David's excellent adventure at a Chinese guitar factory

For guitars of the straight waisted variety (or reverse offset).
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jvin248
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Re: David's excellent adventure at a Chinese guitar factory

Post by jvin248 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:06 am

.

Awesome travel tale!

People that haven't been to China do not realize how advanced the main cities are, and much more modern than NY/LA/etc/etc -- I laugh when I see typing on forums complaining about this or that manufacturing 'quality' over there, using their iProduct to do so, that was built in China...

The Buicks you mentioned several times are considered one of the high end premium luxury car brands in China (not sure in 'Oz'?). That was the reason why when GM struggled back in the 2008 recession they kept Buick and dropped Pontiac and Oldsmobile.

Great pictures and thanks for sharing!

.
Last edited by jvin248 on Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: David's excellent adventure at a Chinese guitar factory

Post by sookwinder » Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:08 am

jthomas wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:03 am
Sook... Very cool. Many thanks for the time and effort to share all that you saw. I wonder if this factory is where Guitar Fetish gets their special factory seconds sale stuff from.
I suspect not ... why?
Julia has had a lot of interaction with Korean companies and other "larger brands", but only recently in the last couple of years have they ventured onto Aliexpress and have been offering customised features (headstock labels etc). While it is not impossible, given that she has never mentioned it to me during our many email conversations, I would say it is unlikely.
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Re: David's excellent adventure at a Chinese guitar factory

Post by tribi9 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:55 am

Great thread. Im jealous, would love to do the tour myself.

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Re: David's excellent adventure at a Chinese guitar factory

Post by PJazzmaster » Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:49 am

wow. Thanks so much for sharing your story and the pictures !!! :-*

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Re: David's excellent adventure at a Chinese guitar factory

Post by zhivago » Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:08 pm

Very cool thread David, it really made me feel that I was there with you, in a way! 8)
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Re: David's excellent adventure at a Chinese guitar factory

Post by budda12ax7 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:07 pm

Amazing....post of the year.

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Re: David's excellent adventure at a Chinese guitar factory

Post by Larry Mal » Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:16 pm

That was a very interesting read- good job.
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Re: David's excellent adventure at a Chinese guitar factory

Post by eggwheat » Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:06 pm

Great read David, thanks for taking the time to share the experience!

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Re: David's excellent adventure at a Chinese guitar factory

Post by windmill » Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:36 pm

Thanks for this tremendous post about your trip

And also thanks for the bits about the non guitar part.

Did the workshops have any heating or was the weather mild enough to not need it ?

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Re: David's excellent adventure at a Chinese guitar factory

Post by timtam » Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:42 pm

sookwinder wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:00 am
I would have also like to have seen where they do their fret dressing and cleaning up of the fret ends. The frets on their guitars are the best I have ever seen/felt. Perfectly rounded off.
Yes the fret work would have been really interesting. Even with low wages, their price point doesn't allow the amount of time we tend to assume is required for a really good fret job, including levelling and crowning and polishing. Yet the good ones come with pretty good frets. I know that experienced workers with simple fret presses (rather than fret hammers) can produce fret jobs that need little or no levelling (and their experienced eyes can easily see if they sometimes do a bad fret). So I suspect that most of these guitars get no levelling, which then means no need for re-crowning and re-polishing. But you can't avoid needing to do fret ends. But presumably they are just really fast and good at that.
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Re: David's excellent adventure at a Chinese guitar factory

Post by sookwinder » Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:58 pm

I think there is an additional factor... the wages and cost of living for the average worker.
Essentially the factory is a small niche' guitar factory that builds small quantities to order.
They have a factory located in a rural area, not needing the high cost land that the larger city locations would demand, their business model allows for 35 people to survive and prosper on their small output.
I suspect they do have enough time to chcek frets (crowns and ends) .... they have just worked that function into their business model.
I wish ever guitar sold had frets as good as they do for their guitars.

As far as heating is concerned. It gets pretty cold there in winter, snow everywhere, and there is heating units in some of the workshops.
I didn't notice any A/C systems, but I may have missed them.
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Re: David's excellent adventure at a Chinese guitar factory

Post by Futuron » Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:24 pm

Very cool, and thanks for sharing.


sookwinder wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:05 am
There is always gong to be the "funny Ching-lish" language mistakes that one notices when travelling in China.
This was seen at the Shanghai airport while waiting for our flight to Yantai. I suspect the word they may have been looking for was "cerebell"
Image
Actually, the meaning of the word "cervix" is "neck", so cervical vertebrae are neck bones. That looks like a neck massager to me. So rather than the wrong word, it's just a lost-in-translation kind of cultural mishap, since we tend to only use the word in it's somewhat euphemistic sense (same with labia, which means "lips").

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Re: David's excellent adventure at a Chinese guitar factory

Post by i love sharin foo » Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:27 pm

Awesome read David!

I too am very surprised by the amount of hands on labor involved. I always assumed it would be much more automated than it actually appears to be, at least with this particular shop. Very cool.
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Re: David's excellent adventure at a Chinese guitar factory

Post by nanamour » Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:51 pm

A really fascinating and informative read David, thanks for taking the time to put that together.

I'm surprised to see how almost 'cottage industry' certain facets of the production process appear, the inlay work especially. Interesting seeing the bewildering array of supply for international brands (e.g. Hofner, Framus), Grote-branded models, and custom work represented in the parts and guitars in various stages of completion in your photos too. Not a fan of the spray booth worker spraying serious product with what looks to be a paper/fabric mask in lieu of a proper respirator though :(

That's a staggering amount of internal security infrastructure with the CCTV/traffic cams and all. Out of curiosity, were you given any hassle taking photos (especially of infrastructure, rails/trains, etc)?

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Re: David's excellent adventure at a Chinese guitar factory

Post by sookwinder » Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:39 pm

As far as taking photos in China I have learnt from my previous visits i.e. do not attempt to take photos of those MiG 25s when one has actually landed at a Chinese military airport (Changchun)

most people just were curious about these two old looking foreigners walking around as if they are lost.
At the market a number of people didn't want their photo taken, but some were more than accomodating.
I didn't attempt to take any photos of the military people manning the Xiray machines at the entrances to the transport hubs...
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