Other Amps

American Fender amps?

1

While attempting to sell my Fender tube amps off, I had several people ask me where there were made. They were turned off by the fact that they were Mexican made.

These two models, the Hot Rod Deluxe and the Blues Jr., haven't been made in America for a while as far as I can tell. Either way, with a guitar, I could understand being concerned with country of origin. If the frets aren't just right it can make an unplayable guitar. Most modern amps, on the other hand, are printed circuit boards. As long as everything is soldered properly in the correct space, there is little that can go wrong with the manufacturing.

I can imagine that if confronted on why they want "American made" so bad, they might use the obvious, "with all the outsourcing, I like to give my money to the guys from this country." I think that is a cheap cop out, considering that most of their clothing probably says made in taiwan, china, or vietnam.

Everyone suddenly becomes so discerning when it comes to audio gear. Suddenly they have the golden ear, only I think it is more the case that they are wearing The Emperor's New Clothes.

2

The operative phrase is "While attempting to sell".I suspect those offended by your amps' Mexican origin were trying to beat you up on the price rather than trying to start a dialogue about international trade. 8-o

3

I bought my 1972 Fender Twin Reverb in 1989. It was old, beat up. But it was a Fender! An American tube amp! It sounded sweet to my ears... Then, in about 1998, I took it to a respected local amp repairer who told me it was probably assembled in New Zealand, using Fender parts but also local transformer. I now owned a NZ made Fender :( I took it home, and it sounded thin, harsh, dull, farty, and it was all beat up and tatty looking. Then, about five years ago, while searching for a new amp to replace my Vox AC30, I started looking into custom built amps that would give me something classic, but also a little personal and unique. Then, I remembered... I owned a NZ made Fender! I took it out of the cupboard, plugged it in... it sounded so sweet to my ears. That's why cows are such wise animals in a Zen kinda way... no grass is greener than that at their feet. :)

4

In times of the global village, the melding of American design, Asian parts, Mexican workmanship and Canadian sponsorship makes for a pretty cool international synergy of some great amps in my book... :)

5

I don't know about the BJr, but the 90s HDRs were made in the US AFAIK.

Some claim that those were better sounding than the more recent Mexican made ones; I have no idea. Never ABed them.

On paper I would prefer a mexican-made one, as those have an extra speaker jack, fixed volume control (a log pot ISO a lin pot in one position) and, most importantly, a bias-pot. The old ones didn't have this pot and are a pain to bias when you plunk in new power tubes.

Hope that's something you can slap 'em around the ears with.;-)

6

I don't see the difference in Amps vs. Guitars. There are lots of great Mexican guitars too with great fret jobs, and plenty of made in the USAs that I wouldn't want to own, etc. Agreed, they are just trying to knock the price down.

7

People are too wound up over a country of origin. If they wanted to support the American business, they wouldn't buy it used.

8

But that money goes straight to an American! :)

9

I think that it's funny we're both trying to sell the same amps. :D

10

I have nothing against new amps and guitars made in Mexico or Asia. You can get a very good product for your money. I would often buy an import Fender, over many of the American models.

However when you buy used, there is a resale and collectabillity factor. Like it or not, imports don't hold value. This is true with anything that people collect, with a passion.

Example: I collect antique art deco potery. They were inexpensive when new. But they speak of a time and place, that we may never see again. New import reproductions look nice. but they are virtually worthless, the minute you leave the store with them.

I've owned Epiphone guitars that were made in New York, NY and Kalamazoo, MI. I bought them used, but when I sold them, they sold for many times, what I paid for them. I've also bought Epiphones made Korea and China. They sold for half of what they cost new. What makes you think that Fender amps and guitars, should be any different?

11

Point of origin (as in first created there) does play a huge role in collect-ability. Like it or not, everything else is just a copy. Even an absolutely brilliant knock off (or even a technically improved version) of a given piece will never fetch the same prices as the original. Good time for non collectors though as far as player instruments go...

12

How many dead-mint 1956 Toyotas can you buy for the price of 1 dead-mint 1956 Cadillac? The market is a strange place,even outside of musical instruments.

I do have to say that while I haven't played every every USA and every non-USA instrument ever made,and the foreign ones I have played/owned did have a very much better price point,the USA ones were just better instruments. That said,I've gotten pretty close to MY price point with my avatar 6136-T,but I'd still like to A/B it with a US Custom Shop version.


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