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TheLeadFlatpick

Zager Guitars, a whole lotta nonsense?

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Any Zager guitar owners here? Ive read alot about zager guitars and I’ll say that most of it seems fraudulent, their string science and made in the USA stuff. They look a whole lot like a samick to me (besides the headstock). Anyways I just ordered used one (I can’t resist a good bargain, no matter my doubts about the company😁) and was wondering what my expectations should be? I do not expect this to rival any $3000 guitar, but hopefully it sounds better then a samick. The one I ordered is an OM ZAD80ce (clearwave not the aura, unfortunately). Any help would be appreciated.

Edited by TheLeadFlatpick

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I just did a wee bit of research on Samicks and found that the Samick OM8ce is almost identical to the Zager ZAD80ce. The only differences (besides the label and the headstock shape😋) is that the fretboard end is different, and the bridge is a different shape. Also the electronics are a different model fishman. The inlays, tuners, wood material, all that is identical. I also found that the Samick ASDRCE is almost identical to the Zager ZAD900ce besides the same differences as the two models I stated before. I think I’m building up a fraud case against my own guitar😝 hopefully I’m wrong but its awfully fishy-looking

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After you brought up Zager - I did a little internet search and found they are hand made by one guy in Lincoln Nebraska (or Omaha I can't remember).  Looked very nice in the demo of the top of the line model, some good players endorsing and using them.  They only sell direct to cut out the middle man and keep the price down (although the one they demoed was between $2500 and $3000).

I never heard of Samick either - but it sounds like they are the overseas manufacturer that is copying Zager.

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1 hour ago, Twang Gang said:

After you brought up Zager - I did a little internet search and found they are hand made by one guy in Lincoln Nebraska (or Omaha I can't remember).  Looked very nice in the demo of the top of the line model, some good players endorsing and using them.  They only sell direct to cut out the middle man and keep the price down (although the one they demoed was between $2500 and $3000).

I never heard of Samick either - but it sounds like they are the overseas manufacturer that is copying Zager.

That was my first impressions of them too, I was actually going to buy their top of the line model about a year ago, but after a few emails to them I changed my mind. I asked them where they were made and their reply was, "Our guitars are made from components from all around the world". For me, that was no answer to the question I asked, so I asked them again. They're response the second time was a list of what countries and states they get their materials from. That was enough for me so I just bought the Martin I was also considering. I have no regrets about that decision

Edited by TheLeadFlatpick

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Unless something has changed, Zager's are inexpensive pacific-rim guitars that receive a set-up in the Zager 'factory'.  That's it, end of story.

Denny Zager performed the song "In the year 2525" decades ago (hence Murph's reference).  He's been selling this 'easier playing Zager formula' BS for a long time.  I saw a small body Zager acoustic in a pawn shop years ago (somewhat of an LG shape).  It sounded pretty good, and yes, the set-up was good.  But it was clearly a Pac-Rim guitar, being misrepresented as made-in-the-USA.

Now if you like the guitar & the price was right, it's all good.  But typically, he's trying to sell his stuff for a lot more than it's worth.

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11 hours ago, Twang Gang said:

I never heard of Samick either - but it sounds like they are the overseas manufacturer that is copying Zager.

Most likely you've got it backwards.

Samick is a Korean manufacturer that's been around for a long time.  When Gibson first switched Epiphone production from Japan to Korea, Samick was pumping out all kinds of Epiphones.  Look for an '80s or '90s Epiphone with a serial number starting with 'S', and it's a Samick.

Pretty sure Samick now owns a guitar manufacturing plant in Indonesia.  If I were a betting person, my money would be squarely on Zager buying his guitars from Samick.  

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As I mentioned, I never heard of either of them before a couple days ago so will certainly give way to those who know more about them.  

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This is most likely the case.  Samick makes many OEM guitars.  As a matter of fact,  Samick Indonesia still makes guitars for Epiphone.  Though I don't recall any guitar with a $2500 price tag coming out of Samick. 

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20 hours ago, Twang Gang said:

I never heard of Samick either - but it sounds like they are the overseas manufacturer that is copying Zager.

Samick has been importing guitars to the US for decades under a variety of labels.

 

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The guitar is supposed to arrive in the next 2 hours, so I may start a NGD thread and share my thoughts on it. Thanks all, I’m still hoping its better than a Samick but I’m prepared for the worst. If nothing else it is a nice case😁

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1 hour ago, TheLeadFlatpick said:

The guitar is supposed to arrive in the next 2 hours, so I may start a NGD thread and share my thoughts on it. Thanks all, I’m still hoping its better than a Samick but I’m prepared for the worst. If nothing else it is a nice case😁

Actually, Samick's build quality has always been quite good for it's price-point.

The Epiphone electrics made in Korea back in the '80s & '90s were nice instruments overall.  The electronics were usually a bit sub-standard, but the bodies made by Samick were typically well done.

Many of Epiphone's current acoustics are made in Indonesia, perhaps in the Samick factory.  Again, they are surprisingly well built instruments for their price-point in today's market.  If your guitar's origins are from the same factory, it will most likely be a well made instrument.

The rub with Zager, at least in the past, is that they would intentionally misrepresent their product in order to move it  into a higher price-point &  improve their profit margin.  No question on the one I saw, that they were trying to pass it off as made in the USA, and it was not. 

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Samick  makes woodwind instruments,  pianos, (Wm. Kanabe) and owns 16% of Stienway, 

Some of the brand names they make are Hofner, Silertone, Washburn, Greg Bennett,  Epiphone,  Squire.

If you use pickups labeled Designed by Seymore Duncan you are using Samick products.  They are perhaps the largest manufacturer of music instruments in the world.

The thing with Squire products is some models are made by Cory, (Indonesia) some are made in China, top models are made by Samick and the very top quality are made in Japan  by FGN  

If you want to see some quality guitars, Google FGN Guitars.

Samick also make archery products. 

Edited by jaxson50
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