The future of Chibsons...and others like it

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by mmr007, Mar 16, 2021.

  1. mmr007

    mmr007 SS.org Regular

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    Any thoughts on the potential future value...if any ....of blatant Chinese knockoffs of popular guitar models? The reason I ask is -
    1. Attitudes are changing about what made in China means for quality. I remember my first guitar was a MIJ Fender strat and the store owner WHO SOLD IT TO ME couldn't hide how much he loathed Asian made products compared to American made ones. He literally could not stop himself from insulting me and my dad for buying a non american strat...even though he carried it in his store. Now it seems more than half of major companies have factories in or outsource to factories in China. WE also now we all have VERY different attitudes towards what MIJ means compared to say...1984. For example...I remember back then Saturday Night Live had a skit where I think it was Belushi and Akroyd were dressed as Samurai and pulled out their swords to fight and both swords instantly broke. They looked at the handles of their swords and read "Made in Japan"...insert crowd laughter. How times have changed. Could the fact companies are making quality products in China have a halo or spillover effect on the "illegal" knockoffs.
    2. Blatant knockoffs from Ibanez, Hamer and Tokai and others have skyrocketed in value. I've never played an ibanez knock off or a chinese one and I assume the former has much better quality but....does it? Are we just being skewed in our percetion which may evolve?
    3. How rare are Chibsons? According to the MSN homepage I could retire if I sell my old Disney on VHS collection even though blue ray seems a better physical copy..... oh and all that shit is available for streaming anytime on Disney + without cleaning my heads and sitting through the FBI warning....so will a Zakk Wylde copy from China be valuable 20 years from now? 30 years? Even though it's not real...it may be rare and hard to find in good condition means....valuable. Maybe
    4. Other small builders made knockoffs and those became more expensive than actual Gibsons.

    So...what I am asking is will Chinese knockoffs be like beanie babies...you laugh now but....20 years from now will no one care if its real and accept it as fake even if it says Gibson but still find it desirable?
     
  2. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Colorless green ideas sleep furiously Contributor

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    Chinese products are still a mixed bag. The reason why MIJ guitars from the 70s-90s are so sought after is that their quality for that time period was actually as good or better than the MIA stuff at that time. While Norlins Gibsons and CBS Strats were some of the worst produced in their company's histories, companies like Tokai and Ibanez were making better knockoff (lawsuit) guitars than the companies they were copying.



    I think the only MIC company that will hold any value down the road is the current lineup of Eastman guitars. I'd put their ES335 and LP clones up against their contemporary Gibson originals. That is why the will hold value down the road. I don't know that MIC Epiphones during this era will be collectible down the road, other than the Bonamassa ones which already are. That said, the MIC Inspired by Gibson lineup is legit, so who knows.

    All these other MIC lawsuit guitars such as 10S, Grote, Donner, Glarry, Shijie, Indio, etc won't hold any value whatsoever IMO.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2021
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  3. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    These guitars are only guitars in the most base form. They're junk made to fill shipping boxes.

    Folks who say they got "decent" or "good" ones are either a) stupid, b) full of shit, or c) a colorful combination of the two.

    Don't mistake the early lawsuit years where genuine craftspeople who had the misfortune of being not born in the land of privilege who worked at thier craft of making instruments that would later stand on thier own with the thieves and miscreants looking to scam a could bucks on AliExpress.
     
  4. possumkiller

    possumkiller Square Dance Caller

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    I had a silverburst v made by rare guitar heaven and it was on par with any other Chinese Epiphone or Squier. The only gripe I had was the body being slightly smaller than it should and flaky silver paint instead of grainy silver paint.

    I put good hardware and a Het Set in it and it slayed.
     
  5. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Colorless green ideas sleep furiously Contributor

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    But the question isn't whether they're decent guitars, it's whether they will be collectible / sought after down the road.

    e.g. Can you envision guitarists hunting Reverb or their local stores to find a minty used MIC 10S in lieu of MIA, MII, MIK, or MIJ versions? Versus a lawsuit MIJ Ibanez Rocket Roll Flying V that goes for $1-4k now and is much harder to come by than a comparable Gibson V of that era?
     
  6. mmr007

    mmr007 SS.org Regular

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    Exactly. Like I said I never touched an example of either but my chinese epiphones are awesome and my japanese RG7s were as well. But that's why I made the (admittedly clumsy) analogy to the Disney movies on VHS. 20 years ago you couldn't give them away at a garage sale and now a complete set is worth nearly $1 million even though VHS is clearly inferior to blue ray and streaming in every sense..

    I will defer to those who actually have played chisnese knockoffs but again...is the difference exxagerated. MIA Strat purists shit all over MIM but from my experience many MIMs are as good if not better so even if the quality gap between a genuine Gibson and a chinese knockoff is significant...is there also an exxagerated perception of the quality gap
     
  7. soliloquy

    soliloquy SS.org Regular

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    I doubt they would be collectables if they specifically said 'gibson' on their headstock, instead of any other brand that wasn't 'gibson'. Kind of like the old Tokai, Greco, Burny, Ibanez, etc.
    Though, at the same time, there were several other brands from the 70's and 80's that were making knock offs that didn't make it as big. Things like Onyx, or Harmony, Aria (to a certain degree), and i'm sure there are several other brands that just no one cared for.

    at the same time, the ones that made it big, made it big because of their built quality. Chibsons, even if they are hit and miss, you'd have to be a 'super happy camper' to not find a difference between a 'good' chibson vs a USA gibson. I know there are people out there that just care for lower action, and that, to them, makes a good guitar. Likewise, to me, it has to vibrate right in my hands. I dont care about the price tag, can be $200, or $10,000. If it doesn't feel alive in my hands, i wont care for it.

    as such, if Chibson become a collectors item in 20 years time, it would have to be a very niche market, but no where would it be worth thousands of dollars.
     
  8. possumkiller

    possumkiller Square Dance Caller

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    I wasn't responding to op. I was responding to being called stupid and full of shit for saying I got a decent guitar from a Chinese knockoff builder.
     
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  9. Demiurge

    Demiurge Intrepid Jackass

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    It's fun to guess but nobody really knows. When thinking about older guitars, there's a sort of survivorship bias in play. Like, are vintage ____ genuinely good/better made or do we only believe this because we only see the exceptional specimens of ____ that survived while 99% of their siblings fell apart? Nobody would give a shit about "lawsuit" Les Paul copies if all their necks twisted into oblivion long ago, I'd estimate.

    Regarding the current crop of copy guitars? Let's see how they survive.
     
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  10. John

    John New album out now: https://goo.gl/PdPVYh

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    I can't speak for everyone, but evidently George Lynch is cool with Chibson:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. efiltsohg

    efiltsohg SS.org Regular

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    MIJ lawsuit LP - great
    chinese counterfeit - firewood
     
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  12. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    there are good builders and guitars coming out of china.

    the problem is that chibsons are made to be cheap counterfeits. they'll never be good or sought after.
     
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  13. Wuuthrad

    Wuuthrad SS.org Regular

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    Chibsons will never be valuable because they are counterfeits, which are illegal, unless you are referring to something else.

    People may be fools and parted with their money however.

    Re. Legitimate Chinese or other Asian made guitars? Certainly no shame in that at all.

    Will they ever be collectible? Who knows.

    I’d say it’s doubtful, but the same goes for US made guitars that aren’t from the “golden age” or whatever, even though those were for the most part actually castaways, second hand, and most people didn’t even want them at the time except for some blues guys in England (LP’s and Strats)

    Will such a guitar made now become similarly sought after in 50-60 years? I seriously doubt it.

    Luthiers (Guitarreros if we want to be more precise) are stepping up their game all over the world. The cost of any instrument reflects not only the price production and of labor, which is cheaper obviously in various parts of the world, but not necessarily the quality.

    Guitars are an investment of diminishing returns, hype and bling, both of which have very little to do with their intrinsic value as a musical instrument.

    In terms of Classical Luthiery the saying goes, and I imagine you could make the same sort of statement about any type of guitar:

    A guitar with glue spots and misaligned purfling made in Spain is no big deal, because the Spanish Luthiers know what’s really important, but the same guitar made in China is the result of shoddy workmanship.”
     
  14. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    China can produce high quality stuff and low quality stuff. It just depends on how it’s set up. The iPhone is made there, after all.

    But, Max is right: too many people buy the cheap crap as “mod platforms” or “to try one out and let you guys know if they’re good.” And then they get it, and rationalize the quality by saying how it’s got bad pickups and tuners, but “plays really well.” Then we never hear about it again. It’s the same crap over and over again.
     
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  15. Demiurge

    Demiurge Intrepid Jackass

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    I think we can arrive a place where we can accept that these two things are true without resorting to hyperbole: (1) most knockoffs are cheaply made and sold for cheap and you invariably get what you pay for; (2) cheap guitars have come a long way in value.
     
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  16. Señor Voorhees

    Señor Voorhees SS.org Regular

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    China CAN create good instruments, and frequently does. Chibson's aren't very likely going to be one of them, though.

    I did buy one at the start of 2019 100% because I wanted it as a decoration/it was in an anime I liked. lol Oddly enough, it does have a lot of that "rationalize the quality by saying how it’s got bad pickups and tuners, but “plays really well." quality to it. The pickups were trash, (pretty sure they were faulty as they didn't make sound beyond feeding back.) and the routing in the back is sloppy as all hell. The tuners are the ugly green/epiphone kind, but they actually hold tune pretty well so I never swapped them out. I threw some pickups (rather the whole wiring harness) from an Epi LP Plustop pro in it, and... Well, it's basically a plustop pro with a Gibson headstock now and a fatter neck. (I hate the 60's necks but love the 50's which is what this one feels like it has.)

    All that said, would I recommend it? No. Unless, like me, the biggest point was to have a display piece because of a dumb cartoon. Certainly not an investment. Some Chinese guitars MIGHT go up in value... I've seen some epiphone thunderhorses sell for over retail, but I've also seen them sell for $500. Chinese guitars, at least these days, are a good way to obtain a nice playable guitar for a cheap price, but they don't really make much in the way of collectible instruments that retain massive value. Maybe some day they will be, but at this point they're just into making affordable variations of other things. Which is a good and bad thing. It sucks to have to outsource, but you can get some remarkably good guitars in the $500-$600 price range... Hell, you can even get passable beginner guitars from the likes of glarry or rondomusic that are even sub $100. The cost to quality gap has closed a ton since I was younger.

    Just don't expect that quality to translate into the counterfeit market. And certainly don't expect to buy one as an investment, especially since while it's not illegal to buy them it's illegal to sell them. (at least here in the states.)
     
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  17. Estilo

    Estilo SS.org Regular

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    @Señor Voorhees What anime would feature a Chibson particularly? Since it's hand drawn anyway they might as well feature the real thing?

    I don't quite agree with you on Chinese guitars being a good price-to-quality ratio thing. Granted options depends on your location, but where I am, I just scored a MIJ Edwards E-LPS for some US$ 750 which is well below what the higher end MIC Epiphone LPs cost, the 59 tribute for example. The hallmarks of the Epi 59 are on my Edwards such as the long tenon neck joint thing they're so heavily promoting, and while MIC can get you there, MIJ provides better peace of mind. I bought mine online without trying it which to some is essential because you jibe well with some LPs, some you don't.

    I'm not even hating on Epiphones or MIC guitars. I was seriously contemplating getting the Muse series LP/SG for my fiancee last year, which I know she wouldn't be all that invested into hence de facto making it mine, essentially "spending below the line" in accounting jargon. But that $600 price range is where the limit is for them IMHO to account for inconsistencies in QC and budgeting for sub-par parts.
     
  18. mbardu

    mbardu SS.org Regular

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    I'm going to go out on a ledge here, and maybe guess that the anime featured a Gibson, and it was just more economical to purchase a fake for a couple hundred $$$s instead of the real thing for 4k$ if the goal was to just hang it on the wall.

    As for quality, of course an Edwards is better. But although they can be found around 600/800$ range if you're lucky, most Edwards nowadays are over 1k$ new.
    So again it's really not the same price range as Chibsons under 300$. Epiphone (licensed, OEM-made, and with at least some level of QA) is not really what the discussion is about either.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2021
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  19. mmr007

    mmr007 SS.org Regular

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    Used to be sold at Toy R Us I think ....next to the Barbie section and now selling for $1000 or more... I don't know what their quality is compared to other guitars
    ppg.jpg
    hkg.jpg
     
  20. Demiurge

    Demiurge Intrepid Jackass

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    ^Well, that kind of shows that collectibility of an item can be something that transcends quality or utility... in fact, it's arguably a trait that sits specifically separate from & independent of quality or utility.
     
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