Would you pay $11,000 or more for speakers if the cabinet was made in China??

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Litejazz53, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Enjoying the Beauty of "Crystal Clear" Digital Thread Starter

    I think we all have or will own a loudspeaker made in China at some point, but we generally know it's made there. As most of us have read on the Internet what to expect from Gibson guitar knock offs made in China, I think we all are a bit apprehensive about products from China. Because a product is made in China does not mean it is of poor quality. The Polk Flagship speaker system, their LSiM 707 loudspeaker is made in China, but the consumer is told that they are made in China, and the pricing certainly reflects they are made in China, and Polk even runs 1/2 price sales on their speakers once or twice a year, making the purchase an even better deal. But it is a bit troubling if a loudspeaker is made overseas, and that is not disclosed in any review of the product anywhere, would you not agree that is a bit disturbing if true??

    For me, if I know where something is made (full disclosure), I have no problems with the purchase. I read something today that really set me back, and I do not know if it is true or not, but I'm sure there are those on this site that will know. I have been a very loyal Aerial Loudspeaker customer for many years and still own the model 10T speakers, love them. Aerial speakers are so expensive now, only few people can afford the new ones. I called a dealer today and he quoted me a price on a new pair of Aerial 7T at almost $12,000.00. I think when they came out they were like $10,000.00 possibly less? I have always thought the Aerial drivers were a modified version of the ScanSpeak drivers in Denmark and the magnificent cabinets Michael Kelly uses are built in Massachusetts, but according to this post I read today, that is not the case any longer, and hasn't been for some time, dating back to the model 9's. If this post is accurate, and I have found others to back it up, the price of these speakers should be reduced substantially, not going up by leaps and bounds. So, it would be nice to hear from some of the other die hard Aerial fans and supporters out there and hopefully you can verify where these Aerial cabinets are now made, as I always thought they were made in Massachusetts, designed in the US, built in the US with modified ScanSpeak drivers from Denmark! If this is not the case, why in the world would this information not be disclosed everywhere, especially reviews of a product, and I see no such disclosures, which is why I question the statement. Before I purchase, I will absolutely call the manufacturer to clarify this question, as it is absolutely going to have an impact on resale. It would be very different if this were a mid price loudspeaker, but it's anything but that for sure.

    Here is the post that made me really sit back in my chair and question my future purchase:

    Would you buy a 10K Chinese Made Speaker labelled Made in USA ?? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  2. Standingstones

    Standingstones Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Central PA
    It's a "damned if you, damned if you don't" situation. There are those people who ask if a product is made in China or in the USA. If they find out it's made in China, they won't buy it. If it is manufactured in the US, the price will be higher and those same people will be bitching.
     
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  3. Tim Irvine

    Tim Irvine Forum Resident

    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    I'd buy $2000 speakers made in Utah!
     
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  4. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Enjoying the Beauty of "Crystal Clear" Digital Thread Starter

    This is absolutely true, but I have two concerns, if all of these cabinets are made in China, why are the prices going through the roof on these loudspeakers? At least with Polk, you get a quality product, and they disclose, disclose, disclose. They have no problems letting the consumer know their products are constructed in China, but in the case of Aerial, I can't find one review on the 7T or 20T that says one word about where the cabinet is constructed, painted or finished, nothing, how can this be, as reviews are suppose to be accurate and complete, and I would consider that a very important factor, especially in establishing a value, personally I would not pay $30,000.00 for a loudspeaker where the cabinet was made and finished in China, I just would not, and I think many people will agree with that. I don't know about most people, but when this person sees an $11,000.00 to $30,000.00 price tag on a set of speakers, and the manufacturer of the speaker is located in the United States, I want to be very confident the majority of that product is not made in China, or if per chance it is, and labor is virtually nothing in China, why are we paying so much for the product, who is going to the bank everyday here?
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
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  5. samurai

    samurai Call Security!

    Location:
    MINNESOTA
    One vote for full disclosure wherever a product is made.
     
  6. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    I mean, I don't really envision the day when I have $11K to spend on speakers....but if that day should come, would I spend it on speakers made in China? Depends on the speakers. I mean it's a nation of 1.4 billion people, they have fine craftsmen there too.

    And you know I never thought the day would come when I'd be driving a Korean car, not super budget one either, and thinking how really well made and nice it is. Then there are other times -- like there were some inexpensive loafers I used to like, casual not work loafers, but they were comfy, sturdy, durable, I'd by a new pair every couple of years because I'd live in 'em on weekends, they were made in the USA but the company switched production to China, quality of construction and durability went way downhill and I stopped buying 'em.

    It all depends, are the speaker well made, are the materials quality? For $11K though, if the country of origin is in the Far East, it would be nice to know and nice to know if they're made under good and living-wage working conditions. At that price there's no shortage I would thing of amazing speaker options from manufactures all over the world. But if the quality is as good as or better than other comparably priced speakers from elsewhere in the world, and you like the way they sound, why not? If the quality is not as good, then no.

    I do think it perfectly reasonable for a customer to know the country of origin and nature of the materials, etc., especially if you're paying $11K for a pair of speakers.
     
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  7. Standingstones

    Standingstones Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Central PA
    I liken this to the class 'D' amplifier situation. When amplifier manufacturers started building class 'D' amps with low costing modules, the talk was that all these savings would be handed down to the customer. Nice try! I see some of these amps priced as high as tradition amps using heavy transformers. All I can conclude is that the customer got screwed and these companies kept the prices high so that more profits could be made.
     
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  8. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Enjoying the Beauty of "Crystal Clear" Digital Thread Starter

    Well, case in point, how about Jeff Rowland! I bought their products for years, and when they began using class D amplification, the prices just kept getting higher and higher. I was told their market is Japan, not the United States.
     
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  9. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Enjoying the Beauty of "Crystal Clear" Digital Thread Starter

    That would be my only concern. If the entire cabinet is made in China, constructed in China and finished in China, as I have read it is, there must be a reason it is not being disclosed, don't you think! What possible reason would the cabinets be made in China when the manufacturer is right here in the United States? $$$$$$$$$ and yet the prices just keep going up, not down, what's wrong with that math?
     
  10. Standingstones

    Standingstones Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Central PA
    I believe they spell it G R E E D.
     
  11. Standingstones

    Standingstones Forum Resident

    Location:
    South Central PA
    Talk to Dave Wilson about that.
     
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  12. 33na3rd

    33na3rd Forum Resident

    Location:
    SW Washington, USA
    I can easily support someone trying to make a living, but I do not want to give my money to someone trying to make a "killing".
     
  13. chervokas

    chervokas Forum Resident

    The reason may be abundantly clear by the very nature of this thread, if they know X number of consumers would never by the darn things if they knew they were from China -- even if they're just as well made or better made, but just because of the perception of being Chinese made -- well, that's at least an understandable reason. And of course, you'd make the things in China because labor is cheaper and/or environmental regulations are more lax. Manufacturing costs however are just one factor that might relate to final retail price. If you're really concerned I'd talk to a dealer or the company. For $11K for speakers, you deserve a little hand holding as a customer. If they won't tell you at all where the cabinets are made and you're dissatisfied with that, don't buy 'em. If you look at the cabinets and they don't seem to meet your expectations for fit and finish, don't buy 'em.
     
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  14. moops

    moops Forum Resident

    Location:
    Geebung, Australia
    If ever I found myself in the situation where I could afford to spend $11K on a pair of speakers, that would indicate to me that I had reached a point where money wasn't a concern for me, so even if they turned out to be crap, I'd just buy another pair from somewhere reputable. I can't see that happening just quietly. :laugh:
     
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  15. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Enjoying the Beauty of "Crystal Clear" Digital Thread Starter

    The obvious response is I left the obvious unsaid, and you filled in the blanks, and that X number you mentioned would probably be approximately 95%, as the majority of people would know the construction and finishing location was changed, not to reduce costs but to SLASH costs probably by 45% , then the article articulates that there are virtually no regulations of any kind, so even if something "appears" to be solid, it just might not be so solid. Finally there is that really warm and fuzzy feeling everyone gets if they find out something they thought was being manufactured and finished here in the United States with great love and care, is now being done in China with no regulations on anything, at a HUGE savings to the manufacturer over costs here, and yet his pricing to the consumer keeps going up and up. Again, I left these things unsaid so people could soak on this for a while as I have. As I said, if I decide to purchase this product, I will do my investigation, as a cabinet made in China WILL impact the value of an Audiophile grade speaker, period, as they say in politics, BAD OPTICS, which is obviously why this would not show up in any documentation or reviews. I was hopeful some people on this site knew about this, but it appears people are either in the dark as much as I was, or it simply is not true? I am going to call the dealer that wrote the post and ask him about it, and why he believes no reviews dare to mention this critical bit of information.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  16. I assume that's a joke. $11,000 is a lot, but it's not something that only the extraordinarily wealthy could afford. Somebody could have stretched to buy that $11,000 pair of speakers thinking it was made in the US, and I could see that consumer feeling pretty cheated if it was actually made in China. And that particular consumer couldn't afford to just dump those speakers at $11k and buy another pair. That's just silly.
     
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  17. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Enjoying the Beauty of "Crystal Clear" Digital Thread Starter

    I absolutely agree, made no sense to me either, no one wants to be cheated, and people WITH money would be even more angry about being mislead, has nothing to do with can they afford to be ripped off, a wealthy person might not be as impacted, but they would be plenty upset! I just think it would be very informative for someone to come on here and just show where any review of any of these newer speakers, especially the 6,7 or 20T has ever mentioned anything about where the cabinets are assembled, glued, sanded, finished, painted, etc.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
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  18. misterdecibel

    misterdecibel Bulbous Also Tapered

    I find the original post in the linked thread to be misleading. A product designed and assembled in America can still be an American product even if some of the major components come from other countries.

    And if I recall correctly, there was a cabinet shop in Denmark, who supplied boxes to a number of loudspeaker manufacturers in several countries, that closed a few years ago. So Aerial may not have had a choice but to shop around for another source?
     
    Jim N. likes this.
  19. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Enjoying the Beauty of "Crystal Clear" Digital Thread Starter

    Well, the article I referenced speaks to your concern about a product being designed and assembled in America, etc. Here is the guideline as stated:

    As I read this it says clearly that All or Virtually all of the item must be made here in the USA to say this.. His Entire Cabinet which is 99% of the speaker is made in China, Painted in China and finished in China.. Now yes he then takes Drivers from other countries like Scan Speak for instance another foreign company and stuffs them in the cabinet in Wilmington and stamps a MADE in USA on the back.. Is this worth 10,000.00 Dollars ??

    His point is that the majority of the speaker is made and finished in China and cannot be accurately and honestly described as made in the United States, and let's say your assumption of a Denmark cabinet factory closing is true and we would both be guessing if he worked with this unknown factory, however does that mean a company would not be obligated to disclose where the majority of their speaker is manufactured and finished, if it is indeed assembled and completed in China??
     
  20. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Disagree 100%.

    We're not talking about a company struggling to stay afloat. This is a company selling 10K and 30K speakers which cost a fraction of the amount to produce and then decided to outsource production *and* increase their prices.

    It's shady, greedy, it's pure BS, and I'm positive other companies lie just as much about this stuff.

    Some people would be OK with it. Some only care about the sound. Now, more than ever, consumers demand for info to be disclosed so they can make an educated decision/purchase. By outright lying, this company has shown it has zero issues with lying through their teeth and doing any underhanded scheme possible to trick people into buying their products.

    I'll never have the capital to be one of their customers but if I were in that position, on principle, I wouldn't give them a cent. There are hundreds of companies selling speakers and I'm positive some are more transparent than Aerial.
     
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  21. moops

    moops Forum Resident

    Location:
    Geebung, Australia
    Yes a joke ...... you assume correctly.
    The comment made was from my perspective as honestly, in my situation $11k on a pair of speakers is not happening, the only way it would happen is a lottery win or something like that.
    I'm not taking a shot at people with money, or even people that wish to save for 10 years to buy a pair.
    So yeah, if I won $20 million in the lottery and got ripped on a $11K pair of speakers from China, I'd have learned a lesson, but wouldn't probably lose as much sleep over it as if I had saved 10 years for them.
    Then, yes I would be annoyed.
     
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  22. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
    I think most would agree that if a speaker is labeled "Made in USA," when the entire cabinet is actually made in China, the manufacturer is misleading the customer. I like to buy U.S. made products when I can, but ultimately I like to get the most bang for my buck.

    I think the Chinese have proven capable of making great audio equipment, but I understand why some have an aversion to buying their goods. It's a stigma that will probably be around for decades to come.

    I find it interesting that some brands will build most of their products in China but not their flagship products. Marantz is an example. Maybe it's only that they're aware of the Chinese manufacturing stigma, or possibly, they only entrust that level of quality to other regions?..
     
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  23. Diamond Dog

    Diamond Dog Cautionary Example

    I've seen some seriously lame fit and finish on cabinets made here, and on speakers approaching the dollar figure being tossed around here. That particular company might be better off getting their cabinetry done in China.

    D.D.
     
  24. Litejazz53

    Litejazz53 Enjoying the Beauty of "Crystal Clear" Digital Thread Starter

    But do you think they should have any responsibility to disclose that the majority of their product is manufactured in China, if it indeed is, should they disclose that to the public, or not let anyone know?? That is the question. They might be better off having the cabinet made and finished in China, but should a company let the consumer know it's made in China or no?? Should the words made in United States be placed on the plate on the back of the speaker?
     
    LitHum05 likes this.
  25. Diamond Dog

    Diamond Dog Cautionary Example

    Are you buying speakers or are you buying a geo-political statement ? Is a good speaker cabinet not a good speaker cabinet regardless of country of origin ? My system contains components built literally all over the world. Even though none of it is specifically manufactured in China, it's pretty much a given that some of the stuff inside those boxes likely originated in China. Does that devalue the unit in some way ? Does a hi-fi manufacturer owe you the provenance of every capacitor and diode ?

    Seems some audiophiles want it both ways. They want the supposed cache of a component built in the Homeland but not the price tag that would come attached to it as a result. What would that pair of speakers cost you if the cabinets weren't being made in China ? Would you be willing or able to put your money where your geographical preferences are ? And if you feel that Michael Kelly is profiteering by off-shoring his cabinets without lowering his prices and you find that off-putting, there are a myriad of choices other than Aerial so you always have the option available of taking your business elsewhere. I'm not seeing a problem here so much as I am seeing options to be considered and choices to be made.

    D.D.
     
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