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korean basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by peaveyuser, Dec 28, 2006.


  1. peaveyuser

    peaveyuser Banned

    Oct 18, 2006
    Montreal,Canada
    Do most people think that Korean basses are still "cheap". I now notice that a lot of the entry level (100$-350$) basses are now made in places like China, Vietnam, Indonesia etc. While basses from Korea are now costing in the (400$-900$) range. Japanese basses which used to be considered as the cheap entry level ones now cost over 700$, while a American and European basses now cost prices upwards of 1000$.

    Korea has been building them since the 80's and now have a lot of experience but do people still recognize them as inferior instruments considering build quality compared to the American and Japanese basses, or have they now earned the quality reputation that Japan did years ago?
     
  2. emils

    emils

    Jul 28, 2005
    Croatia
    Koreans have been building solid body guitars since early 70's so there is a lot of experience there. I wouldn't consider them to be cheap but affordable.
     
  3. albass111

    albass111

    Feb 13, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    Korean basses can be cheap. They can be outstanding as well. It's difficult to generalize here. Off the rack, you can bet a Skyline Lakland will be nicer than a Samick due to quality controls that are in place. Quality control is one of the most important factors in judging a company.

    In general however, Korean craftsmanship is good. Many consumer electronics are rated best bang for buck stuff. Look at the quality of samsung.

    A friend of mine who has played with a lot of heavies uses a Korean Squier Jazz from the late 80's. It's light with a comfortable neck and a cool 2-tone burst.
     
  4. emils

    emils

    Jul 28, 2005
    Croatia
    albass111, you'll find that most of Samick basses coming out of Korea are the better ones, they get their cheap and nasty stuff made in India and China.
     
  5. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    Ohio
    Well, peaveyuser, your answer is kind of tricky. You have to understand that my submission is part fact and part opinion.

    I've worked in three different guitars stores, totalling 6 years straight. In that time, I have questioned guitar company representatives and tech guys, luthiers from many stores, and an endless amount of players about quality of instruments. The overwhellming majority believe that wood quality has suffered greatly over the past 20 to 30 years. The facts given to support this is the way that the lumber is obtained, cut, cured, recut, fit, and finished. Trees are not given nearly as much time to grow as needed for very strong woods. Also, the curing process has been sped up and kilns are used much more than they used to be. Wood is not quarter-sawn as often as it used to be. Now, American and German basses will often have the better woods. Korean, Chinese, etc. basses use the cheaper, less expensive woods. This is one way that Korean basses can be sold cheaper. Skilled laborers are another piece of the pie. The better individual builder you are, the more likely you will be to go and work for a company that builds more expensive instruments. Most builders in Korea have not been building for very long. Once they master their trade, they usually move on to bigger companies--many in different countries (eg. USA, Germany, etc.). And yet another piece of the pie is resale value--and this one has a catch. Many people believe Korean basses are cheap, therefore the resale is much lower. But because the going rates for these basses is low, people will keeping thinking that they are cheap. Another fact to consider is that Korean basses are cookie-cutter basses. They fly off the assembly line and do not go through nearly the QC that American and German basses go through. The attention to detail is lacking. Korea is the outsource capital of the world for guitars and basses. There are only a few guitar factories over there; brands like Fender, ESP, Ibanez, Epiphone, etc. have these factories make guitars and basses for them--there is little personalization in these instruments.

    For my personal opinion, I believe that Korean basses have come a long way. From personal experience, I believe that Japanese basses are still of better build quality, however. But, I'm sure Korea will be at that point very soon. Until Korea can offer some new innovations or superior build qualities on basses, people will keep believing that Korean basses are cheaply made.
     
  6. albass111

    albass111

    Feb 13, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks.
     
  7. peaveyuser

    peaveyuser Banned

    Oct 18, 2006
    Montreal,Canada
    They can't all be that bad, have you noticed any brands that have better quality than others because i just bought my Korean made Ibanez BTB450qmhs.
     

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