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Tue Sep 19, 2017, 06:29 AM

Thoughts on Chinese les Paul from a 51 year old

As a collector of quality mij guitars , and how I discovered them was as kid stationed in west Germany. Ok yesterday evening a friend stopped around and shows me his Chinese Lester. Bought off some website name is Ali express, and he came also with a set of Seymour 59's and new pots. Here is what I found upon inspecting guitar.

1. It is definitely mahogany as in weight Not sure if it is old growth not sure what china has available ,Around 8.5 in weight.

2. Real maple cap and measuring body of guitar it is same as actual gibby. From cap edge to body edge around 1.75 width 13 inches wide and body length around 17.25

3. Headstock measures at 17 degrees

4 the fretboard is rosewood do not know if it is Indian but I can't tell and m.o.p inlays. The nut will have to go , Replacing with nylon.

5. The finish is spectacular and the binding on guitar and neck was done well. If you look closely you can just see that the body is two piece just barely noticeable.

6. Hardware gonna scrap and go aluminum as also tossing pots caps and humbuckers.

To the insides routing is clean in pots cavity. And pulling out humbuckers routing is also clean. Neck cavity a deep neck tenon decent set in job Very clean.

So in my research over the years I read articles on mij guitars early 70s late 60s as in junk. But then the Japanese got their act together and started producing quality at affordable price. and the lawsuit stories I don't know if they are factual. I do know that several of my tokais and navigator just excellent guitars.

And whatever factory this Chinese les was built in has me thinking that somewhere in china a quality and control production manager is on the ball. I think total price was like 290$ with case pink lining.

So I think in what I'm trying to say is if you want to get a guitar and start from ground up I guess it is not a bad idea. Especially if you know a 51 year old that will do the work for free. And you can sit with him as he starts working on your Chinese les and drink his beer as well.

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Reply Thoughts on Chinese les Paul from a 51 year old (Original post)
TEB Sep 2017 OP
TexasProgresive Sep 2017 #1
TEB Sep 2017 #3
argyl Sep 2017 #5
TexasProgresive Sep 2017 #6
argyl Sep 2017 #7
Chasstev365 Sep 2017 #2
TEB Sep 2017 #4

Response to TEB (Original post)

Tue Sep 19, 2017, 06:49 AM

1. The Chinese are following the Japanese model

When Japan was rebuilding their industry after the war they began mass producing a lot of junk for sale in the U.S. Made in Japan was the punch line of a lot of jokes. Then they began manufacturing quality items. One interesting thing about guitars; they sent observers (spies) to shows and stores who photographed instruments. Guitars were built based on the photos. They didn't really know what the guitar truss rod covers were. Some had stickers that looked like a cover and others had covers over solid wood.

I'm surprised that the quality of the body and neck of this Chinese Les Paul is so high with the hardware being so-so. If something has to be poor quality that's the way to go. Pickups and pots are replaceable. Were the machine heads any good or did you scrap them as well?

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #1)

Tue Sep 19, 2017, 07:19 AM

3. Hey friend

No they will go as well heads I've seen several others over years Chinese lesters and they were trash. This guitar I was surprised and it doesn't even have Gibson logo on headstock, just clean on headstock.

Don't know who he bought it off of looking on Ali express I noticed different sales sights, but it definitely something I can work with all the way down to the Russian bumble bee caps that I bought years ago when the sovs were having a fire sale of their military equipment. I also have to do the frets they have that speed bump feel.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 25, 2017, 12:36 PM

5. I guess you're old if you remember when Japan mass produced junk.

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Response to argyl (Reply #5)

Mon Sep 25, 2017, 12:51 PM

6. Born in 1950.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #6)

Mon Sep 25, 2017, 01:16 PM

7. 1951 for me.

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Response to TEB (Original post)

Tue Sep 19, 2017, 07:03 AM

2. Most Korean build guitars are very good!

 

Epiphone and especially Korean built Gretch!

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Response to Chasstev365 (Reply #2)

Tue Sep 19, 2017, 07:21 AM

4. On mik build

I totally agree with you all I have played and looked at were prs se coming out of Korea. Absolutely excellent guitars in build and tone.

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