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HCL Varis, made in thailand?! Mastering Console
Old 23rd March 2015
  #1
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Vilddyr's Avatar
 

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HCL Varis, made in thailand?!

Hi Guys.

I have asked HCL for a quote on a Varis, and in the reply bakc they say that it will be shipped from their factory in Thailand (!!). Anyone knows what this is all about!?
Old 23rd March 2015
  #2
Yes, I recently had one made for me and encountered this same thing. I believe now Albert tells people this because I rang him out for what I felt like were questionable business ethics (nowhere on his website is it described that your unit might be made in Thailand)

It seems from what I can gather that to reduce manufacturing costs he made an office in Thailand where he sent all of the original Handcrafted Labs team to work (so they could be closer to their parts manufacturer). As Albert told me, it is still all of their own guys making the products and then shipping out from Thailand.

My only issue with this when I ordered mine, was that Albert used the local Thailand Post and there was a significant delay, where tracking didn't update for about a month and we were a bit unsure where the Varis was even. If you are willing to pay extra for private shipping, I would suggest asking Albert about the extra cost to use Fedex or UPS.

The good news is that my Varis eventually did come, and the build quality is really nice. Very firm switches, left and right channels on my unit are matched perfectly, and the sound is incredible. This is one of the most incredible sounding compressors I've ever used. It takes quite a bit of compression before you can hear this guy pumping, and his specific brand of color is one of my favorites, hand down.

One last thing you should be concerned with, is that Albert does not install bleed resistors to ground from the output transformer and this can create damage to gear down the line (or directly damage a Dangerous Liaison if you have one)

If you do get a VARIS I would recommend getting a couple 100k terminator barrels from rapco horizons to attach to the outputs so you don't damage any modern IC gear down the line from the VARIS.
Old 23rd March 2015
  #3
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the unik's Avatar
O my, as a Thailande lover this is the BEST IDEA EVER
Old 23rd March 2015
  #4
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Thread Starter
Prismaphonic, do you have a link to this terminator? I haven't heard of such a problem before, so nice that you mention it. I have not decided to order with output transformer or not, so without output tranny, is this problem not relevant?

I will order and ask for a quote on fedex
Old 23rd March 2015
  #5
Part number: 100K-CM-TERM

No link but it's a specialty product. Best to call Rapco over at rapcohorizon.com and find a retailer you can purchase from. They don't do direct sale. In my case I got guitar center to call in an order for me since they have an account with Rapco.

You can also find a tech to solder bleed resistors from the transformer to ground.

I don't think it's as much of a problem if you don't have an output transformer, however I've been told that modern transformer less gear uses bleed resistors to ground from the output capacitors.
Old 24th March 2015
  #6
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copiapoa's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vilddyr View Post
Hi Guys.

I have asked HCL for a quote on a Varis, and in the reply bakc they say that it will be shipped from their factory in Thailand (!!). Anyone knows what this is all about!?
This is not quite true.Part of the team left for Thailand.They live and work there all the time.Varis make ukrainian hands from Thailand.
P.S.Many Danes living in Thailand.
Attached Thumbnails
HCL Varis, made in thailand?!-dsc_0310-1-.jpg   HCL Varis, made in thailand?!-dsc_0749-1-.jpg  

Last edited by copiapoa; 24th March 2015 at 09:19 AM..
Old 26th March 2015
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copiapoa View Post
P.S.Many Danes living in Thailand.
May be so. And many Thais live in Denmark.

But most Danish companies selling hand-built gear do actually hand-build in Denmark - as customers regard country-of-origin as a significant mark of quality (whether this regard is correct or not is an entirely different discussion).

Jakob E.
Old 26th March 2015
  #8
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Yeah, the problem is that their product pictures on the website says handmade in Ukraine. To be fair they told me before I ordered, but not okay to promote it like that I think

Looking forward no matter what
Old 26th March 2015
  #9
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I recently got a new piece from HCL and it was made from one of the guys now living in Thailand. Its the best thing I've ever received from them, in terms of workmanship and components. They are using higher quality caps and transformers now (though the stuff always sounded great) and the soldering looks finer than ever. So definitely no worries if something is being built in Thailand instead of Kiev! They'll both use the same components regardless of where its put together.
Old 26th March 2015
  #10
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Not too nervous, that's why I already put down the payment
Old 26th March 2015
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copiapoa View Post
This is not quite true.Part of the team left for Thailand.They live and work there all the time.Varis make ukrainian hands from Thailand.
P.S.Many Danes living in Thailand.
Curious about this Green unit on the floor, is it an Eq ? Tube Based ?
Old 26th March 2015
  #12
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dangerousben's Avatar
 

It's the Tesval Eq. Seems like a stepped mastering eq. They offered it to me during a service request.
Old 26th March 2015
  #13
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Old 27th March 2015
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the unik View Post
Curious about this Green unit on the floor, is it an Eq ? Tube Based ?
Yes.All tube.On each channel there are five bands of EQ.
Controls five-band
1. Bass shelf @60,120Hz ±8dB
2. Bass range @ 35,50,60,80,100,120,160,200,240,280,350Hz±8dB
3. Mid range @ 450,55,700,800,900,1k,1.6k,2k,2.5k,3k,4kHz±8dB
4. Treble range @ 4.5k,5.6k,6.5k,7.8k,9k,12k,14k,16k,18k,20k,22kHz±8dB
5. Treble shelf @ 10k, 16kHz±8dB
Inductors by Cinemag&Tesla.
Old 27th March 2015
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gyraf View Post
May be so. And many Thais live in Denmark.

But most Danish companies selling hand-built gear do actually hand-build in Denmark - as customers regard country-of-origin as a significant mark of quality (whether this regard is correct or not is an entirely different discussion).

Jakob E.
For me there is no difference where to make equipment.I can do it in any country!
Who does it?It is important.
Old 27th March 2015
  #16
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I agree - the important thing is who does it, the actual quality of work, and QC.

The problem is that most customers can't see it this way - mostly because all outsourcings-to-manufacture-cheaper traditionally starts out by claiming that the quality is same or better than in original country (of course they need to say this) - but most often this is not true. And the customers has stopped believing in it a long time ago.

As I see it, the problem is that we are so used to drop in quality when ported to East Asia that it's a trust which is hard to restore. If you DO make a great quality product, it'll be attributed to sheer luck - which again makes it extremely hard to change the initial perception.

Jakob E.
Old 27th March 2015
  #17
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copiapoa's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gyraf View Post
I agree - the important thing is who does it, the actual quality of work, and QC.

The problem is that most customers can't see it this way - mostly because all outsourcings-to-manufacture-cheaper traditionally starts out by claiming that the quality is same or better than in original country (of course they need to say this) - but most often this is not true. And the customers has stopped believing in it a long time ago.

As I see it, the problem is that we are so used to drop in quality when ported to East Asia that it's a trust which is hard to restore. If you DO make a great quality product, it'll be attributed to sheer luck - which again makes it extremely hard to change the initial perception.

Jakob E.
I do not understand the problem.Why must suffer quality?I made devices in Kiev 17 years,two years living and working in Thailand.The whole team of HCL has remained the same,only divided into two parts.We do all the processes themselves.(soldering,assembly,measurement,adjustment,packing).
P.S.If you will do a Gyratec X in Thailand,will you do it worse than ever before????
Old 27th March 2015
  #18
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Thread Starter
I think you are misunderstanding Jacobs point. He is not questioning the quality, he is pointing out that customers usually assume, that quality is not as good, when outsurced to cheap-labour countries. He is not suggesting that this is the case here.

I am looking forward to mine, everything looks like it is well made and carefully manufactured, so I can't wait! Would love to try that EQ as well, looks great! Some pictures of the inside...?
Old 27th March 2015
  #19
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Exactly my point - I don't doubt HCL build quality in any way: We've had a couple of your units visiting our studio, and it's clearly VERY good quality - both in sound ideal, design, and construction. The "Variable S" is close to the top of our engineers' "wanted gear" list..

I'm just saying that in hand-making high end gear, you need to be aware of possibly decreasing legitimacy in the consumer's understanding when you decide to build them in countries with decent weather...

Jakob E.
Old 27th March 2015
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vilddyr View Post
I think you are misunderstanding Jacobs point. He is not questioning the quality, he is pointing out that customers usually assume, that quality is not as good, when outsurced to cheap-labour countries. He is not suggesting that this is the case here.

I am looking forward to mine, everything looks like it is well made and carefully manufactured, so I can't wait! Would love to try that EQ as well, looks great! Some pictures of the inside...?
Yes,this is not our case.We do not use cheap-labour.Whole team is ukrainians...
Attached Thumbnails
HCL Varis, made in thailand?!-dsc_0328-1-.jpg   HCL Varis, made in thailand?!-dsc_0327-1-.jpg   HCL Varis, made in thailand?!-dsc_0330-1-.jpg   HCL Varis, made in thailand?!-dsc_0329-1-.jpg   HCL Varis, made in thailand?!-dsc_0331-1-.jpg  

HCL Varis, made in thailand?!-dsc_0332-1-.jpg  
Old 27th March 2015
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by copiapoa View Post
Yes.All tube.On each channel there are five bands of EQ.
Controls five-band
1. Bass shelf @60,120Hz ±8dB
2. Bass range @ 35,50,60,80,100,120,160,200,240,280,350Hz±8dB
3. Mid range @ 450,55,700,800,900,1k,1.6k,2k,2.5k,3k,4kHz±8dB
4. Treble range @ 4.5k,5.6k,6.5k,7.8k,9k,12k,14k,16k,18k,20k,22kHz±8dB
5. Treble shelf @ 10k, 16kHz±8dB
Inductors by Cinemag&Tesla.
Kop Khoun na Khrap for this
Old 27th March 2015
  #22
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This unit looks amazing indeed, I will keep an eye closely on this
Old 28th March 2015
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the unik View Post
Kop Khoun na Khrap for this
Douy kwam yin dee krub.We are always ready.
Old 5th April 2015
  #24
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perky's Avatar
 

just to be the devils advocate.

let us see some pictures or preferably some videos, with the builders working through the processes you mention.
Old 6th April 2015
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gyraf View Post
May be so. And many Thais live in Denmark.

But most Danish companies selling hand-built gear do actually hand-build in Denmark - as customers regard country-of-origin as a significant mark of quality (whether this regard is correct or not is an entirely different discussion).

Jakob E.
True, an entirely different discussion altogether. In my case it's the other way around. I bought a Beovision (in their store right in the heart of Frederiksberg) a couple of years ago and that thing has been in the shop at least twice for faulty internals. Put me off B&O for good. That particular unit was made in DK.
Old 9th April 2015
  #26
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gyraf View Post
Exactly my point - I don't doubt HCL build quality in any way: We've had a couple of your units visiting our studio, and it's clearly VERY good quality - both in sound ideal, design, and construction. The "Variable S" is close to the top of our engineers' "wanted gear" list..

I'm just saying that in hand-making high end gear, you need to be aware of possibly decreasing legitimacy in the consumer's understanding when you decide to build them in countries with decent weather...

Jakob E.
...but no bullets flying around. I much rather prefer someone building high end gear in a relaxed mood, just saying.
Old 9th April 2015
  #27
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...may I also add that - not completely without the help of dollars, euros and some english pound, but mostly dollars - that there is still a maufactured war in the Ukraine going on? If I post any details I suspect my post gets deleted anyway, but somebody with a little curiosity can use a search engine.
Old 9th April 2015
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OnGearRow View Post
...but no bullets flying around. I much rather prefer someone building high end gear in a relaxed mood, just saying.
Having been to Bangkok many times (including recently during the military rule), I would say that Bangkok is as safe as any major city in the Western hemisphere. In fact I am 45 times more likely to be shot in Detroit than in Bangkok. Let me know if you're moving the factory to Phuket and I'd gladly volunteer to do some of the heavy lifting. heh
Old 9th April 2015
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightpolymath View Post
Having been to Bangkok many times (including recently during the military rule), I would say that Bangkok is as safe as any major city in the Western hemisphere. In fact I am 45 times more likely to be shot in Detroit than in Bangkok. Let me know if you're moving the factory to Phuket and I'd gladly volunteer to do some of the heavy lifting. heh
Same for me if you move to Koh Chang
Old 10th April 2015
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the unik View Post
Same for me if you move to Koh Chang
+1.Baan Suan on Koh Chang!!!!

Last edited by copiapoa; 10th April 2015 at 05:17 AM..
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