Beancounters rant

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by gait, Apr 15, 2019.

  1. beninma

    beninma Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    But if the Amps last forever how will the beancounters keep us buying new amps?

    I mean at this point the marketeers have programmed players so well that it seems everyone has Terminal GAS and constantly buys new stuff all the time anyway.

    If you're just going to flip it before you even learn how to use it why would you want to pay for a quality product that lasts decades!
     
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  2. thegeezer

    thegeezer Tele-Afflicted

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    @D_W_PGH , you probably won’t go through 3 new TR reissues but I actually went through 3 DR reissues.

    Fortunately, it was at Fender’s expense. I bought an early one so I didn’t have to lug my SFTR all the time. The first lasted about two hours, the second about a month and the third ran for about six years. All PCB issues. A buddy offered me too much for the third (still has it and it’s made three or four trips to the shop since) and I went back to my old TR until I downsized to a ‘54 Deluxe. They both work every weekend I need ‘em. YMMV.
     
  3. djh22

    djh22 Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    I won't attempt to defend all bean counters, even though I count myself among their brethren. I've sat in numerous meetings listening to pricing discussions where sales people say "it's what the customer will pay." They've told me that they can't sell higher quality standards, increased dependability, etc. Bottom line is lower price = higher volume.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    Fixed commission rate, I'd guess? I hear that fairly often. We can figure quality out as long as we sell for price $X.

    Makes me think that the commission terms need better clawback language.
     
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  5. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    That half of them are working in jobs that don't require an MBA, and they're paying off a loan.

    I've met two types of MBAs - one are the wannabe tycoons. And they're often working a job that doesn't require an MBA.

    Type 2 is like an Engineer or someone who becomes a manager and the company says "you're going to be an MBA if you're going to be a manager", because if you think MBAs are bad, take a technical person and elevate them into a position that requires a lot of soft decision making.
     
  6. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

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    Agree with the TS on a lot of things. Look at how much low end junk FMIC makes and slaps once iconic names on.

    PCB done right is fine. My SLO is very reliable and has been all over.
     
  7. beninma

    beninma Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    That works both ways, non-technical MBA managers are a disaster in technology and science management a lot of the time.

    People exist on a spectrum, the best setup is someone who has plenty of verbal/soft skills but became an engineer or scientist, learned some management on the job, then got an MBA if it was a glass ceiling document.

    Or you gotta have 2 partners one from each side of the spectrum who actually listen to each other and realize which half of the equation they are weaker on.

    Leo Fender sounds like he was the epitome of the goofy engineer with poor soft skills...
     
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  8. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Afflicted

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    Three things.

    Products made in China serve a purpose, as validated by the ultimate vote of all votes: dollars. China, or any competitor, tries to figure out what is important to the *majority* of consumers, and gives them what they want. In the case of China, they learned cost is often more important than MTBF, features, or brand. This makes sense in the US, where folks will spend money to participate, but don't actually need or fully utilize the product, being mostly driven by recreation now.

    Second, don't confuse PCB (printed circuit board) construction with semiconductor designs. I have PCB amps from the 1980s, work fine, no semiconductors - just plain ole RLC circuits, what use a PCB instead of wires. If needed, they could be re-wired with wire, bypassing the circuit board in part or whole. These aren't the same as a modern HRD or Origin, that has semiconductors ICs, solid state components (Champ), etc.

    Third, "Designed in the USA" does mean something in terms of commitment, commerce, and liability. Where its made may be important to you, and you get to vote (with dollars), where you'd like things made. There was a time when products might have stated, "Designed in Michigan", but produced in Kentucky, and folks would hesitate. Be careful too about assumed quality and MTBF with Chinese or pacific rim products - they are competitive by any measure, because they know they have to overcome the perception. There was a time when Japan faced the same obstacle with radio equipment, and cars. Now they are considered the leaders in both areas.
     
  9. getbent

    getbent Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Let me see if I understand... you kept your 'warhorse' 'dependable under any circumstances' 'classic' 'sounds perfect' at home to protect it while subjecting the 'throway' 'pcb crap' 'sounds thinnish' amp to the gig.

    got it.
     
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  10. beninma

    beninma Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    None of these issues are specific to guitar amps or the musical instrument industry either.

    Does a HRD really have a digital/semiconductor portion? I knew the Champ did but I thought HRD, Princeton, Deluxe, Twin, etc.. were all still analog in their current 2019 forms.
     
  11. thegeezer

    thegeezer Tele-Afflicted

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    .

    No. I didn’t say that at all.

    I said I was tired of lugging an 86 lb. amp around.
    You read an awful lot into my comment that wasn’t stated or even vaguely implied.
     
  12. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    Well, a BF twin cost about $3k in today's money back in the day. For $3k today you can still get a very nice handwired amp with quality components and have some money leftover.
    The amps you are repairing were for the most part premium gear back 50 years ago, right? What happened to all the junky stuff, the 1950s equivalent of a Pro Jr or a Bugera? Decomposing somewhere, almost all of them, would be my guess. Same thing with all the awful guitars made back then. For the most part they are firewood because they were terrible. All we have left to remember are the beauties that survived, giving us the impression that old gear was all amazing.
     
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  13. KC

    KC Friend of Leo's

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    well, I just checked and you can get a gig-worthy american made combo for under $1200, which is not THAT much more than some of the amps under fire here. I'm talking about the Bad Cat "USA Player" 15-watt 1x12 combo, and while it won't beat a Twin or and AC30 it'll hang with a loud drummer all night. PCB construction but very stoutly built and sounds exactly like a Bad Cat, which is not everybody's cup of tea. But I do love mine. Seems like between them and Valvetech and Jim at Little Dawg you can get a quality USA amp for not too much more than mass-produced junk. Also Ceriatone if you don't mind going overseas -- top quality for a good price in my limited experience. Lots of options. But having said that, I've lugged a blues jr all over hell for the last ten years without incident -- not exactly an heirloom amp but it doesn't seem to break.
     
  14. 2 Headed Goat

    2 Headed Goat Tele-Afflicted

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    Sign of the times... like the OP's friend mentioned, it probably has been going on since the 1950's tho IME (or my awareness of) it really picked up speed in the 80's and then again in the mid/late 90's... basically when a lot of companies/corp wanted to increase their profits margins or were 'forced' to go to overseas manufacturing - Peavey and Mackie come to mind.
    While the bean counters had heaps to do with it (as well as the fractional reserve monetary system we're based on), there was also a shift in the mindset in regards to quality of a product.
    Back in my father's day (born in 1927) many companies prided themselves and focused on a making a quality product that would last as that was what folks wanted. That was the mindset. Fender is a prime example. Once the sale to CBS took place within a short amount of time things began to change... but seems at a much slower pace than say today and in mid to late 90's...
    'Life' moves at a much faster pace it seems these days. While the old adage 'you get what you pay for' still holds some sway, as others have pointed out, most folks these days just want it now and/or could care less about quality b/c they can just order/buy another one...
     
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  15. DugT

    DugT Tele-Holic

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    I would think that someone who repairs amps could be even more helpful by telling us which modern amps are made well with good components.
     
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  16. DugT

    DugT Tele-Holic

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    For a lot of products, people want the latest greatest technology more than they want their smart phone, for example, to last more than ten years. Cheap and disposable has its place in some instances. So many antiquated but well made products have been discarded because they have been replaced by superior products. For example, CRT's monitors and TV's, VCR's, electric typewriters, CD players, MP3 players. Most people only need things to last until a substantially superior design is available and that time frame is shrinking.
     
  17. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    A '57 strat and a tweed twin would have cost over $5000 in today's money. Today that will buy you a custom shop strat and a handwired tweed twin from Ceriatone with a grand or so left over for the pedalboard of your dreams. Things weren't always better in the old days. I'd suspect that's also a big part of the answer to the question of why back in the old days everyone just had one guitar and one amp...
     
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  18. MuddyWolf

    MuddyWolf Tele-Meister

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    Ive opened up my amps and so far i havent seen even one bean.

    Since 95% of amps sold sit unused in someones closet it would be stupid to make them high quality. A serious player will buy a handbuilt amp or at least be ready for the cheepo amp to blow up and have a spare on hand. Im in the second camp. ive been using cheep combos and using them hard. And i got spares ready. And i got great vintage amps too but why beat em up at bar gigs?
     
  19. Bill Moore

    Bill Moore Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I wouldn't go by list prices back in the day, almost no one paid that!
    In 69 my friend traded his 65 Twin in on a new Silverface, the latest, greatest, model. He gave $100 difference, (a weeks work with good wages then!). Another friend heard about it, and bought the 65 for another $100, so there was quite a bit of markup on amps back then!
    In 72 or 73 I bought a set of Rogers drums, $750. While there my wife was playing through some amps, (200 mi from our little town). The owner told me I could have the Bassman, (with 2-12 cab), for $135, and gave me a month to pay for it!
     
  20. MuddyWolf

    MuddyWolf Tele-Meister

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    Funny that bargigs payed about what they pay now. In reverse economics if $450 becomes 3k in 2019 then $400 in 1972 becomes about $66 in 2019 dollars.
     
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