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Are there Fender amps still made in USA?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Neener, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Afflicted

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    I’m agnostic about it I guess. I have no idea about fender, but I have worked at places where employees are treated fairly and places where they’re not. Or places that manufacture responsibly and places that don’t. And from all sides of the political spectrum too, how people run their business isn’t always in line with their political party. It’s sort of a case by case basis. I think the fact that most people don’t know how the sausage is made and have this idea that manufacturing is as it was in 1970 something, or that they feel like they’re supporting a mom and pop obscures the whole thing.
     
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  2. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    Fender's not even as qualified as the asian electronics industry to build the boards that go in their amps. There are thousands of suppliers in Asia that are capable of producing stuff that is light years beyond what is needed in a Fender amp. Their overseas suppliers could probably tell them how to greatly improve the reliability and performance of the amps while cutting costs if someone asked.

    It makes little sense for them to not outsource a lot of the stuff on the PCB amps. Even if it was done in the US they'd probably want to outsource it, but that would make the amps cost a lot more too, because the US manufacturers probably have more important & more expensive contracts to work on.

    As for stuff like the ToneMaster.. Fender couldn't possibly build those completely in house. They'd cost a million dollars each if Fender did everything themself. They have to piggy back off the rest of the electronics industry. If that means processors & DSPs made in Taiwan or China that's what it means.

    It can't be repeated enough... your smartphone is about a billion times more sophisticated than anything Fender makes.
     
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  3. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    It's probably all relative anyway...

    Think of the "Industrial Revolution" from the 18th and 19th centuries, when there were no worker's rights or child labor laws.

    Point is, you're correct, how can you tell what's good and what's bad anymore? And do we really ponder any of this when we are purchasing all that crap from Amazon?



    `
     
  4. LoveHz

    LoveHz Tele-Holic

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    Wulf: tell it like it is, pal. I would expect nothing else from dear old Saltburn! I lived on Teesside for six years during the '70s and was gigging around that area for most of the time. Many happy memories -- Loftus Club, Coatham Bowl and a whole bunch of clubs between Middlesbrough and Newcastle.
     
  5. Dietcokedream

    Dietcokedream TDPRI Member

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    I believe they are. In this video:

    there is a portion of the factory tour where they walkthrough where amps are being assembled. Pretty cool.
     
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  6. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    Also the assembled in the US badges on the Fender site seem like an afterthought and maybe not accurate?

    E.x. I would expect every one of the hand wired tube amps is made in the US given what they're charging.

    But the '64 Custom Princeton Reverb doesn't say assembled in the US,

    The '57 Custom Deluxe does say it's assembled in the US, without looking at all the amps it almost seems like they just threw that in there on the 57 Custom Deluxe and didn't bother putting origin information on most amp pages.
     
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  7. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    `
    @ 55:27... to be exact...

    I think I'll sleep a little better tonight, thanks @Dietcokedream !

    So I'm thinking the main difference between saying that something is "Made in the USA" and "Assembled in the USA" (as far as the video seems to imply) is that the majority of the the actual work is done in the US while a certain percentage of the components are probably imported.

    In that case I'm proud to support those domestic workers, even though it'd still be nice if most of the parts could be manufactured here too - but one can only wonder how much that would increase costs as well...


    `
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2020
  8. Count

    Count Friend of Leo's

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    Just for interests sake I looked up the USA price listed for a Fender 57 custom Champ. Sweetwater lists it at $999.99 USA dollars. In Australia the list price is $1999.00 Aus dollars. In other words $1000 US versus $2000 Aus. The exchange rate lists $2000 Aus as $1472 US and $1000 US as $1356 Aus. In other words here in Aus we pay $644 australian dollars more for the same amp as in the US. To put it another way, if you in the US were paying what we pay it would cost you $1472 US dollars. Note I am talking list price here, but that sort of price diference does mean that in countries like ours, USA made (or assembled) comes with a significant mark up that makes those items less competitive.
     
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  9. 41144

    41144 Tele-Afflicted

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    No doubt Fender will "make" products in the USA.

    Lots of things can be made in country X, Y or Z....
    But are, all the components, also made in X or Y or, Z?

    and then... To what degree is it " Made in the USA" as opposed to assembled in... ? iPhone is the perfect analogy here.

    Also, for example, BMW Mini... Some parts, even including the engine, might be from the UK, but equally could be from anywhere in Europe!
     
  10. Neener

    Neener Tele-Holic

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    We unfortunately don't pay the same markup for "Made in Australia". That's just not right!
     
  11. JDRNoPro

    JDRNoPro Friend of Leo's

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    I don't believe there are any amps completely "made in USA" - even the so-called "boutique" builders are "assemblers" too. Can't buy new USA made tubes, many USA name speakers are now produced overseas, lots of individual electronic components are not manufactured in USA........and so forth. Much different economy worldwide than it was 50 years ago.
     
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  12. Count

    Count Friend of Leo's

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    Not sure that the mark up is due to where it is made, more to do with myriad other factors.
    There are not too many amps that carry made in Australia labels these days, quite a few have "Designed in Australia" . Mind you, Fender has a few models with a similar label.:)
     
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  13. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Just a heads up that anything that says it comes with "Schumacher" transformers are Chinese import transformers. The only ones that are different are the amps where they specifically mention that they're equipped with Mercury Magnetics transformers.
     
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  14. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    Eminence and Weber both build their speakers in the USA.
     
  15. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Hell, you didn't even ask that. You just asked a yes or no question.

    The answer is, "Yes."
     
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  16. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I do believe that there is quite a bit of import duties placed upon that Fender amp by Australia, isn’t there???


    Eminence speakers used to halve ‘Made in the USA’. They now state, ‘Assembled in the USA’. They use made in Ch8na parts whereas they used to have USA-made parts. WEber??? I might think they still make all,of their speakers but for the .signature entirely of Us-sourced materials but I don’t know for sure. As I understand it, The Signature series is built of Chinese-sourced components...and priced accordingly.


    Fwiw, I have seen a price list for raw Jensen ALnicos back in the 1950’s. There are very few here who would pay the price in inflation-adjusted USD. Think Tone Tubby prices plus some.....
     
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  17. David C

    David C TDPRI Member

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    I feel for you. I went to Australia once and the Starbucks coffee i pay $2.85 USD in the US cost me around $5.00 in Australia. So I think you may also have higher import duties to deal with that we don't see here. My way of thinking, this is why the world has to shift production to other parts of the world to stay competitive. The ToneMaster Twin Reverb costs us $1000 here. It ships from China to Australia, never sees the US shore.

    How much is it in Australia?
     
  18. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    A search shows it lists at $1899 Aussie bucks...sale at $1499.
     
  19. Prostheta

    Prostheta TDPRI Member

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    This will garner me an infinitely large amount of hatred and ire, however I would say "I hope not". The game isn't the same any more. Look at Dewalt tools that are "made-ssembled in the USA(from globally-sourced parts)". The margins simply do not exist to justify any work done in the US being of a standard that compares to "Made in the USA" 30-40yrs years ago. Not opinion, simply facts. There are very few products made in the USA that aren't so pared back, corners cut or overpriced that justify the ticket any more. If I wanted a high-spec Fender amp comparable to top-shelf Fenders made in the USA, I'd build one by hand myself. Parts are parts, however you can always put your own hours in to make the end product better than a rushed off-the-shelf item made from Chinesium that just has a Fender badge on it.

    The bottom line is that your money will be better spent refurbing a vintage piece or doing the work yourself; there'll always be 100% genuine love in that. :D
     
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  20. deeval

    deeval TDPRI Member

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    If I am looking to buy a made in USA amp, I will buy from a small shop that makes them by hand like Vintage Sound, Louis Electric, they make great vintage Fender amps that sound great and are built to outstanding quality, like the original amp they are reproducing.
    I have never had to complain about the ones I own from ever needing to send back in for repairs, like some of the Fender amps I have purchased in the past that were assembled in the USA, I know lots of people that think it has to have the Fender nameplate on the amp. The thing is also they are still selling tons of amps that are the 68 custom series of amps. and in fairness to Fender, they sound pretty good, I had a Deluxe and a Vibrolux, and the Deluxe I had a problem the first week, took it back to the store and exchanged for the Vibrolux and it held up till I sold it.
     
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