Are the Korean Epiphone Dots better than the Chinese/Indonesian Dots?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by taylorman22, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. taylorman22

    taylorman22 Member

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    Are the Epiphone Dots made in Korea back in the late 90's to early 2000's better build quality than the current Dots that are made in China and Indonesia? I'm looking at buying used and I've found a couple I'm interested in and one is an older model made in Korea and the other is only a year old....assuming it's made in China.
     
  2. whaiyun

    whaiyun Member

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    I'd say the newest ones are probably better. Tough to say. The tolerances of the guitars must be pretty high, so there are good ones and bad ones from all years. I think the newer Epiphones are getting better and better over time.
     
  3. taylorman22

    taylorman22 Member

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    Anyone else have an opinion?
     
  4. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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    I think it comes down to comparing two specific guitars, not just guitars from a given factory from a given era. I'd say the Korean ones from the late 90s to early 00s are better than the Chinese stuff from the early to mid 00s, but most of the the very recent Chinese stuff seems pretty impressive to me.
     
  5. dazco

    dazco Member

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    I can only tell you this...i have a epi nighthawk custom made in Indonesia, and i swear i believe beyond a doubt it's the best made epi or any import i have ever owned asi8de from some japan stuff which at it's best is about the same. In fact, it says on a sticker, which i since removed, that it's made in Indonesia but in the bridge p/u cavity it has a japan sticker. Makes me wonder ! but in any case, this is on par with nearly anything i've ever owned, import or not. Whether all Indonesian guitars are lik this i dunno. I owned a few epi LP's around 10-15 years ago that definately weren't in this league, but i don't recall where they were made. After this nighthawk tho, i think it a guitar has a made in indonesia sticker i might be MORE prone to buy it !
     
  6. tsar nicholas

    tsar nicholas Member

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    I think that the Samick-made Epiphones are on average better than the recent Chinese ones, but not a whole hell of a lot better. Both are fine guitars. Hell, good enough for Snooks Eaglin
     
  7. TD_Madden

    TD_Madden Gold Supporting Member

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    I had one of those same Teiscos, with the headstock badge pulled and the space covered with a sky-blue oval Silvertone sticker (still had a piece of one of the nails sticking up a bit under the sticker). That cheap MIJ guitar (about $50 in the '67 or '68 Sears Wish Book) played really great...after I gave it to my nephew it was stolen from their house. Bummer.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  8. billfoma

    billfoma Member

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    Having owned both MIK and MIC Epiphones, I will probably never get another that is MIC unless it is a super stupid cheap price. Even then, I would probably just sell it. If I had the money, I would buy pretty much every model and color of the MIK Epiphones I could find. I have owned just over 30 Epiphones over the years, and NEVER had a good one from China. Korean made ones were hard for me to let go of.
     
  9. tamader74

    tamader74 Supporting Member

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    AAA+++ on Bills response above...As a owner of one of the best Epi. Sheratons I've ever owned (MIK), and a awesome Washburn HB-35s (MIK) and having a Hamer Echo-tone, also Korean made, AND having the chance to play all the above in the MIC mode...billfoma nailed it.....
     
  10. djg714

    djg714 Member

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    MIK all the way. Had a Peerless made Epiphone jazz box that was solid.
    Get a Korean made Sheraton and you are set.
     
  11. taylorman22

    taylorman22 Member

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    Thanks for the responses. I'm looking at a 1999 Dot and a 2001 Dot. I know during those years everything was made at the Samick plant in Korea. I think everything now is MIC or MII.

    I'm looking at one here on the forum for $400 that is a 1999 and has the Classic 57 pups and upgraded wiring and knobs. Tempting :)
     
  12. DustyRhodesJr

    DustyRhodesJr Supporting Member

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    Korea is the best, followed by China, then Indonesia, IMO.
     
  13. craigoslo

    craigoslo Member

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    One of my main guitars is a 99 korean dot. Just had the pickups and harness changed and couldn't be happier. I haven't play a new dot but have been impressed with several epi les pauls I have played in the last year. Good fit and finish, good setup from the factory. The electronics are not great, but as far as sound from the actual guitar, you'll have to play it and compare.
     
  14. budglo58

    budglo58 Member

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    I have had both and I think the MIK ones were a touch better in build quality.The MIC one had a small bump on the back of the neck and an imperfection on the fret board by the nut.I got it dirt cheap.The body on the MIK was flawless, but the electronics were another matter entirely.
     
  15. billywade

    billywade Member

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    I could probably research this and figure it out but since there are a few experts posting in this thread I'll just ask.

    Is there an easy way to figure out the country of origin of modern Epiphones. Something about the serial # maybe. I have a Casino (purchased used) but it doesn't spell it out anywhere on the guitar that I can find.
     
  16. StanG

    StanG Member

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    google search epiphone serial numbers. there is info out there that will let you determine factory from the serial number.
     
  17. semi-hollowbody

    semi-hollowbody Member

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    I have a korean dot, an indonesian dot...and I have played a few china dots...I have a china les paul std and G400...

    My korean dot has a small finish imperfection on the 12th fret neck..other than annoying me because I know its there, its no biggee...

    my indonesian dot is lighter, stock pups are hotter...

    the china dots Ive played were great guitars...only reason I didnt buy was they didnt have the finish I wanted

    I think with epiphones, there is much to do with china vs korea made and its mostly in our heads...china might have had a bumpy start, but they are doing great now
     
  18. Stringrazor

    Stringrazor Member

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    I have a '99 Mik Dot Deluxe. I think the guitar itself is outstanding but the pickups were lifeless. I put a Gibson P94s, a graphtec nut (in place of the stock plastic on), and a Bigsby B30 on it and it feels and sounds great.
     
  19. Woody Duke

    Woody Duke Member

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    My '03 is from the Saien factory (they now market their guitars under the "Shine" label). Based on recent trials of MIC Dots, mine is better across the board. I'm disabled and clumsy, have dropped it many times, and even had a lightning-panicked dog lay down on it, with no damage. I did change the pickups; the originals were fine for rock but I wanted a richer clear rhythm sound so got Carvin C22s.
    Here's the s-number breakdown, copied from another forum a year ago:

    "Modern Epiphone serial numbers follow this format:
    I = *plant
    98 = year (one or two figures)
    04 = month
    1462 =ordinal number

    *Plants:

    DW = DaeWon (China)
    EA = Gibson/QuingDao (China)
    EE = Gibson/QuingDao (China)
    I = Saein (Korea)
    MC = Muse (China)
    R = Peerless (Korea)
    S = Samick (Korea)
    SJ = SaeJung (China)
    U = Unsung (Korea)
    CI - Cort (Indonesia)
    and
    B stands for Bohêmia Musico-Delicia (Czech Republic)
     
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