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Thread: "Does it matter where guitars are made?" article

  1. #21
    Senior Member NEONMOONY's Avatar
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    I have no doubt that a lot of Asian instruments are quite well made and for me, it is not an argument of whether the stuff is any good or not. I, personally have an interest in things that are sort of antiquey, (like me) whether they be tools, guns, instruments and so on. I have tools that are older than me. Also, on newer things I buy, I would like to keep the neighbors working and paying their share of the school taxes etc, although, these days, you are going to buy a lot of imported things if you buy anything at all.
    MIKE

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    various other brands but do the others really matter?

  2. #22
    Interesting read . Overseas guitars are fine for me because there building better quality.
    But I got on board supporting USA built acoustics . I just care more about the acoustic then electric guitars electrics .
    One thing is import acoustics mostly are affordable and I’ve not seen a high end acoustic import equal to build quality of the American lines . So if you see a 6,000 Martin what’s import equal ?

    I think the main issue is product cost for the average player average worker , it is for me . The Gap between pay scale and inflation are wideing at a constant rate leaving me behind financially.

    Product cost vrs income are a problem here if not other country’s as were nickel and dimed to death by the must haves that all the ads and people say we should have .
    So Imports are all many folks can afford .

    I’ve always wondered why they never tell how much a new car or truck costs ? They’ll tell you what you can lease it for or how much off this one is in rebates/ discounts but they won’t say what the actual price to buy it is .

    This is the extreme end of costs , housing is just as bad .

    I’m amazed that folks can afford high end guitars but I guess I shouldn’t be because people buy 60,000+ trucks with a 30 yr mortgage all the time like it’s normal , what the heck am I missing ? Oh yeah income lol

    So yeah I have a high end guitar or two and I just bought another guitar and now I’m broke no wait been broke but I have great credit !!!

    On another note I have a great China Blueridge dread and never played a bad blueridge guitar and they compete dollar for dollar with their American models ! Lol

    Now with all that said I find the guitar that I have been playing the most is the Guild Cv-1 , yup the cheapest most worn guitar I have it’s not even close to matching the tonal level of my other guitars but I don’t think about that I just pick it up and play it . Weird huh . 😁

  3. #23
    Super Moderator fronobulax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GAD View Post
    Let me further pollute the waters with this gem: I’ve never played a NS Guild that’s as good as any Westerly Guild I’ve ever played.
    Other than the pickup and location I am hard pressed to discern any difference between my NS and Westerly Starfires. That may something about quality, design, materials and execution or it may be I'm just not a good enough player to notice.

    I think a lot of the discussions on this subject fail to compare similar instruments with similar materials and targeted at a similar price and so make conclusions about country of origin that might be better made about the materials budget.
    Quote Originally Posted by mgod View Post
    What he said.

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    This space available.

  4. #24
    Senior Member dreadnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fronobulax View Post

    I think a lot of the discussions on this subject fail to compare similar instruments with similar materials and targeted at a similar price and so make conclusions about country of origin that might be better made about the materials budget.
    I agree, that's why I think the price/value is unique with American hand-made acoustic guitars that are being cranked out in production quantities.

    Electric guitars, different story.
    "The air's as still as the throttle on a funeral train." John Prine

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  5. #25
    I do like my American made guitars but I like quality instruments just as much no matter where they are from. Before the days when I could afford the American Made guitars I love so much I played import guitars that I thought were equal to the quality of some of the much higher priced American Made Counterparts.

    For instance My main stage guitar for years was a Japanese made 1976 Takamine F362S which was Takamine's copy of a Rosewood Gallagher Doc Watson model. I still have that guitar and when compared to an original American made Gallagher, it sounded just as good. For my stage electric I played an Aria Pro II LC550 Neck through Les Paul Copy from the Japanese Matsumoku factory and it actually sounds better (still have it as well) than a 77 Gibson Les Paul to me and others who have played it. I also have an Aria Herb Ellis PE175 (which was their version of a Gibson ES-175) from the same period that walks the floor with every American made ES-175 it has been matched up against. It was good enough to get Herb away from Gibson and actually put his name on it. He also played them in concert for several years which is a testament to how well they were made and sound. All three of those guitars cost a sixth of what there American Counterparts did.

    I have 2 Gretsch Black Falcons that were made in Japan and are some of the finest instruments I have had the pleasure of playing. Granted their price was up there as well but it just goes to show that quality can come from anywhere if the right folks are doing the work in the right way.

    Like I said earlier, Quality can come from anywhere. That being said I am a bit of a stickler when it comes to my Guilds. I like them American made. I have owned in the past Martin, Taylor, Gibson, Breedlove and other American made guitars but whether they were made in America or not I didn't bond with them and I never fell in love with the tone or playablilty.

    Guild on the other hand was love at first strum. The more I dove into the world of Guild Guitars the more I realized that not just New Hartford made Guilds but pretty much all American Made Guilds are about as close as you can get to Boutique quality instruments in appearance, tone, quality, and playability without having to buy a boutique instrument. That on top of the fact that Guilds sell for far less than they actually should according to the overall quality just makes me even more of a stickler for buying American made Guilds. If you can get twice the guitar for half the price then why bother with the others?

    For instance, The new "Westerly series" of Guilds prices an import Spruce Rosewood Dread for around $800-$1100 New. For that price if I look for awhile I can buy a Used Guild American Made DV52 which is twice the guitar of other American made models that cost 2.5 times that amount. The kicker is if I decide to sell it later on I am almost guaranteed to get my money back out of it because that market never goes away. Where as the import you just bought new will most likely depreciate by 50% in value the minute you open the box in a best case scenario.

    Quality is where you find it but after finding American Made Guilds built prior to Oxnard (as I have no experience with their products) I don't have a reason to look anywhere else. As always this is just my opinion and others may vary.

    TX
    Last edited by txbumper57; 11-27-2017 at 02:39 AM.
    Guilds
    Hoboken-1960 X175, 1961 SF-II
    Westerly-1971 F612, 1976 G41, 2000 SF-V, 1984 S284, 1993 JF100-NT-CRV
    Nashville C.S. SFIV-3 P90 w/Trem
    Corona-2003 Fleming F47-Brz RW, 2003 D55 50th Ann. Brz RW#10 of 50, 2003 X160 R.B., 2003 SF-III-90
    Conn-2011 GSR D50 Coco, 2013 R30S, 2013 Orph 12 Fret Slope, 2013 Orph Jumbo, 2014 Orph Burst 000-12 Fret 12 String S.H. RW, 2012 F50-DTAR, 2012 F50R Burst, 2012 F50R DTAR, 2013 F512 Burst, 2014 F512-DTAR, 2014 D55-RS

    Amps
    70 T-bird 2x12
    93 Sequoia

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by txbumper57 View Post
    For instance My main stage guitar for years was a Japanese made 1976 Takamine F362S which was Takamine's copy of a Rosewood Gallagher Doc Watson model. I still have that guitar and when compared to an original American made Gallagher, it sounded just as good.
    Love that Takamine Gallagher copy! I saw a new one of those hanging in a store back in the day, and couldn't believe they had a Gallagher in stock. Upon closer inspection, I discovered it was a Takamine with a solid top & was very impressed with it's tone, as well as the overall build quality.

    And the way they switched the headstock logo 'G' to a 'T' was brilliant!
    > Guilds: '73 F-30R / '74 F-40nt / '76 G-37bld / '92 D-6nt-hg / '94 JF-30nt / '97 Starfire III / '14 Savoy A-150b
    > Gibsons: '22 "A" Mandolin / '66 ES-125T / '66 Epi Cortez (B-25) / '90 Tennessean / '00 J-100xt / '02 J-45 RW / '02 SG / '06 ES-335 / '09 ES-339 / '10 ES-330L / '11 ES-335 P90s / '12 ES-330 VOS / '12 LP Special / '12 J-185 / '13 LG-2 / '13 Midtown Kalamazoo / '14 J-15
    > Epis: '00 AIUSA Sheraton / '05 McCartney Texan / '09 Elitist Casino
    > Martins: '00 OOO-16 / '01 Custom RW D

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by bobouz View Post
    ...And the way they switched the headstock logo 'G' to a 'T' was brilliant!
    I remember round 1977 Takamine had a 12-string w logo, that looked like Guild logo from distance - and they also had a 6-string, that had a logo not very different from Martin ... If my shaky memory serves me right, those were first Takamine I saw - leaving me with an impression of "dirty copycats"

    Later I have seen quite many good Takamine guitars - that had a logo of their own.



    Similar discussion was on https://soundforums.net/ last year or year before - main conclusion was about, that you get what you pay for - it is not the chinese craftsman who is to blame, but the western salesperson, who decides to earn extra buck. Also with china factories - you have to have constant quality control of your own - do not leave that to outsiders - they start soon earning extra bucks, too. This all was in a discussion about Behringer digital mixer quality. Uli Behringer was with and honestly admitted, what they had done wrong in past years and how they resolved it. I have super reliable very nice sounding nifty digital mixer - and come spring, I get another . Behringer X32 rack - made in china.

    "They say in the East
    you´re paying too high
    Your ore ain´t worth of diggin
    It´s much cheaper down
    in a South-American town
    Where miners work almost for nothing."
    Last edited by Nuuska; 11-27-2017 at 12:50 PM.
    First good guitar - GUILD Duane Eddy 400 - I was 3rd owner - used to have Artist Award and Starfire
    Present guitars - F50R 1975 - F512 1977 - F212CSB 1979 - all bought new - B30SB fretless and RED Songbird bought secondhand - Schecter Startocaster - Gibson 3/4-size acoustic 1957 - Carmelo Gonzales nylon string - old Levin Lute

  8. #28
    Senior Member killdeer43's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nuuska View Post
    "They say in the East
    you´re paying too high
    Your ore ain´t worth of diggin
    It´s much cheaper down
    in a South-American town
    Where miners work almost for nothing."
    Perfect placement for a bit of Dylan.

    Joe
    "Just give me one extra season, so I can figure out the other four."

    Westerly:
    '75 D35
    '76 F112-6
    '94 D4-12

    Other:
    Seagull S6

  9. #29
    Senior Member adorshki's Avatar
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    If all we're measuring is build quality, the whole concept of "Where" is fallacious and a red herring.
    What matters the most is WHO made the guitar and it's the worst from of cultural stereotyping to assume that all the builders in any given country perform to an identical level of expertise.
    I think even Marcellis would restate his position to state he would never buy a guitar that was inspected by #11 no matter where it was built.
    Al
    "Time May Change the Technique of Music But Never Its Mission " - Rachmaninoff
    My 1st Guild: '96 Westerly D25NT "Hally" (10-31-96 stamped on heelblock)
    #2: '01 Westerly F65ce "Blondie"
    #3: '03 Corona D40e Richie Havens "Richie"
    All bought new!

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by bobouz View Post
    Love that Takamine Gallagher copy! I saw a new one of those hanging in a store back in the day, and couldn't believe they had a Gallagher in stock. Upon closer inspection, I discovered it was a Takamine with a solid top & was very impressed with it's tone, as well as the overall build quality.

    And the way they switched the headstock logo 'G' to a 'T' was brilliant!
    It is a great Sounding and Playing Guitar and the attention to detail is Awesome with the Snowflake inlays on the Fretboard and Bridge. I have actually used that guitar on several recordings. It had sat under someone's bed for 25 years unplayed before I bought it off of Ebay in New Condition for around $250 back in the early 2000's. Spent another $75 on a set of Takamine electronics with an on board tuner and it was my number one Acoustic for 8-10 years before I bought my first Guild. I still pull it out and play it from time to time and it just feels like home. I probably wrote 40 songs on that guitar. One that will never leave the collection for sure.

    TX
    Guilds
    Hoboken-1960 X175, 1961 SF-II
    Westerly-1971 F612, 1976 G41, 2000 SF-V, 1984 S284, 1993 JF100-NT-CRV
    Nashville C.S. SFIV-3 P90 w/Trem
    Corona-2003 Fleming F47-Brz RW, 2003 D55 50th Ann. Brz RW#10 of 50, 2003 X160 R.B., 2003 SF-III-90
    Conn-2011 GSR D50 Coco, 2013 R30S, 2013 Orph 12 Fret Slope, 2013 Orph Jumbo, 2014 Orph Burst 000-12 Fret 12 String S.H. RW, 2012 F50-DTAR, 2012 F50R Burst, 2012 F50R DTAR, 2013 F512 Burst, 2014 F512-DTAR, 2014 D55-RS

    Amps
    70 T-bird 2x12
    93 Sequoia

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