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-   -   Now that Mackie is (rumored) to start manufacturing in China... (

chessparov 2nd October 2002 09:07 PM

Now that Mackie is (rumored) to start manufacturing in China...
If that happens, what's your projection both for the company,
and for the pricing of its products?


Gone Fission 2nd October 2002 10:36 PM

It seems to have worked well for dfegad Behringer. Worse consistency, sound, noise specs, ruggedness? If they care much, a good chunk of the savings will be reapplied to quality control.

Also interesting is taking Mackie's hard times together with the just announced bankruptcy of the MARS Music chain in the US. While they weren't entirely about recording, does it reflect something about the home/project/$20-an-hour studio scene? Has low end gear manufacturing grown beyond its market? Or are these problems only due to bad planning of these two companies? Have internet forums steared a substantial number of buyers away from disposable-grade gear? (I doubt that last one is true.)


hollywood_steve 3rd October 2002 12:52 AM

mackie in china
I'm wary of any product made in a low cost location; be it China, Indonesia, or even Mexico. Not because I'm a flag waving patriot, but because I believe that technologically sophisticated products turn out better when built by an educated, skilled, well paid work force. But no one else on any forum seemed to share my concern about the Vipre being assembled in China, so I'd be surprised at any concern about low end products like Mackie gear. These aren't low volume, high quality products with substantial hand work; I'm sure they have it almost completely automated by now. I'd guess that a Mackie board could be turned out on an assembly line that produced cheap car radios last month and will switch to Gameboy knockoffs next month. So who cares where that line is located? But the manufacturing location of quality gear IS important, IMHO.

[email protected]

Midlandmorgan 3rd October 2002 02:36 AM

at the risk of sounding like a Mackie endorser....

I haven't seen nor heard any official statement regarding offshore operations (although this is the FIRST place I go when I get online, so the news may be out there already)...only anonymous postings at RAP regarding the subject. If it is indeed true, then perhaps, as I've stated before, we should look at the 'why' of such a move.

1. Government regulation essentially is designed to assist but eventually chokes certain types of business...taxation and ridiculous regulatory requirements essentially have caused the Middle East issue (gee...don't we have oil here? The reason all the oil companies operate offshore is that its cheaper to drill and import from another part of the world than it is to just drill here...thanks largely to the EPA....)

2. Litigation protection has gotten to be the only real profitable business right now...its cheaper to settle out of court on an inane and frivolous civil suit than it is to drag it through the court system for years...justice for all... my ass!

3. Changing demographics affects everyone...Fifteen years ago, how many of us honestly believed we could have a 72 channel digital mixer and a 999 track audio hard disk digital recording sysytem with non-linear, offline editing for less that $1Million? Now, external mixers have become a moot issue, as software mixers can do nearly everything a Neve, AMEK, or SSL can do...for a few pennies less...Remember Beta machines? Clearly superior but the market never really accepted them, so they essentially disappeared. The rapidly evolving technology of recording and sound reinforcement is now caught in that same cycle.

4. Offshore manufacture doesn't automatically doom a product: Fender's Mexico plant makes some mighty fine instruments; some products raved about in these forums are made in China...and, just for kicks, what major computer sysytem is made entirely in the North American continent? To the best of my knowledge, none of them.

5. Payroll, benefits, and other human resource issues are typically the biggest expense of any company. Mandated compensation for legitamately injured workers is one thing, but it doesn't take a brain surgeon to realize that most comp claims are from people too lazy to work or too scared to openly steal from their employers. Want to blame someone for a coprorate offshore move? Blame the malingering thieves which seem to feed the never ending onslaught of TV advertising personal injusry lawyers. (Note: I have no knowledge of these things happening at any specific music company, just businesses in general, large and small.)

If Mackie and other countries end up heading overseas to stay in business, then more power to them. It would be real easy to blame it on 'corporate greed mentality' but I believe otherwise. I sincerely hope the stories floating around are just mule muffins piled up in one neat place, but if they are true, then its Mackie's choice by the cards we, the buying public, have dealt them.

(Whew...OK, I'm off my high horse now...)

Gone Fission 3rd October 2002 03:01 AM

My understanding of Mackie problems is that they are in large part suffering from bad financial planning. For example, the large number of acquisitions they've made in recent years should raise a flag that something might be unhealthy in their basic scheme. WorldCom had an even bigger string of acquistions, but failed to make these acquistions work in a more profitable fashion. Same deal with Mackie. They went on a shopping spree and their balances aren't any better for it.


3rdpath 3rd October 2002 05:29 AM

not knowing how the mackie purchases were structured, its really hard to pass any judgment...they could be cash deals, stock swaps..endless possibilities...remember, apples been doing the same thing and their balance sheet( including 4 billion in cash) hasn't changed much.

having said that, if mackie does shift their manufacturing to china it will be a sad day in the history of a remarkable company. i guess i should have known things were changing when i saw greg in a suit....he's always taken great pride in his employees...nice pay, good hours, excellent working conditions. heck, he even lined up all the employees and gave them a nice cash bonus(from his own pocket) when mackie went public.

time will tell what their game plan is.

chessparov 3rd October 2002 11:12 PM

My guess is that the products they can "automate" will be selling
for around 20-25% less than the street prices reflect right now.
I'd always thought of Mackie as providing high end home studio and low end pro studio stuff. Guess I'll wait to buy that VLZ "Pro"


P.S. Why must they call things "Pro" when they seem never to be
top level gear? (meant rhetorically)

Jules 3rd October 2002 11:32 PM

Mackie seem to be on the brink of suplying a potentially massively popular controler series for Native DAWS with their Logic Control and Mackie Control series..

Time will tell... 4th October 2002 10:43 PM


My understanding of Mackie problems is that they are in large part suffering from bad financial planning. For example, the large number of acquisitions they've made in recent years should raise a flag that something might be unhealthy in their basic scheme.
Anytime a company starts to lose their focus I get worried. There is a lot to be said for core competency and the further you get away from that the greater the risk.

The recently announced they were going into YET another market, the home consumer speaker segment.

Mackie Designs Inc. Enters $15 Billion Connected Home Market With Full Line of Award Winning Loudspeakers


i guess i should have known things were changing when i saw greg in a suit.
I wouldn't be surprised if Gregs involvement becomes less and less visable. As you know a month ago he was replaced as the Chairman of the board directors. Most of the time (but not always) this is a red flag that the stock holders/board members are not happy with the way the financial situation is being handled.

I have seen this before and the way its presented is "why don't you go and do what you do best which is play with new technology and let us run the company".

Some times a company can leverage their existing technology and manufacturing to build other products and generate more revenue. But rarely does this work if you are stretched too thin.


cashewcupcake 7th October 2002 03:55 AM

Hey, Manley makes products for the consumer audio market too. Wait, ****, they make stuff for them AUDIOPHILIACS!

Because of that is Manley pro gear crappy?diddlydoo diddlydoo hittt khrthjdrt mezed