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Introduction to Korean bass guitar companies

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bakjewel, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. bakjewel


    Mar 6, 2009
    I'm going to introduce you to 3 Korean guitar companies, whether you like it or not. :)

    1. Cort
    Cort is probably the only Korean guitar brand known internationally. Cort is famous for its Artisan series, and it is also renowned for having a decent quality while having very affordable prices. Cort mainly focuses on producing modern bass guitars, with hardly any jazz basses. T.M.Stevens uses a Cort A5 and a Cort Funkmachine.

    2. Dame
    Although hardly known outside Korea, Dame is quite popular in Korea. It's known for producing decent Fender jazz bass copies, called the Sanctus series(I happen to own one). It also produces a line up called Fall&Paul series, which is quite popular with bass beginners. I don't think Dame has a website in English...

    3. Swing
    Also known almost exclusively in Korea, Swing is known for producing small amounts but quality bass guitars. All basses are made in Korea(Cort and Dame makes some of theirs in Indonesia). Swing G1, a jazz bass copy, is very popular for being very "standard" having little flaws. Swing also produces Mojo series, known for its eccentric design.

    If you happen to pass by a Korean bass guitar, just give it a chance :). After all, Korea makes best guitars in Asia, only second to Japan.
  2. ttmnky


    Nov 12, 2007
    I've only had the chance to play Cort basses, but they were by far the best in the price range of the other basses I tried. Awesome fit and finishing, and they sounded pretty awesome.

    Compared a Cort B4 to a Fender P-Aerodyne, and I would take the B4 anyday!
  3. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
  4. Sweet! Thanks alot for the info man! :bassist:
    Oh! Do these next (please lol):
    ...my fav. Korean comapnies...
  5. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    Funny you mention Cort, apparently all of their Korean factories have been shut down and pretty much everyone who worked in them was sacked. I witnessed a protest by former Cort employees at Frankfurt Musikmesse today and they told me this. Strangely enough, I can't find any new about this online except maybe this post at the Cort forums. Guess it's not deemed important enough by news outlets.
  6. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Um, Samick? And are these Korean factories, or just the Korean company that MARKETS the instruments?

    At one time Samick was the largest guitar maker in the world, producing instruments with the Samick, Cort, Fender/Squier, Epiphone, Skyline, Peavey, Schecter, etc. names on them.

  7. While I was out in Abu Dhabi last year, I played a pile of Cort basses & guitars and certainly the Korean-built items were both flawless & impressive to play - I played a 6er with by far and away the best B I've ever played (D'Addario strings) and some of guitars were really comfy to play too.
  8. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    Shine, Pearl, Wolf.....
    Brookmichael and gebass6 like this.
  9. guizzy


    Nov 17, 2008
    My Brian Moore i4 is made in Seoul. One of the better instruments I've played in that price range.
    GM60466 likes this.
  10. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I love Korean bass guitars. My first fretless was a Dean Edge 5 string and it was fantastic. After a few years I replaced it with a Brice V2 six string fretless. I agree that basses made in Korea are second only to those made in Japan. And the gap is narrow.
  11. bakjewel


    Mar 6, 2009
    Yeah I also read about that on the internet.
    I'm not sure why they were all sacked, they made such good guitars...
  12. bakjewel


    Mar 6, 2009
    Kind of complicated to explain
    Cort - recently closed down Korean factories(new factories in Indonesia)
    Dame - cheap guitars produced in Indonesia, high end guitars produced in Korea
    Swing - All guitars produced in Korea

    And about Samick... I believe that Samick does not have its guitar "brand" anymore, so I didn't write about it.
  13. bakjewel


    Mar 6, 2009
    Oh, were they Korean companies? I never knew...
    Btw, although Ibanez produces guitars in Korea, it's a Japanese brand, so I don't know much about them :meh:
  14. ErebusBass


    Feb 20, 2008
    Madison, WI
    Funny you should mention Samick, I'm hacking the hell out of one of those right now.
  15. I had some kimchee the other day- it was rippin' but I was unfit for human companionship for the next 48 hrs or so. I also have a Hohner Steinberger clone; I did a horrible-yet-effective-and-functional defret on it, and it still plays incredibly well. Nothin' but props for Korean luthiery. Then there was that Korean-American comedienne a few years ago- funny as ****. Can't recall her name- did a bit about the aaaaassmaster...
  16. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Samick made a lot of instruments, but not Corts. Corts were made in the CoreTek factory, until it shut down. Skyline was made by Cort too.
  17. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    As it happens quite often these days, the company owner felt he could make more money by moving production to countries with cheaper wages and so he did -- apparently, all of Cort's guitars are made in Indonesia and China now.

    Besides, Lakland did pretty much the same thing with their Skylines, which are no longer made in Korea but in Indonesia now.
  18. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Thanks for the info; it's a shame that manufacturing is moving from Korea to China and Indonesia due to wages just as it did years ago from Japan

    For us old guys, we remember when ANYTHING made in Japan was considered junk; the more things change ....
  19. swamp2


    Feb 27, 2008
    I think that's too bad. One of the favorite guitars I own is a DeArmond M75 - sort of a re-do of a Guild M-75. They were made by Cort in their Korean factory (this is around a decade ago). The bolt-on neck DeArmonds were built by Cort in their Indonesian factory. The Korean built DeArmonds were built to a very high standard and are delightful instruments. The Indonesian ones are ok but uninspiring - I've got a DeArmond Pilot bass so I have first hand expierience with both.
  20. Since you mention the name Sanctus, I must ask: does the company Dame have any relations to the compant Clive? I believe that Clive is also a South Korean company, and they produce basses called Sanctus too. Is it the same company, only using different brand names for different markets?

    Here's a link to Clive's homepage: http://www.cliveguitars.com/Index1.htm

    Oh, and thanks for the provided information about South Korean brands. :)

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