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Opinions on amps/cabs made overseas

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by spectorbass83, Jan 5, 2006.


  1. spectorbass83

    spectorbass83

    Jun 6, 2005
    canada
    I know many people that look down on products which are made in China or Indonesia. They perceive them as "cheap" and unreliable. Do any of you feel this way about amps/cabs? Will you feel better about your purchase if you buy an amp/cab that is made in the U.S. versus one that is made in China? Does the origin matter at all to you?
     
  2. AxtoOx

    AxtoOx

    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    Depends, I have one combo made in Tiawan which I don't like, the rest of the company's stuff is good. I won't mention the name so as not to take us off topic.
    I do have an Eden Nemesis Combo, made it China but you could never tell, I love it.
    I guess it depends on just how much supervision and cost cutting are involved.
    To be honest for my main amps, I'll stick w/ American or British.
     
  3. spectorbass83

    spectorbass83

    Jun 6, 2005
    canada
    Cool, good response. So then you do believe that there is something about an amp made in US or Britain versus one made in China...even if they are close in price??
     
  4. AxtoOx

    AxtoOx

    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    Yes, because most of the time it is done for the low labor cost so you can sell a product cheaper or increase your margin.
    If the amp was R&D'd in China and the owners were in China w/ direct supervision. That might make a difference.
    The American's and Brits have been doing this for a long time now, and have experience on their side also.

    A company I was whith outsourced a lot of work to India. You can get and engineer for $6.50 an hr. there. Due to communication problems we got back data that was unusable. Not that they couldn't do the work, they didn't understand the instrctions. Later we tried w/ Americans on site to supervise and nip the communication problems in the bud and it seemed to work.
    Like I said, it depends.
    BTW, my favorite Bass is Canadian. :)
     
  5. spectorbass83

    spectorbass83

    Jun 6, 2005
    canada
    Wow, 6.50/hr? Unbelievable...
    Are you refering to a Godin by any chance? :bassist:
     
  6. AxtoOx

    AxtoOx

    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    F Bass BN5. :)
     
  7. bmc

    bmc

    Nov 15, 2003
    Switzerland
    My favorite bass is designed in Switzerland, made in China, assembled in Japan, tweaked in Switzerland. I've owned 20 basses in 33 years and this one blows me away. I have less issues with where something is made that how is plays or works. I find it a bit xenophobic to make assumptions of product quality based on where it's made.
     
  8. AxtoOx

    AxtoOx

    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    I don't know if that was aimed at me or not, but a phobia implies mental illness, an irrational fear. I don't think I have been irrational at all.
     
  9. bmc

    bmc

    Nov 15, 2003
    Switzerland

    Wasn't aimed at you at all. Sorry if you read that.
     
  10. AxtoOx

    AxtoOx

    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    Sorry I took it that way. No harm no foul. :)
     
  11. Jimmy P.

    Jimmy P.

    Apr 5, 2005
    Tokyo, Japan
    In answer to the original question posed by Spectorbass: No, the country of origin doesn't matter to me. I have a Fender combo (Rumble 60) made in Indonesia, and it has been absolutely reliable, sounds very good, and appears to be well made. I also have a Peavey head (Mark VI) that I appreciate for its rugged design and sturdy manufacture. On the other hand, I also own a cheap Chinese-import copy of a Fender Jazz, and it came with very poor quality electronics and wiring, that I subsequently replaced.
     
  12. theshadow2001

    theshadow2001

    Jun 17, 2004
    Ireland
    From what I've learned after studying manufacturing is that asia has the US and Europe beaten hands down in terms of quality control in manufacturing. Back in the 70's America was world leader in quality which is probably why this thing about made in America is being the best things since the wheel. Because musicians seem to like things that from the 70's why not ideas as well.

    I think having hand built in america is really just a marketing thing and that asia can build your amplifier as well as any one in the states.

    just my 2cents
     
  13. AxtoOx

    AxtoOx

    Nov 12, 2005
    Duncan, Okla.
    I would agree with you in general, US invented VCR's, none are made here, Zenith was the last ones to make TV's here if they still are, I have a high end Japanese Stereo that's better than any American one I've heard, I do have American speakers. The Japanese put us to shame with cars for years and still hold a large share of the market, Korea is putting out cheap quality cars now, their steel is another story. They are also doing well w/ electronics.
    IMO China is still catching up. American has pushed aside it's manufacturing base in favor of high tech jobs,which is a mistake.
    But when you talk about High End Musical Amplification, all the biggest and best brands are still American and British.
     
  14. Cougar207

    Cougar207

    Jun 17, 2005
    St. Charles, MO
    When I have things go wrong with my “popular bass manufacture’s made in China head, which died twice in less than a year. I have to wait two and a half months for parts to come in from overseas. With my Mesa, if I need a part, it's here in three days, if I have a question I can call them and talk to an engineer. There’s a reason my 12 year-old Mesa has never been serviced and my year old “Chinese-made” head is dead.

    Most goods manufactured in the core (Europe, America, Japan, Australia, ect.) are going to be low production, high quality and goods in the periphery are going to be lower quality, high production. The goals of these products are different. One seeks to lower costs, while the other is built for quality. I agree with you, some countries in Asia are capable of producing high quality goods, it’s just that their economies rely on high output manufacturing (secondary sector) and not tertiary and quaternary sectors (information). So, cheap labor is used to produce many goods that are inferior to ones made in the core.

    Matt
     
  15. Shiveringbass

    Shiveringbass

    Aug 21, 2005
    France
    And German : Glockenklang, Tech soundsystems, Diesel
    and Swidden : EBS
    and Italian : Markbass
    and Dutch : Hevos
    ...
    Should I go on?

    Sheers
     
  16. Fuzzhead

    Fuzzhead

    Sep 26, 2005
    Australia
    Actually the Mesa Dual Rectifier has one of the worst track records for reliability, they're a nightmare to fix because the circuit board's upside down in the chassis requiring disassembly. Almost every Mesa unit I owned developed some bug or problem. Their quality control (and tone) is nothing on Diezel or Framus, both fine German manufacturers. Suhr (CAA) is the king of quality in US guitar amplification.

    My Fender MM4 was made in Japan and is better than a few custom shop Jazzs. Let's not forget other non-US manufacturers like Bugatti, Markbass, Warwick, Trace Elliot, Ashdown, Ebony, Lab Systems, Marshall, Lab Gruppen, Traynor, Yorkville...........:)
     
  17. bmc

    bmc

    Nov 15, 2003
    Switzerland
    I think a blindfold test would be very interesting to see if people can spot the differences in where they are made.
     
  18. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I have been studying globalization for the last three semesters at the local university.

    I just bought a new amp to replace my '66 Fender head for gigging. I went into the music store looking for amp heads under $300. I tried that Behringer 450 watt Ashdown copy. I had previously tried the Laney R3H at another shop and really not liked it much. They I looked around the corner and spotted a Peavey Max 160 head. On the back it read "Made in USA". I plugged it in and it sounded better than the Behringer to my ears, and better than I remembered the Laney sounding. I bought it. It's sufficient for my needs and with what I've learned about globalization I'm very happy to "Buy American".
     
  19. spectorbass83

    spectorbass83

    Jun 6, 2005
    canada
    A blind fold test would be interesting...I'm sure we would get some interesting and surprising results!
    To be honest I think it would be really difficult to differentiate an amp/cab made in the USA from one made in China or Indonesia, still would be great to see if you can tell the difference.
     
  20. bmc

    bmc

    Nov 15, 2003
    Switzerland

    And I'm happy to buy American as well. I have over the past 30 years (Ampeg, Acoustic, Sunn, Fender, SWR, Eden, Peavey).

    There are now well made products, and arguably better made products made elsewhere. Made in America is no longer enough of an argument to guarantee superior quality. And price should not be a basis for judging a products quality. High social costs in Germany and Sweden translate into higher paid employees than in other developing countries. Just because you pay more does not mean it's better. I've owned Peavey cabs that sound as good or better than Tech Systems at a fraction of the cost. So...why pay more?

    While we volley back and forth over this tired argument, more and more product is being churned out of Asia at the expense of other countries. I doubt the trend will reverse itself as long as there is a significant price differential. We can discuss all we want about where the better made stuff is, but that is having little impact.

    There are all kinds of examples of traditional industry leaders being challenged by new entrants. The French wine industry continues to loose out to new world wines. Look what Japanese cars did to the North American auto industry.

    We tend to single out Behringer as a leading example of Chinese products being of poor quality. Little is mentioned about Gallien Kruger, Eden or Ashdown lines being made in China. Perfectly acceptable products that are gig worthy and attractively priced. While Behringer is an easy target for a number of reasons besides price, the bigger threat to established brands are the companies I have mentioned, two of which are American companies. So...to follow the popular creed that made in America is better, would second place go to owned, marketed and labeled American but made in China or should it go to western European manufacturers?