Close
Skip to content

Forum

Notifications
Clear all

Do you avoid Chinese Guitars?


(@doremifa)
Trusted Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 91
Topic starter  

I'm no "made in usa" snob or anything but lately I've been trying to buy things made in North America - hey I found "made in Canada" winter boots at Walmart!

So I've had my share of guitars, my first one was a plywood Chinese LesPaul clone (no name brand). Had good touch and sounded good (for me anyway), let's face it, the guitar is often not the limit, the player is and in my case... hahah especially true!

Recently though, back to my "support the local economy" type thing. I bought a USA Tele. My first one! WOW it is really worth the money, the difference is noticeable when compared to my Chinese knock-off. I've tried the Mexican versions and they sounded and played well too, but I'm also part collector (ADD on crack) and wanted a USA version. Tonight I'm picking up a USA LesPaul since I've ALWAYS wanted a real one since I was 12 hahaha!

Now if you want a more affordable (non-chinese) alternative. Check out guitars made in Canada, Quebec! I have two Godins and honestly, I love them (totally platonic, I swear)

5th Avenue: http://www.godinguitars.com/godin5thavenuekingpincwp.htm
LG: http://www.godinguitars.com/godinlgp.htm

The 5th Avenue has an AMAZING acoustic sound and plays pretty well. The LG with the P90's plays well and has a range of sounds from a springy strat to a Gibson type sound. For the price, well worth it. I think the LG is assembled in the USA with parts from Canada... need to confirm that.

Download a bunch of cheat sheets and posters: http://stevesmusiclist.com/


Quote
(@ezraplaysezra)
Reputable Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 487
 

I think you hit the nail on the head - collector value

The American made Fenders and Gibson's should retain their value and possibly increase. This was a given forever - but maybe not as much anymore. I don't think a brand new tele will be worth 100 times its value in 50 years like an early sixties is now. You are going to pay for quality American stuff made presumably with better materials but its difficult to say their price justifies the value over import models. There are really 4 types of guitars coming out of china at the moment - The real deal company approved lower market guitars like the squiers, the off brands plywood crap, the total scam counterfeit knock off's like glibsons and fendlers and the very very very good counterfeits that are getting better and closer to the real deal all the time. I recently heard a story of a Martin executive visiting China and being taken to a beautiful Official Martin show room full of beautiful custom Martin guitars - the problem being, Martin didn't have a show room in China yet! The employee's in the shop even thought they worked for Martin.

I have a Chinese Squier, a tele - it wasn't perfect when I got it but it was good and I have seen guitars leave the Gibson factory in much worse shape recently. An American Tele is going to be better then a Chinese tele 99% of the time, but I have to say that I would talk somebody out of buying an American Tele for $1000 over a Chinese Tele for $300. The problem with Gibson and Fender is that they are irreplaceable in some minds and they know it - the quality has lapsed and they have flooded the market at every price point bringing down the value across the board - A $1500 tele bought brand new has a lot of competitors and fender puts a lot more value ob the name then other builders. For $1500 you can get a hand made Nash or a Kirn for 1/2 that you could build a custom from parts or a Japanese Tele and at the end of the day the Kirn and the Nash will be worth at least what you paid for them and the fender will be worth about as much as a new Japanese Tele.

Most of fenders comp comes from fender - you want a '62 tele - you have the custom shop, '62 american vintage reissue, the '62 reissue from Japan, the 60's reissue from Mexico and the vintage vibe 60's squire from china - $6000, $2000, $1200, $500, and $300 dollars in between $300 and $6000 they have 30 guitars that are similar to the '62 with varied degrees of extras and mods and changes, some of them are rare and desirable, some of them are flops and will disappear in to the either or failed fender models. So what is my tele worth?

It really comes down to: what do you want the guitar for? what can you spend? what do you want to get out of it? Chinese guitars are better today then a lot of the imports from 20 years ago. I'd be willing to bet my discontinued Squire Pine/Blonde Tele will be worth more in twenty years then a current American Standard Tele. So from a collecting stand point I wouldn't discount the chinese stuff but there is always risk in guitar collecting. 5 years ago a Tokai Les Paul would go for $500 and a Les Paul standard was worth $2000 now the prices have virtually flipped - if the chinese guitars keep getting better I have a feeling some of the good and interesting one could become collectable if not valuable maybe even the counterfeits like the Japanese lawsuit's. But you never know.


ReplyQuote
(@lesstrat)
Active Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 5
 

No Chinese.. Japan has gotten better in their manufacturing.. Mind you I was looking at a JS1000 a while back and they wanted 1900 bucks for it. I said no thank you and went on my way. However it felt great and played great.. It's American or British for me! :D


ReplyQuote
 Nuno
(@nuno)
Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3998
 

I'm not very interested on the origin of the instruments. Usually I test (if I can) several instruments in my price range and I buy the best one to me.


ReplyQuote
(@doremifa)
Trusted Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 91
Topic starter  

I'm not very interested on the origin of the instruments. Usually I test (if I can) several instruments in my price range and I buy the best one to me.

That's good advice, at the end of the day you have to buy the instrument you will love to play!

Download a bunch of cheat sheets and posters: http://stevesmusiclist.com/


ReplyQuote
(@s1120)
Prominent Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 849
 

Well I have two china built guitars. A epi lp, and a regal resonator. Booth are pretty solidly built, but some hard were on the reso was a little cheesy, the epi is pretty nice really. Would I like a us built Gibson, and a national resonator? Sure thing, but if I had to wait till I can afford one, I would never have started playing. So for now china built with a few simple mods is the trick for me.

Paul B


ReplyQuote