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With the news of overseas assembly...

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MrGuitarabuse

Fractal Fanatic
I am not in manufacturing, but I keep seeing how the costs of Chinese labor are almost equal to the cost to build it in the US... Check out this article on the iphone, it would only add $30-40 to make it in the US because Apple would need to import most of the parts... not so much for the labor.

https://9to5mac.com/2016/06/13/iphone-made-in-usa-cost/

Indeed, costs are increasing in China as the "usual" economic progress continues. Also bigger western buyers require compliance and more and more doing on site audits of factories which all in benefits for the workers in the long term, and which of course in the end increasing cost.
That said, low end products has already left China for Vietnam, Cambodia, Pakistan, India etc basically now since China is too expensive.
And all we consumers cheering for more, better and cheaper...
 

ChristThePhone

Fractal Fanatic
In my eyes the constant flow of new features being added to a box that has been around for a couple of years somewhat compensates for potential resale value losses. Without these updates that resale value would be A LOT lower.
 

Admin M@

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
I prefer to support Made in USA when possible (almost never these days).

I'd like to mention that every employee of Fractal Audio Systems lives and works in the USA. There are a growing number of us. With decisions like this one helping to improve our flow of goods, quality of products, and prices, we'll continue to be able to hire more.
 

Stratman68

Axe-Master
Who's glad to own a Made in USA version? Or does it matter at all to you?

Truly cannot beat that price.

I don't believe for one minute that the M.I.C. version will be any less quality. Pretty sure we can expect that it just wouldn't be allowed.

Hoping for the best for everyone. Getting more of these in people's hands is a worthy goal.

It matters to me. But I have my AX8 and thats good. If I buy another fractal product it will be used-made in USA. That's just me. Nothing against Fractal, business is business. Maybe just an old Combat Vet thing but Made in USA means a ton to me....MIC just does not ring the same for me. Just my opinion.............Of course at my age and health, I am sure my AX8 will out live me..........I do wish I had kept one of my Axefx units though.........
 
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Funny I have never heard of a American USA manufacture moving operations to China, Mexico, or any other country in order to improve quality. It is always over cutting cost. At best they hope to keep the quality but that eventually adds to cost. Haiti might be a good place for manufacturing since their labor would be real low right now.

Fractal is just following what all the other manufactures have felt forced to do, so they are not necessarily to blame. We have a manufacturing problem in the USA and it does not look like there is any relief coming. I have family members that lost jobs due production moves out of country so its a little more personal, along with living in a large military community we seem to be more sensitive towards these things.
 

tjontheroad

Inspired
Buying a MIA AX8 for extra $ was worth well worth it. That said, saving $ for MIC AX8 wouldn't stop my from buying one if I didn't have one already.

It's understandable that change is needed in order to stay competitive and meet demand. Otherwise, FAS could could go by the way of the Dodo. Tough decisions take guts.
 

ChristThePhone

Fractal Fanatic
Does anyone here believe they do it just to park another Lambo on their driveways ? So far I had the impression they were really passionate about the products they develop.
 

iaresee

Administrator
Moderator
Funny I have never heard of a American USA manufacture moving operations to China, Mexico, or any other country in order to improve quality.

This is a terrible way to logic your way through life: just because you haven't heard of it, therefore it cannot be true.

I've worked in semiconductor development and it is de rigueur to prototype in North America and then move to Taiwan because they do semiconductor manufacturing better and at much higher volumes than anyone in North America can do. Very commonplace.

And let's not even get started on cars! Fremont, CA was home to the worst car manufacturing facility North America has every known. The same models, produced elsewhere in the world, were absolutely higher quality than their Fremont, CA-manufactured counterparts.

It's a protectionist myth that only Your People can Build It Right.
 

pat6969

Inspired
This is a terrible way to logic your way through life: just because you haven't heard of it, therefore it cannot be true.

I've worked in semiconductor development and it is de rigueur to prototype in North America and then move to Taiwan because they do semiconductor manufacturing better and at much higher volumes than anyone in North America can do. Very commonplace.

And let's not even get started on cars! Fremont, CA was home to the worst car manufacturing facility North America has every known. The same models, produced elsewhere in the world, were absolutely higher quality than their Fremont, CA-manufactured counterparts.

It's a protectionist myth that only Your People can Build It Right.

I'm a proponent of the MIA AX8, not because it's MIA, but because it was assembled and tested by Fractal employees. From all I've read on this site I have come to the conclusion that Fractal employees love what they do and take pride in every product that gets shipped out. That is where the advantage lies for me. All things being equal I don't think an American can build something better than an Asian, but I'm quite positive the guys at Fractal were quite passionate during assembly and testing.

That being said, look at ESP and PRS SE guitars, killer guitars, made in Asia that can compete or beat a lot of MIA guitars.
 

JasonM

Member
On one hand I'm disappointed to see this. I do make a point of buying American where I can and up until I read this I thought the Ax8 I purchased today was assembled here. The manufacturing sector is being decimated here unfortunately.

On the other hand, I completely understand it from a business perspective if this is what is required for them to keep up with demand for their product. I've got a friend who was wanting to buy an Ax8, saw that there was a wait list and so decided to get a Helix instead since he wouldn't have to wait an unspecified amount of time. I get it. It's just too bad is all.

I'm less worried that the one I just ordered is coming from China than I am that it is the very first production run coming from China. That has me a little worried to be honest.
 

JasonM

Member
Out of curiosity, how does Fractal QC it's products? Are Fractal employees doing the QC? Is it a random sampling of a production run or is each unit individually QC'd when it arrives from China or wherever?

I know regardless of where a product is manufactured/assembled that sometimes defects arise during manufacturing/assembly and quite often those defects only become evident later on. I'm just curious as to what the process is more than anything.
 

iaresee

Administrator
Moderator
I'm a proponent of the MIA AX8, not because it's MIA, but because it was assembled and tested by Fractal employees.
Who said it was assembled by Fractal employees? I'm fairly certain they weren't doing component soldering and that's the bulk of the assembly. I'm also certain final QA was, and still will be, done by Fractal employees here in the USA before any units ship. No way would Cliff let go of that quality control. He just bought a big, new warehouse to put all the stuff in to handle all of this stuff too.
From all I've read on this site I have come to the conclusion that Fractal employees love what they do and take pride in every product that gets shipped out.
I don't see how that changes based on where parts are populated on to boards and boards are screwed on to chassis. I think they still love what they do. Don't you?

All things being equal I don't think an American can build something better than an Asian, but I'm quite positive the guys at Fractal were quite passionate during assembly and testing.
I'm quite positive the Fractal team's involvement in the QA and final inspection of the products will be the same as what it was when the units were manufactured in the USA.

That being said, look at ESP and PRS SE guitars, killer guitars, made in Asia that can compete or beat a lot of MIA guitars.
Excellent examples!
 

ethomas1013

Fractal Fanatic
Don't be xenophobes folks, FAS are a global business and there's a big world out there full of high quality products which were made outside of the US of A.

I have not seen a single post in this thread that is even remotely xenophobic. Quality is quality regardless of the place of manufacture. The guitar in my avatar is made by a small builder in Germany.

Seeing companies move operations overseas is all too common. Wanting those jobs to stay here is not xenophobia.
 
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