Guilds are made in Indonesia now?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Loride, Aug 11, 2022.

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  1. Loride


    Aug 7, 2022
    So I just saw a review for the latest Guild Starfire I bass and thought it looked a bit different to mine with the split P bass style pickup and no hard case. Turns out it is made in Indonesia. I must say I am very disappointed that they are cheapening their brand of top quality USA made instruments with a 60 history.

    I've been obsessed with Guilds for years ever since a friend let me use his 1973 F50-BLD to record an album 17+ years ago. A few years after that a saw a B-30NT at a guitar shop and so I lusted after one of those too.

    I have since bought a matching pair of 1976
    F-50SB & B-50SB acoustics that took years to hunt down.

    Those USA Westerly made Guilds are amazing. And if you've ever played a F-512 or F-412 you know they make the best 12 strings on the planet.

    I understand why they are now making instruments in Korea and Indonesia, but they could have changed the name or buy another company like Gibson did with Epiphone. I love Gibson's and although they have had their issues with QC, at least they have remained USA made instruments. It's probably the reason I'm not a huge Fender fan.

    What do you guys/girls think of quality historic brands like Guild and Fender putting their label on instruments made in an Asian country?

    Here's my old Guilds to cheer you up Screenshot_20220728-145323.png
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2022
    ajkula66 and jd56hawk like this.
  2. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 Life is short, buy the bass. Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    Honestly the Indonesia Guilds are top notch.
    DJ Bebop, 6-3-2, DukeOfBass and 2 others like this.
  3. Snert


    Oct 3, 2021
    I've owned a couple of hundred basses made in the US, Japan, Korea, Australia, Mexico, China and Indonesia and to say that many of the MII are "cheaper" in the sense of lower quality is simply uninformed. Of my guitars and basses that I use the most, they are all MII except a 90s Ovation acoustic guitar MIK.

    Take my fave MII bass and compare it to the most recent MIA that I've had in my hands, I would have the MII, no question. Plus it would cost me about 40% and the fit and finish is better. Note, I'm not knocking all MIA basses, I just don't see any value in them.

    Edit: Corrected typo.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2022
  4. blastoff99

    blastoff99 Moderators Local A440 Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    Under the flight path
    OP, welcome to TalkBass.

    I've edited your post to remove the inflammatory and pejorative commentary. That doesn't fly here. Please review the rules, which you agreed to when you signed up less than a week ago.

    Carry on.
    gebass6, Geri O, BadSanta1281 and 7 others like this.
  5. ahc


    Jul 31, 2009
    No. Virginia
    My MIK Newark St. Starfire II is an excellent bass.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  6. Loride


    Aug 7, 2022
    I am sorry if I said something inflammatory. This discussion has nothing to do with the race of people who make instruments. And I am not an American that is standing up for the USA. I am an Aussie who loves old school quality instruments. I have 2 vintage Greco's that are amazing. And I did have until recently a 60's Yamaha SA70 bass that was killer. I am simply disappointed with quality USA instrument companies with a long history that created the iconic instruments we love, opening factories overseas in places where labour is cheap and trying to sell the same products, when the quality is not the same. It's disappointing.
  7. blastoff99

    blastoff99 Moderators Local A440 Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    Under the flight path
    You've had three people now chime in and tell you that their non-USA instruments are excellent, and yet you double down on "quality is not the same" and "disappointing." It's almost like you don't want to be confused with facts or something. I'm sure it won't help if I tell you that my CII Jag SS has nicer fretwork than my MIA MusicMan did.

    This thread could easily disintegrate in any number of ways, and so help me all deities I will close it promptly if it does.
  8. Loride


    Aug 7, 2022
    I am comparing a USA made Guild to a Indonesian made Guild. Not a CII Fender Jag with a MIA Music Man or anything of that nature. Apples for apples only.

    I have Japanese made stuff and they are pretty awesome. I am not saying stuff made in Asia is low quality. Read my post carefully. This is NOT a thread to say stuff made in Asia isn't up to scratch. Because that simply isn't true

    I simply don't like it when a company makes the 'same' product they have been making for decades to high standard and making it elsewhere for cheap.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2022
  9. DukeOfBass


    Apr 6, 2011
    Personally, I don't mind it as long as quality is as good or better as the MIA stuff companies make. In my experience, G&L and Musicman are the only 2 American companies putting out mass-produced MIA instruments with significant attention to quality control, so I don't mind it at all. In fact, there's no way I'd buy an MIA Fender/Gibson without trying it first. They've been completely surpassed by the Indonesian made instruments in quality control/consistency, and I say this as someone who owns multiple American-made Gibsons and Fenders. Don't feel down about the big guys moving production overseas when they don't even care enough to put in a fraction of the effort as the expertly skilled workers at the Cort factory.

    I'm definitely not saying MIA instruments can't be good. There are some excellent MIA instruments and some awful MII instruments out there. There's just no need to feel bad about some production being done in Indonesia or other countries and no reason to rag on them, either. If you can, give the Indonesian-made instruments a try with an open mind and you'll be impressed.
    DJ Bebop likes this.
  10. Loride


    Aug 7, 2022
    Thank you for a good response. And you are 100% right about MIA instruments. They are quite regularly below par. You have to play them first. I tried a heap of Gibson 335's over the years and they have all been lifeless. It's disappointing. I ended up with a 355 and that is killer. As was was the price. Ouch!
  11. Snert


    Oct 3, 2021
    Devil's advocate time: so Brand X stops making in the US and starts making in Calithumpia. QC is good and cost is lower allowing many more people to buy and play the same make and model of bass, it's just made in a different country. Apart from the loss of national income and the jobs from the US (which does sadden me), I see no disadvantage, and only see snobbery or nationalism (not bad generally, but you state you're Aussie so argument is moot relative to MIA) as being the potential argument against. Note, I'm not stating this is your opinion, just that's what it appears to me.

    I understand that some constituencies make it very difficult to do business there with some excessive rules etc, and some companies just want to maximise profit and stuff anything else. But from the Indo's I know the jobs in the factories there are highly sought after and pretty good for the employees and the instruments they put out are good. They're not like the cheap crap that came from some Asian factories in the 70's.

    Like you, I own a Greco (LP style guitar) from the late 70's and it's exceptional, but it's no better than my new 2022 MII Ibanez SR in terms of QC and FnF.

    Having played some recent MIA Fenders, incl a CS guitar, I would not pay for the US one. Same with EBMM; look at the DR4; $A6099 when I could get a Sterling for about $A900, replace the tuners and pickup and buy a DG pre and take it to a luthier for set up (I can do this myself) and probably get change from 1/3 that and I could do the same with a HB for even less incl shipping from Germany. As someone who's not wealthy, apart from brand cache, which is only relevant amongst other musos really, where is the value in the EBMM for the average person?
    gebass6 and DJ Bebop like this.
  12. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    Makes no difference to me.
    Should it?
    Never bought one, never will.
    I do like this, but...
    The simple truth is made in the USA doesn't really make that much of a difference these days. I have Korean-made and Chinese-made basses that are as good, if not better, than many American basses.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2022
  13. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Shaker Heights, OH
    This current guild is in no relation to the old guild. Fender bought Guild in 1995 and shut down the Westerly, Rhode Island shop in 2001. In 2004 they stopped making electric guitars/basses full stop and just did acoustic guitars. In 2014 Cordoba Music group bought Guild name rights from Fender and makes “guild” instruments now. These are Guild in name only.

    If you one a Guild buy one from 95 or earlier IMO. I’ve owned some vintage guild Starfire basses and there is nothing like em, I hope to own another 60’s or 70’s Guild one day soon.
    gebass6, wncBass, DJ Bebop and 2 others like this.
  14. Loride


    Aug 7, 2022

    Again another great informative reply. I didn't want to bring up the impact on local economy, when factories move overseas, as I thought getting political might stir up more trouble) but that is definitely a factor in my opinion.

    And TBH there is an element of 'snobbery' in my opinion. I have been playing and buying instruments for a long time and my opinion on what I like, has narrowed substantially over the years due to exposure to what I call the really good stuff. I have never had much money but I just saved really hard to get the good stuff I always wanted. When you save up for years to buy an expensive high end instrument and then you see a version made elsewhere that is well made, but not quite there it fit/finish/feel/tone, it cheapens the instrument you invested all that time and money into to acquire.
  15. Loride


    Aug 7, 2022
    I agree 1000%. You know your Guilds. And thank you for comparing a Guild with a Guild. And not a MIA instrument made from one company to a MII instrument from a different company.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2022
  16. wvbass

    wvbass Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2004
    West Virginia
    I know nothing about Indonesian Guilds. I do know that Indonesian-made instruments are potentially as good as any other instrument, period. I have many basses made in many countries, and I can say that the country of origin is absolutely not an indicator of the quality of the bass.
    Peter Torning and jd56hawk like this.
  17. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    i'm guessing it's:

    important is:
    will it play?
    does it fit me?
    is it overpriced?! :D

    i voted, "big whup!" :bassist:
  18. All of my lakland skylines are not made in USA. They are better basses than my mia fenders. In my mind, it comes down to qc. You're either on it or you're not.
  19. Bass V

    Bass V

    Dec 11, 2008
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I waited half a lifetime for the US to make what Indonesia finally did, then did it again better.
    granted, I'd like a nitro-c vintage-esque finish but they look and sound great candy dipped.
  20. jpmcbride


    Aug 31, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    Have you tried one? If not, maybe you should before stating so definitively that the quality is not the same.

    I have a MIM Fender P that is amazing. And a Korean Danelctro reissue that is too.

    But my #1 is a USA Gibson that I love. But honestly it definitely had more quality issues than the others.

    Point is, you can't generalize like that.
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