#1
as far as I know some companies like schecter, ibanez still use good quality stuff on their korean, guitars. Indonesian and chinese not so much, but the korean guitars have the same quality parts in many cases as the japan and USA counterparts.

The only difference i see is quality control. But even then, it means that some of the models show up with the same quality as the US counterparts, except its more of a matter of being lucky. I say this because most ibanez RGs play better than a bunch of USA made guitars.
#2
I've heard that parts are shipped to eastern countries like that for assembly and then shipped back to the US. I think its just the quality of the labour out there. The reason thery send it there is because its alot cheaper to pay them a few dollars (if that) per hour than it is to pay someone in the US to do it.
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#3
it's all down to people's racist issues about thinking the americans are better than Orientals. it's a fact
#4
I don't even own an axe from America, they are all from Japan, Korea, China, Tiawan, and Mexico, and I find them all to be quite quality! I think it all boils down to "he said she said"
Out here you've gotta know where your towel is!
#5
Two ends of the spectrum are the Fender factory in California, where the designers of the guitars are working on them and there are people there who have built Fender guitars for decades; and a JHS factory in China/Korea/whatever it is. In the JHS factory, the designers can only go to the factory every so often to check up on things, and other than that, they pretty much give the factory the blueprints and leave it to them to build the guitars. The factory may not even have been built to be a guitar manufacturer.

Guitars are manufactured in the Far East in order to cut costs. Labour there costs less, and to continue keeping the guitars under £300 or whatever, the materials used are also not top grade. On a top-level US-made PRS, you may get mother-of-pearl inlays in a Brazilian rosewood fingerboard and hand-flamed maple cap. The workers in Korea etc don't have the kind of experience the American luthiers have, nor the pensions and dental plans that could motivate the Americans to spend so much time on their work.

It varies with the different companies, of course, and every guitar is different; so you can find Korean (or whatever it is) Epiphones that are better than US-made Gibsons. And Japanese Stratocasters are supposedly among the best of them all. So, it depends on the type of guitar and the reason why they're being manufactured in the Far East. Ibanez is a Japanese company, so it's natural that their instruments are manufactured there.
#6
The biggest savings and reason for lower costs is because the cost of living there is a lot less than in the US. As far as the inferior material quality, that's all assumed speculation and entirely dependant on the company. Sure, lesser known, inexpensive brands may use cheaper woods, but that's the company's reasoning, not because it's being made in Korea (or whatever Asian company). Also different companies have different standards (QC) and some may have rather lenient paramaters as to what is allowed to make it through the QC process, while others will be more strict (Fender US standards are FAR more strict than their Squier standards and they'll allow stuff to go through Squier QC that they wouldn't let out the door of a US facility, again a corporate decision, not an ASIAN decision). As far as their experience is concerned, one of the biggest guitar manufacturers in the world (if not THE biggest) is actually based in South Korea (Samick), and many of the guitars here probably have parts from them, if they're not made by them entirely.

I also think part of it is although there are good brands that churn out good equipment (Schecter, Epiphone, Ibanez, etc.), there's also a lot of lesser brands that DO use inferior manufacturing processes and materials to further cut costs. People don't necessarily look that deeply into it though, and if they see one cheap guitar make it out of Korea, they assume everything that comes from there is crap.
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#7
so there arent any inexperienced luthiers at the american factories and there arent any experienced luthiers in the eastern countries?

B.S. its american propaganda. buy oriental and your wallet will love you.
Thank you please.
#8
In the main, I agree with "blue_strat."

I don't think the effect you are alluding to is solely due to xenophobia. I assume It is also factor, but not the only one. I watch the guitars that come in to our store, day after day, and I have the following observations to share:

1. As a general rule, within the same company (Fender and Gibson are two good examples), you will find, on closer inspection, that the quality of the hardware, and the finish of the wood are better on USA/EU/Japanese guitars than on those made in some other countries. That's a matter of quality control, economics, and experience.

2. There are some exceptions to observation #1: Ibanez and PRS, to cite a couple of examples, do a great job on quality control in their foreign-based plants. In fact, in the area of factory setup, Ibanez does a much BETTER job, straight from the factory, than either main line Fenders or Gibsons. It's just a fact. If you want to go to the custom shops of either Fender or Gibson, you find the setup is generally flawless. Hint: Try to find out whether or not the parent company sends engineers and QA/QC personnel to kind of run the shop over there. It can make a big difference.

3. I own a number of import guitars (Ibanez, Takemine, and Peavey) and have owned a number of American made guitars...my Guild Starfire (1972) is really primo, by every measure, as is my old Chet Atkins Tennessean. The two Takamines are a mixed bag: The eg523sc is great, and, though not initially setup well, it was an easy setup after I got it. The 12 string version, eg523sc-12, is already bowed up in back of the bridge/saddle -- DESPITE BEING TUNED TO ONE FULL STEP LOWER THAN NORMAL! The bracing isn't up to good 12 string standards. Hint: don't tune it up to standard pitch--it's not a matter of IF but WHEN it will bow! I'm not picking on Takamine here, this effect, unfortunately is the same with many brands of less expensive 12 lstrings.

4. My take on the overall cause of the corners that are cut in some overseas factories is more of a mixed-bag. It may be 1 part nationalism, 2 parts inexperience, but it is at least 2 or 3 part economics and unadulterated materialism!

Just my opinions--based on 40 years of experience in the business.
#10
Nothing really wrong with asian manufacturing. They do have so me really good craftsmanship. Look at the great wall of china. But stockholders demand more and more profits at the same time consumers demand lower and lower prices so something has to give. The wood to build guitars cost more and workers want to earn more money. They have to cut corners somewhere. So they use cheaper and many times lower quality supplies to build guitars. Its not that they cant build good guitars. Its just economics.
#11
my shecter damien FR says (crafted in south korea) on the headstock and says setup to play by schecter USA. It also says Schecter burbank california usa on the bolt on neck plate. im not sure who did what to make it but its a good guitar for the cash i paid for it
#12
I refuse to buy Chinese made products for political reasons, like the ethnic cleansing going on in Tibet. That said, I have yet to play a Chinese, Korean or Indonesian made guitar that I like as much as American made. I also like supporting the American economy.
I will admit Schecter makes a good guitar for the price, but I would rather save my money, get a better guitar I will like more and know that my money will get recycled in our struggling economy.
Also, Japanese guitars are pretty damn sweet.
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Washburn WI64
Martin D-15
Amps
1960s Harmony
Rocktron/Egnater TOL 50 2x12
Rivera Chubster 55
FX
Fulltone OCD v.1
Keeley TS808
Voodoo Labs Superfuzz
Wilson WH10
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#13
LOL our media really does the charm ^
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When he asked for John Myung, John Myung said:"Who the hell is John Myung?"

Proud User of Ibanez, Korg, Rocktron, ENGL
#14
Quote by SQHero
LOL our media really does the charm ^

Our media? without getting into a huge political debate, I will say with pride that a Chinese made good has not been purchased in my house since way before the most recent Lhasa riots. The fact that an estimated 1 million ethnic Tibetans have been systematically killed by the Chinese government simply for being Tibetan is not a fact you will often find in American media sources.
Guitar
Ernie Ball Music Man Silhouette Special
Washburn WI64
Martin D-15
Amps
1960s Harmony
Rocktron/Egnater TOL 50 2x12
Rivera Chubster 55
FX
Fulltone OCD v.1
Keeley TS808
Voodoo Labs Superfuzz
Wilson WH10
Boss DD-20
#15
I cant really comment on why they would be different as I'm no economist, but I can comment on my opinions of guitars I've played which were made over there compared with US ones.

Firstly, both my guitars are asian- I have a chinese sunn mustang and a mij strat.

So as far as fenders go, i'd think its a mixed bag- my sunn even plays great, but the finish isnt up to much- but that guitar was manufactured for a price, <£100.
When i was in the market for a fender (up to £500 in the mid 90's) I tried loads of different types. US std, MIJ 60's reissue, MIM std, MIM deluxe, MIM fat strat, etc etc and I found the MIJ one the best player for me.

Les Paul wise, in my personal experience I have always preferred gibsons to epiphones. I have played a whole plethora of epi's from old LP's to modern ones, bolt on neck LP100's to LP customs. Any gibson I have played I found to be a lot "nicer." No offence to epi's, theyre fine guitars- just in my experience the gibson has always been that one step better- well the ones i have played have been anyway, maybe i've been lucky!

All the above is my personal opinion- feel free to ignore
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#16
Quote by RHCPfan01
Our media? without getting into a huge political debate, I will say with pride that a Chinese made good has not been purchased in my house since way before the most recent Lhasa riots. The fact that an estimated 1 million ethnic Tibetans have been systematically killed by the Chinese government simply for being Tibetan is not a fact you will often find in American media sources.

As long as a country make good guitars, I really don't give a crap who gets systematically killed.
BTW I'm not arguing with you.

EDIT: US is also an awesome country for doing something and saying the opposite. We are hypocrites. Anyways if it gets "out of hand" we can just "spread democracy" over there, even at a cost of making sh*t worse.
No man is your friend, no man is your enemy, but every man is your teacher.

When he asked for John Myung, John Myung said:"Who the hell is John Myung?"

Proud User of Ibanez, Korg, Rocktron, ENGL
Last edited by SQHero at Apr 21, 2008,
#17
Quote by SQHero
As long as a country make good guitars, I really don't give a crap who gets systematically killed.
BTW I'm not arguing with you.

EDIT: US is also an awesome country for doing something and saying the opposite. We are hypocrites. Anyways if it gets "out of hand" we can just "spread democracy" over there, even at a cost of making sh*t worse.

this thread has turned into a political debate fast O_O
#18
I don't give a crap either way. So long as the final product feels, looks, plays and sounds good, that's all I care about. I'm happy to pay top-whack for a supposedly superior American hand-made instrument, and I'm equally happy to pick up a supposedly inferior instrument from India, Indonesia, China, Korea, or wherever else.


I suppose it helps that I'm English. We don't have many home-grown brands here except for a few tiny brands that nobody has heard of and that nowhere stocks anyway. So, 'national pride' or anything, doesn't come into it for me. I'm picking up a foreign-made instrument either way.
Price is irrelevant to me; I work, I have a regular income, so there's nothing that's 'too expensive'. nor anything that's really much of a 'bargain' - I can comfortably afford to buy any guitar I want, so that's the cost factor out the window.
Ethical whatever, I couldn't care much less about. Yes, there are many countries where workers are chronically underpaid. Me not buying a guitar isn't going to change a damn thing. I mean ****, I wish I could be paid more for what I do, but refusing to work won't change that, nor will it help if clients stop hiring me. So **** that.



For the record, I have more guitars from America than from any other country. My favourite three guitars from my collection are one Japanese, one Korean (which is probably my favourite overall), and one Chinese. My best American-made guitar - a Gibson Custom Shop model that I had made to my own personal order for many, many thousands - would probably only rank about #6 in my collection overall.


Do I prefer those Asian guitars because they saved me money? No. Do I prefer them because of some ill-founded hate towards America? No. Do I prefer them because I have a hard-on for Asian instruments? No. I prefer them simply because they're the guitars that to me, give me the tone I like, play how I want, feel good in my hands, and have simply never let me down. I simply don't give a **** what the 'Made In [...]' stamp on the backs say.
#19
I can't comment on the chinese or indonesian guitars, but I've played some pretty nice MIK and MIM ones. My prs se soapbar's pretty sharp, and my friend's got a parker pm20 and an older rg that're sweet too.

As far as China goes, way to go all for divesting in them. Keep it up. All it takes is a little awareness/research and you can take them off the consumer menu. I tried bringing this up on the political thread but people were too busy talking about hitler.

Anyway thumbs up.
82 Ibanez artist ar105
94 Fender MIJ 72 tele custom reissue
04 prs se soapbar singlecut
97 Simon & Patrick pro flame maple
05 Art & Lutherie cedar 12
Custom Strat

68 Fender Super Reverb
78 Traynor TS200
80's Roland Cube20
#20
My Samick Acoustic was made in Korea or Indonesia... can't remember but it plays like an electric and sounds fantastic. Paid $300 brand new for it and I don't think I'll need another acoustic ever.

And my electric is an MIM Stratocaster that everyone and their grandmother owns and loves. It needs a setup though... not quite perfect...yet.

Basically it all comes down to how much you wanna pay and how hard you look. Unbelievable bargains are to be found in import guitars.
My Rig
>MIM Fender Stratocaster and SX SJM-62
>various magicial noise boxes
>Peavey Classic 50 212

For the funk:
>Ibanez ATK300
>Acoustic B100
#22
Quote by Paul Carbonella
Well, what if you found out an 8 year old girl built your axe with no food or drink?

Makes a person think.

If it was a damn good axe then I'd make her my luthier, with food.
No man is your friend, no man is your enemy, but every man is your teacher.

When he asked for John Myung, John Myung said:"Who the hell is John Myung?"

Proud User of Ibanez, Korg, Rocktron, ENGL
#23
Quote by Paul Carbonella
Well, what if you found out an 8 year old girl built your axe with no food or drink?

Makes a person think.


Yeah... it really does. It's sad to see what a global economy does to countries. The Western middle class gets the luxury of cheap goods made by the workers of countries who will never be able to afford the product they're producing. Some of the factories aren't as bad as others... people just need to be aware. The global economy isn't just gonna close up though... us Western middle class is having the most fun we've ever had.
My Rig
>MIM Fender Stratocaster and SX SJM-62
>various magicial noise boxes
>Peavey Classic 50 212

For the funk:
>Ibanez ATK300
>Acoustic B100
#24
I hope people realize that not EVERY business in the East is a sweat shop?

It's a generalization/stereotype that's really starting to disgust me.

Yes, many people that work in those companies get paid less than people in the US. That's because cost of living there is much LOWER. In many of those companies, they make decent wages for where they live, that would be (in an accurate comparison) quite similar to the same type of worker in the States. It's not all friggin 8 year old children. It's rather silly.

I'm not saying things are perfect there, but jeebus, it's not like they're living off mud while making shiny new guitars. Some of you people make it sound like they're still whipping children tied to giant spinning columns to grind down a toothpick or something (watch that image get out of hand now...).
~We Rock Out With Our Cocks Out!: UG Naked Club.~
Once in a blue moon, God reaches down from his lofty perch, points at an infant boy and proclaims, "This one shall have balls carved out of fucking granite."
Last edited by Hakael at Apr 21, 2008,
#25
Quote by deadlydunc


B.S. its american propaganda. buy oriental and your wallet will love you.


and you wont be satisfied with what your wallet bought you... its a tradeoff for price over quality and workmanship... yeah my wallet would be happy if i bought some guitar that was made in a sweatshop... but it would not be put together as well and would have crummier woods and hardware because buying crappy **** is cost effective... thats why i would never ever pay a cent again for a guitar that is of an american brand name that was made somewhere in the far east and imported here... with the exception of epiphone elitists


but when it comes down to brands like schecter ESP and Ibanez, theyre all based out of those places anyways so it does not really matter
2008 M.I.A. HSS Strat
Marshall JCM 900 50w Dual Reverb
#27
Quote by MattCbassist
it's all down to people's racist issues about thinking the americans are better than Orientals. it's a fact



What a crock that is. The fact of the matter is the companies want to make their expenses as little as possible so they can price their finished goods such that stiffs like you can prance into the store and buy without first emptying Fort Knox. That is why they buy parts and labor from foreign countries where the economy is not being strangled by unions and degenerate politics like we hear coming from Clinton and Obama.

#28
My Ibanez is Made in Japan, and is a semi-hollow mahogany beast of a blues box. The only problem I have had with it is a broken nut, but that's because I bought it used.

My other guitar is a Made in China Fender Starcaster 'strat', made of basswood. The only bad thing about it are the electronics and the bridge. I set it up myself, and it fits me better than any other strat I have ever played.

So, like any guitar, it's hit and miss. The lower the grade of the guitar, the more likely you are to miss.
#29
Simply enough, what's wrong with guitars made in Korea/China/Indonesia is that the brands often have their lower-quality production factories in these countries.

Japan is oddly enough an exception to this because (at least for guitars) it is known for high quality instruments; see Ibanez MIJ and Fender MIJ - highly sought after axes.

It's nothing to do with racism or bigotry, just generalization on the part of the consumer.
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#30
Quote by RHCPfan01
Our media? without getting into a huge political debate, I will say with pride that a Chinese made good has not been purchased in my house since way before the most recent Lhasa riots. The fact that an estimated 1 million ethnic Tibetans have been systematically killed by the Chinese government simply for being Tibetan is not a fact you will often find in American media sources.


GJ CNN and USA propaganda. I have never heard 1 million Tibetans were killed by the Chinese Gov't. It could be a fact but i seriously doubt it. To make things clear, even though im Chinese, I hate the govt (damn i could be shot tmw), just dont let politics and propaganda get you, they are deceiving. But I know it wont change you mind

For guitars, I am sure USA or EU made instruments are better, because guitars arent an oriental product anyway. But I do have a Korean made Ibanez, it's great. Korean and Japanese factories have slightly better quality controls, but product quality is often reflected in price, so a high-priced China made guitar could most likely be better than a low-end korean/Japanese made one.

that's my 2 cents.
#32
Quote by gjstan69
Nothing is wrong with them.


Agre d, but this thread has been dead for 8 years. Please check the dates before you post.
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