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Author Topic: Chinese guitars,ect.....Happy with?  (Read 13270 times)
dgrose
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« Reply #20 on: September 13, 2009, 07:35:07 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.

I would agree except, as has been pointed out, Japan and Korea have already got there - good quality products, well-made, with great quality control. China is emerging and has yet to tackle the quality control issue. They build some nice stuff and they produce a lot of junk  -  like all those GAD-30's and GAD-50's that ended up as 2nds on Ebay.  I bought one. As Rob pointed out, it takes quite a bit of effort and expense to fix the problems of a "bargain" guitar.

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GA-ME
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« Reply #21 on: September 13, 2009, 07:51:02 PM »

I would agree except, as has been pointed out, Japan and Korea have already got there - good quality products, well-made, with great quality control. China is emerging and has yet to tackle the quality control issue. They build some nice stuff and they produce a lot of junk  -  like all those GAD-30's and GAD-50's that ended up as 2nds on Ebay.  I bought one. As Rob pointed out, it takes quite a bit of effort and expense to fix the problems of a "bargain" guitar.

dg



I've played some really nice GAD models that had benefited from a good setup in a nice small independent shop. I think Bluesman hit the nail on the head with the neck angle issue as well. Though, the neck angle issue is there with Larrivee's as well. Shallow neck angle is the single biggest problem I consistently see with Larrivee's in shops that carry them. My 000-60 suffers from this affliction. I think the point I was trying to make was that when compared at very similar price points the PAC rim stuff stands up. In fact, with only one or two notable exceptions PAC rim stuff dominates the sub $1000 market segment.

My friend ordered a solid topped Johnson Dred off of Musicians Friend a couple of years ago, on close out, for $69 usd delivered to his door without case. The guitar had pretty decent action, intonate reasonably well and played very easily. Its hard to go wrong with something like that. Sure, it sounded thin and didn't have much volume, but he isn't much of a picker and for him it was great. He kept playing the guitar for a couple of years and a got a bit better and I gave him a nice Birdseye maple/sitka 00 I had last April for a wedding gift.

The PAC rim stuff puts playable instruments in the hands of many folks that otherwise would not be able to own a guitar. I know I wish there were these choice when I was younger and my folks were too poor to afford a decent instrument for me. Instead, I was stuck with a $25 dollar harmony electric that had half inch action and didn't intonate. It tore my 12 year old hands up and as a result I didn't get to start playing guitar until 6 years later when I was able to save my own money up for a decent, yup you guessed it, Japanese Strat copy!
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BluesMan1
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« Reply #22 on: September 13, 2009, 11:46:35 PM »

   I do have to agree with the fact that better guitars just keep getting produced in Asia. In the last 25 or so years, alot of good stuff has started coming out. If I didn't tell you where Badens are made, you could never tell by playing one. Like a well-balanced Taylor, interesting style, dead-on intonation, & great guitars. All of the others mentioned are the same,but this is one that many forget about or have never played one. Try & find one to play. The recently deceased king of piedmont blue, John Cephas, endorsed & played 2 of them as his main guitars. Says alot about the quality of these & other Asian guitars. They do seem to be trying harder to reach perfection. And the Badens, as some of the Yamahas & Guilds, are handmade. Lots of sound & playability for your Yen! Or, yearning!
     Jeff   
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alvinlam
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« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2009, 12:27:32 AM »

I usually go with a Japanese brand when buying Asian made guitars because I firmly believe the Japanese excel in quality control.  It doesn't matter where they set up factories across Asia -- trademark Japanese QC is still there.  

This is consistent whether it is Hi-Fi, Automobiles, PC or guitars.  If it's truly Japanese brand, very highly likely the consistent QC.  That's the standard. I can't say that for other national makers.  

I've always enjoyed Yamaha, and my LJ-16 and LL-16 are made-in-China (MIC).  The L-26-36 models are made in Japan but are priced thrice that of the 16s. Yet they are excellent in intonation and craftsmanship. I have a Taylor GSMC coming in a couple of weeks' time, and I won't be surprise/disappointed  that my MIC guitars equal if not sounds better than this Taylor.  

Many are still quibbling over US made better etc. Fact is - many US brands already have their stuff made in MIC.  Get over it, I say, and enjoy a wider choice, don't be ethnocentric.  Choose your potential guitar like you would any other brand by doing A/B testing or whatever.  List your criteria, and if this particular piece meets your expectation.... get it BUT don't write it off just because you realized at the end of the testing and all, that it's MIC.  Be fair to yourself.

BTW, DaveyO, thought you've been wanting a Larrivee D-03R, i've seen a couple on EBay at good prices. What are you waiting for?
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dgrose
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« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2009, 01:49:21 AM »

The PAC rim stuff puts playable instruments in the hands of many folks that otherwise would not be able to own a guitar. I know I wish there were these choice when I was younger and my folks were too poor to afford a decent instrument for me. Instead, I was stuck with a $25 dollar harmony electric that had half inch action and didn't intonate. It tore my 12 year old hands up and as a result I didn't get to start playing guitar until 6 years later when I was able to save my own money up for a decent, yup you guessed it, Japanese Strat copy!

I agree with you 100%. My first guitar was a $19.00 Suzuki steel string student model back in 1964. (Oddly enough, my last acoustic was the LSV-03R - which has almost the same dimensions as my first.)
My first guitar was playable, but it was hard work and it sounded awful. It was my only guitar for the first 6 months, until a friend lent me his Supro guitar and Silvertone amp. Then I started playing in a band with the borrowed guitar and making enough money from it to buy a guitar of my own - a Sears Silvertone (one of the Teisco models). You're right, it would have been nice to have the choice of affordable guitars that we have today.   

dg


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Zohn
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« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2009, 12:19:22 PM »

 +1 Walden and Tanglewood build some very nice guitars. I like the Chinese Guilds as well. I gig with my Walden most of the time.
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DaveyO
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« Reply #26 on: September 14, 2009, 02:19:40 PM »

I usually go with a Japanese brand when buying Asian made guitars because I firmly believe the Japanese excel in quality control.  It doesn't matter where they set up factories across Asia -- trademark Japanese QC is still there.  

This is consistent whether it is Hi-Fi, Automobiles, PC or guitars.  If it's truly Japanese brand, very highly likely the consistent QC.  That's the standard. I can't say that for other national makers.  

I've always enjoyed Yamaha, and my LJ-16 and LL-16 are made-in-China (MIC).  The L-26-36 models are made in Japan but are priced thrice that of the 16s. Yet they are excellent in intonation and craftsmanship. I have a Taylor GSMC coming in a couple of weeks' time, and I won't be surprise/disappointed  that my MIC guitars equal if not sounds better than this Taylor.  

Many are still quibbling over US made better etc. Fact is - many US brands already have their stuff made in MIC.  Get over it, I say, and enjoy a wider choice, don't be ethnocentric.  Choose your potential guitar like you would any other brand by doing A/B testing or whatever.  List your criteria, and if this particular piece meets your expectation.... get it BUT don't write it off just because you realized at the end of the testing and all, that it's MIC.  Be fair to yourself.

BTW, DaveyO, thought you've been wanting a Larrivee D-03R, i've seen a couple on EBay at good prices. What are you waiting for?

good point, I was wondering about the Yamaha LL series,
as for the Larrivee d03rs, I have only seen one ,and for a couple bucks more I could get a new one.
Looking for a better deal.
If it doesnt happen, no biggie, maybe I will go MIC
Dave
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alvinlam
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« Reply #27 on: September 14, 2009, 03:15:36 PM »

good point, I was wondering about the Yamaha LL series,
as for the Larrivee d03rs, I have only seen one ,and for a couple bucks more I could get a new one.
Looking for a better deal.
If it doesnt happen, no biggie, maybe I will go MIC
Dave

Good for you!    BTW, read that Eastman is another well-made MIC guitar. You ought to check it out.
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« Reply #28 on: September 15, 2009, 02:17:32 PM »

Question for Alvinlam
Is the LL yamaha neck a 1 3/4? width?
those guitars look nice and get great reviews, cant find one to try out.How would you compare the neck to the Larrivee?
Dave
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alvinlam
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« Reply #29 on: September 15, 2009, 03:03:46 PM »

DaveYo:
The Yamaha's L series has 1 3/4" nut width. Larrivee's D-03R has 1 11/16" whereas the L-03 has 1 3/4".  I previously owned a Larrivee L-10 and it is about the same size as the Yamaha LJ-16. In fact I interchanged the HSC every now and then. I digressed...

For me, I'm fine with both nut width sizes.  Some have a hard time adjusting - perhaps a matter of mindset than actual limitation. If you're comfortable with 1 3/4" then you'll be alright with the Y.

As for neck, the Yamaha has fatter neck compared to D-03 which is thinner.  Having said that, I find Y's easy to handle too.  Yamaha is also heavier built compared to D-03 which is much lighter. Y is sturdy, doesn't give you the impression that it's easily damaged. I find D-03 a tad too light. 

I ordered my LJ-16 and LL-16 through the dealer and am happy with what I've got. That's because I've played other Yamahas before and I've never felt like each piece is inconsistent workmanship wise. The kind of wood might be different, but workmanship is similar. It's like D-03R has same craftsmanship as D-09 but differed in blinks and finishing. It's the same for Yamaha.  Whether it's LL-6 or LL-16, they're the same quality.

I'm sure some online merchants offer 48 hr or whatever duration for you to return.  So it might be worth the "risk." 

Hope my input is helpful. 

Go ahead, take the plunge.... or click the mouse! 
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BenF
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« Reply #30 on: September 15, 2009, 05:40:28 PM »

My first guitar was a solid top fender, made in the far east somewhere, and it is absolutely fine.  Since I got a bit more serious about the guitar, I gave it to my son (although he is still too young to play it - but he likes to 'own' it!).  subsequently I have played two identical guitars that were completely and utterly awful in comparison.  Not until I played my Larrivees, and some other nicer guitars did i realise that the action, neck, intonation etc. of the old fender was way above average.

Quality control strikes me as the biggest problem, therefore.

My next guitar purchase will be a small all hog guild, to go along with my obsessive playing of Nick Drake songs, lol.  I will have no hesitation in ordering the Guild GAD-M20, because it is so competatively priced, but I will have to cross my fingers that I get a good one.
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Ben
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« Reply #31 on: September 15, 2009, 06:38:20 PM »

My signature has two Chinese made guits. not necessarily steel string acoustics.

My SX Custom P-Bass copy that I paid a grand total of $149 for a gig bag, shipping etc. is a joy to play - even have seasoned bass players requesting me to bring this guitar to gigs where I'm playing my Larry, simply because they like the playability of this thing.

I've got some photos of the figuring of the maple in the neck - beautiful.

Better shielding than my MIM Fenders

Based on that experience, I bought this solid cedar top classical also from the same company, Rondomusic.com   - I payed $150 for it.

http://www.rondomusic.com/product1471.html

This thing really sings when tuned low.  The pickup system is actually pretty doggoned good and sounds really nice when coupled with an LDC mic.
I recorded this song with this low-cost guitar and some help from some friends with a fretless and some wooden recorders:

http://rockstarnot.rekkerd.org/songs/KVR2008/0812_rockstarnotVicDieselAndyMcrory_Iesus_Ahatonnia.mp3

I'll definitely buy my next electric guitar from Rondo - no questions.  It keeps the price at a point that I can justify.

-Scott

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alvinlam
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« Reply #32 on: September 16, 2009, 12:11:42 AM »

Not until I played my Larrivees, and some other nicer guitars did i realise that the action, neck, intonation etc. of the old fender was way above average.

Quality control strikes me as the biggest problem, therefore.

Don't mean to question your assessment or opinion here. However, don't you think "action" whether you have a Larrivee or Goodall, is something that you need to get it set-up to your preference?  All my guitars underwent set-up - nothing to do with quality control.  Some albeit requires less but all underwent because of the simple fact that no two guitarists are alike.  Then again, I've never played nor own a Fender so I can't say anything about its QC. My point is about the action, neck. 
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« Reply #33 on: September 16, 2009, 06:06:47 AM »

Don't mean to question your assessment or opinion here. However, don't you think "action" whether you have a Larrivee or Goodall, is something that you need to get it set-up to your preference?  All my guitars underwent set-up - nothing to do with quality control.  Some albeit requires less but all underwent because of the simple fact that no two guitarists are alike.  Then again, I've never played nor own a Fender so I can't say anything about its QC. My point is about the action, neck. 

fair comment, mine was badly worded. The others I played had incredibly high action, but no saddle left for adjustment. It is the neck angle that appeared to be inconsistent. Mine still has scope for future adjustment too, although in 12 years now it has had nothing whatsoever done to it, and still plays very well.

It is funny that when I got it, I really knew nothing about guitars, and only now, having learned more, do I realise that it isn't half bad compared to most at the same price range.
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« Reply #34 on: September 16, 2009, 10:15:08 AM »

A bass-playing friend recently decided to have a go at guitar, having never played one before. He went along to our local guitar shop and bought a new, plywood, Eastman, Chinese-built dreadnought which sounds surprisingly good for only £29 (about $46)!!!!!! ohmy
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« Reply #35 on: September 16, 2009, 12:23:50 PM »

A bass-playing friend recently decided to have a go at guitar, having never played one before. He went along to our local guitar shop and bought a new, plywood, Eastman, Chinese-built dreadnought which sounds surprisingly good for only £29 (about $46)!!!!!! ohmy
I didn't know that Eastman made any laminated guitars. I have one of their archtops that I am really happy with. Bought it about 5 years ago. Nice workmanship. About 1/3 the cost of American made archtops.
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Mitchell
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« Reply #36 on: September 16, 2009, 08:31:54 PM »

I suppose the bottom line is - as the title of the thread asks - are you happy? If a $100 guitar (or a $50 guitar!) makes you happy, bless you. But don't confuse that with the kind of craftsmanship and knowledge and attention to detail that makes a truly good guitar. Fine instruments are the result of painstaking care and artistry. They don't come off factory assembly lines.
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alvinlam
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« Reply #37 on: September 17, 2009, 10:01:19 AM »

I suppose the bottom line is - as the title of the thread asks - are you happy? If a $100 guitar (or a $50 guitar!) makes you happy, bless you. But don't confuse that with the kind of craftsmanship and knowledge and attention to detail that makes a truly good guitar. Fine instruments are the result of painstaking care and artistry. They don't come off factory assembly lines.

Err.. I don't anyone of us are confused about craftsmanship but we're all cautioning one another about despising something because of the brand/headstock.  Kind of like "guitar-profiling" isn't it? Just because it's MIC or Asian-made doesn't mean it's necessarily bad workmanship. We all know about quality, don't we? Otherwise why do we own at least one Larrivee and can't have enough of it?  bigrin
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« Reply #38 on: September 17, 2009, 12:49:33 PM »

Err.. I don't anyone of us are confused about craftsmanship but we're all cautioning one another about despising something because of the brand/headstock.  Kind of like "guitar-profiling" isn't it? Just because it's MIC or Asian-made doesn't mean it's necessarily bad workmanship. We all know about quality, don't we? Otherwise why do we own at least one Larrivee and can't have enough of it?  bigrin
Hey Alvin,
I think you mis-read me. I wasn't disparaging Asian guitars, only making the point that large factories don't turn out the same level of workmanship as the smaller, more expensive shops. It's a non-argument. Nobody's "despising" anything.
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alvinlam
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« Reply #39 on: September 17, 2009, 01:18:59 PM »

Hi Mitchell: No, I didn't misread you; I just think we both are coming at the same thing from different angle.  bigrin  Have some     
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