Am I close minded for mistrusting Chinese built guitars?


Platinum Supporting Member
You all bring up some great points, even if I don't agree with them all, it's important to me to hear all sides. I read a book for an economics class a few years ago called The a Undercover Economist which went into great detail about the perceptions and realities of Far East working conditions and how the people living within these modern communities feel about it. As mentioned in this thread, some companies have made a huge positive impact on China's workforce and enabled them to live more comfortably from a work-environment and monetary perspective. I can't imagine a company like Ibanez or Epiphone forcing their people in China to work under harsh conditions...and let's face it, here in the West most of us, even those we'd consider poor, are still in the upper rung of many other countries in regards to comfortable living.

All this being said, the Chinese are incredible people - hard working, detailed oriented, and passionate just like the rest of us. I really like the comment here about how the management effects the products. Isn't that a truth?! The Chinese haven't been held to very high standards since the industrial revolution but that's not their fault. Again, when I played that $599 Ibanez a few days ago, it sounded AWESOME and was a flawless build. I kept looking thinking it was a MIJ model but nope...MIC.

I'm glad I got this thread going again. I appreciate everyone's perspectives on this issue because I find myself hesitant to pull the trigger for ethical reasons. I've had a $1299 MIC Ibanez sitting in my online cart since Friday...


Most everything is made in countless different parts of the world these days. I think it's up to the buyer to be competent enough to inspect the product in question thoroughly prior to shaking hands, and most importantly before jumping to prejudiced conclusions - in this case - such as 'guitars made in this or that country are junk'.

Surely not everything made in China is up to par with those made in the western world, but there are those that are, and there are those that may even exceed western standards. If you're not able to tell a well built product from a poorly made one, that's your inadequacy.

Sight unseen purchases excepted...

Mr. Mukuzi O

i don't get all the love for classic vibe.

the few I`ve played were badly put together and mismatched neck/body size

arthur rotfeld

Silver Supporting Member
I generally buy USA made products, especially music gear, but I have some budget models.

I picked up a Loar mandolin last year, found a really good price on one of their high end models. The wood is really nice and it looks great. The fit and finish isn't like a Collings, but who can expect that?

Anyway, I just had fretwork done (in the USA! LOL) and it plays and sounds great. It's a pro level instrument now, IMO.

I'll never talk anyone out of American made, but I understand why some go elsewhere. Certainly that's where the real values are.


Unrepentant Massaganist
I will only buy Chinese goods and always look for the Chinese flag on products to know I am getting the best, most cost-conscious products available.

I avoid American-made products if I can, which is getting easier and easier by the day.

I recently picked up a Joyo American sound pedal to go straight into my PA--incredible pedal and it was $30.

It actually feels heavier and better made than the Bearfoot Honeybee I foolishly paid $230 a few years ago (I know, they are not the same pedal, don't start) which felt cheap and light compared to the real BJFE I used to own.

I think there are a lot of people paying way too much money for American products, so it's Chinese or nothing for me now.


Clouds yell at me
Gold Supporting Member
I have one Chinese made guitar, one of the Epiphone ES 330 50th anniversary "61 tribute models, very nice guitar especially for the money.

I always find it interesting when Americans believe they are the only humans alive capable of building anything worth a crap. Italy for example has corner laundry mats in buildings older than this entire country. Fact.
The Chinese guitar industry as far as making instruments to export (which of course are imports from out perspective) is at a particular stage of development, and also the people who contract with them are looking for instruments to fit particular points in the market. At this time those are both primarily aimed at a lower price point. That can and probably will change in the future, Eastman is a possible precursor of things to come, and my but the current situation doesn't have to do with what people of different nationalities are capable of. It takes time for perceptions to change.

I think there are a lot of people paying way too much money for American products, so it's Chinese or nothing for me now.
What if you get hungry for Italian?
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