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My friend Michael, a highly talented full time musician, just purchased a copy guitar from the Aliexpress website - for about 10 percent of the 'real' guitar's price - he claims it feels and sounds wonderful, and just may sell his 'real' guitar now...I'm wondering if there is any experience here with the Chinese-made guitars - or is there any bad vibe around supporting the off-shore copy-cats?

Now that I'm in my sixties I find myself looking at the instruments that were influential in my early years as a player - I recently acquired an 'Eastwood' guitar that is a Mosrite copy (remember The Ventures?)- as well I have an inexpensive copy of a guitar that looks like Jerry Garcia's "Tiger"

Lately i've been looking at George Harrison's first Gretsch duo-jet, and sure enough there is a copy available from China.

It's not like (in my case) the real Gretsch company is loosing a sale - I could never afford the real one these days (planning on retiring soon!) ...plus I do have some 'real' guitars anyway -( Les Paul, Strat, Firebird, Tele )...so I'm just wondering what experience others may have had buying these kind of guitars.

Thanks,
Jim
 

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I finally broke down and bought my first Chinese made guitar at 70. It's a reissue (with some changes) of the the old Ibanez AR series. I've also got a vintage 83 Ibanez Artist and I'm impressed to no end with this new Chinese one. I think just like here it depends on who in China makes the guitar but I will say that this one is a winner for sure.

AR 325




 

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I had a friend who scoured the city for the perfect acoustic. He was shocked to find out he bought a chinese guitar. He shrugged it off. "It was the one I liked."
 

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My Washburn Strat is made in China and it's actually a great guitar. Nice tones and extremely easy to play. Its neck is maple with a rosewood fretboard but the body is poplar so the thing is so light that I can hold it by the base with one hand and wave it around. I couldn't do that with my Godin.
 

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or is there any bad vibe around supporting the off-shore copy-cats?


Lately i've been looking at George Harrison's first Gretsch duo-jet, and sure enough there is a copy available from China.

It's not like (in my case) the real Gretsch company is loosing a sale - I could never afford the real one these days (planning on retiring soon!) ...plus I do have some 'real' guitars anyway -( Les Paul, Strat, Firebird, Tele )...so I'm just wondering what experience others may have had buying these kind of guitars.

Thanks,
Jim
As long as there is no copywrite/trademark infringement I don't have any issues with where it is made.
It's not that Gretsch is losing a sale,it's the fact that the guitar with Gretsch on the headstock is built to deceive.
They will almost inevitably find there way into the used marketplace.
The less of those type of guitars in the country the better.

Sites like Aliexpress will pretty much put anything you want on the headstock IIRC,so put something personal on it.
 

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I spent some time with a knockoff Ricky 12 string last week. It played and sounded just as good as I would expect from an Epiphone. It was obvious to a trained eye that it wasn't a big dollar Ricky, but it was sufficiently good.

A buddy of mine ordered it from Ali because he needed it for two songs in their live set, and he couldn't justify a real one for the light use it gets.
 

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I have no problem with goods made in China. As long as they are labelled as such. I don't like when they infringe upon trademarked logo's. If you're going to build something, even if it is a knock off, put your name or original logo on it and be upfront about what you are selling.
 

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Eastman make good instruments in China.

I have a Sigma DR28V which is an HD28V copy and made in China. Martin used to own the Sigma name in the 70s.

Anyway, the Sigma cost a little more than what the tax would be on an HD28V. I know this because I also have and HD28V.

I got the Sigma guitar because it approximates the playability and sound of a Martin but if I go to a field party and accidentally back my truck over the guitar - well I ain’t gonna be out that much.

I tried lottsa different guitars while looking for a good but less expensive guitar. The Sigma is closer to my Martin guitars than the cheap line Martins that I tried and it was half the price.

If the Sigma was the only guitar that I had I really couldn’t complain although I probably would anyway.

I liked the sound of the Eastman dreads that were about a grand but didn’t like the necks on them for some reason. They had their own sound which was very nice but not like a Martin sound.

Didn’t like any of the cheap Martins which weren’t exactly cheap at 12 to 15 hundred and some of them had the plastic fretboard which feels odd to me.
 

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i had the exact same guitar as beach bum, and it was a really good guitar. the pickups were surprising. i liked them alot, they were very articulate.
as for the chinese fakes, i would probably own one if i could play one in person, and it was a good guitar. i just don't have the guts to take a chance and order a new one.
from what i have heard from others, and what i have read on some of their forums, you can get pretty decent quality if you are willing to spend a little more. also, i have read several complaints of bridges not properly aligned with the neck. all the threads i read, the company replaced those guitars. still, it meant prolonging the wait for the guitar, in the end. if i was going to do something like that, just my opinion, i would custom build a rondo, or build a warmoth guitar.
 

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I just jumped ship and bought a Epi. Les Paul Standard plus top pro off a friend. Decent player. You would have to be into the Gibby studio price range to get a comparable Gibson for playability.
 

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Not sure about no name guitars but I do have a couple of MIC guitars. I have an Ibanez PM35 NT and an Epiphone es339 with p90s, Both are excellent guitars. The quality of some of the Chinese made guitars have come a long way. It won't be long before they catch up to Japan and Korea.
 

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I have no problem with goods made in China. As long as they are labelled as such. I don't like when they infringe upon trademarked logo's. If you're going to build something, even if it is a knock off, put your name or original logo on it and be upfront about what you are selling.
+1

I played a few fake Chinese Gibson’s a.k.a. Chibson, and the build quality is low. Not to mention the illegality. You can’t trust a crook, and that’s what they are. Stay away.

Ibanez, Epiphone, etc. All have great guitars made in China. Even used, they are good deals and there is no shame in a Chinese made guitar, as long as it’s not a fake.
 

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Factories around the world all function pretty much the same. Give the customer what he wants, no more (or you lose money), no less (or you lose customers). You build to the customers specs.

So if AliExpress gives you a set of plans with specs, that is what you build, it doesn't matter if it is good or bad, that is not your call. If Epiphone gives you the same plans with better specs, then that is what you go by. In fact, it works fantastic when you have the same product going to multiple customers with different specs because then the runs can be sorted/graded while in process. You set up for your high spec customer and, while running, those that fall outside their parameters, get assigned to where they fit other customers, then, when the high spec customer's order is filled, you just run off what you need for the rest (it's a lot cheaper to just keep running as is than to make adjustments to make shitter parts). In my factory life we always had 2 bins at the end of the line, one OEM and one Aftermarket. Some of the aftermarket parts didn't meet OEM specs, but most of them still fall well into the range spec'd by OEM because the line just keeps running until the orders are met.
 

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Yeah, my MIC Squier CVC is pretty sweet straight out of the box as well. They aren't exactly "super cheap" neither, apart from some of the small elecronics that can easily be replaced. The biggest surprise for me with that one is the tuning pegs. They're fantastic. Like @Budda stated, a lower line/beginner guitar made by an established company. I'm not sure how much "Made in America" actually means any more in many cases.
 
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