...but it's Japanese

Windup 43

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6,123
I own multiple MIJ guitars and have owned others I’ve sold...the MIJ quality has been consistently stellar for many years and decades, I don’t see why this is some new or great revelation. Prices have always been very solid on the secondary market, which reflects this perception of high quality.
 

moehuh

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318
I own two "hard to build" guitars from Japan. A '89 ES-335 Orville by Gibson and a 2017 Gretsch Falcon. Both guitars are litteraly built to perfection. The binding, the body-neck joints, the frets, playability, everything is spotless IME.

With US Gibsons I've seen countless times that the binding comming from the body towards the neck joint is rather ugly or a bit off on the body somewhere else. None of that on the Orville
 

txguy

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117
Plus the Rgs had deeper cut wings. Flat thin necks. Aanj. The edge. Easy to play. I traded my prestige for PRs. I was happy when the person wanted to trade back. At one time I had a Jeff hanemen Japan ESP that was killer but I couldn’t rock the ss **** on the fretboard.
 

MikeMcK

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4,721
I'd also add that the lines are blurring between all countries of manufacture... it's not just Japan any more, and this may be a kind of nostalgia for the first really usable imports. But I've played a great Chinese acoustic and recently played a really decent high bang-for-the-buck Strat made in Mexico. Wish I could tell you more about that last one but it's still under pre-launch embargo. But if, in the next week, you hear about Fender launching a cool-looking artist model based on an artist you might not associate with guitar playing, don't quickly dismiss it... it's actually a pretty good guitar.
 

AltecGreen

Silver Supporting Member
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1,173
Jackson did, perhaps the current Charvels?

I thinking of current production. ESP is the big user of SD pickups in Japan. Charvels probably have SD pickups because I can't see Charvel winding their own.

EDIT: The Japanese made Charvels do use SD pickups as expected.
 
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txguy

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117
Cnc has really leveled things out. Now it comes down to quality of the wood the hardware and standard of the quality paid for.
 

davebratta

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62
Generally though guitars made in Japan have a good reputation because, more often than not, they are quality well built instruments. There were instruments meant to be beginner guitars made in Japan as well (especially back in the day) with low-quality hardware, cheap woods, etc. so not all of it is gold...but more often than not when you p
i have an ibanez RGT made in kore with a oustanding quality
 

CowTipton

Silver Supporting Member
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9,096
Somewhere around 1990 or so the Japanese made guitars really started getting much better in my experience.
I had a late 60's Univox 335 copy that was pretty terrible.
I also had an early 70's pre-serial Ibanez Les Paul copy that was pretty terrible as well.
I had a 1989 Charvel Fusion Custom which was very good.
I have a Jackson SL3 from the 90's which is phenomenal.
I also have a Charvel 650XL from the 90's which is phenomenal.

Obviously there are exceptions but in general it seems as though the 1990's Japanese guitars were very well made.
It's a reputation thing.
 

s3gle

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Messages
390
Perhaps this well known secret has been illuminated already but the Japan specific reason has 2 sources IMO

For one thing 70's American quality dipped to a brief low by about 1974 and everyone seemed to know but also, not care. Suddenly illegal Japanese manufacturing was mass marketing high quality copies and many of these factories were eventually forced to buyout from desperate 80s American retailer magnate, eventual fortunes capitalism

Second Japanese collectors horde many quality item long time extra special. you bring much money and buy now easy overpriced good luck for you. This is a serious business and as statement beforehand, not likely change in the future but rather become standard and invade your country Lol
 

jgraham

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1,184
I'm kicking myself a little because for the last 10 years it was pretty easy to pick up good used MIJ guitars for under $400. Now some of the same models are asking 2-3x that.
 

Whittlez

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2,837
depends on the factory - but if it's Fujigen- I know the consistency/quality control are THERE. And contrary to the original post - it's not a new thing. It's been a thing since the late 70's. Terada, Fujigen, etc.
From what I remember, most of the Japanese guitars made in the 1960s and early 1970s were junk.
Correct

as OP points out

I own over 4 dozen MIJ’s

i have exactly one made in the 70’s

a 1979 Ibanez

for a reason
 

BeardoCI

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949
That was my thinking. It almost looks like a DIY refinish on the body.
Looking at it again, that neck joint with that colour means the other guy in this thread is almost certainly right - it's an RG570 from about 1995. $800 isn't a bad price if it's in good condition, but it isn't the guitar they're advertising it as at all!
 

EtaCarinae

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Messages
1,402
The quality of Japanese stuff made at Fugijen (e.g. Ibanez prestige, FGN) and the ESP factory has been better and more consistent than some big American manufacturers for some time now. More than a decade. It's not even a new thing. The new thing is that some Korean factories have been inching up to that level.
 

losrogers

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Messages
438

I've owned Japanese Ibanez, Jackson and Yamaha guitars. All were very good, but its a 1988 Alvarez acoustic that still haunts me.
 




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