Surprise! Many UK companies, including Monitor Audio, design their products in their own country, but have them assembled in China. This keeps prices low and UK workers out of a job. Pretty soon you will see your speakers being sold at Wal-Mart. Isn't this global economy thing wonderful?
Most Quad stuff is now made in China, and that's certainly not low end. However you feel about it you shouldn't be surprised to see made in china stickers on a lot of brand name audio equipment. If the country of manufacture matters then a little research is required and your choices are narrowed considerably.
for the right amount of capital, anyone can call a 'built to spec' factory in china and be in business. you can 'design' your products via the internet, phone or fax. most high end audio brands are really nothing more than 'a desk,a chair, and a line of credit'......any price range too.
Foremost, how do they sound?
At first they sounded good, but after I saw the made in China label, It doesn't sound as good anymore, LOL.
LOL, cute, very cute. Peel off the label and enjoy your fine speakers!
If it's built to spec it doesn't matter whether it's built in China, on Mars, or by Swiss mountain gnomes.
Amen Mark! If it wasnt for greedy Unions wanting paid super wages for doing Monkey labor China would have never become what they are. If it is made in China, Japan, USA, or anywhere else I could care less as long as it does what it is supposed to do, is safe, reliable and not overpriced.
Damn greedy unions, expecting paid vacations, bathroom breaks, health insurance etc etc. Who the hell do they think they are ? Who cares if my hifi was made by a 12 yr old who works 20 hour shifts ...... cont p.94
Yes, the Global economy is fantastic as it allows high quality products to be sold at lower prices. Everything from shoes, clothes, toys, camping equipment, etc.etc. Why not high end audio too. I am waiting for Wilson, Krell, Audio Research to all manufacture there so high end audio prices can come down to reality and encourage more people to enjoy the hobby. Isn't it interesting that inflation has been averaging 2% for years except in the high end audio world?
Oh I get it...that was sarcasm, very funny!
Have your paid vacations and health insurance but dont over simplify the issue, many unions are cutting their own throats with out of control demands and lazy work ethic.
If you love Unions thats cool, if you hate China and its products thats cool too but dont kid yourself into thinking the Unions deserve the across the board high wages, Vacation time, and benefit package they fight over every few years. When you see plant closings because the Unions made it impossible to create a product that can compete in the free market throwing hundreds or thousands of people out of work with no real skills...lets see how much good Unions did for those people when they are out of a job.
Unions were great and needed years ago, but that time has passed now they are just breeding grounds for mediocrity.
>Damn greedy unions, expecting paid vacations, bathroom breaks, health insurance etc etc<
I get all that and don't belong to a union. It is true that for the most part, unions just perpetuate a lazy workforce who think they are entitled. Unions had their place in a time long ago, but have outlived their usefulness.
Unions and CEOs appear to be equal parts of the problem to me. The US auto industry has been destroyed by the UAW and by terrible management. If company management treated workers reasonably (like Henry Ford) then unions would not be needed.
I have no problem with the Chinese making stuff. I have problems with Chinese making stuff for pittance which is then sold at a huge markup in the US: this is the root of the dramatic increase in wage inequality we've witnessed in the last 20 years.
If you feel that gross income inequality is just fine and dandy I suggest you go live in Mexico or South Africa. Politics aside, a healthy middle class is usually correlated with a healthy democracy, and with quality of life in a country. I may earn a good wage, but I'd rather not live in a gated community with armed guards, and IMO that's the direction in which this country is headed right now.
What I understand several Manufactures have the cabinets built in china for peanuts, and simply Freight back to the states and assemble, many with U.S. made drivers etc
But the speaker cabinet structure is completley done in china.. Same with component Chassis, and knobs, even transformers are built in China and just sent back to the states and then the designer assembles and puts in the "American Hi Fi Magic" Some of the biggest brands in the world we don't even know puts Built in the U.S. badge right on the unit, but 75% of the parts are from elsewhere. Even the auto industry does it as well, but to a higher degree of exposure obviously. We would probably be shocked at how much is formed and cast in china, along with the circuit boards put in the 10,000 dollar amps sold in the U.S. under huge hi end names.
i don't think the controversy is about where its built. if companies would be forthcoming about the realities of who 'really' designed the products and 'how and where' they were manufactured...no matter where 'there' is, most audiophiles would find it enlightening, if not the biggest news since they discovered there is no santa claus. sneaking audio manufacturing jobs out of the uk, canada,germany, and the u.s. is a hard reality....sneaking the products into homes on the bsis that these companies are the 'same' companies they used to be is in poor taste to say the least.
Do you really think that if AR, Wilson, and Krell manufactured in China that YOU would see any of the cost savings? HAHAHA.....
Albert VS already does it, and look at his pricing scheme.
you are right oz...no one passes the savings on
"Made in China" is not synnomous with "quality".Cheap labor gets low quality with "good enough" build quality. Built "to spec" is what the reps at Rotel/MA tell you to appease your feelings towards made in China.Any of you open up the business section of your newspaper lately? Did you check out the China made cars? Or the problems North America is having with all the China made products and the gross amount of complaints? Canada and the US have already said "no" to their cars, they don't want the headache. So China/Chrysler are marketing the cars to the Euros. Anyway,if your satisfied with the sound/build quality then kudos to you. I have owned a Rotel amp in the past and the "made in China" never faded away from the back of my mind, maybe it will for you.
100 years ago, "Swiss made" was the mark of a third rate watch and the best watch you could get was American or English. 50 years ago, the best-made cars for the mass market were American and British with some continental European mfrs just behind. 35-40 years ago, Japanese cars were seen as third-rate cars in terms of quality. 20 years ago, some people frowned upon Taiwan- and Japan-made computers and computer chips. "State-of-the-art Korean-made chips" was seen as a contradiction in terms.
In 2007, I challenge someone to tell me which American watch-makers compete with some of the better European makers in terms of quality. If you wanted a car to go 50,000 miles with NO service other than oil/tire change, which US maker's car would you choose over a Toyota? (ever notice how many American cars are exported to places like Africa, the mid-East (other than Hummers), and Asian countries where dealer networks aren't thick on the ground?). And when you need to buy a PC, I dare you to find one where it is possible to find every part made in the US, at any price.
"Made in China" may not yet be synonymous with top quality but it is not synonymous with top price either. In the large scale, the caveat "you get what you pay for" remains true in mass-market products.
Peronally, I avoid China-made processed food products and health products. I do so for my own peace of mind. At some point, I am sure that I will be won over, the same way I am sure I will be buying African-made shoes and electronics when my seven year-old's children are buying their first TVs too.
I agree with Alan Blinder that "globalization is good for the world" and I agree with his assessment that for Americans, the next step of "globalization" may be worse than the last one experienced over the last 10-20 years. What is good for the average is almost never good for the above-average (GDP per capita for example). Americans have to wake up and smell the coffee and figure out what their competitive advantage is. A job is, unfortunately, not an inalienable right unless one lives in a society where jobs are subsidized by loss of other freedoms.
End o' rant.
Dredging up an old thread here, but I'm interested in assembling a list of speakers that *aren't* made in china, taiwan, or otherwise outsourced. I started to think about it, then realized I didn't know too many. Especially one's that have offerings in the somewhat affordable range, like sub-$1,000. Totems are all made in Canada, I'm under the impression that Paradigms and PSBs are too, though I find it hard to believe. Would love to hear of other ones, big or small.
Green Mountain Audio Europas were $999 factory direct last time I looked, and are excellent speakers, if somewhat aesthetically-challenged !
Even for those who think unions should be eliminated (which for the most part, they have), do you still think non-union manufacturing in the US can compete with workers at $0.50 a day? For the people who sit back and say "it doesn't matter where it is made" they obviously feel comfortable and insulated, and believe that they will never personally be affected by the ongoing trend of moving manufacturing oversees. Think you are above it - wait until it knocks at your door. It is not just manufacturing, as it continues to move up the food chain through functions like R&D and everything associated with technology. I will pay twice as much for something made in the USA if I have to. Next time you ask why, you should also ask yourself what you think your children will do for a living 10 or 20 years from now?
I quit eating Keebler cookies because those damn non-union elves are undercutting the domestic product and promoting unfair working conditions. Ever heard of an elf with health care benefits?
Labor is just one way that the Chinese cut costs. I spoke to a CEO of a well known speaker maker at a show recently. Some drivers he ordered from a well known scandanavian company were apparently sourced from china without his knowledge and contrary to his contract. He doesn't know how many fake drivers got into his products. he confronted the maker and has since refused to pay invoices from them - they haven't responded at all to his accusations or asked for payment. He told me of another well known maker that had its designs stolen by the chinese maker who is now selling them under HIS brand name in the chinese market - with no renumeration to the US company.
Then there is the story of well known chinese electronics maker who pirated all his internal software - ie, never paid licensing fees for the mpg decoders etc that make his DVD/CD players run. Sure the price is cheap - if you rip someone off. Intellectual property rights simply do not exist for most Chinese (like civil rights, human rights and worker rights.)
There is no free lunch, gents. If you think you can get the same level of quality for a 95% discount, I hope you don't mind lead in your kids toys, or poison in your toothpaste and cat food.
It's a fair question to ask under what conditions things we buy are made. I don't think it's a given that if a speaker or an amp is made in the US or in Canada or in Europe, then it's made more fraily than if it's made in China or is outsourced to save money. But there is some correlation between exploitative practices and outsourcing to countries that have cruel work practices (such as employing children and denying people basic benefits and rights). I don't want to support the exploitation of others, and if that's funny to some people, so much the worse for all of us.
A lot of tears have been shed in the media about the gradual disappearance of the middle class in America. If you trace the lineage, you will find that the middle class was born of and carried by labor unions and the decline of both have been concurrent. Yes labor unions were corrupt in many cases but they were also sabotaged by newspapers that didn't want to pay their wages and politicians and industries that found paying middle class wages very uncomfortable. During that period, however, the U.S. rose to the very pinnacle of world manufacturing prowess. Today we don't manufacture much besides WMDs. Everything else is being outsourced.
The upside to all of this is that the possibility of a world economy might just put an end to war if the people who usually get them started are vested everywhere.
A friend of mine has said that Americans have just had it too good for too long and now things are starting to level out between us and the rest of the world. I don't share that view. I think our country is being strip mined and will be left a broken third world carcass within 20 years or so. I might just live to see it happen.
I must admit to being a bit shocked by the "our country [America] is being strip-mined" comment. Apart from the fact that the greatest environmental danger to American soil comes from American companies paying American lobbyists who effectively "pay" American politicians voted into office (not by the wealthiest few Americans, but by the other 90% of us (or the 50-odd percent of the other 90% of us who actually bother to vote) to make it easy to strip-mine vast tracts of currently un-inhabited land so the rest of us can feel better about driving cars (SUVs) which are often less fuel-efficient than the gas-guzzlers of 30 years ago.
In terms of American "being" strip-mined, it is we who are doing it to ourselves. It is not foreigners coming in to the US forcing us to buy more gadgets more often. Everyone wants their retirement nest egg to grow 10% a year (some 3-times GDP growth) but that only comes from less profitable enterprise dying out and more profitable enterprise picking up the slack. It is the American way. It is the way America became "great" - through a long prrocess of "strip-mining" other, more-developed economies (England, Germany, France). It did not help those countries that they accelerated their own relative demise through wars in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but some of those wars were started by groups looking to re-live or re-establish their declining greatness (hmmm... rings a bell).
The world is what it is. It is up to all of us to figure out how to make best use of it. If everyone wants American democracy and capitalism to become more of a social welfare capitalist economy like France, Germany, or Japan, then we will vote it into place. However, trying to get voters to address real economic issues (like education, science and development, and conservation - all of which challenge existing regimes and break out new, eventually highly profitable, technologies) is a real humdinger of a problem. Voters seem to appreciate sound bites and "feel good about America" speeches a great deal more than change. And very few seem to look to the greater good, despite the fact that a slightly smaller piece of a much larger pie that more people like is often a much better piece of pie to have.
T bone - Your meaning isn't clear to me and, by your answer I gather you took me a bit too literally. By "strip mined", I meant plundered, not actually mined, although that meaning holds a certain literary imperative.
We are a nation of paper pushers and servants at this point. We are falling behind the first world in medical services and life expectancy. We have outsourced our means of production. Our schools are falling behind. We are over policed, over regulated and underachieving. The vaunted American supremacy lives on in our minds but there aren't many facts left to support it.
Our basketball team is doing very well in international competition right now though. If that's what we value, that's what we deserve.
Macrojack, I did understand that your reference was figurative. My initial reference to "strip-mined" was literal, but I wanted to note that any literal strip-mining of America is being done by Americans. I disagreed less with the content of the word, more the mode of the verb as "being strip-mined" or "plundered" implies passivity and lack of ability to change the outcome. My point was that, in aggregate, Americans are doing this to themselves through the choices they make in policies, politicians, personal consumption, and parenting. And despite the fact that I agree with almost everything in your second paragraph (I don't happen to believe the US is over-regulated), it is ALL available for change. There is nothing that cannot be reversed... if we care enough... end o' my rant.
And now back to your regularly scheduled thread on Monitor Audio speakers made in China.
I just bought a Monitor Audio Silver RS-LCR and it says on the box "Made in China". I thought monitor Audio speakers are made in the UK.
Let's just pray your speakers aren't made with something toxic...
Lots of gear is made in China. Many Hi fi brands are now owned by Chinese entrepreneurs...Wharfedale, AudioLab, Mission and Quad are now manufactured in Shenzhen, China.
I was equally surprised and disappointed when I bought my GS60s 2 years ago. But nothing about the build quality or sound suggests any corners were cut. The cabinets are just gorgeous. Although it would be nice if they were still made in the UK
I recently bought a pair of MA BR 5 (made in China) and a pair of S6 (made in UK). Both are excellent for what they are and I see NO difference in quality.
To go with the tone already set, I would like an opportunity to "rant" as well. As I'm sure we all know, this conversation actually has little to do with the speakers in question.
When asked what language a friends child should study, I suggested Chinese. When asked why, I replied; so they can communicate effectively with their boss.
I received a very dirty look in response. Perhaps I should have suggested Hindi as well. 30 or 40 years ago I could have suggested Japanese.
Everyone in the USA is pointing fingers in every direction to assign blame for our current situation.
Sending all our capital overseas for years and spending what's left to fight 2 wars for 10 years has its consequences.
The problem is that no one wants to take responsibility.
Of course, there are always those who want to point fingers at the unions, the classic scapegoat if there ever was one.
Blame the labor, not the capitalists or the government. Yes, they're the ones who did it!
Meanwhile there are Americans who got away with billions (credit default swaps, derivatives and securitization of mortgage debt) in our latest economic catastrophe and very few people even know their names or care. And THEY came very close to causing total global economic collapse. Their snake oil was of massive scale, we're not talking cryo and power cables here folks. But we should blame the unions, shouldn't we? Or maybe just people who get vacations and medical benefits in general.
I find the Republicans latest talk of "class warfare" as nothing short of Kafkaesque and as such, extremely frightening. As I see it, the Republican party's basic premise has always been class warfare, the elite class against the unwashed masses.
BTW: The Chinese owners of Volvo have one factory in China and plan to build another, so expect your Volvo to come with the "Made in China" sticker soon.
Sometimes I don't know which is worse, defective Chinese manufactured products, or defective (or outright deceitful) American financial products (where garbage debts get packaged as high quality triple-A bonds), which most Americans and the world got suckered into buying and which caused the global financial crisis and most of us a huge chunk of our retirement savings, and where our beloved bankers are now laughing all the way to our taxpayer bailed-out banks... Yup, it's those damn Chinese manufactrers! It's funny how the pot is calling the kettle black....
"Sometimes I don't know which is worse, defective Chinese manufactured products..."
What is worse than defective (or poorly made) Chinese-manufactured products is high quality Chinese manufactured products. That's when we're really in trouble and it's happening.
Rja...."they only call it class warfare when the middle class fights back"."they" were enjoying a middle class genocide for so long....coping with resistance now seems so unfair and un-american =). when someone mentions "trickle down"....i always check my pant legs.
if you guys really want to see some "made in country x" spin/BS...start collecting watches (i do). "swiss made"?? LOL. you'd be shocked to learn where many of these watches that have "swiss made" stamped on them originate. seems audio mfg's at least have the balls to mark stuff as made in china when it actually is.
Take solice in the thought that if they were made in the UK you couldn't afford them.
Yes, I've always considered the "trickle down" economic theory to be the "trickle on" ploy. 8^)
Didn't Reagan call that "tinkle down"? == the rising tide that lifts all boats.
Sadly I know a lot of peoples' boats that were flipped and lost in the Wall Street wake.