Does made in the US matter?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by marco321, Jan 2, 2016.

  1. trackerdan

    trackerdan Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    U.S.A mmmm, not so much.

    [/QUOTE]Remember, back in the 70s, Fender made a hell of a lot of firewood. At the time, Fender customers would happily tell anyone and everyone that Japanese guitars were a joke. We all know now that Tokai were building better guitars than Fender could.

    More than one country is capable of quality control.[/QUOTE]

    Not just Fender. But now that you've brought it up, the 70's maple neck Fenders had a veneer maple fret board on the maple neck. Even the 70's series reissues they have now don't do that.

    Martin - green wood spruce tops, and a generation or longer of neck resets. Dog *hit tone.

    Gibson - uncured, improperly dried guitars weighed a ton and sounded like *hit.

    All the big USA manufacturers were grasping at straws to cut costs.

    And let's face it their best guitars are their reissues. Gibson caught on in the early 80's. Fender had to practically go into receivership to start getting their act together.

    The joke was that back in the mid 70's plane loads of Japanese businessman were flying to the U.S and buying every vintage guitar they could and taking them back home and critically dissecting them to the inth degree and recreating the legend. I literally watched this happen to Norm of "Norm's Rare guitars". One day while I was in his original store a busload of Japanese businessmen pulled up to Norm's store and cleaned him out like a swarm of piranha. Great for Norm bad for the American players.

    As far as I can tell with amps and pedals a lot of manufacturers use pc board mounted input/output jacks and potentiometers no matter what the country of origin. This is cheap *hit that breaks easily and can be hard to repair. One can only wonder what else they do to cut costs.
     
  2. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Many U.S. companies went through horrific changes during the '70s in order to keep competitive with very inexpensive Japanese goods, but those days are for the most part gone now. My most expensive guitar is made in China though.
     
  3. marco321

    marco321 NEW MEMBER!

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    Thanks for your thoughts everyone - I think I will spend the extra bit, but agree that as a whole good products could be made elsewhere. I appreciate the angle on jobs and suppose that is always a reason if you can afford to go that route. (I am in the US.)
     
  4. Lowbassnotes

    Lowbassnotes Friend of Leo's

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    Welcome Marco and if you want to do the "keep it local" thing there's some real good pedal builders in your state-Creepy Fingers is one for example that builds top quality boxes, not cheap but stuff worth keeping around.
     
  5. wildschwein

    wildschwein Tele-Afflicted

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    Some of my favourite, most quirky electronic gear was made in the Soviet Union. I buy oddball microphones all day on eBay from the old Eastern Block countries 'cause you can pick them up for cheap and they don't sound stereotypical on recordings. I love made in the USSR. The older Russian Big Muffs still incorporated some of that Soviet ethos in their designs and sounded thick and cool.

    Some of the old military tubes are pretty nice too and can take ridiculous punishment before death -- there are 12ax7, 6L6 and EL84 equivalents etc made by the forerunner of Sovtek but they were made to much more rigid specs. Again you can find on eBay for cheap.
     
  6. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I agree wholeheartedly. Even John Fogerty used a MIJ Les Paul
    except for his encore.
    I have 3 teles- one MI America and it has the poorest neck joint of them all- good- but not as tight as mine.
    Time to wake up and see that other countries produce better products in many areas.;)
     
  7. czech-one-2

    czech-one-2 Friend of Leo's

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    Made in Japan [Maxon/Ibanez/Providence etc] is certainly on par with anything made in the US. Sonically, made in China can hang with made in the US anyday.
    So, uh... no, doesn't matter so much with pedals.

    There are exceptions though, builders that are actually creating new circuits, but they are not exclusive to the US.
     
  8. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    There's also many Chinese pedals which don't have SMDs, for example the regular size Joyos have regular components, although tiny resistors, most likely machine soldered. Not as many Chinese hand-wired pedals, although a few do exist I think. I've certainly seen Chinese point-to-point amps.

    US can be excellent, but first I would check out:
    1. Company reputation, if I know and like other pedals by them.
    2. If there's a pedal I'm actually looking for. I don't like all pedals from one manufacturer. Some have sounds I'm not interested in at all.
     
  9. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

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    I love this pedal (made in the uk) but it's to pricey for my budget.



    I know this probably wasn't an answer you were looking for but you can find good quality pedals from other countries which are reputable when it comes to manufacturing electrical goods. (You may pay for it though) I quite like the some of the chinese pedals though like the joyos and other similar brands.
     
  10. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Where do the electronic components for these US made pedals come from? - the far east. Practically everything is imported bar the assembly labour.
     
  11. thecornman

    thecornman Tele-Meister

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    To me it doesn't matter at all! IMO the best pedals out there are Boss and well they have never been made in the USA.
     
  12. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Does it matter to you? That's all that matters.

    It matters to me. I buy absolutely every product for every need in my life based on that criteria. If I can get one (of anything) US made, I do. If I'm buying new.

    If I'm buying used it doesn't matter as much, though I still do it when I can. For new products though, it's almost mandatory. A new amp or guitar? I ain't buying anything but USA if it's at all possible. There's nearly zero reason not to.

    Used? I'll buy imported stuff. Because when I buy it, it's already sent its profit overseas. This time, when I buy it, the money stays here.

    Sometimes it's unavoidable, try finding a TV or a digital camera made in the USA. Or a toaster or microwave. Good luck.

    I recently bought an Asian made Orange amp. I needed a lightweight, small, loud, inexpensive SS amp. It was by far and away the best sounding option, and I couldn't find a used one. I looked. So I bought a new chinese amp. No choice.

    I'm not psychotic about it. I obviously own a lot of foreign products. Many times I just don't have a choice in the matter. But if I do have a choice, I'll take USA every time. I have no issue paying the extra money. So maybe I have to save up a while instead of getting it right this minute. It's worth it to me. But that's me. YMMV, as they say.

    If I do have to buy foreign, the next step after searching for a used one, is to search for one that at least comes from a place with fair labor practices. I don't always succeed, but you can bet I try.

    I could bury my head in the sand and just not give a damn. Except that I can't. It's not worth the savings. I gotta sleep at night. Which means knowing that I at least tried to buy responsibly. I work very hard not to give my hard earned money to bad stuff. Some people don't care, I do.
     
  13. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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  14. supersoldier71

    supersoldier71 Tele-Holic

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    I have decided to only buy amps and pedals made here in North Carolina.
     
  15. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Good move. In addition to trying to keep everything in the USA, I will absolutely buy local whenever there is an opportunity. I have a custom handwired amp, and four guitars that were made in Lakewood, Ohio. About two miles from my house when I lived in Cleveland. I've already looked up some info on local Denver builders, should I have a need arise here.
     
  16. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Not to me, either.
    I have MIM Cabronita, a MIJ Gretsch, a MIK DeArmand, a MIC Yamaha, a MII Tobias, to accompany my MIA Goodall, G&L, Giebitz and Gibson.
    Love em' all!
     
  17. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    The world is a small place, it sometimes seems.
     
  18. rexrocks23

    rexrocks23 NEW MEMBER!

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    The Wah was invented in England and so was The original tape echo, the Octavia. Roger Mayer invented a lot in England. I don't think it matters where they are made as long as they do what we want them too. Some people prefer the Soviet made Electro Harmonix stuff and go out of their way to NOT use the US made versions. Anyone who has built a pedal knows it's the person who makes it not the country. I think some great pedals and FX have come out of Japan. The first Tubescreamer was invented in Japan.
     
  19. Ash Telecaster

    Ash Telecaster Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    There are really two questions to me. The first is supporting the local economy and the second is the value relative to cost. The first question is a no brainer. Sure I'd like to support the local economy. Sometimes it's not practical but I do when I can.

    The second issue, value, reminds me a lot of another recent discussion of whether or not to invest in Boutique products. In the case of domestic manufacture it does not necessarily involve a higher quality product. What many do not realize is what a company surrenders by moving manufacturing over seas. They often lose direct control over quality. They often do not actually own the over seas facility. Instead they order production runs from a manufacturer and this has a cost in time and turn around. They lose agility. It can also mean the a company loses it's research and development resources. A thing might look good on paper but not actually live up to expectations. Costs have to be very low due to shipping and tariffs. This means cutting corners wherever possible.

    All these things give domestic manufacturers an advantage with the exception of unit cost which is almost certainly going to be higher. Because the cost is higher domestic manufacturers often focus on higher end buyers.

    An MXR might be great. Electrons certainly don't care what country the product was manufactured in as long the design is good and the parts meet up to spec.

    That being said, I had the opportunity to meet Brian Wampler in person. He actually worked hard to talk with me in a super noisy environment. Because of the noise it was difficult but I was able to tell him what I was interested in and he was able to tell me what he was thinking when he designed his pedals. I bought two, the Dual Fusion and the Plexi Deluxe. I feel the investment was worth it. I appreciated his personal investment in meeting his customers. I could have easily bought a half dozen OEM pedals that make buzzy sounds for what I paid for these pedals but am glad I bought these instead.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016
  20. ICTRock

    ICTRock Tele-Afflicted

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    the wah was not invented in England by Roger Mayer ... it was invented in America by Brad Plunkett at Thomas Organ Company when they were trying to work around the midrange boost switch of the Vox Super Beatle
     
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