what cheap chinese made gems have you found

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phil_bphil_b Frets: 990

so there are many low cost Chinese made products available from various sources. some turn out to be not fit for purpose some ok but poor quality and there are some real gems out there.

ebay, ali express , and wish have so far been my favourite websites for such purposes.

I am very much a beginner guitarist and spending loads on high end gear seems to be a waste for me as I am just experimenting.

I have been very happy with my biyang OD-8 and ammoon looper pedals. I did buy a daphan delay pedal that I was disappointed with as although it worked the delay available was not very long.

The main disadvantages of buying direct from china is you cant try before you buy and have to rely on some photos and short description or you are relying on a youtube review.  Also returns are normally not worth the effort of even to bother to try.

what gems have you found

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  • StrangefanStrangefan Frets: 4189
    Is this Harry 7s sock account? :D 
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  • darthed1981darthed1981 Frets: 4079
    I've got a Harley Benton "Flying V" style guitar, which was a bit of a bargain for £160, or probably less now as the exchange rate has improved a bit.

    The biggest negative is probably the very "meh" pickups, but those are easily swapped.  The neck is OK, the finish is excellent, it stays in tune, and although it "feels" light and cheap, that doesn't affect anything important.

    An awful lot of value gets added to guitars between about £100 and £1000 and diminishing returns hit very hard very quick after that.

    I've done a lot of experimenting, and cheap guitars are really a pretty good way of discovering what you like, also often surprisingly good.  I'm yet to find a Telecaster I like significantly more than my Squier Classic Vibe 62 custom one, and I've played quite a few since.

    Individual examples matter a lot as well.  I've got a Squier Vintage Modified Jazzmaster which came with a crap bridge which I simply had to swap to make it playable, and now I've done that it's brilliant, except for a dead buzzy spot at the 9th fret on the low E - which really shouldn't be there even on a £300 guitar.

    Harley Benton stuff would be my recommendation if you want to buy cheap and have some protection, if it's legitmately unplayable Thomann will take them back.  Andertons and PMTs new "Eastcoast" brand (not a new brand, but they have acquired it) looks decent as well, I tried one of their acoustics yesterday and thought it would be a totally superb beginners acoustic, and it was only £119!!!  They had some which were about £90!!

    We should all probably bear in mind more when posting on here (and I don't exclude myself from this) that the guitar world is very small, the Fretboard is quite well known, and it is not uncommon at all for the subjects of our posts to read them...
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  • prowlaprowla Frets: 2957
    I've got a Hamer Slammer guitar, which is low-end and even has a wrap-around bridge with non-adjustable cast saddles. But heck it is a good guitar!

    I've had some disappointing buying experiences from China/ebay lately, including a headless bass bridge where the tuning pullers snagged and jammed, a "vintage" threaded bass bridge which arrived and wasn't one(!), and a second "vintage" threaded bass bridge which also arrived and wasn't one(!!!).

    I've also bought an AliExpress headless 4/6 doubleneck off someone which had issues to the point he offloaded it; I've managed to get it into a fit state, but it's still not completely right. The thing is, though, it's a really comfortable guitar and I like it; I would debate getting a better copy of it made...

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  • digitalscreamdigitalscream Frets: 17471
    The Mosky Silver Horse. I have no frame of reference to say how close it is to a real Klon (if at all), but I can say that it's an astonishingly good drive pedal. Also, it costs less than a couple of packets of cigs (I've stopped smoking, but that's still pretty much my frame of reference).

    Literally no downsides to getting one. Mine swaps in and out of my board as an always-on boost alternative to the ThorpyFX Heavy Water, when I just fancy a different flavour.
    During the Covid19 period, we're running a "phone a friend" facility.  Just to hear a voice, keep in touch, etc. , using "JitSi".

    There's a Jitsi iOS/Android App, or you can just connect from a browser.

    https://meet.jit.si/theFretBoard  |    pw: theFB  |    0121 468 3154  |  1000 and 2000 daily.
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  • CeeJayCeeJay Frets: 447
    Don't you have to wait eons for them to arrive? Isn't there any import duty payable? Twenty Dorrar
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  • darthed1981darthed1981 Frets: 4079
    The Mosky Silver Horse. ...swaps in and out of my board as an always-on boost alternative to the ThorpyFX Heavy Water, when I just fancy a different flavour.
    I think that is what is known as "high praise indeed"...

    Might have to get one.

    We should all probably bear in mind more when posting on here (and I don't exclude myself from this) that the guitar world is very small, the Fretboard is quite well known, and it is not uncommon at all for the subjects of our posts to read them...
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  • digitalscreamdigitalscream Frets: 17471
    The Mosky Silver Horse. ...swaps in and out of my board as an always-on boost alternative to the ThorpyFX Heavy Water, when I just fancy a different flavour.
    I think that is what is known as "high praise indeed"...

    Might have to get one.

    Obviously, the build quality isn't even close on the Silver Horse, but that being said...it doesn't seem any worse than the Mooer Ninety Orange which is also a permanent fixture on my board.
    During the Covid19 period, we're running a "phone a friend" facility.  Just to hear a voice, keep in touch, etc. , using "JitSi".

    There's a Jitsi iOS/Android App, or you can just connect from a browser.

    https://meet.jit.si/theFretBoard  |    pw: theFB  |    0121 468 3154  |  1000 and 2000 daily.
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  • phil_bphil_b Frets: 990

    CeeJay said:
    Don't you have to wait eons for them to arrive? Isn't there any import duty payable? Twenty Dorrar

    delivery time does vary. smaller items don't tend to take long. The longest I have waited was 5 weeks for a guitar neck. The neck was one of my disappointing buys. it was ok but the headstock was a lot smaller than I had imagined going by the photos. the neck was ok it was just one of those items that I would have passed on if I had seen it in the flesh first.

    I don't remember having to pay anything extra on an item direct from china on arival

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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 5098

    I've got a Biyang Baby Boom reverb pedal ..... cheap as chips but it's lasted a good hundred gigs so far despite all the beer that's gone over my board due to pissed people falling over the monitors 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • rjb2679rjb2679 Frets: 1
    I'm pretty much same as you, although I was into elec's as a kid I've only really got back/more into them in the last couple of years after sticking with the old acoustics! Got a couple of Ammoon products that have served me well thus far!

    I've currently got 4 cheapies from diff manu's I'm rebuilding. 2 were black and white strat copies -  2nd hand <£99 jobbies, one HSS and my new Harley - these are my conclusions;

    https://flic.kr/p/2i8LRyH

    Harley Benton std Tele - Looks well made, no defects which some customers (used to?) get, had a QC pass from "Alan". Looks & sounds really good, good tele twang and sounds pretty awesome on the bridge with a bit of Supercrunch! I'd highly recommend it for £85 to your door, only a few weeks old at the moment but v. happy so far!

    Encore Satan 666 - neck looks good on this one, can tell it's more directed to the shredders, I think these were more than the sub £100 ones mentioned here but tuners look a bit naff, body was very thin at the routing, broke it trying to get some screws out and was unable to play it as it needed wiring. Jury's out on this one but as it was more I'd expect it to be a bit better in places.

    CB SKY Strat copy - cheap tuners, prob worst of all of them, string trees on too far over which pulled the nut off to the side so it was hanging off. Pickups sounded awful, very distorted all the time, not sure if poor set up or poor pickups causing bad sound but likely both and not good if you have to fork out for someone to set it all up for you. Rear routing doesn't seem deep enough for the parts, I had to file bits of metal and wood - changing pretty much everything on this - prob only good for a project if they're all like that! 

    Burswood Strat copy - really quite impressed (but not the 10w amp it had)! Good 10mm tuners so look direct replacements for your Wilkinson upgrades etc, never went out of tune in the 4/5 years I've had it though! Very good pickups for the price, not exactly your vintage Strat sound but made all the right noises when I wanted it too - certainly good enough for a beginner (capped 500's). Pretty neck, cheap nut as rest but never any probs, all aligned with the tree's - in fact the only thing that let's this guitar down is the rear routing which isn't aligned with the neck but apart from that she's a little beaut! Little things I noticed as well like the cutting/placing of the ally compared with the CB for example;

    https://flic.kr/p/2i8Mm43

    Could be luck of the draw but the HB & Burswood seem to be the best built from those, just a little more care and attention in parts and fitment - all use similar/same looking parts but they just feel and sound better overall. Just my 2p but my advice - do what I did -  spend many hours pouring over luthiers vids - get to the local 2nd hand shop and pick up a cheapy for upgrading!  
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  • steamabacussteamabacus Frets: 981
    Behringer BDI21 bass preamp/DI, recommended to me by Bridgehouse on here, £18 delivered (from the UK) and everything I need for direct-to-desk home recording bass parts from clean to heavily overdriven. It even feels solid and well built. Total bargain.



    I'm also a fan of the cheapo Belcat DLY-503 Analog Delay ('analog'-style but probably digital). Cheap but very cheerful.


                                                                                                                                                   My 'Guitar diaries' on BandCamp
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  • 545454545454 Frets: 107
    The Joyo AC Tone and American Sound pedals - do exactly what they set out to and sound excellent. 
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 10019
    There was something about container ships on Radio 4 the other day, they take about 4 weeks to get from China to the UK. I guess add on a couple of days either end for local travel and processing so five weeks is pretty good. Anything quicker than that and it must be already on board as speculative stock. 
    When the rich wage war it’s the poor who die. 
    Jean-Paul Sartre 
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  • abw1989abw1989 Frets: 208
    I've had two on here that have been mentioned already the Mosky albeit Golden Horse and the Biyang Baby Boom reverb. To back up what people said they were good full stop not just good for the money.

    I bought them both off Amazon so didn't have to worry about import fees or excessive wait times.
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  • thomasw88thomasw88 Frets: 1762
    for guitars, have a look for alan george on facebook.  His guitars are imported from china, very cheap, and he usually does a setup on them before sending them out to you.  Had a tele from him last year which i modded quite a lot but it was certainly not shit when it arrived.
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  • THR1LLHAU5THR1LLHAU5 Frets: 21
    thomasw88 said:
    for guitars, have a look for alan george on facebook.  His guitars are imported from china, very cheap, and he usually does a setup on them before sending them out to you.  Had a tele from him last year which i modded quite a lot but it was certainly not shit when it arrived.
    I got a tele off him too. Looks great, plays great, the tuners were a bit shite (to be expected) but it cost about 100 quid, so was more then happy to spend a couple pounds on some Wilkinson tuners. 

    https://imgur.com/YiSHRau.jpg
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  • thomasw88 said:
    for guitars, have a look for alan george on facebook.  His guitars are imported from china, very cheap, and he usually does a setup on them before sending them out to you.  Had a tele from him last year which i modded quite a lot but it was certainly not shit when it arrived.
    I've had 2 off him and both had pretty bad problems.

    First the strat - the bridge pickup route was so large is left about 3mm of space between that and the trem block route. this inevitably split and I had to buy a new body for it.

    Then the Les Paul - neck wasn't glued in well at all - at a slightly funny angle and you could see cracks in the lacquer where it was coming away from the body. You could quite easily put the guitar out of tune by wiggling the neck - and not in the way a Tele or Strat does it, I mean fully out of tune.

    12:25, 16/01/2019 - Just so people are aware. I have no idea what any of these words mean.
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  • longjawlongjaw Frets: 287
    I've bought a couple of guitars of Alan George - a Telecaster copy which is as light as a feather and has one of the most comfortable necks I've used, and a DC LP Jnr copy with a proper baseball neck.

    Upgraded the pick-ups on the Tele to Wilkinsons and it sounds great - I've gigged with it extensively.

    The LP Jnr needed a fret dress and replacement bridge and stud posts, I also upgraded the P90 to an Artec one - I've gigged with this one a lot too.
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  • chris_johnchris_john Frets: 21
    Mosky Black Rat. I've never had a real RAT pedal, but I love this little 20 quid box. I leave the gain on quite low (nine o' clock), and boost it with a Mini TS - sounds killer. 
    I also have a Hotone Britwind Floor amp. After trying a Helix, and just not being able to love it, I wanted something analog. The Britwind doesn't have a tube in sight, but it feels very 'real' and takes pedals really well. 
    I recommend Donlis pickups. Fantastic and in my opinion, on a par with Irongear, tonerider etc. I currently have an alnico 2 bucker in my Strat, and it does not sound like a 20 quid pup.
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  • vizviz Frets: 6401
    Jem-alike, red doubleneck, 300 quid. It’s really nice. https://i.imgur.com/p2sY1Ue.jpg
    Change your search engine from google to www.ecosia.org - they plant trees when you search. Honestly, it's awesome.
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  • stickyfiddlestickyfiddle Frets: 14571
    I've heard they have a lot of recipes for soup... :open_mouth: 
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  • chris_johnchris_john Frets: 21
    I've gone through tons of chinese gear. Some good, some not so good. IMO, the honorable mentions are: Hotone Grass, Mooer Hustle Drive, Joyo American, Hotone Britwind, Nux Horseman (Klone), Donlis pickups. I picked up a cheap Mooer GE150 and it has surpassed my expectations.
    I had a Chinese made Tokai 335 copy. Once the pickups were upgraded it was quite a respectable guitar. 
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  • TuffNutTuffNut Frets: 1
    edited March 19


     I've got a Squier Vintage Modified Jazzmaster which came with a crap bridge which I simply had to swap to make it playable, and now I've done that it's brilliant, except for a dead buzzy spot at the 9th fret on the low E - which really shouldn't be there even on a £300 guitar.


    I have a Fender Jaguar MIJ '94, Mine was made before the Squier and MIA reissues. The bridges suck all the Jaguar / Jazzmaster reissues except the American stuff they use a different thread. Some people now use a mastery bridge or put lock tight on the threads, the other option is a Mustang bridge. I bought Seymour Duncan pickups also as the original ones sucked also. It stinks buying a guitar then spending extra to get it playable.




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  • TheMarlinTheMarlin Frets: 2946
    Mosky Golden Horsey
    Joyo Sweet Baby
    Nux Horseman
    Celine Blue Ocean
    Squire Classic Vibe butterscotch tele
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  • MagicPigDetectiveMagicPigDetective Frets: 1622
    edited March 19
    Behringer SF300 Super Fuzz. Clone of sought after Boss FZ-2. For Doom and Stoner it sounds amazing. And only round 20 quid.
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  • earwighoneyearwighoney Frets: 2581
    I've got a guitar from Alan George, a Tele Hybrid.

    Out of the box it wasn't great, possibly the worst cut nut I have ever seen in my life.  The bass side was 5mm too high and the nut slots were all over the place, even after lowering the slots it was never quite right and I imagine for those reasons the tuning was all over the place.  When I got around to trying to replace the nut, there had been an almost industrial quantity of superglue used and it chipped a piece of wood out when it came out. 
    However, after putting a cheap bone nut I bought from Ebay and suddenly even with the really poor tuners, the tuning stability is now actually superb.
    The tuners did require a lot of machine oil, and I used a bit of pencil in the nut slots which did make a huge difference.

    The bridge was a standard Ashtray bridge, and it was ok, but a little wonky so I replaced it with one with cut sides.

    The wood for the neck isn't bad, I've owned the guitar for over a year and after putting in a bit of relief I've not adjusted the truss once, and the guitar has never been put in a case/left in rooms with very erratic humidity.
    The body itself I presume is made from a quite heavy piece of Basswood, it has a nice tap to it. A lot more resonant than the other cheap guitars I own be it Squier/Epi etc.
    The pickups are standard cheap pickups with a Ceramic bar at the back, they don't sound bad but not really much to get excited about. I'll replace them sometime.

    It took a bit of time to get up to scratch and it needed some very, very important mods/upgrades to get into playable condition and I appreciate I might be lucky in getting a good one but overall I am delighted with the one I received, but definitely not a guitar I'd recommend to someone who isn't comfortable performing a few mods themselves.
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  • BorkBork Frets: 102
    edited March 22
    I've gone through tons of chinese gear. Some good, some not so good. IMO, the honorable mentions are: Hotone Grass, Mooer Hustle Drive, Joyo American, Hotone Britwind, Nux Horseman (Klone), Donlis pickups. I picked up a cheap Mooer GE150 and it has surpassed my expectations.
    I had a Chinese made Tokai 335 copy. Once the pickups were upgraded it was quite a respectable guitar. 
    Plus one for the Joyo American sound, it sits alongside an Amptweaker Tight Rock on my board and I use it as a mid boost into the TR for lovely, thick, creamy sustaining overdrive ala Alan Murphy.  I've been consistently so impressed with it over the last 6 years that I'm considering getting two more and rehousing them into a single pedal that I can configure in parallel or serial.  Where I am I can get them for less than twenty quid each.

    I also have a Nux Chorus Core because I'm into cheesy 80's session guitar sounds. It's OK but I haven't really used the trichorus setting in stereo much.

    Finally I have a Mooer Ocean Machine, the Devin Townsend signature pedal which combines reverb and two delays.  It's really good, seriously good.  Mooer are obviously trying to lift their game given price points for their other products but the OM still represents outstanding value.

    Harley Benton do some very nice stuff these days, particularly semi hollow and tele copies.
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  • prowlaprowla Frets: 2957
    Right now I'm not particularly into Chinese imports...
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  • BorkBork Frets: 102
    In the interests of full disclosure, I live in China.
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  • BlueingreenBlueingreen Frets: 1396
    edited March 22
    Anybody else misread the thread title as "what cheap chinese made germs have you found"?
    I’m just on the borders of DTs darling, and I’ve wasted some of my tremendous love for you on a lank redmouthed girl with a reputation like Hell. The Love Letters of Dylan Thomas
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