Jackson guitars, country of manufacture???

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IwantTacos

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Cheap chinese stuff that you guys get abroad doesn't suck because it's made in china. It sucks because it's cheap.

There are tons of brands that are very good that aren't even exported because there's no point right now.

It's just easier to sell trash.
 

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works0fheart

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Not quite the same IMO. I'm fairly sure phones are 100% machine assembled, with little to no human work on the product itself.

Yes and no. Have you not heard about the Apple factories over there that have to have nets placed around their buildings because of the suicide rate of employees? The reason a lot of stuff is made over there is because of cheap cost of labor. There are very much people working by hand on assembling these things. Why install expensive machinery to build something when you can have poverty stricken citizens do it for pennies on the dollar? This isn't just Apple either, they were just the first to come to mind.

Tree is right though. You should try stuff out before committing to an instrument instead of just writing it off altogether. I'm not sure what Chinese guitars are lacking in quality right now, because honestly, I just don't keep up anymore. The longer I play guitar the more I realize how tedious it is to keep up with the opinions of musicians when it comes to gear. I often find that opinions people have on it isn't always in line with mine, which is fine.

We'll use Strandberg as an example here. They were all the hype here for a while, but in the last few years they've been getting a lot of flack based on build quality, location, etc. A lot of it is probably warranted and I often see people talk down on them for having guitars built out of Indonesia, citing that their quality is lacking, etc. I bought a Boden Fusion Neck-Thru last year and I can tell you that I've had no issues like people are speaking about here. If I had, I would have returned it since Strandberg is actually pretty good about this type of stuff. It plays just fine, and I can't find a single issue with it outside of not liking the pickups it came with, which are some Suhr pickups. Funny enough, people seem to love these pickups normally and they're often surprised when I say I don't like them. To me, they sound too bass-y and not precise enough for high gain sounds. Otherwise, the instrument is flawless and it's been my go-to guitar for practicing.

It's not like I don't have plenty to compare it to either (Currently have 10 guitars). All of which are varying quality, but the Strandberg is definitely a favorite, even beating out my beloved Jackson's in some aspects. All I'm saying is, if you have the option to try something first, or like others have mentioned, the site has a good return policy, don't knock something until you try it.

Also, look, another thread on guitars made outside of the US. Next time it's my turn to make one lol.
 

IwantTacos

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Yes and no. Have you not heard about the Apple factories over there that have to have nets placed around their buildings because of the suicide rate of employees? The reason a lot of stuff is made over there is because of cheap cost of labor. There are very much people working by hand on assembling these things. Why install expensive machinery to build something when you can have poverty stricken citizens do it for pennies on the dollar? This isn't just Apple either, they were just the first to come to mind.

Tree is right though. You should try stuff out before committing to an instrument instead of just writing it off altogether. I'm not sure what Chinese guitars are lacking in quality right now, because honestly, I just don't keep up anymore. The longer I play guitar the more I realize how tedious it is to keep up with the opinions of musicians when it comes to gear. I often find that opinions people have on it isn't always in line with mine, which is fine.

We'll use Strandberg as an example here. They were all the hype here for a while, but in the last few years they've been getting a lot of flack based on build quality, location, etc. A lot of it is probably warranted and I often see people talk down on them for having guitars built out of Indonesia, citing that their quality is lacking, etc. I bought a Boden Fusion Neck-Thru last year and I can tell you that I've had no issues like people are speaking about here. If I had, I would have returned it since Strandberg is actually pretty good about this type of stuff. It plays just fine, and I can't find a single issue with it outside of not liking the pickups it came with, which are some Suhr pickups. Funny enough, people seem to love these pickups normally and they're often surprised when I say I don't like them. To me, they sound too bass-y and not precise enough for high gain sounds. Otherwise, the instrument is flawless and it's been my go-to guitar for practicing.

It's not like I don't have plenty to compare it to either (Currently have 10 guitars). All of which are varying quality, but the Strandberg is definitely a favorite, even beating out my beloved Jackson's in some aspects. All I'm saying is, if you have the option to try something first, or like others have mentioned, the site has a good return policy, don't knock something until you try it.

Also, look, another thread on guitars made outside of the US. Next time it's my turn to make one lol.

Strandberg gets a lot of flack because they are like 3500 hundred dollars now and they aren't Aristides good.

the actual people that buy them don't mind though.

Strandbergs are like therapeutic pillows or heated toilet seat covers. No price is too high if you really want one.
 

works0fheart

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Strandberg gets a lot of flack because they are like 3500 hundred dollars now and they aren't Aristides good.

the actual people that buy them don't mind though.

Strandbergs are like therapeutic pillows or heated toilet seat covers. No price is too high if you really want one.

I like Aristides but I'd be lying if I didn't think they're another flavor of the moment that's being circle jerked hard by this forum. They play, and sound pretty good, but in 5 minutes we'll all like Solar Guitars the most again. Or maybe Schecter? Who knows. Let's not pretend this isn't true.

In all seriousness though, my Fusion NT was $2800 with a lot more features than an Aristides 060 at the same price point, which at that range is pretty barebones. Let's not even go into one of these subjective "BuT tHe QuALitY, It'S an InDo GuItAr, ARStIIdes Is maDe iN BeSt FaCtorY sO iS BeSt".

No.

I'm pretty known for being a cheap ass so this being my most expensive guitar, I'll say it was worth it, but to say no price is too high? False. At least for me. See my post in the other thread where I mentioned that there's a ceiling on guitar prices that just isn't worth exceeding. Strandberg isn't an outlier for this. And yes, you're 100% right, certain things are definitely novelties that people will pay exorbitant amounts of monies for, and Strandberg is definitely that sometimes. Most brands are now days, hence the headless craze for a bit, the stained poplar burl flamed birds ass maple, whatevers. We've currently got the 80's paint schemes making a comeback (crackle and whatnot), but in a year or 2 people will be sick of it. Aristides is one of the brands that's also like that right now, and their guitars actually resemble heated toilet seat covers. Hell, they might even be made of the same material in some cases. They've got some cool paint schemes though.

But round and round we'll go circlejerking brands one at a time while cycling through stuff that's already been done until we realize why we originally got sick of it and move on to something else we were previously burnt out on. Whoo.
 

IwantTacos

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I like Aristides but I'd be lying if I didn't think they're another flavor of the moment that's being circle jerked hard by this forum. They play, and sound pretty good, but in 5 minutes we'll all like Solar Guitars the most again. Or maybe Schecter? Who knows. Let's not pretend this isn't true.

In all seriousness though, my Fusion NT was $2800 with a lot more features than an Aristides 060 at the same price point, which at that range is pretty barebones. Let's not even go into one of these subjective "BuT tHe QuALitY, It'S an InDo GuItAr, ARStIIdes Is maDe iN BeSt FaCtorY sO iS BeSt".

No.

I'm pretty known for being a cheap ass so this being my most expensive guitar, I'll say it was worth it, but to say no price is too high? False. At least for me. See my post in the other thread where I mentioned that there's a ceiling on guitar prices that just isn't worth exceeding. Strandberg isn't an outlier for this. And yes, you're 100% right, certain things are definitely novelties that people will pay exorbitant amounts of monies for, and Strandberg is definitely that sometimes. Most brands are now days, hence the headless craze for a bit, the stained poplar burl flamed birds ass maple, whatevers. We've currently got the 80's paint schemes making a comeback (crackle and whatnot), but in a year or 2 people will be sick of it. Aristides is one of the brands that's also like that right now, and their guitars actually resemble heated toilet seat covers. Hell, they might even be made of the same material in some cases. They've got some cool paint schemes though.

But round and round we'll go circlejerking brands one at a time while cycling through stuff that's already been done until we realize why we originally got sick of it and move on to something else we were previously burnt out on. Whoo.

The comparison to Aristides is only about fit and finish and build quality. I've got 3 strandbergs and going prices to get 3 more of the same range would be comparable to getting 3 tom Andersons or suhrs. and these are not as good as a ta or a suhr. That's what this forum has a problem with.

If they were 3500 and really good no one would have a problem with it.
 

Flappydoodle

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So y’all will spend $1k+ on your MIC phones and computers and everything else, just guitars happens to be where you draw the line? Even at the same price point? Bearing in mind that this is today’s $1k, not the same value as it was decades ago. For the same money in early 2000 you’d probably be paying the same for a low end Jackson, LTD, etc. with worse specs and hardware outright.

I’m not trying to advocate that the Chinese factories are suddenly on par with all the others with build quality. It just seems a little weird to me if it’s “out of principle” in that respect.

It's not weird at all to want to avoid China on principle. China is run by absolutely horrible people. They have literal concentration camps and are currently carrying out a genocide. They are also threatening military action against Taiwan, a peaceful, modern democracy. When I have the option, I will choose not to support China.

Do we always have an option? Of course not. Lots of things in supply chains come from China. It would be extremely difficult to eliminate China entirely from everything I own or buy. But if I have a clear choice available - guitar made in Korea, or guitar made in China, I will choose against China every single time. That's a pretty reasonable stance IMO, and I'm certainly not alone.

Also, inflation of the USD is around 50% since 2001 according to https://www.inflationtool.com/us-dollar/2001-to-present-value

I appreciate some people have ethical concerns about where things are made so I'm not going to get into that.

But at this point, the "country x/y/z = terrible manufacturing quality" argument seems so bizarre. I know people will be hung up on the past, and of course the rise of internet shopping has killed off people's desire (and ability in some cases, I'll concede) to actually go and, y'know, try a guitar out before dropping four figures on it and complaining that you don't like it. I swear there have been about 50 'why is everything expensive now compared with 10 years ago?' and 'I'm not buying a guitar built in x' threads since the turn of the year. It's very weird.

Also, everyone needs to play an Eastman and then re-evaluate their opinions of Chinese build quality.

I don't think anybody has seriously made the blanket "country x = terrible quality" statement without any nuance. That seems like a strawman argument.

Any country with manufacturing capabilities can obviously make a great guitar if they put enough time and effort into it. But the reason WHY Jackson outsources to China, Indonesia etc is because it saves them money on manufacturing. Those savings extend to everything - the materials, labour costs, and the amount of QC. Companies *can* get great quality out of China, as long as you watch them carefully, enforce your own QC standards, and you are willing to take the hit to your profit margins. (Every product failing and moving back in the line costs you money). That practice is relatively uncommon though, because again, the reason you outsourced there is to make things cheaply and charge a lower price.

One big problem is that if you outsource something and don't oversee it strictly, they are going to take extreme liberties with every single aspect of the build. Every country/factory will do this to some extent, but China is notorious and brazen when doing this sort of thing - swapping out cheaper materials, skipping or shortening steps that you can't see/measure (like wood drying etc). Anybody who does business there knows to expect that.

Suggesting everybody tries some small luthier to re-evaluate opinions about an entire country seems like another totally false premise. They have 1.3 billion people. I don't think anybody would say that nobody in China is capable of making a good guitar due to genetics or geography.

It's not a logical fallacy when most Chinese-made products don't have domestically produced options, and the few that do are typically priced orders of magnitude higher. Sure, I can buy an entry-level Gibson for a reasonable premium over a higher-end Epiphone, but compare the price of a Kobalt toolbox from Lowes to something from Mac or Snap-On.

Yes and no. Have you not heard about the Apple factories over there that have to have nets placed around their buildings because of the suicide rate of employees? The reason a lot of stuff is made over there is because of cheap cost of labor. There are very much people working by hand on assembling these things. Why install expensive machinery to build something when you can have poverty stricken citizens do it for pennies on the dollar? This isn't just Apple either, they were just the first to come to mind.

Technically, it is/was a sub-contractor who was building parts to be used by Apple. Apple isn't running their own factories, but they contract out parts manufacture and assemblies to companies which in turn run lots of factories or contract out to other companies with more factories. It's a massive headache for Apple to ensure that those companies/factories are actually following the correct standards. And of course there are lies and trickery at every step - where the company says factory X is doing something, but actually it's company Y outsourcing their outsourcing etc etc etc. Also, often the workers don't even work for that company, but they are brought in by another company which supplies workers to factories. So the whole thing is a huge and confusing mess basically, lol
 

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It's not weird at all to want to avoid China on principle. China is run by absolutely horrible people. They have literal concentration camps and are currently carrying out a genocide. They are also threatening military action against Taiwan, a peaceful, modern democracy. When I have the option, I will choose not to support China.

Do we always have an option? Of course not. Lots of things in supply chains come from China. It would be extremely difficult to eliminate China entirely from everything I own or buy. But if I have a clear choice available - guitar made in Korea, or guitar made in China, I will choose against China every single time. That's a pretty reasonable stance IMO, and I'm certainly not alone.

Also, inflation of the USD is around 50% since 2001 according to https://www.inflationtool.com/us-dollar/2001-to-present-value



I don't think anybody has seriously made the blanket "country x = terrible quality" statement without any nuance. That seems like a strawman argument.

Any country with manufacturing capabilities can obviously make a great guitar if they put enough time and effort into it. But the reason WHY Jackson outsources to China, Indonesia etc is because it saves them money on manufacturing. Those savings extend to everything - the materials, labour costs, and the amount of QC. Companies *can* get great quality out of China, as long as you watch them carefully, enforce your own QC standards, and you are willing to take the hit to your profit margins. (Every product failing and moving back in the line costs you money). That practice is relatively uncommon though, because again, the reason you outsourced there is to make things cheaply and charge a lower price.

One big problem is that if you outsource something and don't oversee it strictly, they are going to take extreme liberties with every single aspect of the build. Every country/factory will do this to some extent, but China is notorious and brazen when doing this sort of thing - swapping out cheaper materials, skipping or shortening steps that you can't see/measure (like wood drying etc). Anybody who does business there knows to expect that.

Suggesting everybody tries some small luthier to re-evaluate opinions about an entire country seems like another totally false premise. They have 1.3 billion people. I don't think anybody would say that nobody in China is capable of making a good guitar due to genetics or geography.





Technically, it is/was a sub-contractor who was building parts to be used by Apple. Apple isn't running their own factories, but they contract out parts manufacture and assemblies to companies which in turn run lots of factories or contract out to other companies with more factories. It's a massive headache for Apple to ensure that those companies/factories are actually following the correct standards. And of course there are lies and trickery at every step - where the company says factory X is doing something, but actually it's company Y outsourcing their outsourcing etc etc etc. Also, often the workers don't even work for that company, but they are brought in by another company which supplies workers to factories. So the whole thing is a huge and confusing mess basically, lol
Nicely put to be honest.

Share very similar view with you. Specifically in this case that you've mentioned, I'd be willing to pay + more money for an instrument made in Korea than I would for something that is $200 cheaper in China and/or Indonesia.

Just as I would pay more for Japan than Korea.

Speaking of Jackson...

Quite a business decision they made lol - wanted high end to be made in USA so gets rid of the Japanese line and offsets it to China and Indo, and then reintroduces MJ products b/c everyone wants it, and now it's an arm and a leg. big lol
 

MaxOfMetal

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Speaking of Jackson...

Quite a business decision they made lol - wanted high end to be made in USA so gets rid of the Japanese line and offsets it to China and Indo, and then reintroduces MJ products b/c everyone wants it, and now it's an arm and a leg. big lol

There's a lot of nuance missing here.

For a long time, Jackson was insolvent as a business. Years of not adjusting to trends, slow production, lawsuits, staffing changes, management issues, they were pretty much ready to die when FMIC swooped in, and it took them over a decade to get back to a shadow of their former self.

During much of that time, Chushin Gakki, the OEM for the Japanese Jacksons was also not doing well financially. They lost a handful of customers in a short time frame, and eventually failed as a business.

It wasn't until recently, with Jackson USA in black and FMIC resetting and revitalizing their Japanese manufacturing that we're seeing the return of MIJ Jackson guitars.

The last of the Chushin stuff was around 2012, but really closer to 2010 as far as legitimate output. So it's been just over a decade, and in that time things have changed, so the current MIJ stuff isn't dirt cheap in North America anymore.
 

sfinktah

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... Strandberg as an example here. They were all the hype here for a while, but in the last few years they've been getting a lot of flack based on build quality, location, etc. A lot of it is probably warranted and I often see people talk down on them for having guitars built out of Indonesia, citing that their quality is lacking, etc. I bought a Boden Fusion Neck-Thru last year and I can tell you that I've had no issues like people are speaking about here. If I had, I would have returned it since Strandberg is actually pretty good about this type of stuff. It plays just fine, and I can't find a single issue with it outside of not liking the pickups it came with, which are some Suhr pickups. Funny enough, people seem to love these pickups normally and they're often surprised when I say I don't like them. To me, they sound too bass-y and not precise enough for high gain sounds. Otherwise, the instrument is flawless and it's been my go-to guitar for practicing.

Wow, I only found out that .strandberg* was a thing this year... and now I see it was a thing in 2013...

BTW, they are now made (mostly) in Indonesia at a special sub-factory within PT Cort (as in Cor-Tek and Cort [Electric] Guitars). Cort are a Korean company that make their guitars in Indonesia and China, and (IMHO) their Chinese guitars beggar belief. They have their own-design bridges and locking tuners that look more like they were manufactured in Germany than China, and every one I've seen in a shop has been absolutely perfect.

People with the smart money are all saying that it doesn't matter where your guitar is built, what matters is (a) what your build budget is, and (b) how good is your factory (and their staff).

I got a reply to a youtube comment [name dropping honk] from Rob Chapman 10 days ago, regarding a comment I made regarding a comment Lee made on an Anderton's video about "everything being CNC", point being:

Rob Chapman: Hiring people causes more problems with human error which are costly to repair. You really need a blend of highly experienced people who are passionate with state of the art technology.

That's more a plug for his own brand that a reply to my question, but I trust Chapman guitars (and their South Korean factory) more than any other guitar manufacturer, because he's actually a guitarist. And too many "in the know" people have Chapman Guitars for them to be crap. If Rob says it costs $500 to make a good guitar in South Korea, I'll pay Chapman Guitars $500 to get a guitar from South Korea and I know it will be a highly functional guitar.

I also have (reasonably old... say 10-15 years) MIC guitars that are all without discernable fault (and I've had them alll in pieces): A Squier Affinity Strat, an Epiphone Special II (the old one with 2 knobs), and a $99 Samik [admitedly that one is made from plywood, but it is really old].

I also have variously prices MIC knock-offs (these are all quite new), sometimes branded, sometimes directly from AliExpress, some with fake Fender decals. They're all perfectly playable, and have been setup beautifully. The nuts are were uniformly crooked, the angle of the bridge with regard to the center line of the guitar is inversely proportional to the cost, and the through-string (they're all Telecaster clones) holes are all various degrees of fucked up... but they're all perfectly playable and setup-able which (if you don't care for resale value) is all that should really matter. I haven't even felt the need to replace the tuners, pots, or switches.

It seems even bad Chinese factories have worked out how to wear exactly 17 pieces of flair.

As to the OP's original (and very very old, sorry for that) comment about disclosure... I note that Indonesian PRS guitars actually have the name of the factory that produced them on the back.
 

sfinktah

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Speaking of Jackson...

... Years of not adjusting to trends, ...

Funny you should mention that, since I came here after looking at an Anderton's listing for a JS11 Dinky that didn't list it's country of origin.

What it did list was: " 22 jumbo frets "

Who the actual hell is still using jumbo frets?
 

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