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Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by olie, Aug 5, 2016.
OK, now that we have those two out of the way let's start on tomato and potato.
Sounds good to me. I'll be back after I've eaten.
One major salient point is that Fender is in business to make a profit. If there is a large chunk of their potential market that cannot afford the price of a MIA guitar it makes sense to produce a range of guitars that can be afforded by that chunk of the market. Fender has being doing that for most of it's history, one way or another.
This is news to me. What Gibson branded guitar is made in China/not the USA?
I know the Epiphone models are made oversees. I was under the impression all Gibson branded instruments were USA. It's a shame Fender didn't keep their main name for the USA stuff.
I didn't refer to them being branded Gibson and Fender only that they produce and sell imported lines. Gibson has their Epiphone line and Fender has their Squier line. Both brands are the property of those respective companies so how I posted was proper in that context.
Also to the best of my knowledge Fender no longer imports guitars from China under it's Fender brand name but if they did and Gibson did as well what difference would it make if they were quality instruments anyone would be happy to own and play? I'm not sure what you're getting at here.
The Fender Modern Player thinline tele made in China comes to mind... ;-)
Yes. If you go back to the beginning of the thread, you'll find that the MP Thinline is the guitar about which the whole discussion started.
It was, and I had one, but I believe Fender has discontinued the entire Modern Player line now although dealers may still have some models in their inventory.
So, if I play songs with heavy North American cultural component, to an audience of people from Iowa or Sonora or Tennessee or Alberta or Wyoming or something, why would I want to interject something with an Indonesian or Korean story? Or a Japanese or Taiwanese story. Or Chinese story? Thanks to the Internet, the people in that audience know your CV is a nice guitar and they also know where it is made. And they know your "Fender Modern Player" is made at another factory across town and that it isn't nearly as good as the CV "Squier". You've got to hope the audience has had enough to drink that they don't need a genuine '55 Telecaster to feel the full pull of the story you're telling. Wear cargo shorts. Wear a false tattoo. If you have an audience that's foolish and doesn't notice any details at all, a guitar from anywhere will do. I'm just respectfully reminding people something that should be self evident: The further a Fender is sourced from Fullerton the harder you have to get everything else right. At some point some people will accept a hologram or a DJ. Nonetheless, effort as to fine detail is often actually noticed and rewarded.
The performance is NOT just about you. The people who pay the admission fee or at least buy drinks, have a say as well. They're not chumps and they're not blocked from access to the same guitar enthusiast sites you post to.
Sorry, Boris, you've often got a lot of sensible stuff to say, but that's among the biggest loads of tosh I've read for a long while. Your prejudice against guitars of a certain national provenance is well-documented in this forum, but I think you've allowed it to colour your judgment to a greater extent here that could be considered anything like reasonable. You're perfectly entitled to an opinion, but what you've written above goes way beyond fair comment.
Boris's occupation is given as retired troublemaker.
Why, so it is. Clearly he's come out of retirement pro tem so as to keep his hand in.
Nobody needs to be fair in their opinion.
Would it be considered "fair" when someone posts specifically they want an American guitar and the majority of responses ignore the request and recommend a Squier or MIM or ask "why does it matter? "
There are some takeaways available in the history of automobile manufacturing and marketing, that I believe are relevant, even if simplified for this format:
1.) Packard: As a traditionally high-priced, lower volume manufacturer, Packard went "downline" with decontented, and/or less expensive to build and price vehicles. It didn't quite work, for a number of reasons, but the end result was that Packard neither sold enough of the lower-end models to keep the company economically viable as planned, AND the brand name suffered (in the eyes of some) a loss of prestige to boot. Instead of Win-Lose, it turned out to be a Lose-Lose, and the company no longer exists.
2.) GM: From Alfred Sloan in 1924- "A car for every purse and purpose" with (sometimes tremendous) overlapping of vehicles at every price point from the most basic Chevrolet to the most-loaded Cadillac, with no "need" to look outside GM for appropriate product and a price you can afford.
Think of if/how any of this applies to Fender and all its variants...
I understand exactly the point you're making, but three things apply here. First of all, the scenario you cite has nothing to do with the subject or theme of this thread, which is specifically to discuss the merits or otherwise of Fender's tendency to stick their brand name on guitars sourced from a variety of countries outside the USA. Secondly, we know from previous experience that our friend Boris is highly prejudiced against instruments sourced from China, but his diatribe in his recent post was in my opinion totally off the wall and frankly nonsensical. And thirdly, the term "fair comment" has a specific meaning in English defamation law, which may or may not be recognised in its strict sense by everyone.
You're absolutely right that opinions expressed are not required to be "fair" in a general sense, although they tend, I suggest, to be more credible and merit more attention if they are. But Boris's rant was, to this reader at least, frankly somewhat outrageous, if not a teeny bit nutty.
First off, I enjoy being able to buy anything made in the USA, just from a certain standpoint (that we cannot talk about here), but we now live in a global economy where a lot of the components in MIA products are imported from overseas anyway (think rosewood for an example). Coming from an engineering/manufacturing background, some things are designed for high production and so, from an economic POV, going off shore not only makes sense from a labor cost issue, but also with little loss of quality. Keeping prices down in a very competitive consumer based global economy is paramount to corporate survival. The "street" prices from an Affinity to a Gibby 335 should not be suspect at all and I believe all are very reasonably priced. Custom Shop stuff are luxury items that are in a different catagory IMO.
One thing that separates us TDPRIers is that we are very well informed consumers (at least in guitar gear). The balance of guitar gear consumers are typical consumers that are easily swayed by marketing. I say, "so be it". Let the mass consumer keep these companies afloat, so that those corporations can still justify building higher quality products at less profit.
I must add that I have seven guitars including a bass and none of them are MIA. MIM, MIK, MIJ and my most expensive guitar, a MIC. Part of it is that I believe in "my value for the money". They are all better than me. Meaning, I try to play up to their potential. When I started out, I had a very cheap guitar, but I was learning to play to it's potential too. I know that there are guitarists that are awesome players and to me they can justify an MIA or even a private luthier. My hat is off to them, but I think it is very nice, if not important, that there are guitars available at every price point.
I will certainly agree that Boris's was, let's say out of the norm that most people would post. But I was just kind of saying fair and unbiased is not always what you are getting on an internet forum.
I don't understand why country of manufacture leads to such verbose and even heated discussions. I've read plenty of threads like this and I wonder to myself "what is the real undercurrent?" Borris' rant about narratives in other counties holds no water when the increased awareness and connectivity facilitated by the digital age breaks down barriers and shifts paradigms every other day. I'm of ancestry that's older than America, thus 'USA-made product' is just another place to give one's hard-earned money. It doesn't mean I don't place value in the ethos of an American-made product--I'm a Leo disciple just like everyone else here. But hell, my MIM TVL Jazzmaster has mostly American-made parts, made by people of all walks of life, and is screwed to a body and neck partly finished in both countries--quality is very high. I feel fine that I helped pay employees fairly for their work through legitimized channels. The TVL's legitimacy isn't riding on MIM vs MIA because its just a dead, clearly labeled consumer product until I or someone more talented comes along and creates something with the tool.
Considered purely as a tool, most folks don't care where the guitar came from, only that it delivers. Play something good and no one is going to pull anyone's card, and if one wants to imply authenticity has everything to do with vintage and pre-CBS, they might be missing a point or at the very least some excellent music. That 'golden age' has passed, and as much as I cherish that time, I don't wish to 'live' there. Yes, FMIC will never equal Leo Fender, so if you bought a modern Fender or Squier it did not give you right to complain, it only invalidated your market voice until you return it for a refund and choose something else.
Out of all the people paying admission, usually less than half of them are serious musicians/gearheads who actually know the difference between guitars made in America and elsewhere. Only a couple serious musicians would actually criticize the guitar's country of origin while at a show, if they could get close enough to see it in detail; they're more concerned with the actual music and the way the band plays the music, wanting to be inspired with new ideas perhaps, if not to just be entertained. Snobby hipsters put the importance of the band's gear and set up before the importance of the actual creation of the band with their set up.
I'm reminded of some lines from "The Man Who Walked Toward The Music", written by Clive James and Pete Atkin and sung by the latter:
He thought that Rickenbacker was a pilot
He couldn't tell a Gretsch from a Les Paul
He didn't know a Stratocaster from a nuclear disaster...
...and so on, the message being that the subject knew nothing of the technicalities involved, but he did know what he liked. My guess is that plenty of people are like that.