The Amazonian battle

in #luthier2 months ago (edited)

I follow quite a few youtubers of the guitar community, and as much as I enjoy watching their videos, learning about new gear and what have you, it seems like they all suffer from the Amazonian obssession.

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The goal is simple

How cheap can I go, how "Chinese" does a guitar have to be for it to be absolute garbage.

I won't lie; I find the videos fascinating for many reasons, but I suspect this is not what they think it is. I mean, this is not Chinese brands competing but quite the opposite, these are brands dumping.


I think I've written about this before, and if I haven't, I truly don't know why. The truth is that this "war" of industries has been going on for a really long time. It comes down to the monopolizing of markets.

Simple Plan:

  1. Kill all your competitors with ridiculous pricing since the government will help you not go under.

  2. Once the American factories close down, propose to them the only deal they have left. "We will build for you and slap your brand".

  3. Increase costs slowly to your new customers, the builders turned resellers, until you control the market in every single way.

Tin Foil Hat much?

No, no my friend. This is not a crazy idea I've come up with. This has been documented over and over. As a matter of fact there is a documentary out there, which I wish I could remember the name of, that talks specifically about a giant furniture maker that lived precisely this.

We think that wars are fought with guns and nukes, but this is far from today's truth.

The first front, the first line of attack is economical. All the "first worlds" become consumers, but not just consumers, dependent consumers. If they don't have their slave labor toys, the quality of life will suffer you see.

The truth is... War is lost...

The idea of manufacturing ever making a comeback to the US is nothing but a pink unicorn of sorts. It won't happen in my lifetime that's for sure, and I guess we just have to learn to be OK with it.

Hence the shift...

In the search of special, in the search of meaning, a small group of people is looking for value somewhere else. Within reason, of course, they try not to be seduced by having lots of cheap junk.

This is where makers, craftsmen, artists and such plant their flag, and where they seem to survive, because I doubt it's easy for any of them.

That being said

I not only accept this, but the nostalgic flavor of it all seems somewhat bitter sweet to me. I love the idea of artistry slowly but surely making a comeback, even if it's serving the smallest of markets.



It's impossible that guitars sold at such prices can be playable instruments. However, the n00bs that would buy such guitars won't know this. It is a hard fact that for luthiers the market is skilled guitarists who know better than to waste money on crap.


I wish I could agree 100% but seriously... for about 150-200 you can get a great guitar. How do they do it? they are using materials bought in the US or Canada...

there is only one answer...

Slave labor, and automation.


and mostly automation. The machines they use to produce the parts are more precise than human labor can be. With good quality materials, the computer controlled machines can produce better, more consistent parts than most humans, and at considerably less overall cost.