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phatbass787

Markbass - all made in Indonesia now and heavy?

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[quote name='Dingus' timestamp='1392134280' post='2365147']
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.
[/quote]

I suppose the reason is market forces blah, blah, blah, but I know what you mean. I wonder what their failure rate is for the stuff re-tested in Italy? There need not be any problems with Asian manufacturers so double testing would seem to just be an additional cost. Oh well, I'm sure their bean-counters have it all figured out.

I wonder if EU countries like Romania and Bulgaria are not missing a trick here. Couldn't they set up a suitable factory for this sort of thing and compete with the Asian countries for low labour cost stuff? Maybe not as low, who knows, but it would save on import duties by keeping everything within the EU.

But despite all the discussion and MB feedback there's still no clarification about the weight issue. Is it really so difficult for them to find a set of scales and just weigh the damn things?

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[quote name='flyfisher' timestamp='1392141361' post='2365272']
I suppose the reason is market forces blah, blah, blah, but I know what you mean. I wonder what their failure rate is for the stuff re-tested in Italy? There need not be any problems with Asian manufacturers so double testing would seem to just be an additional cost. Oh well, I'm sure their bean-counters have it all figured out.

[b]I wonder if EU countries like Romania and Bulgaria are not missing a trick here. Couldn't they set up a suitable factory for this sort of thing and compete with the Asian countries for low labour cost stuff? Maybe not as low, who knows, but it would save on import duties by keeping everything within the EU.[/b]

But despite all the discussion and MB feedback there's still no clarification about the weight issue. Is it really so difficult for them to find a set of scales and just weigh the damn things?
[/quote]

Educated workforce who have to put up with surprisingly high cost of living expenses and European Employment Laws would be the answer there I suspect.

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Fair point that it probably wouldn't be as cheap as a Far East operation but surely somewhat cheaper?

Plus their marketing could make the point that nothing was built by 12 year olds. :o

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I call bullshit.

Take Overwater as an example.

Base price for a British made Jazz: from £2245
RRP for a Chinese made-by-Tanglewood Classic J: £399

Quality difference? From the 3-4 people I've chatted to who have owned both, not much. Certainly not the best part of two grand's worth.

That's the difference between manufacturing in Europe and manufacturing in the far east - the end price.

I'm in the process of selling some bases and my Ashdown rig so that I can buy a MarkBass CMD 121P but not if I'm getting screwed over with a cheaply-made far eastern one, no matter how many times they have to retest them.

If they're making them cheaper, I want them cheaper.

I'm happy to pay a few hundred quid for a Tanglewater. I'd be most upset of Overwater started charging £2000 for one of those. As would most people.

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Marco has just revealed that they no longer use B&C drivers. He said that they're custom Markbass speakers that he designed personally, to the same specification.

Edited by chrismuzz

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Havent had chance to try one yet but all this certainly looks good for Ashdown's ABM NEO line, UK built, Marine Ply and Italian Sica NEO drivers.... Well priced for the specs too and light. Looks like Ashdown are now out Markbassing Markbass lol ;-)

http://ashdownmusic.com/products/1/Bass-Amplification/13/ABM-NEO/



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[quote name='phatbass787' timestamp='1392146655' post='2365355']
Havent had chance to try one yet but all this certainly looks good for Ashdown's ABM NEO line, UK built, Marine Ply and Italian Sica NEO drivers.... Well priced for the specs too and light. Looks like Ashdown are now out Markbassing Markbass lol ;-)
[/quote]

Wonder if they'll start outsourcing to Italy :lol:

Edited by chrismuzz

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Well I've got two cabs of theirs, a 2011 made TRV 121H and a 2012 TRV 151P (both bought off here used). The 121 is made from ply whereas the 151 is made from Italian MDF. I asked Markbass about the change in materials for the cab and it was put down to constant improvements of some sort on their part. Now I mentioned this to a friend and he commented that the MDF would be more consistent in it's make up and perhaps produce a better tonal result. Either way I'd prefer ply for both cabs, however they both sound ace. It does look like if I want/need some more in the future I'll go for some more used ones though.

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I've also heard that MDF produces a better tone. I'd wager that MDF is heavier than ply though, and probably less durable. Maybe that's why they're heavier now, and nothing to do with production being moved to Indonesia?

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[quote name='chrismuzz' timestamp='1392145609' post='2365337']
Marco has just revealed that they no longer use B&C drivers. He said that they're custom Markbass speakers that he designed personally, to the same specification.
[/quote]

Are they neo?

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[quote name='phatbass787' timestamp='1392146655' post='2365355'] Havent had chance to try one yet but all this certainly looks good for Ashdown's ABM NEO line, UK built, Marine Ply and Italian Sica NEO drivers.... Well priced for the specs too and light. Looks like Ashdown are now out Markbassing Markbass lol ;-) http://ashdownmusic.com/products/1/Bass-Amplification/13/ABM-NEO/ [/quote]
You need to take out a banner ad for that post. :)

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[quote name='Musicman20' timestamp='1392164700' post='2365640']
Are they neo?
[/quote]

He didn't say specifically, I can only assume that when he says 'same specification' that they'd still be neodymium drivers. Then again, if they weren't the cabs would certainly be even heavier!

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[quote name='chrismuzz' timestamp='1392196458' post='2365734']
He didn't say specifically, I can only assume that when he says 'same specification' that they'd still be neodymium drivers. Then again, if they weren't the cabs would certainly be even heavier!
[/quote]

Thanks. It all seems very odd to me. Markbass build up a fantastic brand and image, and now they have, in my eyes, completely changed it.

This whole 'we test it in Italy' doesn't really make any sense to me. It is surely pretty normal to test them. Genz Benz always stated their amps were made in a high tech factory in Taiwan then shipped to be checked over at their headquarters. Thing is, they were upfront about that, and their amps were a good price IMO.

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It's a sop to say 'tested in (insert western country )' ..... it almost implies that we are aware of perceived issues
and we have safeguarded against them.
It says to me that the decision was made purely to maximise financial gains and nothing to do with a QC decision.
It devalues a brand, IMO... and I am not saying that the Pacific rim can't make decent enough gear but everyone knows no
one is paying a premium for that sort of gear, but companies try and maintain that pricepoint..
Everyone buys Chinese fridges as they are cheap....and you throw one away and buy another....
If companies go down that route then they should cut the price accordingly...

I still don't go for that approach myself as I believe the western worker needs to earn his wage so I'll pay a premium for
that reason alone for musical gear... I object to paying for Far east gear at Western prices simply because the labour costs
are so much cheaper...and not remotely comparable in other regards...

Be straight about it all..... and then cut your costs. If not, it is a crock and nobody should be fooled otherwise.... IMO

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[quote name='chrismuzz' timestamp='1392151173' post='2365433']
I've also heard that MDF produces a better tone. I'd wager that MDF is heavier than ply though, and probably less durable. Maybe that's why they're heavier now, and nothing to do with production being moved to Indonesia?
[/quote]
Some plywoods are heavier than others, but in general MDF is around 40% heavier than ply. MDF is also less durable.

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I only noticed this yesterday and I certainly have concerns.
I recently added a TRV121H to my list of Markbass gear (I've checked and it's Italian) and was considering adding an NY121 for flexibility and EUB work but would they be the same drivers? Would the NY still be 29lbs?
There was a thread addressing this issue on Facebook which I can no longer find and it appears that this information regarding changes in manufacture has had to be dragged out of Markbass rather than them appearing open about the issue.

I think I'll stand by from the sidelines and maybe keep an eye out for a used NY121 in the meantime.

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Ah... It would appear from that that my new TRV121H speaker isn't B&C then and they moved away from B&C a number of years ago. I have no issues with the sound of my TRV121H (i really like it).
My Club 121 cabs are probably not B&C either. It's just the weight issue that needs clarifying then on the website.

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[quote name='Roland Rock' timestamp='1392202836' post='2365839']
Some plywoods are heavier than others, but in general MDF is around 40% heavier than ply. [b]MDF is also less durable[/b].
[/quote]

MDF is not less durable that Ply. Are you thinking of particle board?

When it comes to speaker building.. The only advantages Ply has over Fibreboard is less weight. In every other aspect Ply is inferior.

Ply is lighter (less dense) so more resonant than MDF so sonically inferior.
Ply requires much more bracing to achieve same rigidity.
Ply is also less durable than MDF. You can make finger nail marks in the surface of ply. It’s very difficult to do that with MDF.
Ply is also less consistant than MDF due to the nature of woods. It’s way easier to cut thru Ply with a jigsaw. MDF is difficult to cut as the jigsaw blade gets vey hot and burns because it so dense.

MDF is 30/40% heavier because of its density, which makes it fantastic for speaker cabs. But as I said before it’s only down side is weight.

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[quote name='EddyGlee' timestamp='1392211882' post='2365975']


MDF is not less durable that Ply. Are you thinking of particle board?....
.....Ply is also less durable than MDF. You can make finger nail marks in the surface of ply. It’s very difficult to do that with MDF.
[/quote]

I am talking about MDF, and maybe 'durable' is misleading when I should have said 'stronger' (although I've just looked up the definition of 'durable' and it says 'able to withstand damage')
Anyway, what I meant was that MDF breaks much more easily than ply, whose alternating layers give it much more strength.

Edited by Roland Rock

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A couple of comments after quickly reading the statement from MB:

They say they have not had a price increase since 2001. Pretty sure ( and I've bought around £8k of MB gear personally and professionally over the last 6 years), I've seen price lists which showed an increase.

Are they saying that all MB gear will be made in Indonesia now ( and then tested in Italy)?

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[quote name='yorks5stringer' timestamp='1392212965' post='2365987']
Are they saying that all MB gear will be made in Indonesia now ( and then tested in Italy)?
[/quote]

They say it proud, "Re-tested in Italy!"

That will make me laugh til the day I die :lol:

I think somewhere along the line Marco said that SOME producst will be made in Indonesia... Which probably means eventually they all will.

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[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1392201754' post='2365818']
It's a sop to say 'tested in (insert western country )' ..... it almost implies that we are aware of perceived issues
and we have safeguarded against them.
It says to me that the decision was made purely to maximise financial gains and nothing to do with a QC decision.
It devalues a brand, IMO... and I am not saying that the Pacific rim can't make decent enough gear but everyone knows no
one is paying a premium for that sort of gear, but companies try and maintain that pricepoint..
Everyone buys Chinese fridges as they are cheap....and you throw one away and buy another....
If companies go down that route then they should cut the price accordingly...

I still don't go for that approach myself as I believe the western worker needs to earn his wage so I'll pay a premium for
that reason alone for musical gear... I object to paying for Far east gear at Western prices simply because the labour costs
are so much cheaper...and not remotely comparable in other regards...

Be straight about it all..... and then cut your costs. If not, it is a crock and nobody should be fooled otherwise.... IMO
[/quote]

Yes, that it it exactly. You have put it in a nutshell, JT.

It is quite conceivable that the move to Far Eastern manufacturing was part of Markbass's long-term business plan from the outset , i.e establishing a prestige product and then making a low cost, higher profit version of those same products somewhere in the Developing World and exploiting their own brand name . What you are in effect now buying is a copy of the original made in Italy products.

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