Oh Elzetta!

scottk2112

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Can anyone please help me with the story behind Elzetta's compact G-Line? Note the pics below. The Elzetta and the Jetbeam are identical lights but with different branding. I actually thought this light was some sort of collaboration where Elzetta had design and spec influence. I assumed that at this price point either the labor and/or parts were offshored. I thought it was a tiny Elzetta. I'm a newb so I bought it. Now, in order to rationalize this purchase, I have to pretend it was a convention giveaway.

I'd never knock Elzetta but does anyone know why they decided to enter the low-end, mass-produced, homogenous product-market? It just seems weird to see a competitor selling an identical product. There must be a story here. Anyone else have an opinion on this?
 

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bykfixer

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Here's a thread about them.

I've bought several as giveaways.
 

bykfixer

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To me the G-Line idea was not that unlike what PK tried over at SureFire. He designed and hired folks to build his Icon series of lights that were slated to be sold at Target stores. "The boss" told him to shut it down so he did but the idea was about the same as Elzetta did a decade + later.

Now, PK did not have the SureFire name involved with those Icon lights like Elzetta has done with the G-Line. Nor did he use an already existing platform to build from. So most outside of CPF'rs would likely not know those avant garde Icons were designed by the head designer over at SureFire. Elzetta came right out and stated "yeah we hired Jetbeam to build some lights" but they were built with some Elzetta engineering upgrades. It's not that unlike an Acura car that started out as a Honda Accord or a Lexus that began with the Toyota Camry platform. At least to this Lexus owner.
 

kerneldrop

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It's still a high-quality light.
Jetbeam is a very reputable maker.

If you want a $50 USA AA light then check out the Peak LEd El Capitan made from start to finish by one person in Arizona that does the machining and builds the driver.
 

iacchus

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is it odd that I am far more likely to try one of the Elzetta branded JB lights than I would be to buy just the JB light? Just to see?
I do wish they were a bit more transparent about which "improved internals" existed inside the light. I can make assumptions I suppose, but would much rather know from an official source.

Are they diluting their brand? I mean, maybe to some. Hard not to. Others won't care. The proof of that particular pudding will be in the eating. If the lights hold up, I figure they will be fine.
 

scottk2112

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is it odd that I am far more likely to try one of the Elzetta branded JB lights than I would be to buy just the JB light? Just to see?
I do wish they were a bit more transparent about which "improved internals" existed inside the light. I can make assumptions I suppose, but would much rather know from an official source.

Are they diluting their brand? I mean, maybe to some. Hard not to. Others won't care. The proof of that particular pudding will be in the eating. If the lights hold up, I figure they will be fine.
I doesn't seem like a bad light. It is actually fine. I was taken off guard when I saw the Jetbeam variant.
 

scottk2112

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is it odd that I am far more likely to try one of the Elzetta branded JB lights than I would be to buy just the JB light? Just to see?
I do wish they were a bit more transparent about which "improved internals" existed inside the light. I can make assumptions I suppose, but would much rather know from an official source.

Are they diluting their brand? I mean, maybe to some. Hard not to. Others won't care. The proof of that particular pudding will be in the eating. If the lights hold up, I figure they will be fine.
I'd live to know what Elzetta changed in this light to differentiate from Jetbeam.
 

iacchus

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I'd live to know what Elzetta changed in this light to differentiate from Jetbeam.
It's probably all mundane stuff, just better specced electronics. A few cents more cost to production, a few bucks more cost to retail but a slightly better product, statistically.
As a minutia nerd, this is the kinda stuff you rarely get to find out but are always curious about.
 

scottk2112

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It's probably all mundane stuff, just better specced electronics. A few cents more cost to production, a few bucks more cost to retail but a slightly better product, statistically.
As a minutia nerd, this is the kinda stuff you rarely get to find out but are always curious about.
Wish there was a way to know. I'd love to dissect the two and see what's different.
 

Guitar Guy

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It has been a common trend in recent years / decades for manufacturers of high dollar items to come out with a lower cost imported line just to get some market share from buyers who could otherwise not afford the higher end model.

It has been very common in the guitar industry for quite a while. Fender has the MIM (made in Mexico) models, which are fairly decent, although I don't care for them. They also have the even less expensive Squier models, which are very inexpensive. Fender had the made in Japan models for a while, and they came to be regarded as highly as the modern USA models.

Gibson has the imported Epiphone clones. If you can't or don't want to spend 5K for a Les Paul, you can get an Epiphone clone for 5 hundred. Some folks swear by them, but I think they're really just rationalizing the expenditure.

Paul Reed Smith also has an imported line, in addition to their very expensive USA made models. G&L has the imported Tribute series, and some are excellent. Well known acoustic guitar maker Martin Guitar has less expensive models made of laminated wood instead of solid wood, as well as imported models. They've been doing it since the 1970s. Many other companies have an imported version. Most are big sellers, and give the company a chance to stay competitive with the lower end brands for entry level players.

Having said that, I don't think I'd buy an imported flashlight just because it has the name Elzetta stamped on it, unless it actually had features that I really wanted and was looking for. I have no problem buying Asian lights, and own Fenix, Acebeam, and Jetbeam, but I bought them for specific reasons & features. I'd also buy a USA Elzetta, but every time I plug what I want into the website, it is sold out, because you guys buy them all up too fast.

Overall, I'm not a big fan of import knockoffs, but as a person who majored in business administration, I certainly see why companies do them, and would not fault them for it.
 

scottk2112

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Messages
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It has been a common trend in recent years / decades for manufacturers of high dollar items to come out with a lower cost imported line just to get some market share from buyers who could otherwise not afford the higher end model.

It has been very common in the guitar industry for quite a while. Fender has the MIM (made in Mexico) models, which are fairly decent, although I don't care for them. They also have the even less expensive Squier models, which are very inexpensive. Fender had the made in Japan models for a while, and they came to be regarded as highly as the modern USA models.

Gibson has the imported Epiphone clones. If you can't or don't want to spend 5K for a Les Paul, you can get an Epiphone clone for 5 hundred. Some folks swear by them, but I think they're really just rationalizing the expenditure.

Paul Reed Smith also has an imported line, in addition to their very expensive USA made models. G&L has the imported Tribute series, and some are excellent. Well known acoustic guitar maker Martin Guitar has less expensive models made of laminated wood instead of solid wood, as well as imported models. They've been doing it since the 1970s. Many other companies have an imported version. Most are big sellers, and give the company a chance to stay competitive with the lower end brands for entry level players.

Having said that, I don't think I'd buy an imported flashlight just because it has the name Elzetta stamped on it, unless it actually had features that I really wanted and was looking for. I have no problem buying Asian lights, and own Fenix, Acebeam, and Jetbeam, but I bought them for specific reasons & features. I'd also buy a USA Elzetta, but every time I plug what I want into the website, it is sold out, because you guys buy them all up too fast.

Overall, I'm not a big fan of import knockoffs, but as a person who majored in business administration, I certainly see why companies do them, and would not fault them for it.
Economically it makes sense. It was just unexpected and a surprise to find the same light with different branding. Totally relate to guitar analogy. I've got a 1988 Fender Japanese Strat. I've been told that they are worth almost as much as the base American models. I'm not the biggest fan of import knockoffs either unless there is some sort of collaboration. Fender is Fender. No collaboration needed. They simply offshored production but to their exacting specs. I had no idea that PRS had an import model. We used to keep our boat about 5 miles from the PRS factory in Stephensville, Maryland on the Eastern Shore. I always wanted a tour of that factory.
 

letschat7

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I'm pretty sure the only ones buying Elzetta are people that care about Made in USA. The brand isn't even known to people except maybe some USMC types that are now issued the Charlie(I think.)

When I want a Chinese light I go for Reylight. I would have never considered owing a Wuben until he told his back story and made lights that just happen to be exactly what I want in a light. Rey is so good he could put Chinese Made on his products and it would be an improvement to the reputation of Chinese goods.

I skipped over that line of Elzetta once I did the research.
 

Guitar Guy

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I've got a 1988 Fender Japanese Strat.
How do you like that MIJ Strat? The ones I've heard sounded real good. I have a 90s MIJ Tele Thinline that I like a lot. A 1975 USA Strat was my first guitar. Still have it.

Lately I've mostly been playing G&L Strats & Teles. G&L was Leo Fender's final company that he owned before he passed away.

Always read up before you buy:

 

scottk2112

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How do you like that MIJ Strat? The ones I've heard sounded real good. I have a 90s MIJ Tele Thinline that I like a lot. A 1975 USA Strat was my first guitar. Still have it.

Lately I've mostly been playing G&L Strats & Teles. G&L was Leo Fender's final company that he owned before he passed away.

Always read up before you buy:

I don't really play. It was a gift when I was a freshman in colllege. More years ago than I can count. I'm saving it for my son. I hope he will take lessons.

Never heard of G&L before. Interesting!!
 
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