Country of origin puzzlement - Jemsite
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-03-2002, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2002
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Country of origin puzzlement

okay, maybe this has been chatted about before (sorry if it has), but why the large concern over where the guitar has been put together? it certainly seems like some plants use different components than others (edge vs. trs, dimarzio vs. ibz/usa); but where does the country's labor force enter into the discussion?

most everyone i've encountered seem to regard the Japanese made axes as far superior.

yes, my Ibanez says "Made in Korea" on the back side. my sneakers say "made in Indonesia". my undershirt says "made in El Salvador".

is the whole Korea vs. Japan thing just over *parts*?
or is there some *evidence* that Koreans can't use a screwdriver as well as the Japanese, or a Korean ruler isn't as straight as a Japanese one?

sure, maybe the GIO Ibanez's are made in country A, and the Prestige 2020's are made in country B...... but does the ethnicity of the labor really matter that much?

just wonderin' as the origin is always tagged with the instrument in discussions.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-03-2002, 01:48 AM
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I'm going to give my MHO.

First ppl worry about that crap cause some only think USA stuff is good. Some only like where their favorite axe comes from. Now some ppl base it on what quality a particular makers guitar model is coming from. I mean like say the Jem was made in Korea and everyone loved it cause it was great parts and good quality control etc.. and the S series in USA and they really sucked. Then I could see someone saying that the USA stuff sucks, but what they mean is the USA made S model guitar from Ibanez suck, not that every guitar from any manufacturer sucks from the USA.

Anyway I wouldn't worry so much, buy what works for you, regardless of what anyone says. Personally I love my RGT, I'm like totally crazy about it, it just seems like the guitar I've been searching for like 8 years for.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-03-2002, 09:22 AM
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Re: Country of origin puzzlement

Originally Posted by Heat Miser
but does the ethnicity of the labor really matter that much? -H/M-
My quick summary: the nationality of the workers is mostly irrelevant... look beyond that. It is the training, goals and collective EXPERTISE that are of primary importance in any industry.

The country of origin is relevant only in that Korea and China factories are outsourced to create affordable low-end guitars, that aspire to be "decent low cost guitars". Nothing more and nothing less. Next, Cort and other factories mass-produce these low-end guitars for ibanez and just about every other manufacturer too.

With ibanez, the premium workers in Asia are in Japan, not Korea (or China)... glen
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-03-2002, 11:22 AM
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i hate when ppl is prejudiced against Korea/Indonesia, especially when they have ALOT of money and NO Korean/Indonesians in their collection.
i've got a Korean RBM10 (w/Edge) and an Indonesian RG270 (also w/Edge) among a bunch of Japaneses: ok, Japaneses are better built, but for the price non-Japanese rock!

it's a choice.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-03-2002, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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wow! thanks for the prime replies! they all make a lot of sense.

a lot less puzzled now----

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-06-2002, 09:36 AM
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I think alot of hub-bub about locational issues is unfounded.

My evidence for this is Japanese Fenders, specifically the one's from the mid-80's that play and sound better than the American counterparts from the era (and even currently). Hell, Fender restricted and stopped Fender Japan from bringing guitars into the US because I think they were chewing into their numbers.

Of the reputations Japan seems to have the best. Korea and Indonesia get slammed but alot of that comes from the actual guitars and what they're compared to. Gibson players are adamant that since their guitar was made in the US, it's better. However Epiphones, made in Indonesia and other parts, are quickly becoming decent counter-parts to the insanely priced Les Pauls. Additinally Ginsons US quality control has sucked royally lately and some folks are spending less to get a better quality guitar.

My big problem with the whole thing is the connotation that guitars made in the US are better. I find a serious flaw with this statement. Late 1970's US Fenders are terrible instruments filled with bad engineering ideas and even worse quality control. During that time Ibanez got in trouble because they were making better Gibsons that Gibson was making Gibsons. Because of the general state of the work force in the US it's been favorable to base Custom Shop operations here and have mass production be done overseas with cheaper labor costs. This the reputation kind of came off as a universal statement and I think it's really a falsehood.

The bottom line is that you can get a crappy guitar anywhere. Hell, give me a 2x4 and a hammer and I'll make you one; it'll be a limited run of 1 and made solely in the US.....but it doesn't make it good. Good is a relative term, and usually relative to how decent the work is, the quality of the work and components and what the general grade of instruments being produced is.
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