What is the difference between a guitar made in Asia and an iPhone made in Asia?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by musika, Jun 17, 2012.

  1. musika macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2010
    New York
    It's not as much of a question really as it is a discussion. In the guitar world, if it's made in America, be it Les Pauls, Strats, Teles, anything, really, it's almost always considered superior to something like, say, an Epiphone (I've got an LP Standard) that's made in Indonesia, or China, or Korea, or a Fender Made in Mexico model. While, in tech, everything is made in Asia, China, usually. And at the top is Apple. Apple is what is often considered the highest in quality when it comes to tech, but it's all made in China. Why is an instrument such as an Epiphone considered so much lower in quality? It's cheaper than an American-made Fender Strat, and we're talking about a guitar with bindings and a chambered and carved mahogany body and neck with a maple top, I mean, is that really worth less than a guitar with none of that (I'm not dissing the Strat, but I mean, a lot more does go into making an LP, by design).

    And also, how much of it has to do with the name on the headstock? I mean, don't get me wrong, if people suddenly started buying my records and/or I got a steady flow of decent income I'd by a Gibson Les Paul Standard and maybe a couple Stratocasters in a heartbeat, but I don't see that happening anytime soon. Does American craftsmanship really add $2,000+ to the price tag of a guitar that is (more or less) very, very similar? Does Asian craftsmanship really mean that an instrument should be thought less of? Does it mean than an iPhone or a Mac should be considered of lower quality?
  2. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Nope. It's perceived value, through marketing.

    In your case, it creates guitar bigots, just like any other brainwashing.

    If it sounds good to you, it's yours. ;)
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    It's a ridiculous notion that things made in China are of poorer quality. Usually, it isn't. Manufacturing is a skill that's developed, not genetics. It isn't affected by the level of income the person makes, but about skill, care, and time. Mass manufacturing requires things to be made in as little time as possible, but the Chinese have the skill in their workforce to do it well.

    I have read that there isn't a significant benefit to manufacturing clothing in China anymore, since labour costs are only a small percentage of the cost of a garment, and the benefits of keeping manufacturing close by, along with faster and cheaper delivery, offsets the higher cost of the labour. One of the reasons this hasn't happened in practice is because the skills aren't available in America to do a good job. Not in large quantities,and with tiny manufacturing variabilities allowed. Americans can manufacture simple clothing clothing designs like tshirts, but nothing too elaborate.

    And Americans aren't great at car manufacturing, either. I don't understand why so many people want cars "Made in America". Overall, cars are cheaper to make in Canada due primarily to the reliability of the cars produced. This was true several years ago, and it's probably still true today.
  4. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    Manufacturing in China is done to the customer's specification. If the customer asks for botched assembly/manufacturing, they get it, if they ask for top notch quality and worksmanship, they get it.

    "Made in China" does not indicate the level of quality of the product. The product itself does.

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