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So where are AXE 1 and AXE 2 made in?

Sidivan

Fractal Fanatic
Here's a list of guitars I currently own:
2001 ESP Custom
Charvel Desolation Soloist
1997 Hamer Custom
Carvin 7 string (not sure on model as I got it 2nd hand)
LTD Viper Baritone
Peavey Patriot (first guitar I ever owned)
Emerald Carbon Fiber acoustic

Now, most of those were made overseas. None of them are crap by any means and you'd be hard pressed to find a guitarist that would say they are after playing them.

I owned a Mexi Strat as my main practice guitar for 10 years and it was every bit as good as an american strat. In fact, when i sold it, the very first person to come play it bought it for asking price without negotiation. I had a Gibson '71 LP Goldtop, which was beautiful, but my ESP is a better guitar IMO. I played a Michael Kelly Patriot Glory ($499 MAP) down at a local shop last week and it's on par with that '71 as far as construction is concerned. With new pickups, it'd be one of the best guitars on the market. I'm actually going to buy one, drop new pickups in it and take it on the road with the Charvel. I'd hate for my ESP or Hamer to get "Relic'd" on a gig when inexpensive, replaceable, foreign guitars are doing the job just as well.
 

iaresee

Administrator
Moderator
"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe."
- Carl Sagan

Truly nothing in the world, when it comes to electronics, is made exclusively in any one country any more. Raw materials are mined around the globe, pre-processed globally, packaged in to components globally, and fitted in to final devices globally.

When we say an electronic device is made in a specific country it's usually based on a minimum amount of the raw material and/or the devices coming from that country, and assembly and test being performed in that country. It's very unlikely semiconductors are made in North America these days. The fab processes are pretty toxic and we take advantage of the lax environmental laws in other countries to produce these things small and cheap and in massive quantities. The exceptions being things like highly-specialized parts (like DSPs). With made-in-a-country designations on electronics it usually boils down to: is the PCB etched and and component soldered to the PCB in the country? Is final assembly done in the country? Is the testing and verification done in the country? If all three of those things are true it usually stands up to the "it's made the in <insert your country you like to feel pride about here>" designation.

The Axe-Fx II passes those tests for the "Made in the USA" designation. It even goes a but further in that the Analog Devices DSPs it uses are fabricated in the USA. Though, AD runs fab facilities in both the USA and Ireland, so I'm not 100% certain *all* TigerSHARCs are made in the USA.
 
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Last year's thread / Forum etiquette

Yes, I remember the thread from last year very well. It was almost an exact copy of this thread. It went on forever because:

* Cliff made no definitive statement about where manufacturing is done.

* Many people rudely insisted that the OP's question was invalid.

* Many people refused to acknowledge that Cliff never answered the OP's question.

As I did last year, I would like to address the issue of rudeness. Just because you have no interest in the OP's question does not make the question invalid. Just because you suspect that he has "bad" motives for asking it does not make the question invalid. I prefer to treat people as innocent until proven guilty. I also prefer to treat them as I would wish to be treated -- with respect. Please treat the OP with respect, and if you have nothing to contribute to his question, please refrain from posting. Specifically, please stop telling him he has no right to ask. We all have a right to ask questions, at least if we behave nicely -- that's the purpose of the forum. It's up to Cliff whether he wants to answer.

Of course, the manufacturing process is somewhat complex. We can ask:
* Where design is done.
* Where each part is made. Parts include chassis, power supply, CPU, memory, PC board, etc.
* Where subassemblies are done.
* Where final assembly is done.
* Where quality control is done.
 

MrGuitarabuse

Fractal Fanatic
no it doesnt matter. but i care to know. thats why i made this thread. i have bought the axe because it is good. but this is not the topic of the thread. so i just want to know is it bad to ask because i feel like some people feel offended by this thread.

I dont think anyone is offended but maaaan, do you have a long journey ahead of you if you need to sort this out for every item you buy... ;)
 

ShanesPlanet

New Member
Old thread, but this kind of thing happens all the time. Someone wants to know something, everyone else says it doesnt matter. WHO THE F**CK are you to decide what matters to someone else, and what shouldnt? I care about where something is made. Its not about the quality, its about supporting your local economy as much as possible. Not bowing to a lesser price point, at the cost of how the human race is treated in areas where labor is slavery. I already saw a post that summed up how a price point was wanting to be met, so some things are being used from overseas to bypass the expense of paying an American worker. Its too toxic for the American worker, yet we are fine with shipping that shit for some human in Asia to do it for mere pennies? I was looking up this stuff and trying to decide if i wanted to upgrade to an axe III. I do believe it aint going to happen. With the reasoning being used to justify cheaper labor in this old as hell thread, I can only imagine the III unit is doing even more of the same. You know why companies dont tell you where everything is made? Because eventually they have to admit they employed slaves to enable a lower price, or to raise profits. Its not the company's fault entirely. Most consumers don't care who gets to eat from laboring over manufacture, they only care how cheap it can be. I am of the rare few that WILL pay more for the same thing, if i know a fellow American did the work. Work, as in manufacture. Fwiw, I've never seen a forum full of so many elitists in my life. Almost makes me ashamed to even own an axe and be lumped in with the rest....At least SOMEONE else gets it.

Haven't checked the links, but here are some old quotes I had (on G1 probably) from Cliff:

Also, it's made in the USA. We've taken a stance against offshoring the production for now. It makes the product a bit more expensive but saves jobs in this country. We feel it also makes for a higher quality product.
-
The DSP is made in Canada. The boards are assembled in Wilmington MA. Final assembly is done in NH. The chassis is made in MA as well. There is NO production whatsoever done in Asia. Some of the components, of course, are of Asian origin but that's inevitable.
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The only thing we're considering outsourcing is the sheet metal chassis. The manufacturing is still all done in the U.S. We can get the chassis for half the price offshore. Most of the other parts are made in China anyways, no control over that. But we stuff the boards and test and everything else right here in the U.S. /
The pricing after the waiting lists are gone is still TBD. It'll probably end up somewhere in-between. At the discounted price we're a bit under the required multiplier for the products. We're trying to shave costs by sourcing the chassis from China but we're still a bit high. FWIW, and this is totally my personal opinion, I've had a high-end competitor's unit for a couple weeks now. After evaluating that, I feel the Ultra, even at full MSRP, is a bargain.
-
I believe that outsourcing is one of the reasons the economy is in the mess it is in now. The problem with outsourcing is that it basically makes labor a worldwide free market. So American laborers compete with the rest of the world. Now the rest of the world has, on average, a much lower standard of living and therefore the American laborer is forced to accept a lower wage, either directly or indirectly (his job goes away and he ends up flipping burgers). Outsourcing benefits a small group of individuals in the short-term, namely CEO's and large shareholders as the company is able to lower costs and therefore increase profits. However in the long-term this advantage goes away since competitors follow suit and a price war ensues so the profit increase is only temporary. Even worse, this leads to trade imbalance and a steady flow of money out of the country. Those American workers are now making less and therefore have less to spend which causes a vicious cycle. I fought outsourcing at my previous company and used the arguments above but lost the battle to short-sighted upper management. I even got into a argument with a Senator over it. I tried to explain the problem to him (Republican) but, in typical politician fashion, he didn't really listen and didn't give a straight answer to anything I asked. The very wealthy have benefited from outsourcing and become far more wealthy as a result. Unfortunately they've traded away our future for it. I've been preaching this for years but no one listens. The only other person that seems to understand this is, ironically, Warren Buffet.
 
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StickMan

Experienced
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FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
Old thread, but this kind of thing happens all the time. Someone wants to know something, everyone else says it doesnt matter. WHO THE F**CK are you to decide what matters to someone else, and what shouldnt? I care about where something is made. Its not about the quality, its about supporting your local economy as much as possible. Not bowing to a lesser price point, at the cost of how the human race is treated in areas where labor is slavery. I already saw a post that summed up how a price point was wanting to be met, so some things are being used from overseas to bypass the expense of paying an American worker. Its too toxic for the American worker, yet we are fine with shipping that shit for some human in Asia to do it for mere pennies? I was looking up this stuff and trying to decide if i wanted to upgrade to an axe III. I do believe it aint going to happen. With the reasoning being used to justify cheaper labor in this old as hell thread, I can only imagine the III unit is doing even more of the same. You know why companies dont tell you where everything is made? Because eventually they have to admit they employed slaves to enable a lower price, or to raise profits. Its not the company's fault entirely. Most consumers don't care who gets to eat from laboring over manufacture, they only care how cheap it can be. I am of the rare few that WILL pay more for the same thing, if i know a fellow American did the work. Work, as in manufacture.

While I agree with a lot of this unfortunately most consumers only care about price. If the competition is using low-cost labor then everyone else has to follow suit or risk going out of business because their prices are too high.

With that said, roughly 50% (by cost) of the Axe-Fx III is made in USA. The chassis and simpler circuit boards are made in China. The DSP module is made right here in NH.
 

Admin M@

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
I'd like to add a humorous addendum.

The Axe-Fx III is assembled, programmed, inspected, and tested at our facility in New Hampshire. Assembly includes various components sourced from around the world, including the USA. Now. when you try to answer the question, "Who would buy an Axe-Fx if it didn't have amp, cab and effect models?" you suddenly recognize the "priceless" quality of the firmware, which is of course entirely made in the USA. Oddly, we had one customer opt to not purchase a unit recently because it was not "100% made in USA". I wondered but refrained from asking about the computer or phone he was typing to me on, and the various components that carried not only internet service but even electricity to his location...
 

StickMan

Experienced
IMHO, the firmware is the product.

Also, just like many people on this forum, I don't live in the USA. I think that's an important point. The marketplace for a specialized product like this is global, and that probably shifts the thinking a little bit. Customers in other countries aren't particularly interested in supporting the US economy and interest in the country of origin of a product probably only extends to an evaluation of probably quality of the product.

All that being said, I imagine that most customers, no matter where they live, would prefer that the products they buy aren't produced by child labourers, or exploited workers or in conditions that are inhumane. But there's lots of countries other than the USA that have regulations that protect workers.
 

clarky

Axe-Master
I'd like to add a humorous addendum.

The Axe-Fx III is assembled, programmed, inspected, and tested at our facility in New Hampshire. Assembly includes various components sourced from around the world, including the USA. Now. when you try to answer the question, "Who would buy an Axe-Fx if it didn't have amp, cab and effect models?" you suddenly recognize the "priceless" quality of the firmware, which is of course entirely made in the USA. Oddly, we had one customer opt to not purchase a unit recently because it was not "100% made in USA". I wondered but refrained from asking about the computer or phone he was typing to me on, and the various components that carried not only internet service but even electricity to his location...

If I insisted on only buying stuff made in my own country I'd have no Fender Strat, no Ibanez, no Washburn, no VG-99, no 2120, no Axe-II
and my V's would have no bridges [Floyd Rose]..
I would have though a pair of Marshall cabs, two power amps and a 12-string acoustic.. so it's not all bad news.. lol..

seriously though...
if we all thought that way Fender and Gibson for example would only be found within the USA..
which is kinda ridiculous when you think about it..
the world is full of great stuff... we all benefit from it
 
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