Chinese guitars

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Chinese guitars

Post by jimmydime on Fri Mar 14, 2014 1:36 pm

OK guys, I'm not trying to start a troll thread, or a flame war. I am just trying to get some opinions.

I've recently been looking at some of the Chinese guitar offerings on the web, the Les Paul copies to be exact. I have been wanting to try going back to that style after selling my Agile several years ago. I simply didn't bond with that guitar. Thought about an Epiphone, but I find they are over priced and not that great of guitar. I have tried several and have been disappointing with most. Not trying to slam any Epi users, I'm sure they have some greats, I just haven't found one. I also find that $500-$800 dollars is too much for an Epi. I have seen American Strats for less than that.
So I had a look at some copies made over in China.

The pros: that they are cheap ($200 - $250 includes shipping)
They are made of solid Mahogany, with maple caps. The necks are solid Maple and you can order an ebony finger board. The quality is much better these days and the finishes are fantastic.

The cons being: Hardware is junk. Would have to replace pots, pickups, nut. Most likely some setup work would have to be done.. truss rod adjustment, perhaps some fret work (not a big deal. I would do it myself).
Lastly it is always a risk ordering from China. I have done my homework and found sellers that have excellent feedback and would have an open dialogue with the seller.

For myself, I would also order the guitar with no Labels. I have already contacted a couple sellers and they assure me that this in no problem.
I not a big fan of the "Gibson" rip off.

Just looking for opinions or anyone who has bought one and what was your experience.
Thanks guys. cheerscheers

jimmydime
Westone Nut

Number of posts : 49
Location : Ontario
Registration date : 2013-10-25

Back to top Go down

Re: Chinese guitars

Post by hoax on Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:07 pm

I would probably go for a used Chinese made Burny, rather than a clone. With the Burny you are pretty much assured decent materials and workmanship.

Something from an unbranded manufacturer could be a bit of a hit or miss.

Hoax

hoax
Financial supporter

Number of posts : 1104
Age : 57
Location : Bothwell
Registration date : 2009-09-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Chinese guitars

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:20 pm

I have a pristine Aria PE Elite which I'm pretty sure was made in China, build quality is stunning, hardwear pretty good too.
Sunsmile make unbranded guitars for many companies, Saehin (shine) from Korea also, both seem to make damn good guitars, it seems times have changed.

good luck

Sgt. Vimes
Financial supporter

Number of posts : 3102
Age : 45
Location : tyneside
Registration date : 2011-11-03

Back to top Go down

Re: Chinese guitars

Post by The Chad on Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:46 pm

Regarding the Chinese Gibson clones, I haven't bought one. Read a ton of posts from people who HAVE, though.

General feedback is this... since you'll pay and extra few hundred dollars to put into the Chinese guitar (you'll need pickups, pots, tuners, bridge), you're probably better off buying something all ready to rock, like a used Les Paul studio or similar. Biggest issues with the Chibsons are neck angle problems, poor fret jobs, and bridges being out of line with the neck, as in they'll be off to one side too far. Those are expensive things to fix.

The used Gibson studio will be around the same price, and you'll be able to see, feel, and play it first. It'll have great frets, great pickups, great hardware throughout, and proper neck angle and string alignment. Since there are lots of them out there you'll be able to select the one you want. Or alternatively buy a made in Japan Electra brand LP type from the late 70's early 80's. They're made VERY well and are around the same price.

The Chad
Financial supporter

Number of posts : 2453
Location : Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Registration date : 2011-02-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Chinese guitars

Post by jimmydime on Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:03 pm

The Chad wrote:Regarding the Chinese Gibson clones, I haven't bought one. Read a ton of posts from people who HAVE, though.

General feedback is this... since you'll pay and extra few hundred dollars to put into the Chinese guitar (you'll need pickups, pots, tuners, bridge), you're probably better off buying something all ready to rock, like a used Les Paul studio or similar. Biggest issues with the Chibsons are neck angle problems, poor fret jobs, and bridges being out of line with the neck, as in they'll be off to one side too far. Those are expensive things to fix.

The used Gibson studio will be around the same price, and you'll be able to see, feel, and play it first. It'll have great frets, great pickups, great hardware throughout, and proper neck angle and string alignment. Since there are lots of them out there you'll be able to select the one you want. Or alternatively buy a made in Japan Electra brand LP type from the late 70's early 80's. They're made VERY well and are around the same price.
Yes, I am weighing all the options. As far as the studio's go... here in Ontario Canada they are still pricey, simply because its a Gibson. I have also checked out several LP's from earlier eras. The ones I have seen have not been in that great of shape, and would need work as well.
The other thing is that in the last 9 - 12 months the Chinese have really upped the quality. They wanting to sell these in North America and its clear what they have to do.
One guy posted a video where he asks the seller to build the guitar to his specs..exactly like a Strat, and they do.
Even down to the wiring and the back plate holes being offset.
Again, I am not a fan of them making exact copies of the name brand guitars.. to easy to have some poor sucker over here buy one thinking its real.
The other thing I am considering is one of these:
http://deanzelinsky.com/collections/z-glide-guitar-models/products/strettavita-z-glide-bt

jimmydime
Westone Nut

Number of posts : 49
Location : Ontario
Registration date : 2013-10-25

Back to top Go down

Re: Chinese guitars

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:07 pm

That is just beautiful, though I have misgivings about that neck, can it really feel as smooth as a standard neck? and how long before hand oils and muck turn those engravings black?

Sgt. Vimes
Financial supporter

Number of posts : 3102
Age : 45
Location : tyneside
Registration date : 2011-11-03

Back to top Go down

Re: Chinese guitars

Post by Barry on Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:16 pm

The DeanZelinsky guitar looks to be a good build, but I think the Z-Glide neck is gimmicky. Give me a Music Man neck finished in bees wax and gun oil and I'm a happy camper.

Chinese quality is still very much hit and miss depending on where you buy. We have some very well made Sigma acoustics in the shop and of course the Classic Vibe Fenders which are good value. My own Chinese made Epiphone Studio is nicely built with a neck that I find very comfortable...but of course the pickups were rubbish and replaced with P90's, as God intended.

But I also worked on a couple of el cheapo Chinese knock-offs of the Gibson Trini Lopez which were just Royal pieces of poo. TP The customer is a gigging player and is using them in place of the real things. Didn't want to risk having a drunk fall on them in a bar.

As Chad says, I literally had to replace everything electrical and mechanical in order to make 'em work. But the real shocker was enlarging the holes for the new pots. I have no idea what was coming out of the drill bit but it was white and definitely not wood! Barf 2

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown


GUITARS : http://legend.barryeames.com/guitars.html
MUSIC/PIX/VIDEOS: http://getback.barryeames.com (including Spectrum ST)

Barry
Hero, Legend, and all round good guy

Number of posts : 6027
Age : 71
Location : Port Weller, St. Catharines, Canada
Registration date : 2009-05-01

http://www.barryeames.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Chinese guitars

Post by jimmydime on Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:29 pm

My Classic vibe is a made in China guitar and it is quite good. Your right about the rip off guitars being hit or miss for sure.
Just wish I had the $$$ to drop on a Zilinski private label. I also wish that there was some reviews on the internet, but I haven't been able to find any.......
The search continues.

jimmydime
Westone Nut

Number of posts : 49
Location : Ontario
Registration date : 2013-10-25

Back to top Go down

Re: Chinese guitars

Post by The Chad on Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:57 pm

There's a lot of great guitars nowadays, for sure. Several well known brands import from China or Indonesia or wherever, and they're nice guitars. However the problem with off brand or factory brands are obvious, they don't need to stand behind their gear (since they're not in relationship with a major brand). They can sell a few lemons and not really care, since you're in the US and they're not concerned. So you can buy a guitar straight from factory but you'll not have the same peace of mind as buying a "major label" that was built at the same factory. Know what I mean? It's a just a gamble. But if you're a risk taker and want a brand new project, then have at it!

The Chad
Financial supporter

Number of posts : 2453
Location : Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Registration date : 2011-02-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Chinese guitars

Post by G.A.S. man on Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:41 am

Must admit china an indonesia are knocking out some decent gear but don't forget korea too if your looking for a used bargain..
korean epiphones are quite consistant an there is Burny ,tokai,aria,revalation by md guitars and host more at lowish prices too..
Take a look around localy an see whats about the hit the net to see any reviews and try them.

G.A.S. man
Senior Member

Number of posts : 167
Age : 44
Location : Dudley.. Newcastle Upon Tyne
Registration date : 2011-08-18

Back to top Go down

Re: Chinese guitars

Post by shaneg on Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:22 pm

If I may chime in on the DBZ guitars.

I bought a 2012 Korean made Barchetta FM-FR, and I must say it's easily the nicest instrument I've ever owned. It only set me back $400 with a case.
Mahogony body & neck (set), Flame maple top, Grover tuners, a real Floyd Rose, coil tapping , and that natural scrape binding they do is simply gorgeous! It feels and plays like a guitar that should have set me back a $1000 or more, and I played a few that did before I walked out of the store with her.





I also have a 2005 Chinese Epiphone lp Standard, and it is a rather nice example. It's only the second Epi I've ever owned, so I don't know if I'm lucky or not on the find. I bought it on Ebay for one hell of a deal with it's original hard case, so I may have just been really lucky.



On the lower end of the Chinese spectrum, I have this Davison double neck lp copy which has the absolute most junk electronics I've ever seen on a guitar, the wiring was screwy, but the body and build quality are pretty solid. The vine inlays are also done really well.
I've decided I may just leave all the hardware & pups stock, simply because I could buy another guitar for what it would cost to upgrade all of it.





With the exception of my Carvin bass, all of my guitars (11 so far) are either made in Korea or China, and it seems that the quality is in direct proportion to the cost... except that DBZ! I still feel like I screwed that store!Shocked

shaneg
Registered Member

Number of posts : 12
Age : 40
Location : Indiana, United States
Registration date : 2014-03-01

http://www.youtube.com/user/socialgarbage2

Back to top Go down

Re: Chinese guitars

Post by jimmydime on Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:49 pm

Wow some nice gear at a reasonable price. That's impressive and perfect for the budget minded. I really love the DZPL strats and would love to buy one, but I'm gassing for a Les Paul style.
Also, not sure if you know this but DBZ is no longer. Zalinski pulled out on his portion of the business and since all the designs are his, he took them with him.
He is now selling under "Dean Zallinski Private Label". Many of the guitars are the same as DBZ.
The other thing that keeps me from pulling the trigger on one is the poor shape of the CDN dollar. Bought something the other day and $55 US turned into $70 pretty quickly.
Another guitar that I'd like to get my hands on is the Rob Chapman signature guitars. He has one that is in the LP style and looks beautiful.
These are high quality guitars for a reasonable price.
Same issue however... the CDN $$$$ does not do well against the Pound.

jimmydime
Westone Nut

Number of posts : 49
Location : Ontario
Registration date : 2013-10-25

Back to top Go down

Re: Chinese guitars

Post by hoax on Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:14 pm

Regarding the Chinese Classic Vibe Fenders. I had one and bumped it recently.

To be honest, I couldn't bond with it. I didn't like the thick poly coated fret board and I ain't convinced that pine is a great tone wood.

Pick ups were nice though - but its still gone!!

Hoax

hoax
Financial supporter

Number of posts : 1104
Age : 57
Location : Bothwell
Registration date : 2009-09-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Chinese guitars

Post by Barry on Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:15 pm

To each his own Graham.

The Spectrum SX had a similar fretboard finish of course. And they're called "Classic" because pine was often used back in the day, eh.

I rather liked the ones I tried and while excellent value, and better than average sound, they would not replace the real thing in a professional gigging situation.

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown


GUITARS : http://legend.barryeames.com/guitars.html
MUSIC/PIX/VIDEOS: http://getback.barryeames.com (including Spectrum ST)

Barry
Hero, Legend, and all round good guy

Number of posts : 6027
Age : 71
Location : Port Weller, St. Catharines, Canada
Registration date : 2009-05-01

http://www.barryeames.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Chinese guitars

Post by hoax on Thu Mar 20, 2014 6:06 am

Sure Barry, it is a matter of choice. I tried the Classic Vibe back to back with teles I have built and they are either Alder or Swamp Ash and I preferred my own builds.

It could be the phenomenon of "personal investment" whereby it is easier to bond with axes that you have a higher stake in, in terms of time and effort.

Hoax

hoax
Financial supporter

Number of posts : 1104
Age : 57
Location : Bothwell
Registration date : 2009-09-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Chinese guitars

Post by shaneg on Thu Mar 20, 2014 6:23 pm

jimmydime wrote:Also, not sure if you know this but DBZ is no longer. Zalinski pulled out on his portion of the business and since all the designs are his, he took them with him.

He is now selling under "Dean Zallinski Private Label". Many of the guitars are the same as DBZ.

I knew that Zalinski had left them, they go by DBZ Diamond now, and still make all of the same designs as before, plus a few new ones. They offer support (limited) for older models as well.

I was not aware that he had started another company though. I'll have to check that out!

shaneg
Registered Member

Number of posts : 12
Age : 40
Location : Indiana, United States
Registration date : 2014-03-01

http://www.youtube.com/user/socialgarbage2

Back to top Go down

Re: Chinese guitars

Post by Westbone on Thu Mar 20, 2014 6:31 pm

Classic Vibe Strat's especially the 50's version are the dogs bollox.
Classic is not the word!
All fitted with ToneRider pups.

Westbone
Financial supporter

Number of posts : 4778
Location : Redbridge
Registration date : 2008-12-28

http://www.chruler.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Chinese guitars

Post by jimmydime on Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:13 pm

shaneg wrote:
jimmydime wrote:Also, not sure if you know this but DBZ is no longer. Zalinski pulled out on his portion of the business and since all the designs are his, he took them with him.

He is now selling under "Dean Zallinski Private Label". Many of the guitars are the same as DBZ.

I knew that Zalinski had left them, they go by DBZ Diamond now, and still make all of the same designs as before, plus a few new ones. They offer support (limited) for older models as well.

I was not aware that he had started another company though. I'll have to check that out!
Hey thanks for the insight. When I searched for Zalinski guitars the DBZ site never came up and then read about Zallinski leaving and taking his designs over to the new Dean Zalinski Private Label company.
I love his guitars, just wish I could hear a few more players using them and that the CDN $$$ would gain some ground.

jimmydime
Westone Nut

Number of posts : 49
Location : Ontario
Registration date : 2013-10-25

Back to top Go down

Re: Chinese guitars

Post by jimmydime on Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:20 pm

Westbone wrote:Classic Vibe Strat's especially the 50's version are the dogs bollox.
Classic is not the word!
All fitted with ToneRider pups.

I bought the Classic Vibe 50's Strat a couple years ago. The white one with the gold anodized aluminum pickguard. Picked it up for $300 brand new from a mom and pop store near me.
Changed the pickguard to a white one for a more classic look. It is a very nice playing guitar, with the classic Strat single coil tone. I really like it.
I had no idea that the fret board is pine. Thought it was Maple, perhaps that is why it is in for some major fret work this year. Frets where getting to be up and down like railway tracks. Still love the CV though.

jimmydime
Westone Nut

Number of posts : 49
Location : Ontario
Registration date : 2013-10-25

Back to top Go down

Re: Chinese guitars

Post by jimmydime on Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:27 pm

hoax wrote:Regarding the Chinese Classic Vibe Fenders. I had one and bumped it recently.

To be honest, I couldn't bond with it. I didn't like the thick poly coated fret board and I ain't convinced that pine is a great tone wood.

Pick ups were nice though - but its still gone!!

Hoax
Just wondering what part of the CV 50's is Pine? Finger board and neck are Maple and body is Alder.
What am I missing?

jimmydime
Westone Nut

Number of posts : 49
Location : Ontario
Registration date : 2013-10-25

Back to top Go down

Re: Chinese guitars

Post by Barry on Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:13 pm

The body was Pine on the versions we had in the store. Very much doubt that they used Alder in that series, especially at that price.

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown


GUITARS : http://legend.barryeames.com/guitars.html
MUSIC/PIX/VIDEOS: http://getback.barryeames.com (including Spectrum ST)

Barry
Hero, Legend, and all round good guy

Number of posts : 6027
Age : 71
Location : Port Weller, St. Catharines, Canada
Registration date : 2009-05-01

http://www.barryeames.com

Back to top Go down

Re: Chinese guitars

Post by Westbone on Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:33 am

Only the 50's Tele was pine bodied.

All the others in that series are Alder. Strats + Teles that is.

Snapped up a load before everyone cottoned on..Cool

Have about 4 left. 50's + 60's Strats

Westbone
Financial supporter

Number of posts : 4778
Location : Redbridge
Registration date : 2008-12-28

http://www.chruler.com/

Back to top Go down

Re: Chinese guitars

Post by hoax on Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:55 am

As Damian says, the 50's Classic Vibe Telecaster is pine bodied. The original Broadcaster, Nocaster and early Telecaster were pine bodied in the early 50's before moving over to Ash or Alder.

Hoax

hoax
Financial supporter

Number of posts : 1104
Age : 57
Location : Bothwell
Registration date : 2009-09-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Chinese guitars

Post by Sponsored content Today at 6:24 am


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum