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Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by jayroc1, Feb 17, 2021.
I'm friends with a guy who had a parent working in the guitar plant when he was growing up and he is the head amp engineer there now and when I mentioned this thread to him, this was his response:
I wish we built everything in the US more than any of them. We still have a physical factory so I still have hope for it. If it's ever my decision to make, we will do it quickly.
So there is a glimmer of hope I guess...
Separate from that, I just contacted the guy I sold my old Peavey Studio Pro 112 to 30(!) years ago. He said he sold it about 6 months ago and that new owner isn’t even using it. So my guy is working to get it back for me!! I loved that amp. It was my first new amp purchase too.
I have owned a couple of Peavey amps. Both have served me well. One was a mid 70’s, 2X12, 100+ watt killer amp called “Peavey Vintage” with the tube preamp version. It had some of the best clean tones that rival my Fender Pro Reverb amp. The original owner replaced the stock speakers with EV-12L’s and GE 6L6GC tubes. The tubes might have been OEM. Peavey made two versions of the amp. One with a tube (2 each 6C10 compraction tubes) preamp, the other a solid state version. I had the tube version. Downside of this amp was availability of good 6C10 preamp tubes, and the weight of the amp. My second Peavey is an early ’90’s Classic 50 410. A poor mans Bassman. Has never failed me. Upgraded the stock speakers to Weber Alnico’s and some old stock preamp and power tubes. Great clean tones and good pedal platform with a built-in effects loop. Just wish Peavey would have made that amp with 6L6 power tubes. EL84’s were the stock tubes.
I think the days of American made manufactured amps is over. Maybe assembled in the USA might be more likely. True manufactured in the USA amps are likely to contain foreign made components but assembled here. Even US companies like CARR, Dr Z, etc., use some components of foreign origin. That is the new normal.
I almost took a job at Peavey editing for Monitor. Took a gig at DBX as a product manager instead. Big mistake. The guys who bought DBX chewed it up and spit it out, and like Peavey but in 1990-91, laid off everyone but a handful and then sold everything to Orban/AKG/Harman, parade of acquisitions yadda yadda.
I first saw Peavey stuff in 1971 or so, down Arkansas way. I'd say that used Peavey gear from the 1970s-nearly 1990 is a good deal. I'd say that Peavey's marketing went to hell when they defined themselves as the metal rage brand. They also made some good rack gear in the 80s-90s.
One of my favorite guitars is a low-end Tracer I bought used around 1994. It is ugly as hell but it had a maple neck, which I like. I think I paid $80 at Daddy's in Boston. I actually felt bad for it. Ugly Duck.
It's light and solid, great neck, stays in tune. For a long time I used it hardtail style by putting a large chrome nut as a block to fix the trem bridge. Then I did replace the trem bridge and the not-great humbucker with a soapbar. The stock Tele-like neck pickup sounds very good.
All that being said, I am a bass player by training and a rhythm guitarist by default.
Never saw that Undercover Boss thing, just looked it up. I'd call it tragic. I've owned four Peavey transistor amps, still have a Studio Pro 40. USA made, incredibly reliable, very well equipped (all kinds of EQ, EFX loop, line out). Peavey defined the feature set that became standard. There was better gear, of course! but the value for money was topnotch. The working musician's friend... BTW, I played a roomful of amps once in a store, and the Bandit came in right behind the Fender Blues Deluxe, a great amp, but twice the weight and three times the price of the Bandit. I don't know if Peavey will come back, but I do know that others will step in to do what Peavey did, because there's a need for it.
For one thing, Peavey has lost it's brand recognition - ask any player under 30. Without brand recognition, it's a long, uphill battle to make a name for yourself in any competitive market. It's only us old farts who know who they were. We remember Zenith, RCA, and Motorola as the big guns in TV. Even Panasonic, Sanyo and Gold Star have disappeared from that market. Hardly anyone born after 1990 will have a clue who they were. Same with Peavey. They would have to develop a completely new amp technology or concept to make a dent.
Sorry. Hit the wrong button & started quoting myself.
There's still a ****tone of those in second hand market.
It's just that the whole tube amp market is decreasing due to dsp and digital simulation huge upgrade in thé last 10 years which were amazing.
I bought mine in 2009, and I had a lot of friend who had valveking in high school.
I wish they would fire up the Mississippi CNC machines and make a chambered T-60. Folks would buy em! Heck, start selling the super Ferrite pickups too while your at it, folks would buy those too!
Was waiting for someone to state the obvious.
I think younger players are less focussed on brand names in general because a brand name does not mean all that much anymore.
Indeed, but it was Sam Walton himself that went to China and made the deals before he died. Now, 70% of the products you buy at Walmart are Made in China. (A true statistic). Once Walmart set the precedent, then the other department stores had to follow suit and have their products Made in China, too.
At age 40 I went to college for the first time. I was a McNair Scholar in my undergrad and did a research paper on Globalization. It was Bill Clinton (just stating facts, not wanting politics here) who signed into law and opened he trade door to China through the "U.S.-China Relations Act of 2000."
If you need some material to put you to sleep some night, here is my research paper published (2008) in the scholarly journal "McNair Chronicles" on the subject of Globalization and US Job Loss... (click the blue "Download" button to download a PDF copy. The paper is complete with a rather large bibliogrpahy of reference to every statement...
This law put in place is partly why we now see even more products made in China. It allows companies like Peavey and thousand more to close up shop in the US, buy a factory in China, and have their products made in that country instead of ours. Now there are a whole bunch of amplifier makers who have their stuff made in China...
My fear is that now that Gibson owns Mesa/Boogie that we will now start seeing some kind of Mesa/Choogie stuff floating in made in China, but with US pricing... yikes...
Marshall, Orange, Vox, Fender... and many more have stuff coming from China these days...
Good thing is... let's remember that some of the mentality of the Chinese folks is like the Shaolin Monks mentality who do nothing but practice their martial arts from age 3 to the day they die. Let's hope that some of that mentality is in practice at the musical merchandisers factories in China... Humans are humans every where. Just because the human lives in the USA doesn't make him or her a better maker of goods.
What controls the quality of the goods they make off shore is the upper management, CEO, board of directors of the actual company who calls the shots for the supply chain of components inside these products. For example, the upper management of Gibson makes the final decision on what hardware, wood and electronics go into a guitar made in China. The same upper management is on the team to choose who does the quality control of those products.
I have several Epiphone guitars that are to me, a 45 year guitar veteran, are just nothing short of spectacular.
As far as Indonesia, when I was looking into that country and their culture I learned that fine hand-made wood working has been in their country for CENTURIES... long before there was ever a USA, Orville Gibson, Leo Fender, or Paul Reed Smith... I also have some Epiphones (and PRS SE's, and G&L Tribute series) from Indonesia that are fine quality guitars. They aren't play toys like what we may have seen come out of Asian countries in the 1970s. In the last 50 years a lot has changed in the world of manufacturing.
As far as Peavey... I used to hate Peavey because in the 1980s I had a Peavey Classic 50w 2x12" tube amp that blew up 4 times and I had never taken it out of my bedroom. I boycotted Peavey for like 40 years.
Recently on Facebook Marketplace a guy had a 1980-something Peavey Bandit 65 for sale for $100. For that money, I thought, oh what the hell... and brought it home. I've owned a lot of amp makes over the years and for prejudiced reasons hated Peavey for that one crappy amp they sold me in like 1981... But this Bandit 65 rocks... hahaha... I'll never be a "Peavey Convert" but for $100 I got a pretty dang cool amp to sit nect to my recliner in the livingroom and plug in to... And on the back it says "Made in U.S.A."
Perhaps, but brand names like Apple, Nike, Levis and Coke (for example) still carry a lot of weight across generational lines.
The previous administration started to roll back that trend, but after 1/20 that has changed.
One does have to admit that the Pac Rim stuff from China, Vietnam and Indonesia "can be" of very high quality these days.
"As far as Indonesia, when I was looking into that country and their culture I learned that fine hand-made wood working has been in their country for CENTURIES... long before there was ever a USA, Orville Gibson, Leo Fender, or Paul Reed Smith... I also have some Epiphones (and PRS SE's, and G&L Tribute series) from Indonesia that are fine quality guitars. They aren't play toys like what we may have seen come out of Asian countries in the 1970s. In the last 50 years a lot has changed in the world of manufacturing."
I will vouch for the Indonesian work ethic and attention to quality, as I personally know many Indonesians (including my wife), and there aren't many cultures that value hard work and personal integrity more than them.
I have a decent collection of older USA made Peavey amps that see regular use. 4 powered mixer amps, all of which purchased used and one of which I just acquired this week for a bargain, and a Backstage 20w practice amp. The power cords will wear out before the amp does.
You're misunderstanding causes, and consequences regarding the act.
Market regulation often comes afterward, not before, in order to prevents something to happens.
Which was terrible labour condition in china in late XXth (even worse).
And it's generally speaking economically wrong, regarding the exemple of japan post World War II and competivity regarding lower value goods.
And China did not won on cheap stuff, but with their forces in semi-conductors craftship.
Actually it was Richard Nixon who began opening trade with Communist China. Most every administration since then has supported open trade agreements (not just with China, but practically every other country in the world). The only two “major” countries that we don’t trade with are Cuba and North Korea.
According to a friend whose brother worked at Peavey for many years, it's unlikely any amps will ever be made in the USA again.
Everyone involved- Peavey, the employees, the investors, the city and the state of Mississippi, all desperately wanted Peavey to survive in the U.S. and in Mississippi, and every measure that could have saved it was tried and taken.
There just wasn't any way it could. There may be no single cause for Peavey's downfall, and there may not be any cause at all, except for changing times.
There's next to nothing that's like what it used to be in the musical instrument business now. Playing music as a pastime or as a professional occupation just isn't as popular or as widespread as it was even as recently as a decade ago.
And 10 years ago, things were bad then. This has been growing for close to 30 years now. All over the world, except for parts of Asia, Africa, and scattered bits and pieces of humanity.
On the contrary, I think a brand name is exactly what these corporations are counting on to market the products to noobies. They've heard of "Fender" that their dad or grandpa played, but that was before Fender used the same brand name and started limiting quality on purpose. Upper management decides what wood, hardware and electronics go into "Fender" (or "Squier") guitars, and by name recognition along they get voted as a "I'll take it home" guitar.
Now add to that all the name brands dad and grandpa used and maybe these younger folks saw them using, and they go for those name brands first.
But as far as "Made in USA" or the brand name being synonymous with "quality" that does not exists anymore.
In my thinking and opinion "Made in USA" took a dive with the coming of the IBM PC clones, and mostly from Bill Gates decisions and from Microsoft. Prior to this on the timeline of goods and services, yes if it said "Made in America" it was synonymous with "this product has great quality right out of the box"
But enter Bill Gates and Microsoft in around 1985-ish with the first Windows operating systems. To date, Microsoft has NOT ONCE released a quality, bug free operating system that could be synonymous with the quality expected with the term "Made in U.S.A." I have a degree in computer networking, and college certificates in computer hardware and computer software... during my studies, I learned that this is how it works at Microsoft...
1) Typically Microsoft rushes their new operating system (or any of their software) to market as fast as possible, and has always had bugs needing to be fixed when issued to market.
2) When someone buys a brand new computer with the very first generation of the new Microsoft Windows software, and as customers call or email in with problems with the operating system, Microsoft creates a sort of a database of issues.
3) As certain issues are reported, which ever issues have the most amount of complaints get the earliest attention of the Microsoft managers who delegate their software writers to write small fixes for the problems.
4) Microsoft then relies on a part of their operating system software called "Windows Update" that their software writers use to send out that they label as "security patches." These are actually fixes to bugs in the software Microsoft didn't take the time to go over before sending the product to market.
5) As time goes on and a series of dozens and dozens and dozens (and dozens) of these types of "fixes" have been issued out, after a certain number of bugs and problems have been found, the management then orders the software writers to assemble all of the bug fixes into one larger package called a "Service Pack." Then they use the same Windows Update system over the Internet to send out service packs. Often abbreviated as "SP1" for "Service Pack version 1."
Some of their operating systems keep getting calls and email notification and the software writers keep correcting the bug-filled code, then after so much time has gone by, there might be a "Servie Pack 2" ...which is a complete collection of all of the original bug fixes, the compilation of bug fixes in Servie Pack 1, more bug fixes... than a complete collection of all the the screw-ups, bug fixes and quality issues realized since the first day the software was introduced to the market.
Meanwhile Bill Gates rakes in billions... selling bug-filled crap software that right out of the starting line is terrible quality, and "Made in the USA" (or where ever they pay software engineers to write the code)
This marked the death of "Made in USA" meaning the same as "Quality."
Blame it on Microsoft, LOL...
But you couldn't give me an Apple anything. Usually between 3x's to 5-10x's more expensive. Almost no software available on the software aisles... IMHO, a total rip-off as far as computing goes.
Just hand me a box of new parts, an empty computer case and I'll build my own that will last longer with less issues than any factory-made PC.
Now I don't even bother with that... for $100-$150 you can buy a previously leased and returned to the leasing company desktop or laptop, that might be 2-3 year old technology, that still does every exactly the same as buying the latest/greatest computer at BestBuy... and when it breaks you throw it away, you don't pay somebody $100/hr to fix it...
And pretty much all of the desktops and laptops made today are made anywhere BUT in the USA...
If I do buy a used previously leased computer, I do look for the "Lenovo" name as this is the consumer leg of IBM... I have a lot of good luck with anything put together by Lenovo...
I think their time has come and gone. And it's not just where the stuff is manufactured - tehy completely screwed their name and rep when the news broke about the way they were treating employees.