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  1. #1
    Eruption
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    09.16.16 @ 04:53 PM
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    Default My 2007 " state of the guitar address"

    There are a lot of changes in the guitar industry that are not sitting will with me, leading me to inform and discuss this with people that build, buy and appreciate guitars. STOP BUYING KOREAN BUILT GUITARS! Spread that word! Yes they are less expensive and affordable for some, but there is and underlying issue. The amount of guitars being produced today is massive compared to 10, 15 ... years ago. I understand that not everybody can afford a $1500 guitar. The fact is there are some great guitars for $199, the olp for example. Here is the long term problem with selling out and having korean built wannnabees. Those companies (FENDER, GIBSON,)that are having there guitars built over seas are sending log buyers over to the U.S to buy logs to build those guitars ALOT OF THEM! I am located in the northwest where a lot of the wood is coming from. Being a builder myself I used to be able to buy alder reasonable. It has shot up because of the surge in buying from overseas. Maple too. The popularity of figured maple tops has driven companies to want to emulate that on there guitar such as peavy, ernie ball et....on there korean built models. They are coming over here and outbidding other mills in the U.S. people on logs so they can ship them back to korea, peel them down to the thinest veneers in the world, put them on a body, build them and sell them back to you!! All that for about $50-$100 production cost and still somehow make everybody money-including the guitar hoars at Guitar Center. By doing this it actually raises the price of U.S. built guitars in the long run because they are chewing into the wood supply at a faster rate now then they used too. Is it really worth it! How many people can admit they have settled for less and end up parting out guitars and selling them on ebay anyway! I found out from a cutter I buy wood from that this is a fact. The just want to buy the peelers to get the most consistent flame/quilt tops because they got so popular. Do people really want these? Nothing wrong with veneers but on a shit guitar they have how NO affect on tone. This cycle is contributing to the unnecessary spike in Alder and maple in the northwest region. I think it is worth the debate since the guitar buying public, primarily younger market does not realize the "behind the scenes" aspects. I am all for trade but there is something wrong with the current picture. The outsourcing thing has gotten out of hand. If you are going to buy a foreign guitar stick to a company that got its start overseas. My take on the whole thing is we have to much talent and resources within our borders to have to haul our logs over seas for everything. A quality guitar can be built for less in the U.S. There are some companies that are making that effort and there are too many that are not! Too many companies more interested in signature guitars to make a quik buck. What happened to building a nice guitar with no ones signature on it? Suggestion :Party and drink less. save a little more money and buy a used or new reasonable guitar. There are plenty of guitars without a home out there! Stop buying there marketing bullshit!!! If you ever wonder why peavy never had good quilt tops on the van halen model guitars , Here's your answer :They were to CHEAP to spend the extra money on nice maple !! Paul reed smith was smart enough to do it. One wood supplier I got wood from in the 90's just before van halen was ousted from ernie ball and went to peavy told me they will never be able to do it..... Put good maple on those guitars, they are not willing to pay for the good maple at that price! Paul reed smith was crushing everybody. He was right. You would think that asking $1700.00 for a guitar they could of at least made a better effort. Now he has jumped to another company. Lucky for him there are still the followers, feeding his controlling alcohol problem. He is a marketers dream/ night mere! Remember this is the guy that told you through his lawyers that you can't stripe guitars and sell them for fun! Karma is a bitch! JET CITY GUITAR

  2. #2
    Good Enough
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    12.14.17 @ 03:08 PM
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    Default

    ...ummm, yeah...so, besides the fact that it's like 4:30 am in my part of the world right now, I'm going to let this one go for now.

    Let's see if this thread has any legs under it...if discussion ensues, I'll be sure to throw my best Dennis Miller "rant" in reply...

    ...ok, so THAT being said, let's talk this one up, kids...'cuz I'm really starting to chomp at the bit on this one...

  3. #3
    5150 C5150's Avatar
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    10.19.15 @ 11:50 AM
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    Default

    I'd rather build, a guitar than buy one of those pos!

  4. #4
    On Fire
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    04.11.13 @ 12:43 AM
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    Default

    American companies should have never made guitars over seas, once Fender and Gibson started doing that it was the beginning of this mess.

  5. #5
    Eruption mk5's Avatar
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    04.30.16 @ 03:52 PM
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    Default

    Whew...just finished reading that. For the future, use separate paragraphs for easier reading. When everything is all jumbled together it is hard to comprehend.

    Anyway, I see the points you are making. If I can paraphrase your thoughts:

    1. You are upset as a builder because builders overseas are stocking up on U.S. wood. This is driving the price up for you and other smaller builders. Capitalism at its finest.

    2. Companies are being irresponsible because they are making paper thin veneers and passing them as "maple tops" and the like while ruining perfectly good pieces of wood that could've been used for higher quality guitars.

    3. The guys that can do something about it are all "yes" men to the pros and are only interested in the bottom line.

    Well, welcome to the 21st century. I think the problem is a little bit more multi-faceted.

    For instance, I would venture to say that 90% of the guitars sold in the U.S. are beginner guitars. Parents who go shopping for a guitar for little johnny don't want to spend the dough on a good one because , even though johnny is jonesing for one now, he may just throw it to the side after a couple of weeks. Then they're out the $$.

    When I was in sales, I sold starter packs (the guitar/amp/etc. combos) about 10 to 1 vs. higher end models. Why? That's the market of people coming to the stores.

    The guys in the know don't shop at GC. I'd bet most of the experienced players shop online or buy off eBay. Boutique guys are thriving on the players who are searching for "the tone" and buy their gear, only to be tired of it and ready for the next pursuit a few months later, i.e. Bogner to Diezel to /13 etc. etc.

    The reason that's important is that GC realizes that and plans accordingly. They are so big that they can dictate who they want to sell and who they don't. Know why GC doesn't carry Fernandes Guitars? They don't have to, that's why. Plus, the kids may go in playing the PRS through the Dual Rec, but they walk out with an Ibanez RG270 and a B-52 head (not sure where made).

    So now GC is telling the public what they want, and you KNOW what type of employees they have--inexperienced high school grads.

    Woops, the kid's crying, gotta go...more later maybe.
    Last edited by mk5; 09.08.07 at 09:47 AM.
    How open-minded do I have to be before my brains start spilling out?

  6. #6
    Eruption mk5's Avatar
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    04.30.16 @ 03:52 PM
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    But we did this to ourselves. We refused to pay retail for guitars, which, in turn, would've brought better employees, better service, better advice. We want it cheap and fast and you can't compete with that.
    How open-minded do I have to be before my brains start spilling out?

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk
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    05.31.14 @ 08:17 PM
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mk5 View Post
    But we did this to ourselves. We refused to pay retail for guitars, which, in turn, would've brought better employees, better service, better advice. We want it cheap and fast and you can't compete with that.
    You can make this statement about everything Americans buy today. Something's got to give.

    Now, on the flip-side there is a secondary issue, old guys [**cough**guys who started playing the same year Van Halen 1 came out**cough**]

    I hadn't even looked at a guitar nor walked into a music store in almost 20 years when I bought my cheapie Charvel two years ago. I bought it because I liked the pickups and it was $400 bucks. Back in the time between 1978 and 1986, the days when I was in the music stores all the time and making to big roadtrips to San Jose to GC and Guitar Showcase I knew a lot about guitars and how much they were and so on. Back then, a good mid-priced guitar was around $650 and $1250 to $1350. So those numbers have been hard-wired into my guitarist brain. So when I returned to start looking for a second guitar I find that all of the American made guitars START at $1250 and the average price is around $2000.

    Yikes!

    Then I was briefed on the Mexican Fenders, the Chinese and Korean stuff. The Mexican Fender Strat I played was nice, really nice and I think my Charvel is Korean. I just don't have a lot of money to spend on equipment and the guitar I play isn't as much of a factor as my Amp might be. I will spend a little more on my Amp than I will for my guitar because you can do a lot to make the guitar sound better.

    I don't know what to say, if there had been an American-made guitar there that had all of the features that the Charvel had for the same price I would have been happy to buy it.

    The other thing I noticed is that there isn't a lot of innovation going on and not a lot of creativity. So if I'm going to buy the same old guitar that I could have bought back in 1982 then why should I pay $2500 for it?

    Seriously, how about a USB port?

    Maybe an onboard MIDI Interface?

    Onboard LCD Tuner?

    Why should I pay a couple of grand for a guitar and then still have to buy all that stuff seperately? Escpecially since I live in a world where I can get a free cell phone (with 2 year contract) that has a built in camera and GPS?

    Eventually the Japanese will figure that stuff out and then the American guitar makers will be just that much farther behind.

    I look for price, then value and something cool. If an American company can put that guitar on the shelf I will buy it.
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


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  8. #8
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    02.18.11 @ 08:09 PM
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    axxman, nicely said.

    now where do you work again?

    i would like to make sure i don't buy anything your employer makes and find a nice cheap asian replacement. you know, the japanese will figure out how to innovate or something something.

    so how about it?

  9. #9
    Hot For Teacher VanLaing5150's Avatar
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    12.26.11 @ 12:28 AM
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    Fletch...
    lets face it man...I dont think there has ever been a better time to be a guitarist...if you want a starter guitar that wont cost you a mint...it can be had, if you want an american made guitar with all the fixins...you got it. Everything is now able to be serached on the web and stuff that used to be only available to certain pros, we can now check out and buy. The little guy can actually scratch out a living. Look at Splawn amps...Scott(the owner), has basically done ziltch advertising anywhere that I've seen and just by word of mouth on the internet, he's got a thriving business and loyal hord of followers. Anything at almost any pricepoint can be had nowadays. Especially when it comes to amps and effects, as far as multi-effects units, modeling amps, tube amps, custon creations..anything you can think of, its all for the taking if you the price is right. Do I have all the money in the world, no. But Im grateful that if I chose to spend a little or a lot, there is tone that is available, and 10 years ago it wasnt, 20 years ago it was being imagined and 30 years ago it wasnt even dreamed of. In short 2007, the future has never seemed brighter...
    Eddie and Dave...the way it was meant to be

  10. #10
    Atomic Punk ziggysmalls's Avatar
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    12.16.17 @ 08:21 AM
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    Default

    While I would like to support local music companies, the truth is I want my product as reasonable as possible. There is a reason why TV's are not made in the United States anymore. There is a reason why the American auto industry is failing. People want the best value for their money. I have an American Wolfgang Special and a Korean model. The American version is better but I can't say its 400 dollars better. Plays about the same and the metal is different but sonically I cannot tell the two apart.

    If I want to spend 2000 on a guitar, chances are it won't be an import however when its 500 or so, I am going to look at all my options. Maybe it will be American, maybe not.

    I will say our options are better than it was when I started to play in 85. You just need to know what to look for.

  11. #11
    Forum Frontman
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    07.04.16 @ 08:03 PM
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    Default

    This is a legitimate thread, because Scott is voicing concern/frustration over something that affects him directly. And in one way or another our free trade (more like "offset trade") economy has affected all of us in multiple ways. As a dedicated musician and guitarist it is indeed very frustrating to see the guitar manufacturing business cheapened so much. The music store I teach at holds an annual "guitar toss" event, which benefits charity. We take donated guitars and sell tickets to throw them into dumpsters. There's prizes and a drawing at the end. The majority of the donated guitars are usually only a few years old, and they're the Target/Wal-Mart/Best Buy mega-cheapy guitars that are just dousing the market; they become completely useless pieces of shit within just a couple of years. But that's where we've come with just about EVERYTHING in our economy.

    There was an interesting report on NPR this last week relating to the massive Mattel toy recall. The whole situation has suddenly placed a high demand on American toy makers to meet orders from buyers--some of whom are the Asian companies in trouble. So there may be a point soon where Americans get fed up with the cheapifying of products, but what the long-term solution is, I don't know.

    I can say I definitely take a lot of pride in saying that most of my guitars are USA-made. But I've bought a few import guitars because, well, the bang for the buck was just too good.

    Also, Peavey and EVH were trying very specifically to meet a price point in the earliest days of the Wolfgang guitar. They tried going with the quilt they were getting, and after too many disappointing tops they switched to flame maple. Remember the days when EVH cared about keeping the costs on his signature gear down?

  12. #12
    Eruption mk5's Avatar
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    04.30.16 @ 03:52 PM
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    Default



    Also, Peavey and EVH were trying very specifically to meet a price point in the earliest days of the Wolfgang guitar. They tried going with the quilt they were getting, and after too many disappointing tops they switched to flame maple. Remember the days when EVH cared about keeping the costs on his signature gear down?

    Vaguely, then he never followed through. He said when the WG came out that he wanted the top dollar model to be about $1200.00. It came out at $1700.00 MSRP and then shot up to $2100.00 for the maple standard. Don't know what happened there.

    Then the guy made the big stink about "these are the exact ones I play," and when he finally played them out, he had a custom special w/ hot rails and one with a sustainer in it--not factory stuff everyone could order. However, he did play that nice quilty tobacco burst that looked quite standard.

    Anyway, axxman makes a great point. Samick makes 80% of the guitars out there and they do it well. When you can get a nice Mexican Strat or budget version ______ that seems as solid as a USA counterpart, it's hard to justify getting the more expensive version. Plus, it justifies customizing w/new p/ups, etc. since you seemingly saved yourself a few bucks.

    I wish there was a way that the big dogs could farm out all the budget stuff to small USA builders rather than have it done overseas. That seems like it would be a win-win, but I doubt it would agree with their overhead.
    How open-minded do I have to be before my brains start spilling out?

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk
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    05.31.14 @ 08:17 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by lil'devil View Post
    axxman, nicely said.

    now where do you work again?

    i would like to make sure i don't buy anything your employer makes and find a nice cheap asian replacement. you know, the japanese will figure out how to innovate or something something.

    so how about it?

    Look, like I said, if there was an American made product in my price-range I would have bought it. There wasn't one.

    Why should I apologize?

    Rolls Royce, Apple and Ferrari don't bitch when people don't buy their products.

    If I wanted a nice American-Made guitar I'm going to comb the pawn-shops and and used equipment places first and I'll end up buying a guitar that was made 30 years ago. How does this help the guys who build today? Sure, if I were playing in a working band again the I might buy a Peavy or a Gibson as one of my principles but I'm still going to have a cheap guitar as backup or for playing high-risk locations where my equipmet is going to be damaged or stolen (ah, the good old days).

    Carvin and Peavy make great equipment and guitars and they have a reasonable starting price. If I were to start playing again the Carvin Amps are at the top of my list and I'm dying to try out the EVH line.

    It comes down to basic economic truth: You aren't going to sell as many $2000 guitars as you will $600 guitars.

    American Guitar makers need to do a better job of MARKETING and legistics. You know, bribe your Congress person, get your guitars into the hands of big-name players and get your product out there. They also need to get out and take a good close look at the Asian products and FIND THE FLAWS, then get the word out. Look at what is happening in the Toy industry right now, the Chinese made stuff is now under a black cloud due to lead-based paint, so stock-prices have fallen and Mattel and others are looking at a huge hit to their bottom line. As a result, toys will cost more and this will mean that production will spread out from Asia and back to the US for certain items. It's a safe bet that as production in Korea and China has grown that corners are being cut somewhere. American companies need to buy these guitars and take them apart piece by piece and cut up the wood and inspect them closely.

    If these guitars stand up to detailed inspections then that's the way it goes.

    I don't make a lot of money. In the past I've tried to save up for a Les Paul, but that takes almost seven months for me and something always comes up. I just spent $800 to repair my truck, my mother has Luekimia and I have to help with rent and medicine, shit like that.

    So what am I supposed to do? Am I going to have to stop playing guitar because I can't spring the $2500 to $3500?

    Only wealthy people can play guitar in the 21st Century?

    I guess I could let my mother die, maybe that how YOU do things so that you can have a nice guitar.

    Fuck that.

    I bought a nice Korean guitar, it's not a Wolfgang but it doesn't suck either and I'm not going to apologize for a situation that I didn't create. I'm not going to apologize for keeping a roof over my head at the expense of not buying an American guitar and I'm not going to apologize for helping my mother at the expense of quality American gear.

    Why should I?

    Like I've said three times now, if there was an American product in my price range that day I would have given it a fair shot and maybe even bought it.
    I cannot buy something that isn't there. American have surrendered the mid-price market to foriegn made and foriegn companies. I used to work in the Toy business and American toy companies have done the same thing, farmed their low-end and mid-priced items out to foriegn manufacture and left only the high-end manufacture in the US, for which they charge much more for. The result is that the low end dropped the base retail prices and dragged the mid-range down with it, and this created a huge gulf betwen the mid-range and the high-end products. Because the difference in basic quality (not craftsmanship) wasn't that different the high-end product sales began to slow and this continues today. Yet the CEOs have ignored the gap because they have been sold on the myths of high-end production and that they can continue to sell the product in specific markets. What they don't underdtand is that these markets are shrinking and dissapearing and they've done nothing about it. There is no reason that they couldn't retool and offer American made, mid-range priced guitars (See Carvin) yet they don't.

    That is not my fault.
    "Nothing is ever what it seems but everything is exactly what it is." - B. Banzai


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  14. #14
    Little Dreamer
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    01.05.12 @ 07:11 PM
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    I own a USA Peavey (not a Wolf, just one of the Strat clone Predators), and several Asian guitars: a '92 Charvel CX390 (MIJ), a early '90s Taiwan-built Yamaha RGZ321P, and a freshly-minted MIC Floyd Rose Discovery DST-2.

    I'm married with 3 kids. I make a decent living but I'm by no means wealthy. Guitars are far down the list in our family budget. I like buying American, but I'm gonna buy the best guitar I can afford, regardless of origin.

    My main amp is USA-built: Tech 21 Trademark 60.

  15. #15
    Eruption
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    09.16.16 @ 04:53 PM
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    Thanks for everybody that has given there point of view. That was the purpose of my topic. Couple of points about myself and the way I think. I am an analyst by nature. An optimist. A realist. A truth seeker by nature. One who is out to make a living and a honest one at that. People first, Money second. One who values everybody opinion and does not tread on other peoples ground. Nobody needs to apologize for any purchase that they have made. It is my fault for going into an attack mode rather than be more objective. I am excited about trying to achieve some new goals. Build some nice guitars make less money off each piece, and build more! Axxman300 said
    There is no reason that they couldn't retool and offer American made, mid-range priced guitars (See Carvin) yet they don't.
    That statement is exactly what I was after. I have been hard at work breaking down the whole process in order to achieve a high quality product for a reasonable point. Here is an example: I set out to find a machine shop that would produce heel plates out of aluminum for me. After many months I was able to find a small shop in colorado with a great quality record. He was able to produce a flawless product for me for $ 2.50 a piece . From there they will be anodized and laser printed. So in the end factoring in volume, I should be able to get them down to a finished part for about $7.00. There are alot of shops here in the US. wanting to do this work. I had them battling for the cheapest quote, If it was too high, I moved on. It wasn"t hard I just put in the time! The fact is even making it myself would have cost more! The goal, keep as many parts in the U.S as possible. Two things I know for sure. 1. I will never have a complete build oversees. 2. I will never hang a guitar in guitar center! I would rather go direct ( ala carvin) with the power of marketing and the internet over selling them by the container full . Question? What would everybody be willling to pay (below $1600 list for an ernie ball) for a U.S. built guitar that is the equivalent of a peavy wolfgang special with a figured maple laminate top and a G &G ( american made) case with a speedloader as an option? P.S. Sorry I have to run my statements together until I fix my broken keyboard!
    Last edited by scottfletcher; 09.10.07 at 02:29 PM.

 

 

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