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Asian Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ac100X, Jan 1, 2018.


  1. ac100X

    ac100X

    Apr 6, 2003
    California
    To start with, I will say I am not that knowledgeable about the different basses out there, that’s why I want your opinion.
    It is my feeling that basses made in China, Korea, Indonesia, Asia except Japanese fenders lack bottom end. Is it the wood used? But tone wood is supposed to be a myth. Or is it that all of the components are cheap?
     
  2. Bassist30

    Bassist30 Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2004
    NEW YORK
    As of recent I have seen some really high quality basses coming from Japan, China, Korea etc....At a much cheaper price.
     
  3. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I've owned basses made in Korea, China and Indonesia. I've also spent a lot of time in Korea, with many trips to the Nakwon Musical Instrument Arcade, a mall with 200 music stores, and have played many Korean and Chinese made basses there of brands not found in the US. I haven't noticed a lack of low end in them. Could you be more specific, brands and models?
     
  4. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    You are wildly, wildly far of the mark. To generalise the manufacturing of an entire continent is really not looking at the obvious. Why do you think manufacturing takes place in Asia in the first place? Cheap labour. Less of the cost of the instrument is consumed by the hands which put it together.

    When a manufacturer decides to outsource to cheaper labour, it is not going to be their prestige or flagship lines so, more often than not, the hardware, fit and finish are not of the same quality as the lines they keep domestically. This is intentional. That’s not to say that is the rule, though. Fender, for one, have never sought out the finest woods, even from the beginning. They sought the cheapest and most plentiful species, frequently glued together offcuts and covered blemishes with solid finishes. With the advent of CNC automation, it’s much easier to bring the level of quality up for even the most entry-level of instruments.

    There are plenty of people here playing Lakland Skylines or PRS SE, to name but two, who don’t suffer from a lack of low end or any other facet of quality. An instrument is built to suit the price tag, first and foremost. The location of manufacture matters little, it’s the specification the instrument was built to which is important. A low-skilled factory worker in Beijing is surely as capable as a low-skilled factory worker on Nashville, no?

    It’s interesting you brought up Japan as an exception. When I started playing, in the 80’s, Japanese instruments were looked down upon with the same stigma as is now applied to Indonesia, China and the others. The finest instruments I have ever seen or played are recent Japanese builds, not from the big name manufacturers, but the small artisan builders who build an instrument to be the best it can be, not the best parts you can put together for $129.
     
  5. tlc1976

    tlc1976

    Aug 2, 2016
    Michigan
    My 7 string is Chinese and is made of heavy ash with a pretty grain. Actually prettier than the one in the stock photo IMO. Very solidly built, plays and sounds good. Hardware is just as good as anything else I have. The grain isn't bookmatched, and some other tiny details are lacking that would otherwise drive the price up. Those things didn't matter to me.
     
    Bassist30 likes this.
  6. dmt

    dmt

    Apr 19, 2003
    Orbiting Sol
    1) Tone wood is supposed to be a myth? Yeah, numerous people on here say it’s a myth. Meanwhile, others say it isn’t, and still others say differences between types of wood exist but that it isn’t very significant. However, who cares what people say — listen with your own ears. What do they tell you? Is tone wood a myth?

    2) Basses made in Asia (except Japan) lack bottom end
    It boggles the mind to contemplate how many basses are made every year in Asia. Among those, plenty of basses with lots of bottom end are made. Heck, lots of active basses are made in Asia and you can just turn a knob and get boosted bottom end on them.

    If you have an inexpensive bass with insufficient bottom end and it is of a basic design that should have lots of bottom end (like, say, a Precision), then I’d advise to look to the pickups. An inexpensive bass is built to a price point, and pickups are an obvious area to look into regarding upgrades. Strings can actually be another.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  7. A lot of Japanese Fenders are made of basswood. Not supposed to be the best "tone" wood, but you probably wouldn't be able to tell.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
  8. MYLOWFREQ

    MYLOWFREQ Supporting Member

    May 13, 2011
    New York
    IMO, if you are not that knowledgeable about the different basses out there, then it means that you've not tried enough basses to make a big statement like "basses made in China, Korea, Indonesia, Asia except Japanese fenders lack bottom end." What are the basses you've tried?
     
  9. dxb

    dxb

    Dec 25, 2016
    There's about as much fact in your feeling as there is any other random generalization, in other words little to none. My asian-built basses rattle the air ducts in the ceiling just as much as my US-made ones.
     
  10. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    Hmmm. My ESP LTD Viper is Korean, Made of mahogany, doesn't lack low end at all. My Lakland 5501 is made in indonesia, made of ash, and also doesn't lack low end. My mexican Fender Jazz is made of poplar and is one of the wimpiest sounding basses I've ever tried, therefore, I can surmise that Korean mahogany basses and indonesian ash basses have plenty of low end and mexican poplar basses do not. BTW, I play mostly blues and jazz music on the viper, not metal, so another generalization goes up in smoke.
     
    Dieboy and Bassist30 like this.
  11. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    make-way-for-the-return-of-troll-dolls_batch1.
     
  12. coldfront

    coldfront

    Jul 26, 2017
    bought a Mitchell TD 500 musicman Caprice clone basically new for less than $300. "handcrafted in China" is printed on it and it sounds as good as any PJ Fender bass I've ever tested out. plenty of output in the pickups lots of low-end
     
  13. Briton

    Briton

    Apr 4, 2009
    London,England
    My Musicman Bongo is made of Basswood and there is definitely no lack of tone in that Bass.
     
  14. LowEndOperative

    LowEndOperative ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    Oct 8, 2013
    Michigan
    No lack of low-end presence in the three Yamaha TRBX series of basses I previously owned.
     
    ruju likes this.
  15. david barnes

    david barnes SUSPENDED

    Sep 30, 2015
    Saint joseph missouri
    Ibanez 90s basses are made in japan. I have the Ibanez sr885 made in japan and on the prestige lines.. very quality bass indeed
     
  16. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1

    Jan 17, 2009
    N.H.
    My buddy has a stock MIK Lakland 5 that he gigs with.
    It plays and sounds great.
    Get out there and start testing them.
     
    socialleper likes this.
  17. Low84

    Low84 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    There are so many trolls on this site... case in point :smug:
     
    Haroldo likes this.
  18. Low84

    Low84 Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2014
    Tune basses always appealed to me back in the day... great tone, seemingly solid construction, modern designs.

    Whatever happened to that company?
     
    Bassist30 likes this.
  19. Basswood not a "tonewood" ? Somebody better tell John Suhr or Tom Anderson that :laugh:
     
  20. Still going strong. You have the Korean company who have been building Tunes full time since the 90's then you have a small luthier shop in Japan trading as Tune Guitar Maniac. The waters are kinda muddy,mostly among owners :laugh:. Tune Guitar Maniac use the same templates and get their hardware from Tune Guitar Technology in Korea,if you order a custom build from Tune in Korea they pass the work to Tune in Japan.

    All the while some owners argue about what's a "Real Tune". With 2 Japanese and 1 Korean I don't bother my shirt, I just play'em :thumbsup:
     
    andruca and Low84 like this.

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