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Author Topic: Chinese guitars,ect.....Happy with?  (Read 13251 times)
DaveyO
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« on: September 13, 2009, 02:21:59 AM »

Anyone here bought a recently made Chinese guitar ,or other asian besides Japanese?
Seems like good guitars are just so expensive now,(Larrivee still the best deal, I think)
I hear good things about the new Guilds and Yamahas.
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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2009, 02:56:00 AM »

I've played a lot the GAD Guilds and thought for the money to be pretty good.I have a friend I play guitar with that has a JF30 GAD,once I set it up and put some 13's on it turn into a really nice guitar.I us a Stagg E/A for playing my outdoor gigs,does the job.I have a Gretsch Duo something or another made in China,I have made in Korea P90's in it came with a real Bigsby good little guitar.
I'm finding the older I get that as much as I love and prefer USA,Canadian and made in Japan guitars it all boils down to whatever works for the gig is fine with me.
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gitnoob
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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2009, 03:01:44 AM »

There are sooo many different Asian gitmakers now that it's hard to generalize.

The Korean-made Crafters are very nice.   There's a local Crafter dealer near me, and I've tried a few of them.   The Crafter line includes some interesting Taylor clones.

Some of the Alvarez Masterworks series provides good bang for the buck.

Recording King makes the only affordable short-scale 000's including a clone of the 000-28EC and a clone of the 000-28VS.

Blueridge makes some good ones, including the only good alternative to Larrivee's Parlor: the BR-341 and BR-361 (supposedly clones of a 1906 Martin 0-something).

And I've heard some good things about Eastman and Stanford, but I haven't had a chance to play any.

Bottom-line: there's plenty of choice now, and that's a good thing.
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2009, 03:02:35 AM »

DaveyO,

I have a Silver Creek T-160 that I really love.  Spec-wise it's very similar to a Martin OO-18V.  I won't say it's better or worse than say an OM-03 but it is different.  Modified V-neck, 2-3/8" at the saddle, short scale, sapele,....  It's not a lightly built guitar but I love the sound and find it very responsive - what you'd expect from a good OM.  Great fingerstyle guitar.  I'm the second owner and paid $225 w/ an installed D-Tar Wavelength pickup (no case was included).  I'd be happy if I paid double that!

-rick

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gitnoob
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2009, 03:06:12 AM »

I have a Silver Creek T-160 that I really love.  Spec-wise it's very similar to a Martin OO-18V.

Silver Creek is made by Recording King, and the T-160 and T-170 are supposedly Martin 000-28EC clones (although the T-160 is mahogany).   My beater is a T-170, and it's a lot of fun.
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« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2009, 03:52:35 AM »

I believe Korea is in the same place Japan was in the 80's. That is to say they build quality products at a low price. Korean made Crafters and Breedloves are very good instruments. I did play an Eastman that is made in china and was very impressed. I own a very cheap Chinese made NewYork Pro classical guitar. The nut cracked early on and one of the tuning pegs busted the first week I had it. It only costs a few dollars to repair it and for the price it plays and sounds quite good.
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tuffythepug
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« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2009, 04:35:12 AM »

I've played a lot the GAD Guilds and thought for the money to be pretty good.I have a friend I play guitar with that has a JF30 GAD,once I set it up and put some 13's on it turn into a really nice guitar.
I'm finding the older I get that as much as I love and prefer USA,Canadian and made in Japan guitars it all boils down to whatever works for the gig is fine with me.


Echoes my feelings about my GAD JF30.   It's the only guitar I've owned that was made in China.  It looks and plays like a much more expensive guitar.   Sometimes you just need to stretch out on a maple jumbo but don't want to invest 3 or 4 thousand dollars on one.
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itscowfun
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« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2009, 05:07:07 AM »

im a recent proud owner of a silver creek T160 as well.  china made, paid $250 sight unseen.  not the greatest build but excellent for the price, sounds wonderful and i would definitely pay double for the same thing.  its my "beater" but sounds way better than its pricetag might suggest (at least after a string change to EJ-16's).  very happy 
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rockhound
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« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2009, 05:22:52 AM »

I just bought a Tanglewood TW66 (see recent post) - it's made in China and is a very nice guitar indeed, really well built and finished.   In fact I was surprised at the quality although with a list price of £800 (that's not what I paid for it) you would certainly expect that.  There seems to be some very good stuff coming from China now.
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AZLiberty
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« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2009, 05:58:34 AM »

All right, I admit it. I bought a Chinese made guitar.
I always said I wouldn't, but I bought one anyway.

I wanted something that I could travel with, and wouldn't cry too much if the baggage manglers munched it.  I also wanted something with onboard pickup and preamp, simply because it makes things so much easier when playing out.  It makes me nervous as all get out when I travel with one of my Larrivees or my Guilds.

I ended up buying an Olympia OMC11CE6 (basically a plywood copy of a Tacoma Chief), from a local Base store for $200, which is about $150 under the going rate.  Why I say Base store I mean just that, place that sells electric Bases, Base guitars, upright bases, etc.  Think store with around 100 Bases and 2 guitars.

The Olympia sounds much better than I would have expected, and easily exceeds my expectations and requirements.  I refer to it as "the gig guitar".  They are also available with a solid top (oddly at the same price point)

Longer write up here:
http://rocketsong.blogspot.com/2009/07/gig-guitar.htmlhttp://rocketsong.blogspot.com/2009/07/gig-guitar.html

Now for quite a bit more money you could get one of the Chinese made Guilds. (GAD series)  I've played some, and they sound ok, but nothing like the old pre-Fender Guilds.  In fairness, the new US made Guilds don't sound/feel like the pre-Fender Guilds either.  Nice guitars, but at the price point, I'd rather have a used Larrivee or one of the lower end Martins, or hunt down an older used Guild.
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ryler
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« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2009, 02:33:22 PM »

Eastman AC308 all solid.  I grow more enamored every day.  It's bass-rich and resonant.  I wish they made a 00 size.  I played the Takamine GS406S (I think I have that model number right, in any case, it's The New Yorker parlor.)  It sounded really good for the size and laminate factor.  I didn't like the feel of the neck, though.  Thick.
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GA-ME
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« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2009, 02:40:20 PM »

Asians, can make anything we make in North America. Sadly, they usually do it more efficiently, with better quality control, for far less money, than we can. If you compare similar price points, the Asian stuff is usually better. Its funny, to me, to see the same kinds of attitudes about the PAC Rim stuff, I noticed when I was younger, in the seventies. Everyone talked about the crap coming out of Japan. Crappy guitars, junk, disposable cars, etc.

The irony is that by the time I graduated high school, in the mid eighties, the same folks talking smack in the seventies were driving around in their Toyota's, and Nissan's, with a Yari or a Takamine in the back seat on the way to their UAW jobs to build cars nobody wanted. Wake up folks. Its not the ethnicity that matters. Its the drive and hunger to succeed, to work hard, to provide for your self and family. Its just about gone here. RIP

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gtrplayer
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« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2009, 02:49:58 PM »

"Its the drive and hunger to succeed, to work hard, to provide for your self and family. Its just about gone here. RIP"

Ya' got that right GA-ME!

While we squabble amongst ourselves about anything and everything.  The Asian tiger grows. 
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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2009, 03:33:10 PM »

They also work for a lot less money,don't have workmans comp,no health insurance,no enviroment controls or laws.I'm not putting them down its just the way it is.
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drmar120
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« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2009, 04:07:29 PM »

I recently picked up a Silver Creek T160 and guess I'm not as enamored of it as some other posters. It's certainly a decent value for $200, but not nearly in the same league as my OM01 or a high end Martin 000. A bit tight and plonky, but pretty and comfortable to play. We'll see what different strings (changed it first to phosphor bronze lights, which aren't an answer), bone pins, a different bone saddle, and regular playing do for it.
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« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2009, 04:15:19 PM »

They also work for a lot less money,don't have workmans comp,no health insurance,no enviroment controls or laws.I'm not putting them down its just the way it is.

Rob, you are right to a certain extent. However, tell me where these jobs with health insurance, and good benefit packages in general, are here now? Our middle class has been eviscerated over the last 30 years and our economy is largely one of consumption, which most of these buying folks can't afford, and crappy service jobs that, in all reality, don't provide a standard of living all that different than what lots of Asian workers make. I don't want to get into trouble with the mods for political discussion, so I'll leave it at this: it's the fault of both major parties AND THE AMERICAN WORKERS expectation of more than their position is worth. Assembly line workers priced themselves out of a job with these expectations. AN UAW line worker, with a high school education, could make as much as a person who exercised the discipline to obtain a professional education.

Before I was injured, I worked primarily construction type jobs and used to chuckle when I'd hear unionized trades Bitc*hing about nonunion labor and I'd ask them if the house they just bought or lived in was built by union labor and just about everyone of them would look at me like I had two heads and tell me no, that would cost too much.............
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bluesman67
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« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2009, 07:03:38 PM »

There are a few decent Pac-rim choices nowadays, most of which are already mentioned...Guild, Eastman.  IMO, Blueridges and Recorder King are amoung the best in tone  and quality....especially the Blueridge BR-140A-2....a beauty with an Adirondack top and 1 3/4" nut.  It really boils down to this...is the neck angle good?  This has been and continues to be the biggest problem with Pac-rims and for some reason....rar too many....including the best ones....put out a lot with bad neck angles.  This means you have to take so much out of the saddle to get low action and good playability, the sacrifice though is that the tone is killed with a low saddle.  If the action is great and the saddle is high, you should be good to go.  All the imports necks are glued in such a way that the glue bond can't be broken with the application of heat and also they all have a thick polyeurothane finish...both these facts end up making neck resets not feasible.  
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« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2009, 07:19:39 PM »

 GA no argument with you here I was trying to keep out of the cowpaddy that you just stated with the mods.Heck I'm self employed and if my wife didn't have a real job we wouldn't have health insurance.It also cause my business problems how do I tell someone that the $150 to $300 guitar needs $100 in work or the guy that needs a $175 worth of work on his $50 guitar.I really can't steal from someone just for the money its not my nature.Do I keep lowering my price's to compete with a guy that gets a paycheck from his 40 hour a week job who does repairs part-time at 10% of what I charge.Or that same guy who screws up a guys guitar then that guy come's to me to have it done right and I have to tell him its going to cost $XX to fix and I can't deduct what the other guy charge him because he got screwed.Its like construction Theres a guy probly you who does great work but you cost the boss more so he hire's the guy that will take less.Then the work falls apart the boss gets sued and if he just hired you in the first place it would of cost less then what it cost just defending the law suit let alone what it cost to settle.
 Yes I agree that Business owners can't see the forest for the tree's and the unions want there piece and the snake eating its own tail finally finishes himself off and gues what no one has won except the lawyers and the politicians.



So Let s just agree to "EAT THE RICH" and have done with the stupidity.
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« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2009, 07:26:54 PM »

So Let s just agree to "EAT THE RICH" and have done with the stupidity.

I'm with ya on eating the rich, especially if they are old money rich. They probably haven't worked too hard, physically, and should be tender like venison backstrap! Nah just kidding, there have been no rich folks injured or harmend in thge making of this response..................
 
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« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2009, 07:27:09 PM »

I believe Korea is in the same place Japan was in the 80's.
+1 I have owned quite a few Korean-made guitars and love them. The Epiphones are great guitars. I have 1 American-made PRS and 2 Korean SE models. The workmanship on both the Koreans rivals the original.

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I own a very cheap Chinese made NewYork Pro classical guitar. The nut cracked early on and one of the tuning pegs busted the first week I had it. It only costs a few dollars to repair it and for the price it plays and sounds quite good.
When you find a great Chinese guitar - like the Guilds, Aria Auditoriums, Epiphones... whatever, they are fine. The biggest problem with Chinese guitars is the total lack of quality control. 2 instruments, same model can be vastly different - one great, the other unplayable. They will undoubtedly catch up... just like the Japanese and the Koreans did.

dg

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