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US made vs outside states(China,Korea,Mexico)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ThomasG, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. ThomasG


    Jul 20, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    Could I get some feedback from my fellow bass cats. This is a general question, so general info is cool. But, other than lower labor costs for companies, do they use lower grade parts and less QC for amps built outside US verses the amps built in the US. I am going to invest in some equipment, so high quality parts and QC is important for my investment. If it was a tv or car, I would not care, but, bass is more important.
  2. Depends on a lot - where they are manufactured etc.
    East Asian manufacturing can be okay, but again it depends on the specific country and even brand!
  3. I have researched amps up and down. I've considered alot. IMHO, build, componant, customer service quality and manufacturing location all considered, it's Mesa Boogie. Yes it is expensive, but resale value is also good. Just my $0.02.
  4. the mojo hobo

    the mojo hobo

    Nov 13, 2005
    Good gear can be built anywhere in the world...as can crappy stuff.

    That said, I do prefer to buy American.
  5. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Gear made in the USA typically uses Asian sourced parts. Eminence is an exception, sort of, as most of the parts they make drivers from also are of Asian origin.
  6. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    You have to look at bass gear one piece at a time. Where it's made is almost moot. Quality is quality, wherever it's made. But, +1 to the Mesa Boogie comment. In that case, you have both high quality AND american made.
  7. derrico1

    derrico1 Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    Charlottesville, VA
    If you want an investment, I wouldn't look to bass gear. Cabs pretty universally shed value. And while high quality heads generally hold value better than cabs, you'll still tend to burn money buying amps at market value and then selling them at market value years later.

    If you want gear that works for you, there is some fine gear made outside the US, some horrible gear made outside the States, and you can't really generalize. Play what works for your gigs.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    i made $300 from buying and selling a 79 precision. of course, that was the only time i ever made money with gear as an investment. most of the time it was a dismal loss.

    buy the gear you like, use it till you don't want to anymore, then get something else.
  9. To me, I look at what the manufacturer's warranty is as an indicator of what the expectation of failure is. To that, Aguilar's DB750/751 have a 10 year warranty. Never before I have seen that. Most are 1-5 years. That speaks volumes to their confidence in their product. That's a piece of the puzzle. If it sounds right, turns on regularly, it doesn't matter where it's made. I had a similar discussion about what power class and how reliable they are and it is the same argument. Where it's made, what power class it is doesn't matter nearly as much as brand reputation and design. It can be any power class, made anywhere in the world, if the design and execution of production is right and you like how it sounds, it's right for you.
  10. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Or, just shows the genius of their marketing department as everyone knows that they only made 5 amps that get bought and resold daily :eek:
  11. Walking


    Apr 5, 2010
    Since this is the amps forum, I will say that I doubt any electronic assemblies are made in the US anymore. Between higher labor costs and environmental regulations, its all done overseas. The manufacturer works with the asian factory and develops specs and quality control procedures. So, they can make it good or cheap depending on how much they want to spend.

    Now some folks will take a bunch of parts from asia and have someone in america screw them together and call that made in america, but make of that what you will.

    As has been said, gotta judge the product quality in other ways than country of origin.
  12. Implosion


    Oct 19, 2007
    That depends on what the company manufacturing the product wants to spend their money on. You can use top of the line parts & QC in China or you can make the product domestically with the worst parts & QC and hope that the sticker "made right here" is enough to sell the products. Where the product is made isn't as significant as is the business policy of the company in question.
  13. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    But that makes too much sense. :p
  14. synaesthesia


    Apr 13, 2004

    Yes, anyone outside the US dares not use high quality components and good QC, you have to get the UN's permission to do that, and the UN must ask the US. It's the law.
  15. R Baer

    R Baer Commercial User

    Jun 5, 2008
    President, Baer Amplification
    +1 It's also almost impossible to build an amp and not use some foreign parts. As far as why companies take their product overseas, it's not always about saving cost. They are very good at building electronics overseas and yes, usually at a lower cost. It's not really possible to going into details why without opening up a whole geopolitical debate here on TB on things like trade practices, wages and the environmental impact of their manufacturing complexes.

    IMO, The biggest issue is whether or not your dollars go to support American workers or those overseas.
  16. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    That is certainly NOT what I saw when I visited Mesa/Boogie a few years ago. :cool:
  17. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    i don't think that Mesa's PCB's are made overseas, but they do use imported filter caps in every amp that i've ever seen.
  18. dogofgod


    Dec 24, 2009
    Mesa is all made in Cali. They are the best, buy one immediatly. the best. check the website for more info.

    my next amp is the walkabout scout, looks yummy.
  19. KramerBassFan


    Jan 3, 2009
    Assembled in Cali, YES.

    But how about the individual parts?

    The transistors? Resistors? Capacitors? Board mounted jacks? Pilot lights?

    Alot of that stuff hasn't been truly MADE <- (PRODUCED) in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA in MANY years.

    So... assembled... sure! But truly MADE? Not so much. ;)


    Unless i'm mistaken, switchcraft does make SOME stuff in the U.S.A.... or at least i believe.
  20. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    well, that's your opinion. i never liked the sound of any of Mesa's amps. and as an amp tech, don't care for their layout/design, choice of components, or 'their' tubes. again, just my opinion.

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