The Ibanez Factory

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The Ibanez Factory

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Paul: Have you ever been to the Ibanez factory in China? I would like to know more about its operation.
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Re: The Ibanez Factory

Post by paul_yan »

Peter, I've never been to Ibanez's factory in China, although I'd love to.

However, after some on-line searches, I've found some http://www.GuitarChina.com's reports on the opening of Gibson's factory in Qingdao (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qing_Dao), and the opening of Fender's factory in Shanghai(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanghai) in May 2004.

The Chinese Gibson factory makes its Epiphone line guitars and basses:
http://news.guitarchina.com/article/2662.html

The Fender factory makes, you guessed it, the Squier ones:
http://news.guitarchina.com/article.php/1466

I asked a "guitar industry insider" friend of mine about Ibanez's factory in China. He said that Ibanez didn't actually set up a factory in China but just contract with the Changcheng (meaning: The Great Wall) music instrument factory/co in Guangzhou (where there are lots of OEM/local brand guitar facories, incidentally : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guangzhou) to OEM the higher lines of the Made-In-China Ibanez instruments. The Changcheng factory is indeed one of the top instrument makers. It actually also has a company that is an authorised dealer for the Made-In-Japan Ibanez products, along with some other guitar related brands. Here's the company's site: (Adjust your speaker volume, V>v, metal music coming your way...) http://www.musicgw.com/

Ibanez also has several chinese factories in Guangzhou and Dalian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalian) doing their even lower M-I-C lines.

Here are some youtube footages on a guitar factory in Dalian:

http://tw.youtube.com/watch?v=ab3hrvf_V ... re=related

http://tw.youtube.com/watch?v=h2uyUxkr1e8&NR=1

http://tw.youtube.com/watch?v=zZq44RNcZ ... re=related

Another one:

http://tw.youtube.com/watch?v=PQhV9Ix9a ... re=related

http://tw.youtube.com/watch?v=nFFvrHHct ... re=related

http://tw.youtube.com/watch?v=tJNQcJQGf ... re=related

Somewhere in Changzhou...:

http://tw.youtube.com/watch?v=xudehqjYx ... re=related
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Re: The Ibanez Factory

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Paul: Thanks for your well-crafted and informative reply.

I am enjoying this journey to virtual China that you have booked for me.
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Re: The Ibanez Factory

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Re: The Ibanez Factory

Post by doctorno »

Thank you, Paul. This is very interesting information.

I would be curious to know your opinion - as someone who lives in China - about Chinese made guitars compared to American made guitars. I have a Burns Marvin which is designed in England, part made in China and finally assembled in England - and the quality is the best I have ever seen for the price. I have also seen many other Chinese made instruments and I am really impressed. What is your opinion?
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Re: The Ibanez Factory

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I share your feeling for Chinese made instruments, Markus. Some of the musical instruments made here, especially the mid-high end ones, and the ones designed by western designers are of really good value. However, many of them can't be purchased locally. They are for exports only.

I went to one of the bigger musical instrument fairs last year in Beijing and was quite astonished by the good quality and low price of some local brand instruments. I bought a Maxwood acoustic bass guitar (made in Guangzhou) for the equivalent of $80 USD ($52 Euro). Apart from so-so fret work (some fret buzz at the 14th fret with the G and D strings) and tuning machines, its volume, tone and overall quality are quite good.

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Check out this 2004 George Gruhn newsletter for more insights on "MIC" instruments:
http://www.gruhn.com/newsletter/newsltr15.html
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Re: The Ibanez Factory

Post by carr »

I acquired a Chinese made Strat copy by mistake.I prefer to think there was a deliberate error on the part of the sellerr but ..nontheless..

Its brand name is Manito and it is a great player .Nice action and brilliant sound ..Much better in all respects than the MiM tel I have and at half the price.
Was I lucky or are there some quality and yet cheap guitars being made ?

J
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Re: The Ibanez Factory

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Maybe both, John. There are indeed many dirt cheap but decent quality Fender clones being made in China now. However, I believe the "Era of cheap but decent Chinese guitars" will pass in 5~10 years because price of manpower has been getting higher and higher.
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Re: The Ibanez Factory

Post by dog »

In the USA it is common to hear a lot of talk about "cheap" imports, whether from China or elsewhere is beside the point. With that said, I have an Ibanez Artcore ASB140 that is an excellent instrument. Even though I did swap out the pickup for a DarkStar from Hammon eng., the original was worthy. My Chinese made Artcore is definately a keeper. :wink:
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Re: The Ibanez Factory

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Congratulations on your Artcore ASB140, Ron. Very well made semi-hollow bass. It's got way bigger bang for the bucks than the made-in-Korea Epiphone Jack Casady Bass, IMHO. :wink:
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Re: The Ibanez Factory

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You know Paul, Ibanez is not a real popular topic on any Ric forum, but this ASB140 truly is excellent. The quality of the build rivals my 4003, and is actually better then my Gibson Thunderbird. The binding is everywhere (double bound body, neck, head and F holes), and is done perfectly. The hardware is solid, tuners are great, and the tone is very sweet and mellow. A perfect compliment to my Ric, and it goes to every gig with me.

It's a pity that more guys don't come to the World forums. As for me, I will be checking back frequently. :D
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Re: The Ibanez Factory

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I know of someone who sold this:
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Re: The Ibanez Factory

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...and turned right around and bought an Artcore ASB140. :shock:
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Re: The Ibanez Factory

Post by jimk »

A guitar dealer just a few blocks from my house has quite a few guitars and mandolins made by Eastman, another Chinese company. Anything in the store that I've played on made by that company I thought was very well done indeed. In fact, I once played a 12 string acoustic made by Eastman and the shop sold it within a week. Nice guitar.

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Re: The Ibanez Factory

Post by dog »

jps wrote:I know of someone who sold this:
I'm not sure if I would have sold that beautiful 4005, but with the money he got for it, his wallet was probably still fat even after buying the respectable Artcore.

I guess that my real point in posting here is that of my 5 basses, 3 are made in Asia. Even though imports of any type may not be a popular subject in the USA these days, my Asian basses are of very high quality. And my Ibanez Artcore, along with my 4003, are the two best basses I own. (unfortunately, my Gibson USA is lacking a bit in overall quality)
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