Electromatic (Korean vs Chinese)

newcitypraise

Electromatic
Sep 28, 2019
31
Maine
Just an observation for those who (like myself) have bias against Chinese manufactured guitars.....I bought a G5627T yesterday and tried out (and thoroughly inspected) a G5622. Both are from China and both are at least equal to my Korean 5420T. I was leery of buying Chinese but the one I brought home is every bit as good on the fit and finish/playability spectrum. I would say better, due to it staying in tune better than the 5420 but they do have different bridges/trem systems.
 

radd

Friend of Fred
Dec 27, 2017
5,535
Home
My Chinese made Eastmans were some of the best made guitars I have ever owned..

Now, having said that, my Chinese made Gretsch guitars from a few years ago left a lot to be desired. Very poor fit and finish and they could not compare with my Korean made Gretschs.

That may well have changed in recent years but I have shied away from the Chinese Gretschs. If I was in the market for another Gretsch I guess I would have to try the newer Chinese ones out.
 

sgarnett

Synchromatic
Apr 14, 2020
896
Kentucky
The most disappointing guitar I ever purchased was an American Strat. The hardware was nice, but the craftsmanship on mine was poor. Granted, it was an exception, but there were many different steps at which it should have been rejected.
 

juks

Country Gent
Nov 26, 2020
1,824
Fremont, California
I do have to say after having had some experience with Chinese factories, you need to keep a very close eye on them.

We had one new product coming in and it had a strange problem. Turned out the Chinese manufacturer had switched one component to lower spec without asking us anything about it. The saving for them was less than 5 cents per unit.

End result: the whole first shipment had to be sent back to them for re-work. They paid the re-work and back and forth shipping. Really worth while 5c savings...

But of course the delay of product introduction was not compensated in any way.

So if you make guitars over there, you need to have your own guy there keeping an eye on things. Otherwise the maple body might turn out to be particle board. But if they do what they are supposed to, then you get perfectly fine quality.
 

Rockin Hogan

Electromatic
Dec 30, 2021
48
Southeast US
I have a new Korean made 5420 and a new Chinese made 5427 right now and both are really well made. The biggest differences are the 5427 has a laurel fingerboard instead of rosewood like the 5420 and the tremolo bar sits higher and has a softer action on the 5427. The 5427 actually has a newly designed blacktop Filter'Tron and trestle bracing -- very interesting guitar and it will be interesting to see if the new Filter'Tron will make it into other models. Quality is similar on both. I did a video about those two guitars but I don't want to spam the forum :)
 

dlew919

Country Gent
Jul 18, 2016
1,145
Sydney, Australia
My guess, is that due to the quality of steel, they mightn't last as long. But all the steel parts are replaceable. And it depends on how hard to play them too. I have no issue buying from anywhere. (Except price).
 

Londoner

Gretschie
Dec 18, 2020
325
UK
I have a Chinese G220 and a Korean G5420. Both very well put together.
Prefer the G220, though maybe because I'm used to a smaller body.
Also a Chinese Squier Classic Vibe Tele which has been my main gigging guitar
for about the last five years. (Prefer it to my old '64 original)!
I've noticed the Classic Vibe Squiers are now no longer made in china, (Indonesia?)
but after seeing one, they don't seem as good somehow.
 

Outlaw

Country Gent
Jul 13, 2011
1,258
UK
I think the gap between Korean Gretsch's and Chinese made Gretsch's has closed in recent years.
The Chinese made stuff has got much better and like the Korean guitars are a great platform for modding.
 

rake_ether

Gretschie
Aug 24, 2019
491
Athens, GA USA
My guess is that Chinese factories are mature enough that they can make any standard of quality a company wants. And I have no complaints concerning my new Indonesian made 2622 p90.
 

sgarnett

Synchromatic
Apr 14, 2020
896
Kentucky
@juks I agree that you can’t just throw a design over the fence to build in China. You still have to take an active role. I think corporate management had to go through a learning curve as well - too many expected it to be a turnkey panacea, and cut their own staffing too deep. Ya may find something for less, but it still won’t be free!

I’ve been preaching that up the chain all year. Outsourcing rocket science did not turn it into a commodity. China can handle its part, but we still have to staff our part of the work.

Long story short, Chinese factories are absolutely capable of doing quality work, but it must be a partnership.
 

drmilktruck

I Bleed Orange
May 17, 2009
18,655
Plymouth, MN
Chinese made guitars are on par with Korea made and some, like the Eastman, very high quality. (Still not as high quality as Duesenbergs. :rolleyes:) The price is no longer so cheap any more either, which is why companies have moved their lower end stuff to Indonesia or Vietnam. Any opinion of guitar made there?
 

Rockin Hogan

Electromatic
Dec 30, 2021
48
Southeast US
Chinese made guitars are on par with Korea made and some, like the Eastman, very high quality. (Still not as high quality as Duesenbergs. :rolleyes:) The price is no longer so cheap any more either, which is why companies have moved their lower end stuff to Indonesia or Vietnam. Any opinion of guitar made there?

I just got a Sire bass made in Indonesia ($650 ish) and it's pretty well made. I don't think it's on par with my Korean made Electromatic -- sharp fret ends, loose pickups, paint issues, crooked string retainer, etc. It's a nice bass after some work, but the Electromatic was almost perfect right out of the box.
 

rake_ether

Gretschie
Aug 24, 2019
491
Athens, GA USA
Chinese made guitars are on par with Korea made and some, like the Eastman, very high quality. (Still not as high quality as Duesenbergs. :rolleyes:) The price is no longer so cheap any more either, which is why companies have moved their lower end stuff to Indonesia or Vietnam. Any opinion of guitar made there?
My made in Indonesia 2622 p90 is turning out to be quite good. The fit and finish is excellent with only a couple of very small imperfections that I really have to strain to see. Played great right out of the box. Good hardware. Very close in quality to my Korean made 5420 for 65% of the price. While not up to the standard of my 6119 Rosewood Tenny it does make me wonder if the Tenny really is 5 times (cost) better.
 

NJDevil

Country Gent
Jul 9, 2014
1,414
Commack, NY
The most disappointing guitar I ever purchased was an American Strat. The hardware was nice, but the craftsmanship on mine was poor. Granted, it was an exception, but there were many different steps at which it should have been rejected.
Sadly, I am not so sure how much of an exception that is. I learned a lot from other players in the 7+ months of looking before I bought non-Fender Tele and I still see and hear of many complaints on Fender QC for all models in the Telecaster line.
 

Randy99CL

Country Gent
Feb 17, 2020
1,920
Albuquerque
I believe that the quality of any guitar is not determined by where it is made, it is how much quality the manufacturer is willing to pay for. Cheap guitars have flaws that would take time and money to fix.

Epiphone has their own Chinese factory with their name on the building (not built by someone else) but my LP from there had a few irritating little flaws. My SG was/is perfect.

I really like those I've gotten from Indonesia: 5 G&Ls, 2 Gretsches, one Squier FSR, all flawless.

My only Korean guitar is my G5129 that was built in 2004 by Samick. Flawless (considering the age) other than normal use/wear.
 


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