Is there quality in Cheap guitars?

Discussion about guitar playing from a diverse group of people with different tastes and levels of experience.
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bottomender
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Is there quality in Cheap guitars?

Post by bottomender » October 12th, 2015, 11:33 am

I'm taking on the task of self teaching myself electric guitar repair. I've done most of the usual stuff but since guitars are clearly the one obesession I keep coming back to in my life i've decided to take it seriously and learn enough to eventually make it a way to make extra income. so cheap guitars are on my short list of must haves but not just any cheap guitars, I am looking for ones that are essentially good instruments that have been overlooked by guitarists because of the price. They should also be from recognized builders. My goal is to repair, set up, and / or upgrade these neglected instruments and sell them to recoup my costs.

Ibanez, Fender, epiphone, b.c.rich, etc entrty level guitars which actually have good fret work solid neck joints, etc. If you know of a particular model from a good builder which flies under the radar and can be found cheap please let me know and I will put it on my list of guitars to look for to save from the junkyard.

Thanks guys! :D

NoteBoat
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Re: Is there quality in Cheap guitars?

Post by NoteBoat » October 14th, 2015, 6:40 am

Most (not quite all - let's say 98+%) of the lower end guitars are actually manufactured under license by just two companies: Cort and Samick. The license holder for a design will give them specs for materials and sizes, and all the manufacturing is then done on the same machines - even the cheapies are now made on CNC equipment.

Epiphone, Washburn and Hohner (as well as many others) use Samick. Ibanez, Avalon, Parkwood, and even the less expensive PRS models (and many others) use Cort. Squire has used both.

If the label says made in China or made in Korea, it's probably a Cort build - although they closed their Korea production a few years ago). If it says made in Indonesia it could be either, but it's more than an even chance it came from Samick - their Indonesian plant is the largest in the world.

There are around 2.5 million new guitars sold, worldwide, by everybody each year. Samick's facility in Cileungsi Indoniesia is said to have a current capacity of 1.38 million per year, or more than half of ALL guitars sold. That's roughly one guitar every 23 seconds. Cort's capacity is said to be about a million. So the two combined could supply 95% of all guitars sold if they ran nonstop.

Based on what I can find in press releases and news stories, here's my guesses for how many guitars the biggest builders can make per day. You can see just how likely it is that any given guitar is a Samick or Cort:

Samick: 3,780
Cort: 2,740
Fender (Mexico): 405
Fender (US): 350
Yamaha: 350
Martin (US): 230
Taylor: 190
Gibson (US): 100
Guild (US): 15
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bottomender
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Re: Is there quality in Cheap guitars?

Post by bottomender » October 15th, 2015, 1:46 am

This is great info and much appreciated. I knew about ibanez + cort but the rest was news to me. What I am really looking for is opinions based on personal use, make and model type stuff. I came to the realization that these days all but the crappiest guitars have good wood ( tight neck joints, even planing etc.) And the chrome parts will be of reasonable quality. Sometimes tuners are still junk and pickups too so those need changing. Fret work and painful can be an issue as well. Plenty of things to learn before I consider if I want to become a luthier.I'm interested in specific brands for resale value as well as to learn on.

bottomender
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Re: Is there quality in Cheap guitars?

Post by bottomender » October 29th, 2015, 11:03 am

i'm still interested in opinions if anyone is interested.

Eric Castanea
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Re: Is there quality in Cheap guitars?

Post by Eric Castanea » November 23rd, 2015, 2:15 pm

The less expensive Ibanez guitars have good quality. Same with the Yamaha. If I was in the market, I would not hesitate to buy either one. I recently found an Ibanez ART100 for $200 in a pawn shop and was amazed at the quality. It was around $350 new.

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