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Why the predjudice? (share the love)

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(@melander)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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I've been shopping for guitars, just checking out what's out there used and new. I've noticed that the American-made guitars seem to be in higher demand and fetch higher prices, why is that? Are they really that much more well-made or is it just that people want to support the American guitar industry? Also, Mexican-made guitars seem to be more favorable then guitars originating from Asian countries. Indonesia seems to be the bottom of the heap. Don't a lot of the exotic woods come from that area of the world anyway?

Just curious.

Thanks!


   
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(@lue42)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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I would put my Korean made Schecter S-1 against any guitar's build quality, materials, and components. But, I heard that Schecter is moving their production out of Korea... so who knows what their quality will be like in the future.

I think there is a general "Made in USA" bias, and can definitely be justified in some cases... but I would not base my decision solely on that.

My Fingerstyle Guitar Blog:
http://fsguitar.wordpress.com

My Guitars
Ibanez Artwood AWS1000ECE-NT
Schecter S-1 30th Anniversary Edition
Ovation CS257
LaPatrie Etude
Washburn Rover RO10


   
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(@musenfreund)
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Joined: 21 years ago
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I don't think the observation is generally true. In fact, Samick, a Korean manufacturer, builds, I believe, most guitars sold in the US and builds them for a number of US companies. My Epiphone, for example, was also built in Korea. In the end, it's a global economy. In the end, people buy the guitar they like or the image they like without thinking too much about where it was made.

Well we all shine on--like the moon and the stars and the sun.
-- John Lennon


   
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(@lue42)
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Of course, there are lots of people out there that buy a "Made in USA" guitar solely for that reason... same as the people that put these on their cars:

However... I think it is hilarious that people like this support a company that builds a small percentage of their guitars in the US. Sure, the specific guitar you are buying was made here, but you just supported a company this is offshoring most of their production. If a consumer truly felt that way, they would buy from a company that is owned by and only makes guitars in the US - and there are lots of them and many make fantastic guitars.

Every time I have ever gone to Walmart, I inevitably see one of those bumper stickers on a car in the parking lot. Almost everything that Walmart sells is made outside of North America... what are they doing there then? It is a very hypocritical mentality.

In the end, it is up to you, your budget, your wants and needs and what you like. If you want to "support" the US economy, buying for a company like Fender is not accomplishing much (or Martin, or Taylor...).

If you think you will get more respect from other guitar players by pulling out a "Made in US" Strat rather than a MIM, then that is what you better go buy...

My Fingerstyle Guitar Blog:
http://fsguitar.wordpress.com

My Guitars
Ibanez Artwood AWS1000ECE-NT
Schecter S-1 30th Anniversary Edition
Ovation CS257
LaPatrie Etude
Washburn Rover RO10


   
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(@gnease)
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Joined: 20 years ago
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I would put my Korean made Schecter S-1 against any guitar's build quality, materials, and components. But, I heard that Schecter is moving their production out of Korea... so who knows what their quality will be like in the future.

I think there is a general "Made in USA" bias, and can definitely be justified in some cases... but I would not base my decision solely on that.

I've heard Canadian citizens express both annoyance and amusement at their provincially-minded neighbors south of their border believing America = USA. wonder if Mexican citizens have similar feelings?

-=tension & release=-


   
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(@chris-c)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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Hi,

The price/quality thing is pretty a much a mixture of the cost of wages paid in the country of manufacture and the experience and skill of the labour force there. Both factors tend to move upwards with time. You can throw in a bit of Brand name value as well. Some brands can simply fetch more because people are happy to pay a little more to get a little bit of the history associated with a particular name built in a certain location.

As far as quality goes, you really have to assess them on a guitar by guitar basis and see if one fits your own requirements, and also if it happens to be a good one from that day's production. The human workers aren't all identical and neither are the bits of wood they use, so some instruments can be slightly 'sweeter' than others. Which country produces the best quality is a moveable feast. I've seen it said that the biggest difference between the Mexican Fenders and the American ones is that the Mexicans who assemble them in Mexico get paid less than the other Mexicans who asemble them the US factory. There may be a little grain of truth in that... :wink:

Years ago Japan used to be derided for 'Jap Crap' but guitars made there are are highly sought after now (and as expensive as countries like the US too). But, like the US companies, the Japanese brands are also manufactured all over the world now too. I've seen rubbish from Indonesia but I have a Yamaha Strat copy made there which is great.

Korea likewise used to made some fairly ordinary stuff, but the best from there is very good indeed. The guitar that I have which easily wins the prize for best value for money in my collection was made in Korea. I also have its 'twin' - same model, same company - but made in China, and it's not nearly as well finished. But it's still an OK guitar, and was very well priced.

Cheers,

Chris


   
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(@trguitar)
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Well, I own 2 USA made guitars and one USA made guitar amp and my PA system is made in the USA. I have tons of foriegn made crap. it aint bad either. I don't think the cost difference is proportional to the quality difference, but hey! USA workers command top wages. My foriegn gear is good stuff. Oh, and the price? Well, you can't touch it. See the post I'm about to make ... I will call it ......... beer can guitar. :lol:

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


   
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(@kent_eh)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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I've heard Canadian citizens express both annoyance and amusement at their provincially-minded neighbors south of their border believing America = USA. wonder if Mexican citizens have similar feelings?
When my fellow Canadians use the word "Americans" we are referring only to citizens of the USA, not all the people in North America.

The only people I have encountered who suggest that saying "American" implies anything other than the USA are those in the USA.
That tends to amuse and annoy us.
Not that we'd normally make a big fuss over it :wink:

Anyway, back to the original topic...
I guess some people are primarily concerned with country of origin of their guitars.
I'm not.
One of my Guitars is Korean (made in the '70s) and the other is Japanese. I didn't pay attention to that until after I had them home for a while.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
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(@gabba-gabba-hey)
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The price/quality thing is pretty a much a mixture of the cost of wages paid in the country of manufacture and the experience and skill of the labour force there. Both factors tend to move upwards with time.

As far as quality goes, you really have to assess them on a guitar by guitar basis and see if one fits your own requirements, and also if it happens to be a good one from that day's production.

Gotta agree with both of those comments!

Also, many of the USA-brand guitars built outside the USA could be equal quality to the USA-made guitars, if the manufacturers spec'd them to be so. They typically don't. Fender, for example, uses (arguably) higher quality pickups in their USA guitars than they do in the MIMs, among other slight differences. Worth the price? That's up to the individual buyer's ears, eyes and hands ... and wallet. If people didn't perceive a difference, they wouldn't pay up.


   
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(@minotaur)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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I've heard Canadian citizens express both annoyance and amusement at their provincially-minded neighbors south of their border believing America = USA. wonder if Mexican citizens have similar feelings?

As a broad statement, Canadians know more about the US, its people and politics than US citizens (I was careful not to say Americans :P ) do about Canada (or the US for that matter :roll: ). I must plead guilty also.

My Seagull is Canadian; all Seagulls are Canadian made. I would not hesitate to buy another one. For the money and my level of playing I think it's great. I saw the Seagull 12 string and I drooled.

And I think Made in Japan or Made in China or Made in Korea no longer = junk.

My truck is a Chevy; I have USA made (again, for our Canadian friends :wink: I know... overdoing it) products and I have foreign made products. I buy what works. I'm egalitarian.

It is difficult to answer when one does not understand the question.


   
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(@gnease)
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Joined: 20 years ago
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I've heard Canadian citizens express both annoyance and amusement at their provincially-minded neighbors south of their border believing America = USA. wonder if Mexican citizens have similar feelings?
When my fellow Canadians use the word "Americans" we are referring only to citizens of the USA, not all the people in North America.

The only people I have encountered who suggest that saying "American" implies anything other than the USA are those in the USA.
That tends to amuse and annoy us.

are you suggesting my Canadian friends and colleagues (present company excepted) are not real Canadians?!?!?! :wink:

I'd be willing to bet Martin's marketing decided that "Made in Mexico" met their "Made in America" litmus test.

one anti-protectionism argument is that always buying whatever is best (for you) will drive true competitors to address the real needs of the customer -- whether reliability, workmanship, price, features and so on. US auto makers still may be perceived by many as "second class" in some aspects and types of vehicle, but these days I believe that is more reflective of differences in design and tiering/pricing philosophies, than highly disparate quality/reliability. it was the rise of the Japanese auto industry in the 80s and 90s coupled with the willingness of the US to buy them that very much raised the overall reliability and quality of US designed and built cars. the availability of good quality Asian-built guitars has had similar effect on the world-wide guitar manufacturing industry. many of the mass production techniques first considered for low end guitars are now used in building premium guitars no matter where they are built. examples of US builders that have adopted these to their advantage are PRS and Taylor.

protectionism is a short-sighted view. I want my kid to understand that she completes with the world, not just a self-defined and self-isolated subset.

-=tension & release=-


   
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(@kent_eh)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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are you suggesting my Canadian friends and colleagues (present company excepted) are not real Canadians?!?!?! :wink:

By bad. Ain't sweeping generalizations fun... :lol:

Got to remember to be more careful when I post late at night

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
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 KR2
(@kr2)
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I guess this gives me an excuse to show off my new guitar.
I traded in my Schecter Hellraiser for this used Ibanez 2160 FM.


As soon as I picked it up and played it, I knew it was coming home.
Got it for an even swap at GuitarCenter. (Do you know they fingerprint you when you sell your guitar to them?)
I believe it's Korean made . . . but I don't care who made it or where . . . I love this thing.

KR2

It's the rock that gives the stream its music . . . and the stream that gives the rock its roll.


   
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 cnev
(@cnev)
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Hey ken nice guitar. i played at an open Mic last night and a guy was playing a jackson that looked very similar with almost the same finish I really liked the look and color, sweet guitar, enjoy.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


   
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(@kent_eh)
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Got it for an even swap at GuitarCenter. (Do you know they fingerprint you when you sell your guitar to them?)
KR2
That may be some local law.

Around here any place that buys used stuff has to conform to the pawn shop laws.
That means they have to report all purchases (from individuals) to the police (Including seller's photo ID, serial number, identifying marks, etc), and hold the item for 3 weeks before putting it on the shelf for sale.

It's a pain in the butt when you want to sell a used guitar to a store, but it makes me feel more confident that I'm not buying stolen stuff.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
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