#1
As today we see that production of several products is moving away for "cost reasons" (this is, to places where they pay less money for the same or even more amount of work...), I would like to have your opinion:

Gibson, for instance, is a company that has manufactured american icons as the LP, SG, Explorer, Flying-V, etc. "Gibson USA" is a guarantee of quality (at least that's what it is supposed to be) and you pay some 2300€ for an LP Standard because it is made in USA and it is a quality instrument.

Now just imagine that one day Gibson (as many other brands from different areas, not only music) move their entire production to an eastern country, let's say, China.

So Gibson starts manufacturing all their Les Pauls (Standard, Custom, Studio, etc.) there with still a good quality but also offering a better price to their customers.

Will you still consider it as an authentic Gibson? I mean, would it have the same value for you, an american made or a new chinese made Gibson Les Paul Standard? Would you still be proud to own a "Gibson China" LP?

From my point of view, even if the construction quality was the same, it would have completely lost the tradition and spirit.
Last edited by dynamo0 at Feb 12, 2009,
#3
Quote by TheSecondRaid
I thought thats what epiphone did anyway?


Yes but I ask about GIBSON, Fender (not Squier) and that.
#4
Dunno.

Ibanez moved all their production bar custom shop to Japan. They still have a custom shop in the us, and in Japan too, but their general production is excellent quality. (In my opinion, and Ibanez is just an example. No fanboyism) All guitar's I've owned that were built in Japan have been good to excellent quality.

All companies or their subsidiaries produce their cheaper guitars using cheaper labour in korea, indonesia, etc. I would still think it was a 'real' Gibson if it was all moved to another country. They wouldn't ever move all their production to cheap labour though; they make too much from USA guitars.
#5
Quote by dynamo0
Yes but I ask about GIBSON, Fender (not Squier) and that.


yes but epiphone is the lower company of gibson. As far as what I know, what you have just described is already being don by Gibson, just instead of calling it Gibson China or something like that, they call it epiphone.
#6
Yeah, I can't see Gibson throwing away that huge profit margin for low-profit turnover. Fender are trying for a bit of every cake and we can see the rise of some very good alternatives. i.e. they have devalued the brand, to some extent.
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#7
Quote by TheSecondRaid
yes but epiphone is the lower company of gibson. As far as what I know, what you have just described is already being don by Gibson, just instead of calling it Gibson China or something like that, they call it epiphone.


I see this from another perspective: Epiphone was a brand on its own but Gibson purchased it. Then Gibson made Epiphone to be the only "authorized" brand to reproduce original Gibsons at a lower price. And finally they started moving Epiphone production overseas, to finally make everything in China.

I can tell you, my first SG was a korean made Epiphone and it was quite good. But the newest chinese Epiphones are stripped down and look like toys. Now I have a Gibson SG...

So Epiphone is not actually part of "Gibson". It is a company they got just to produce their low-end replicas and make money. Gibson has degraded Epiphone's name, actually.
Last edited by dynamo0 at Feb 12, 2009,
#8
Quote by dynamo0
I see this from another perspective: Epiphone was a brand on its own but Gibson purchased it. Then Gibson made Epiphone to be the only "authorized" brand to reproduce original Gibsons at a lower price. And finally they started moving Epiphone production overseas, to finally make everything in China.

I can tell you, my first SG was a korean made Epiphone and it was quite good. But the newest chinese Epiphones are stripped down and look like toys. Now I have a Gibson SG...

So Epiphone is not actually part of "Gibson". It is a company they got just to produce their low-end replicas and make money. Gibson has degraded Epiphone's name, actually.


You couldn't be more right, epiphone guitars feel plain when i play them, pick up a gibson though and you can feel the craftsmanship and the character if the guitar.

I wouldn't say epiphone is gibsons branch in the east. I see them as very separate brands even if they are owned by the same people.

And as to the original topic. If Gibson moved their manufacturing to asia I think people will regard them as genuine Gbsons and a lot of people would probably like that they can get the same build quality at a lower price. I do think, however, if this did happen, then all the MIA Gibsons would take a good leap in value.
#9
Quote by TheSecondRaid
yes but epiphone is the lower company of gibson. As far as what I know, what you have just described is already being don by Gibson, just instead of calling it Gibson China or something like that, they call it epiphone.

Fender did do that. It's called Fender of Japan and MIK Fenders. They're really nice.
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#10
Epiphone is to Gibson as Squire is to Fender. But Gibson's are a lot more expensive than Fenders, which is why Epiphones aren't very cheap. But it's the same way that Fender has MIA and MIM guitars. They both say Fender on the headstock. Personally, I don't consider the MIM guitars as genuine fenders because I own a MIA one and I can easily tell the difference. If Gibson did move all of their production to China and retain the quality, I wouldn't mind, especially if they became cheaper.
#11
Quote by Lurcher
i.e. they have devalued the brand, to some extent.


True, but the models between 500-700$ are really good, and they have a good selection in that price range.
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#12
The main thing for me is I get a good quality guitar at a decent price with good after sales service if needed. I am not that bothered where they are manufactured as long as the quality is as good. What would bother me if they moved the manufacturing to a cheaper location and did not drop the prices.
#13
Quote by darkhorizon
The main thing for me is I get a good quality guitar at a decent price with good after sales service if needed. I am not that bothered where they are manufactured as long as the quality is as good.


ditto.
#14
Quote by Mazzakazza
Dunno.

Ibanez moved all their production bar custom shop to Japan. They still have a custom shop in the us, and in Japan too, but their general production is excellent quality. (In my opinion, and Ibanez is just an example. No fanboyism) All guitar's I've owned that were built in Japan have been good to excellent quality.

All companies or their subsidiaries produce their cheaper guitars using cheaper labour in korea, indonesia, etc. I would still think it was a 'real' Gibson if it was all moved to another country. They wouldn't ever move all their production to cheap labour though; they make too much from USA guitars.


IMO its not the same to talk about japan than to talk about china...

think about every example possible---> Cars, technology, etc
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#15
Quote by dynamo0
Yes but I ask about GIBSON, Fender (not Squier) and that.


Fender has 3 different factories.

Japan, Mexico, and USA.

All 3 factories make great guitars (I've played atleast 15-20 guitars from both the american, and mexican factories, and atleast 10 CIJ fenders + I own a CIJ Mustang)

Quote by JELIFISH19
Epiphone is to Gibson as Squire is to Fender. But Gibson's are a lot more expensive than Fenders, which is why Epiphones aren't very cheap. But it's the same way that Fender has MIA and MIM guitars. They both say Fender on the headstock. Personally, I don't consider the MIM guitars as genuine fenders because I own a MIA one and I can easily tell the difference. If Gibson did move all of their production to China and retain the quality, I wouldn't mind, especially if they became cheaper.


CIJ guitars are built just as well as the MIJ ones.

The differences between MIM strats/tele's, and MIA strat's/tele's aren't mindblowing, yes i prefer the MIA standard over the MIM standard...but if you're judging on bang for your buck, the MIM's win.
Last edited by Swap-Meet at Feb 12, 2009,
#17
I wouldn't take my chance with buying a Gibson if they moved the company to China. There would have to be a reason for the move in the first place. The main reason, or the only reason, I hear about companys moving is because it's cheaper for them in certain countrys. The wood quality would more then likely decrease and the time and effort put into making the instrument would more then likely decrease. I've never played a Chinese made guitar that has atleast been on par with a USA made guitar.

Comparing a Chinese built guitar to a Japanese built guitar seams stupid, in my opinion. I'm sure there are tons of nice playing Chinese guitars that I haven't had a chance to play, but theres a difference between the build quality of China and Japan's instruments. Some may say I'm biased because I own two Japanese made guitars, but theres a reason I own the instruments I do. I could have baught a Gibson or USA Jackson for the price I payed for what I have, but I went for the better deal. Although I'm sure some may dissagree, but I suppose that's all opinion.

Bottom line, if Gibson or Fender were to move there companys to China, they wouldn't be the same. Theres a chance the quality may be close, but not the same. If either Gibson or Fender were to move, I'd think they would make the move to Japan.

All my opinion of course.
#18
I couldnt care less were the guitar was built as long as I like it.

I dont see why american guitars are the be all and end all for most people, just because something was invented in the country doesn't mean that country will always be the best!( E.g England and football)

And Epiphone aren't just "a company Gibson got just to produce their low-end replicas and make money", they were a well respected name before Gibson bought them,, and still have some unique models in production today.
#19
Quote by Swap-Meet
Fender has 3 different factories.

Japan, Mexico, and USA.

All 3 factories make great guitars (I've played atleast 15-20 guitars from both the american, and mexican factories, and atleast 10 CIJ fenders + I own a CIJ Mustang)

actually, IIRC, the Fender Japan factory is actually the Fujigen factory, same guys that built the old lawsuit guitars and basses. There also used to be a "Fender of Korea" factory where they built MIK Fenders, but I believe that was just a contract factory, same as the MIJ factory. Fender's actually got 3 factories "technically" in America. The Ensenada factory in Mexico, the Corona factory and the "custom shop." Most guitar companies have multiple "factories" that they license out to to build their guitars.
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#20
It doesnt really matter were a guitar is built, ofc quality is the main thing

With fender, gibson and the older brands, your buying into heritage as well though. So it would never happen.
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#21
It doesnt matter to me if they were built in a different country provided they still have the same quality control and parts and they were made some place like Japan, I still have yet to test out a 90's MIJ Ibanez but I want one I hear they are top notch quality, I do believe that most of the prestiges are MIJ as well so that should tell you about the quality guitars that come from Japan.
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#22
Quote by Swap-Meet
The differences between MIM strats/tele's, and MIA strat's/tele's aren't mindblowing, yes i prefer the MIA standard over the MIM standard...but if you're judging on bang for your buck, the MIM's win.

My point was that one was better than the other. The American ones cost a lot more to make, therefore, they're more expensive. If we're talking about bang for your buck, of course the cheaper ones are going to be a better value, but the more expensive ones are still better instruments.
#24
It doesn't matter to me where the guitar was built. After all, an instrument is a tool to make you feel the music, not a collector's item. If I can purchase a guitar of the same quality at a lesser price, I will.
#25
If you consider historically what's been happening .....
Originally the major electric guitar manufacturers in the US like Fender and Gibson were only produced in the USA. These were the subject of many foreign attempts to copy their guitars for less money and sell cheaper using the orignals popularity.
Some MFRs like Ibanez, actually became good guitar designers and builders and Japan, once the joke of world manufacturing became a serious competitor with their own brands.
In order to compete and make their products affordable, US MFRs turned to foreign countries to build a lower end version of their products. JApan was the first off shore MFR but became too expensive and too knowledgeable to simply mass produce cheap versions of others instruments. Today some of their products like Tokai aren't really cheap knockoffs but serious hi quality copies and factories like FujiGen are highly respected.
Now, the US needed another source of cheap lanour for their lower end guitars. Korea was one of the first ones and since then China has been added to the list. Mexico has really only been used successfully by Fender. I don't think the high end products will ever leave their native countries but the low end ones may shift as current countries becomes too expensive and a new. cheap work force is required.
Moving on.....
#26
I think it is sometimes a country's background which makes difficult to change our minds.

For decades China has exported a lot of low-quality, very cheap electronic products. We all have played with china-made cheap toys when we were children and had a lot of fun, even knowing they wouldn't last forever.

Now that China is a more open and global market, I don't see why their quality would not improve, specially having people from the US and other countries supervising factories.

To me, a japan-made thing means quality, while 30 years ago it may have meant cheap and poor. Indeed, in the '90s I owned an Ibanez RG570 made in Japan and it was awesome, very well made.

What is hard to remove is the "china-made = bad quality" idea but the chineses have to work hard for that.

Sadly, as someone said here, the day China becomes a quality producer, big companies will move production once again into any other area that offers better costs.

Africa, perhaps??

I wonder how a "Gibson Congo" would look...
Last edited by dynamo0 at Feb 13, 2009,
#27
America isn't a place known for it's manufacturing quality anyway.
#28
Its hard to say. If it had the same quality, why not. It could be a much higher quality instrument than the American product is. I think it would depend on the workmanship. If Gibson were to outsource their product as a Gibson, I think they would have to have a serious amount of quality control as they have a standard to uphold. For them to manufacture a Gibson as a Gibson, the quality would have to be consistent.

Ibanez was origianlly a Japanese knockoff company who was sued. They then changed their vision and broke out of the box and now look at them. Still a Japanese company and still producing quality guitars.

Fender has been producing guitars under their name from other countries. But the quality of these instruments werent the best. Yeah some of them were badass but.... The Mexican strat is in my opinion one step away from american quality. Just built cheaper.

So really it is hard to say. I dont believe fender would put the name fender on a guitar if it werent for a certain amount of quality. Gibson bought epiphone so they could produce a decent quality machined guitar for cheaper so that guys like me who cant afford a 2000 dollar guitar could own a "Gibson" for 500 dollars. Thats why it says Epiphone by Gibson or Squier By Fender.
#29
Quote by Lurcher
they have devalued the brand, to some extent.

not really. they were always trying to go for low production costs. That was the whole point of the bolt on setup. It was quick and easy and made the instruments affordable. The craftsmanship was never the emphasis

it's the fanboys that pushed up the prices.
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Quote by element4433
Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.