AliExpress Instruments??

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bwong, Apr 11, 2014.

  1. bwong

    bwong Supporting Member

    Feb 29, 2012
    Hey everyone, I was wondering if anyone has any information on AliExpress? I'm looking to get a cheap bass to mess around with and I stumbled upon this which looks really nice (I understand it's a total fake) but I'm curious as to if they really use Mahogany or some other really cheap wood. My guess is on the cheap wood but if anyone has some clarification, that'd be great!

    I really just want a REALLY cheap but nice looking bass that I can use as a personal project. Just don't know how much the body wood is gonna affect the tone even if I replaced all electronics.
  2. I highly doubt it's Mahogany, more likely Agathis, but I myself have been curious/interested in their Rickenbacker copies. If you buy it I would use either paypal or a visa gift card just to be safe.
  3. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Just get a Squier vintage modified jazz 77! $299 and you get backing by fender and a very sexy bass to boot; sound good too.
  4. CBNJ

    CBNJ Sorry brother.

    Feb 13, 2009
    New Jersey
    I'm always tempted to buy one from China..
  5. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    A buddy sent me photos of a Martin D-28 rip-off he bought through them (I think.) He said the detailing is amazing, plays good, sounds good.
  6. StayLow


    Mar 14, 2008
    This is a fun video:

    "Why to NEVER buy an Aliexpress Chinese fake guitar"

    Currency conversion works out to about $300 USD it cost him.
  7. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    A total crap shoot. You might get a decent guitar that needs a bit of work, you might get an unplayable piece of pretty junk, you might get whatever they have lying around that's close to what you ordered. Completely unregulated Wild West rats nest of re-sellers and wholesale middlemen. Some people have had great experiences, some get hosed, realize you are gambling your money on the least savory link in the chain and act accordingly.
    noodler likes this.
  8. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I would cruise the local second hand shops & pick up something cheap that you can try out in the store first.
    Ali Express is just a crap shoot & I would be willing to guess a lot of buyers regret it.
    twinjet likes this.
  9. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    If you want a project bass with pretty wood for uber-cheap money, buy a Rondo (Brice/SX/Etc). There at least your guaranteed a basic level of quality and Rondo will stand behind their instruments.

    Alternately troll ebay/pawnships/TBclassifieds/etc. There's tons of Peavey, Ibanez, Yamaha and other solid brand instruments available for cheap. Heck, I'd suggest going for a Rogue, Carlo Robelli, or other random-name instruments over AliExpress.

    Faker imports seem like a good deal (and they might be) but the chance of getting a lemon and having no recourse is very high. There's plenty of other ways to find an attractive cheap instrument.
    Gilmourisgod likes this.
  10. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    There is a whole YouTube channel called Chinaguitarsceptic devoted to Chinese fakes and how to buy them. Keep in mind, this guy has been doing it for years, and has found reliable sources he doesn't share. You wont know who you are dealing with, as many vendors change websites and company names regularly. Watch a few of his videos to get an idea what to expect. I've toyed with the idea of buying a through neck "husk" minus the usual crappy Chinese hardware and electronics, but never worked up the nerve to gamble $200. I did get burned on a minor $25 transaction, the Aliexpress Customer Service Department appears to consist of an unmonitored email dump, never got a refund, or even a response. Buyer Beware.
    chinaguitarsceptic - YouTube
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
  11. elgranluis


    Feb 14, 2003
    Vail, CO
    You guys do realize that the factory that rondo buys from sells to anyone that wants to buy? Meaning some of the aliexpress instruments are built by the same people who build rondos, using the same parts, same woods, and same quality control.

    . Of course, given the volume of instruments built, you will run into a bad one eventually, but I'm pretty sure that the actual % of defective basses that actually reach the customer is no greater than that of any major company (fender, Gibson, etc)
    96tbird likes this.
  12. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I'm sure some of the Chinese companies do supply legit vendors like Rondo, and with some serious digging you might be able to find out which factory a guitar is made in, but that requires navigating the maze of middlemen and fly by night vendors, through the fog of emails and language barrier. Best of luck with that. By his own account, the ChinaGuitarSceptic guy bought a lot of crap and got burned repeatedly before finding reliable sources. Read a few Aliexpress reviews to see how common problems are with Chinese clones, then compare with other major well known brands and draw your own conclusions. If you buy direct from Rondo, at least you have some recourse to return defective merchandise back to China other than on your postage nickel. The capper is that the Aliexpress prices are just not that much cheaper than places like Rondo.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016
    96tbird and StayLow like this.
  13. StayLow


    Mar 14, 2008
    People who buy this rubbish and support these criminal enterprises are looking to pretend they have a Fender or Rickenbacker though.

    Can't do that with with Rondo since they were forced to abandon the Fender-copy headstock.
  14. Eilif

    Eilif Holding it down in K-Town. Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2001
    If you want a neck-through husk, Here's a much safer option.
    Hadean Vickers TR RD -
    Sure it already has hardware, but it's not hard to swap that stuff out. Looks like it has standard tuners and pickups and with a simple top-load bridge, your options for drilling and popping on a new bridge are endlesss.

    Reports seem to indicate that the percentage of flawed instruments is much higher and the problem is that you have virtually NO recourse if you get a dud.

    As for Rondo, they are the exclusive USA distributor for TEAM international.
    ukulele-Team International Music Co.,Ltd.
    Of course you can't guarantee that TEAM's factories aren't also making some on the side, but good luck figuring out which factories those are. If you want a Team instrument, you're pretty much limited to Rondo in the USA and Harley Benton (though not all Harley's seem to be from TEAM) in Europe/UK.

    There may be some possibilities that you can get from Aliexpress, that you can't get from more legit dealers, like a ric copy, but unless you want something that is blatantly patent/trademark infringing, you will likely get much better service and quality going with a known importer and there's a good chance you won't even have to pay more money.
  15. To update my previous post:

    1. Always buy from a highly rated seller (85% positive or better) that has been active for 1+ years and has a decent sales volume
    2. Search around: prices between sellers vary greatly for even the same item
    3. It seems to be perfectly safe to use a standard credit / debit card with aliexpress. I have bought many small items and 1 large item (double neck bass ~ $300) using my debit card and have never had any issue
    4. Again this is probably going to vary between sellers, but the items I have bought have matched the descriptions
    5. And finally - the more detailed the item description is the better
  16. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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