The 'Guitars from China' debate

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Knowing I teach guitar, and have been playing for more than 45 years, my sister-in-law recently asked me to find her a 3/4 size acoustic guitar for her 6 year old grandson. I would prefer guitar students to work with a full sized guitar, personally, but given my great nephew's ( is this correct?) age, I looked through Ebay to see what was available.

I found a powerseller offering new exactly what I required for just £39.00, so I bought one on my sister -in-law's behalf just to see what it was was possible to buy  for this sort of outlay.. This is my first contact with the much-maligned Chinese guitar manufacturers, so I tried to retain an open mind?  Less than 24 hours later, and despite the fact that it had been shipped from a dealer at the other end of the country, a UPS van showed up at home and the guitar had arrived.

This instrument has steel strings, chrome machine heads, a rosewood fingerboard, and a body manufactured from real wood, not plywood as expected, which gives an unbelievably rich tone. It has near perfect intonation for a fixed bridge guitar and the black finish is as good as any traditional manufacturer..  I am absolutely staggered that an instrument of this quality can be manufactured, shipped round the world, and sold, with all the countless 'middlemen' in manufacturing, wholesaling, retailing, and shipping making profits all along the way, to reach me , including UPS costs, for less than £50.00?

I have two valued American Gibson guitars, both of which I love to bits. However, like it or not, the Chinese threat to established  Japanese , Korean and American instrument manufacturers needs to be taken very seriously indeed. If your budget is limited, like my sister -in-law,  the qualiity of Chinese guitars for the price asked needs to be seen to be believed.  

I know my great nephew will be extremely pleased when Xmas comes round this year....indeed if it were full size, I doubt he would even get to see it at all!   


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