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epi inspection process. usa..


TWANG

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http://www.epiphone.com/news.asp?NewsID=1473

 

I think a thing or two slides by once in a while..

and if they really are doing the action adjustment like this, then the problems I've seen at the local GC on the epi

acoustics must either be GC's doing, or some inherent flaw in the construction or materials used by epi.. and I kinda doubt that, since my Dove is just peachy.

 

Interesting though..

 

TWANG

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I can't believe that all go to U.S. before selling worldwide

 

Me neither ..... I believe Epis slated for North American distribution, perhaps...... but it's unlikely they'd ship 'em here from China, then to be sent to Europe, or wherever else in this whole wide world.
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Hi chewy' date='

 

I can't believe that all go to U.S. before selling worldwide

 

Peter[/quote']

 

The article says that the Nashville inspection process is for instruments sold in the US.

 

I doubt that any instruments meant to be sold elsewhere would be shipped to the US, and then shipped again off-continent.

 

Red 333

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Have any of ya read this article through till the end? It says that Us market guitar are inspected in US' date=' For european and asian markets guitars are inspected in Holland and Japan respectively[/quote']

 

Twiggy's right there. If you read the whole article, that's what it states, i.e. US market guitar are inspected in US, For European and Asian markets guitars are inspected in Holland and Japan respectively.

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What a bunch of crap! Spin doctoring at it's finest..."inspectors only finds on average one, maybe two, guitars out of 10 that have something wrong." HELLO people, that's 10 - 20 % and those are acceptable numbers?!!? Saein & Unsung gave a $h!t what they put out because it was their reputation on the line as much as it was Epiphone's. Epiphone seems to be targeting the younger/newer guitar players who may feel they got the deal of the century on a Chinese Epi because it's undeniably better than the Baldwin or whatever they learned on, but the reality is that Epiphone has no interest in producing the quality of instrument they were making just 5 years ago. The bottom line is their only motivation anymore. Anybody who get's sucked in by their latest propoganda deserves whatever ends up on their guitar stand.

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What a bunch of crap! Spin doctoring at it's finest..."inspectors only finds on average one' date=' maybe two, guitars out of 10 that have something wrong." HELLO people, that's 10 - 20 % and those are [b']acceptable[/b] numbers?!!? Saein & Unsung gave a $h!t what they put out because it was their reputation on the line as much as it was Epiphone's. Epiphone seems to be targeting the younger/newer guitar players who may feel they got the deal of the century on a Chinese Epi because it's undeniably better than the Baldwin or whatever they learned on, but the reality is that Epiphone has no interest in producing the quality of instrument they were making just 5 years ago. The bottom line is their only motivation anymore. Anybody who get's sucked in by their latest propoganda deserves whatever ends up on their guitar stand.

 

I can believe the 10-20%...you see 2nd's and used stamped guitars all over Ebay, MF and even on Sam Ashes site, there is quite a lot of that type of product out there.

 

 

mgm

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I think you have to attentuate the 10 to 20% as well.. after all.. many many many times in here we've all seen and posted on the pickiness of the type of flaw an epiphone that gets stamped second has.

The most common statement being.. it's so tiny I had to look all over to find it..

and usually some finish mar or scratch or paint failure otherwise.

 

Hardly deserving of flying frets harsh judgement, at least in that regard.

 

And I have to take exception to the idea that the chinese guitars are somehow without quality.

The dot studio and lp studio I have here compare very favorably to my Korean Sheraton.

they sound very good, they play fine, and they appear to meet all the construction requirements necessary for any guitar and manage to do so at a price point that makes them an excellent purchase.

 

If they truly don't meet the standard of previous manufacturers, they are still hitting a pretty high standard.

 

We can't bandy this word quality about without defining it in concrete ways.

So the finish is generally regarded as too thick and shiny looking now, for example.

With a little luck, meaning with the constant complaint of those who like epis and buy them anyway, perhaps Epiphone will

take heed and find a different approach.

But overall.. I rather appreciate the fact that epiphone marks as seconds guitars which have no structural problems, no electronic problems, no playability problems.. just picaune details that they don't feel the consumer should have to accept.

Those that do have serious problems, seem to be hitting the trash bin.

 

I've worked on assembly lines. I have a fairly good idea, having built several products in that fashion, of what it takes to get a line moving, keep it moving, and have decent product at the end of it.

I could tell you horror stories that would feed our seemingly endless appreciation for the failures of others, that range from people on the line sabotaging their own company, to people in management sending out parts they knew were defective.

But the thing I'd rather tell you is that when it comes to the detail necessary to build a guitar in that way and get it perfect I don't really feel that Epiphone is scoring badly at al.

The percentage may seem high, but not when compared to that daunting detail.. not when viewed through the people on this forum and others who buy seconds, or find flaws.

 

I'd also like to render a perspective on these flaws in another way.

The absolute crap from head to toe of yesteryear. And the totally bogus business operations that filled the stores with them.

We seem to have this nostalgic sort of attitude or memory of some quality that belongs to yesterday, today not measuring up, that I find

doesn't hold up. Only the best examples get cited.. and usually at a much higher price point or profit point.. and the Epiphone has to fight

this ideal instead of being compared to it's contemporarys both yesterday and today.

 

The phrase 'for the money' applys just as much to high end as low end. There's more than one person in here that will say that 3 or 4 thousand dollars is not going to get you that ideal.

Surely, a three thousand dollar guitar that's only worth two must be a second?

I wonder which is the greater complaint.

TWANG

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a lot of people saying the same point for some reason.... in get it, its holland, not the us.

although i speed read the article because i was at work, i read

 

"Did you know that every single Epiphone instrument - be it electric or acoustic guitar, mandolin or banjo - that leaves the Epiphone factories in Asia undergoes a rigorous inspection process in the States before hitting stores?

 

It's true!

"

 

so every single epiphone that leaves asia, like mine, undergoes the US inspection...

after that i skipped the artcile to the good bits.

 

no need for a million replies, although thanks for the concern.

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"Did you know that every single Epiphone instrument - be it electric or acoustic guitar' date=' mandolin or banjo - that leaves the Epiphone factories in Asia undergoes a rigorous inspection process in the States before hitting stores? [/quote']

 

Don't worry. Many Americans forget (maybe some don't even know) that there are OTHER countries beside the USofA. tease.gif

 

EDIT: thought I'd better come back and say that was a joke, folks. Hope you'll have a good holiday weekend (do you have an Easter holiday weekend in the US? In Australia it's a four-day weekend - Good Friday through Easter Monday).

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I think you have to attentuate the 10 to 20% as well.. after all.. many many many times in here we've all seen and posted on the pickiness of the type of flaw an epiphone that gets stamped second has.

The most common statement being.. it's so tiny I had to look all over to find it..

and usually some finish mar or scratch or paint failure otherwise.

 

Hardly deserving of flying frets harsh judgement' date=' at least in that regard.

 

And I have to take exception to the idea that the chinese guitars are somehow without quality.

The dot studio and lp studio I have here compare very favorably to my Korean Sheraton.

they sound very good, they play fine, and they appear to meet all the construction requirements necessary for any guitar and manage to do so at a price point that makes them an excellent purchase.

 

If they truly don't meet the standard of previous manufacturers, they are still hitting a pretty high standard.

 

We can't bandy this word quality about without defining it in concrete ways.

So the finish is generally regarded as too thick and shiny looking now, for example.

With a little luck, meaning with the constant complaint of those who like epis and buy them anyway, perhaps Epiphone will

take heed and find a different approach.

But overall.. I rather appreciate the fact that epiphone marks as seconds guitars which have no structural problems, no electronic problems, no playability problems.. just picaune details that they don't feel the consumer should have to accept.

Those that do have serious problems, seem to be hitting the trash bin.

 

I've worked on assembly lines. I have a fairly good idea, having built several products in that fashion, of what it takes to get a line moving, keep it moving, and have decent product at the end of it.

I could tell you horror stories that would feed our seemingly endless appreciation for the failures of others, that range from people on the line sabotaging their own company, to people in management sending out parts they knew were defective.

But the thing I'd rather tell you is that when it comes to the detail necessary to build a guitar in that way and get it perfect I don't really feel that Epiphone is scoring badly at al.

The percentage may seem high, but not when compared to that daunting detail.. not when viewed through the people on this forum and others who buy seconds, or find flaws.

 

I'd also like to render a perspective on these flaws in another way.

The absolute crap from head to toe of yesteryear. And the totally bogus business operations that filled the stores with them.

We seem to have this nostalgic sort of attitude or memory of some quality that belongs to yesterday, today not measuring up, that I find

doesn't hold up. Only the best examples get cited.. and usually at a much higher price point or profit point.. and the Epiphone has to fight

this ideal instead of being compared to it's contemporarys both yesterday and today.

 

The phrase 'for the money' applys just as much to high end as low end. There's more than one person in here that will say that 3 or 4 thousand dollars is not going to get you that ideal.

Surely, a three thousand dollar guitar that's only worth two must be a second?

I wonder which is the greater complaint.

TWANG

 

[/quote']

 

Hear! Hear!

 

It really is a matter of perspective. My local music store had 3 red Gibson 335s on hand yesterday. I played each one, wanting to see whether the threefold price difference over my thousand dollar Riviera could somehow be justified. I found myself wondering, after I'd shelled out the $3400 and took one of them home, whether I would feel I got a good deal and an instrument that was worth that kind of dough. You know, if that was the only guitar of that style that was available on the market, and it cost that much, I probably would feel satisfied. But the situation is much different than that: I really couldn't see anything about the 335s, as much as I love them, that could justify that kind of money. Nothing. They are nice, and well built and sound great, but you know, so is and does my Riviera. And if I'm intellectually honest and objective, I can conclude that mine is just as nice. There are differences, but that's all they are: differences. A guitar would have to be in an absolutely different league for me to consider spending that kind of money; it would have to be something that couldn't be had for any less, but that's not the case. Because there are other great guitars out there of similar quality for much less, I'd feel I'd been ripped off if I took one of those home for that kind of money.

 

The reason Gibson's guitars cost so much is because they have to pay American salaries, taxes, benefits and whatnot. It is not because the quality is quantum leaps higher than the imports. They can sell them at those prices because many consumers want to have the "best" brand available. It's as simple as that.

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Twang, I agree with you , I do appreciate that Epiphone takes the time to distinguish seconds and used instruments from there first run product. Now the question that I would pose to the group is; what part or percentage of a guitars price is quality or how would you factor it in? Each guitar has x amount of $$$ in it woods , finish ,electronics and labor but the quality factor is set by the expectation or standards set by each perspective company, Ideally we the consumer want every company to make the best guitar we can get for the cost and quality is the one standard which all guitars can be judged equally. With all of that said I am very pleased with the quality of all of the Epiphones that I have and I will buy again in the future,are there a few QC thing I would like to see improved ...yes but overall I am pleased with what I see out of Epiphone ( If they could just make me a Vintage Sunburst Riviera!!!)

 

 

mgm

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http://www.epiphone.com/news.asp?NewsID=1473

 

I think a thing or two slides by once in a while..

and if they really are doing the action adjustment like this' date=' then the problems I've seen at the local GC on the epi

acoustics must either be GC's doing, or some inherent flaw in the construction or materials used by epi.. and I kinda doubt that, since my Dove is just peachy.

 

Interesting though..

 

TWANG[/quote']

 

Interesting thread. :-s

 

Some of the responses are interesting too. The point about people not taking the time to read the article in question was a valid point, judging by several of the posts.#-o It makes me wonder just how much of anything some people read - in their rush to post their own views. :- (we each Do have our own opinions :- )

 

I just went back to my pack of papers, cord, etc, that came with my Epiphone BB King Lucille. There is a card that has the serial number - but nothing I could find anywhere showing an inspection "check list", or any other thing about inspection, other than the sticker on the back of the headstock. Also, this is not a "2nd" guitar. (I checked for that too - just in case the dealer was less than honest)

 

So .. while the Epiphone article wasn't completely accurate in stating that the check list came with the guitar - it was an interesting article, in that, they at least check something. (they may be the only importers that DO check their stock before shipping it out to their dealers - I don't know though)

 

The only things I found that were not perfect with my Lucille were the intonation and the pickup height. I don't know if these things would be on their check list - since there isn't a check list with mine. These things only took me a few minutes to adjust - and I'm slow. To me this was pretty much "acceptable" (well maybe not the pickup height) - since wooden guitars can be affected by humidity and climate changes between seasons and locations - and need adjustment from time to time.

 

After reading some of these responses, it also makes me think about the "Kay" guitar I started on. And about the "quality" of many of the guitars of the day, (Walk Don't Run, by The Ventures was a current 'hit' at the time), and even about the "quality" of the so-called 'name brands' of the day - in comparison to the quality of what is available today.

 

I had (they are gone now) two Epiphone guitars, a Les Paul with a flame maple top and a Sheraton II, that were not perfect by any means. The construction wasn't that great, in that there were visible edges, that could be seen and felt, between pieces of wood. Both did play OK - but the Sheraton was a bit "dead"sounding, even after Epiphone replaced the pickups. But even with that - both were still much better than the guitars that I had and played back then. Back then, guitars could be a literal "pain" to play - with the exception of a Gibson SG I played, which was nice - expensive, but nice.

 

Which brings me to;

 

The reason Gibson's guitars cost so much is because they have to pay American salaries, taxes, benefits and whatnot. It is not because the quality is quantum leaps higher than the imports. They can sell them at those prices because many consumers want to have the "best" brand available. It's as simple as that.

 

Maybe ... maybe not. 8-[

 

My opinion is that Gibson guitars are so expensive because of the greed and over pricing (price gouging) of the Gibson executives.

 

From what I have seen concerning wages and salaries in the American work force - the average worker, the guy that actually does the work, gets paid very little in comparison to a companies executives, which do little to nothing. One of those executives can draw down as much as a whole floor, and sometimes a whole factory, of workers. And he does - what? - toward making the actual instrument? To be fair - he does make some decisions. Mostly bad decisions. And that has been proven by the fact that so many companies have gone belly up in the last year or two, and that many products remain too expensive for many people to buy.

 

Getting rid of some of those useless executives could make it possible to have some realistic (read lower) prices of goods and services) I remember (from years ago) that this was proved in the UK when a company that was going under was bought by some of the workers. They operated and managed the company themselves and it became profitable again.

 

So when the complaint of "the American workers wages" comes up - remember, it's not the worker, or his wages, that causes the problem, most of the time, it's the executives, and their HUGE salaries and bad decisions.

 

As for any "quality" differences - I can't see how a "Gibson" guitar could be any better in build, playability or sound quality, than my Epi Lucille. Maybe different - but "better"? - I don't think so.

 

And that doesn't mean the Epi should be even higher in price! That means the Gibson should come down to the price of the Epiphone!(which has already gotten too high) IMHO of course.

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Excellent discussion, Twang, et al.

 

To rholloman, while I don't disagree with a lot of your post, I would like to point out that according to the Social Security National Wage Index, the average wage for a US worker is $40,500. The Association For Asian Research estimates it's less than $4,000 (US) for a Chinese worker. Even if Epiphones and Gibsons were made using the exact same quality material, a Gibson would cost significantly more.

 

Red 333

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Hardly deserving of flying frets harsh judgement' date=' at least in that regard.

 

And I have to take exception to the idea that the chinese guitars are somehow without quality.

The dot studio and lp studio I have here compare very favorably to my Korean Sheraton.

they sound very good, they play fine, and they appear to meet all the construction requirements necessary for any guitar and manage to do so at a price point that makes them an excellent purchase.

 

[/quote']

 

First of all, I never said nor implied that Epiphones were without quality. They are better than a Baldwin or the no-name beginner's instruments. But they are not of the same UNIFORM standard of quality we came to expect from the Korean made Epiphones.

 

I saw too many Daewon built guitars they couldn't have paid me to carry out of the store. Okay, so the Daewon plant is no more (and yes, the Korean factories were certainly capable of building a real dog once in awhile. In fact I have an SG Junior that couldn't be described any other way). But of the 8 other Korean made Epiphones I own, they all compare very favorably to one another and all of far superior build quality to the Chinese LP Standard I also own. I'm not saying I don't like the Chinese LP. That would be a lie. But in no way does it hold a candle to the Korean examples. The nut was garbage, the bridge pickup was of noticably lower output than the neck and the guitar itself is too light to take seriously as a Les Paul. Another hundred or so bucks in new pickups, a good set-up and new nut made it a reasonably comfortable guitar.

 

If they truly don't meet the standard of previous manufacturers' date=' they are still hitting a pretty high standard.

 

[/quote']

 

And it's exactly that attitude that encourages them to keep increasing their point of purchase price while using cheaper and cheaper materials and less skilled labor.

 

Case in point: my Chinese LP reailed for $549. Plus another $100 to make it a usable instrument. My net cost - $649 + tax. Versus any of my Korean guitars which retailed at $499 (and in many cases far less) and needed nothing. They were (and still are) truly excellent instruments right out of the gate.

 

You do the math...

 

Their last price increase would've been palatable if it were in the name of maintaining the quality they had. The fact that they jacked the price and are substituting cheaper material and questionable QC standards (go back over the same threads you mentioned and you'll find just as many posts from guitar players who are as disgusted with Epiphone's current direction as I am) is just more of the greed everyone seems to accept as the cost of doing business in the new millenium.

 

That's why their latest PR drivel makes me gag.

 

Bought 3 new guitars since last September. Not one of 'em is an Epiphone.

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beg pardon if I misread you flying.

 

I can only say this.. I don't regularly play a lot of epis at the stores locally. only gc has 'em.. and we all know what shape they wind up in there.

I do have a chinese dot studio and a chinese lp studio.

Both modded right up and sound and play great.

I found nothing serious to complain about either of them.

 

I also have the Korean sheri and it's proved itself over 17 years for sure.

 

I have a chinese Dove and for 300.00 I really can't complain at all.

 

IOW I can't really vouch for the less skilled labor idea personally.

 

 

I don't actually know about any material differences.. I don't know where they get their wood, or how it's cured/prepared..

I do know that some things have gotten better.. pickups all around.. and tuners are now always grovers except on the lowest price lines.

 

I'll have to think about mgrmatts query a bit..

 

 

 

TWANG

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Case in point: my Chinese LP reailed for $549. Plus another $100 to make it a usable instrument. My net cost - $649 + tax. Versus any of my Korean guitars which retailed at $499 (and in many cases far less) and needed nothing. They were (and still are) truly excellent instruments right out of the gate.

 

 

When they were $499, people were posting the same laments about inconsistent quality and doing the same mods as they are now. Plus, MIM Fenders were $399, as opposed to the $549 they are now. Squires now sell for about what the MIM Teles and Strats did. Prices of many instruments at this level have gone up.

 

Maybe some models of Epis have got worse since the move to China, but I don't think it's as bad as you seem to think. At least I hope not. I can remember forum members writing about walking away from Korean instruments, too. I admit, I have seen some real dogs hanging on walls, but the Chinese factories have also made some excellent instruments, as well. The Custom Shop Rivieras, Casinos, '57 LP Jr., etc. have by most reports been excellent, and I've also seen some suprisingly good Les Pauls with nice tops. The Masterbilt series has been uniformly excellent, and an exceptional value (though more recent examples do seem to be made with less attractive body wood).

 

But to your point, let's hope Epi can strike the right balance of price and quality more often.

 

Red 333

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Guest icantbuyafender

hmm,

 

I bought into the "100% inspected and setup at Gibson USA" and quality control promises of a decade ago

when you couldnt get me to believe anything was sacred anymore.

 

Why?

 

because my G400 IS a factory second and for some reason, it plays beautifully and seems as if the meticulous QC that epi claimed was the real deal. For my G400 to have gotten marked a "2nd", the inspectors must have had a strict "no flaws, be it sound or finish" rule.

The only flaw that could have gotten this puppy a "2nd" tag is a hard to see, .5cm long, hair thin scratch of superficial depth beneath the bridge posts. i couldnt find it on my own, so Id been surprised that was all it took to make the 2nd string epi line, because the sonic qualities were all spot on, so no wiring goofs.

 

hell, still looks the same as the day it was bought.

 

what happened to that kind of meticulous inspection I thought was synonymous with the name?

 

Ive played some epi's at the local places that look/sound the part of a golden gloves drop out.

 

Pardon my whines.

 

-gabe

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After reading the article again I am not sure if Epiphone has a 10-20% rate of guitars being marked as seconds. It states in the article that during the electronics inspection that they have up to 5 min to correct any small issues which means they are not allowed much time to fix issues so.... is any guitar that is sent to the epiphone service center automatically marked 2nd or say you had a guitar with a bad imput jack and it had to be replaced would it be marketed as a first line or a second, that I don't know. I think that overall there isn't a great drop off if any between guitars made in China vs Korea. It is also hard to judge the accuracy of this article if you are basing it on guitar sold at actual retail stores, because these guitars are played and tinkered with by everyone that comes in.The truest test is probaly through online sites like MF because they are merely a go between from the time it's inspected in Nashville (for US purchases) until we the cosumer gat our beloved Epi's. Is the article sensationalizing the inspection process....yeah probaly but in my opinion they produce a good guitar for the price.

 

 

 

mgm

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My new Dove has five little black dots near the nut along the binding on the low e side.

this would have been a second if anyone had noticed.

it took me two days to notice.. and I only saw it then because I put in a bone nut.

 

If the electronics function and feel solid, they probably get a quick pass.

later you discover the jack nut wont stick.

but how long would it take to mess around getting it to not stick on the inspection line and how hard is it to put a little lock tite

or plumbers tape on the threads?

 

human factor comes in.. did the inspector just not notice.. and factory pressure comes in.. how much time does the efficiency expert give?

 

Overall I think Epis done a very good job of balancing all this..

 

You know. they say we are something like 100 times more likely to remember a bad or negative than a good or positive thing..

comment, experience, impression.. anything.

Consequently I feel sometimes in this forum and in life, I hear a lot more carping just because that's what we tend to focus on.

 

I can understand it. A few gigayears of saying.. you know.. bears will eat you.. tends to add value to that pesky pessimism and mistrust.. I don't wanna change it. bears are scary. just ask stephen colbert.

 

Not that I'm anyalyzing you all.. I don't mean that. I just mean mistakes stick out more.

 

Now I'm wondering.. can I work up an inspection process.. walk into a store.. and perform it..

and saying I did this with several guitars of different brands.. I wonder which would pass?

Or if there would be any difference in percentage of pass/fail?

Does the way the store cares for their guitars come into play there? I think so.

But all things being equal, since I'm not on six assembly lines..

I wonder how long that process would take me.. to make me satisfied I had done it right.. and how much time I could really cut

if I had a lot of practice.

 

TWANG

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My new Dove has five little black dots near the nut along the binding on the low e side.

this would have been a second if anyone had noticed.

it took me two days to notice.. and I only saw it then because I put in a bone nut.

 

If the electronics function and feel solid' date=' they probably get a quick pass.

later you discover the jack nut wont stick.

but how long would it take to mess around getting it to not stick on the inspection line and how hard is it to put a little lock tite

or plumbers tape on the threads?

 

human factor comes in.. did the inspector just not notice.. and factory pressure comes in.. how much time does the efficiency expert give?

 

Overall I think Epis done a very good job of balancing all this..

 

You know. they say we are something like 100 times more likely to remember a bad or negative than a good or positive thing..

comment, experience, impression.. anything.

Consequently I feel sometimes in this forum and in life, I hear a lot more carping just because that's what we tend to focus on.

 

I can understand it. A few gigayears of saying.. you know.. bears will eat you.. tends to add value to that pesky pessimism and mistrust.. I don't wanna change it. bears are scary. just ask stephen colbert.

 

Not that I'm anyalyzing you all.. I don't mean that. I just mean mistakes stick out more.

 

Now I'm wondering.. can I work up an inspection process.. walk into a store.. and perform it..

and saying I did this with several guitars of different brands.. I wonder which would pass?

Or if there would be any difference in percentage of pass/fail?

Does the way the store cares for their guitars come into play there? I think so.

But all things being equal, since I'm not on six assembly lines..

I wonder how long that process would take me.. to make me satisfied I had done it right.. and how much time I could really cut

if I had a lot of practice.

 

TWANG[/quote']

 

I agree, the one statement that really stuck out to me was about during the electroncs inspection they "are allowed to spend up to 5 min" on small issues, sounds like the 10 guys on the inspection team are getting the ole whip cracked pretty good!

 

mgm

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I can understand it. A few gigayears of saying.. you know.. bears will eat you.. tends to add value to that pesky pessimism and mistrust.. I don't wanna change it. bears are scary. just ask stephen colbert.

 

TWANG

I know that's right..... my man Elvis Costello got eaten by the bear outside of where Colbert was holed up for his X-mas special :-k
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