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phatbass787

Markbass - all made in Indonesia now and heavy?

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Popped round to a friends house yesterday for a sunday roast catch up and seemed to learn something that seems very odd. So although I have personally never been a fan of markbass I know some people like the tone and like that they are light and made in Italy. My mate is one of these people and for the last year or two he has been using a Little Mark head into a small MB 2x10 cab which is a nice little/light setup. Anyways he had been struggling volumewise a bit in a new rock orientated covers band he's recently joined and decided to add a second 2x10. Orderded one online all good. except here is the odd bit, he ordered exactly the same cab as he already has the Traveller 210 i think it is, yet when the delivery driver gave him the box he couldnt believe how heavy it was and was sure he had been shipped a combo in error. Alas it said the right thing on the box so he unpacked it and it was the 210 but around 30% heavier than the cab he already had?? Then things got weirder when he noticed the backplate states Designed in Italy Assembled in Indonesia. He was miffed to say the least as it wasnt a cheap cab he had ordered and the markbass site still lists it as made in italy and weighing 15kg... He phoned the shop who phoned the UK distributor who said they had no idea but would check, they phoned him back later to say Markbass has redesigned the cabs to be stronger and therefore weight was added?! he showed me the cabs in his music room and yup new one was decidedly heavier than the old one and i took a pic of the backplate and yup made in indonesia. No problem making offshore but surely end user should get the price benefit too? All seems odd and sneaky. Also if Markbass is heavy whats the point? Anyways just thought I should share with the class...

[attachment=152300:MB.JPG]

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Were the old cabs made using Neo magnets, and the new ones Ceramic ?
Maybe due to the Rare Earth supply issues when China halted exports during 2011/12.

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That's strange, they've always proudly advertised that they are made in Italy! I do know they have a budget line (Black Line) that's made in Indonesia or somewhere random like that, apparently to the same spec but with black speakers. Though I'm sure he'd have noticed something as obvious as that!

I'd shoot them an email or contact them on the offical Facebook group. Their customer service, and the speed at which they get back to you has always really impressed me.

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Hmmm. I'd be miffed too. It's a bad show, if their website is still stating the lighter weight and Italian manufacture.

naughty naughty

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Hmmm, you'd think Markbass might have publicised this, not that it's a good thing overall, but at least to avoid the negative press of people finding out of their own accord. The reduced availability of Neodimium is fairly well known, so it would have been understood fairly well.

I have to say that while I am very happy with the sound of my Markbass rigs, weight is a big factor too. Not that I expect to replace them soon, but I would consider shopping about again in future given the potential change in weight, and the lack of any shift in price.

Of course, I can already imagine the 'pre-indonesian' cabs rocketting in price on Ebay!

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Think this is a bit out of order. The country of manufacture wouldn`t bother me so long as the sound and quality of the cab were as good, but the weight would. I`m sure many buy Markbass for the portability as well as the sound - I`m one, whilst I love the Markbass sound, weight, or rather lack of was essential for me.

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[quote name='phatbass787' timestamp='1389637968' post='2336427']No problem making offshore but surely end user should get the price benefit too?[/quote]

I suspect benefit to the end user was not a motive for moving production to the east.

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Older markbass cabs were made using Italian poplar ply which is pretty much the lightest available - it was suggested on another thread that this is no longer the case

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[quote name='LawrenceH' timestamp='1389642091' post='2336505']
Older markbass cabs were made using Italian poplar ply which is pretty much the lightest available - it was suggested on another thread that this is no longer the case
[/quote]

Oh dear... This does not bode well. Light weight is one of the main selling points of markbass.

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[quote name='phatbass787' timestamp='1389637968' post='2336427']
Also if Markbass is heavy whats the point?
[/quote]

Care to elaborate on that point?

Has he actually weighed the cab? I would be interested in knowing the exact weight. What retailer was it from, how much did it cost?
Markbass do make a cheaper line in Indonesia, but as far as I know, the only cabs on offer are a 1x15 and a 4x10, so that is odd. I can't see a 2x10 on their website either.

Edited by [email protected]

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The photo shows it's definitely a Traveller 210 so that's a new thing if they are producing them in Indonesia. Certainly since they switched distributors their prices are a little cheaper than when Proel imported them. I'm interested in that I have an original 210T myself although not for much longer...

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[quote name='Beedster' timestamp='1389638438' post='2336438']
There's got to be a trading standards issue there if the website still says they're all made in Italy?
[/quote]
I think you have a point if you make the Trading Standards claim over the weight, rather than the place of origin.

Their website still says 15Kg - [url="http://www.markbass.it/product_detail.php?id=37"]http://www.markbass.it/product_detail.php?id=37[/url]

I'd me miffed to say the least.

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[quote name='Grangur' timestamp='1389647675' post='2336606']
I think you have a point if you make the Trading Standards claim over the weight, rather than the place of origin.

Their website still says 15Kg - [url="http://www.markbass.it/product_detail.php?id=37"]http://www.markbass....etail.php?id=37[/url]

I'd me miffed to say the least.
[/quote]

I suspect that in the era of the ethical consumer you'd even have a case for country of manufacture, for example if Indonesia had a record of human rights abuses. Bottom line is that if you buy online on the basis of the comprehensive information that's on the manufacturer's website, that information has to be correct. It's not like buying from a shop when you can either inspect the gear or forgive the assistant for not knowing where it's made.

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I don't think there's any need to get trading standards involved at this stage - seems like you just need to contact the supplier and return the item as unsuitable. Distance Selling Regs will cover that and any online supplier will know it. You don't even need to give a detailed reason why you don't want the item.

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[quote name='flyfisher' timestamp='1389649212' post='2336629']
I don't think there's any need to get trading standards involved at this stage - seems like you just need to contact the supplier and return the item as unsuitable. Distance Selling Regs will cover that and any online supplier will know it. You don't even need to give a detailed reason why you don't want the item.
[/quote]

+1, I only mentioned it as Markbass might start getting into trouble with people who aren't able to return stuff via the distance selling route, depending how long the MII gear has been out there of course. I bet there's a lot of folks checking the backs of their heads/cabs/combos as we speak?

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Ah, gotcha. I'm not sure of the DSR time limit but it won't be very long 7/14 days something like that I'd guess - which seems a reasonable time to decide if something is suitable or not.

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I don't mind paying a premium for western made goods...as long as they deserve that mark-up but
production in the far east is only because the labour is cheaper, imo.

That saving should be passed on to the buyer, and if it goes straight to the shareholders, then
the brand deserves no loyalty.

Cheap tacky trick... on the face of it, and has demeaned the brand. IMO.

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I'd send it back and not buy another MB product if that is their approach.

Genz is no more, Fender is rebranding Genz, and now the original forerunners of lightweight gear starts to make products outside of Italy and increase the weight? That puts me off the brand completely. Offshore manufacturing is fine and some companies get it right, but MB have always been proud to be made in their Italian factory. Hmmmm

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[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1389653218' post='2336697']
I don't mind paying a premium for western made goods...as long as they deserve that mark-up but
production in the far east is only because the labour is cheaper, imo.

That saving should be passed on to the buyer, and if it goes straight to the shareholders, then
the brand deserves no loyalty.

Cheap tacky trick... on the face of it, and has demeaned the brand. IMO.
[/quote]

Yep. Agreed.

Aguilar are still going strong. Let's hope ther stick to it.

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[quote name='Musicman20' timestamp='1389653459' post='2336702']
Genz is no more, Fender is rebranding Genz, and now the original forerunners of lightweight gear starts to make products outside of Italy and increase the weight? That puts me off the brand completely. Offshore manufacturing is fine and some companies get it right, but MB have always been proud to be made in their Italian factory. Hmmmm
[/quote]

I don't know the size of the MB set up in Italy but is it possible that they've outgrown their capacity and needed to go elsewhere - in which case Far East manufacturing probably makes sense. They are hardly hiding the fact if they are labelling their cabs as such. Any company would shout about their USPs and keep a low profile about anything ordinary, and manufacturing in the far east is pretty ordinary these days.

As for dropping their prices, that's a marketing decision. Price is only elastically related to cost. Apple stuff is not exactly renowned for being cheap because it is manufactured in the far east. ;)

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It doesn't say on their tintersite that MB is made in Italy (well not that I could see).
It is a bit disappointing though, but then my Salomon boots are made in china & they wern't cheap either. :(

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[quote name='flyfisher' timestamp='1389701288' post='2336968']
I don't know the size of the MB set up in Italy but is it possible that they've outgrown their capacity and needed to go elsewhere - in which case Far East manufacturing probably makes sense.

As for dropping their prices, that's a marketing decision. Price is only elastically related to cost. Apple stuff is not exactly renowned for being cheap because it is manufactured in the far east. ;)
[/quote]

Quite possibly, and as I said, I have no issues with outsourced manufacturing as long as its as good or better than the previous versions. See many issues with Ampeg's Vietnamese products and the recent move by GK back to the USA because of lack of control of quality.

Genz GET IT RIGHT (well they did) with regards to their micro bass amps.

If the Markbass amps are the same price (or a little less) but weigh more, what is the point? The average bass player won't realise, but it may end up costing the brand in the long run. I personally used to see Markbass as top of the game, very light, very well made, with excellent quality control. The fact it was made in Italy was a nice finishing touch.

They have always (previously) talked about being proudly made in Italy. A cheaper line made overseas is fine, but the whole lot???

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Looking at the Markbass product pages.. I can't see anything about it been made in Italy!?
But at the bottom of the product specs it does say.. "[color=#020202][font=Georgia, Arial, Verdana][size=3]Product specifications are subject to change without notice" [/size][/font][/color]

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