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People in China play Chinese guitars?

catpeople

Senior Member
Messages
3,178
I don't know whose fault it is, but I have never learned the name of, or seen an image of, any of the employees at the Surabaya Cortek plant. Even though I've owned 40 instruments from that facility.

Believe it or not, it sort of leaves a void. Having a mental image of the men and women making the guitar you play, is part of the experience of owning it and playing it. I think I'd use these guitars more, if I had this information.

Now, the question is, are these people shy, or are they being ordered to keep a low profile? Maybe anyone who could communicate in English, has already found better pay doing something else, and moved on.
That very question suggests it's up to the line worker to say, hey, let's make photo spreads of us in our marketing collateral. Do you see the names and faces of the people from Detroit or Alabama who made your car? Probably not. Management and marketing just didn't think of it, or didn't think it would be useful. Nothing to do with some odd notion that Chinese people are "shy" or that Chinese factory workers are "ordered" to stay quiet.

I'm guessing you didn't mean it that way, but the way you phrased the question suggests a strange, uninformed attitude about an alien culture and western centric preconceived ideas.
 

Major Twang

Member
Messages
493
I legitimetly just wanted to know if China has well known luthiers of their own. That's why I asked who is the Chinese Suhr or Paul Reed Smith. Other people taking it as full on "redneck 'Merica #1 China bashing" need to check their own insecurities at the door. Guitars are tools, not diplomatic measuring sticks.
Sen's guitar luthier comes to mind.

His guitars was built to spec for 500$ back a few years.

Plenty of guitar shop in Beijing along Gulou Dong Da Jie and Xinjiekou.

Price : 25$ to 80$ back then...

:munch
 

Faded

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,077
Sen's guitar luthier comes to mind.

His guitars was built to spec for 500$ back a few years.

Plenty of guitar shop in Beijing along Gulou Dong Da Jie and Xinjiekou.

Price : 25$ to 80$ back then...

:munch

Cool, thanks. Do they have any links?
 

Major Twang

Member
Messages
493
sadly...i cannot find any Googling.

They appear to be strong in Classical instruments...nylon strings guitars and Violin etc.

Some nylon strings classical guitar luthier's go for 5K+.
 

Buick8

Member
Messages
439
My first guitar was an Ibanez e/a. I really liked it but when I purchased my first American Martin, well bye bye Ibanez.
 

AprioriMark

Member
Messages
1,688
I always despise this conversation, not because it's not relevant or important, but because people are unable to be reasonable about it. Thanks to those of you EA and Chinese peeps who chimed in.

I have a friend who's been teaching English on Chinese military bases for 7 years now. It's a very different world that's exactly the same as we would be if we'd been brought up in that part of the world. I speak from a smattering of personal experience and my friend's anecdotal stories about what they value most (and how he can't get arrested for anything, apparently).

I celebrate and am happy about the Fender/Squier factories in China. It's not just about low priced instruments. It's about higher quality low priced instruments being produced to North American standards. We're not just taking the cheaper labor costs, we're instilling quality manufacturing ideals and QC, and we're sharing culture... both directions. God bless Fender for this. I could fanboi about my MiC Squier/Fender products, but the truth is that I've always loved Fender as a company; warts and all.

Anyway, I'll share a non-guitar experience with Chinese culture from more than half a decade ago. I played an online game (500,000 players at the time; not WoW), and it was the first platform to experience a realistic common use of internet voice communication. One of the guys we ended up meeting was what people call a "gold farmer." Essentially, they work in teams, run multiple characters, and do activities that make them the most in-game money as possible. They sell it online for real world cash. The average European or North American player might buy more "gold" than they could make in their entire month's play time for a small fee, perhaps 20 dollars. For some players, it's worth it to skip the "money grind" that these sort of games can require.

Anyway, this fellow that we met randomly also played the game for fun when he was not working, and he learned English while playing with us over a couple years. He's still a great friend, and he was very candid about what China is really like, and how much it's evolving in ways that aren't obvious. He told us that ingenuity is praised, taken advantage of heavily, and encouraged. Obviously, it's often based on what makes them the most money (in this case, taking advantage of an American game).

He talked about the great freedoms that they were newly encountering, but that they only had management that understood Chinese methods. He swore up and down that in another generation, Chinese business would be closer to on par with the West, but that there is a large "stupid" generation of leadership that needs to simply grow old and die. To come (sorta) full circle, that's why I'm excited about Fender in China; it means that China is allowing it, the people are embracing the opportunity, and that management is learning. That is, if my Chinese Squiers are any indication.

-Mark

p.s. It's important to note that there are many differing regions in China, and what's true in a more rural province is not true in another, urban area.
 

Fu Schnickens

Senior Member
Messages
3,147
This is a really interesting thread...almost like a South Park episode
More like a King of the Hill episode.

Hank (to Khan): So, are you Chinese or Japanese?
Khan: I'm Laotian. From Laos.
Hank: Um, yeah, so, are you Chinese or Japanese?

Americans really need to read more, and open their eyes to the rest of the world.

I do think that the original question is a very good one, ironically intended or not.
 

ooglybong

Member
Messages
78
seems like threads like this always get pretty bashy. im rather interested in which of the chinese companies really produce good instruments, maybe someone that knows could post some links.
I own three wonderful Eastman archtops, but my Eastman John Pisano AR880 signature model is probably my favorite. Superb sound, exquisite attention to detail and finish along with a neck that practically plays itself.

Here's a link to their archtop page, but they also make flat-top acoustics, mandolins, and semi-hollows.

http://www.eastmanguitars.com/archtop-guitars/

IMO, Eastman's designs are western-influenced but are still also fairly unique to their company; I can certainly spot one quickly, say, at a guitar show from across the room with no trouble.

FWIW, I also own a few other archtops made in USA, Japan, Germany and Korea, as well as a superb Ibanez PM35 Metheny model, also made in a Chinese factory (obviously for a Japanese company).

Hope this helps...
 

mannish

Member
Messages
9,494
I don't even look or care where a guitar or equipment is made anymore. I bought a new Ibanez AG95 yesterday. Played great sounds great and where it is made really does not not matter to me.
 
Messages
2,317
Hop on Netflix and check out Korean and Chinese teen dramas. I know, I know... sounds like a waste of time, but take a look at the movies focused on teens and young adults. You'll see A LOT of Orange and Marshall amps along with lots of Fender guitars and a few Gibsons. Even the Chinese and Korean variety shows that I watch (not on purpose -- see below) that feature bands, show them using Orange amps and Fender guitars. I've become something of a trainspotter now when I watch these things.

My wife (Korean) and her friend (Chinese) and my brother-in-law (Vietnamese) all agree that Asians LOVE name brands and will do whatever it takes to buy the name brand stuff.

Hope that helps to answer the OP's question.
 

Rick Lee

Member
Messages
11,214
I have been to China four times since 2005, each trip lasting about three weeks and just for tourism and to visit the in-laws (Mrs. Lee's folks). I've never gone with a tour group and did the first two trips totally on my own. I think I have as good an understanding of the place as a westerner who doesn't live there can.

Last trip there in Nov., 2011 I went with some local friends in Chengdu to see some bands play in a bar. I was the only foreigner in the whole place and it was packed. I forget all the gear on the stage, but, as far as I remember, it was all your run of the mill Fender, Marshall, Ampeg, Tama, Roland, etc.

After the show I chatted with the guitarist of one of the bands, told him he did a great job and asked him about his gear. He asked if I had ever heard of Slash. So I whipped out a photo on my iPhone of me meeting him at NAMM a few years earlier. He asked if I had heard of Eric Johnson. I showed him a similar photo. The list went on. He asked all about my gear. He said his dream guitar was an ES-335. I showed him a photo of mine. He said it was totally unaffordable in China and even getting one from the US would require a broker's commission and high duites. I gave him my business card and said I'd be happy to get him one for no commission if he arranged the whole deal. My wife does a ton of shipping, so she knows all the tricks. Never heard from the guy, but maybe he'll email me one of these days.

I did go to a music store in Guangzhou around 2005 and saw a poster of Eric Johnson on the wall. He must have a cult following there. I often wonder about taking a work assignment in China for a few mos. and if I'd bring one of my own guitars with me, as I couldn't bear to go that long without playing.
 
Messages
23,963
That very question suggests it's up to the line worker to say, hey, let's make photo spreads of us in our marketing collateral. Do you see the names and faces of the people from Detroit or Alabama who made your car? Probably not. Management and marketing just didn't think of it, or didn't think it would be useful. Nothing to do with some odd notion that Chinese people are "shy" or that Chinese factory workers are "ordered" to stay quiet.

I'm guessing you didn't mean it that way, but the way you phrased the question suggests a strange, uninformed attitude about an alien culture and western centric preconceived ideas.
My dad is a retired design engineer, and he subscribed to the SAE journal, which I read avidly. I got a chance to be introduced to a lot of automotive engineers, and my best friend's dad was a foreman at the Tonawanda engine plant. I knew lots of people who worked at auto plants or parts plants, or who had parents that did.

I remember articles in the SAE Journal. And I bought Saabs as well, and the newsletter often featured an interview of some Trollhattan employee or another. And, the car newsletters and magazines were full of articles and interviews. And I was in KFOC (Kaiser Frazer Owners Club) and even interviewed former Kaiser employees.

I see some information about Japanese people in manufacture, and even sometimes some on Chinese manufacture (my brother in law was over there to supervise the construction of a large electronics plant), but, insofar as Indonesia is concerned, I feel like the instruments come from Mars.
 

ultradust

Member
Messages
1,552
Hop on Netflix and check out Korean and Chinese teen dramas. I know, I know... sounds like a waste of time, but take a look at the movies focused on teens and young adults. You'll see A LOT of Orange and Marshall amps along with lots of Fender guitars and a few Gibsons. the OP's question.

I'm a bit one-sided here, but anyway...

Folks who come to Korea are often very surprised to see that every Korean club has no less than two JCM-2000 half-stacks in the backroom ready for stage action, and a lot of broadcast stations (SBS and MBC in particular) curiously use a lot of Orange amps for live shows that have bands involved...And very few Fender amps in comparison. And +1 for Korean drama shows, they took Japanese melodrama and really perfected it to a cultural artform.

Curious folks should probably check out "Coffee Prince" or "Secret Garden" to get their feet wet in the very addictive Korean drama series thing.
 

Major Twang

Member
Messages
493
I'm a bit one-sided here, but anyway...

Folks who come to Korea are often very surprised to see that every Korean club has no less than two JCM-2000 half-stacks in the backroom ready for stage action, and a lot of broadcast stations (SBS and MBC in particular) curiously use a lot of Orange amps for live shows that have bands involved...And very few Fender amps in comparison. And +1 for Korean drama shows, they took Japanese melodrama and really perfected it to a cultural artform.

Curious folks should probably check out "Coffee Prince" or "Secret Garden" to get their feet wet in the very addictive Korean drama series thing.
Battle of drama series...Vote now...

``Secret Garden`` or ``Days of our lives``
 




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