Made In Korea Quality?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 555, Jul 2, 2004.

  1. 555


    Jun 21, 2003
    I am gassing for another 4 string bass (and might possibly buy) but the choices i have come up with are...

    Ibanez BTB400
    Ibanez SRX400
    Ibanez SRX500
    Ibanez RD600
    G&L Tribute L2000
    Schecter California Custom 4
    Schecter Custom 4
    Schecter Deluxe 4
    Schecter C-4
    Schecter Cv-4 (Possible favourite so far)

    As may of you will already know already, the basses above are ALL made in Korea.

    My question is do any of you guys/girls have any problems with Korean made basses? whether if is playability, reliability, finish etc... issues?

    Thanks for your time! :D
  2. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I have two Korean made basses

    1) Brice 6 fretless. A playable, solid instrument with decent hardware. Work-a-day giggable, great neck, good paint job, decent construction fit and finish are "just OK".

    2) Dean Edge 5 fretless. Excellent bass! Beautiful paint job, fine solid hardware, fit and finish is very good.

    I've played higher end Korea instruments and they can be very -very- good. The Korean factories have been making guitars and basses for decades now and the factory style luthiers are becoming experts.

    I'd buy Made In Korea again without hesitation. They are doing good work, and the labor is treated much better than places like China and Indonesia.
  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I've played is the G&L and it was pretty happenning.

    Korean istruments have been getting better for a while now. The Ibanez Doug WImbish model is made there too, but it's pretty pricey.

    The SRX basses are not bad. I'm more impressed with those than with the entry level soundgears.

    The Schecters seem solid but I never bothered to pick one up. I'm in California, where Schecter is located and I've played their american basses too many times to want to try the imports.

    You could also look into the KSD seried from Ken Smith. They're pretty well spoken of...
  4. 555


    Jun 21, 2003
    When you said Higher end Korea instruments, how do you know it is higher end? I mean are there factories in Korea that are ranged from producing low end Korean made basses to high quality ones?
  5. WillPlay4Food

    WillPlay4Food Now With More Metal! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2002
    Orbiting HQ
    I have a Korean made Schecter Stilletto Studio 4 string and this bass is quite well constructed. It's got a 5-piece thru-neck construction with mahogany wings and bubinga top. The tuners are great, this thing will stay in tune for weeks! All this for just under $600 2 years ago.
  6. danshee

    danshee Banned

    May 28, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    Korean istruments have been getting better for a while now.

    Yes, they have been getting better. I recently have played a lot of Korean instruments. Now I can see the differences between some USA stuff vs. the Korean stuff, but I have to say I've been surprised by them. We live in different buying times. Pretty good stuff for real cheap. I jammed on a Schector not too long ago that was Korean built and it was pretty cool. On top of that, it was only like $300! So, if you can't afford the big dollar stuff, buy what you can afford, it's still decent.
  7. 555


    Jun 21, 2003
    At first i was thinking a Stingray or a Warwick but my jaw dropped when i saw them for around $1,000, i am only looking to spend under $600 lol
  8. You REALLY should contact Dave Siff about his Ken Smith Design Jazz. Practically new, this is an astounding bass and in your price range. Hey, whaddya know - it was built in Korea too!
  9. Mud Flaps

    Mud Flaps

    Feb 3, 2003
    Norton, MA
    My Lakland 44-02 was made in Korea. It's more reliable/playable/better than %99 of American basses.
  10. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I think the Spector Q4 would be the best bet.
  11. Chapbass


    Dec 11, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    If you were checking out warwick, remember the rockbass series is around that range.

    Didn't know if thats what you were looking for or not, just shooting out ideas :)
  12. I have two basses that were made in Korea:

    Epiphone Jack Casady - Good to very good build quality. Others have said that they had problems with fretwork, fingerboards separating from the neck and bridges pulling out, but not mine.

    Ibanez EDA905F - Essentially a plastic bass: Body is luthite and the fingerboard is ebonol. Only the neck itself is wood. It's put together pretty good. It balances very well, and is extremely comfortable to play sitting or standing. Mine is fretless, but I've played a few fretted models and they all seemed very well made. It sounds pretty good too.

    I also have a Schecter PT Elite guitar, and the build quality on that is good also.

  13. Thornton Davis

    Thornton Davis Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    I also own two basses that were made in Korea. One is a Dillion and the other is a Hallmark. Both are great playing and sounding basses.

    The quality fit, finish and hardware on both are outstanding and every bit equal to anything made in Japan or the US.

    The electronics used on the other hand are not as high of quality. A quick replacement of pots, switches or p/u's with US made parts and you've got a great instrument at a unparalleled price.

    I have no complaints, only raves!

  14. 555


    Jun 21, 2003
    Aren't Ken Smith basses made in U.S? :confused:

    Ah yes! I forgot about the Q4, very nice bass i must say, i dig the Amberburst finish on it but i still think the new Schecter CV-4 is better imo.

    Yeh, i thought of a Warwick Rockbass, maybe the Corvette series but aren't they made in China? Made in China basses are worse and cheaper than Made in Korea aren't they?


    Another thing i forgot to say is in the past i have owned a Korean bass and guitar, the Ibanez SR405 and RG350 (6 string guitar) The bass was fine apart from loose strap buttons that couldn't be tightened up compared to my made in Japan Ibanez SR765 which the strap buttons are solid and not loose. The guitar paint was somewhat shaddy, it wasn't done very well :meh:

    Thanks for the replies all! :D Appreciated.
  15. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I used to live near Classic Axe in Manassas VA, once a big Schecter shop; I've played their USA basses too. Nice.

    Same way you figure from anybody. Look at Dean's lineup for example. The low end Edges like mine feature plain wood, bolt-on construction, basic but sturdy hardware. Then look at their higher priced stuff still made in Korea, you'll see better hardware, neck-through construction sometimes, quilt tops, etc.
  16. LA


    Oct 17, 2001
    The two Korean basses I've owned were constructed quite well. The only fault was the fretwork on my MTD Kingston; they were a bit unshaved at the ends.
  17. 555


    Jun 21, 2003
    Ah yes of course! lol i thought he was referring to different factories in Korea that some may produce the low end basses and some high end. I guess it's like the BTB300 opposed to the BTB400 which both are build in Korea but the BTB400 has better electronics and pickups.

    I think i might go for the Schecter CV-4, it's build in Korea but it's 100% set up in U.S...
  18. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    555, Ken Smith Design is different from Ken Smith proper. KSD are Jazz style basses made in Korea that are really great for the money. I think they are equal to Lakland Skylines or my own G&L Tribute. I think that Korean made basses are probably the best "working class" instruments available overall at this time.
  19. 555


    Jun 21, 2003
    And that's why i didn't include the Warwick Rockbasses in my choices :)

    I am not so fond of J or P basses (apart from the Schecter cal. bass) as i already have an SX J bass already which is nice.
  20. you could include Conklin groove tools. They're made in Korea.
    I had one, these are really good basses.