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Would You Buy a Korean-made Fender or PRS ?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by PCollen, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. johnnymg

    johnnymg Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 5, 2015
    Central Coast Ca
    The "higher end" Chapmans are made at World Musical Instrument Co. IMO, the current level of production quality (for a given price point) coming out of Asia (China, Indo, Korea) rivals American manufacturing.

    These are the brands made at WMI
    B.C. Rich
    PRS SE

    The lower end (heritage) Chapmans will be made in Indonesia.
    Textele and MetalPedal like this.

  2. lonegroover

    lonegroover Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 5, 2016
    I have an Indonesian PRS, a 245 Singlecut and it's a really well made, great playing, great sounding guitar - honestly knocks spots off either of the two Gibson Les Pauls I had.

  3. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

    Dec 27, 2016
    I have a showmaster scorpion from Korea. One of the nicest playing guitars I have ever owned. Great quality.

  4. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

    Dec 27, 2016
    I love my Showmaster (strat style). would love to get one with the esquire body like this one. :thumb:

  5. Daveho

    Daveho Strat-O-Master

    Jan 25, 2017
    Canberra, Australia
    My PRS A10e acoustic is Korean, i cant fault the thing, its beautiful.

  6. PCollen

    PCollen Strat-O-Master

    Feb 13, 2014
    I should not have said Fender Korean guitars, because I don't hink there are any. Fender gets guitars made in Indonesia and China. I should have said Asian vs. Korean so as to be non-specific as to country of origin.

  7. rolandson

    rolandson Senior Stratmaster

    Because an instrument is made in other places, doesn't mean it's bad...often, exactly the opposite is true. That's why it really does matter that the player actually play the actual instrument before the player buys it.
    Boris Bubbanov likes this.

  8. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh needs you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too. Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 10, 2014
    Initech, Inc.
    Spot on. If you specify cheap, they're happy to oblige; they want to give their customer exactly what they've asked for.
    mad axe man likes this.

  9. Rockape

    Rockape Most Honored Senior Member

    Oct 23, 2008
    Yes, strangely for me, it was this Tele style that grabbed me most. Really lightweight mahogany too.

    My pal, who now owns the esquire in the photos, recently found the acoustic version and now wants the Strat style version to complete the set (he's hooked!).

    I must admit to having loved that guitar, but it's new owner (who was crazy about it) was more deserving of it, so it went to him.

    That pickup is seriously hot!!!


  10. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

    Dec 27, 2016
    Yes it is...The Fender Atomic II bridge pups are like 16+kohms. They will definitely scream. And the Mahogany they used is almost uncomfortably light. My biggest problem was the lack of dots on the face of the fret board...didn't realize how much I used them until I got it.
    Rockape likes this.

  11. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Most Honored Senior Member

    May 7, 2014
    It's always about how good the product is and how it plays. I used to be a bit of a cork sniffer when it came to Asian gear, but if I like something nowadays, and it's good quality I don't turn my nose up anymore.
    Textele likes this.

  12. techowiz

    techowiz Strat-Talker

    Nov 7, 2013
    Is this Angus Young's inebriated cousin?
    PCollen likes this.

  13. slowesthand

    slowesthand Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 23, 2011
    From what I have seen the WMI sourced
    Guitars are a big step up from the Chinese and Indonesian guitar. They usually are priced accordingly.

  14. ashtray

    ashtray Strat-O-Master

    Mar 15, 2017
    Its interesting - Fender mostly skipped Korea. They did production in Japan in the 80's (to compete with some of the high quality Japanese made "knock offs" at the time) and toyed with some Korean made guitars (my Squier II for example),, but then started up a factory in Mexico. I'm not sure if any other major manufacturer uses a Mexican factory?

    Fender did some runs of 1-off Korean models, but never really did so for a whole product line. They did complete runs in Japan, China, and Indonesia. Probably some other places too. But because Fender had Mexico in 1990 - the time when many other manufacturers were switching from Japan to Korea - Fender pretty much "skipped" that evolution of their imports.

    Now there was a time in the late 80's when Korean made guitars being sent to the States were pretty much entry level plywood junk - but quality quickly improved by the mid 90's. And today - some very nicely made guitars come out of Korea.

    Will China ever be considered a place for high end guitars to be built? Some of the higher priced guitars I've seen out of China have been quite nice. I had an LTD guitar that was decent that was made in Vietnam. Country of origin doesn't really matter much. That said, I have a soft spot for Fender Japan stuff. Every model I've played - and that's probably been over 100 guitars in the past 30 years - has just felt great, including Squier Series.
    Fendereedo likes this.

  15. wildhawk

    wildhawk Most Honored Senior Member

    Feb 12, 2014
    Yep, QA isn't determined by geography. The person in charge does.

    Indonesian PRS, Chinese Epiphones, Vietnamese LTD's are all in the stable.

    20170420_174041.jpg 20170420_174521.jpg
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2017
    gofmusic, johnnymg and henderman like this.

  16. Bopocaster

    Bopocaster Strat-Talker

    Jan 8, 2017
    My old gigging Strat is I believe Korean, North Korean possibly

  17. strattopper

    strattopper Strat-Talker

    Nov 24, 2016
    Would not hesitate.. Some pretty good stuff coming out of Korea , China and Vietnam..
    Schecter is one.. Great guitars ! Good quality too.. Rivals a lot of the Name Brands...

  18. Doghouse_Riley

    Doghouse_Riley Strat-Talker

    Mar 9, 2017
    My MIK Fender Tele is my #1 guitar! Fender Special Edition Lite Ash Telecaster.

    File Nov 11, 7 33 25 PM.jpeg
    Stark and RevBillyG like this.

  19. StrugglingStrum

    StrugglingStrum Strat-Talk Member

    Jan 29, 2015
    Ft worth texas
    Never played an American PRS but my custom 24 SE semi hollow is of top notch quality. I did have to drop a set of Seth lover pickups in it because the stock pups were not that great. Now, I think it's as good or better than all my MIA fenders, including my Clapton strat.

  20. Yogi

    Yogi Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jan 21, 2009
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Agreed. With those Korean guilds, they have to compete with vintage USA models priced similarly so Guild has an incentive to make them as nice as they can. Like the poster above said, it's not about country of origin but what specs the parent company wants. Look at Eastman too
    wildhawk likes this.