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Old 06-05-2010, 06:11 AM
LittleGuitarMan LittleGuitarMan is offline
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Default Chinese made guitars

Okay I have to say this: The Asian guitar making revolution has been very, very good to us. I'm sorry, it's true. I just played some Blueridge's and some Recording King's last night and was blown away by the quality of these instruments and the incredible price. Not to mention I just picked up a little winner by Yamaha for an amazing price on a SOLID WOOD Sitka Spruce/Mahog guitar (and there's even a little bit of bear claw in the top - and the Mahog is gorgeous) that was made in China.

Look I wish these guitars were made here in the States. It makes me sad they're not. I know "we" could do just as good a job (hell we could do it better - not to get xenophobic but we're the greatest workers in the world here in the US) but things aren't happening for us. Having said that I'm very happy with what China is producing. These are great guitars at an amazing price. In the end, as a player, I guess that's all I really care about.

PS yes I've lost jobs to outsourcing. I'm a software engineer, India has taken several jobs from me. I know it's rough. I don't complain, I just work hard when I get the opportunity.
Old 06-05-2010, 06:29 AM
jsa3107 jsa3107 is offline
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There are great guitars made in the US
They may not be as cheap to buy but if you do buy them they do keep American workers working.....
Old 06-05-2010, 06:43 AM
rlouie rlouie is offline
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before this thread goes in the wrong direction this is a reminder that some topics (ie. religion & politics, etc.) can create very strong feelings & reactions, therefore religious & political discussions will not be allowed in this forum. If any discussion becomes too heated or turns political or religious, the thread will be closed or edited at the discretion of the Staff.
Old 06-05-2010, 06:53 AM
wcap wcap is offline
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Its probably worth remembering too that this forum is an international group. It has members from all over the world, not just from the U.S.
Old 06-05-2010, 07:01 AM
banjar banjar is offline
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I have owned 3 Blueridges and still own 2. Amazing guitars not for the price, but for twice or thrice the price.
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:21 AM
wa3jpg wa3jpg is offline
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I'm with Rich.... reinforced by the "I'm sorry, its true..." straw man argument. Why are you sorry that someone makes guitars that you like a lot? I don't apologize for liking my guitars and don't care where they're made.

Martin D-18, Newell mandolin or whatever else I'm playing today.
Old 06-05-2010, 07:23 AM
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cpmusic cpmusic is offline
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I'm not sure I'd agree about guitars from other Asian nations, but I agree about Chinese instruments. I've played some Chinese guitars over the past several years that rival American guitars from Martin, Taylor, et al, and word is that Chinese violins are starting to make inroads on the orchestral sceneónot rivals for Stradivarius or any other vintage models, of course, but the equal of many modern European violins. I think there are political issues to address, but the quality of Chinese craftsmanship should be acknowledged.
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:25 AM
HHP HHP is offline
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I think the quality of the imports is a good thing as it has raised the bar for the low cost guitar market and provides a useable instrument for well under what a domestic builder could do.

Getting to a level of 70% of "great guitar" is pretty easy and formulaic and lends itself to low cost, high volume production. It's getting that last 30% of "great guitar" is where the costs and the artistry comes in.

On an ultimate scale, I have not found the imports to be all that attractive as I have not found their sound very appealing but I do not deny they offer a better experience for players on a budget or just starting out. The domestic builders have responded with some great less expensive guitars in recent years but they will simply never get down into the sub-$500 in any meaningful way due to their inherent cost structures.
Old 06-05-2010, 07:35 AM
brianmay brianmay is offline
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These days I tend to restrain myself from getting involved in these threads, which may be 'reasonable' to start with, but then degenerate into a 'USA vs Rest of the World' more often than not.

Perhaps as Europeans (in my case), we address the emotive issue of job losses to another nation with less insularity - it's this that often leads to the less-guarded comments.

As Brits we have lost out to cheaper imports - however upsetting, it's a fact of modern and particularly the Western way of life.

We must all exercise our personal right to think, shop and view products according to our own opinions.

MODS - if you need to strike this out, please do so, but I am commenting in the spirit of understanding and moderation.
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:50 AM
imwjl imwjl is offline
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I don't know about religious implications but I've seen and tried the quality low priced products.

I've made same queries to some of the firms selling and making them as well as US and Canadian makers about their consideration for harvesting wood, handling chemicals and worker conditions. Larrivee, Martin and Taylor were the only ones who responded and gave responses that made me feel they give reasonable attention to sustainablity, care for their labor and care in handling toxic materials. Thus, I bought products from two of those firms.
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Old 06-05-2010, 07:57 AM
rosewoodsteel rosewoodsteel is offline
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God bless Taylor, PRS, Zion, and all the guitar makers / luthiers providing careers for their people and great guitars for us.
One of the reasons PRS is near and dear to me is the number of jobs they are providing to Marylanders. I don't believe it's wrong for me to feel this way.
God bless good people everywhere.

Last edited by rosewoodsteel; 06-05-2010 at 08:19 AM.
Old 06-05-2010, 08:01 AM
ruger9 ruger9 is offline
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First off, nowhere in the title "God Bless The Chinese" does politics appear. Nationality, yes. Religion, I GUESS so... if you want to get technical, but not really. The word "God" doesn't make something religious, it's become part of our language... G-D, oh my god, god bless, god forbid, etc. etc.

Anyway, I'm torn on this issue as well. There are fantastic guitars coming out of China (and Japan, and Mexico, and elsewhere for that matter). I just bought a Walden that is some serious axe for only four bills. I don't really know where I stand on the "buy American" thing, simply because I don't really know all the facts. As much as I'd like to "buy American" because it "sounds good" to "keep Americans working", I'm not so sure that's 100% the case. Frankly, America has priced itself out of the global market on alot of stuff... I sometimes wonder if it's not the "undercutting" of the imports that's the problem, as much as the US cost of living has gotten so ridiculous we have to charge outrageous prices. My point being, "buy American" isn't everything it may seem at 1st glance.

I'd have no problem shelling out $3000 for an American-made beauty over a $500 chinese beauty, but sometimes reality is simply numbers. I can't afford a $3000 guitar NO MATTER WHERE IT'S MADE. So my choice is either buy a really well-made import, or a crappy USA-made entry level beater, or nothing at all. Easy choice.

And, what's the difference in buying an affordable chinese guitar and spending big bucks on something from ...Ireland... or france... or wherever? Seriously. I sometimes get the feeling that buying a $3000 handmade work of art from Europe is acceptable, but buying a very well-crafted $500 guitar from China is not. Hypocrisy IMO.
Old 06-05-2010, 08:28 AM
jmcphail jmcphail is offline
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I agree with OP - anything that brings competition helps us consumers.

Some manufacturers choose to compete in all market segments, and some don't. Spend your money where it suits you, it all works in favor of the consumer.

I'm not gnashing my teeth over what I see coming from China or anywhere else in the market segments they target - they seem decent enough and will provide a good value for their target market. Caveat emptor as always.

I'm not the target market for most of the imports, but someday I will be, and when that happens the makers I prefer now will need to compete, which will be good for me personally.
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:32 AM
Acoustic Rick Acoustic Rick is offline
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With the exception of an ocasional lust for a Yamaha, I always buy American. Martin to be exact.

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Old 06-05-2010, 08:35 AM
ruger9 ruger9 is offline
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Originally Posted by Acoustic Rick View Post
With the exception of an ocasional lust for a Yamaha, I always buy American. Martin to be exact.
Do you buy AMERICAN first, or MARTIN first? Meaning, do you buy Martin BECAUSE it's American, or do you buy Martin because YOU LIKE MARTINs... and the fact that they are American is "icing on the cake"? Would you buy a Martin if it was made elsewhere?
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