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Is Indonesia the new China?

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by JimmieT, Aug 6, 2018.

  1. JimmieT

    JimmieT Tele-Meister

    Apr 12, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    I saw a YouTube video of the unboxing of a 2018 Squier Affinity tele. Artic white, maple board, black nut and it was made in Indochina. Is Fender moving it's China manufacturing?

    And what's up with the black nut?

  2. nicod98

    nicod98 Tele-Holic

    Jul 7, 2014
    Indochina is not the same as Indonesia, but I guess that's autocorrection... :)

    The production of the Affinity moved from China to Indonesia. The Indonesian Affinity (pack string through) stopped production, and the new comtemporary series are made in China (and have the same CY-prefix as the Affinity used to have).

    I think Fender is just rearranging production. Don't know why they have a black nut...
    Whiskerz likes this.

  3. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 11, 2006
    Near Athens GA USA
    They've been switching them around for years between Indonesia and China. My 2005 Squier Standard Strat was made in Indonesia.

  4. john_cribbin

    john_cribbin Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 26, 2014
    You'd have to ask the bean counters. They're the ones who know where every additional penny can be made.

  5. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2006
    Dallas TX USA
    Some of the Indonesian guitar factories are nasty.

    No venting, no respirators for employees doing spray paint, and little or no safety protocols.

    I have to admit that I have seen some nice guitars with a "made in Indonesia" stamp on them, but knowing that Indonesia is the Bhopal India of guitar manufacturing makes me look elsewhere.

    I suppose in that sense. Yes.

    I know people who refuse to buy Chinese products for similar reasons.
    Gibson likes this.

  6. elelpe

    elelpe Tele-Afflicted

    May 1, 2008
    Where did you get this info from? I suspect it's an internet myth that has been repeated over and over again like a broken record.

    There are several modern factories in Indonesia that build guitars for major brands such as Fender/Squier, Gretsch, Epiphone, Ibanez, PRS, ESP/LTD, Yamaha, Schecter, Washburn, Parker, Chapman etc. They have adequate capabilities to make high-end guitars, but the principal corporations wants them make beginner and intermediate ones. Indonesia is a master of handcrafts. Building guitars with CNC machine is easy peasy.

    Aside of these factories there are local workshops that build boutique guitars from exotic woods widely available in Indonesia. It's not that hard to get a piece of rosewood neck with Maccasar ebony neck with reasonable price. And Honduras mahogany has been cultivated in Indonesian plantations since several decades ago. What Indonesia doesn't have for guitar making are non-tropical woods like maple and spruce.

    24 percent guitars in the world are MII, while China make the most, 60 percent.

  7. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI

    All of the Indonesian Squiers I've had are/were better built than the China guitars that preceded them. Fretwork is a lot better. Guitar to guitar variation is much lower/better. However, Fender seems to have imposed skinny necks on the MII Strats and I just don't get along with them -- not the factory's fault just the design/marketing staff at Fender. So I've switched to watching for other brands in the low priced used market.

    nicod98 likes this.

  8. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    Quoting from a WWI song: "Over There!"

  9. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2006
    Dallas TX USA

    See any vents? See any respirators?

    Me neither.

    I'm sure some factories are better than others. The same is true for Chinese factories as well.

    Epiphone and Yamaha both have first rate ISO certified factories in China. I'm not familiar with Indonesia's certification standards.

    Many people don't care. You certainly don't have to.

    I do.

  10. Luthi3rz

    Luthi3rz TDPRI Member

    Jul 22, 2018
    Notice anything?


  11. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

    Jan 17, 2010
    Decatur, GA
    Right now, I have two Indonesian Squiers and an Epiphone made there as well. I owned two other Indo Squiers before these. I have no problem with the QC on any of them, especially given the price. CNC machines really don't care where they're plugged in.

    I expect I'll own more Indo guitars in the future.

  12. warrent

    warrent Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 15, 2009
    here's the factory for chapman guitars in Indonesia. If you skip through the self serving bits the factory's not that great

    And this is the Korean factory (this would be the PRS SE factory as well)


  13. elelpe

    elelpe Tele-Afflicted

    May 1, 2008
    And I care of not letting misleading information passing through in guitar forum.

    It's cool that you have ethics in buying a product. If you buy MIA, MIJ, or MIK guitar only, that's your right. But there's no wisdom in discriminating against entire guitar manufacturing of an Asian country with Bhopal reference - judging by a YouTube video you just search (yes, I don't see any vents in that home industry video. Maybe because he worked in outdoor area, under a shelter).

    And it's also not fair since it's the Western guitar corporations who should demand or be willing to pay more for stricter QHSE from the Asian manufacturers if they ethically care like you do. Both share responsibility.

  14. Backbeat8

    Backbeat8 Tele-Holic

    Jun 21, 2018
    Designing a great product is one step of the process. Finding a skilled foreign manufacturer is another.

  15. Frank'n'censed

    Frank'n'censed Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 27, 2011
    Parts Unknown
    ”Is Indonesia the new China?”

    If they are, they’re taking their sweet time buying up Raincouver

  16. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Tele-Afflicted

    May 3, 2016
    In the South
    Cort have had a factory in Indonesia for years. I own a 2008 Made in Indonesia Affinity Strat.

  17. Zeonoid

    Zeonoid Tele-Meister

    Dec 17, 2008
    Slovakia, EU
    I dont know about the safety issues in Indonesia but what I know is that my Indonesian Yamaha REVSTAR 502T and CORT TS200 (which are two different factories)are top notch guitars not to mention they costed 500€ both together second hand
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018

  18. radiocaster

    radiocaster Friend of Leo's

    Aug 18, 2015
    Note that there have been some fairly expensive Fenders like the Coronado and Starcaster made in China, as well as the mid-priced Modern Player series.
    JayFreddy likes this.

  19. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2006
    Dallas TX USA
    I'm not averse to Indonesia improving its working conditions.

    And it looks like they are, but in the meanwhile...

    Yes, Indonesia is the new China in that regard.

  20. Vladimir

    Vladimir Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Actually, Indonesia was China way before China became Indonesia. I mean, Indonesia was more like the new Korea, before China became Korea too. Get it?

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