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phatbass787

Markbass - all made in Indonesia now and heavy?

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I'm really hoping that somebody at Markbass can respond and give a reasonable explanation soon. I've always proudly displayed my love for them as a product and a company. If it is just a cost cutting exercise, increasing the weight, reducing the quality, and the value to the customers, then I won't want to have my name associated with them any longer.

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[quote name='yorks5stringer' timestamp='1390052888' post='2340916']
I can see second hand Italian heads and cabs increasing in value..?
[/quote]

Anyone want to buy an Italian 104HF for £1000? ;)

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[quote name='chrismuzz' timestamp='1390053018' post='2340919']
Anyone want to buy an Italian 104HF for £1000? ;)
[/quote]
As a Moderator you must know you cannot try and sell gear outside the correct Lounge......( how about a RJ TTE 500 Head and New York 151 RJ cab for £2000?)

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[quote name='yorks5stringer' timestamp='1390053171' post='2340921']
As a Moderator you must know you cannot try and sell gear outside the correct Lounge......( how about a RJ TTE 500 Head and New York 151 RJ cab for £2000?)
[/quote]

*reports post* ;)

But no I doubt the value would increase THAT much, even once this has become common knowledge. I need to take a few months to find amplification that sounds pretty much exactly the same to replace it with first!

Edited by chrismuzz

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Still no response on the Markbass FB page, but I remember last time I contacted them near to NAMM they were very busy and took a little while to get back to me.

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Might have worked it out in respect of my 801. If you go to [url="http://www.markbass.it/2012/"]http://www.markbass.it/2012/[/url] you can view the old version of the MB website. Most of the copy text is exactly the same, but in the case of my amp "a single yellow 8" Markbass [b]neodymium[/b] speaker" has become "a single yellow 8" Markbass [b]custom[/b] speaker". Could easily account for the extra weight.

Edit: also the substantial looking handle has become a much more simple strap, the associated image having been removed.

Edited by Ed_S

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[quote name='tbonepete' timestamp='1390131345' post='2341703']
Yet the advertised weight remains the same??? :mellow:

cheers Pete
[/quote]

Hopefully just an oversight that'll be corrected. I'll only be really annoyed if it turns out to be a stopgap to cover a lack of neo speakers, and I end up being the owner of "one of those heavy ones from the end of 2013 production run". I was actually also considering trading a few bits in for a CMD-121P to simplify smaller gigs, but now I think I'll wait and see how this plays out.

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[quote name='Ed_S' timestamp='1390136931' post='2341773']
Hopefully just an oversight that'll be corrected. I'll only be really annoyed if it turns out to be a stopgap to cover a lack of neo speakers, and I end up being the owner of "one of those heavy ones from the end of 2013 production run". I was actually also considering trading a few bits in for a CMD-121P to simplify smaller gigs, but now I think I'll wait and see how this plays out.
[/quote]

Have it apart (carefully) and have a look at the woofer, post up a pic - plus, if you can see any bare plywood you can easily tell if it's poplar or not

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Riccardo Damiani who work's for Markbass has just posted a reply back on the facebook thread.

Here's what he's said :

[color=#333333] [/color][color=#333333]Hi Markbass fans, here [url="http://www.facebook.com/marco.devirgiliis"]Marco[/url] explains our way to work and our philosophy.

There are few things, which need to be discussed before we explain the reason why we decided to start manufacturing some of our Markbass products in Indonesia:

1. The economical crises, which Europe has been straggling with for the last five years, brought about a very different scenario for all small/medium size companies, especially in Italy, where manufacturing has become very expensive.

2. Many suppliers have closed down their businesses or they are no longer in the position to support their clients due to a lack of cash flow, putting monthly productions as well as delivery times at risk.

3. The supply time for all single components went from few weeks to several months, due the fact that the manufacturers (mainly of electronic components) have been focusing their attention primarily on Asian, American and European markets in general, leaving the Italian market at the very end.
Lots of suppliers dramatically reduced their presence inside the Italian market, forcing their clients to place orders sometimes 8 months ahead of time!!!

4. Raw materials like wood have become more and more expensive, and inside a niche market like the Musical Instruments Market, we couldn’t any longer compete with other manufacturers.

5. Almost entirely, manufacturers are now manufacturing in Asia.

6. Markbass never increased its price list since 2001. Offering the best products at fair prices is part of our core strategy.

7. Our product quality has been a stable datum and it hasn’t been compromised.

8. We didn’t want to lay off any of our workers.

Markbass brings INNOVATION to the Asian manufacturing system.

After taking under consideration all of the above, two years ago we started a cooperation with a well-known Indonesian company. We already had some sort of relationship with them because of our distribution in that part of the world, and we also knew them well because of their partnership with other companies very close to us.

At the beginning of these two years we started manufacturing only few components of our products. Once we were really sure of the product quality, we increased our production to all parts.
Our engineers and product specialists have been monitoring the manufacturing process since the very beginning, and they are always present during the assembling of all our products.

Our products are the same products as before: their quality hasn’t changed. We insisted that we kept using only components in line with our strategy and technical specifications.

We brought over our quality control/testing system, built a specialized unit and trained the workers one by one.
Our engineers have now daily exchanges of communication with the Indonesian technicians.

THE BIG NEWS: a cost for everyone else, an added value for Markbass.

Since the very beginning we decided to inspect all the products manufactured in Asia once they arrive in Italy. Despite the big cost of this operation, we felt it was a very important step to guarantee the quality of our products. No other companies do a secondary inspection of their products once in Italy!!!
Markbass not only opens and inspects every single product received from Indonesia. We also test every single one like it was manufactured in Italy. Our technicians do the testing, and we say with pride that they are the most reliable technicians in the world, with a knowledge that comes from passion and a lot of experience.

FINAL RESULT

Markbass has increased its quality. Not only did the Asian production evolve and become more and more specialized with the contribution of our technicians, we also noticed another significant increase in the overall quality of our products due to our “double testing system”. Each and every one of our products, which comes from Indonesia, is re-tested in Italy and labeled: Tested in Italy. Every product is tested 100% twice!

All the components stayed the same: from the speakers to the condensers, which we choose and test one by one; as well as from the transformers to all the other components.

When we started to manufacture in Asia we came to know that a lot of our competitors products were less expensive, not only because the labor was less expensive, the quality of their components were also cheaper and of a less quality.

With our Asian production, we were able to increase the quality of our products. We spent time and money explaining to our Indonesian partners that we didn’t want a cheaper product; we wanted to guarantee that our know-how and knowledge would stay the same and possibly become better.

Nobody at Markbass has been laid off. On the contrary: our staff has been increased with a couple of young engineers that now work with us full time!!! The human factor is very important to us and it will always come first!

CONCLUSIONS

It is no longer possible for us to label “made in Italy” on some of our products. But we guarantee you that our production system is UNIQUE and, statistics at hand, our quality is even better than before. I challenge anybody to find any difference between the two productions, starting from the felt we use… Our Indonesian partner told us that nobody uses that quality of felt!!!

Any difference that might exist between the two productions is due to internal decisions taken not because the products were going to be manufactured in Asia, but for technical reasons and for the improvement of the quality itself.

This needs to be stated one more time: no other company re-opens and re-checks their products manufactured in Asia!
At Markbass, every products delivered to the final customer, has been prior inspected by a specialized Markbass operator.

We continue to take responsibly in delivering to our customers only quality products, fully and utterly checked in Italy.
Thanks to our methods and our philosophy we are able to keep growing, keep sustaining our R&D in all the MarkWorld technology fields.
We have a state of the art laboratory able to keep the same price-quality standard we always had.

We say it loud: “re-tested in Italy”!!![/color]

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We can rebuild him.
We can make him stronger, faster, cheaper.
We can make him....CHEAPER?????

I just might take a punt on one of those Blackline 250's.

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Cheers Jono, I was just about to post that reply!

I'm glad they finally gave us a response but it still doesn't sit right with me. I'm now using Peavey cabinets ;)

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[quote name='flyfisher' timestamp='1392126671' post='2365023']
Nice reply . . . . but are they heavier or not? ;)
[/quote]

Nobody uses that felt for a reason - it weighs a bloody tonne! :-D

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Yeah, that doesn't sell it for me. Lakland manufacturer their Skyline series then re-test and finish them in Chicago.

Why are some of the cabinets now heavier then?

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[quote name='flyfisher' timestamp='1392126671' post='2365023']
Nice reply . . . . but are they heavier or not? ;)
[/quote]

Indeed.... 'they are the same' but...err... are they the same..??

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[quote name='badboy1984' timestamp='1392128701' post='2365065']
If Markbass weight tons, i might as well use ashdown or trace elliot stuff ......
[/quote]

Kinda this. It was very much their USP.

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Just my bleedin' luck.

I have had one eye on buying a new amp to replace my old but loved Trace Elliot gear ( yes , I still use and like Trace Elliot) that is badly in need of servicing, and had been coming round to the idea of Markbass being a preferred alternative despite my lingering misgivings. Now they have switched production to Asia they may as well have flushed their brand down the toilet as far as I am concerned.

I getting sick of this happening. By and large, I would much rather pay more for the authentic domestically-produced product than buy an inferior product made in a new manufacturing location to keep costs down . Ampeg is/was another example of this, as was SWR. Of course, every manufacturer that does this protests that they have done so in a unique way , and so careful and meticulous is their training and quality control in the Far East that the product is easily the equal of what they made before, if not better. They will have to forgive my cynicism if I don't readily accept such claims. People buying relatively expensive goods from prestige brands want the peace of mind of knowing that what they are buying has real substance behind the name, and offshore manufacturing can only undermine that prestige. It's cynical short-termism on the part of the companies involved, and will harm them in the longer term.

I would suggest to you that Markbass have made a carefully calculated move to maximise their profit margins. Having established themselves as a quality marque with big name endorsees and a brand that people aspire to, they are now seeking to exploit the kudos they have built up by making an affordable but inferior product they can sell to a mass market. I am now looking elsewhere.

Edited by Dingus

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[quote name='Musicman20' timestamp='1392130813' post='2365098']

Why are some of the cabinets now heavier then?
[/quote]

Presumably Markbass's engineers haven't quite found a way to train their Indonesian colleagues to defy the laws of gravity yet.

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I'm not too fuzz about where it the amp/cab is made, whether is far east or Europe. I only care about the weight. Markbass is well know for the quality, weight and compact style.

If the product is build in far east and have no reliability issue then i'm fine with that, but to make the product more heavier then thats a big no no to me. If thats the case, i won't use their cab, but will still use their heads.

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Are they still using the B&C drivers (Italian made) in the Indonesian cabs, or is that part of their cost-cutting? Moving away from those would lose a lot of the appeal of the Markbass stuff IMO.

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Marco said that all the components have remained the same, including the speakers.. so that's a plus. I'd love to know where the extra weight has come from.

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