Buying guitars from Chinese OEMs

DocSvensk

Buying guitars from Chinese OEMs

Post by DocSvensk » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:55 pm

Hello,

This is my first post to the website! Despite playing for 5 years, I am still an intermediate classical guitar player. Until I started taking classical lessons, I had never played a musical instrument before. I have enjoyed learning to read music and I find that practicing guitar is one of the most wonderful ways to relax after a stressful day (something everyone can relate to).
I presently play a cedar top Manuel Rodriguez C3 and am very happy with its warmth and great projection. I am curious about adding a spruce top guitar to my armamentarium, just to have a different sound for particular moods. I have seen quite a few posts about buying classical guitars from China. To my naïve view, it would appear that the Chinese have rapidly acquired the ability to make very good guitars. Many of you have commented on the excellent performance of New World guitars (Kenny Hill) or Yamaha guitars, for example. Given the reputation for certain Chinese-made guitar lines, I would feel comfortable ordering a guitar on line (although I'd prefer to play the actual guitar that I'm buying).
I'd like to push it one step further and ask if anyone has experience buying directly from an OEM? Are there particular OEMs to avoid? As many of you have commented, it could be very risky buying a guitar without playing it, or at least hearing it. However, if the OEM already has the experience making high quality guitars, why not buy directly from the OEM?
Looking forward to hearing your perspective.

DocSvensk

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Erik Zurcher
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Re: Buying guitars from Chinese OEMs

Post by Erik Zurcher » Sat Mar 19, 2011 10:57 pm

Hello DocSvenk, as a new member may I invite you to introduce yourself here?
Reedition Domingo Esteso by Conde Hermanos 2004; Kenny Hill, model Barcelona 2001
"While you try to master classical guitar, prepare for a slave's life: the guitar will forever be your master and you its slave".

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guitarseller345645
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Re: Buying guitars from Chinese OEMs

Post by guitarseller345645 » Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:54 pm

I have a China OEM guitar and it is fine. Well made and very worthwhile - extremely good value. Service was good. Just that it has no label.

Not to worry about quality - if you buy from an auction site, you get to leave feedback. There are only 2 or 3 big OEM setups catering to classical guitar in China. Easy to find with Google.

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Last edited by guitarseller345645 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

hillguitar
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Re: Buying guitars from Chinese OEMs

Post by hillguitar » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:06 pm

Any seller should offer you, at least, an opportunity to return the guitar should you discover it is not what you thought you were buying or if it does not measure up to your expectations based on how it was presented either in print or over the phone. I would think that you should be able to make this assessment within a few minutes of your first encounter with the guitar. More difficult is that when you think, "engh...this is 'ok,' but not heaven...but I kind of like it..." It will be harder to return a guitar after a couple of months than a couple of days, to be fair to yourself and the seller. Don't expect most sellers to be enthusiastic about requesting a refund/return after a month.

It would be wise to try to have as complete a dialog with your seller prior to closing the deal, so your seller knows what you are looking for and expect - and you know as best as possible what you want is what the seller has.
Hill Guitar Company
Ben Lomond, CA 95005

DocSvensk

Re: Buying guitars from Chinese OEMs

Post by DocSvensk » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:00 am

Dear hillguitar,

Thanks for the sagacious advice. Based on your comment I assume that there are some OEMs that don't accept returns, at least not from individual single unit buyers.

DocSvensk

hillguitar
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Re: Buying guitars from Chinese OEMs

Post by hillguitar » Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:25 pm

More than likely you will be dealing with dealers from a distance, as there aren't that many OEM from whom you can buy direct. There are several dealers in upstate New York [a big area] where you may be able to get your hands on a guitar. My comments above were based mainly on buyers interacting with dealers.
Hill Guitar Company
Ben Lomond, CA 95005

DocSvensk

Re: Buying guitars from Chinese OEMs

Post by DocSvensk » Thu Mar 24, 2011 2:41 am

Dear hillguitar,

Thanks for the clarification. I had been communicating with an OEM directly. However, I believe you know best and that most OEMs do not sell directly to individuals.
My trepidation about buying on-line is that I don't get to hold the actual guitar I intend to buy in my hands and play it. Many guitars may appear beautiful in the photos on-line and sound less than desirable when they arrive at home. That's the reason for my original post requesting feedback from people who have purchased guitars from Chinese OEMs (and dealers).

Regards,
DocSvensk

DocSvensk

Re: Buying guitars from Chinese OEMs

Post by DocSvensk » Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:08 pm

Hello everybody,
Well, after much gnarling and gnashing of teeth about buying a guitar directly from a Chinese OEM, I went in another direction completely. I was looking for the brightness of a spruce top guitar when, on-line, I came across a Yamaha CG171SF flamenco guitar still in the box at a national guitar store chain. I was not near the store, so I relied on the extensive discussions in this forum to guide me. The guitar arrived in the original box with strapping this week. I opened the box and was taken aback at the good looks of this $350 guitar. It is very well made. I tuned it up and it is exactly what I wanted. Very bright clear trebles and rich basses with much more sustain than I understand a flamenco guitar is supposed to have. I am elated.
Thanks to all the contributors who have discussed this guitar in the past. Your advice was spot on.
DocSvensk

GuitarVlog

Re: Buying guitars from Chinese OEMs

Post by GuitarVlog » Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:46 pm

DocSvensk wrote:Well, after much gnarling and gnashing of teeth about buying a guitar directly from a Chinese OEM, I went in another direction completely. I was looking for the brightness of a spruce top guitar when, on-line, I came across a Yamaha CG171SF flamenco guitar still in the box at a national guitar store chain. ...

I opened the box and was taken aback at the good looks of this $350 guitar. It is very well made. I tuned it up and it is exactly what I wanted. Very bright clear trebles and rich basses with much more sustain than I understand a flamenco guitar is supposed to have. I am elated.
The Yamaha CG171SF strikes again! :lol:

This model is probably the "Honda Civic" of the guitar world.

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