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Rich_S

I think I'm turning Korean. I really think so.

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Posted (edited)

With apologies to The Vapors.

It seems to me that Korean stuff just hits the price/quality sweet spot for my low budget (but with standards) lifestyle.

First, my DIY Schecter PT partscaster.  I couldn't afford to the replace the "real" black PT I played back in the '80s, so I built a tribute to Townsend's "Live Aid" goldtop PT.  The body is an MIK Schecter PT, which I married up to a maple Fender MIM neck.  If I could only have one guitar, I'd keep this one.  Is it custom shop quality?  No, but it's good enough for me. 

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Next up, my "Hamer" Sunburst.  I never got around to buying a US Hamer back in my youthful, single days, and now that I'm older with house, cars, four kids (and a gig about every 2 years) I can't justify the $$$$.  Enter  my Slammer Series Sunburst, upgraded with Gravelin pickups, new guts in the control cavity, and some lightly used Schallers purchased here on the HFC.  In my brain, I know real US Hamers are better guitars, but when I'm playing my MIK, my heart can't imagine how.  The fun-to-$$$ ratio is off the scale.

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The same thing just happened again, this time with a car.  I changed jobs and lost my company car, and needed something I could afford.  Having just turned 60, I didn't want a tiny, tin-box piece of crap, but buying out my wife's Toyota Rav4 that is coming off a 3-year lease was just too much money.  I looked at higher-mileage Rav4s but Toyotas hold their resale value to a ridiculous degree.  Enter a Hyundai Santa Fe.  Hyundais do not hold resale value, though Consumer Reports rates their recent models nearly (but not quite) as good as Toyotas.  Just like the guitars, it's in my sweet spot in terms of  car/$$$.  (Sorry, no pic.  I'm out of town on business and can't pick it up until this Friday.  It's silver.)

Pretty soon, everything I own will be Korean.

 

Edited by Rich_S
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Ain't nuthin' wrong with champagne tastes on a beer budget, I'm the same way.  Used '80's and 90's USA Hamers used to be a relative bargain, before the New Hartford Hamer facility was shut down by FMIC, and everybody else started getting wise (Tree Fitty wasn't always just a HFC running joke).  Nowadays, I satisfy my GAS affliction mainly by looking for well-constructed Partscasters on the cheap, that aren't too far removed from the norm configuration-wise.

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We just bought a Hyundai Sante Fe.  Traded in a completely uncomfortable yet only two year old Honda CR-V for it.  We lost a little bit of money but the Sante Fe is very nice and comfortable and the CR-V was unbearable on an extended trip.  Also, Nice Guitars!

 

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Posted (edited)

Not that I'm a perfect money manager - I'm clearly not.  Hell, I'm on this damn forum buyin' and sellin' expensive adult toys right??  Want VS. need.  :lol:

But - good for you for having the fortitude and discipline to live WITHIN your means.  Its a given that for the last 20+ years or so, well over half of the US population spends noticeably more than they bring in EVERY FRIGGIN' YEAR.    As a result almost 2/3 of the US population has less than $2000 savings and can't handle the financial blow of some type of moderate emergency - car, house, etc..   It doesn't really matter what you call it - but its rare enough it could qualify as a superpower. 

Good for you for making it work while properly providing for your family.  That's what real MEN (parents) do for their families.

Soapbox - OFF.

ETA:  Nice guitfiddles.

Edited by Boomerang~Junkie
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Rich, cool guitars.  My Korean Hamer got me started on them though I always admired them, just never could buy the USA models until a few years ago.  The Slammer series is my avatar here and it plays well.  I've had a bunch of pickups in mine - DiMarzio, Duncan and finally some Gravelins that still live there.  Guitars are like cameras.  The best one is the one in your hands.  

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Korean is okay! These days I try to stay of anything Chinese, if I can. Lots of stuff is made in China, so it's hard. But I do what I can.

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My MIK Standard is pretty well made; not great, but not mediocre. I've just started tinkering with mods to improve it. The MIK PRS SE Singlecut I picked up for $120  is, quite simply, an outstanding guitar. The entire thing (aside from the pickups) is exceptionally well constructed, it rings acoustically, and it's light as a feather, to boot. Even the nut is perfectly cut (not sure if they used a PLEK at World Music back then--I seriously doubt it). If one is looking for a bargain on a well-made guitar, I always recommend that they try MIM Fenders, 2000-up MIK, and Godin.

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Posted (edited)

(South) Korea has a major influence here in Hank Williams Territory, most likely where Rich's Santa Fe was made. There's a Hyundai factory in Montgomery, AL and a Kia factory in West Point GA (right on the GA-AL line), and beaucoup tier factories in between along the I-85 corridor, including several mfrs. in my community. So I feel like I've supported the community a bit if I've purchased a vehicle that was assembled at one of the main factories. You can see church signs and real estate billboards around Montgomery that are in Korean.

I bought a West Point-made Optima in '16, traded in for my current vehicle, a so-called base model Sorento, in '18. Had to switch to a "sitting up and looking out" driving posture, due to back problems. For me, sedans ride too low; I could travel about 150 miles and my lumbar area (which is missing a disc between L-4 and L-5) would start killing me. Not the fault of the Optima, however.

The reason we bought an Optima and Sorento was the (convenient) location of the particular dealership (in Auburn), No problems with either vehicle other than a recall on the SUV to upgrade/correct some software.

Decent community relationship for everyone concerned, and the factories keep expanding.

Edited by Willie G. Moseley
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Hyundai best bang for the buck. Last forever. I played one MIK Hamer and really liked it. 

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I always remember Toby saying " if you want someone to obsess over the details get a Korean " 

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Posted (edited)

I honestly was expecting this to be about eating too much bibimbap. I live a block from a Korean barbecue joint.

Edited by polara
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The Korean Squires were awesome have had mine for years, still love playing it.

 

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8 minutes ago, polara said:

 I live a block from a Korean barbecue joint.

So, when I'm in the offices in Virginia, I'm in the middle of a Korean area, and I can't believe I've been ignorant about the culinary delights until just 3 years ago. (Have you tried Korean fried chicken? INCREDIBLE).

Proud to say I have an H-Mart rewards card now, I call those markets "My New Disneyland". Still exploring all the possibilities of Kim-Chi, that's it's own gastronomic rabbit hole of fun.

To paraphrase Kent Brockman: "I, for one, welcome my new culinary overlords"

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49 minutes ago, lincsman said:

The Korean Squires were awesome have had mine for years, still love playing it.

 

I've been playing a parts Jaguar bass with a Korean squire jazz neck for a while now. Korean squires are thought highly of in terms of bang for the buck in some bass circles, and I can see why.

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My Korean Standard was off the charts and one of my first electric guitars. I wish I had known to have the fret ends filed down by a competent luthier and I'm sure I would still own that guitar. 

I just had a wealthy client buy a Kia Optima (with the cool sunroof) She said she likes it better than her previous BMW. 

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No problems with most Korean kit on the whole - I came across an interesting video that explores who actually makes what ranges of guitars for each brand and where the factories are.  I think if a guitar plays well and sounds good then it shouldn't matter where it was made etc, with the exception that I do try to boycott Chinese goods.

 

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4 hours ago, Ed Rechts said:

(Have you tried Korean fried chicken? INCREDIBLE).

This is true. Now I'm hungry.

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Going MIK is a fair strategy. However, for me it is too late to do the same as I have spend the $$$$ for USA Hamers already. 😞 

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I vote USA!🇺🇸..USA!🇺🇸..USA!🇺🇸 😆

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3 hours ago, gorch said:

Going MIK is a fair strategy. However, for me it is too late to do the same as I have spend the $$$$ for USA Hamers already. 😞 

I wouldn’t say it was ever a strategy.  It’s just where I ended up given my tastes and budget.  The Koreans just seem to hitting that particular target.  As long as I have a few nice guitars to play and a car to get around in, I’m good.

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On August 20, 2019 at 9:41 AM, it's me HHB said:

I always remember Toby saying " if you want someone to obsess over the details get a Korean " 

You mean, like, get a Korean product, or actually get a Korean? And if it's the latter, how does one go about ordering a Korean, and are we talking mail-order brides or something?

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Posted (edited)

I believe he mean a person from Korea. He is Korean and was using it as an example of the overall vibe of the culture

Edited by it's me HHB

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For example, when Toby and I get together our conversations cover everything and we go down, seemingly, every rabbit hole, leaving no stone unturned. Makes for heavy, deep, long conversations. I'm not sure if that's strictly Korean, but I've known quite a few like that. The korean people have immense pride in their country and how they represent it, and i think that shows in their products.

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Please understand my comments are about pride in the outcome and concern for the details by and large by the Korean culture!

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