Read 22102 times

  • mikecho249
  • Waygookin

    • 17

    • October 12, 2010, 12:25:39 pm
    • seoul, korea
Korean made guitars... any experience?
« on: March 21, 2011, 02:28:40 pm »
I'm thinkin about buying a guitar while I'm still here. Does anyone have any experience with Korean made guitars? either acoustic or electric? I own a bc rich Mockingbird NJ classic back in the states. Its a pretty decent guitar, and i miss it very much.

Also, If you have first hand experience with a particular korean brand please share. THANKS!


  • klorptar
  • Veteran

    • 134

    • September 15, 2010, 08:35:45 am
    • Ulsan, South Korea
Re: Korean made guitars... any experience?
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2011, 02:36:57 pm »
It depends on what you're looking for. The first electric guitar I bought was a Samick, and I only paid around 130,000 for it. It was atrocious. The action was too high, the pickups sucked, and it rattled. Schecter makes pretty good electric guitars though. They're made in Korea, and I've seen them in a lot of them in music shops. I've got one at home. Most of them come with seymour duncan humbuckers, but I've also seen them with EMGs stock. I would be willing to pay a little more up front. I regret not saving a little more money to buy a better guitar at first. Plus, you can always sell it when you leave and get some of your money back.


  • EdwardZ
  • Waygookin

    • 20

    • August 17, 2010, 10:29:06 am
    • Korea
Re: Korean made guitars... any experience?
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2011, 02:58:30 pm »
i grabbed one of these for 500,000 won, including a little junkie amp, capo, and a softcase. http://guitarkhing.blogspot.com/2010/04/schecter-c-1-standard.html

At home I play a modified Jackson Soloist, which is effectively a shredding guitar, and a Strat. There is obviously little comparison, since the Jackson is higher end, and a Strat is a strat, but this guitar is pretty great in it's own way. It's a pretty nice little blues guitar (feels nicer than the Strat for sure), and I play everyday with no hardware deterioration. The only downside is that the wood is extremely heavy.

Anyways, I think you can find a nice Korean guitar, but like all things, you get what you pay for.


  • atomook
  • Waygookin

    • 18

    • November 03, 2010, 08:37:33 am
Re: Korean made guitars... any experience?
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2011, 03:05:03 pm »
They make some great acoustics here, the Crafter line is really exceptional for the price.  Great tone, action, and the electronics are clean.  Most of them even come with a built in tuner which is a nice bonus.  On the electric side, I often find Samick to suck and Cort (the big one here) to be terrible as well (think low end Jackson/Ibanez).  Cort does have a large and varied selection, so they may have some quality vessels, but I haven't played one yet.  You may be able to find a BC here second-hand, but its gonna cost you (as is anything from the states).  Best bet is to either check out Craigslist or visit the huge Music Market in Insadong. 8)


  • blake
  • Veteran

    • 95

    • September 13, 2010, 07:45:11 am
    • Daegu, South Korea
Re: Korean made guitars... any experience?
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2011, 03:10:56 pm »
I got a handmade acoustic guitar in Daegu at the far east end of the 반월당 metro. The brand is Maroo and, as legend goes, the guitars in the shop are all made by one guy. The person selling it was super picky about everything and made adjustments for free while I got a coffee until he was happy to sell it. All subsequent visits for adjustments are free too. It cost me 600,000 with a free hard case thrown in. It sounds great.


Re: Korean made guitars... any experience?
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2011, 03:17:55 pm »
I bought a Crafte acoustic "fate" model when I first arvvied 18 months ago.  It plays well and has looks really nice, (pearl inlays, good looking wood for the neck and body, even some custom tuning pegs.)  Its got a pretty hearty deep tone for a small bodied acoustic.  I paid 450,000 won, talked down from 520,000. 

I've had two probelms with it. 1. The action was great when I first got it but eventualy raised about 1 cm off the fretboard. I got it fixed for about 20 bucks.  plays great again now.  2. the built in tuner is crap,  that is actually one of the reasons I bought the model that I did, but the thing doesnt work properly and it requires a 9 volt battery which it seems to drain the power from even when it is off.  I now have to remove and replace the battery everytime I want to tune up, to prevent the battery from being drained.  Might as well had just stuck with my little Korg digital tuner.


  • derekc
  • Adventurer

    • 62

    • October 06, 2010, 02:09:44 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Korean made guitars... any experience?
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2011, 02:07:33 pm »
Crafter are the most well known Korean guitar make outside of Korea (I think). You're unlikely to find a high end type Crafter but I'd say they offer the best value for money. If you're buying one here you'll have a great selection no matter what you're willing to pay as you can find them everywhere. I bought a Dexter Les Paul style lecky and I hate it. The tone is real low and it's hard to get the sound I want. I wanted to buy a Squier but first of all it was difficult to find one in Daegu and secondly the guy helping me look wouldn't let me buy anything from Japan


  • klorptar
  • Veteran

    • 134

    • September 15, 2010, 08:35:45 am
    • Ulsan, South Korea
Re: Korean made guitars... any experience?
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2011, 02:15:37 pm »
gmarket has some pretty decent deals. I got an Epiphone les paul flame top for 500,000. It came with a gig bag, a pack of strings, a strap and a few picks. It plays well, and it sounds really good too. Much better than the first guitar that I got here.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2011, 02:25:59 pm by klorptar »


  • Aadi
  • Veteran

    • 78

    • September 10, 2010, 02:27:20 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Korean made guitars... any experience?
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2011, 02:26:46 pm »
I've owned several Korean-built electrics.  They were all good values.  While I'm here I'm playing a classical built by a Korean luthier, an instrument worth well more than what I paid. 

You'll get the best result by spending an afternoon at Nakwon Arcade in Seoul.  Go out Jongno sam-ga exit 5 and you can't miss it--it's the behemoth hulking over the street.  Thousands of guitars!


Re: Korean made guitars... any experience?
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2011, 02:45:21 pm »
yes, get yourself down to Nagwon music arcade and test run as many guitars until you find one that suits you feel and stylewise.....plent y of choice there and some good deals. Remember you can negotiate for a discount there too....hunt around and compare prices.

Totally agree about the Crafter acoustics also...very good value for money.







  • cwhetsell
  • Veteran

    • 116

    • October 24, 2010, 05:40:45 pm
    • Daegu, South Korea
    more
Re: Korean made guitars... any experience?
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2011, 02:54:19 pm »
I'll probably be buying an acoustic if I decide to re-sign. There's a music street in downtown Daegu that I've heard about. I'll have to hit that up. Thanks for the advice on what to look out for, it's helpful.


  • adamzero
  • Adventurer

    • 46

    • November 12, 2010, 08:05:44 am
    • Cheongju
Re: Korean made guitars... any experience?
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2011, 03:35:24 pm »
   I agree, Nagwon Arcade in Seoul is the place to go.
   That said, though, I don't recall seeing any BC Rich guitars there, and (correct me if I'm wrong) but Korea doesn't seem to have much of a shredding/metal guitar pedigree.  You can find some good Fenders, Epiphones, and alot more up there, though.
    When I first came here I thought I was only going to stay for a year, so I bought a cheap 200,000 won Cort bass.  I hated it (well, I still hate it, it sits in a gig bag in my laundry space)- buzzy, poor tone, cheap construction, frets felt jagged at the edges of the fretboard- but, hey, it was 200,000 won so I got what I paid for.  After I decided to stay for a while I brought my Schecter Stiletto Elite from home and felt like I'd just brought the Holy Grail back with me in the cargo bay of the plane (and although I love that bass it's certainly not a top-tier instrument when compared to a Warwick or something on those lines).
    Moral of the story- you get what you pay for.  If you don't plan to be here long save some money and don't worry about it being crap.  If you do plan to stay, save yourself the sonic torment and bring your axe with you or get a nice one in Seoul.


  • klorptar
  • Veteran

    • 134

    • September 15, 2010, 08:35:45 am
    • Ulsan, South Korea
Re: Korean made guitars... any experience?
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2011, 03:41:53 pm »
I'll probably be buying an acoustic if I decide to re-sign. There's a music street in downtown Daegu that I've heard about. I'll have to hit that up. Thanks for the advice on what to look out for, it's helpful.

Let me know if it's any good. Now that we have the KTX, Daegu is only about 30 minutes away. I'm looking for a floor processor, and there's nothing really worth getting excited about in Ulsan.


Re: Korean made guitars... any experience?
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2011, 03:43:59 pm »
   I agree, Nagwon Arcade in Seoul is the place to go.
   That said, though, I don't recall seeing any BC Rich guitars there, and (correct me if I'm wrong) but Korea doesn't seem to have much of a shredding/metal guitar pedigree.  You can find some good Fenders, Epiphones, and alot more up there, though.
   

I've seen a few BC Rich guitars in Nagwon but you are right, few and far between..... plenty of Ibanez RG series and Jackson shred guitars though (import and Korean made).


  • thechad
  • Explorer

    • 8

    • October 25, 2010, 08:54:23 am
    • korea
Re: Korean made guitars... any experience?
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2011, 10:03:27 am »
I bought a pretty high end Cort in South Africa about 10 years ago and it is a LEGEND!!!
Plays like a dream and although I own plus 10 guitars for acoustic jamming is has become a very close friend of mine...
It has been mentioned above, if you go cheap you get what you pay for but honestly I have never had a complaint about mine!


Re: Korean made guitars... any experience?
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2011, 09:11:01 am »
I went to that music street in Daegu (off the Myeongdeok subway station) at the weekend and bought a new bass - it's from a Korean made company called Swing and I paid 310,000 inc. gig bag, strap and lead.

http://www.swingguitars.com/English/english_main.html


http://www.swingguitars.com/English/product/bass/bass_sb.html

For the price I think it's absolutely fantastic - I must have gone to about 7-8 stores on that street and played quite a few different basses for around 220,000 - 400,000 and this was the best. Some of the Swing guitars are made made in Indonesia even though it's a Korean company - the one I got is Korean made and it all seems spot on for the price - most notably the electronics seem great - no hum etc from the EQ. Construction and finish all seem pretty good as well - a few imperfections on the walnut stained finish but like I said it was only 310,000 for the whole package.

I did try a few other Swing basses that weren't as good which were around the same price or more, so I don't know if it is hit or miss, but I've had a good play on this one the past couple of evenings I'm happy with it! ;)

If the basses are anything to go by it might be worth checking out the guitars!


  • zenbone
  • Adventurer

    • 68

    • January 04, 2011, 01:39:02 am
    • Clearwater, FL
Re: Korean made guitars... any experience?
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2011, 09:22:38 am »
you MUST go to Nagwon Arcade in Seoul before you buy anything! that district is freakin GIGANTIC! i was in the market for a guitar and last week i went there, i could spend the whole weekend there. i ended up picking up a Cort EVL-Z4 for 400,000 with bag, strings and strap included. but there were TONS and TONS of guitars and instruments to choose from. I have a few higher end guitars back home so i was just looking for a mid range to play while here. make the trip before you plop your cash down.


  • GrenWhit
  • Veteran

    • 168

    • November 15, 2010, 02:19:55 pm
    • Gyeongsangnam-do
Re: Korean made guitars... any experience?
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2011, 11:34:15 am »
I just bought a peerless acoustic at Nakwon this weekend.  It's a Korean made guitar that's primarily sold in the UK.  The guitar is beautiful, action is great, and it sounds better than the guitar i learned on.  There are only one or two places in Nakwon that sell Peerless, but I recommend playing one if you go.  It felt better (and seemed to have a little higher production quality) than the similarly priced Corts/Crafters/Countess I was looking at.  expect to pay 450K to 800k compared to 1.5 to 2 times that if you bought in the UK.  I went lower range, but when my playing improves enough to warrant it, I may be taking home one of their slightly more expensive models.


  • colmmccann
  • Veteran

    • 80

    • February 09, 2011, 03:24:18 am
    • Chungju, Chungbuk Provience, SK
Re: Korean made guitars... any experience?
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2011, 11:47:36 am »
I went for the Crafter over the Peerless... but to be honest buying any guitar will really come down to personal taste and feel - the neck size of one model will suit one person and feel either too thin or bulky to another.

Nagwon will allow you to try the full spectrum of available guitars here in Korea (besides the privately made models such as mentioned above in Daegu).  Take a weekend and go up and spend all day there - not just on the main guitar level, head upstairs too and check there as there are more shops that many don't even visit! And if you budget stretches then you can even consider Taylor or Martin models!


  • zenbone
  • Adventurer

    • 68

    • January 04, 2011, 01:39:02 am
    • Clearwater, FL
Re: Korean made guitars... any experience?
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2011, 11:56:06 am »
yeah, i got mine on the 3rd level (i think third... might have been second). they were so helpful and awesome! be careful though, one shop had a price of 810,000 for the same guitar i paid 400,000 for. I would suggest check out each shop and take your time... then go grab a slice of pizza or something then make your decision. When i was there my brain had overload so i took a few hours to mull over the decision. I am very happy with my choice, althought there was this really cool Naked Les Paul knock off by Trogen that was really cool! i didn't play it so it might have sounded like crap but it looked cool as hell!