I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby BluezOldy » Sat Feb 21, 2009 11:44 pm

birddog wrote:Interesting thoughts, but you are probably right on the money. I was wondering myself on the way home from work last night What role "communisim" has in building these products we buy because we are so value consious as consumers nowdays.
I usually try to support the mom & pop businesses and buy "american" when I can.


I think the Chinese government owns so much US paper (bonds etc.) that when you buy Chinese you probably are buying US! :wink:
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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby ricochet » Sun Feb 22, 2009 12:55 am

Yep, the money for the "economic stimulus checks" mailed out last year came from bonds sold to the Chinese. The Chinese are said to be wary of making further big investments with the U.S. now.
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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby birddog » Sun Feb 22, 2009 1:45 pm

leftyguitarman wrote:I have been looking at some of these Chinese acoustics (Blueridge, Johnson, Recording King) and everyone seems real pleased with them. I don't own a traditional, steel string acoustic guitar. I have a reso, an archtop and a classical. I like a lot of guitars and I can't really be picky since I'm left handed, but I feel that most acoustic guitars are worthless. I really only like ones with solid woods. Some of these new Chinese ones have all solid ones for a good price and they look pretty nice. I know Guild has a line of Chinese made acoustics and for the money, they are the best acoustics on the market IMO.

I looked at the Guild GAD series when I was thinking about buying this, actually played one put it down & picked up the Blueridge at Elderly last saturday. It seemed nice & was worth considering "IF" you wanted to spend 800+. I couldn't swing that. So on the way home I stopped at my local music store, talking to him he just became a Blueridge dealer. He had a BR 43 model similar to the johnson I got. Price was like $360 w/gigbag, A lot less bling than this Johnson, no case & it seemed like it didn't have a bone nut.
Another brand to consider is Yamaha, I like their stuff, always been a quaility oriented company. Even now when they are having stuff made in China.
Seems like Japan is of higher caliber these days and have always produced high quality. More in line with american made stuff.
They have a parlor but nobody has it yet, it was just introduced at NAMM this year.

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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby goldbrick » Sun Feb 22, 2009 3:43 pm

I dont know much about Chinese stuff ( although the first guitar I bought for my son was a very good quality Celebrity Ovation )


However , I will say Japanese stuff is awesome ( especially 80's and 90's ) I have too much but am looking for more. I currently have a Squier Bullet, Univox Melody Maker, Donahue Tele, JagStang, Charvel Tele and Ibanez Les Paul Recording. Each is as good or better than its USA cousin

My friend has a Yairi acoustic that she prefers to a high dollar Martin and a custom made guitar she owns

Prices on the Japanese stuff is going crazy but still affordable compared to US stuff-- I would love to have a JV ( japan vintage ) Strat but prices are already higher than $1000
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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby kiwiblues » Sun Feb 22, 2009 8:48 pm

There's a lot of guitar snobbery around. That's what the American brands play on while getting their bloody instruments made in Asia to maximize their profits.
I've always played before buying and if they sound great and play easily I actually don't give a shit where they are made.
All this American v's Asian bullshit is nonsense. The Europeans do it to.
Japanese cars are still the best unless you happen to be a billionaire, in which case your probably heading for jail anyway!! :twisted: :lol:
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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby ricochet » Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:11 pm

My family and I drive several little Toyota Yarises. Wonderful little cars, especially for the price these days. They came with stickers in the window saying they contained 0% US or Canadian content and were assembled at Kanegasaki, Japan. After having bought and driven American cars pretty much all my life, I thought that sticker was a great thing!
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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby leftyguitarman » Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:40 pm

kiwiblues wrote:There's a lot of guitar snobbery around. That's what the American brands play on while getting their bloody instruments made in Asia to maximize their profits.
I've always played before buying and if they sound great and play easily I actually don't give a shit where they are made.
All this American v's Asian bullshit is nonsense. The Europeans do it to.
Japanese cars are still the best unless you happen to be a billionaire, in which case your probably heading for jail anyway!! :twisted: :lol:


The American vs. Asian stuff for the most part is bullshit, I would agree. But, there's a reason that some Martin, Taylor, Gibson, etc. guitars cost several thousand dollars. It's because they are made better than any other guitars on the planet. And I know a lot of people will disagree with me here, but I have never played any Chinese (or any import guitar) that compared to a Martin (except for Martin's cheesy Mexican made acoustics).
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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby birddog » Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:08 pm

leftyguitarman wrote:
kiwiblues wrote:There's a lot of guitar snobbery around. That's what the American brands play on while getting their bloody instruments made in Asia to maximize their profits.
I've always played before buying and if they sound great and play easily I actually don't give a shit where they are made.
All this American v's Asian bullshit is nonsense. The Europeans do it to.
Japanese cars are still the best unless you happen to be a billionaire, in which case your probably heading for jail anyway!! :twisted: :lol:


The American vs. Asian stuff for the most part is bullshit, I would agree. But, there's a reason that some Martin, Taylor, Gibson, etc. guitars cost several thousand dollars. It's because they are made better than any other guitars on the planet. And I know a lot of people will disagree with me here, but I have never played any Chinese (or any import guitar) that compared to a Martin (except for Martin's cheesy Mexican made acoustics).


Now this is purely my opinion on Martins, great guitars BUT, I think 50% of the cost is for the name and certainly because they are made in america and the cost of labor is more. But is something that side by side to a counterpart is just a wee bit better but worth 2-3 times the money ? Or is it more for someones ego ? :roll:

As for the point about automobiles, My dad retired from Ford. I have worked on cars my whole life (Bodyshop, mostly dealers) all makes & models.
I don't buy the whole quality issue, and there are recall and warranty claim info availible on the internet to support this. I have and never will own a vehicle where the company is not based in the country I live.
Next to the housing issue facing this country, the automotive one is one in which is dear to my livelyhood and if all americans that have bought foriegn had bought american our economy would be much easier to correct.
But this is a whole nother thread for the off topic section as guitars don't fuel our manufacturing base & I don't think a guitar factory could be set up to build tanks.

Wally
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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby leftyguitarman » Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:19 pm

birddog wrote:
Now this is purely my opinion on Martins, great guitars BUT, I think 50% of the cost is for the name and certainly because they are made in america and the cost of labor is more. But is something that side by side to a counterpart is just a wee bit better but worth 2-3 times the money ? Or is it more for someones ego ? :roll:


I understand what you're saying. But, I have never played any import guitar that is just a "wee" bit lower quality than a Martin. Maybe I'm just lucky? For sure the reason they are so expensive is because they are made here and labor is a lot more. And I don't doubt that it is an ego thing. I would love to own a Martin because it's a Martin but most importantly because I know that I am getting a top of the line instrument. It's the same reason I buy name brand clothes. They last a long time and they fit me better than cheaper clothes.
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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby eldergreene » Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:56 am

Well, it's an endless debate, but for what it's worth, I sold off my Larrivee OM 03R since getting a MIC Stanford (Performer series PSD 28) - construction-wise, there was little to choose between them, but sound/playability the Stanford is better; & several people who post on the Unofficial Blueridge Guitar Forum (in "Other Guitars" section) are letting go Martins after getting a Stanford, so that maybe tells us how good the Asian-made stuff is getting..
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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby rustyslide » Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:28 pm

goldbrick wrote:I am a firm believer in buy American when possible--but when our new Prez says that is protectionism and thats bad , fug it.


Erm, when did he say not to buy American, because it was protectionism? It's only when the federal government mandates the buying of domestic goods through legislation that's "buying American" becomes protectionism. The "buy American" provisions of the stimulus bill are a lot of hot smoke; there have been such provisions for thirty years, and they're so minor that they don't contravene WTO and other trade agreements. For some reason America's trading partners in the world threw a collective hissy-fit over this largely meaningless posturing from your elected officials. Obama's been having to calm these concerns.

Even if the measures were more than posturing, China just has to say "Hmm, we'd like to cash in our US bonds now."

Historically, protectionism tends to be a vice of left-wing economic policy, while more right-wing policy favours free-trade. Protectionism might be beneficial in the very short term, but it causes trade wars and is seen to be A Bad Thing™ by the vast majority of economists on both sides of the spectrum.

---

As for Chinese guitars, I too think the quality has shot up in recent years. I think there's still a place for North American made guitars, but the companies are going to need a more compelling reason than brand name to pay the big bucks.

It will be interesting to see if more companies follow Eastman's model, which is to hand build high end instruments in China, rather than just assembly line/CNC type stuff.

Prices on the Japanese stuff is going crazy but still affordable compared to US stuff-- I would love to have a JV ( japan vintage ) Strat but prices are already higher than $1000


Due to the attention they've been getting, the prices have been getting a little silly on eBay. In many cases it's cheaper to buy a new one direct from a retailer in Japan. I paid $900 (guitar, shipping, duty) to get a new CIJ Fender Strat ('54 RI), made by Tokai (under license) in 2005. Worth every penny. Aside from the poly finish, it's indistinguishable from the $2000+ Fender RIs, aside from the fact that the switches and pots aren't as cheap as the MIA's. Since I bought mine, they've come out with nitro-finished models that are about 40-50% more expensive if that's your thing.
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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby NEONMOONY » Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:44 pm

There are a number of reasons products are made overseas. Labor is one but the cost of labor in relationship to overall cost of most manufactured products is blown way out of proportion. Labor costs generally run from 3-9% of the overall product cost.
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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby birddog » Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:43 pm

NEONMOONY wrote:There are a number of reasons products are made overseas. Labor is one but the cost of labor in relationship to overall cost of most manufactured products is blown way out of proportion. Labor costs generally run from 3-9% of the overall product cost.


There must be something else we don't know about also in the cost.
Likewise the labor cost to build an american automobile is about 10%
Here in the bodyshop I shake my head every time we put on some of these plastic side mouldings on that have a list price of 3-400 dollars that are probably $1-$2 worth of raw materials. :shock:

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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby ricochet » Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:28 pm

Probably have pretty high tooling & equipment costs for manufacturing those parts. Initial costs, they'd get cheap with a large production run.
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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby NEONMOONY » Mon Feb 23, 2009 9:49 pm

As we saw during the Olympics, in some countries they are able to pollute heavily without any immediate financial cost. Also, the only regulation or "cost" against poisonous or contaminating ingredients in the products is the negative reaction of the buyers when it makes the news as we had in the food and toy problems.
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