I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

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I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby birddog » Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:43 pm

I went out on a limb after my best 000 thread under $300.
I made an offer for the Johnson JO-76 to an ebay seller for 265.00 w/hardshell case. He accepted & I just recieved it. My God what a little Boomer this thing is. Very nice sound, playability is good right out of the box. I looked hard to find something wrong and I did find a partial finger print on the chrome on one of the tuners which a little polishing compound took off. The only other thing I could find was a minute piece of lint in the clearcoat where the neck meet the body on the back of the neck. Nothing to speak of & the rest of the workmanship seems to be just great. The wood is very nice, and it has a lot of bling for an inexpensive guitar. The Gaurdian hardshell case is arch top and fits like a glove.
I'd give you a sound clip but I don't have any recording equipment and my playing sucks as I've only been back at this for a year. So I'm done buying & really gonna concentrate on playing now & hope my Cleberity sells on ebay, so this will just be an upgrade. Took a few photos but couldn't get the back very good without going outside and the weather ain't cooperative.
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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby ricochet » Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:57 am

Chinese guitar quality sure has improved tremendously in the last few years!
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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby MakaInOz » Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:09 am

I've had a Johnson Tube Amp (T25R - paid $399) for a couple of years and I picked up a Johnson harp at the Blues Festival last weekend. Sticker price was $6.95, but the festival special had them for only $8! Are they all the same Johnson?

Neither the harp or the amp are of 'gigable robustness', but I've been impressed with the overall quality and playability of both. They certainly represent value for money (by comparison a similar Fender amp is $1200, and a Lee Oskar harp is $50 in Oz). Apparently the QA has improved, so the chances of getting a lemon are reducing.

Rico has been very constrained about discussing the quality of his Johnson!
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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby Gtrist » Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:47 am

ricochet wrote:Chinese guitar quality sure has improved tremendously in the last few years!


Indeed, but like anything else--you get good and bad--and sometimes ugly--so still be careful.

I remember when Made in Japan was a "bad" thing for guitars.

My latest guitar is an Ibanez AF95--made in China--I was skeptical when I started looking for a new guitar that was different than what I had, but I encountered many well made China made guitars--I had to admit they made some good stuff.
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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby OldWailer » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:06 am

I have a Blueridge BR 240 that I like a lot. I think the sound would rival a Martin D-18 easily--but sometimes that isn't real
hard to do these days--not all Martins are all that great. . .
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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby eldergreene » Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:23 am

I have a similar model Carolina, a JO27 ( rosewood b&s), & also a JD16 dread (lam. mahogany), both fine-sounding & playing instruments - but my most recent purchase puts even them in the shade, it's a Stanford PSD28 rosewood dread, & just takes the standard of MIC to a whole other level ( kinda like Republic has done for MIC resos) - all three guitars add up to less than the cost of the average Martin or Gibson - these are great times for guitarists!
ps - one tip with the Johnsons - the bridgepins are not so great, I swapped mine out for tusq pins & it beefed up the sound even more..
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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby deltablues57 » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:38 pm

That Johnson is the fines instrument a 7 year old chinese master luthier can possibly build. When the craftsman grows up he can come to the US and build the same guitar "MADE IN AMERICA" and get $2K for the exact same instrument. I wonder does the location of the build really make a difference in quality. Is a Fender built by Mexican workers in California better quality than one built by Mexican workers 20 miles south across the border in Mexico?
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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby birddog » Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:14 pm

eldergreene wrote:I have a similar model Carolina, a JO27 ( rosewood b&s), & also a JD16 dread (lam. mahogany), both fine-sounding & playing instruments - but my most recent purchase puts even them in the shade, it's a Stanford PSD28 rosewood dread, & just takes the standard of MIC to a whole other level ( kinda like Republic has done for MIC resos) - all three guitars add up to less than the cost of the average Martin or Gibson - these are great times for guitarists!
ps - one tip with the Johnsons - the bridgepins are not so great, I swapped mine out for tusq pins & it beefed up the sound even more..

Yep, this one is mahogany back & sides.
As far as the bridge pins go that was my first thought & the only thing I thought I could do to it. Have a new set of strings for it but I held off on putting them on as I think I will get the bridge pins first before installing the strings.

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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby birddog » Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:20 pm

OldWailer wrote:I have a Blueridge BR 240 that I like a lot. I think the sound would rival a Martin D-18 easily--but sometimes that isn't real
hard to do these days--not all Martins are all that great. . .

A Blueridge BR 341 was what I really wanted, my local dealer said he would get me one for 725 without a case and wanted almost a C note on top of it for that. I played a BR 43 at his shop also but it was a hundred more than this and no case & has less appeal as far as eye candy went. Thats when I went home and paid for this one.
What a value, what a deal ! Can I put the McDonalds jingle to a blues tune ? Hmmm....

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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby birddog » Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:30 pm

deltablues57 wrote:That Johnson is the fines instrument a 7 year old chinese master luthier can possibly build. When the craftsman grows up he can come to the US and build the same guitar "MADE IN AMERICA" and get $2K for the exact same instrument. I wonder does the location of the build really make a difference in quality. Is a Fender built by Mexican workers in California better quality than one built by Mexican workers 20 miles south across the border in Mexico?

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. When Sam Walton was alive Walmart was full of american made products & I didn't mind going there.
Now I kinda hate setting foot in there. After this purchase I have a little tiny bit of guilt as well as kina feel like a hypocrite but when I play it I get over it. :wink:

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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby Old Stella » Sat Feb 21, 2009 1:00 am

Nice pictures.

I remember in the late 60's and early 70's, there were four kinds of guitars -

Rock guitars (Gibson)
Country guitars (Fender)
Spanish guitars (anything acoustic)
Japanese guitars (the only ones I could afford)
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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby OldWailer » Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:27 am

I remember in the late 60's and early 70's, there were four kinds of guitars -

Rock guitars (Gibson)
Country guitars (Fender)
Spanish guitars (anything acoustic)
Japanese guitars (the only ones I could afford)


In the early 70's I bought a Martin D-28 for $600! I know--that was a lot of money back then--but it was a lot of guitar at that time--there just weren't any foreign or domestic guitars that could touch it. Now, there are dozens of great guitars--but they mostly cost more than I can afford--which is why I'm so glad there are good alternatives from China and elsewhere--I have a habit to feed here!!!
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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby goldbrick » Sat Feb 21, 2009 3:27 pm

I believe if it plays well -go for it.

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

When our government seems willing to undermine our own economy--its everyman for himself
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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby birddog » Sat Feb 21, 2009 4:18 pm

goldbrick wrote:I believe if it plays well -go for it.

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

When our government seems willing to undermine our own economy--its everyman for himself

Right on Man !
The only problem with the first sentence is buying online & from what I have seen there can be a bit of varition in the same model. I guess all you can do is make sure there is a good return policy.
MF is about the equivilent of W-mart to me, so I will only usually buy trinket stuff on rare occasions. Store front GC's while I may go in on occasion I find it more annoying listening to the wannabe, & have more fun messing with the unqualified help (although they don't think they are) than buying something unless they agree to screw themselves. :wink:
Old Stella wrote:Nice pictures.

I remember in the late 60's and early 70's, there were four kinds of guitars -

Rock guitars (Gibson)
Country guitars (Fender)
Spanish guitars (anything acoustic)
Japanese guitars (the only ones I could afford)

My first guitar was a Tiesco Del Ray, mid to late 60's, think I talked my mother into buying it for like 29.95.
Few years later I got an semi hollow body electric, black almot like a dot. made buy Greco which was supposedly owned by Goya. was a pretty decent guitar with case for about a $100 new. Still both made in Japan, wish I had them both today.

I have no ambition to be a collector & have set a limit for myself of 5 guitars total. Cause if they don't get played I don't need them.
I'm currently at that limit, however my auction ends tomorrow on the Cleberity and after looking this morning my reserve have been met, might even make a dollar. :shock:
That sale will make this 000 guitar a net cost of $115 upgrade, which is how I gotta do it.
But that will leave me at 4, there will be room but little or no financing as eventually I will want the metal reso, maybe next year.
I have litlle faith in our economic future so I better enjoy what I got right now & count my blessings.

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Re: I'm getting impressed by chinese guitars

Postby leftyguitarman » Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:19 pm

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.
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