SE's now made in 3 factories in 2 different countries depending on where you live.

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Fullmoon 1971, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. Mozzi


    Jun 2, 2018
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    I was watching a video of Chappers being interviewed about his new pedals. He stated that his guitar manufacturing was also moving to Indonesia for more consistent and better quality reasons. Of course he isn't going to say that they were moving because Indonesia can churn out guitars more cheaply. I don't know why there is an exodus away from Korea at the moment but the Korean factory can't have too many customers now.
    ( . )( . ) likes this.
  2. Lister

    Lister Playing guitar badly since the 70's...

    Nov 14, 2017
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    It looks like there was a double digit hike in the minimum wage for Korean manufacturing for 2018/19.
    Not saying that's the only cause of guitar related manufacturing being moved, but it could very well be a contributing factor.
    Mozzi likes this.
  3. CSurieux

    CSurieux New Member

    Jan 25, 2019
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    I am in Europe and I bought in 2017 and 2018 2 SEs (245 and 22 semi-hollow) and they where marked as built in Korea by WMI.
    Very nice instruments and great pleasure to learn and play with them.
    I also own 2 Cort guitars, an old G290 (kind of better low cost strato offered by my children when I was in the black hole) and a Cort Manson M-Jet recently acquired on its specs.
    I would say that the body wood part of the Corts are not same level of work as the SEs, no unplugged vibrations
    But the necks are quite perfect (especially the M-Jet with its compound radius) and the EMG and Manson pickups are very respectable when plugged and rising level, and they have locking tuners, but no bags.
    I prefer my Korean SEs...
    But I am not surprised that PRS goes for Cort for its SEs, the strange thing is that Cort (Kor-Tech) is producing in Indonesia ??? May be due to the large conflict they created with their employees in Korea 10 years ago ???
    Recently I bought my first S2, a Studio model, no more on PRS catalog 2019 (??), and it is a very fantastic guitar.
    Pickups very special, fretboard rosewood layer quite double thickness than on SEs and Corts, very classy look.
    I would be interested to compare a S2 singlecut with my SE 245 from 2017 ?
    Paul and its team are marketing gurus playing with our money and 'désirs' ;)
    #23 CSurieux, Feb 8, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
    dogrocketp likes this.
  4. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy New Member

    Aug 8, 2017
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    I used to have a used Korean Singlecut SE. It was my first PRS. I wasn't impressed, couldn't gel with it, I returned it. I didn't look into PRS guitars again. I couldn't afford the US ones anyway.

    Jump to 2:18

    Then, I recently noticed the S2 Standards, found a 22 in charcoal satin on-line, took a leap of faith, and fell in love with it! It's not fully American, but it changed my mind about PRS.

    Oh sorry... this is an SE thread...
  5. jvin248

    jvin248 New Member

    Aug 9, 2013
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    Costs. A factory adds overhead and more expense as time goes on. Local and national governments add more taxes. These costs get passed from the factory to the brand who looks around and sees all the other products they are competing with staying the same or going down in cost. So they move to a new location. The cycle starts again.

    Of course, the factories left behind have all the skills, tools, and desire to produce very nice guitars. Some make clones some make their own brands or private label models for retailers and some just close up shop.

    Any of the guitars I've seen from Indonesia for various brands have actually seemed higher quality than outgoing locations. The down point on the Indonesian guitars is they are sometimes too slavish to the brand spec designs, like the Indonesian Squiers have just too skinny of necks where some of the China-built ones had more (acceptable to me) chunky MIM-MIA sized carves.

    Interesting that the just launched "Pauls Guitar" which would seem to be the pinnacle SE model, is built in Indonesia. A clever ploy by PRS to push that model there rather than get it from the Korean factory -- validating the new location.

    Most of the global guitar brands are made by Samick, then Cort, then a handful of other builders. Samick was something like 80% of the import guitar market. Then players spend all day in flame war arguments about their Brand A guitar is better than the other player's Brand B guitar and the two guitars came out of the same physical factory with the same set of workers shaping, finishing, and stringing them.

    Victek likes this.
  6. Victek

    Victek New Member

    Mar 16, 2013
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    Well, this thread has been all over the place :) Note that no one has answered the OPs question which was:

    "Does this mean that all USA bound SE's both Standard and maple capped are now purely going to come from Indonesia, while we in UK & Europe still get the 2 factory tier system?"

    I don't know the answer to that either unfortunately. I will say that I think it's a mistake to focus on where the guitars are manufactured; it's better to focus on individual guitars. If you're playing them in a store then you can assess them to your heart's content. It's when you order on the internet that there's a potential for problems. It's a drag to receive a guitar that has issues, but as long as there's a good return/exchange policy it's not really a problem. Looked at that way it's more important who you buy the guitar from than where it was made.
    littlebadboy likes this.
  7. pauloqs

    pauloqs PRS McCarty

    Feb 2, 2019
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    For 2018 in the US, I’ve seen a most of the SE Custom 24s with maple top made in Indonesia, while most SE Custom 22s I’ve seen were made in Korea.

    Regarding the quality, one thing that I really disliked on the SE models in general were the poorly slotted nuts with sharp edges around it. I know it’s an easy fix, but I really disliked it because at that same price range I could get an LTD with Seymour Duncan pickups that didn’t require me to touch one thing on the guitar. However, all the 2018 SE models I played, regardless of the country where the guitars were manufactured, had addressed the nut issues from previous years. No sharp edges and no pinching. No reason to change those. In 2018 PRS addressed the only real complaint I had about the SE models. Just my $0.02
  8. swazifiction

    swazifiction New Member

    Feb 5, 2019
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    Reading between the lines, I thought that the combination of the worker unrest & the wage hike had persuaded Cor-Tek to move most of their operation overseas (ie, Indonesia and China). So you essentially have a Korean company working in China producing US guitars to be sold in Europe, Africa, etc...
    CSurieux likes this.
  9. Beery Swine

    Beery Swine New Member

    Jan 30, 2019
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    *urge to say "key word being "quite"" intensifies*
    NO, BAD BEERY, don't be so rude in this new forum! Naughty!

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