0 comments / Posted by Joel Kiesel

Americans are still reeling from the latest economic crisis to hit our country in fall 2008. Although experts keep stating we have moved beyond the recession, we can still see its lingering effects in our communities. At the peak of the economic downturn, there were a lot of lost jobs along with families losing their homes and this is a situation no one would like to have repeated in the future.

This was a wake-up call for many citizens that we need to support local companies. In the past couple of decades, a huge amount of manufacturing has been transferred to developing countries. As globalization has taken a stronger hold, we have seen a proliferation of Chinese products hit our markets. This is true for a vast majority of industries and it particularly applies to the audio equipment market as well. Like all other industries, we have been hit with crassly built audio equipment that is cheap.

Yet, there continues to be a small number of American companies that have kept their manufacturing in the US. These companies are proud of our local heritage and value keeping jobs in this country. Audio equipment companies, like Carvin Audio, Magnepan, Grado Labs, Schiit Audio, Zu Audio, and Odyssey Audio, are all headquartered in the US and their products are still manufactured in this country.

Audio equipment made in the US will generally cost you more than its copycat version from a developing nation. This is inevitable because the cost of labor is more significant here. You cannot compare US manufacturing employees, who earn a decent living to support their families to factory workers in underdeveloped economies who are practically enslaved by their corporate masters and barely eke out a living. But, who do you think will manufacture a better product?

Companies in developing countries are often focused only on churning out large volumes, as their profit margins are so slim they cannot expect to be profitable without selling a high number of items. The low profit, high volume strategy is bound to force companies to cut corners and the likely result is a sub par finished product.

Also, corporations in these developing countries don’t usually have the technological know-how to make design and product improvements. Their main focus is only on copying popular products. However, in the US where all the original designing was initially done, engineers are looking beyond  just the current product they are manufacturing. They are constantly coming up with product enhancements and new methods to improve manufacturing processes.

Products manufactured in the US will generally go through a rigorous testing and quality control process before hitting the consumer market. It will also be easier for you to make any warranty claims when the manufacturer is in your own backyard.

Even though an audio product built in the US will cost you more, the upside is you will be rewarded with a well planned and crafted product that will work extremely well. Audio equipment is important when you are playing a gig and you cannot have malfunctioning items, especially during a live concert. Better equipment will deliver to you and your audience a better sound, improving your overall performance, so choose a US made item to give you that peace of mind and added confidence.

Above all else, by purchasing locally manufactured products you are helping the US economy significantly more than if you buy an imported item. The money paid for the product stays and re-circulates in our local economy. You are supporting local jobs and helping American families. Overall, this will help insulate our economy from a future worldwide economic crisis, which is inevitable.


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