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Asian Imported Parts Vs Usa Made


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Hi folks, I've been away for a while. have a great 2006 !

I have been searching different websites for parts and noticed one guys site where he says he only sells US made parts and basically that asian imported parts are crap. This got me to thinking that I have played a number of guitars that have asian parts, switches, bridges, machine heads etc. and they felt good and the tone was pretty good (some great tonal qualities) (using low cost asian pickups). I cant see the point in spending a couple of hundred bucks on SD pickups if your axe is only worth about $500. I remember when I first played an Ibanez back in the late 60s. People thought "God these cant be any good cause they aint fenders or gibsons. Ok, they werent the best then but I have played some Ibanez guitars since the late 70s up to today and they feel and sound great to me. I have a tele clone guitar that was handmade by a friend that I prefer to play rather than my real fender tele. but I have had people say "It sounds great but it aint a Fender"

So back to the topic. Is it just guitar snobbery that makes a lot of guys want to buy only US parts? Are asian parts any good in building/repairing mid price ranged axes. They certainly are cheaper. Yeah I know...some are going to say you get what you pay for ! But if you have bought asian parts, were they worth the money in your opinion?

Just wondering is all. Would you buy asian parts? or stick with US made?

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I guess you'd have to evaluate each part for what it is.

I'm not trying to be snobish, but generally speaking Asian parts are of a lower quality. They tend to be clones or copies of someone elses hard work reproduced enmasse, with cheaper materials which allows them to be sold at bargain basement prices.

That's not to say they can't or don't produce any good parts. Likewise, you have to evaluate USA, Canadian or whaterver parts. Sometimes a company can get sloppy after they have established a name for themselves and the quality seems to disapear. The shareholders become more important than the axe holders as such.

Just do some research on each part you're considering. Forums like this are a good place to start, but ask the questions on each specific part you are looking at. You really can't generalize and say "Don't buy Asian parts" I've got a Jap strat here that I'd put up against any American made with confidence.

Cheers

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Well, there's not much left being manufactured in the states these days...at least not these kinds of components.

But a lot depends on the company contracting the part --if they specify extremely high quality standards (in which case, they're probably having the part made in Japan and not the US anyway) then the part's stands a better chance of being high quality.

Japan has a good reputation for quality manufacturing, it's hard to lump them into the same category as China or Indonesia. Even Korea and Taiwan have moved up to a higher quality level.

Some things are all relative...the difference between Bigsbys and licensed Bigsbys are pretty minor --not worth the doubled price, if you ask me.

But it ultimately comes down to the specifications-- cheaper materials, lower tolerance requirements, fatter margins, etc. etc.

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My korean les paul (epi) plays better and sounds better than my frieinds american made studio. This is a fair comparason as my epi is the studio model aswell. But ive played some guitars with asian floyds and i hated them, they actualy felt cheap. I think its a hit or miss thing this, you might get lucky and get a good batch, but you might be unlucky and get a bad batch, just like anything realy.

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A lot of it comes down to tolerances. With the cheap hardware I've noticed its a hit or miss thing. But then again Mickguard wasn't it you who had the tonepros studs that didnt fit worth a damn? And you pay an elevated price for the same problems as the cheap hardware.

Alot of parts apper to be copies of each other as well, so undoubtibly some of those parts, high dollar and low dollar alike, are probably made alongside each other.

Personally im not against modifying hardware. So i deal with the inconsistancys as they come up.

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A lot of it comes down to tolerances. With the cheap hardware I've noticed its a hit or miss thing. But then again Mickguard wasn't it you who had the tonepros studs that didnt fit worth a damn? And you pay an elevated price for the same problems as the cheap hardware.

No, I had the "Wilkinsons" (i.e., licensed Asian-made crap) bought from GFS for not much.

At least tonepros tried to make good on it --impossible to contact Wilkinson.

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You guys think tonepros stuff is made in the states? Ha ha ha...

No offense, but his stuff is all contracted out through asian factories. He's making huge profits for minor improvements on basically stock Gotoh hardware (except for the wrap-around, he had that custom designed by Steve Rowen at pigtail music).

It all depends. I don't think you can really generalize on this stuff. I've heard some horror stories about hipshot products which are made in the states and I've seen some really good Asian stuff.

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Thanks guys for your thoughts. It sort of goes like strings too I suppose. You get guys swearing by certain brands of strings, then find that the company that made them also made heaps of other brand strings. I did a test once with a cheap set (cost me $2.50) of strings and told a couple of guys in my band that they were top of the line branded strings and asked the guys to play them and tell me what brand they thought they were. They all said they felt good and names like Fender, GHS, D'Addario, etc etc were mentioned. In fact they were a cheap Korean set. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think I read somewhere that although there's lots & lots of string brands in the world, that there is only really a handful of string manufacturers and many strings advertised as made in USA are actually made in Sweden ! I'm not sure, I could be wrong there. I;m sure I read it in a forum once.

Yeah I think most would feel the same as me. If you spend say $50 on an asian part and it was 1/2 the price of the top brand part, looked good and did the job, you'd think it was a great deal. If however it was crap, you'd not buy from this company again. And as mentioned in another reply here. Stuff you think is made in USA by certain company is actually made by Asian manufacturers in many cases.

Thanks all & Cheers

Cactus

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I think that 99.9% of the time it doesn't matter where a part or complete product is made, especially now. I think there are many parts for guitars that are made in asia and to be honest I don't think anyone would even know the difference unless you were told.

Some of the guitar bodies and necks I've seen come out of asia look every bit as good as the US made ones, whether they're using cheaper alder, ash, maple or mahogany or whatever I'm not sure.

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I think it really has to do with the machine they use.

I am in wood flooring business. I found that companies which made excellent floor in the past (around 10 years ago), slowly goes down in quality as their machines ages.

While "some" companies in China using brand new german machinery are producing top nouch milling and finishing at much lower price than Canadaian and American Manufacturers. (beware tho a lot of CHina made product are not destined to be used in America and has moisture level around 15%, while most part in America should be using wood with 6-9% moisture.)

Btw...i have access to a lot of different wood in planks (Oak, Maple, Jatoba, Brazilian Walnut (ipe), african walnut, ash, birch, Carberuva)

I wanted to use them to build neck but too bad all them had their bottom slotted. :D

(They are all 3/4" thick, 3"-4" wide and up to 6ft long)

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