Ibanez JEM Forum banner

1 - 20 of 71 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I passed by the local guitar shop today, looking for a cheapo Les Paul copy (my own reward to myself for stopping smoking). While at the window, I saw a couple of GSA and RG guitars (up to RG3xx and GSA was a 60). I was a little interested,so I peaked behind the headstock. I was actually expecting Made in Korea. But, they were actually Made in Indonesia. Not really suprised. Just wanted to let you all know that the discusion is not only Japan vs Korea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
681 Posts
Just had a look at the Ibanez website, and the way i see it, if these are mad in Indonesia:
RG370
RG350
RG321
RG7321
RG320
GRG270
GRG170

and these are made, Prestige style, in Japan:

RG1520
RG1527
RG1570
RG1820
RG2550
RG2570
RG2620
RG3120
RGA121
RGA321
RGT220
RGT320
JEM7
UV

then surely the only RG guitars now being made in Korea are the RGT42, and the JEM555?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,110 Posts
GRG, GRX, GSA, GAX, GSZ and the JTK are Indonesian - made in the same factory that makes Yamaha Pacifica up to 312 and other guitars for Yamaha.
AF, AK, AS and AG are all Chinese made.
All the RGs that are not prestige are Korean.

Next time you go to the store bring your glases. :grin:

ilia
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,071 Posts
Even here at São Paulo, Brazil, i'm seeing PGM3 (white and blue/pink) and the JEM Jr. 333 in white and black colors.
The trems and hardware are all black, and seems exactly like Lo-TRS (but shows Ibanez logo only).
The price is dirt cheap compared to the PGM30 and JEM Jr.555.
Tubarão.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,234 Posts
Flobanez said:
Lucky that all my Ibanez' are made in Japan.
I'll never buy a Korean or Indonesian made guitar.
Never is a long time. There was a time people justifiably said the same about Japanese guitars. No longer. And IMO it's no longer a good generalization for Korea, either - I've seen some NICE Korean stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
BTW congrats on the stopping smoking..... good move! I still struggle with it myself after 6 months, but everytime I have a flap about it, I spend the money I would have spent on something for my 2 year old son which always puts it back in perspective.

Cheers,

Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks doc. Luckily I don't feel the urges too much, which I found strange given the amount of smoking I used to do.

Hmmm. But maybe it just makes me see "Indonesia" when "Korea" is printed.... I'll check again in a week. By that time I should deserve at least a strum.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,152 Posts
i've seen RG320's with both Korean and Indonesian labels, so I'm convinced it's not your eyesight!

Korea is the new Japan... China is the new Korea... Indonesia is the new ????
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,991 Posts
I said the same thing about Korean guitars until I took a chance and snagged an 'o4 AR300 Artist. As much as I hate to admit it, it's a REALLY nice guitar. Overall, the quality was right up there with a comparable Japanese-made model. Not quite on par with the Prestige AR2000/3000 models, but I didn't expect it to be. Things have definitely changed in regards to the overall quality of Korean-made guitars.
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
26,390 Posts
Korea is not the new Japan. I'm still waiting to see a true craftsman built Ibanez from Korea, and the Idonesian and Chinese stuff is just crap for crap prices.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,991 Posts
Rich said:
Korea is not the new Japan. I'm still waiting to see a true craftsman built Ibanez from Korea, and the Idonesian and Chinese stuff is just crap for crap prices.
I'd agree with that. Korea is definitely NOT the new Japan...yet. But, Korean quality has vastly improved over the past 5 years even. Still not up to Japanese quality levels, but getting closer. For the money, Korean stuff is a better buy than it used to be.

The AR300 was an experiment for me though (already sold it). I'll stick with Japanese-made Ibanez' for the time being, but if I get the urge for another "beater", the Korean-made stuff is good enough :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I must say though that those guitars I saw (saw only, didn't play) were really good-looking ones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,895 Posts
There's no question that Korea (Cort anyway) is now making great guitars. It started in the early '90's when Ibanez made a commitment to evangelize the Cort factory in some of its ways. But Rich is right. Those factory workers aren't "artisans" in so much as they are laborers. I recently saw a Cort "custom shop" acoustic that was beautiful, and perhaps totally worth the 4 digits, but upon close inspection I saw things I know I'd never see on a Prestige Japanese guitar. Most of it is "unfinished business" like they never really take the time to complete anything to a 100% flawless end.

Korea is not the new Japan, although you could argue that the current Korean crop is way better than the old Japanese stuff from the '70's but it's more technology based than craftsman based. The Korean factories are very advanced right now compared to any factory (Japan included) of the '70's or 80's. But it's no substitute for quality workmanship.

Indonesia and China are actually the new Korea. Korean factories like Cort have Indonesian and Chinese plants. So they're building the Indonesian/Chinese factories and products off the Korean model. Right now I wouldn't accept an Indonesian or Chinese guitar as an equal alternative to Korea. Much the same way I won't accept a Korean guitar as an equal substitute for Japan. In other words, if you can get a Korean RG for around $350, don't buy the Indo/Chinese one. If there's an RG 3xx that was Korean and they switch it to Indonesia without telling anyone or changing the price, that's wrong. They are not equal in quality. Ibanez has usually been pretty good about differentiating the lines between factories. Besides the RG470 type guitars, they never really tried to have the same model number switch countries. If they're now trying to blur the lines between Indonesia and Korea that would be shameful. Equally as shameful as making a Korean Prestige model. It's almost unforgivable. They need to let us know what we're getting. And they've always done a good job of that in the past.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,304 Posts
The RG470 switched from Korea to Japan didn't it? I've got a 94 or 95 (gone blank now) Korean made one and besides the Infinity single coil being fairly noise with some distortion I've been happy with it since the day I bought it back in June 1995.

The LO-TRS II trem has only started having difficulty staying in tune if I don't block it off early this year, and it's being serviced this Friday so should be good as new again when done.

I've also picked up a 94 Korean made neck off another RG470 for my guitar project, and besides the fact that it looks virtually unplayed, the build is sensational. I had my guitar tech check it out and said the timbers, build quality, etc was fantastic. Especially considering how much I pipcked it up for.

Sure the Korean made guitars don't necessarily come with the better trems or pickups, and are more 'factory' built than the Japanese ones, but they are still built pretty well. And you can always change the trem pickups if you are having troubles.
 

·
Vendor
Joined
·
26,390 Posts
I'm not too sure what you call fantastic build quality.

Nobody in Korea plays guitar. Rock and Roll was outlawed 20 years ago. You have to be able to play guitar to understand what you need to BUILD a guitar, and more importantly FINISH it with any semblance of craftsmanship.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,152 Posts
Rich said:
Korea is not the new Japan. I'm still waiting to see a true craftsman built Ibanez from Korea, and the Idonesian and Chinese stuff is just crap for crap prices.
my point being that once upon a time, if it wasn't built in the usa, it didn't get a second look. then japan proved they could, in fact, out-build the usa. now the cost of labour starts to become prohibitive in japan, and korea gets a chance to prove itself. and so on and so forth.

i am not suggesting that korea is building guitars on par with japan. just that it has adopted the under dog status previously held by japan.
 
1 - 20 of 71 Posts
Top