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phatbass787

Markbass - all made in Indonesia now and heavy?

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Not sure if I've seen it mentioned on this thread, but apparently the new reissue of the Musicman amps are going to be made by Markbass in Italy.

So their standard gear is now made in Indonesia and the Musicman amps are Italian?

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[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1396342475' post='2412388'] It doesn't really.... and I alluded to it earlier in this thread, and we all know the answer anyway. Markbass are no worse than a lot of others who go to the Pacific rim for a cheaper labour supply. You will not stop it unless you only buy from western makers who have a policy of building 'local'. But I guess you can count those makers on 1 hand. The 'shareholders' are maximising their profit by using cheaper labour, pure and simple, IMHO... of course. [/quote]

That was kind of my point! :D I should have said "begs the rhetorical question".

My NY121 arrived today, roughly 1kg heavier than the first. I doesn't sound quite the same, even at low volume in my front room, but it is in line with what I'd expect to hear between a well gigged cab next to brand new one. Without wanting to spark another speaker break-in argument, I'll let it get a few loud'uns under it's belt before I fully pass judgement!

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I have owned quite a few Italian made Markbass amps, including LittleMark series 2's & 3's - two LMK's and two - (one of which blew up) - F1's'

All of them were great amps - even the F1 that blew up ...................... until it blew up :D!!

Due to not gigging very much in my dotage - if at all :(, but still being a fan of the MB sound I bought a MB Blackline 250 and in my very humble opinion the build quality, sound and functionality is no better and no worse than the other MB amps I've owned, is as loud as heck & sounds 'fab' :gas:!!

There were two big pluses for me in buying one of these - the cost and as an old codger, I prefer the more subdued appearance of the fascia.

Top marks to Marco for producing a high quality product, at a price that even us Pensioners can afford B)!!

Oh and by the by - I knew exactly where it was manufactured prior buying, without very much digging & as with the Italian models - it weighs next to nothing........... :D!!

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I'm back to using the Markbass CMD 121P Combo / NY121 cab. The Combo is Italian mfg. (May 2013) The cab is Indonesian mfg. If the newer cabs are heavier, mine may be an older mfg. They sound great, and are built like Brick Shizt Houses. Great job, Marco Markbass.

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[color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]I had a fantastic session today with the Markbass Mini CMD 121P/NY121 Combo, and Cab. The Am. Spl. Precision is really sounding good with the two 12's. Nothing cheap about this Markbass.[/font][/color]

[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/wEtOeqt.jpg[/IMG]

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A little update on my latest NY121.

First, the good news; it did start to open up with a bit of playing time on it, so began to sound closer to my other cab.

The bad news was a rattle from the speaker- I went round and tightened every screw I could find, some of which [I]were[/I] loose, but to no avail, and anyhow, it sounded like it was coming from the speaker all along anyway. It wasn't a vibration in the room, as I could just plug into my 'identical' cab and hear the fault disappear instantly.

I have sent it back, at this stage for a replacement as I am otherwise very happy with the NY121s, but not without a slightly heavy heart and some trepidation. My Black Line 250 hasn't missed a beat, and reliability was the last thing I was worried about. I really, really hope the next one works fine- not a cheerful situation for me though.

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[quote name='Jus Lukin' timestamp='1399989607' post='2449631']
A little update on my latest NY121
[/quote]

Markbass' failure rate is ridiculously low so you've been very unlucky! Sure your replacement will be perfect once the drivers have been "broken in" :)

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Does anyone know when Markbass started fitting copies of B&C drivers rather than the real thing?

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[quote name='stevie' timestamp='1399991992' post='2449661']
Does anyone know when Markbass started fitting copies of B&C drivers rather than the real thing?
[/quote]

Who manufactures them?

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[quote name='stevie' timestamp='1399991992' post='2449661']
Does anyone know when Markbass started fitting copies of B&C drivers rather than the real thing?
[/quote]

Quite recently. They make them themselves now!

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[quote name='chrismuzz' timestamp='1399991593' post='2449656']
Markbass' failure rate is ridiculously low so you've been very unlucky! Sure your replacement will be perfect once the drivers have been "broken in" :)
[/quote]

Well, that's the thing knocking anyone's confidence- the failure rate [i]has been[/i] very low. Things have changed a great deal on the manufacturing front, and Markbass now have to prove themselves all over again. I'm all behind the new system working out (and I'm entrusting my entire backline to 'em, to prove it!), so I hope I can write this off to a blip. It's still an open book at this stage though, particularly on the new speakers, assuming they came in at the same time as the new manufacturing plant. Only time will tell, and a small part of me wishes I'd picked up my second NY cab immediately when I first decided on it, before the change.

That said, most of me just hopes you're right, and I can get on with playing instead of booking couriers and worrying about my cabs! :D

Edited by Jus Lukin

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[quote name='chrismuzz' timestamp='1399997679' post='2449750']
Quite recently. They make them themselves now!
[/quote]

Really? That surprises me.

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I found an interesting copy of the Markbass Magazine from 2009 online today. The front page reads:
[font=sans-serif][size=7]
"100% Made in Italy[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
The only way to maintain and grow the worldwide success of[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
Markbass is to keep manufacturing our products in Italy, where we[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
have full control over the entire process, from the quality of our[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
materials to our rigorous testing procedures. We stand firm on this,[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
despite the fact that so many other companies have moved their[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
production to Asia, seduced by the short-term economic benefits of[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
lower production costs.[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
Manufacturing in Italy not only keeps us on top of our quality control,[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
it also allows us to continuously—and quickly—innovate and refine[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
our products.[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
We couldn’t work this way with an offshore factory, because we’d be[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
locked into inflexible long-term production schedules. Our products[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
cannot afford this type of inflexibility! We’re a company with vision,[/size][/font]
passion, and blah blah blah."

(Don't shoot the messenger. I'm a Markbass user and I like their stuff.)

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[quote name='stevie' timestamp='1399999456' post='2449779']
I found an interesting copy of the Markbass Magazine from 2009 online today. The front page reads:
[font=sans-serif][size=7]
"100% Made in Italy[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
The only way to maintain and grow the worldwide success of[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
Markbass is to keep manufacturing our products in Italy, where we[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
have full control over the entire process, from the quality of our[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
materials to our rigorous testing procedures. We stand firm on this,[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
despite the fact that so many other companies have moved their[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
production to Asia, seduced by the short-term economic benefits of[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
lower production costs.[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
Manufacturing in Italy not only keeps us on top of our quality control,[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
it also allows us to continuously—and quickly—innovate and refine[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
our products.[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
We couldn’t work this way with an offshore factory, because we’d be[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
locked into inflexible long-term production schedules. Our products[/size][/font][font=sans-serif][size=4]
cannot afford this type of inflexibility! We’re a company with vision,[/size][/font]
passion, and blah blah blah."

(Don't shoot the messenger. I'm a Markbass user and I like their stuff.)
[/quote]

Maybe that was the case in 2009. Quite a bit of time has passed since then and they are a much more stable and established company now, perhaps.

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[quote name='stevie' timestamp='1399999456' post='2449779']
I found an interesting copy of the Markbass Magazine from 2009 online today. The front page reads:

[font=sans-serif][size=7]"100% Made in Italy[/size][/font]
[font=sans-serif][size=4]The only way to maintain and grow the worldwide success of[/size][/font]
[font=sans-serif][size=4]Markbass is to keep manufacturing our products in Italy, where we[/size][/font]
[font=sans-serif][size=4]have full control over the entire process, from the quality of our[/size][/font]
[font=sans-serif][size=4]materials to our rigorous testing procedures. We stand firm on this,[/size][/font]
[font=sans-serif][size=4]despite the fact that so many other companies have moved their[/size][/font]
[font=sans-serif][size=4]production to Asia, seduced by the short-term economic benefits of[/size][/font]
[font=sans-serif][size=4]lower production costs.[/size][/font]
[font=sans-serif][size=4]Manufacturing in Italy not only keeps us on top of our quality control,[/size][/font]
[font=sans-serif][size=4]it also allows us to continuously—and quickly—innovate and refine[/size][/font]
[font=sans-serif][size=4]our products.[/size][/font]
[font=sans-serif][size=4]We couldn’t work this way with an offshore factory, because we’d be[/size][/font]
[font=sans-serif][size=4]locked into inflexible long-term production schedules. Our products[/size][/font]
[font=sans-serif][size=4]cannot afford this type of inflexibility! We’re a company with vision,[/size][/font]
passion, and blah blah blah."

(Don't shoot the messenger. I'm a Markbass user and I like their stuff.)
[/quote]

Oh dear!

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Yep I remember all this from when I got my old Markbass rig. That's why this thread kicked off to begin with! A few pages back Marco addressed pretty much everything mentioned though so see if you can find it and see what you think.

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I've never liked the idea of pacific rim production... particuarly when our high st prices isn't
reflected in the savings to the manufacturing costs.

I don't know their product line and prices well enough to know whether the prices have
gone down but that is the real reason why most people buy fridges and washers from China
because they are dirt cheap.
If you don't get that benefit, then Markbasses own words back in 2009 are quite damning, IMO.

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It is a bit of an ideological U-turn, isn't it?

I do feel that savings ought to be being passed on, although right now, being otherwise very happy with my MB gear, I just want to find that the stuff is as reliable as ever, and get settled on what was going to be 'my' rig for the foreseeable future. It doesn't matter how many assurances are made, it's on the ground where the reality of the situation is felt. I'm obviously in a half finished process at the moment, but my confidence is definitely shaky right now! I'm already thinking of contingencies in case the next one is also not up to scratch, unfortunately.

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[quote name='Jus Lukin' timestamp='1400154891' post='2451240']
It is a bit of an ideological U-turn, isn't it?
[/quote]

That's what I thought. It was a bit of an overreaction but I ended up selling/trading my Markbass rig on the back of this. I can't deny the stuff is top notch quality, but I wasn't as in love with the brand as I was when I first got it. And I'm actually much more suited to my Peavey rig even if it does weigh 4x as much!!

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I think that this forensic examination of the Markbass business is unwarranted. I'd suggest that its a sensible business decision to build in the Pacific Rim; so for me there is no Issue, Mr Markbass has a business to run, employees, suppliers and presumably business loans to pay - if he out-sources his manufacturing then this is his issue.

It takes a lot of bottle to put together a business and build it, he has demonstrated on here that he is well aware of threats to his business if build quality of his product range suffers.

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Of course it is his decision, he isn't the first, will not be the last...
but that decision does impact on the users/buyers and they may..
as I do.. feel that there is a price to pay. Their/our money will
be paid and their/our choices will be made.
He can't, and I am sure he isn't, be unaware of that.

I have never been in love with Markbass myself, soundwise... but respected
that they had a quality and a local build ethic.
In general, I am against outsourcing ...so I don't like to see
leading names go east and I will buy all my kit from the west..
as far as I can. All my basses and amps and cabs are made either
in the U.K or America. I'll pay a premium for that IF they deliver,
which I think they do, or otherwise I wouldn't have them, of course.

I am not trying to make the point that the far east can't make great products
but the west could outsource everything and then where does that leave you?

I am sorry Markbass is in the firing line, others have had the same for the same reason,
but these business decisions tend not to be for the end user, they tend to be for the
'shareholders', IMO.

Edited by JTUK

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[quote name='No lust in Jazz' timestamp='1400166066' post='2451389']
I think that this forensic examination of the Markbass business is unwarranted.
[/quote]

Given that it may already have contributed to a drop in reliability of the speakers, it's pretty worthwhile, I'd say. If (and I hope it doesn't) it turns out that I can't get a second NY121 to match my first, I'll be looking elsewhere for a matching pair I can rely on, and hopefully my experience will save others the potential hassle.

As I keep saying though, I'm a longtime user, ex-endorsee and otherwise satisfied customer, and I hope I can just put it down to a spot of bad luck. I'll let any shareholders extra few hours on the golf course at my expense slide, so long as the thing works. ;)

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[quote name='chrismuzz' timestamp='1400165914' post='2451388']
That's what I thought. It was a bit of an overreaction but I ended up selling/trading my Markbass rig on the back of this. I can't deny the stuff is top notch quality, but I wasn't as in love with the brand as I was when I first got it. And I'm actually much more suited to my Peavey rig even if it does weigh 4x as much!!
[/quote]

You must have mentioned that earlier, but I've only just taken it in properly! Presumably you didn't have any issues with the gear itself?

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[quote name='Jus Lukin' timestamp='1400171840' post='2451455']
Given that it may already have contributed to a drop in reliability of the speakers
[/quote]
Do you have evidence of this (figures as a percentage), beyond a 'spot of bad luck'..?

[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1400169039' post='2451413']
...business decisions tend not to be for the end user, they tend to be for the
'shareholders', IMO.
[/quote]
Yes, business decisions are made for the shareholders - having been a Director and shareholder of a business (150+ employees) I can confirm this

This is a business that has had to review its strategy, perhaps the made in Italy thing looks a bit silly now, but reviews happen all the time.

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[quote name='No lust in Jazz' timestamp='1400173300' post='2451482']
Do you have evidence of this (figures as a percentage), beyond a 'spot of bad luck'..?
[/quote]

'May' is the word I should perhaps have highlighted in my comment. All I have for now is that the first of the new speakers I've tried was faulty, and I don't wish it to be anything other than the one which slipped the net. Time will tell, and for now, I have made myself one of the guinea pigs. It's an open book, but no, of course I don't have any returns figures. It's a new venture even for Markbass.

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