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TheGreek

Made in China

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I recently bought a Tuner and a Delay pedal from a Chinese dealer on eBay. No issues with either - well priced, arrived well packaged and in good time - so I thought that I'd order a Valve Pre-amp for myself and a Bass Distortion pedal for a friend (both less than £20 inc P&P) - still waiting for these but tbh every deal I've done with the Chinese dealer has gone really well, they've been really polite and their priority seems to be genuinely wanting to preserve their 100% rating on ebay, and have aimed to please. Got me to thinking - if the stuff I've bought is OK, just how good/bad are the guitars they're building?

So I looked at the website "Made in China.com" - I accept you've only got the photo to go by but the build quality of the items seem OK. Even if the electronics aren't up to much you could probably rip them out, add a decent set of pickups and away you go.

I remember when "Made in Japan" meant "junk" but the reality was that most of the stuff that came out of Japan in the 70s was pretty much alright and that it was a ploy by British manufacturers to try to maintain their sales (of what was pretty shoddy items TBH) by slandering the opposition.

So I'm looking through the website:

http://www.made-in-china.com/products-search/find-china-products/0b0nolimit/Bass_Guitar-10.html

There are a few basses that look interesting but obviously I have reservations about - most are priced at less than $100 (£60ish) - quite like these:

http://afantimusic.en.made-in-china.com/product/LbvEcRtogsrP/China-Hot-Classical-Style-Jb-Bass-Guitar-Electric-Bass-AJB-012-.html
http://jwtone.en.made-in-china.com/product/nbwQYzEjYepM/China-Electric-Bass-guitar-4string-bass-guitar-5string-guitar-bass-JW-TBASS001-.html
http://afantimusic.en.made-in-china.com/product/kMKQErLlJNUP/China-Afanti-Music-Bn-Series-Electric-Bass-Bass-Guitar-ABN-042-.html

anybody have an experience of these?

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Generally speaking after I tryed by pure and insane curiosity some chinese basses at Frankfurt MusikMesse, I found they are like the panda bears in chinese restaurants...I mean fake plasic bears in fake plastic trees...
I usually go to a very good chinese restaurant, but for eating and not for the pandas. Lol
I would rather give 100€ to a poor guy in the street than buying a chinese bass with this amount.
Best

Edited by TheSiberian

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Some of the instruments look interesting, but with postage and import charges plus having to pay the higher price (I'd presume) for a single item, it would still cost enough to make it a significant risk.

I like the look of this one though. However, I suspect the price may be entered erroneously.

[url="http://rebonguitar.en.made-in-china.com/product/gbwJNtFjQXpO/China-Neck-Through-Body-Electric-Bass-Guitar.html"]http://rebonguitar.e...ass-Guitar.html[/url]

If anyone wants to organise a forum purchase of one of the more interesting ones, I'll throw in a tenner.

EDIT: These were being sold on Amazon for about £220 or so if I remember correctly. [url="http://afantimusic.en.made-in-china.com/product/YoqmCarUOspR/China-Unfinished-6-String-Fretless-Bass-Guitar-Kit-ABK004-.html"]http://afantimusic.e...it-ABK004-.html[/url]

EDIT: Still looking. This looks interesting. [url="http://rebonguitar.en.made-in-china.com/productimage/bomQzkGKuYRf-2f1j00CMVTApitbNrl/China-7-String-Neck-Through-Body-Neck-Electric-Bass-Guitar.html"]http://rebonguitar.e...ass-Guitar.html[/url]

This might look better if someone hadn't vomited all over the top. [url="http://rebonguitar.en.made-in-china.com/productimage/WomEMRxHONrq-2f1j00UvktPczraFuB/China-Electric-Bass-Guitar-with-Nice-Burl-Wood-Veneer.html"]http://rebonguitar.e...ood-Veneer.html[/url]

Not bad: http://rebonguitar.en.made-in-china.com/product/LMxJUYDuvNrB/China-Five-String-Neck-Through-Body-Electric-Bass-RB-5K-.html

Edited by Annoying Twit

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[quote name='Mornats' timestamp='1412622884' post='2570549']
Remember that iPhones and Macs are made in China too...
[/quote]
Probably 80 or 90% of all musical instruments are made in China. Down at individual components, regardless of where the assembly is/ who's doing it, and you're probably approaching 100% - something, somewhere, within the item. A sampler will always be the factory's very best and most attentive work, especially if you're able to convincingly suggest that you're in a position to initiate a steady rate of bulk purchases on satisfactory inspection of said sample.

Take a $ price. Add 20% for bulk shipment, 2.6% (iirc) to HMRC, mark up for each stage in the distribution of the product from warehouse to retailer, and 20% VAT, and you're probably looking at $80 on here for £400 (more?) on the peg in your local music shop. As I recall the Chinese postal (international) service is improbably fast, and cheap.

As a sweeping generalisation, I think Chinese designers still misconstrue some of the subtleties of western tastes so they come up with some really wacky stuff, but most of their creative output is usually to copy specific western designs as closely as they can, and some plants are brilliant at it.

[url="http://afantimusic.en.made-in-china.com/product/wovQWJTdANpI/China-Hot-Afanti-Jb-Bass-Guitar-Electric-Bass-AJB-016-.html"]http://afantimusic.e...s-AJB-016-.html[/url]. Better go to bed before I ask for a price on a mahogany body and spalted top...

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[quote name='Mornats' timestamp='1412622884' post='2570549']
Remember that iPhones and Macs are made in China too...
[/quote]
....and most of the aluminium frames for bicycles including the top end racing ones.

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I think one of the things that differentiates China from many of the other far eastern, cheap labour, markets is that they are able to embrace production from the very lowest super-cheap, poorly made, badly finished products right up to very high quality mass market items.

At the moment 'made in China' doesn't have a strong differentiated brand image other than maybe low cost production. Whereas 'made in Japan' is usually associated these days with much higher quality. Although, interestingly, there's still a throwback in attitude on MIJ products - 'made in USA' instruments are always easier to sell than MIJ even if the Japanese equivalent is of higher build quality :(

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[quote name='TheGreek' timestamp='1412621281' post='2570523']
I remember when "Made in Japan" meant "junk" but the reality was that most of the stuff that came out of Japan in the 70s was pretty much alright and that it was a ploy by British manufacturers to try to maintain their sales (of what was pretty shoddy items TBH) by slandering the opposition.
[/quote]

Exactly. Look what happened to the British motor industry - we were the ones producing the crap while the Japanese were busy producing some of the best vehicles and bikes in the world.

I've got a Fender USA jazz and a MIJ P and I can't honestly say that one is twice as good as the other, even though the price was (and I bought the P new and the J secondhand).

We are accustomed to expensive things being 'better' things because of decades of marketing and it's why there are 'premium' brands that can command premium prices. Yes, premium products are probably a bit 'better', but probably not in proportion to the inflated price.

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You can outsource pretty much everything if you wanted..and some U.K/western companies are
no more than shells with a high level management/board level.
So, that can mean no labour benefits in the local country and then you wonder
why we never make anything and don't have a manufacturing industry.

For this reason, I try and buy as local as I can. I can't be sure about all the components
within, but most of my gear might pre-date the moves en-masse, to the far east.

I think there is still a stigma about China, but then that get files under Far East ( IMO, to all intents and purposes )
and for quite a few things, ( white goods ) we aren't going to buy from the West.
Even if labour charges were reasonable enough for the accountants, probably only assembly would be local
as marketing is sensitive to 'putting' Westen labour on the dole, so likes the Made in (insert anywhere acceptable here )
on goods.

I'd pay a premium for a good western product, ( it needs to be good ) but would want anythng from the Far east, CHEAP...
Not really concerned about how good it is supposed to be, it needs to be cheap and workable.

You pays your money and you take your choice.

But remember all this when your company accountant outsources or makes people redundant as the reason will
almost invaribly be someone else, somewhere else, is cheaper... and nobosy cares about that until it hits them in the face.

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Main issues are, stretched wire ! :huh: Poor quality solder and made by people who could not give two monkeys as long as it looks good.
Wire is hung up stretched and 50m of wire becomes 60 m of wire, solder is poor quality and never checked for consistency.
If a factory can clip of just 2% by stretching things out where it is not seen, that is profit.

So far all brands that have manufacturing shipped far East sooner or later end up with QC issues, not aware of anyone bucking the tend.

Edited by spacey

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[quote name='TheSiberian' timestamp='1412622546' post='2570543']
I would rather give 100€ to a poor guy in the street than buying a chinese bass with this amount.
[/quote]

Good on yi. Go out and do it now:)

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[quote name='spacey' timestamp='1412678969' post='2570921']
Main issues are, stretched wire ! :huh: Poor quality solder and made by people who could not give two monkeys as long as it looks good.
Wire is hung up stretched and 50m of wire becomes 60 m of wire, solder is poor quality and never checked for consistency.
If a factory can clip of just 2% by stretching things out where it is not seen, that is profit.

So far all brands that have manufacturing shipped far East sooner or later end up with QC issues, not aware of anyone bucking the tend.
[/quote]

Stretched wire? Hmm.

Wire is [u]made[/u] by stretching it. If you want to save on wire, which can certainly be legitimate, then just buy a thinner gauge of wire.

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[quote name='subrob' timestamp='1412641381' post='2570744']
Probably 80 or 90% of all musical instruments are made in China.
[/quote]

I can't see it being that high. Cort make a hell of a lot of instruments, both their own brand and loads for other brands like Ibanez, Squier, G&L Tribute, Epiphone. They used to build them in South Korea but I think a lot now come from their Indonesian factory (factories?). And Cort do a pretty good job of it too.

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Working for a major manufacturer we havr dropped china altogether due to quality issues.

We now outsource to Indonesia who shame the Chinese products for litterally pennies in differance

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[quote name='TheGreek' timestamp='1412621281' post='2570523']
.....I remember when "Made in Japan" meant "junk" but the reality was that most of the stuff that came out of Japan in the 70s was pretty much alright and that it was a ploy by British manufacturers to try to maintain their sales (of what was pretty shoddy items TBH) by slandering the opposition.

[/quote]

Yes, I remember that too
Several pals had really good basses and guitars made in Japan during that period
and I had a "Shaftesbury" Rick copy bass, made in Japan, and it was absolutely fantastic
I only sold it cos it needed re-fretting, and I didn't have the cash for that at the time
Really regret ever selling that bass now...

Among my current crop of basses, is a China-made Squier Classic Vibe 60's P bass
in rather fetching pink/red, with tort plate - It looks fab, IMO
and it plays better than a Fender US P bass I recently tried (that was good too - just not quite as nice as my Squier)
My Squier sounds great too, and it's really well put together - feels, sounds & plays like a quality instrument....

I've bought a lot of cheaply made Chinese tools etc - and usually regret buying them,
cos they bend! lol
So I suppose it depends what you're buying that's made in China....

If someone were to ask about whether to go for a new China-made Squier
I'd always say try it first - but I'd also say "go for it!"

Edited by Marc S

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[quote name='flyfisher' timestamp='1412678279' post='2570911']
Exactly. Look what happened to the British motor industry - we were the ones producing the crap while the Japanese were busy producing some of the best vehicles and bikes in the world.
[/quote]
That's true but that's because the Japanese learnt very quickly. In the 1950s every Japanese motorcycle manufacturer had bikes in their range that were simply copies of motorcycles by BSA, Norton, Triumph, Matchless, AJS etc, were made from inferior materials and often unreliable but within a decade they had designed their own models and manufacturing process and their bikes were the most reliable in the world. In the early 60s many British motorcycle dealers had signs saying 'we do NOT work on Japanese motorcycles' hanging in their windows. Within a couple of years these all disappeared.

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[quote name='TheSiberian' timestamp='1412622546' post='2570543']
I found they are like the panda bears in chinese restaurants...I mean fake plasic bears in fake plastic trees...
I usually go to a very good chinese restaurant, but for eating and not for the pandas. Lol
[/quote]
I must be going in the wrong restaurants because all they have in my local Chinese one is a few silk pictures hanging on the wall. I somehow feel cheated now. :)

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Never mind, we can still produce world-beating cars like Aston Martin. After all, we're a G8 country, one of the richest in the world, so we're not held back by primitive production facilities.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RxihhTuTms


Nothing like those Chinese car factories eh?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R46x6k2wieU

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[quote name='BetaFunk' timestamp='1412684234' post='2570993']
I must be going in the wrong restaurants because all they have in my local Chinese one is a few silk pictures hanging on the wall. I somehow feel cheated now. :)
[/quote]

Of course they can't find to buy anymore panda bears for your restaurant by now… they switched production, they're busy now making basses. ":0)
Best

Edited by TheSiberian

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[quote name='flyfisher' timestamp='1412685564' post='2571006']
Never mind, we can still produce world-beating cars like Aston Martin. After all, we're a G8 country, one of the richest in the world, so we're not held back by primitive production facilities.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RxihhTuTms


Nothing like those Chinese car factories eh?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R46x6k2wieU
[/quote]

The Aston Martin video is somewhat dated, it was filmed 20 years ago. Aston moved all production from Newport Pagnell to their new facility at Gaydon some time ago. Newport Pagnell is a service and restoration centre now.

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[quote name='Marvin' timestamp='1412689666' post='2571047']
The Aston Martin video is somewhat dated, it was filmed 20 years ago. Aston moved all production from Newport Pagnell to their new facility at Gaydon some time ago. Newport Pagnell is a service and restoration centre now.
[/quote]

Yes, after Ford bought it and dragged its production methods into the 20th century!

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[quote name='flyfisher' timestamp='1412709396' post='2571254']
Yes, after Ford bought it and dragged its production methods into the 20th century!
[/quote]
But who would turn their noses up at a 1960's Aston..??

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[quote name='flyfisher' timestamp='1412685564' post='2571006']
Never mind, we can still produce world-beating cars like Aston Martin. After all, we're a G8 country, one of the richest in the world, so we're not held back by primitive production facilities.

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RxihhTuTms[/media]


Nothing like those Chinese car factories eh?

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R46x6k2wieU[/media]
[/quote]

That post made no sense at all :lol:

If you want to compare like-for-like (in other words not handbuilding cars in 1994 compared to a modern production line...) you can see much the same facilities at Jaguar/Land Rover in Speke, Vauxhall in Ellesmere Port, Toyota in Deeside. Those are just local examples to me, need I go on...?

Edited by Protium

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[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1412756427' post='2571579']

But who would turn their noses up at a 1960's Aston..??
[/quote]

I would. Seriously. Cars are a very good example of how mass production using high precision machinery can create far higher and consistent quality goods than anything hand made. For all the romance and nostalgia of old cars, I'm quite happy to forego having to 'run in' new engines because the manufacturing tolerances are so poor or have a 'Friday afternoon' car where the panels don't fit properly. My FiL once had an Aston and always said it was the most unreliable car he ever had. Beautiful cars, no doubt, but great pieces of engineering? Depends on the task in hand I suppose. If you want to turn heads then an Aston would win every time, but if you want to do 20,000 miles a year for five years then a Mondeo would be the far better machine.

Edited by flyfisher

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