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Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by olie, Aug 5, 2016.
Aside: Squiers have been made in India in the past.
Global manufacturing has been with us a long time, it's nothing new. As an example, Colt firearms opened a factory to make revolvers in England in the 1850s. Ford has car manufacturing plants around the world as does GM. Why should instrument makers be any different?
My Squier VM Cabronita Tele is made in Indonesia. They make a damn fine guitar there too.
It's worth remembering that many of the countries outside of the USA where guitars are currently made have histories of high quality craftsmanship in wood and metal that stretch back hundreds of years. It is not difficult convert and utilise those skills for guitar making.
I recently showed my B.C. Rich Bich (a fairly rare Calibre' series no longer made, IIRC they were only made 2 years 2008-09 in Czech Republic) to a guy who has been selling, repairing and playing guitar for over 40 years, he's fairly well acquainted with B.C. Richs.
First thing out of his mouth was so you sprung for the expensive USA one eh? What a beautiful top, no cheap veneer on these like their crappy inports!
After playing it and commenting he wished it was his I then told him where it was made.
He was shocked and told me he's seen more than a few USA ones in his day and this is easily the equal, if not better. He's never heard of the Calibre' series, no one I've talked to actually has.
Nice to get such a positive opinion, unsolicited from someone who has been around the block many times.
Its interesting. Heres my take on the whole thing.....
I can buy a squier guitar. If it has a good body and neck all i need are some pickups tuners nut and bridge saddles to get me going. After full rewire setup and whatnot im at or under $500 for a guitar that plays just as good as a guitar costing two or three times as much. Same goes for all other brands like Epiphone ltd etc.
I don't judge a guitar by the name on the headstock. I judge it on its own merit and sound.
Me again, with more gas for the fire...I think that what I was REALLY trying to say is that in trying to be all things to all people Fender (and others) have diluted their brand and left the purchasing public scratching their collective noggins trying to figure out what the real difference is between MIA,MIM,MIC and Squier made in God-knows-where. I wasn't decrying the lowering of Q.C. 'cause even the lowly Squiers are well made when you get to the Classic Vibe series, especially. I started playing guitar around 1960 and the overall quality today would blow away all but the very best back then. That's a good thing! Who would have known all those years ago that today we'd be having this merry debate? Cheers.
No, there's actually people like me using really old equipment found at Antique Malls and yard sales. I don't have a TV at all. My cell phone is made in Mexico and its battery in Japan. One of my cars (Honda S-2000) is absolutely 100% Japanese content and these old Saab 9-5s are mostly Swedish or EU and I systematically acquire replacement parts not from that one country.
I bought a $ 700 Swedish mountaineering tent, when supposedly I just needed a MIC tent - my bonus has been the thing is 12 years old and is not going anyplace for another 12 years.
I walk the walk. Count on it and consider the last laugh to be on yourself. When I say I don't buy from that one big country, I actually mean it.
By the way, Olie, Tony is right. What happened here was the Board at FMIC was planning to take the company Public and in order to do so, they wanted to make the company look larger and more diversified. So they contracted with these guys in China, well known existing guitar manufacturers, and get those guys to make some additional new "Fender" models and FMIC would add these models to their existing diversified lineup. Farada is the name of that company.
Two things happened: One, some investors agreed to come in an buy a stake in FMIC without the IPO at all (which helped FMIC cover their debts) and then Farada really did not produce (or at least did not continue to produce) guitars that were satisfactory for the USA market. Some were said to be nice but I found the Squier Classic Vibe instruments to be far superior. FMIC and Farada agreed to part ways and the experiment (Chinese made contract guitars labeled "Fender") has wound down and by now is over. Discontinued. And that's one of the guitars you saw.
Something else of note: FMIC also introduced the Blacktop line (MIM) and it featured on many models, completed Chinese control plate assemblies and Chinese pickups. These were not well received by the USA buyers and as I understand it, they've given up on this as well.
I know I am in the minority here but I do wish Fender would severely reduce the signature models. Just.so.many. And here is where I am going to get flamed. I wish they would have been like Gibson, and kept the flagship name (Fender) MIA only. And Squier by Fender and/or another brand as the overseas brand. I know, ya a Fender is a Fender no matter where it is made. I hear that. But it would sure cut down on the confusion.
And in Japan, Mexico, USA, Indonesia, .
I'm starting to think about my own post and realized that if Fender was only MIA, they would lose about 75 percent of their customers. Silly Troy, marketing is for pros
I think since Gibson has shown you could put the plant in Memphis instead of Baja California Norte, that you could keep it all within the 48 states.
But I think the main reason people accept the MIM guitars so readily is they're wall to wall FMIC DNA. That plant is a FENDER plant and neither Fender nor Gibson actually own or control the facilities in Asia. Those are contract guitars, and while they can often be better than expected they are not intrinsically Fendery guitars. Now that the Chinese sourced control plates are gone from the MIM lineup, the MIM guitars are frankly so similar to the one's build 100 miles to the North that the distinction has broken down.
Some people are about "It has to be 100% USA or I'm out". Others are "It has to seem to be USA or I'm out". Still others are "It has to be from this Hemisphere or I'm out". Another group wants North American plus Japan. Still another wants North American plus Japan and Korea. And there's guys who will buy anything, even counterfeit guitars.
And then there's me. Contract guitars are fine but there's this one country I don't buy from. I'll play them, and I don't even try to find things wrong with them that aren't there. I just call 'em the way I see them but there's this invisible barrier where I don't buy from this one country. Indonesia? Fine. Vietnam? Fine. India? Fine. It is my money, and I really already have plenty of guitars - and I have this one thing I don't buy and I don't have to buy 'em if something tells my heart and mind not to.
I spent much of my career in brand development, and I would have guessed that Fender's product strategy would have diluted and weakened the brand. Obviously I would have been wrong. Regarding the quality of products made in China and all points east, they're as variable as anywhere else. I'm not terribly impressed by Squiers, though they are very good for the money. G&L's Tribute series are better, IMO, as are PRS SEs and Reverends. And while I've owned lots of guitars -- Gibsons, Guilds, Gretsches, American G&Ls and pre and post CBS Fendrs, this little China Doll may be the best I've owned by any objective measure:
Fenders strategy did weaken the brand, depending on point of view.
Best example , CBS.
Also the MIJ series cut into MIA profits considerably, and still do.
Many would rather buy a used MIJ than a new MIA.
Now, if they don't seriously cut the Squier quality, this will cut into MIA sales too.
Course you could argue the money all goes to the same place. ( does it, really? Who knows)
Cadillac nearly lost its brand and certainly its clout in the 70s when this prestige automobile was suddenly being bought by people on welfare.
Meanwhile the Japanese car was better built and value.
Very good point. In some areas good old fashioned American know how and quality isn't all it has been cracked up to be or we never would have seen so many foreign made cars on the roads.
Interesting info Boris. Thanks. I guess it fits with the thought many have that whoever is building the Squier CV series is doing a better job overall than Farada.
Isn't the British pronunciation Jag-u-waaaar?
Yes - and we make them out of Alu-mini-um...
Two great nations separated by a common language.