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Epiphone & PRS made in China/Korea guitars - Are they any good?

darkinners

Member
Messages
1,008
PRS SE are fantastic guitar. I have no problem treat them as a life time guitar.
But I don't own one. I just help a lot of newbie friend picked theirs, they were all amazing guitars.
 

Eagle1

Member
Messages
8,655
The PRS SE line are well built but the Eppiphone not so good. This is reflected vinnthe price though.
The China built Fender modern players and Ibanez Artcore customs are far better built than either.
 

Serenity

Member
Messages
3,504
The PRS SE line are well built but the Eppiphone not so good.
Epi Tributes are good, and i've liked all the Epi Pro line that i've tried. For the price these are some of the best guitars you can buy at the moment.
 

Serenity

Member
Messages
3,504
MIJ Eppiphones are good but the rest aren't.
Are you basing that on the older MiC models?
I've owned quite a few Epiphones MiK, MiC, and played a few MiJ's. The MiJ's were definitely a step up from the MiK and early MiC's. Given a setup i'd happily gig with the new Tributes or Pros; the MiJs are more expensive especially when you get hammered by import tax..
 
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GoBeavs68

Member
Messages
288
Seriously? You're going to use a fake to justify not buying Chinese made guitars? Can't speak for PRS, but Epiphone have really stepped up their game over the last few years, and i'd say that the Pro line definitely stands up against the Korean stuff and the pickups and electrics are better.


Ah sorry, that came out wrong. No I'm not justifying not buying anything made in China based on a fake, my particular fake. What I'm trying to say is that if we're comparing Korea to China, based on my experience living in this culture and witnessing their business practices, I'd sleep better at night buying Korean. Chinese business culture is just very deceitful and lying is common practice. I'm probably not explaining myself very well but if I had to choose ONLY between the two, I'd choose Korean just because... they're not Chinese.
 

GoBeavs68

Member
Messages
288
I have a couple of Chinese Epi's and 4 or 5 guitars from Korea.
Both of the Epi's are keepers and all of the Korean guitars are too. The thing about Chinese manufacturing is If you contract with a company there to make anything, you have to absolutely be on top of every aspect of that process because they will find the cheapest materials, including counterfeit materials. The Chinese are full well capable of producing a high quality product but have gotten a bad rep, so to speak, because of the demand for cheap goods.
Bottom line is a good guitar is a good guitar.
No matter WHERE it's made

This ^ Yes the Chinese CAN make great stuff if they want to BUT you have to "be on top of every aspect" because they absolutely will find a corner to cut if presented to opportunity.
 

Jimi D

Member
Messages
1,432
For Christmas this year I picked up a PRS Hollowbody II SC. It's got 57/08 pickups, one of the best sounding piezos in the industry, and absolutely impeccable build quality... it weighs in at 5 lbs 14 oz and plays like the proverbial butter. It is, in a word, a spectacular instrument, and it is my sixth PRS core instrument...

For the price of any one of my PRS cores, you could buy all three of my PRS SE models... I woke up to SEs when I grabbed an SE ONE a while back and just loved it! Of the three SEs I currently own, two are absolute keepers; my SE ONE (which will soon receive a Lollar as it's Christmas present!) and a Zach Myers I loaded with Burstbuckers that just slays Les Pauls... I also have an older SE Singlecut Trem that is a really nice guitar, well built, plays great, but I don't have much use for it - I have CU22 and CU24 cores which cover the same ground so much better, so it would need a pickup upgrade to justify keeping it, but I don't really think I can be bothered, so I'll probably flip it...

For Epi's, I've owned five or six Chinese Epiphones over the past few years. They've all been decent guitars - some, like the Casino Coupe I sold recently and my ES339, have been quite impressive - but none have been quite up to the SE's I've owned in fit, finish and feel... The Korean PRS models just play and sound that bit better, imho... makes them worth the extra dosh...
 

DrumBob

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
18,754
My first guitar is a 2006 MIC dot . Great guitar. Don't worry about what cork sniffers think. Go out and play some til you find one that plays great to you, and you're set

This. There are people here who are purists who consider anything made in China to be garbage, and it's just not so anymore. Quality does vary, so you should physically play the guitars first. They've been making great guitars in Korea for years now. I have a Chinese Epi '56 Goldtop that blows away the same Gibson model I owned before it...and had to send back to Gibson because the neck warped constantly, no matter what we did to it. So much for American quality, right?

Go play guitars and don't worry so much. You'll find the right one.
 

Hefalump

Member
Messages
9,866
Well, my mind has changed a bit on this subject.

Recently played my brother in laws new Epiphone Casino. I gotta say it is stellar for a Chinese guitar.

The game is getting better.

As for the PRS SE, they have great build quality. But the pickups and electronics need to go, they have veneer flame top. And the plastic nut with razor sharp edges sucks hard. I also am not impressed with the tuners which to me seem cheap. So to fix the above issues, it puts you into used American made territory, which is where I prefer to put my money.
 

Racehorse

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
850
Yes, for the most part they are good instruments. Like anything else, you can get a bad one.
 

DarrellM5

Member
Messages
1,882
I don't have any experience with Chinese made guitars but I have five models from Korea and one from Indonesia.

World Musical Instruments Co. in Korea kicks out incredibly well made guitars. I have 2 PRS SE models (Custom 24 & Tremonti), 2 Schecters (Banshee & KM-7) and a Line 6 JTV69 from there. The build quality and finish are excellent.

I just recently acquired an ESP LTD EC-401VF, which is made in Indonesia, and I'm completely blown away by the quality and the tone (although it did come with DiMarzio PAF 36th Anniversary pickups).
 

Pietro

2-Voice Guitar Junkie and All-Around Awesome Guy
Messages
16,459
My experience has been much better with stuff out of Korea than China. I have not yet played a chinese guitar I would own, I'm sure there might be some out there. I've had three Korean instruments, all had amazing fit and finish for the money.

But if you're talking new, there is some Gibson stuff (studio, faded etc.) used that is worth looking at, too. Or save a little and look at used Heritage.
 

beanoboy

Member
Messages
76
I'm thinking about buying an Epi or a PRS and I am wondering about the made in China/Korean guitars.

I have no problem upgrading the pups, wire harness and hardware, but I am worried about the necks on these guitars.

Are the necks good or can they get messed up over time because of the way they're made?

I have a PRS SE Custom 24 and a PRS SE Soapbar. Both guitars got upgraded pickups. Both are great bang for the buck guitars. The only problem I had with either is when bending the high E string around the 18th fret the note chokes out on the Soapbar. I assume the frets need to be leveled a bit. Other than that, I leave my expensive stuff home and gig with the SE, especially the Custom 24.
 

donnievaz

Member
Messages
3,563
What, specifically, is wrong with the nuts on the SE line that renders them "unusable"? I borrowed a stock SE Custom for a short-notice session (commercial jingle) and it played just fine. Please enlighten me...

I've owned a bunch of SE's and own 3 right now. Never had any issue with the nut on any of them... I've swapped out some pickups but I tend to do that with pretty much everything.
 

Bullseye092

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,272
I've got a couple of Mcnaughts sitting in my rack that are the finest axes I've ever owned by far... that being said, I still find myself picking up my old beat to **** Epiphone LP Custom as much as the others. It's been a very solid axe for better than a decade and I've done nothing more than swap out the pickups with some Duncans. Great bang for the buck axes. It's the bottle capped one in my profile pic.
 




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