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With the news of overseas assembly...

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pat6969

Inspired
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.

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?


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.


Excellent examples!
I thought I read somewhere that they were doing the assembly and testing and that's why they had trouble meeting demand, I could be mistaken.
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
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.
Final test, programming and QC will still be done in the US. We test and inspect every unit. We do not do random sampling. Every single unit is put through a full functional test and inspection. A second QC operation is then performed prior to shipping. Costs more but results in less returns due to defects.
 

edawterb

Veteran
In the end Fractal made the decision. It's their business and their choice. The choice we have is buy or don't buy. I'm not gonna lose any sleep over it....and I'll probably be purchasing an fx-8 soon.
 

Stratman68

Fractal Fanatic
Could be coming soon....

It's hard to compete in the US when taxes / tariffs are lower if you build overseas and ship back versus start to finish in the US.
Yes taxes matter, but Labor costs are the biggest reasons. Taxes pale in comparison to employee "minimum wage" and all the extras like unemployment tax, benefits, matching soc sec deduction etc, etc. Not to mention the cost to have people like me to process all that. I just did an 8 year stint processing payroll for 350+ employees in an upscale retirement community.It's mind boggling.
 

pima1234

Fractal Fanatic
Their government offers subsidies which keep their manufacturing costs low, or so I've read.

As mentioned above, this will absolutely not prevent me from continuing to support and purchase from this fine company.

I also like my gear (clothes and shoes, too) Made in the USA, but I'm far from exclusive. I just bought the VOX AC4C1BL Custom Series Top Boost Tube Combo Amp. It sounds great, and it definitely was not made here or in England.

Incredibly, it's the first tube amp I've owned or even played in well over 2 years. My AX8 sounds better, but I've been wanting something like this for a while, and couldn't pass up MF's deal of the day this week.

If I were to buy a boutique version, a 4 watt tube amp would almost certainly run at least $1,000 (based on my former collection).
 

MrGuitarabuse

Fractal Fanatic
Their government offers subsidies which keep their manufacturing costs low, or so I've read.
True in many cases of government owned/controlled industries. Eg steel, automotive etc. Hardly never for small medium sized private companies/factories that I would guess FAS and most other buyers source products from here.

The early western automotive companies, VW, Audi, BMW got big tax breaks etc when setting up plants mostly in northern China years ago.
 

DLC86

Forum Addict
Fas is not to be blamed if they decided to choose a way to minimize production cost and sell price, that's part of the business and a smart move to keep it alive.
The sad thing is we have an economy where the cheapest option corresponds to the less convenient in terms of wastes and pollution (think all the fuel burnt to transport from china to usa and to send raw materials to china) just because workers in another country are underpaid and forced to work 14 or 16 hours a day.
 

Stratman68

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.
I doubt anyone does, but I can only speak for myself. No, I don't believe that. Just business in the USA...plain and simple........
 

Stratman68

Fractal Fanatic
You know, it's funny about the resale discussion. In my many decades of making music the norm for resale expectation of a musical instrument was 60%. 70% if you were lucky. I always found that to be a pretty accurate number.
Of course, Fractal changed that for me, but only for fractal products. Rest seems to be still in the 60-70% area. Just my experience.
 

symphx

Fractal Fanatic
I will say when I sold my old boss pedals the first thing I was asked was were they made in Japan or Taiwan. They were Japanese and apparently that made them more valuable?!
 

nicolasrivera

Fractal Fanatic
I will say when I sold my old boss pedals the first thing I was asked was were they made in Japan or Taiwan. They were Japanese and apparently that made them more valuable?!
The sound is better on the Japan made models, i don't know why, it's warmer.
 

ChristThePhone

Fractal Fanatic
Changing the manufacturer is always a risk. Wouldn't wonder if FAS held the current assembly line as a backup for a while until they can be sure the MIC unit meet the standards.
 

Sixstring

Axe-Master
I will say when I sold my old boss pedals the first thing I was asked was were they made in Japan or Taiwan. They were Japanese and apparently that made them more valuable?!
Are you implying the AX8's that were assembled in the US are going to be worth more?
 

ethomas1013

Forum Addict
As long as there are no changes to internal components that affect sound quality there's no reason for a USA assembled model to be worth more. If there are audible differences, then the used market will adjust accordingly.

Given the FAS commitment to quality, I have no doubt the units assembled in China will be equal to the units assembled in the US. Personally, I would be unwilling to pay more for a used MIA unit, assuming there are no perceivable differences in quality. Time will tell.
 

JasonM

Regular
Final test, programming and QC will still be done in the US. We test and inspect every unit. We do not do random sampling. Every single unit is put through a full functional test and inspection. A second QC operation is then performed prior to shipping. Costs more but results in less returns due to defects.
Very nice. Thanks for being so transparent. I've never had any issues with my Axe FX II XL and I don't anticipate having any with my soon-to-arrive AX 8. I appreciate that you guys are so focused on quality.
 

APOGEE123

Veteran
I hope you guys are ready to do rework. I deal with China when it comes to Tool & Die and Mold Making and it's not a turn key system. China quality is poor. That's my experience in manufacturing.
 
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