Jump to content

A visit to a Vietnamese Guitar factory


Etienne Rambert
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Members

Gosh, sorry there are bad feelings.

 

For the record, Mr. Binh's brother, Mr. Minh (In the pic), has been making

guitars since the late 1960's. I don't know if his parents made them or not.

They are originally from the ancient capital of Hue.

 

entrance_interior.JPG

 

I'm thinking of making a video tour of his place. If any luthiers or guitar

players have any questions, post 'em here or PM me. I'll ask.

 

I didn't understand what a rare thing it is to be given a tour of a guitar

factory. That's really unusual. So now, I've got a good little video camera & a

youtube channel. I'll ask 'em if I can make some videos of their place.

 

They've expanded the inside of their retail shop some*. So they must be doing OK.

 

*But it's still smaller than an average American master bedroom.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 554
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Members

Gosh, sorry there are bad feelings.

 

:facepalm::facepalm: Me too. It's interesting when a guy comes on in some of these threads with valid information or opinion and is flamed mercilessly. AND Gary seems to be very supportive of these guitars, which is what makes Zenbu's comments so telling, but he said he's outta here, so I doubt if he'll read this, and Etienne has me on "ignore", so he won't read this.. this deserves another :facepalm:.

 

I've had some correspondence from the Ayers people in America regarding their builds, etc. Very interesting, and very prompt answering emails. I'm still of the opinion that, all things equal, guitars built in a high humidity environment will have a better chance of failing than a guitar built in a controlled environment. You would have to be much more anal regarding the humidity and storage than you would with, say a Taylor or Martin.

 

I also am also offended that Gary was elevated to the "guy that can suck all the fun out of a party" over me!!:poke:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

:facepalm:
:facepalm:


I also am also offended that Gary was elevated to the "guy that can suck all the fun out of a party" over me!!:poke:

 

It's an ongoing competition. You're only as good as your last "suck" :lol:

 

The Ayers guitars look very nice. Hope to get the opportunity to look at some more of them. The Rep. is in Dallas and says he'll bring some more to one of our Jams.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

For the record, Mr. Binh's brother, Mr. Minh (In the pic), has been making

guitars since the late 1960's. I don't know if his parents made them or not.

They are originally from the ancient capital of Hue.


I'm thinking of making a video tour of his place. If any luthiers or guitar

players have any questions, post 'em here or PM me. I'll ask.


I didn't understand what a rare thing it is to be given a tour of a guitar

factory. That's really unusual. So now, I've got a good little video camera & a youtube channel. I'll ask 'em if I can make some videos of their place.


They've expanded the inside of their retail shop some*. So they must be doing OK.


*But it's still smaller than an average American master bedroom.

 

When I was a child we'd often visit Spain for holidays and one thing we would do was visit local luthier's shops to check out their stock. So much front room stock was souvenir/tourist oriented, but a few - like Mr. Bihn's shop - sold the genuine article and it was always a pleasure to pay them a visit.

 

I hope your tour goes well and it'll be very interesting to see how their approach to crafting compares with western workshop practices. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members


I'm thinking of making a video tour of his place. If any luthiers or guitar

players have any questions, post 'em here or PM me. I'll ask.


I didn't understand what a rare thing it is to be given a tour of a guitar

factory. That's really unusual. So now, I've got a good little video camera & a

youtube channel. I'll ask 'em if I can make some videos of their place.


 

Looking forward to it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

:facepalm:
:facepalm: Me too. It's interesting when a guy comes on in some of these threads with valid information or opinion and is flamed mercilessly. AND Gary seems to be very supportive of these guitars, which is what makes Zenbu's comments so telling, but he said he's outta here, so I doubt if he'll read this, and Etienne has me on "ignore", so he won't read this.. this deserves another
:facepalm:
.


I've had some correspondence from the Ayers people in America regarding their builds, etc. Very interesting, and very prompt answering emails. I'm still of the opinion that,
all things equal
, guitars built in a high humidity environment will have a better chance of failing than a guitar built in a controlled environment. You would have to be much more anal regarding the humidity and storage than you would with, say a Taylor or Martin.

 

If I honestly thought worksmanship and general quality were issues I'd have said as much, but I do agree buyers genuinely need be aware of potential problems when buying instruments in high humidity locations with the intention of removing them to consistantly lower humidity levels.

 

In other words, I think you're right. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

If I honestly thought worksmanship and general quality were issues I'd have said as much, but
I do agree
buyers genuinely need be aware of potential problems when buying instruments in high humidity locations with the intention of removing them to consistantly lower humidity levels.


In other words, I think you're right.
;)

 

Thank you Gary.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Should do very well if made of "native" Oklahoma woods.


Oklahoma State Tree


1141026_telephone_pole.jpg

 

Just got to love those indigenous Oklahoman trees (Muchus Milus Powerlinus). They're not too far removed from the genus I saw in Alberta (Muchus Milus Telegraphicus Polus Alberticus) last time I was there, but I see the main difference is that the Oklahoman variety grow pre-wired instead of having to rely on grafting once they've reached the 30yr stage of their growth. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

It's just my opinion - instead of belaboring this issue any further into the ground, maybe if both sides of the argument would offer statistics, or some sort of proof to their assertions. I see no proof, just theory.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Just got to love those indigenous Oklahoman trees (Muchus Milus Powerlinus). They're not too far removed from the genus I saw in Alberta (Muchus Milus Telegraphicus Polus Alberticus) last time I was there, but I see the main difference is that the Oklahoman variety grow pre-wired instead of having to rely on grafting once they've reached the 30yr stage of their growth.
:)

 

:lol::lol::lol:

 

The creosote must be responsible for the chimey, bell like quality it produces. Ideal for Croce's "Operator". :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

:lol:
:lol:
:lol:

The creosote must be responsible for the chimey, bell like quality it produces. Ideal for Croce's "Operator".
:)

 

:lol:

 

Only if used as backplate timber, because your forearm tends to stick to the soundboard if it's used as top material. The drawbacks are that finish doesn't tend to adhere too well, natural creosote seepage makes a mess of your clothing and you also end up being a constant target for dogs wanting to mark their territory.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

:lol:

Only if used as backplate timber, because your forearm tends to stick to the soundboard if it's used as top material. The drawbacks are that finish doesn't tend to adhere too well, natural creosote seepage makes a mess of your clothing and you also end up being a constant target for dogs wanting to mark their territory.

 

:lol:

Thumbsup64.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Hi, for those still following the thread, here's a nice vid of the Ayers Factory in Vietnam, yeah, not as folksy as the OP's, but you can form your own opinions, you already know mine! :lol: I will say I don't see a lot of perspiration...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I've played an Ayers & a Baden in Binh's shop. The tone did not impress me on

either one. But I was impressed by the finish & feel of the Baden - not so

much on the Ayers.

 

The Baden Maple/Spruce dread was very nice though. I've heard better-

sounding Maple Spruce dreads locally. But the Baden had a finish & feel

that I'd expect from a Taylor. The quality was really there.

 

That was the most impressive thing.

 

One thing about this factory, unlike the earlier Chinese video, these people

actually focus on building acoustic guitars, not Strat knock-offs.

 

Two interesting things about the Ayers' video.

 

1. I don't hear the manager speaking Vietnamese. I hear Cantonese or Mandarin.

 

2. I don't see any famous Western luthier supervising the process.

 

I have a few other observations. But those two jump out at me. I don't know if any of those are Baden guitars.

 

I repeatedly win the lottery anyway. So my blonde arch-top won't come from this particular factory.

 

BTW, I imagine local makers buy their top woods from the same dealers.

Binh told me he buys them from Taiwan. Ayers is a Taiwanese company.

 

***

 

Interesting -- at 4:30 or so -- I see a lovely Rosewood/Cedar top dread.

What is the name on the headstock? I don't think it's Ayers.

 

BTW, I've seen a very similar guitar in Binh's shop. It did not have the

three-part back. But otherwise, it looks like it. This was a stunning

instrument. It went quickly for $500. I remember. I wanted to buy it at the time.

 

IR-Cedar.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

I've played an Ayers & a Baden in Binh's shop. The tone did not impress me on

either one. But I was impressed by the finish & feel of the Baden - not so

much on the Ayers.


The Baden Maple/Spruce dread was very nice though. I've heard better-

sounding Maple Spruce dreads locally. But the Baden had a finish & feel

that I'd expect from a Taylor. The quality was really there.


That was the most impressive thing.


One thing about this factory, unlike the earlier Chinese video, these people

actually focus on building acoustic guitars, not Strat knock-offs.


Two interesting things about the Ayers' video.


1. I don't hear the manager speaking Vietnamese. I hear Cantonese or Mandarin.


2. I don't see any famous Western luthier supervising the process.


I have a few other observations. But those two jump out at me. I don't know if any of those are Baden guitars.


I repeatedly win the
lottery
anyway. So my blonde arch-top won't come from this particular factory.


BTW, I imagine local makers buy their top woods from the same dealers.

Binh told me he buys them from Taiwan. Ayers is a Taiwanese company.


***


Interesting -- at 4:30 or so -- I see a lovely Rosewood/Cedar top dread.

What is the name on the headstock? I don't think it's Ayers.


BTW, I've seen a very similar guitar in Binh's shop. It did not have the

three-part back. But otherwise, it looks like it. This was a stunning

instrument. It went quickly for $500. I remember. I wanted to buy it at the time.


 

Hey, I thought you put me on ignore!! :blah::blah::blah:

 

It isn't a competition between yours and the Ayers guitars Etty old boy, you respect guitars built in squalid** conditions, I respect guitars built in modern conditions. Like I said, y'all can form your own opinions.

 

 

**squalid and backward, yes, but there is obviously artistry and competence in their work. Just treat them different than one built in modern conditions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Members

Ah, you're a clever one.

 

People on 'ignore' only show up after I log in. If I hit a page

before logging in -- nobody is on 'ignore'. All posts show up.

 

I'm logged in now. You're back on 'ignore'.

 

I'm sure Ayers makes nice guitars. I'm not dissing them.

I've played one. A lot of the guitars in the 4 different videos don't

have Ayers on the headstock. And I didn't see any Badens.

 

I don't know who they're making them for. For all I know, Binh's shop might be selling some of them.

 

IR-Cedar.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...