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Thread: Guitars made in the Philippines

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    Dong's Avatar
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    Default Guitars made in the Philippines

    I used to play/collect guitars, and was wondering if anyone knows where a quality Philippine made acoustic guitar can be found.

    I did some research a couple years back, and learned that "Lumanog" guitars are supposed to be the best. And I also found Santa Mesa, Manila, where there are 50 music stores that carry nothing but Lumanogs.

    I went from store to store, and was shocked by the poor quality, and price variations. I'm thinking that most of the guitars must have been fakes.

    I found one beautiful guitar, with solid top, and decent detail, but when I tried to play it, the intonation was so terrible, it was unplayable.

    I finally found one that had tuners that weren't garbage, and sounded good even with the cheap China made strings. It had a solid top, and back, and the bridge was fitted tightly onto the top. The action was set up really good, no buzzing, and the intonation was good also.

    I got that guitar for about $38. The price wasn't what sold me though. I must have looked at a hundred guitars, and I simply bought the best instrument.

    After a week or so, the strings were totally dead, so I bought a set of quality strings, and went up to medium gauge.

    I was playing quite a bit, and getting some callouses on my fingertips again.

    Then I tuned it to an open D, so I could teach my niece an easy tune, and the neck snapped at the base~



    Anyone tried a "Mactan" guitar? Is there a music store in the dumaguete area that sells music instruments, and not souvenirs?

    I know I'd have better luck finding a quality piece, actually going to Mactan, and looking myself. But if it's going to be like my Santa Mesa/Lumanog experience, I won't even bother.

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    I have heard that Cebu is the place for guitars but I am not a player yet so at this time I would not know a toy from a Les Paul. If I ever get to the retirement stage I think I would want to play guitar for self enjoyment and especially fun. Keep looking and let us know when you have found a suitable source. There is a post l think less than a year old that mentions a custom guitar maker in Dumaguete, you may want find that for further leads.




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    I read the thread about a luthier that works on/builds guitars from his home shop. Might be the best source if we decide to move to the area.

    Only problem is, it would most likely take a very long time to get him to make a guitar.

    I was hoping to find a music store that has decent quality, Philippine made guitars in stock that I could plunk around on when we visit this weekend.
    -Mark

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    princetonc is offline DI Junior Member
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    Dong, if you're really looking for quality, just buy Yamaha. I must agree that the quality of guitars sold in Sta Mesa are poor. You can also check out RJ guitar. Here's a link.

    RJ Planet - RJ Guitar Center Branches

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    Rhoody is offline DI Member
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    I saw some of his work and yes, they are made with love... sadly that does not make it a good guitar.
    I saw some decent pieces of wood at a shop in Duma for about 5000PHP and they keep the tune longer than 10 minutes and have a nice full sound.

    As a old Rock 'n Roller i am more into amplified noise but all the local and japanese imported axes sound like chinese lawn-mower on extacy.

    Well, I was working 12 years in the professional music industry and having Europe's biggest music-store 20 km away from my home-town did spoil me a kind of...

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    Quote Originally Posted by princetonc View Post
    Dong, if you're really looking for quality, just buy Yamaha. I must agree that the quality of guitars sold in Sta Mesa are poor. You can also check out RJ guitar. Here's a link.

    RJ Planet - RJ Guitar Center Branches

    I have a Takaminie Acoustic that I like and it was very affordable with a hard shell case here in states. Not sure if they are available in the PH.
    Be the change you want to see in the world.

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    I've been to RJ music in Robinsons, Manila, and also the new store at Glorietta, Makati. The Makati store had some big name acoustics, but big price tags also.

    I've never played a Japanese made acoustic guitar before, but I've read they are building some decent sounding pieces these days. Only problem with buying anything imported here in the Philippines, is the price is inflated 30%-50% or more, due to duty/tax charges, and markups due to limited availability.

    I'm still wondering about Mactan guitars. I think they make a guitar similar to an Ovation, with the rounded plastic back.

    I'll keep my eyes open for the shop Rhoody is talking about~
    -Mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dong View Post
    I've been to RJ music in Robinsons, Manila, and also the new store at Glorietta, Makati. The Makati store had some big name acoustics, but big price tags also.

    I've never played a Japanese made acoustic guitar before, but I've read they are building some decent sounding pieces these days. Only problem with buying anything imported here in the Philippines, is the price is inflated 30%-50% or more, due to duty/tax charges, and markups due to limited availability.

    I'm still wondering about Mactan guitars. I think they make a guitar similar to an Ovation, with the rounded plastic back.

    I'll keep my eyes open for the shop Rhoody is talking about~

    I think the import duties are only for us foreigners. You may want to check that and if its true. Have it sent to your wife or a trusted Ph friend so they will not have to pay tax.
    Be the change you want to see in the world.

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    chris is offline DI Junior Member
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    JVC Audio on Mayor Panella st. [sp.?] has the best selection in town.

    I bought a GTX China-made, 3/4 size cutaway acoustic there for 4000p a few years ago.
    Last i was there was asking 5500p for it a year ago.

    Sweet box, stage ready, built-in tuner/preamp.

    GTX has nice practice amps too.

    They have afew Takamine and Ibenez for 20,000p+.

    Phill made guitars..., Honestly, the quality ain't there.

    RJ guitars are servicable at a good price for the Pinoy market.

    The Fernando brand name is 100% knock-off junk.

    The original Fernando company in Louzon went under in the early '70s.

    I've heard 2 Fernando nephews want to revive the company and have been actively suing makers and stores for their copyright to the name.

    If you took the time to find a custom maker in Mactan --i was there for 2 days and couldn't connect-- You would need to supply the all hardware, ebony fretboard, and the stika spruce soundboard.

    Forget about lacouring.

    The problem is: the Phillipines is logged out of old growth mahogany.

    Also, the traditional Philippine guitar is strung 'stack key'.

    Not made for steel strings at 440A pitch.

    Check out JVC Audio in town,

    chris




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    garbonzo is offline DI Senior Member
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    For what little it's worth. I bought, what I thought was a pretty good guitar, at Lilang's at Lapu-lapu in 1980. It was one of their best products at the time, not particularly cheap but still a bargain, and I thrashed it for many years. Re-fretted it about a decade ago. Still have it...and it never warped, split, no defects at all. Put new strings on it last year to see if I could get interested again - but just never had the time to get serious - maybe after I call it a day at work. Got it with a padded case - that has done about 100,000 air miles all over the planet and still going strong too. Honestly the quality isn't up there with the best Europeans - but I think it's still a damn good guitar. Serial number 00578. Hopefully they still make them like that.....

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