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Your Chinese guitars need better electronics ! Please read !


Bender 4 Life

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Hey there Shadow & Crew, I really like all my Epis. but my most recent purchase (5/09 Guitar Center Online) is a Chinese '56 Gold Top LP, and it has already had some serious issues with the electronics.

It came out of the box with an input jack that had to be "wiggled" every few minutes, &/or every time I moved to keep the connection.

I figured "no big deal" and recently replaced it with a better jack, problem solved.(at MY expense)

I pluged it in yesterday, played fine, until I tried to flip the 3-way switch from Rythym to Treble, and something inside the switch BROKE !

The guitar is only 5 months old for Petes sake, and I've never been rough with it, or abused it in any way.

It's also not seen a lot of playtime, because I own 10 other guitars.

Now, the switch is stuck in Rythym position, and any attempt to change that, results in it either "springing" back into Rythym, or staying in Rythym, but the switch "arm" flopping around loose.

I'll replace that switch next week, but thats 2 un-necessary expenditures this guitar has cost me already, and it's not even 6 months old yet.

 

I've read literally dozens of stories just like this one on this forum, and while I realize that y'all have to get parts from the low-bidding sources (to keep costs down:-s ), I really think that this sort of headache is hurting your overall new product sales.

If I were a 1st time buyer,or not handy with a soldering gun, and read some of the reviews on this forum concerning the electronics you use and the problems they repeatedly seem to be plagued with, i'd most likely look to other brands for purchase.

I hope you understand that this is NOT just "venting" but i'm trying to let y'all know about a REAL problem, that is without a doubt either causing lost sales, or will in the future.

~Bender~

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You have just become a respected member of the Chinese Epiphone Quality Control Team. Most manufacturers do quality control before their product ships. That is awfully expensive and time-consuming (Duh!). And when you find a defective item before it ships, you have to repair it rather than letting the customer repair it at HIS expense (Double Duh!).

 

By bringing your problems to light, the dedicated members of the Chinese Epiphone Factory can fasten the electronics a wee bit looser, so they're easier for us customers to replace. AND, they can email you to get instructions on HOW to replace them.

 

Epiphone China, fine guitars for the dedicated fixer upper!

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I have 3 Epi's all with quality issues and that means there will be no more! I'm not silly, why buy trouble? They are not even cheap enough here to make allowances. I have little regard for the importer/retailer and have chosen to pay to get them fixed rather than invoke the warranty.

 

Pity though.....so close!

 

Digger

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Would you pay extra' date=' up front, for quality American electronics and hardware? I would! Or, does it really matter,

because you figure Epi's need to be "modded" anyway...and/or, as long as the body and neck are decent, you know

you'll replace the electronics, and hardware, anyway. ???

 

CB[/quote']

 

A beautiful wooden guitar with crap for electronics cheapens the worth of the guitar. It would make more sense, music-wise, to have an ugly guitar with good electronics (hey, I just redisovered the inspiration for the Telecaster).

 

In the past 4 years, I have bought 6 Chinese-made portable radios. All look great. Only three of them actually work. Two were DOA and probably had never been tested, and one died after a month. China just doesn't get it.

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I agree totally. I can understand the use of cheap pickups, especially at the low end of the range, but jacks, switches, pots and caps NEED to be better quality.

 

My 2009 casino claims to have 'large sized pots' and a 'open metal switch' (ie switchcraft style), but Why not go the whole hog and use CTS/Switchcraft/Sprague stuff throughout. It would only add £5 or £10 to the cost of the guitars, and would make a HUGE difference to the reputation of Epiphone guitars. Fender have been making a big effort to upgrade their electronics across the Mexican range in recent years and those guitars obliterate your average Epi in value-for-money terms QC

 

Hopefully the latest run of models with US electronics is an indicator of good things to come.

 

As for chinese quality control- it CAN be great; my casino really is spot on. The only thing 'wrong' is a tiny bit of thick finish in the tight corner between the body and neck binding. The problem seems to be that the chinese, while very good at making something in a way they are shown, don't always realise that it's the functionality of the product that is fundamental, not that it is merely a good 'copy' of the guitar they were taught to build aesthetically.

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Or, give Gibson a call, and find out why the DON'T do it?! LOL!

I'm in total agreement, with putting Gibson USA pots, wiring and switches, in ALL Epiphones. Pickups?

Ideally, yeah...those too. But, those ARE often changed, for personal preference, if no other

reason, so..a less expensive pickup is no big deal, really. But, there's no excuse for bad pots,

wiring or switches...None!

 

CB

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The main reason for my little "mini-rant" is the fact that while they moved the bulk of their production (and components purchases) to China over the past 2 yrs...............meaning GREAT savings to them in materials and labor costs, they STILL raised the price of their guitars an average of $100 per, across the board last year.

 

For short term profit margins, it may add up, but cheaping out on too many components and turning out a non functioning product will eventually shoot them in the foot, then they'll "have to" raise prices again to make up for lost sales..........and before they know it, NOBODY is buying their product, because it's just not worth the price.

 

There are companies out there that sell top of the line KOREAN guitars that rival any Gibson made, let alone Epi..............and they sell them for about 1/2 the price of an Epi.

 

Please do the math Epi. before its too late!

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There are companies out there that sell top of the line KOREAN guitars that rival any Gibson made' date=' let alone Epi

[/quote']

 

...you mean...like a St Blues or a Reverend? Yup, they are both superb - made in Korea and finished and set-up in the USA. In the same price-range as the better Epiphones, but way cheaper than a Gibson.

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...you mean...like a St Blues or a Reverend? Yup' date=' they are both superb - made in Korea and finished and set-up in the USA. In the same price-range as the better Epiphones, but way cheaper than a Gibson.

 

[/quote']

 

And like D'Angelico and PRS. Obviously the reason for the move to China is that people are willing to work for a fraction of what other people make. Instead of scooping up the savings on labor, they seem to be trying to cut every possible corner. I only bought Chinese-made radios because almost nobody makes them anywhere else. As for guitars, we still do have a choice. If Epiphone wants to sell guitars with a working life expectancy of 6 months, they should be selling them out of WalMart and Sams. What a disgrace to the name Epiphone.

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I only bought Chinese-made radios because almost nobody makes them anywhere else.

 

hijack.gif

 

Are you talking about a regular transistor radio? I'm a radio junkie (I hardly ever watch the crap that's on TV). I think the last great radios are made by Roberts near Sheffield' date=' England. I bought one when I was a student in the UK and brought it back to the US with me. Superb. Used everyday for the last 10 years and it's still going strong. It came with an English 3 pin plug, but it works fine with a 9V adapter from Radio Shack. I don't know if Roberts distribute them in the US, but if you ever get your hands on one...

 

http://www.robertsradio.co.uk/index.htm

 

[img']http://www.ccrane.com/images/medium/roberts-revival-radio-blue.jpg[/img]

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I'm into shortwave portables, which come in handy after hurricanes. The Eton E1 is very nice, but its track record on reliability is poor. Both of mine died within a few months, and it costs a fortune to get them fixed. My Kaito died after a month, and my Sangean wouldn't run on batteries right out of the box. I finally decided to get all radios from CCrane as they will stand by their warranty and seem to have been checked to see if they actually work. CCrane announced a small portable AM/FM/SW a few years ago and then pulled the plug on it (I think it was a Kaito-made radio). I'm pretty sure they pulled the plug on it because it was built like a piece of junk and they didn't want their name on it.

 

The era of lunch pail sized portables seems to be nearing an end. Too bad, as I love the radio.

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And like D'Angelico and PRS. Obviously the reason for the move to China is that people are willing to work for a fraction of what other people make. Instead of scooping up the savings on labor' date=' they seem to be trying to cut every possible corner. I only bought Chinese-made radios because almost nobody makes them anywhere else. As for guitars, we still do have a choice. If Epiphone wants to sell guitars with a working life expectancy of 6 months, they should be selling them out of WalMart and Sams. What a disgrace to the name Epiphone.

[/quote']

 

I'm glad you mentioned PRS. Although I used St Blues and Reverend as examples, they are pretty small companies. PRS, on the other hand, is a "name."

 

And I suspect that some of those PRS Korean-made SE models are especially attractive to some customers, given Epiphone's apparent disinterest in making a double-cut Les Paul model...

 

As a point of interest, aren't some of the more affordable Gretschs also made in Korea?

 

Aha!..I see that they are:

 

 

KS09043489-serial-l.jpg

 

 

As a hollow-body double-cut, that Gretsch G5122DC must compete, at least to some extent, with a Casino. I wonder what Gretch's quality is like these days...?

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Great guitars can be (and Are) made anywhere! The parent company makes the decision, as to how "good" they

want them to be, at any particular price point. But, components, as wire, pots, and switches, are not that expensive,

by comparison to having a happy customer, as opposed to and unhappy one, that trashes the company name, and

won't buy another of that company's products...'cause "it's junk," in their estimation. And, of course, you'll have those

that feel if it isn't USA made, or a Gibson, PRS, USA Fender, or Rickenbacker, Martin...etc., ect....it just "Can't be good!" ;>b

 

Gretsch, especially after Fender took over, have never been better...beautifully made and finished, now. Even the pre-Fender

Gretch guitars were awesome...but the finish was sometimes too "thick" ("encased in plastic," etc.)...but, not anymore!

 

 

Some, that have purchased the newer "Chinese" Epi's seem to feel the components are better, than just a year or so,

ago. Anyone know, for sure?!

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I have a couple of Chinese made Fender clones by J&D Luthiers which were about the same price as SX is in the States. Frankly I can't fault them straight out of the box. They are perfectly finished (couple of sharp fret ends on one of them), everything works, even the electronics and they sound just like a Strat and a Tele should sound. My J&D guitars even have the strings that were on them when I bought them as they are good quality as supplied.

 

I saw so many problems in new guitars (EE) in the retail arm of the Australian distributor that I decided not to buy Epiphone again as, if they had no commitment to their products, why should I? I add a disclaimer here to say that this all occurred 18 months ago and things may have improved since, however I have bought 3 non Epi guitars since that time........sales that Epiphone have lost!

 

TwoJDLuthiersGuitars.jpg

 

 

Digger

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Great guitars can be (and Are) made anywhere! The parent company makes the decision' date=' as to how "good" they

want them to be, at any particular price point. But, components, as wire, pots, and switches, are not that expensive,

by comparison to having a happy customer, as opposed to and unhappy one, that trashes the company name, and

won't buy another of that company's products...'cause "it's junk," in their estimation. And, of course, you'll have those

that feel if it isn't USA made, or a Gibson, PRS, USA Fender, or Rickenbacker, Martin...etc., ect....it just "Can't be good!" ;>b

 

Gretsch, especially after Fender took over, have never been better...beautifully made and finished, now. Even the pre-Fender

Gretch guitars were awesome...but the finish was sometimes too "thick" ("encased in plastic," etc.)...but, not anymore!

 

 

Some, that have purchased the newer "Chinese" Epi's seem to feel the components are better, than just a year or so,

ago. Anyone know, for sure?!

[/quote']

 

I sure have problems with Chinese electronics, of all types. Four dead Dell motherboards in 2 months, all made in China. I'm on my 5th AC adaptor for my Mac laptop, all made in China. My 2nd AT&T DSL modem just died (after 7 weeks). All made in China. And the Chinese-made radios mentioned earlier. Short of shipping electronic components to China for assembly, I seriously doubt that China makes ANY decent quality electronics components.

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Gosh, Jeff...sorry to hear that! I'm often stopped, at a railroad crossing, near here...where freight trains go by with mile long

(or more) strings of box car or shipping containers, with Chinese wording, symbols, and company names...20 to 1, compared

to similar containers or box cars, with American company names...maybe "Fed Ex," now and then. Who knows, what's in those...probably your (and my) Dell computers or parts?! ;>b

 

But, in the case of any American company not caring enough, to use good USA components,

besides using the less expensive labor, is "short sighted," at best...IMHO! So, that's why I was wondering if Epiphone

has (recently) stepped up, their use of Good (preferably USA) electronics? Sure, we can always change them, but WHY...

IF they're done right, in the first place?! I understand the overseas labor, etc...but wire, pots and switches?? Come on!! ;>b

 

CB

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I've got one of the Gretsch 5122 DC. They are Korean made and just really solid guitars. Many trade out the pickups for the TV Jones brand for more of the classic Gretsch tone but I have not. I have tweaked the pickups and with a little slapback delay can get some pretty good tones for rockabilly. They really have improved the Electromatic line considerably in the past several years.

IMG_0475.jpg

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Would you pay extra' date=' up front, for quality American electronics and hardware? I would! Or, does it really matter,

because you figure Epi's need to be "modded" anyway...and/or, as long as the body and neck are decent, you know

you'll replace the electronics, and hardware, anyway. ???

 

CB[/quote']

 

 

Unless a person is just intent on buying for the name on the headstock, or a specific horn shape, theres no need to pay extra........

There are plenty of other brands out there that use HIGH QUALITY components, and still cost HALF of what an Epi. costs.............

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Epiphone might consider either making their own electronics or buying some good stuff from a good manufacturer. How much MORE would a decent toggle switch and four decent pots cost? Ten bucks? Is $10 worth not compromising the reputation of Epiphone guitars? I never thought the Korean electronics were great, but they are stupendous compared to Chinese electronic components.

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