Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums
Sign in to follow this  
iankinzel

Indonesian Epis - Comments?

Recommended Posts

Hi all!

 

Having been the proud owner of Korean- and Chinese-built Epiphone guitars, I'm not the kind of person to write off an instrument just because of where it was made. The Qingdao factory in particular has turned out some amazing instruments over the last 5-6 years - and, extending beyond the realm of Epiphone, my favorite Strat happens to be my best friend's Squier Vintage Modified model.

 

With that all being said, I know that when companies begin operating in a new country, it can take some time for the build quality to match that of other sites. Japanese guitars of the 1950s? Cool, but nothing amazing. Japanese guitars of the 1970s? Arguably better than Gibson. Chinese guitars? In my experience, in general, I've seen a huge improvement between the ones built 10 years ago and the ones coming out today.

 

While Epiphone is normally thought of these days as being based in China, thanks to the well-known Qingdao factory, I've noticed lately that Epiphone has some models being built in Indonesia as well. My only experience with an Indonesian guitar was a pathetic Cort "G-Series" Fat Strat clone; the single coils were dull-sounding, the instrument could never stay in tune, and so on...

 

So my question now is, what about Epiphone guitars made in Indonesia? Any experiences with them? Am I worrying too much and they're already up to par with what's coming out of Qingdao, or are there still kinks that Epiphone needs to work out in the Indonesian factory? How do the production processes in China and Indonesia compare?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've played good and bad guitars of most brands and models from all over the world.

I believe that a guitar that is right for you is where and when you find it.

 

I've played Gibsons that I would have no interest in owning. Others I would commit mayhem for.

I've played Epiphones from the DaeWon factory that should never have been released 'till DaeTwo.

 

Just an opinion,

 

Willy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting... I have an Epiphone Emperor II Joe Pass...(love the guitar)...I have no idea where it was made. Probably China...I've had it for 6-7 years...bought it new out of the local misic store. Any way to tell where it was made from a serial#?? I don't remember seeing a label inside.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 1962 Crestwood is made in Indonesia. It's just flawless, perfect right out of the box. Better than any chinese guitar I've had, and even top korean ones. If there was a "made in Japan" sticker on it, I would believe it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My 1997 SG Junior was made in Indonesia, and it's a great guitar!

I replaced the tuners, bridge, and nut. Everything else is stock. And it sounds very good.

The quality of craftsmanship is great! Super straight neck.

 

001-2-1.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My 2009 Indonesian '66 re-issue Wilshire was good out of the box and after fifteen minutes slightly widening two nut slots, polishing the frets and lowering the bridge has played like a dream ever since. Nothing has broken, nothing has failed and I haven't had to change anything at all. I wish I could say the same about my MIM '50's Classic Strat which cost twice as much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe my Epi nighthawk custom reissue was Indonesian, tho i removed the sticker when i got it. But i think that was the origin. If so, you have no worries at all. It's as well built as just about anything i've owned at any price. Fret work, finish, everything is quality. Of course as always, the pots and switch aren't great but we're talking $20 of parts so not an issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Using the factory codes from the above link, I have a Wildkat and an acoustic 12 string made in Indonesia.

 

The fit/finish/quality on my Wildkat is excellent (it's my avatar). I did a review on the 12 string when I got it. Here's a link:

 

http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/90035-ngd-12-string/

 

I'm quite happy with both of these guitars.

 

I also have a Dot from QingDoa and an Elitist Casino from Japan. It's all good!! [biggrin]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My 2010 LP Jr. was made in Indonesia, and it's by far the best sounding solid body electric I've played acoustically. It's loud, and it sounds good.

 

Sometimes I don't even want to plug it in. msp_thumbup.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My EJ200CE was made in Indonesia and the build quality and finish is superb. Obviously the quality of the wood isn't the same but the construction fit and finish is up there with the like of Martin, Gibson & Taylor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's all very reassuring, and Willy makes an excellent point - Gibson headstocks and "MADE IN USA" stamps guarantee nothing.

 

Does anybody know if Epiphone has its own separate factory in Indonesia, the way it does at Qingdao, or are the Indonesian Epis built at an OEM site?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My 08 EJ-160-E John Lennon model was made in Indonesia and it's just flawless in build quality and finish and when played acoustically it has the same tonal character as the Gibson counterpart.It's when it's played through a Vox AC-15 or 30 is when it really shines,it absolutely nails the tone of the original Beatle 160 Es spot on.Playing the intro to I Feel Fine will send you into goosebump territory,too bad I can't quite master that feedback in the key of A that John so easily got on the recording and in concert.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have an Indonesian SG Junior. Its is a great guitar as well. Of course, it has its shortcomings being a $100 guitar, but it had less issues out of the box than my Chinese SG Special P90. Smoother frets, better leveling, nicer fretboard & better beveling.

 

I also have an off-brand Indonesian bass made at the Cort factory that would knock the socks off of any Epiphone bass currently in production. It has a 5-piece maple/wenge neck-thru, a flame maple body (real flame maple, not a veneer), and a nice little flame maple veneer on the headstock. It came with Bartolini MK-1 pickups/preamp and Hipshot tuners, brass nut, mushroom-style strap buttons (as opposed to the hour-glass style), and a solid brass bridge.

 

I'm down with the Indo guitars for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I also have an off-brand Indonesian bass made at the Cort factory that would knock the socks off of any Epiphone bass currently in production. It has a 5-piece maple/wenge neck-thru, a flame maple body (real flame maple, not a veneer), and a nice little flame maple veneer on the headstock. It came with Bartolini MK-1 pickups/preamp and Hipshot tuners, brass nut, mushroom-style strap buttons (as opposed to the hour-glass style), and a solid brass bridge.

 

You know the rules - without pics it doesn't exist! (Actually I just want to see it - sounds gorgeous)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know the rules - without pics it doesn't exist! (Actually I just want to see it - sounds gorgeous)

I posted pics here when I got it a couple years ago. Its actually the one in my avatar, but here are pics anyway. The nut and bridge are both anodized brass...so they look like satin silver or nickel. The tuners are Hipshot liscensed, but still great. It is an import, after all...

 

Its an Ocean brand bass, designed by a company in California and sold exclusively through Guitar Center. After about 3 years of production, Laguna (GC's house brand) bought out Ocean, rebranded the basses, changed the headstock and a bunch of the internals and made it in to a pretty craptastic instrument. Complaints piled up and they stopped production within a year of Laguna's aquisition. Good Job, Guitar Center!!

 

ocean1.png

ocean2.png

 

ocean3.png

ocean4.png

ocean5.png

ocean6.png

ocean7.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sweet looking bass. It's always bugged me that bass players always seem to get much better wood options than us 6 guitar players.

 

Having said that I have to admit that I'm finding I spend more and more time on the dark side. I blame it on watching a Jaco masterclass video and finding I could actually do some of the stuff straight off whereas I have to really work at guitar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My 2010 LP Jr. was made in Indonesia, and it's by far the best sounding solid body electric I've played acoustically. It's loud, and it sounds good.

 

Sometimes I don't even want to plug it in. msp_thumbup.gif

 

 

Yeah, I've got one of these, too (an '08), and I'm really surprised by how much I like playing this thing.. Great neck, and surprisingly, I really like the stock humbucker. Not bad for a hundred bucks.

 

 

Junior_IMG_0992pb.jpg

 

Junior_IMG_0967pb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
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.

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.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...