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  • Korean vs. Chinese Epiphone guitars

    I'm not too familiar with most Epiphone models but I played one of the new Riviera's (MIC) and was kinda disappointed with it compared to an older 2001 Korean Riviera I've used, are the Korean made ones better in general or do the Chinese current production ones do the job just as good?

    Mainly looking at Dots, Sheratons and Casinos.
    Originally Posted by RoboPimp


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  • #2
    glad you started this thread... i'm interested as well. specifically with the casinos. i really liked clay's casino last time i played it, but idk the pickups seems a little meh to me. probably just because of my eq settings were set for my guitars and stuff though. but it felt so nice!
    This website sucks now

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    • #3
      DAN ARMSTRONG ADA6 PLEXI
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      '65 FENDER BASSMAN w/ VIBRO KING CAB

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      • #4
        the older korean made guitars are by far better guitars, the chinese crap they make nowdays sucks in comparison.
        if you can get a korean made one get it, they are getting harder to find too
        Randall Army
        Equiperate EMGers Club
        Member Of The €piphone Empire
        Gear:
        Randall Amps
        Gibson guitars
        Tonepros
        Lava cable
        Dunlop/MXR

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        • #5
          Over at HCEG I think the consensus is that quality really suffered when they first moved production over to China but these days the solid bodies coming from there are pretty good again. Korean quality was probably quite a bit more consistent than it is now but there are good guitars to be found from both areas.

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          • #6
            I have an epiphone Les Paul Standard Chinese, the exchanged tunners by "planet waves locking", and pickups for Gibson.
            She upgraded before it sounded very serious and very detuning.
            Now is a good guitar, the finish is very good.
            I think removing the covers of metallic pickups.

            I hope I have helped you.
            thanks
            T. Miranda, effect pedals and tube amps.
            www.tmiranda.com

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            • #7
              When I found out epiphone is now made in china it turned me right off. Now I'm looking into Gibson LP studios as they are very affordable for a US made gibson and I ain't playing no chinese made **************** as in past experiences that's exactly what guitars from china are, ****************! Take squier for example,they suck big time compared to fender.Poor workmanship, misaligned fretboards, cheap feeling in general etc etc.
              As far as guitars go **************** china!

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              • #8
                the korean epi's still suck, but the chinese ones suck more, especially the hardware.
                if you are buying a chinese epi you will have to change the bridge, tuners and all electronics to make it good enough for road use...then again i used to replace all those parts on the korean ones too back in the day, even though the hardware was better then the crap epi uses nowdays
                Randall Army
                Equiperate EMGers Club
                Member Of The €piphone Empire
                Gear:
                Randall Amps
                Gibson guitars
                Tonepros
                Lava cable
                Dunlop/MXR

                Comment


                • #9
                  From personally experience, I kinda of agree to an extent with the post above me. I've owned a Korean Sheraton, a Korean Dot, and a Chinese Sheraton. The Chinese being worst feeling & sounding. The others were better, but the different was not that great. Maybe it's just the hollowbodys, but, they need a few improvements to be top notch. Basically, gutting them & starting over, which, if you find one cheap & do, you have a great $800 investment.
                  10+ Good deals
                  dirteye
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                  • #10
                    Over at HCEG I think the consensus is that quality really suffered when they first moved production over to China but these days the solid bodies coming from there are pretty good again. Korean quality was probably quite a bit more consistent than it is now but there are good guitars to be found from both areas.


                    Yes, this is about the first accurate post in this thread. I've owned a MIK Casino, a MIK LP, and 2 MIC LPs. The Casino was very nice, nearly flawless I would say, and I compared it to a couple of MIC Casinos at another shop, which to be fair, I'm not sure they were firsts, they may have reconditioned. But they didn't have nearly as nice of feel. My MIK LP, was fair, not bad, not great. Both of my MIC Plaintops were much nicer, and compared to a USA Gibson LP I owned, they were superior to it in most ways.

                    The quality of the MIC factory is very good now. There's a video of it on the web, state of the art facility now. They probably make other brands there as well, not sure. I can't comment on the hollow bodies, how their quality is now, but if you buy from an authorized dealer, you might be able to return it if your not happy. But ideally buy from a local dealer so you can find a good one.

                    Most guitars today, whether they're MIC Epiphone, MIK Agile, or MIM Fenders are all pretty good quality - very little crap being made these days, and with sophisticated machines doing much of the work, this is why. Some variances, yes, but not that often. A good setup to any guitar will do wonders as well.

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                    • #11
                      the korean epi's still suck,

                      In terms of sound and playability, I'll put my '01 MIK (Peerless) Casino up against any comparable production model Gibby out there. It far from sucks, and literally every other guitarist who has ever played it (dozens and dozens) has had nothing but positive things to say about it.

                      The only things I can criticize are the inlays (the inlay material looks kinda cheap), and the pickup selector switch, which I had to replace. Everything else on that guitar looks, feels, works and sounds fantastic.

                      I have not really played the MIC Epiphones to compare them... they may be fine, they may not be. My MIC Gretsch Pro Jet isn't quite as nicely built and finished as my MIK Casino, but it's not a piece of junk either.
                      **********

                      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                      - George Carlin

                      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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                      • #12
                        Chinese epi's

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                        • #13
                          Over at HCEG I think the consensus is that quality really suffered when they first moved production over to China but these days the solid bodies coming from there are pretty good again. Korean quality was probably quite a bit more consistent than it is now but there are good guitars to be found from both areas.


                          That wouldn't really surprise me.

                          Early MIJ guitars from the 1960s, and even into the 70s, were largely pretty horrific. As time progressed, they got better and better, and IMO, a top of the line MIJ from the late 80s onward is up there with most USA guitars. Some of the MIK stuff benefited from the know-how of the Japanese companies - for example, the Korean Peerless factory was rumored to initially be an offshoot of Aria in Japan. Add the knowledge they get from their American company sponsors, and then factor in a few years for the workers to gain some knowledge and experience, and I think you'll see the quality levels improve - if not in terms of raw materials (woods) and electronics, at least in terms of finishing and assembly.

                          In the studio world, China still has a reputation for quality control that fluctuates pretty heavily - especially in terms of microphones. They CAN do good mikes, but rumor is that unless the sponsor stays on top of them and has a contract that demands a level of quality and allows them to reject stuff that doesn't measure up, the quality can be inconsistent. Admittedly, mic construction is a little bit more detailed and difficult than guitar construction in some respects (especially capsule design / building), but it wouldn't surprise me if the conditions for guitar building are similar.

                          Of course, the reason the stuff is being made over there to begin with is due to costs... they're not the first choice for the real high end products - those can be made in Japan or the USA, because at that level, higher prices are expected... better materials cost money, as does highly experienced labor, so you're probably not going to see super high quality parts being included in most MIC guitars - they're not intended to be high end products; they're intended to be decent quality products that meet a certain price point.
                          **********

                          "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                          - George Carlin

                          "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                          - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                          "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                          - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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                          • #14
                            I've got 2 Korean-made Epiphone SG's that are superb guitars considering what they cost. Given the choice, I'd take a Korean Epi over a Chinese one. I'm not saying that all Chinese-made Epiphones are crap, but having recently checked out several new G-400's and Dots I can definitely say that their quality control is not yet as consistent as the earlier Korean models.

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                            • #15
                              glad you started this thread... i'm interested as well. specifically with the casinos. i really liked clay's casino last time i played it, but idk the pickups seems a little meh to me. probably just because of my eq settings were set for my guitars and stuff though. but it felt so nice!


                              Yeah the pickups are relatively muddy, but that's what the treble knob is for, right?

                              It plays really well. Made in China, and I'm okay with that.

                              Pickguard free since 2010:

                              THAT AND THE VATICAN (MY BAND)

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