I believe that American economic ethnocentric view of the world has negated the low budget Audiophile the opportunity to enjoy excellent audio products. I recently purchased a pair of Chinese loudspeakers that rival in manufacturing details and performance many North american and "Exotic" European products. Having been in this hobby for more than 30 Years, I can brag on having listened to a lot of different speakers as well as to having devoloped a good "ear" to detect flaws on what I am listening.I've learned that MUSICALITY is what matters. First, it is taken as a fact that Chinese Tubes or Valves are no Good. However, Siemens, Mullard and the like British Valves are "top of the line".That same prejudiced mentality, leads buying decisions all across the audio enthusiast world, be that, when buying cables to deciding on a CD player. Well , one thing is for sure, the prices asked for a quad of NOS tubes of the brands mentioned before is abusive, to say the least. Besides, the Chinese also had enough intelligence and manpower to be a Nuclear Power.Do you think our bombs are better? We need to destroy the audio hype and promote the hobby by making it affordable to most people and not a status symbol. All for the love of music! Having heard the performance to price ratio of products like Cayin, Ming Da and others, motivated me to buy a speaker by JINYON AUDIO CO. LTD called Elite Aesthet VI. This speaker will blow you away and you will not spend $1500.00 on a pair, that is, if you can get a pair. Check out the link below. http://www.hifi-elite.com/onlyforbea.htm
I think you confuse many people's desire to support manufacturers in their home country (or continent) with prejudice. Many people have been directly affected by outsourcing of jobs, and so they see that the less expensive Chinese import product also has hidden costs to our societies in North America and Europe.
I wish China all the best as it struggles to build a healthy middle class, but I don't like to see the rise of the Chinese middle class matched by the decimation of the US middle class. For all the talk of opportunity for American and European businesses in China it is largely that .. talk. For now the trade is almost entirely one way, thanks to our political (and business) masters, and a mercantilist Chinese development policy.
I wouldn't doubt the Chinese could build a good product. They've been building a lot of "Ours" for years. With a global economy, what American manufacturer has a piece of equipment that every part in it(of it) was manufactured in the USA? Where do all your CD transports come from? I buy the best (too me) equipment I can afford. I use Vandersteen, Theta, Ayre, Audioquest and Acoustic Zen. Although these are reported to be "American" companies, I doubt any of them are foreign part free. How many Toyota's are built in Japan anymore? Import tariffs are too high to do that. I agree with Seandtaylor in principle. However, a lot of foreign car manufacturers are here now creating jobs. You can't look at anything as "Us vs them" anymore.
the products are well made and many sound world class. it is the disregard for intellectual property rights and child labor laws, among other things that need to be fixed. the brands that hide the fact they are made in china, and exploit the chinese (and the consumer) are the bad guys here.
i agree with all of the above statements and would like to add another. wages in china are 40 cents an hour material costs due to major bulk buying are ridiculously cheap so then why are all types of audio equiptment made in china just a little bit cheaper. audio equiptment should be at least 75% cheaper to reflect production and wage costs. lets not blame the chinese but the greedy bloodsucking few in northamerica whom we should not be supporting. it might cost a little more buy canadian or american help your neighbour to help you. orfe
boy it's a debate but i agree with above that i buy what i can afford if it's wilson then it would be wilson but i can't afford wilson so i buy a good loudspeaker in my price range,,,,,the world market is just that and we are all going to decide what we personally are going to do......i don't doubt for one minute that several speakers and amps , cds from china are going to sound very good and the money is right according to retail, but it's an individual right to buy what you want to and my money goes well that is my business. all of you are correct.........goodlistening and enjoy the music because that's what it's all about ...the music.....thanks for letting me ramble....dwhitt
The low cost of manufacture in China is not due only to low wages. Their factories are all new, and equipped with the latest automated tools, such as the machines that "stuff" circuit boards with all the resistors, capacitors, and ICs, and wave solder the result. This resembles the situation in Europe following WW2, when we rebuilt all their factories which we had bombed to rubble, while we continued to use our 1930's facilities.
Also, people who decry the balance-of-trade situation overlook the fact that much of what we import is our own product being made in China.
"Also, people who decry the balance-of-trade situation overlook the fact that much of what we import is our own product being made in China."
My first preference would be for a product designed and made in the US or in a country with similar (or better) labour and environmental laws.
My second preference would be a Chinese product from Chinese designers, with Chinese manufacturer, and minimum importer markup. At least the money goes to the people doing the work.
My absolute last preference is for a "US" or "UK" product, made in China, sold at the same price as products made in the US or UK, with a very small number of individuals in the US/UK pocketing the extra they've made by transferring all assembly overseas. The same goes for products where the importer/distributor adds a huge markup. That's why I'd always buy Rega or Cyrus instead of Quad or Creek if I were still living in the UK.
I like to support my neighbours, and I like to support the people who design and build things. What I don't want to support are those that offshore jobs so that they can sidestep labour and environmental laws and become wealthy in doing so.
If you give the three fingered Asian child proper instructons, good parts, and are using good engeneering there is no reason that the product can't be as good if not better than an American product and cheaper.
China is a force of nature at this point. We can accept it and addapt, or perrish in the global manufacturing ecconomy.
THe only reason for refusing to buy (if you think you can) from China is the fact that the government could care less about the working conditions and environmental impact of industry. It would be preferable to support American industry but that would require allowing those willing to take manufacturing jobs into the country legaly. I guess we will continue supporting maquiadoras South of the border instead of revitalizing our own consumer goods manufacturing industry.
the counterfeited music and movies being manufactured in china, dwarfs all the piracy on the internet combined. Supporting audio hardware manufactured there is hypocritical. in most cases, the pirated products outnumber the genuine articals. like i said, the sound and build of chinas hi fi gear has little to do with 'not buying' it. Support those manufacturers based in countries that respect copyrights, patents, trademarks, and human rights.
I for one can say they make great speakers. Usher Audio. I only had under $3000 to buy a new set of speakers for a very large room and nothing under $3000 could beat the Usher CP 6371 speakers. These monsters sound as good and alot better than other speakers for $4500 and under like Sonus Fabers, Dali, VS VR4-jr, Legacy, etc which I all auditioned. Unbeleivable deal for a wonderfull high end speaker. Love em!
ANother thing. Its not just parts in a speaker we buy. Its the makers ear and experience we are buying. Sonus Fabers owners taste in audio sound, US money in Italy and import fee's is what makes their speakers so unreasonably expensive. I'm happy to know that Usher hired Doctor D'Apollo to design their speakers :)
China produces 5 x more engineers per year than the USA...and with much improved manufacturing skills from the west...China now has BOTH the labour and production skills to truly dominate any sector they want...
Phasecorrect is, uh, correct. We AMERICANS are falling woefully behind in education and if our elected officials continue to give most of OUR money to military contractors and only lip service for education (look at the last spending bill) our future might not be so secure. Watch India, not just China, and dont underestimate the EU. That being said, its hard to say if Chinese hifi is coming from Kathy Lee sweat shops or Micheal Jordan sneaker factories. I wonder how many boycott Wal-Mart here?
I am always bemused I Am American, Buy American thing. Many companies you think are American are not. More than 50% of NYSE stock exchange's market cap is owned by foreign investors and companies. The Fed deficit is being funded by essentially by the Far East's central banks. The US is the largest recipient of foreign direct investment in the world. And yes I live in HK and no I am not Chinese.
This thread is turning into a political joke on all things made in China. If you want to buy a piece of gear to encourage one's country or economy, buy it. Nothing wrong with that. If however you wish to buy something that gives you the best bang for the buck, good musical pleasure (what this hobby is all about) then, chinese gear is BY FAR your best bet. Funny, no one ever mentions the outrageaous prices charged by some North American compagnies that manufacture, all things considered, nice but somewhat very ordinary-sounding gear. Sim Audio comes to mind, leading the pack, but there are a few others. Of course, some great value gear also comes from North America also. McCormack comes to mind. QUAD L series speakers too, but they are made in China...
Dont forget that some retailers make a truckload of money, taking advantage of Chinese-made gear, like our all-american audio retailer king Kevin Deal of Upscale Audio, and also king of bad-taste with his tacky advertizing. You should ask him what HE thinks of chinese gear...
My personnal hope in this. That this serves as a lesson and a wake-up call to an industry that has taken it's customers for granted for too long. Just go to your local high-end shop, and check if the snob-o-meter has come down somewhat - we still have a long way to go.....
audio/video pirates have a safe harbour in china. unfortunately many british and american companies, who play on our love for recorded music, don't really care about its future. as long as they can make a killing 'now' using china to crank out cheapo components, they don't give a damn that they are supporting the destruction of the music industry, and the end of intellectual property rights as we know them. the hi fi mags(and internet sights) should take a stand on this, but supporting reasonably priced audio gear made in other countries means fewer ads. the margins on gear from china are such, they can advertise freely, and still make a killing.
I don't understand nationalis arguments because we in the USA are happy to buy other non-US brands, which also can be said to cost US jobs, and most of those countries don't lend us their hard earned cash to finance our consumption.
However, I find all this politics somewhat out of place here. It would be nice to read a proper review of these speakers from someone who has heard them.
When the USA was a young brash nation we (or our forefathers) paid little respect to intellectual property rights. In the field of music the example that I recall is the work of Gilbert and Sullivan (comic operas...Pirates of Penzance, Mikado...etc.) Within weeks of opening in London rip-off performances were on stage in New York and other US cities.
Well, it is a matter of value. People are right that US made things are usually over priced. With gas prices souring to $6 a gallon by the end of the year no one can afford to spend money on audio. Only the well-healed cliental is what CES2006 targeted per Absolute Sounds CES coverage in their april issue.
Usher proved to me that speakers in the $4500 and under range shouldn't cost more than $2500. I am loving my Usher CP 6371 speakers. They may not be covered in leather but these monster speakers sound perfectly well balanced, smooth and big! I love em. For me there was no other option for the money unless I had a smaller living room.
If you are an American you should not buy Chinese goods because they might come from exploited workers.Fair enough!
But this is a bit rich coming from a society that exploits 11 million "illegal" migrants and a large percentage of its own population as working poor,and denies them access to to basic rights such as free health care.
I always enjoy the "look what they are doing to us" way of discussing this subject when in fact we are doing it to ourselves. I hear the "they" argument almost every day.
The Chinese did not come here and take our jobs. WE sent our jobs to China and all the indignation in the world won’t change that.
To the OP, I have no doubt that China is capable of manufacturing high quality goods.
BTW: Remember the Ford Focus plant planned for Mexico that our president didn’t want? Ford has decided to build USA model Focus in currently existing Chinese Focus plant, a potential Mexican Focus became a Chinese Focus. Here’s a political decision resulting in more jobs for China. Granted from Mexico to China but wouldn’t you prefer our neighbors get those jobs? Probably more USA parts too?
BTW: Most USA automobile (USA parts & labor) is Toyota Camry.
Just as a point of fact, yeah, our bombs are better. I'm not aware of any Chinese set-to-yield devices and their capability to deliver them doesn't hold a candle to ours. Our current deployment of weapons allows us to execute a nuclear strike with high accuracy anywhere on the face of the Earth in minutes. Ironically, it was the advent of nuclear warfare that propelled the advancement of tube technology beyond the 50's which is why the Russians got so good at it.. The Chinese and Russians military electronics we're often tube based because tubes are impervious to EMP bursts from nuclear weapons.
Chinese friends of mine try to buy anything but Chinese made products. They export much american audio to china. I think china can make anything as well as other country's but they do have a history of caveat emptor and a culture that favors early replacement not repair-ability and I see this in much of what I get my hands on that china produces. Japan had a history of inferior products till honda sony toyota. I think at this time China's more into coping than innovation but with time that will end. Germany used to be known for high quality not so much so today they have adopted a bit of caveat emptor... VW.