Classe move to China

I've just learned that Classe has moved production to China. Has anyone taken delivery of a Made in China Classe product?

Will moving to China devalue the brand? Will quality suffer?

I am thinking of purchasing the new CA-M300 monoblocks, but this move has me hesitating.
Whether or not quality suffers will depend, in large part, on the amount of "hands on" quality control Classe exercises. For myself, my view has been that there is enough quality audio equipment being made in the U.S., Canada and Europe that I consciously try to avoid purchasing equipment made in Asia -- but that isn't always practicable. And as the market for audio equipment in Asia continues to grow, it is likely to not make any appreciable difference in Classe's overall global sales -- it may even increase them.
One of the reasons that I did not upgrade my CA-2200 to the CA 2300. It seems that the main production and a majority of the assembly will now be done in China.....the final assembly and final testing will still be done in Quebec....also Classe will be letting go some of their employees as a result of this move - which is another point that angers me about business here in the US that they should taxed at a higher coporate rate for doing just that. Another time and forum....the box and product will now need to read - Made in China. Classe has defended this move by saying that quality of the product has not changed - and if everything was still done in Quebec that the cost of the their products would be greatly increased and would / could make them un-competitive in the market that they are trying to grow in. Also, this includes some of the higher end B&W speakers will be made their as well. My CA 2200 amp and CA CP 700 pre-amp both say that they are made in Quebec Canada. Doubt I will be upgarding in the Classe line when I do decide to make a change.
As things currently stand, it devalues the brand in my mind. Over time that might change, but that will take some real time to happen.
Lenin once defined a capialist as "a man who would sell the rope at his own hanging" .
Not good news and it also concerns me. I will not buy Classe in the future. I really hate seeing US and Canadian companies letting go of people and sending jobs over to China.

I love Capitalism and Lenin was an evil man, but we all can decide, in a free market, where we spend our money. By Classe!
I have a CA-2200 and did audition the 2300. For my tastes and my system I prefered the 2200. I could have swaped out for a few hundred dollars but prefered the timbre and midrange of the 2200, I also did not like the fan but it was pretty quiet once the music was going. I think the bias changed to more of a class A/B, there was more dynamics of the new design and perhaps more extension both top and bottom but I really like the mids of the 2200.
Davt - outside of the original OP's question.....I agree that the sound if the CA 2200 is more to my liking as the fist 30 watts are of class A output. Yes, the CA 2300 is biased more to a true A/B design and thus the increase in dynamics and watts - but at the expense of what was a very beautiful mid-range and from my perspective and otherwise nice balanced sound on the CA 2200, I still ahve mine and it was made in Quebec, Canada
Sorry, lost the last of my post somewhere in the computer world, to Fundsgon, you might look for a pair of CA-M400 if the country of origin is a concern, I wanted to post my impression of differences between the two. If I was looking for home theater I might go with the new design, especially if they were going to be in a cabinet.
Wow, done with Classe. I also try to only buy from US, Canadian, or European companies. I will buy Japanese HiFi, but try not to buy if it's been farmed out to China.
In addition to my concerns about quality and brand value, I was also pleased to find a product made in my hometown that sounded so good. So I have to decide if I'm willing to risk quality and value and live with the minor disappointment that another manufacturer has left North America for China.

I will put the order on hold and think more about this.
YUK.... stick to American
While I understand that a lot of "Made in China" parts are subpar and that it is bad for the ecomony for U.S. manufacturers to outsource I get uncomfortable assuming that it is not possible for a "Made in China" product to also be a quality product. To assume this isn't possible is to assume that Chinese people have no pride in their work. If a manufacturer sets things up correctly, especially a small business, I think that quality does not have to suffer. Only time will tell with Classe. There is an added element of risk to be certain, but there is no reason that the quality must be subpar.

There are several good reasons to not purchase "Made in China" products that are unrelated to quality. Just don't blindly assume that it will all be junk.
Mceljo - I don't assume Classe will be junk just because they manufacture in China - but now I can't assume that their quality will be superior either - because they have just moved to China and there will be a huge learning curve that may effect quality.

My PSB Synchrony One speakers were manufactured in China and are an outstanding product and value - but I paid a price that reflects the manufacturing source. With the Classe M300's I'm not certain that I'm paying a price that reflects the source of manufacture - in fact I know that the price does not reflect Made in China. The M400's were made in Canada and were about the same price as the made in China M300, so there appears to be no Chinese manufacturing dividend for the end buyer - just the manufacturer and distributors, hence my concern with value, especially future value on the used market.

With Classe moving to China, can Simaudio be far behind? Or McIntosh or Ayre or Pass etc.
Schubert, I thought it was "sell the rope FOR his own hanging".
I guess the hardworking Canadians at Classe aren't worth their salary anymore. Gotta love when a company moves production, yet the prices don't go down.
Here's another,

Lenin once scoffed that "a capitalist would sell rope to his own hangman."
Just another sign of the war against the 99%.
I could care less where it's made as long as it meets my requirements. Many countries with their taxes and endless regulations push businesses to friendlier environment.
Fundsgon - my post was mostly intended as a general statement and not necessarily directed at you. You make some good points to be sure. I just get tired of people assuming that "Made in China" always equals junk. It does a lot of the time, but not always.
I contacted Classe regarding the CA 2300, the 300 watt pc stereo unit. It will work in pure class A mode to 20 percent of rated output, i.e. 60 watts of class A power. That may be why it sounds so good .... In multiple comparisons with the McIntosh 300 watt pc unit, the Classe sounded better on the B&W diamonds.
Lenin said a lot of things, real and imagined , but was in fact a delusional mass murderer...his views on Capitalism should be taken with a grain of salt. Capitalism and Greed are not the same thing. A lot of the ills assigned to Capitalism are in fact better attributed to greed. Capitalism in an ethical vacumn can be very ugly.

Just my opinion.
If I were to hold anything against Classe it would be their decision to build in China and the resultant loss of jobs in Canada, not because of perceived lower standards in construction. Some Chinese brands are very well made.

As for capitalism, it's merely an economic model and it all depends on how its implemented. One shouldn't conflate an economic model with any form of government: to do so would play into someone else's hands.

I would now look elsewhere if Classe were on the short list but this would not apply to other brands, like OPPO, who started out with this model.

I can bend.
Running well out of the baselines...

Comment to Danlib 1, mass murderers can have insights too. While Marx/Lenin were light-years off on the workers' utopia, their critique of capitalism was quite accurate. You cannot separate greed from capitalism. The pursuit of self-interest is the heart and soul of the system.

One of the best and most entertaining descriptions of the corrosive effects of monopolistic capitalism is F. Coppola's "The Godfather" I and II. "It's not personal... it's strictly business."
I have always heard the Lenin quote as, "When it comes time to hang the capitalists they will sell us the rope."

He may be right when you consider the technology transfers that we have made to China.
Okay Onhwy61, since you seem to dislike capitalism so much; What economic model would you rather have than capitalism?
Hi and Happy New Year.

Just caught this thread. I don't own Classe equipment -- never heard it. I'm writing to echo as loudly as is possible - given that nobody can "hear" a blog -- that I too join the protest about the loss of US/Canadian jobs to offshore countries. There are way too many folks out of work here and companies ought to think not just about the bottom line but also the interests of other stakeholders, such as loyal employees and the country at large.

I live in the Philly area. For those who might not know, Philly was once a blue collar manufacturing mecca that employed hundreds of thousands of people. Great names that are no-more include Daroff (Botany 500 suits), Lukens Steel, Bethleham Steel, Budd Mnf'ing, Cross Bros meats, the US Navy Yard, ship yards, chemicals, and the list goes on. No more.

Another factoid that may surprise some -- the Delaware Valley region produced roughly 10% of all war materiel manfg'ed during WWII. No more.

Another factoid. PA is thinking about privatizing the state owned liquor system. Isn't that great?? Just think, booz will be 2 bucks cheaper for a fifth. But what about the State Store employees that will be let go? What are they going to do. Go on welfare???

The failure of US/Canadian industry to recognize this trend and reverse it will ultimately come to realize that in the fullness of time, it will be self defeating. What's the point of being able to make Classe amps for a grand or two cheaper overseas if there's no one around to buy the amps. Maybe the analogy is not applicable with hi-end audio, but it certainly is with everyday consumables.

That my 2 cents worth on the subject for 2012. Boo, boo to Classe and other companies like it. Buy North American made!! BTW, look at my system -- pretty much all my stuff is made here (US or Canada).
Will moving to China devalue the brand? Will quality suffer?

To me? Absolutely.
I work with a company that moved some of its manufacturing to China and the initial product suffered horrible reliability problems.
The job loss is an even more important aspect. Two years ago I was shopping for a new car for my wife. We narrowed it down to a Ford or a Toyota. The Ford was made in Mexico, the Toyota in Kentucky. Made in USA was the deciding factor.
I guess we only want the Chinese $$ to finance our bankrupted governments but not the products they produces.

Should the Japanese boycott Honda, Toyota ... for building their cars in USA and shipping them back to Japan for sale? Or the Germans building their BMW and Mercedes in US and exporting to other countries?

The last time I checked Classe is a private company and their goal is to make profits and stay in business. Does anyone have a clue in running a PROFITABLE business?

BTW, I'm not a fan of Classe and have no plans to buy one.
Yeah, for Americans.. Or Canada.
I try to buy stuff made in USA.
Considering the actual trade war we are in with China (guess who has won the first five rounds? CHINA)
We are still able to change the outcome, but only if each individual who cares does something about it.
Now I have bought one or two little bits from China, and lots of other countries. But for the bulk of purchases, it is USA for me.
The last $60,000 plus has been Detroit (2012 Ford Focus), Minnesota (Magnepan 3.6 new), Canada (Bryston electronics)exclusively. With one detour for a used Kuzma, and others for a pair of cartridges. (England for the Rega P5, I wanted a VPI but they were all sold out at the time)
So I am trying to fight the trade war the only way it matters, buying American made stuff.
Every dollar spent buying Chinese is another bullet in the heart of America. And the heart of the American workers, economy.

I have to say yeah I am not perfect, and I bought some stuff from elsewhere.. but I try to do right. And if you live in America, you should consider it.. it matters.
Timrhu, just because A company failed doesn't mean Classe will fail. Ultimately their customer will let them know one way or the other.
Thank you for initiating this thread, Fundsgon. I'm glad we out companies which go down this road.

Although never an owner of Classe, it's now absolutely out of the question. Not that it will change things at this point, but I hope the company reads this thread.

Right with you, Elizabeth!
Onhwy61- Marx and Lenin could not be further apart in their interpretation of communism. Perhaps you meant Marx and Engels? Lenin was a simple, ignorant hack compared to Marx. Lenin's most valuable political tool was his amoral, ruthless nature.

As for greed being the very heart of capitalism, well, that is just your opinion. I have known numerous wealthy capitalists that were quite kind, generous and the opposite of greedy.

No offense, but you paint with a broad brush; life is far more subtle.
Trelja - Initiating this thread has opened up a fire hose of opinion and emotion. Wow!

Classe built their reputation by designing and manufacturing in Canada. Now some outsider CEO wants to improve profitability and moves manufacturing to China. Apparently the most recent components were designed by a fellow no longer with Classe (or B&W). Classe appears to be in the process of loosing its identity and probably a good chunk of sales - outside of China.

Most likely the big reason for moving to China: to access the Chinese market. Canada is a tiny market that Classe can afford to loose. BTW - if you want to sell into China, you had better be prepared to manufacture there.
Timrhu, just because A company failed doesn't mean Classe will fail. Ultimately their customer will let them know one way or the other.
Didn't say the company failed. In fact they moved production back to the original country (Sweden) until quality control issues were corrected.
The last $60,000 plus has been Detroit (2012 Ford Focus)
Are you sure that Focus was built in the US and not Mexico? Check the label.
With all due respect ... the 'made in US, Canada, Europe vs made in Asia' arguments are inherently racist, as opposed to protectionist. From a purely economic perspective, buying a Rega Brio rather than a Prima Luna Prologue One is the same to me ... US dollars going to the UK are no different than US dollars going to China.

For however many Classe amps that are sold and the claims of the handfuls here that they will never buy a Chinese made Classe product ... what about the absolutely ZERO 'made in US' flat screen tv's, blu-ray dvd players, laptops, cell phones, etc. are there. That is where the real money is. Just how is everybody viewing this post without 'made in China' iMacs, Dells, iPads, etc.

I lived through this 45 years ago when the US electronics industry left the US for Japan (Zenith, RCA, Emerson, Marantz, Fisher, Scott, etc.). My dad, who owned a brick & mortar TV repair shop in Brooklyn, and I would go weekly to the public dump on Shore Parkway and scavenge for discarded electronics, because you could not get replacement parts shipped to the US. It is why Sears stopped repairing its own TVs in the late 1970's/ early 1980's.

None of this means that I like what is happening, but it is what globalization is all about.


I agree with much of your statement, and for the most part I am a free trade proponent. However, I must disagree with one statement you made...that there is no difference in Us dollars going to the UK or to China.

If I have a choice when I buy a product, I would much prefer to spend money in the US. But if I buy foreign, I would definitely rather see money go to the UK- an open and free society- than to China, which is still an authoritarian, single party police state. That's not because I'm racist- its because I value freedom and intrinsic human rights.
Hi Dan:

It is why I prefaced the statement with ... from a 'purely economic perspective.'

More than China, I have problems with anything made in Vietnam. I remember all too well the yearly birthday drawing lotteries to see who would go over to fight in the war.


Rich- Understood . Thanks!
Rarl -- wrong!!! This is NOT about racism. The issue is about American jobs, plain and simple. Oh . . . as to racism, let me remind you that American society is made up of different types, stripes, colors and whatever.

I care when I see empty and decaying factories in my home town. I care when a friend, neighbor, or colleague gets laid off because his/her job has moved offshore -- anywhere. I care when I see what was once nice neighborhoods, decay because the people have moved away or live at subsistence levels.

I repeat what I said above. Even if the stuff we buy is a few bucks cheaper, if at the cost of American jobs, the trend is that large swathes of our society are being left behind. So, what good is it if a TV is made a few bucks cheaper overseas, if the target market is becoming impoverished --and it is, who is going to buy all this cheap jung anyway??
Fundsgon is onto something here. The next big market is China and they have tariffs (like we used to have from Washington until Reagan) that would make importation obscenely expensive. For a predatory, profit driven board of directors, its a smart move. They now have feet in both countries. American companies are no different.

And yes, Rarl, this all smacks of xenophobia: it helps keep one's attention diverted from the real shenanigans that truly deserve our scrutiny.
It does matter as Elizabeth said.

As a Canadian I go out of my way to buy North American made products as our economies are finely weaved into one another.

One should ask the question in these boardrooms where the final desicion is made to go overseas is this short sighted for the next few years or as the Japanese do the next few decades of economics.
Now who will be able to afford the products and will sales decline due to a reduced gainfully employed population. To meet profit quotas and costs will prices be reduced to sell by volume or will quality parts be replaced by inferior ones to reduce costs and inflate profits.
Me thinks in the long run they will find when they pulled the trigger their pistol was still holstered leaving a gaping hole in their own foot. Do they really beleive that once all these companies are moved and established and vested that the workers there will not seek to be paid a better wage and better living conditions while making expensive products for the westerner's.

And I'd like to point out something that always pops up in discussions like this and that is our buying of foreign products is not the reason why our jobs have gone overseas but is, instead, a result of our jobs going overseas. I'd gladly pay 5-10% more for something made in the States in order to keep jobs here. More money in my fellow citizens pocket means more purchases made, more taxes paid, more skin in the game for everyone. What drives an economy is what's in the consumer's pocket, not how big a tax cut some oligarch gets.

We're told WE are too expensive to hire is the reason for going overseas but the cost of transporting it back is almost a wash. It's the externalities (health, safety, environmental costs) that drives those that value profit above all else overseas. Not content with soaring profits (we've never had better performance than in the last decade) the lords and masters of our economy want obscene profits. So, they moved over 45,000 factories overseas and purged an average of 750,000 jobs a month from 2000 to 2008. This was all planned and executed while we argued over gays, abortion, guns and religion.

America is no longer considered a viable market when obscene profits are the order of the day. That market is China. A billion customers can't be wrong.
Nonoise- Boards of Directors are supposed to be profit driven- you make profit sound like a moral disease. In my opinion, profits are not the problem...the pursuit of profit/self-interest without an underpinning of ethics and empathy is the real issue. Ethics do not have to come from religion- but they must be taught, and too few of us understand that the constant pursuit of pleasure, riches and entertainment blind us to more important things.

Just my opinion, but again, not all businesses are evil, not all capitalists exploit others, etc. Life is gray, not black and white.
Everyone has a case....
Chinese workers continue to petition for higher wages. They want CARS, not scooters or mopeds. They want Consumer Goods and the standard of living no amount of propoganda and internet-banning can insulate against.

I wish i had the numbers at my fingertips. The gap between Americas highest wage earners and average continues to grow. Huge bonuses seem to be an entitlement not necessarily earned. A company I worked for had 'built in' bonuses and some real sweet benefits. Car allowance? Yep. 1 years severance pay? for sure. And than, in the middle of all the workers having to do more with less, they hire another board member. We could have used that couple million per year to DO something.

I'm not an occupy guy, but sure can see WHY they'd be upset. No jobs, an economy driven into the ditch by greed and arguements in government about higher taxes...and the wealthy.

Buy Chinese made stuff? Wal-Mart is maybe 90% Chinese made. A man just made the news by building a house from ALL AMERICAN sourced materials and labor. Cost maybe 2% more than 'foreign' and was better.
Wait till the Chinese get an idea how much what they make will sell for. They'll want a better wage. At some point there will be NO cheaper labor markets to migrate to. Japan used Korea. I have no idea where my IMac was made.......

Stay tuned.
Das Kapital anyone?
The real "enemy" or the proletariat is the machine, Marx missed the mark. As late as 1985, there were 45 people on the production line of a M&M's candy line. Now one person completely runs TWO lines! The American worker needs to be educated and get off the vanishing assembly line.

Don't get me wrong: I'm a a big proponent of capitalism. It's when capitalism supplants democracy as a form of government that gets my hackles up. I agree with everything you say about morals and ethics and that was my point, all wrapped up in a tirade.

Right now, Adam Smith is rolling in his grave over what is being attributed to him. That 'guiding invisible hand' that is supposed to regulate markets was never said by him. To him it was evil and required government intervention on behalf of the markets and consumers by regulation. What we have now is a very dark shadow of what was capitalism, wrapped up in a flag.
Classe made a mistake. They should've moved production to North Korea. Those people would work for food and the quality would be better than made anywhere else because it is real easy to enforce discipline there. Hell, they even made nuclear devices and delivery systems. Do you think they are of low quality? Let's hope not.
I want North Korean nuclear powered amp. One day perhaps.
And, yes, I don't care about Classe either but if Rowland moves to China...
I know Lamm won't. Don't ask me how I know it.
Should the Japanese boycott Honda, Toyota ... for building their cars in USA and shipping them back to Japan for sale? Or the Germans building their BMW and Mercedes in US and exporting to other countries?

The last time I checked Classe is a private company and their goal is to make profits and stay in business. Does anyone have a clue in running a PROFITABLE business?

BTW, I'm not a fan of Classe and have no plans to buy one.
Knghifi (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

China already has put new tariffs on ours. They believe in all of the trade money going to their pockets. []
There is a plus side. The gear might be resistant to radiation from the lead content.

I like your take on Swift's "A Modest Proposal".

All the best,