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Thread: Good Chinese factory's

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    Good Chinese factory's

    Wondering if any of you guys have any expierence with Chinese guitar factories. Looking for a nice clean cheaper les paul to build. Don't want to deal with AliExpress again, I bought one from a vendor on there and got something totally different color with tons of flaws and got totally screwed on the deal. Don't want to chance it again by just picking a random factory to buy from. I have seen a lot of success stories with people getting well built instruments, so I know they exist.

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    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwheat View Post
    Wondering if any of you guys have any expierence with Chinese guitar factories. Looking for a nice clean cheaper les paul to build. Don't want to deal with AliExpress again, I bought one from a vendor on there and got something totally different color with tons of flaws and got totally screwed on the deal. Don't want to chance it again by just picking a random factory to buy from. I have seen a lot of success stories with people getting well built instruments, so I know they exist.
    Honestly it’s a crap shoot. There is no way of telling who is making what by name. I’ve had some success with buying parts and making my own clones. But unless you have some serious skills, experience, tools, and time I would call it exactly cost effective. One way is to buy slightly more expensive parts through Amazon Prime. You have much more recourse if there are issues on arrival. I had pretty good luck putting a Chibson neck on an Epiphone G400 SG body. The neck was around $50. The G400 was given to me. Also Reverb has some decent kits. That LP Jr I just built was an Eden Kit that I got lucky with. I sourced my own hardware and electronics. It’s a great learning experience. Best to start with something simple and inexpensive and don’t get hung up on fancy finishes or high end models. Keep it simple and take your time. Not to say that complex clones can’t be done. I know a few luthiers in my area that are making LP customs from Chinese necks and bodies and are virtually indistinguishable if not better than most modern USA ones.

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    Last edited by olddawg; 05-13-2018 at 07:09 AM.

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    Not looking for parts really, looking to but a complete finished guitar that I can upgrade hardware and electronics in. I actually bought a few of the high quality diy kits, but I currently have no place to put them together and finish them, so looking for something somewhat cheap that i can upgrade. Not real interested in buying an epiphone, as they don't really offer the colors I am interested in, and not a big fan of breaking headstocks off, lol. I was going to buy a finished body/neck from guitar fetish, but they sold out of the color I wanted and will never have them again apparently. Bargain musician has some nice looking ones as well, but not quite the color I am looking for.

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    If only problem is colour, well, that has a reasonably easy solution



    If no space available and/or itīs a single shot job, not worth investing in, just visit your friendly neighbourhood car paint shop.

    They have the equipment and the basic skill, you add the guitar specific details, such as sanding, polishing, etc.

    Or go to the killer guys, who routinely do this level of painting, well above any standard guitar art:





    even a humble example such as this one:


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    Juan Manuel Fahey

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    That 'vertigo' bike tank is staggering. I'd probably run into the back of a car whilst riding along and staring at the artwork.

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    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Some of the Chinese factories make great guitars for established brands but I would hesitate to deal with them directly. It's not like the 90's when you could buy a Cort guitar knowing that it was made in the same Korean factory that was making Epiphones as I recall.

    I agree with the suggestion of buying from sellers on Amazon or Reverb•com assuming that they have good return policies. If they have found good products from the Chinese factories I don't mind paying their markup.

    Steve A.

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    For an up-gradable finished guitar, you might consider Rondo Music. I've never dealt with them, but "reliable sources" have reported that some of their cheaper models are surprisingly good. IIRC, forum members have bought B-stock specials for pickup mules and ended up keeping them as players. [EDIT: Oops, it seems the best deals are on Strat, Tele, P-bass, and J-bass styles; the LPs are relatively pricey by comparison.] They also have a "semi-custom" service where you can specify upgrades to their standard models.

    -rb

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    Last edited by rjb; 05-13-2018 at 07:22 PM. Reason: intelligence -> sources
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve A. View Post
    Some of the Chinese factories make great guitars for established brands but I would hesitate to deal with them directly. It's not like the 90's when you could buy a Cort guitar knowing that it was made in the same Korean factory that was making Epiphones as I recall.

    I agree with the suggestion of buying from sellers on Amazon or Reverb•com assuming that they have good return policies. If they have found good products from the Chinese factories I don't mind paying their markup.

    Steve A.
    I have seen some that guys bought that were incredibly well made guitars, this factory, not so much, lol. They got some of the details down real good, like the actual structural part, and shaping, but their finish work was just not very good at all. If someone would of put just a little more effort into it than it would of been an incredibly nice unit. The frets are so bad I don't think I found one that wasn't high in at least one spot, some aren't radiused properly to the fret board so the ends aren't fully seated into the fretboard. It's a train wreck really. The fretboard inlays are almost all crooked and have gaps around them. Crazy thing was that this factory had the best feedback on there. The lady that runs the operation was a total dick. After I received it and noted the problems she was like "you too picky, you get good guitar for the money". That's the name of the game with ordering anything directly from china though, if it isn't what it is supposed to be they don't have to do anything unless you pay 100 bucks to ship it back. Surprisingly has some very hot pickups though, no wax potting it seems, as you can't be anywhere in front of an amp, but they sound nice, if you can find a chord to play with no fret buzz, haha.

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    I will check them out, I have found a few that are in the us that sell similar guitars, most have either the pointy horn , or a short horn, not the authentic looking les paul horn. None of the ones with brand names on them anyway, like jay turse, oscar Schmidt, agile, Xzavier, and a few others. Bargain musician has some of the nicer made ones I have found, but very limited on colors, and most have the aged looking binding. That's cool on some colors like a honey burst, but not on a flamed maple transparent black finish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bwheat View Post
    ...but very limited on colors, and most have the aged looking binding. That's cool on some colors....
    You too picky, you get good guitar for the money.

    -rb

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    Last edited by rjb; 05-13-2018 at 09:45 PM. Reason: ADDED SMILEY!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjb View Post
    You too picky, you get good guitar for the money.

    -rb
    Thanks, I at least expect it to be playable I guess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bwheat View Post
    Thanks, I at least expect it to be playable I guess.
    Sorry, I didn't realize how much binding color affects playability I guess.

    -rb

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    Quote Originally Posted by rjb View Post
    Sorry, I didn't realize how much binding color affects playability I guess.

    -rb
    I was referring to the one I bought, not the one with different color binding. Not trying to be a total titewad. Would spend upwards of 350 for a well made unit with cheap hardware.

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    Well, if you want interesting colors, chinese made I think (maybe indonesia?)... good quality tuners but a cheap bridge?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    $420ish new from one US seller on eBay?

    Of course, that's only if a Les Paul DC type guitar is close enough...

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    Supporting Member mozz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjb View Post
    For an up-gradable finished guitar, you might consider Rondo Music. I've never dealt with them, but "reliable sources" have reported that some of their cheaper models are surprisingly good. IIRC, forum members have bought B-stock specials for pickup mules and ended up keeping them as players. [EDIT: Oops, it seems the best deals are on Strat, Tele, P-bass, and J-bass styles; the LPs are relatively pricey by comparison.] They also have a "semi-custom" service where you can specify upgrades to their standard models.

    -rb
    I have 4 Agiles here, right from Rondo. Come join us on www.aguitarforum.com , many well versed experts on all aspects of Rondo guitar brands.

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjb View Post
    For an up-gradable finished guitar, you might consider Rondo Music. I've never dealt with them, but "reliable sources" have reported that some of their cheaper models are surprisingly good.
    Two friends have bought SX brand basses from Rondo, dead cheap @ $120 each. Satisfied customers both, the only "mod" was to put some good strings on, D'add half rounds. Admittedly this is a very small sample size, and their purchases were made 5 to 8 years ago. In both cases they got playable instruments and both had the expected tone as well. Headstocks were not same as Fender but you have to expect that. Those good with wood cutting & finishing might be able to reshape the headstocks to be more Fender-like.

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    Tried the bargain musician blackburst lp. It got boxed up and sent back that day. Barely any flame on the top, and lots of flaws as well, even worse than my original china lp. Decided to bite the bullet and just buy another epiphone, as there was a big sale at musicians friend on them.

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