to Japanese according to magazines like consumer reports. Similar to Fenders come back from CBS era to today.

    I live in the heart of Midwest manufacturing and it's crazy busy. We have been taking back work from China, Japan and Europe over the last year.

    USA made bases are now considered cool. Are cars too on this path?
  6. 6jase5

    6jase5 Mammogram is down but I'm working manually Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2007
    San Diego/LA
    If we're speaking cars....all cars have parts sourced globally. What you are seeing more and more is the cars being built closer to the consumer (near sourcing or near shoring) meaning, foreign brands building on US soil, reduced transportation to market, tax breaks, etc. The US brands are trying to do it just as much as the foreign market.

    A car company's country of corporation defines design, but doesn't say much about the sourced parts. 90% of a US made Jeep isn't "made" in the US...just assembled in the US. I love the commercials that make you think it's 100% US. I'm also a jeep owner so not bashing Jeep, just the marketing.
  7. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Most of my basses were made outside the US, although that includes Mexico. I drive a Nissan Murano and have a Datsun 280ZX as well. MY wife drives a BMW; one daughter has a Jeep and the other has a Saab.

    I buy products that work the way I want them to; country of origin is not relevant. It's a world economy.
  8. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    My main ride is a 2011 Nissan X-TRail. Not sure if its's made in Japan or the UK. Very well screwed together machine that is perfect for our situation. We needed diesel, wanted it to be roomy, comfortable, affordable and reasonable maintenance costs. It has a custom leather interior. It ticks all the right boxes. It needs to be a proper off road machine.

    I'm not hung up on where a vehicle is made today. It is no guarantee of quality due to where a product is made. Not any more. Our next vehicle will either be another Nissan or a Freelander 2.

    Toy wise, the Mazda MX-5 is very impressive and is perfect for the winding roads we have over here.
  9. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Dodge truck with a Cummins diesel.
    Dodge Durango.
    Mustang GT.
  10. JPMcGuire

    JPMcGuire Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    Lake Orion, Michigan
    Why I'm curious. I work as a Sr Engineering Manager at one of the Big Three US auto makers in Detroit. Been working in steel and stamping for last 15 years. Love it. Right now I'm on a two year assignment at one of the stamping and assembly plants as a head of quality. I'm also an avid bass player and find it interesting to compare my two worlds in this discussion.

    I love basses and music gear a lot too like most of us on TB. How they are designed, manufactured, how they sound, and the quality. When you sell a bass one of the first questions from a potential buyer here on TB is "where was it made"? The US and Germany making the top spots for prestigue followed by Japan, then Korea in most cases. But when applied to cars, appears like top answer is country of origin not important to most. Just trying to understand this phenomena. Is it real quality or better marketing from US bass manufactures? Even the "Ferrari" of basses, Fodera are made made here and people come from all over the world to pick them up in person.

    I feel that "made in USA" in the music instrument field means quality to most people around the world these days. They are willing to pay more for US made fenders and Sadowskys NYCs for example than the same off shore versions for some reason. The US auto industry is reinventing itself similar to what Fender did in last decade.

    For whatever reason, I realize for the US economy to be successful we have to innovate and make things here. The us bass builders have done a good job at that that and it is inspiring to me as a benchmark.

    Ps. Jeep is approximately 80 plus percent US made parts. Over 24000 parts on a car if you tally every little part down to screws. Steel, aluminum, paint, etc made here. Electronics like radios etc typically from Asia.
  11. Thick McRunfast

    Thick McRunfast Not just good, good enough

    Sep 30, 2012
    Portland, Oregon USA
    Picked up a new Ford F 150 for a company work truck. I'm not a Ford guy but I have to say my impressions so far are generally favorable. Much better than the 09 I had been driving
  12. superdick2112

    superdick2112 Mile High Bassist Supporting Member

    Nov 20, 2010
    The Centennial State
    Current Basses = 1 USA Spector NS-2, 1 USA Spector NS-4, 1 Czech Spector Euro, 1 Japanese Geddy Lee Jazz Bass.

    Current Car = Mercedes Benz GLK 350 4Matic.

    The Mercedes is my 1st foreign car in more than 15 years. I have been a Ford man for quite a while, but this time I wanted something a bit more luxurious, & something I wouldn't see so many of on the road.
    Over the past 30 years I've owned Chevys, Fords, Buicks, Pontiacs, Subarus, Volkswagens, Toyotas, Mazdas, a Plymoth and a Maserati.
    As for basses, I've played mainly Rickenbackers for the past 20 years, but I've also owned many other American-made basses, & quite a few Asian basses too.

    Bottom line for both cars and basses - I value build quality, durability, and character, but I also listen to what the heart wants at the time of purchase.
  13. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I drive a Chevy truck. Before that I drove a Ford truck. My '91 F-150 was superior in many way to my Silverado 1500.

    Next time around, I'm thinking Ford, or Toyota.
  14. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    Grocery getter is from Japan. Sport car from Germany.

    Carl Thompson USA!
  15. BigDanT

    BigDanT Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2011
    I drive a Subaru made in West Lafayette Indiana (about 60 miles from my house). I also play a Fender Am Std P made in SoCal about 20 miles from where I grew up.

    I find both to be of excellent quality, fit and finish. Plus rated among the safest (the Subaru).

    Face it. We live in a global economy. So when you talk about vehicles do you mean designed, sourced, assembled in the U.S.? If so that really doesn't exist. Any more so than cars designed built sourced and assembled in any one location in the world.

    There is a big debate going on in the mfg world right now about what really constitutes something that is Made in America. Because there are actually few things that are fully designed sourced and assembled at any one plant. Even an item that is "Made in America" likely uses steel from India or China or wood from Canada or South America.

    It's pretty myopic to make any statements about "American-made stuff is crap" or "American-made stuff is the best". Because it's all shades of gray.

    As I said, my Indiana-assembled Subaru, had more American hands (at least robot hands) on it during production than most Fords, Dodges or Chevys. Does that make it American made?

    Trying to support the economy is one thing. Becoming a xenophobe is another.
  16. One perspective on US made basses.

    Due to the higher material cost, salaries, taxes etc., plus the relative strength of the dollar, the production of a bass is going to cost more in the US. To compete in the global market, they have to be top quality to justify the costs.

    For the most part, the US auto-industry is mainly going to service the US. The cars are simply too big and inefficient to be viable for the mass market outside of the US, well, certainly for Europe anyway (I realise this is a bit of a generalisation, but IMO, there is some truth to it when looking at the market as a whole).

    My go to basses are US made (Stingray) I've also got a few Korean basses and a Japanese and a Chinese bass. Go to bass amp is US made (Ampeg), British cab (Marshall). Guitar amp is British production (Trace Elliot).
  17. ArtechnikA

    ArtechnikA I endorsed a check once... Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2013
    Two Subarus made in Indiana.
    One Nissan Titan made in Mississippi.

    One Roscoe made in North Carolina.
    Two Steinberger Synapse, made in Korea.

    The old German cars are kept running due to the availability of replacement parts made in USA...
  18. 8_finger


    Jun 1, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    I think you are missing the target with comparisons.

    Sure Forera is the "Ferrari" of basses and as such it is exclusive. Like Ferrari and Maserati and Lamborghini, there are many boutique luthiers all over the world and in all of those cases individuals who are buying them are buying them because they are Fodera/Alembic/Status/Ritter etc. I doubt that country of origin has much to do with it.

    IMHO comparing Fender, Gibson and Ibanez with car manufacturers would be fairer comparison, where USA stamp carries a lot more weight on the price/prestige/quality of the instrument.

    That being said, I have more than few people I know that will not buy GM or Chrysler cars on principle (thy drive Fords) and I also know few people who won't buy anything except Chevy. None of those reasons have to do anything to to with Made in US.

    Wife drives MIJ Honda, I drive Made in USA Nissan truck. Next car is going to be either Toyota or Ford truck.
  19. Both of our current cars are Japanese.

    I've never been particularly "loyal" to one type/brand/nationality of car. Reliability has always been my primary concern when purchasing cars. Which ever car is pretty much the most well-made and reliable car in the price range that I can afford at the time. That's what I buy.

    Same with basses (and pretty much everything else).
  20. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I own three basses. Two are American, one is German.

    I own one car, it's American, built in Michigan.