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Made in Korea vs. Made in Japan

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by count_funkula, Feb 26, 2001.


  1. Still looking into the Ibanez BTB series. It seems the only difference between the Ibanez BTB505 and the Ibanez BTB405 is the 405 is made in Korea and the 505 in Japan. Will that make a big difference?
     
  2. seamus

    seamus

    Feb 8, 2001
    Jersey
    I don't own any Ibanez basses, but I do own one of their guitars that I could give an account of. I have an RG-570, which is made in Japan. The next model down, the RG-470 is made in Korea.

    The difference between the two was night and day. The Korean made 470 was an inferior product all around. It did not play as nice, look as nice, or feel as nice. Sound wise, it might be comparable, but there's some difference in components as well, and I disliked the bridge on the 470.

    In a general sense, my experience has been that instruments made in Japan will often use higher grade components than those made in Korea. The craftsmanship is also *much* better than MIK stuff.

    Sight unseen, I would say go with an MIJ over MIK in all cases. Since you'll have to live with it though, go with what feels good for you while still staying within budget if applicable. You are the one who has to live with the purchase, so make sure you'll be satisfied for a long time to come.

    Good luck! :)
     
  3. Thanks seamus, thats exactly what I needed to know. I have to drive a good distance to play these instruments so I like to know if it's worth my time to check it out. The sales guys will tell you anything is awesome if you sound like you might by it.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  4. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    I recently played a BTB-405 & all I gotta say is SWEET. They sell for about $550 & it played reaaly good. I also played a BTB-505 & it cost more & it didn't played any better. The 505 wasen't a superior bass, it has better body wood, mahogany compared to the basswood w/a quilted maple top. The neck, p/u's & neck are the same. Try the 405 & you will be pleasently suprized!!!
     
  5. virtual.ray

    virtual.ray

    Oct 25, 2000
    The perception that Korean made stuff is automatically inferior needs to be updated.I've played on Korean instruments in the past that were pretty bad but they are getting better every year and I bought a Korean made MTD Kingston 5 string last November that is a great bass comparable in every way to higher priced instruments.
     
  6. That's right. Until a couple of years ago, Japan was naturally better, but competition furthers the breed, and now the upper end Koreans are as good as the Japans, although the upper end Japans are as good as anything anywhere.
     
  7. SlapDaddy

    SlapDaddy

    Mar 28, 2000
    Correct!
     
  8. seamus

    seamus

    Feb 8, 2001
    Jersey
    I don't know, it was not long ago that I bought that 570(Japan) and the craftsmanship was visibly better than the 470(Korea). The trem on the 570 was better too. Why would they reserve better components for the Japan made models if they weren't on average 'better' than the Korean models?

    My recommendation would still be MIJ over MIK, though consistency will vary from model to model and manufacturer to manufacturer.

    You'll notice that I closed my statements in the first post by saying:

    "Since you'll have to live with it though, go with what feels good for you while still staying within budget if applicable. You are the one who has to live with the purchase, so make sure you'll be satisfied for a long time to come."

    That's really all the advice anyone can ever give. Something should satisfy the budget as well as the palate IMO, that is, if budget is a selling point. For most of us, including me, it is. I want to feel the worth of an instrument in my hands, that's the only justification for paying what I feel it's worth.

    Good luck finding something funkula. Dont' forget also that instruments in the store often require a good setup.

    Have them set it up to your tastes before you buy and see if you like it that much more. With the horrendous setups on some instruments hanging in the store, it's easy to pass up a good thing.