Trump Tariffs Could Kill U.S. Synth Manufacturing, Says Moog

President Trump‘s recently announced tariffs on Chinese imports threaten U.S. synth manufacturing, according to iconic synth maker Moog Music.

The issue is that the new tariffs will add a 25% import tax on Chinese components used in synth manufacturing, but not on the import of complete synths. Companies that continue to do their manufacturing in the U.S. will pay 25% more for components than companies that move their manufacturing overseas.

In a letter sent to their customers today, Moog says that the import tax could force them to lay off their U.S. workers, above, and to move their manufacturing overseas:

Dear Moog Family,

We need your help.

A U.S. tariff (import tax) on Chinese circuit boards and associated components is expected to take effect on July 6, 2018.

These tariffs will immediately and drastically increase the cost of building our instruments, and have the very real potential of forcing us to lay off workers and could (in a worst case scenario) require us to move some, if not all, of our manufacturing overseas.

There is one thing all of us can do together to try and stop this: Write to our elected officials.

We ask that you will support us by imploring our elected officials to recognize that these tariffs are seriously harmful to American businesses like Moog.

Moog is asking supporters to contact their elected officials and ask for them to rescind the new taxes. See Moog’s newsletter online for full details.

246 thoughts on “Trump Tariffs Could Kill U.S. Synth Manufacturing, Says Moog

    1. ??

      They will be affected by the same stuff. Same as malekko, make noise, wmd, and all the other US synth manufacturers.

      This will raise prices and cause business and organizational changes for US synth and pedal businesses across the board.

        1. They are not actually. Moog Mother-32 cost like 2 Behringer Neutrons with similar level of complexity.

          1. Behringer Neutron build quality is nowhere close to Moog-32’s, nor has Behringer done anything as original as the Moog-32, DFAM, Animoog or the Sub-37.

            What you’re suggesting, though, points out that Behringer really can’t compete with Moog.

            Behringer can’t build an original, high-quality synth and they can’t even build their knockoffs in the US, or any country that pays a living wage and has safe factories, and do it competitively.

            Behringer knows this and doesn’t even bother to try. Uli Behringer knows they don’t have the design talent to push synthesis or synthesizers forward in any interesting way.

            And he hasn’t shown any real interest in doing original designs, with any of their gear.

            Behringer’s got 60 guitar pedals, but can you name one pedal they’ve done that’s actually an original effect? Or one that anybody covets?

            The only reason that Behringer is relevant in the gear world is that they can build cheap knockoffs of other company’s successful designs, by building them in China.

            What does Behringer have to do to get people interested in his synths? He has to knockoff a classic like the Minimoog or the Pro-One, and do it cheap.

            He’ll sell a ton of these cheap synths, just like he sells tons of cheap pedals and mixers.

            But, he knows he’ll never create the next Minimoog or Pro-One. He knows he’ll never create the next 808 or the next 909 or the next MPC or LinnDrum or Small Stone or Wah-Wah.

            And it’s clear he knows this, because he doesn’t even bother trying to do something original.

            And we know it, too, because Behringer has had 30 years to come up with something original – a guitar pedal that people would lust after or a new type of synth – and they’re looking for new things to copy, instead.

            It’s sort of sad.

            Behringer’s one of the biggest gear companies in the world, and their biggest aspiration is to make knockoffs in a new product category.

            Behringer’s been around a long time, and they’ve never demonstrated that they are interested in doing what other companies, like Moog, do – the hard work of creating new designs and iterating them until you get a modern classic.

            So, yeah, Behringer can make Chinese knockoffs of classics, but they’re not even trying to compete at the work that great synth companies do.

    1. How many electronic companies are really producing in the US?
      And electronic partts where ridiculous cheap in the US before….

    2. Germany has also 20% taxes and from there cames Native Instruments, Waldorf and lot of other cool companys… And everybody in Germany can live very well and we have no people who must live on the street without support from the state…

      1. you have no idea what you are talking about.
        this is not about value added tax but import tarrifs.

        i´d suggest leaving this one to the grownups thoug, alltogether.

      2. OT: Hi Peter, I think you are meaning good with your quote from Germany, but I asume you are not living in my country? Currently, we do not have 20% tax but 19% VAT. And as much as you may like our social security system, we have a huge amount of problems there. In 2016, there were around 51.000 homeless counted (and we can only guess how many we have in reality), there are seniors not being able to live from their pensions, we have young families and kids who can only survive thanks to food banks. So while the whole world tends to think that it´s a lot of fun to live in Germany, the reality does look grim for quite some folks.

    1. It’s hard for a US company to compete with manufacturing done in unregulated Chinese factories where people literally get paid $2/hour.

      People rag on Moog for having more expensive gear, but it’s because their factory is safe and they pay their workers 5-10+ times what people make in China.

      Do we really want to handicap our companies more by taxing their components?

      1. Nord keyboards are handmade in Sweden, too (where work-related costs are higher), but the price of an Electro is way more reasonable than a Moog’s. Nobody says Moog should discount synths like Behringer or even just Korg (though my old Korg PS-60 was made in Japan, just to say…), but their products are plainly overpriced (3400€ for the model D). The surplus doesn’t end in the pockets of their workers, affirming that would be pure hypocrisy.
        Of course Trump’s policy will harm several American companies (other will take advantage, but I’m not that convinced that the balance for American economy will be positive, though). Keep in mind that Moog still buy basic components from China, where workers are payed “5-10 times” less: is that acceptable? I call double standard on your post.

        1. Isn’t Moog employee owned? So yeah, profits would go into their pockets. Or in this case, come out of their pockets

        2. “Of course Trump’s policy will harm several American companies”.


          Where do you think electronic components come from? America has virtually no component manufacturing, and what there is of it are grossly overpriced. Tariffs are basically going to plunge the world into another recession as wages are not going to increase, consumer confidence is going to plummet and goods will stay in factory warehouses while layoffs occur.

          1. Not true. Easily Google searchable. Are American made parts more expensive? Yes. But that’s why they’re buying from China anyway. If you want to boast being American made, let’s start putting our money where our mouth is.

            1. It’s not about cost. It’s about quality. China’s components are some of the best in the world. The old idea of China being cheap + poorly made just isn’t true (at all) anymore in the world of electronics + components. They’re not buying from the US because the US simply doesn’t have the workforce or infrastructure to make components of the quality that China is AT SCALE.

          2. The US never will have component manufacturing – unless the components are made out of coal. You have to realize that many of the materials the components are made out of are mined in china – they have the market on rare earth materials. There are also deposits in the middle east but those places are harder politically to navigate than china.

        3. Using Nord as an example of fair prices? HAHAHAHAHA.

          Wow. Nord’s cheapest keyboard is $300 MORE than a Subsequent 37 (with nothing even approaching the Grandmother or Sub Phatty), and Nord’s most expensive is $1000 MORE than a Model D. Want to rethink your response?

    2. Can’t have it both ways, especially if one cares about American workers. “Insanely expensive,” compared to what? Oh yeah, products made by Chinese companies that pay employees $4700 a year.

      1. this is exactly it.
        people are for labour fairness and local production only when it means “more money coming into my pockets”. when it means domestic products being more expensive, then its “moogs is elitist”.
        this is the core of the problem. there would not be for outsourcing if it were not for people always looking the get stuff for cheap.

        quite often i have encountered germans buying german even if it meant paying more. this trait of working for a greater good cant be learned easily and is one of the main reason for their great and deserved economic success.

        1. In some cases buying German products might have more to do with the (perceived) quality and not so much with wanting to keep the money local.

          1. what you are describing is just the way any sort of brand works. through advertising we are all conditioned to think we are buying better quality of whatever.
            germans buying german like i said has little to do with that. the sense of buying domestic products goes hand in hand with the feeling of it being superior, its how pride works.

            even then, i know first hand of germans that decided to have their vacation back home during hard times so to contribute to the GDP.
            that is a case of willingly going with the inferior product for the greater good.
            what i am saying is, its not tarrifs that can fix national economies, its the psychology and behaviour of its peoples. the usa, as much of the world is stuck with “fuck you got mine” attitude. that was the driving force of capitalism for decades infact.

  1. We’ll, DUH!

    How’s making American companies pay more for supplies than anyone else in the world supposed to MAGA?

    Protectionism always comes down to the government picking winners and losers rather than the free market.

  2. Publicity stunt. Moog is “employee owned” and wouldn’t move production overseas. Not to say it won’t affect their profit, but it’s really unlikely they would move things to China.

    1. I think they’re 40% of the way to being employee owned, or something like that. They’re buying out Mike Adams over several years.

  3. Trump is and idiot who is stuck with an antiquated view of world trade, he thinks like we have trade in the way it was back in the 1950’s. He is destroying business in the U.S. the way he managed to go bankrupt over and over and over again in his own business dealings. If it wasn’t for Russian banks he would have no money. With this idiotic trade policy there are going to be allot of businesses going out of business and allot of people losing their jobs.

    1. His plan to lower tax made several big companies return their outland money to the us – several hundred billion Dollars….

      1. Their money maybe, but in the meantime production is moving overseas. Now one guess as to what is more important for US workers?

      2. And most of them promptly used the money for share buybacks rather than additional pay to workers. Synthtopia isn’t the place for politics or economics so I will restrict myself to saying that all my economic learning says nothing good can come of this.

  4. This is strictly political. Parts cost fractions of the final product cost. The most expensive part is labour. There will be some increase in cost like 5-10%. But that wont kill anyone.

    1. I think you are terribly wrong this is financial, allot of companies have very small profit margins and these tariffs will kill that profit margin, small companies will have to let go of allot of their people to try to compensate for the profit loss………but we will see, farmers are already very worried and cutting back on new building or upgrading if they have a major breakdown of hardware or machinery they will lose all profit margin and it WILL get worse. People that say this is political are fooling themselves but the near future will tell. Eugene you are probably a Trump supporter which means you are blinded and fooled by this moron we have a president, in the immortal words of Tillerson and John Kelly, Trump is a moron and idiot. But it won’t take long for this horrible trade policy to show it disastrous results…….I so hope I am wrong.

          1. “A lot” and “allot” have different meanings.

            “A lot” is “many.”

            “Allot” is “to apportion.”

            1. Ok you are right but we really getting caught up on things that don’t matter, the original idea was to express there were a lot, what the fuck does it matter on the expertise of the original meaning I think it got expressed? Are we just being anal at this point I think people got the idea the what I was saying, why are we being so anal on a definition of what we all understood as my point……..,how anal are we as people on words or how they are defined under specific definitions? I think all of this was meaningless but what do I know on the internet?

            2. Oh my God are we getting so anal on our definitions that we can’t read a comment and know what is being said. I have used allot because it seemed to express my exact ideas, I guess I was wrong, the exact verbal language to express an idea that just should have been understood, was criticized even though everyone knew what I was saying? Are we that anal about language? I am so so sorry for adding an additional ‘L” instead of a space. Forgive me of that inexcusable error! WOW! forgive me for that, but I think you got the idea without exact lettering of the word . WTF!

              1. Maybe just admit your language was wrong. No-one really cares either way, but your defence of the error is ridiculous

              2. The appropriate thing to say is that you were wrong and to apologize for being rude to the other person. It’s also easier to type and as a bonus you’ll feel better afterwards. .

          2. Research done. Allot is a verb. You mean a lot in the way your using it, and I do agree with your post a lot. Overseas seems to be the hustle and it’s become almost idiotic to manufacture in this country unless your margins are fantastic.

              1. This is just idiocy, what bullshit is this?, that I have used my allotted portion, that is just nonsense (“I think you two have used up your allotted portion of this thread, by a lot.”), , I am embarrassed of your response, what was your intellectual meaning. it just seemed like nonsense B.S.? beyond nonsense! Lotta Shite you are just bullshit!

    2. A 10% increase in wholesale is magnified because of distributor and dealer markups. Realistically, it means the the Mother-32 retail price will have to increase from $599 to $699.

    1. They were 0% – these are completely new tariffs!

      Republicans are anti-deficit and anti-new taxes, until they get in power. Then they double the annual deficit, cut taxes on billionaires, and introduce new taxes that screw everybody else.

      Is America Great Again, yet?

  5. No one is asking WHY the Chinese parts cost less… I suggest everyone look up “working conditions in Chinese factories” to find out the answer.

    1. It is well known. But are you all customers ready to pay a lot more? If I were offered to buy the same product, one version built in China, the other in the USA or Europe, I would always choose the Chinese one, because I really have no reasons to pay more. And, taking away work from China means condemning million of people to starve, with no help whatsoever from the government, given that it’s a fascist-like dictatorship.

      1. I believe the fact that we let greed erode our manufacturing capability in the US has greatly effected our national security and economy. Good paying low to medium skilled jobs built the middle class in this country and ability to manufacture items without worrying about geo political conditions effecting availability and viability of us based companies. To protect that I would certainly pay more. How much of these components can be 3D printed now that would be interesting to find out. Why rely on a supplier when you can build it in house sure their would be infrastructure investment but it would pay off in the long run.

        1. it has never been any different- there was a brief period where US manufacturing had a boom where workers were paid fairly but don’t forget that this was after riots and deaths (why we have labor day) and even before that there were ‘factory towns’ where people weren’t even paid in money and worked under grueling conditions just as they do in china now. Businesses do what they have always done and that is to look for the cheapest way to get things done in order to maximize profit.

    2. Many Chinese parts cost less because China itself, and some nearby countries, have a larger supply of the raw of minerals than the US, and as a result they’re able to produce many of the basic components for a lot less. The conditions of Chinese factories have very little bearing in those cases, the issue is the lack of mineral wealth in other parts of the world.

      1. yeah, the other places with the deposits I believe are Kazakhstan , Afghanistan and Pakistan – none of which are friendly for western companies to set up large scale operations.

    1. Those are China’s retaliatory tariffs, not the new Trump taxes on Chinese goods.

      The list of new US taxes on Chinese stuff includes 1,000+ categories of products.

    2. Um… those are the US products that China is slapping tariffs on in retaliation. In case you don’t understand, we are concerned about goods FROM China that will become more expensive, and not the other way around.

    3. You posted a link on that leads to a list of U.S. products that we ship to China that will have tariffs added.

      To make your point you need to show the list of products the U.S. is importing from China that Moog is referencing. That list has the parts that Moog is talking about.

    4. lol, “left wing rhetoric crazy”.
      imma call you on it because i see this shit thrown out so much.
      please can you cite these rhetoric examples on the side of moog? i am genuiniely superinterested in what this crazy leftwingers were doing.

      if you dont bring up any such example, i will go ahead and think you are brainwashed trumpist that is not capable of own thought. i mean i will have to right?

      your move.

    1. There are no American manufacturers of consumer-grade capacitors, resistors, memory chips and microcontrollers. US-made circuit boards are much more expensive than boards made offshore.

      1. “There are no American manufacturers of consumer-grade capacitors, resistors, memory chips and microcontrollers”

        You aren’t looking hard enough, obviously. I can sit in City of Industry, CA, walk three blocks, and hit multiple American component manufacturing companies. Quit using your Google-biased search results and use the Yellow Pages for once in your life. Took me three seconds to find TedSS in the Yellow Pages (Protip: Companies can pay for ads that display across the entire country in the YP, and they do so often.)

        1. I looked up TedSS, they have exactely 6 (LOLOLOLOL) values of smd ceramic film capacitors in their lineup. and not even all in stock! good look sourcing parts for even the simplest build with them. the caps are from mainly kemet who started to manufacture in china in the 2000’s.

          1. What a perfect opportunity for them and many other companies in the US to start a bigger production of these components then, they’ll make a fortune. The production is probably on the low side because it doesnt’ sell, companies import from china.

            1. There is a acute worldwide capacitor shortage because we need more capacitance than ever and unfortunately caps are not profitable. So many companies just quit producing them. To get for example those components manufactured again in the us is just impossible without extreme government subsidies. NOBODY will invest billions into infrastructure to produce ruinous caps!

              1. > There is a acute worldwide capacitor shortage

                Are you needing some particularly exotic capacitor? There’s no worldwide capacitor shortage among the various sorts of caps one would use on consumer electronics.

                Tell me what (non-exotic) cap you need and I’ll be your purchasing agent and find it for you in any quantity you like. Or if exotic I’ll try to find that too for fun.

                1. Just regular ol’ MLCCs, it seems. It’s a combination of vastly increased demand, and some manufacturers dropping less profitable parts in favour of specialist automotive parts. You can find references by searching for “capacitor shortage”.

        2. It would help if you understand the difference between manufacturing and distribution.

          From that Tedds site: “ is a discount electronic distributor.”

          So where do you think they get their parts from?

        3. “You aren’t looking hard enough, obviously. I can sit in City of Industry, CA, walk three blocks, and hit multiple American component manufacturing companies. ”

          Yet the only one you can think of doesn’t manufacture anything, they’re a distributor of Chinese parts.

        4. My company usually buys from US-based component distributors. HOWEVER, the components themselves are manufactured by Chinese vendors (or American companies that manufacture in China).

          So… the vast majority of the passives (resistors, caps, diodes) are manufactured in China or ROC. The same goes for potentiometers, LEDs and transistors, which are also subject to the new tariffs.

          We also get printed circuit boards fabbed and assembled in China. Guess what? We’re going to get nailed an extra 25% for that, too.

        1. Not a ‘left wing’ issue.

          True Republicans and conservatives are traditionally against taxes, tariffs and protectionism.

          And as somebody pointed out, the Moog CEO is a big Republican contributor.

          Making American businesses pay more for parts than their competition makes it harder for them to compete.

        2. These are largely boutique manufacturers that charge extremely high prices for their parts (hand wound capacitors, custom resistor packs, etc). You can’t honestly expect US manufacturers to pay 10 or 100x more than the competition.

      2. Here’s a list of integrated circuit fab facilities.

        Notice how many are in China? Not many, right? Most are in the US and Taiwan. And even when there is one in China, notice the same company often has plants in other countries as well?

        If there are any parts that really can only be sourced from China, we’ll soon enough find out. Because those parts it is critical we find other manufacturers since if China decides to stop selling that part to us during a war, we will not have any other options.

        As far as the parts that can be sourced elsewhere, then elsewhere is where we can get them and all is fine.

        These tariffs are a good idea.

        As far as Moog’s claims, LOL, for years I’ve told people that the critical parts of Moogs are made in China and only assembled in the US, their claim of Made in USA to justify their cost is just nonsense. And people always say “Oh no, that’s not true, Moogs are entirely made in USA.” Well if that was true, why would these tariffs have any effect at all? Moog gets fully populated and assembled circuit boards from China. The wood cases are made somewhere locally. The “manufacturing” they do consists of snapping in harnesses, a screw here and there, and final calibration of the circuitry.

        1. Are you conflating ICs with discrete components like resistors, capacitors, etc.? And Moog isn’t getting “fully populated and assembled circuit boards from China”, they’re being assembled in the US but are getting their components from China, which is where the tariffs have an effect.

    2. Armchair quarterback knows more than people that have actually bought electronic components in manufacturing quantities for decades.

  6. Lmao. I see all the left wingers are out in full force today. This is a music forum people. Let’s not bring your tears over here..

    1. Admin: Personal attack deleted (name-calling).

      Keep comments on topic and constructive.

      All types of viewpoints are welcome, as long as you express them in a respectful way.

      1. Oh come on I spoke the truth are you afraid of truth? Shame on you for your cowardice of hiding a real valid comment. My God this is just cowardice on your part. I can’t believe you deleted this for your own safety of real exposing of truthful comments, shame on you. You can allow someone to call liberal ideas as crying or whining tears, that is just ignorance on an emotional level of stupidity. I am so ashamed of your bullsiht here, this is important idea-log debate, my God we have real censorship. Shame on you.

        1. Richard, we trust that readers like you have the wit and intelligence to ‘speak the truth’ in a respectful way, without resorting to personal attacks and name-calling.

          When we see comments that are clearly personal attacks, on individuals or groups of people, we will delete the comments.

          1. Ok This is serious nonsense, all you are justifying is censorship shame on you for your bullshit censorship? How do you justify this censorship?

            1. I’m as progressive as they come.

              That said, your arguments need some maturing. On a privately owned website no one has total freedom of speech and you can be censored. Regardless if your comments were naming calling, if you feel your “truth” is being censored then why are you allowed to post about it? Your time could be better spent rewriting your original moderated comment into a more appropriate comment that still gets your point across.

            2. Generally, Richard, i would agree with some of your points, but your ego-sensitive stance speaks louder than your ideas, get it?

              Don’t be a Richard, dick.

    2. Do ‘right wingers’ like protectionism and higher taxes now?

      It’s really imaginative to think we can pay down the trillion dollar Trump debt and fix the trade deficit by making it harder for companies to compete with China.

      How about forcing China to pay workers a living wage and requiring safe factories, instead? The idea is to bring them up to our standards and compete on a level playing field, instead of dropping down to their standards to compete.

  7. I’m not a big on tariffs, but in Moog’s case I suspect that labor is their main expense rather than components, and that the premium synth market won’t collapse if Moog raises their prices slightly. They could also source components from other countries like Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, or even the US. Who knows, they might even save money or improve quality in some cases.

    As someone else noted, it also seems unlikely that the employee-owners of the company would want to move manufacturing overseas.

    1. A lot of people don’t realize that there is no alternative to Chinese parts for many things these days – there is no homegrown option.

      These tariffs are a tax that you pay that makes US-made goods a lot more expensive compared to imported goods. Just butt-stupid.

      GM is expecting big layoffs, too, because of the amount of steel they use.

      1. Since there are component manufacturers and chip foundries all over the world, electronics really isn’t a China-only business. Even if it were, a 25% component cost increase is unlikely to have a huge effect on Moog’s business, because much (if not most) of their cost is labor, and because of low price elasticity of demand in the premium synth market (vs. the car market, for example.)

    2. That’s just it. With Trump jazzy on the twitter fingers twitting diplomacy and about trade. He does not allow companies to even ajust a little bit. We are talking about not a slight 3-7% We are talking 25% that is alot.

      If you look at your check and 25% was taxed before the other taxes. That is what they have to deal with now and not wait. Running a business with that many people and that is global can’t not just move or hope. They have to expect the worst case scenario.

      He has torched every company he had because he has never had to actually pay the price of his decisions and when he has. He was already looking for a another score. Dude has issues.

      Also look at GM, Harley Davidson, Carrier. The US has lost every time we had a trade war. We have to much pride and ego to say it. The US economy is to in debt and tided to the world. Just like when we tax Mexico. A shot of cheap tequila is $10 in a bar. The American consumer and small business always pay the cost. Also I am not saying that we could have made some adjustments for trade but not in the way Trump is going about it.

      1. I don’t know why your local bar is charging you $10 for lousy tequila and I don’t know why you are paying it. Did the owner raise his prices and tell you it was because of a Trump Tequila Tax? If so you are being lied to.

        The 20% tax on mexican imports that the media was furiously blogviating about right after the election never happened.

    1. There’s very few companies today that do both design and manufacturing locally.
      I’d say 95–99% is designed in e.g. US and EU, and manufactured in low pay countries as China, Taiwan and so on.
      Some companies import the parts and then assemble locally. Moog, DSI and many synth manufacturers buy a lot of things pre-made and only assemble case, knobs and most important doing the quality check.

      1. “low pay countries as China, Taiwan and so on”

        Taiwan is a modern democracy with high standards of living. They have universal insurance, worker rights, environmental laws, and prices are not too high. It’s a country that values the middle class worker.

        1. And their businesses are generally middleman distribution for things made in China.

          I’ve worked in Taipei, and most of their “Taiwan” products are made in Chinese factories, just like most of ours.

          1. I’ve also worked in Taiwan, many of our chips have been fabbed at TSMC. Great facility.

            You say you have evidence that Taiwan is illegally relabeling Chinese goods for American import? There can be rewards associated with providing proof of this. Are you willing to testify as to which companies are illegally relabeling for export, and what products? What sort of evidence can you provide? Thanks.

            1. Rabid Bat

              If you’ve really worked in Taiwan, you know that this is rampant. Make a straw man argument if you like, but it’s flaccid and no one wants to play with it.

              Regulation is a joke in Taiwan.

              Also, you suggested that it’s somehow good for us to pay high import taxes, but backed it up with squat. It’s clear you got nothing, but seem to think otherwise.

  8. Kim Korgdashian will talk to Trump about all this. She will save the synth world. Even though her husband just uses samples. haha

  9. i couldn´t care in germany we have access music, waldorf, mfb, radikal technologies, doepfer, and schmidt. so i´m fine. uli behringer is german, but i think his hq is in the uk.

    1. Behringer is based in the Philippine Islands, for legal purposes (harder to sue them there), but lol if anybody thinks they’re really based there,

    1. In some areas of China, it’s 50 cents/hour and that’s legal there.

      Not sure how commenters expect part manufacturing to come back to the US when labor here is 20 times higher.

  10. Justice Democrats are rising up to replace the traditional left. They will beat them and the right.

  11. @Richard Bates Preach! Check out the Justice Democrats website and read their platform. That is our hope, we will win in the end. Just Google “Justice Democrats” you will find it.

  12. So whats’s wrong with the taxes? Economy is wasting our human and enviromental resources. It would be a great progress if one had to pay 6000$ to get a a synth. Trump should also put taxes on soya and corn, just to make meat unaffordable. Where is the new leftism i’ve read about before Trump was elected? He is doing something right, but only for the wrong reasons. Let us pay more for a Moog, DSI, Malekko or whatever else. The value of these things in general would rise. Energy and resources are our main problem, not taxes.

  13. That is good news for us who lives in EU, cheapers Moogs in europe…I like that.. no one in USA buys synths anyway.,..

    1. I don’t think that you understand how that works. If it costs Moog more to make a synth, then they are not going to sell them cheaper. Not here nor else where.

    2. @Gaz star and Jim J:
      In Europe it will be even worse, since the European Council had the wisdom to counter the import tax that the Trump administration announced on steal with increased import taxes in Europe: so prices for USA synths in Europe will increase significantly even further.
      This ‘wisdom’ of my country / my continent first is desasterous for both companies and customers that look beyond their boundaries.

      1. Fact 1:
        EU worked on a free-trade agreement with the US. Trump shoved this in the trash bin as soon as he moved to Washington. That free-trade would have benefited both US and EU.

        Fact 2:
        EU already has import taxes on US goods, pre Trump era.

        Fact 3:
        US has import taxes on EU goods, pre Trump era.

        1. @corner liston: Know all that. This article and my reply is on the extra money that will be charged on top of the already existing taxes. Neither the US policy nor the European attitude in this are beneficial for producers or consumers.
          And oh, please don’t label your opinions explicitly as facts. In this case I know they are facts, but I would rather draw a conclusion on the word fact when sources are explicitly named then when the word “Fact” is explicitly stamped.
          Now let’s all go back to music, shall we?

      2. I dont think the price will increase, due to that this whole import and customs tax is not a problem anymore… fuck USA..everything moves to Europe…and then they can burn in USA ..

        1. the fuck kind of logic is that?
          “i dont think – hence its not a problem”.
          that is some thinking process you got there champ. kind of like inverse decartes.

      3. those tax hikes were targeted and selective. they were aimed at trumpland voters and actually resulted in harley davidson shifting a part of the production to asia in order to circumvent the hikes.
        with that trump directly contributed to actual job loss, which was most likely the goal of these european measures in the first place. see, that is how you play chess.
        synths are a niche procuct, little economical impact.

  14. While these tariffs are a potentially serious topic for the boutique synth manufacturers here in the US I really hate to see politics seep into one of the few websites I visit daily that is usually far removed from our current political divisions in this country.

    Can we please not make Moog’s supply chain a wedge issue on this site? I agree that this is a problem for Moog, but I don’t want to get into this political crap here.

    I think Moog makes great products. I just got a DFAM and I love the sound and features… that’s where my opinion of them ends.

    1. @antennatree:
      Agree with you that Moog (and DSI and Make Noise and others) manufacturers in the US make great products. The content of this article is about politics and economics. The reason that its here is it will definetly affect most companies and their customers, yes you, as well.

      1. Yes, the content of this article is about politics and economics and I’m asking that it be published on another website. I do care that boutique manufacturers might be squeezed by these tariffs, but I come here to learn about new tech, products, etc. I am saturated with trump in my daily life. I come here to get away from that crap.

        And no it doesn’t affect me. For better or worse I’m the type of person trump is fighting for… a rich white male with a lot of money in the stock market. I was deciding between a DFAM and a Minibrute 2S recently and ended up just buying both in the end.

        But I hate trump and all that he stands for and I truly hate to see it seep into this site. Look at the comment count on this article (115 at the time of this posting). That is insane for Synthtopia!

        Let’s get back to more important topics like what’s your favorite waveform or something. I like squares. Are you a saw person… let’s fight about that 😉

        1. I thinks it’s ok for people to want a ‘safe zone’, and generally I don’t want politics mixed with my fun time.

          But this is definitely newsworthy for synthesists – Moog is about as iconic brand as any. I do wish that people would think beyond knee jerk ‘Pro-Trump’/‘left-wing’ rhetoric, because this issue is much more nuanced than that.

          The core of this is that Trump is doing things that are not Republican or pro-business – so you have a lot of business people and economists and Wall Street people going ‘WTF’?

          The tariffs are widely seen as a grudge-**** by Trump against the countries that don’t try to flatter him or curry favor with him personally. It’s hard to find any serious discussion of these tariffs that shows them to be good economic policy.

          Bottom line for us is that this is going to hurt domestic synth makers, to what degree can be debated, and it’s going to mean higher gear prices.

          For those that want their synth news controversy-free – skip these articles! Don’t wade into the comments.

          It’s not that hard! I’ve been skipping the iOS articles for years, and even when you skip those, Synthtopia has better coverage of synth news than anybody.

        2. @antennatree: 😀
          Don’t see the use of fighting on Synthopia (anymore). I’m neither a saw- (well maybe given the movie) or a square person (never thought I’d say that), but interested particularly in more complex and more dynamic waveforms.
          Like I remarked at some other place in this page: the issue is important to a lot of people, but let’s all go into music with all the fine gear we probably have.

  15. Think moog are on the right side of this. Seems that these tariffs will directly impact small to medium sized businesses who have remained loyal to US manufacturing over time the most. The companies who’s main concern is the bottom line have already been manufacturing overseas for decades and these tariffs will little effect them. Wouldn’t want to speak for them, but I recon Moog would be using 100% American components if they existed/ could afford to do so. From my perspective seems the US government would be better placed to invest in and subsidise US manufacturing so companies like Moog could source the components they need to build their synths competitively.

    1. Kits are more expensive to make than things assembled in China now.

      I don’t think people realize how big a change is coming – and not just because of the tariffs.

      This happened before, in the 80s, when every US synth manufacturer went out of business.

  16. Synthopia, I think it’s a good thing you post topics like this and Uli Behringers law suits. Consumers needs to be aware. Most are. Some are not. Because it’s annoying to wake up one day and realize that your favorite gear manufacturer behaves like a fool. Keep posting political things. And keep having a good friendly discussion even when we don’t agree with each other.

    1. … i also think it is important to discuss topics like this. We all will be affected from what happens these days…and it is not only about the future of musical instruments manufacturers.
      I was already asking myself how long it will take that the tax & tariff theme will reach (our beloved) synthworld…here we go and this is only one example out of many that will be affected.

  17. Moog will be fine. I work in a global company that owns factories in USA, Europe and China. I also design and build custom synthesizers and have toured the Moog factory. A small increase in the PCB cost will not make a major impact in that $1400 synth. The Moog synth is very labor intensive and the keybed and front panel far outweigh the cost of the voice card.

    Now, what is hurting everyone is the global stock of SMT parts, especially capacitors. many now have 2 year purchasing lead times! They basically, cannot be bought anymore (unless you are will to pay big increases.. from warehousing companies that act like ticket scalpers). This is the big worry at my company. We are redesigning product to use the parts that are still available. that’s expensive (if you think production labor is expensive, look at engineering costs)

    If Moog wanted to sell the Sub37 for $600, it would be easy to move the whole thing to a China factory. There are plenty that could build that Moog. But they don’t need to have a $600 Sub37 so it stays in the USA.

    1. I always thought the production is already done in China? In the US they just do some calibration and assembling. If you look at some Moog videos, you will see there are sometimes no power sockets at their working places and most devices aren’t plugged in anything. Big soldering irons on tiny SMD parts aren’t trustworthy at all. Of course an experienced womans hand can manage this. 🙂 Be honest, a SUB37 doesn’t look much better than a Roland Boutique and is no near an older revision Voyager in built and sound quality. About taxes. 4-6% EU taxes on car tuning parts or consumer electronics are no 25% sledge hammer. I personally won’t bother about that. Behringer is located on the Philippines. Trump and Duterte are big friends, like he’s in friendship with every contemptuous dictator. We all got to deal with it or get rid of him. Great!

      1. Moog is pretty much all made in Asheville NC. I believe the circuit boards are made by a vendor down the street. Not sure about panels, etc. They assemble everything there.

  18. Few questions: Could you import those parts from china via europe? Would it be interesting for china to move plants to europe / US ? Would these tariffs help to rejuvenate parts production in the US? Or is this a everybody loses scenario.

    1. This is a 25% tax on parts.

      You can’t avoid that by starting a new company in the US or Europe to make parts, and then paying workers 10 times what they’d get paid in China.

      That’s not taking into account that factories in the West have to be safe, etc.

  19. I’m not a Ploitician and I’m not right or left wing. I don’t know much about trade wars but it looks like taxing import goods pisses people off, helps the gov that is collecting the tax, hurts the company getting their goods taxed, and costs customers more money. Is that useful? It looks more annoying than useful but maybe it’s useful.

  20. The electronic components used in an analog synthesizer are fairly cheap (transistors, resistors, chips….)
    Most of the final price is to cover development, manufacturing, casing and mechanical components.
    So a 3000$ Moog would NOT cost 3750 because of this tax. The Minimoog reissue’s electronic part may have been worth 800$ in bulk purchase. So instead 3950 it would have been 4150$ retail.
    No reason to lay off workers. I think Moog is more afraid of Behringer…..

  21. Qwerty warriors everywhere! Stop reading this and argue some more, your honour depends on it! Fight to the death!

  22. They “need our help”?! Well, that’s a pretty ironic situation that Mike Adams has gotten them into, considering that he has STRONG political ties in North Carolina to the Republican party that created this situation….

  23. If we can all try to stay focused on the facts as we know them and keep personal attacks out, this discussion is valuable and relevant.

    This will likely affect Moogs attempts to keep products like the Mother32 close to affordable, as it gives a greater competitive advantage to B. Labor and related insurance costs typically drive how much profit is made. Take a look at a balance sheet sometime, it’s humbling. Scale helps offset those things significantly. This is probably not Moogs biggest concern ultimately, but laying off any workers can be traumatic to a small company like Moog.

  24. Its a shame that a company like moog need to produce something in China I mean they charge a lot for their synths…

  25. Moog should be less political and let the issues play out. It’s a negotiation folks. The US has been getting raked over the coals w/ extremely lop-sided tariffs for decades now. Worst case the US ends up back where it started, best case the tariffs are more reciprocal.

    1. No company can afford to let politics play out, larger companies just work behind the scenes with lobbyists. Moog has to use the platforms available to them.

  26. I am more worried about what this does for those Chinese factory workers who will more than likely be the ones who end up footing the bill for this.

  27. The new taxes and trade wars will hurt everyone. Thing is – manufacturing today is a global thing. Parts are made in many different countries around the globe – and put togheter mainly in one country. This way specialized processes are available to many. It’s good for all because it’s efficient. Once somebody put on the brake – all of these processes are hurt. I cannot spot any winners here.
    (eivind, Norway)

      1. You mean the bigger picture that apart from Moog virtually every company making synths is non-american and thus not from the us?

  28. I do think it’s an overreaction. The cost of electronic components are very low, adding 25% doesn’t make much difference to the total production cost of a synth. They could buy complete Model D’s from Behringer and put it in their own enclosure and still sell it for 3500$ with their Moog Branding. Moog will be fine, and maybe America will get their own factories to make these components. That’s the whole idea of import tax.

    1. Not a chance that’s happening. The only way US starts manufacturing is if the GDP of China levels with ours. Look at the incentives to Foxcomm, worst than a stadium deal!!

    1. Yeah, I wish people would try to understand economics and finance a little before they just spout off. Higher tariffs (taxes) won’t lower prices and won’t stimulate growth. But they will help pick winners and losers. Political warfare is what we are witnessing.

    2. America only seems to get dumber as we go along. I doubt anyone will learn anything from this and we’ll keep continuing this downward spiral.

  29. aaawww boo fuckn hoo.
    NAFTA should never have happened.
    Fuck free trade.

      1. Trump says fuck free trade ya moron. Remember who took out a full page newspaper ad, to say NO to NAFTA. Look it up.

        1. lol whooosh. this kind of flew over your head didn´t it? let me explain:
          my point was the fact that everything republicans stood for has been abandoned to appease trump, apart from racism ofcourse. with my comment i was showing the paradox and hipocrisy of it.

          let me know if you have problems with bigger words, i can break it down for you if you ask politely.

  30. Just to add to the comment count?
    Think Moog and Behringer are having a LOL session together and placing bets on who’ll get the most replies 😀
    In any case this shows we all are (to) passionate about our instruments and music.

  31. I just wanted to say thank you to those who voted this idiot Trump in to help destroy the US. Great job, folks, way to go!

    1. this made me lol. yeh thats how it will go down.
      nah you´ve an egomaniac on the helm with an attention span of a five year old and inability to plan 3 minutes ahead. better get used to situation like these breh, there is no logic to the madness.

  32. Profit margins on moog products are substantial. A 25% increase in the cost of these components is only a 25% increase in like 5% of the total cost of manufacturing. This is basically like holding a gun to a puppy and threatening to shoot it if you dont get your way. I can imagine the meeting now. “Well this is now going to cost me another 100 bucks to manufacture so I’m going to lay you all off and open a factory in China” yeah right. Once you know the actual cost of manufacturing these instruments and see how much they sell for you’d be laughing at this.

    1. Many of us work in the industry. We understand that raw manufacturing costs are only part of the cost of doing business. You also have to factor in wages, employee insurance, rent, utilities, marketing, business insurance and legal costs, advertising, R&D, and so on.

      Moog isn’t ripping you off. Their boutique manufacturing model using an American factory is expensive.

    2. at the same time you have no idea how much operating cost they incurr, what the overheads are, the marketing cost etc. infact in many cases the cost of marketing exceed the actual production cost itself.
      so please lets dispense with simplistic garbage analysis yes?

      do your really think any of these iconic companies would raise a stink and risk the ire if it were not a serious issue for them?

      1. Moog (and GM and Harley) wouldn’t raise the ire of Trump fans if this were not a real issue for their company.

        It won’t matter on the high-end ‘Cadillac’ synths they make, like the modular and Minimoog reissues. Those are niche products that use old-fashioned production techniques, which is what makes up the bulk of their cost.

        Where it will matter is in their high-volume mainstream products, where their prices are already pretty competitive. Things like the Mother-32, DFAM, Sub 37, Phatty’s, etc. Their newsletter said that over half the components for their synths will be affected by the new 25% tax. If half your material cost is going up 25%, it’s very possible that their parts cost for things like the Mother-32 are going to jump 10-15% overall.

        1. For a legitimate business like Moog the ratio of street price to cost is going to be 4:1 or more. Anything less and they wouldn’t be able to sustain the business (their dealer percentage is likely more than 3:1). So, the Mother32 costs ~$130 to make, box and ready to ship. If half of that is parts and those parts are 25% more, it adds $16 to the BOM cost. This ‘is’ significant, but not as significant as some make it sound.

        2. that is what i am saying, yes. for these companies to stand against “national interest as dictated by trump” in this day and age, to make yourself target like this, just for what?
          makes no sense. these companies will be hit, no question.

      2. Actually I know exactly what these costs are as they are discussed openly at the monthly meeting that every employee must attend. Granted I no longer work there but I doubt things have changed substantialy since I left a little over a year ago. All the numbers are shared with every employee. How much was spent and earned. Every month. Broken down by category. Also employees get moog gear at cost + 10% so it doesnt exactly take a rocket scientist to figure out what these things cost to manufacture. *Mic drop*

        1. lol that is some mic drop, you some badass.
          i am no rocket scientist so if you could break it down for me please.
          since you are in the unique position of having the facts, you can actually put an end to this discussion by providing the numbers.

          the trumpers call any semblance of criticism of his policies “left wing crazies”. as shown above.
          the supposition then is that moog, harley and gm, among others, are simply lying “because profit”. and also have a left leaning stance all of the sudden apparently.

          my reading of it is that moog might be a healthly brand and company but are not raking in millions in net profits and tariffs will indeed hurt them, possibly badly. i see no reason why they would lie.
          these people are not stupid. harley knows that moving a part of production to asia will hurt the brand immensely, compounded by bashing from the side of trump. them being iconic and all, why the hell would they subject themselves to these pains if it were not needed, especially in a superpolarising climate, and hence put themselves in the limelite of political discourse. makes no sense.

          these are the two options and you seem to be in the first camp. since you have the facts, pick up that mic and illuminate us as to why moog wont be at all affected and these are mere histrionics because they apparently have nothing better to do.

    1. – best US economy in 22 years
      – 4.7% increase GDP highest in 12 years
      – lowest unemployment in 45 years (lowest black & latino unemployment in history)
      – lower taxes
      – de-escalating north korea
      – destroyed Isis calafate

      The president may not be your cup of tea but can’t mock the results… get away from the usual news sites and get a less skewed perspective of what’s happening.

  33. Nice job putting this heartwarming story on the site, folks. For your next trick how about a story about religion?

  34. This is Hue and Cry mostly rubbish .. Since companies like Moog [Very Rich] have reaped the benefits of a mass monopoly and have also gathered the most popular musicians and producers as their brand ambassadors for decades .. Moog Could Make More Affordable and Inclusive SYNTHS for a change .. Donald Trump as is, an epic joke is a good lesson to all americans that their days as No.1 Nation in the World (Be it For Atom Bombs or Synths) is OVER … Good Quality Synths are now being made allover Asia, Europe, Russia and South America even …

    1. rubbish is your incoherence:
      1. moog never had a synth monopoly. there is no such thing. also mass monopoly is not a thing.
      2. they have “gathered ambassadors” the same way ferrari, rolex or any of higher tier brands did. by doing great products that people covet and want to be a part of its aura. being expensive comes with the territory.
      brands dont have to sell massively. they have to be desired.
      3. trump may be an egostistical idiot, however the measures he takes seem to be exactly what he was running for. misguided, shortsided as they may well be, atleast there seems to be a wish to make things better for american workers and middle class. cant fault the ambition to make your people live better.
      4. russia always had the upper hand in nuclears weapons. it was their only deterrent for a long while.

  35. so, what if moog opens a factory and just packages a bunch of components that they bought in a box with instructions to solder them to a board and sells it to the US factory – doesn’t that mean that they are manufacturing overseas and selling it? is that a way around the rules? And has china thought of doing it?

  36. This has nothing to do with politics. It’s an obsolete product that nobody buys anymore, since software packages turn any computer into a synthesise. Moog should have stopped manufacturing circuit boards and started selling software versions of their synthesizers 2 decades ago like Steinway Piano did. They didn’t keep up with the times.

    1. i see you discovered software. thats nice.
      all of us also did a while back and decided we love hardware better.

      1. …and filtatron. but “steinway” did it right with their copious software engineering lol. i swear to god, the facepalms on this comment sections fucking amazing.

  37. MAGA. Moog America Great Again. Let’s support our great American workers, instead of Chinese exploitation. If it is about sharing more of my money with my fellow American workers, more power to me.

    1. thought you wont invest in moog but DSI, whatever the fuck that means.
      its cute that you can just spout MAGA and pretend its pertinent to any discussion though.
      the problem is exactly that your workers, moog workers, harley workers, are being hurt by the policies.
      but do MAGA on, dont let me stop you.

  38. Moog’s home state North Carolina voted for Trump. Maybe the time to worry about how he would affect business was a couple years ago?

    1. The US Chamber of Commerce has a pretty dodgy history. They teeter between being a spy agency front and a terrorist organization. They tried to destroy journalist Glen Greenwald for example.

      > “the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the most powerful Rightwing lobbying group in the country, was revealed to have been working with their law firm and a number of private cyber security and intelligence firms to target progressive organizations, journalists and citizens who they felt were in opposition to their political activism, tactics and points of view.”

  39. I think it’s great of Synthtopia etc to have posted this, and a lively discussion.

    People whining about not wanting to see politics, THEN YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE CLICKED on a clearly politically oriented article. Talk about being triggered.

    Moog has definitely sent some mixed messages. Getting a bunch of taxpayer dollars for Moogfest from Asheville and/or Buncombe county and NC? OK cool, let’s support the arts and a good local employer.

    But then the very public Republican voting habits of Pres. Mike Adams gets discussed. Wait a minute— voting against “handouts, socialism, giveaways..”, yet happy when it flows towards Moog?

    Ok….. so when Trump policies are an issue, would be nice to have another discussion of what kind of vote was cast from the top of Moog. Or what the opinion was when the big tax cuts for top earners Came about.

    I don’t recall the Moog letter writing campaign after the tax break, which could be argued hurt their rank and file workers even more.

    What a mess. One thing that’s interesting is seeing how many comments expressing surprise that the guts of Moog synths are Made In China.

    I wish them luck. A lot of great ppl working there, Mike himself has been a real nice guy but wtf on the disconnect of voting for conservatives then wanting it both ways.

    1. Why the confusion?

      Moog has traditionally been for pro-business policies, things that directly help them.

      Tariffs are bad for business and conservatives and businesses are historically against them. Trump’s policies try to appeal to the protectionist and racist elements of the Republican Party, rather than the traditional conservatives, so there’s inherently some identity conflict there.

      Moog’s activism to get government to support business, though, is consistent with traditional conservative Republican views.

  40. Moog is just full of SJW’s and is lashing out. They need to just deal with the state of economics and quit crying.

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