If you’re wondering what are Chibson guitars, you’re in the right part of the internet! In today’s article, we’re going to have a deep look on the famous and cheap guitars made in China. Are they any good? Are they worth the money? How do they sound? Well, don’t worry – we’ll cover it all in detail. The truth is that Chibson guitars have a lot of fans and enemies. You either love them or hate them, that’s the fact. Should you buy a Chibson? Let’s jump into it!
Whether you’re a beginner or a more advanced player, you probably heard of Gibson guitars. We all know the legendary sound and look of Gibson Les Paul, Gibson SG or Gibson Thunderbird. What’s more, some of the most famous guitarists use their guitars on a daily basis. To be honest, this is one of the most iconic guitar brands in the world. Nevertheless, their gear tends to be really expensive. Even the lowest Gibson models can cost a really significant amount of money. That’s why a lot of people choose more affordable options, such as Ibanez, Epiphone, Squier or… Chibson.
What Are Chibson Guitars?
What happens when you combine two words – Gibson and China? Well, you’ll get a Chibson. In fact, Chibson guitars feature the same look as luxurious Gibson Guitars, but they cost much less money. Sometimes the pricing can be even 10 times lower! That’s pretty tempting, right?
You can find these guitars online at really affordable prices. Considering how expensive Gibson guitars can be, it’s not surprising that people want to explore cheaper solutions instead. Of course, the quality of these guitars is much lower, but to be honest, it’s not tragic. At this price, it’s actually not bad at all. Here’s a sound sample of a Chibson Les Paul that has over two years. Feel free to have a look to see how it sounds!
Counterfeit Goods – Not Only Gibson
What’s interesting, this phenomenon is visible in every industry of the world. Whether it’s Gibson, Nike or Supreme, every major brand has a problem with fake products. To be honest, the counterfeit goods from China are a serious threat for companies from Western world and the whole economy. You may think that loyal customers will always choose their beloved brand because of the higher quality. Well, in the past, everyone usually associated Chinese products with a super low quality. But it all changed dramatically in the last few years.
The problem starts to grow when fake goods (such as Chibson guitars) offer a really good quality that is comparable with the original. At this point, even loyal customers can easily change their mind because of one simple reason: money. It’s a really interesting subject, so if you’d like to read more about it, feel free to check out this study with a lot of infographics and stats.
Chibson Guitars – Pros
As I mentioned before, Chibson guitars tend to be really cheap. In fact, they’re one of the cheapest playable guitars on the market right now. They may be manufactured in China, but they’re not toys – they feature a legit size, electronics and everything a regular guitar needs. In fact, you can get your own copy for less than $200 with included shipping from China. That’s not bad for a guitar that looks like Gibson, right?
The quality of Chinese products significantly improved throughout the last few years. Today’s guitars from China are actually well made, without any major flaws. Of course, we don’t know how durable they are and if they survive the next 20 or 30 years, but from the outside, they generally look really good. The differences between Chibson and Gibson guitars are not that visible. In fact, an amateur who doesn’t know much about guitars won’t see the difference between them.
Whether you’re a fan of Chibson guitars or not, you have to admit that these guitars actually sound pretty good. Of course, the tone may not be as perfect as in the most expensive Gibsons, but bear in mind that this is a budget Chinese guitar. If you think about that, you’ll notice that the overall sound quality is actually pretty decent. Here’s another sound sample in case you’re interested.
Chibson Guitars – Cons
Problems with electronics, pickups and switches are usually very common among the Chibson guitars. Their manufacturer usually uses the cheapest materials available in China, so it’s not surprising that they tend to brake. Of course, at this price the materials will never be as good as in the most expensive Gibson guitars.
Minor Quality Issues
Again, it’s totally understandable that these cheap guitars often feature minor quality issues. Most of the time, it’s just a poor setup. You can try setting it up on your own or visiting your local luthier to resolve that. What are these issues? Well, you may experience some problems with frets, buzzing strings or string action. Nevertheless, all of these issues can be adjusted with a little bit of effort.
No True Spirit
This is one of the biggest disadvantages of Chibson guitars. There is something beautiful in having an expensive Gibson, considering its reputation and history. There were so many amazing guitarists who played on these guitars in the past! That’s why it can be tempting to stay loyal to the true brand who started it all. On the other hand, it’s all about the skills, not necessarily about the guitars. And to be honest, you can become a great guitarist even when you start with a Chibson instead of Gibson. The choice is up to you!
How To Spot A Chibson?
At first glance, Chibson and Gibson guitars look the same. If the cheap guitar has a poor set up, you will notice and feel the difference straight away. Some of the major differences include:
- Fake Serial Number
- Truss Rod Cover Screws
- Different Headstock Logo
- Flawed Open Book Headstock
- Poor Fretboard Binding
- Fake Pickup Selector Switch
- Stoptail Position
If you’re interested in learning how to spot a fake Gibson, feel free to check out the guide below. Nevertheless, for a beginner the differences are almost impossible to find!
Chibson Guitars – FAQ
Are they worth the money?
Well, that depends. Some people believe that they are a total disaster and you should never support the Chinese brands that create fake products. Nevertheless, the fact is that these guitars are not bad at all. They look good, they sound okay and their pricing is extremely low. If I’m being honest, I don’t see a problem with checking it out on your own. Of course, it’s better to buy a Gibson, but obviously not everyone can afford it. If we’re talking only about the quality and money – then yes, at this price it’s worth it. Remember that it’s not an amazing guitar and you can’t expect that it will be extremely well made!
Are Gibson guitars overpriced?
Same answer – it depends. In my opinion, yes. They are overpriced. I had a few Gibson guitars in my hands throughout the years and to be honest, if you compare a Gibson ES-335 with the Epiphone 335, the difference is not that big. I think that Gibson wins in terms of the overall feeling of the guitar, but if you think about the sound – the difference is almost unnoticeable. Still, Gibson brand is an icon, so it’s obvious that you have to pay a little bit more for that legendary logo on your headstock.
Do Gibson guitars hold their value?
Generally, yes. Whether you’re an owner of a Gibson SG or a Gibson Les Paul, you can expect that these guitars will retain their value. It is very unlikely that the price of these guitars would decrease in time. In fact, some people believe that high-level guitars are a great investment opportunity.
Where can I buy a Chibson?
You can find these guitars on various online shopping sites, such as Aliexpress, Dhgate or Alibaba. I’m sure that if you google it, you will find it.
What are other guitars for beginners?
I recommend checking out guitars by Squier, Epiphone, Ibanez or Jackson. It all really depends on what kind of music do you like. If you’re into a classic Les Paul shape, you should probably check out the affordable copies of Epiphone. There are a lot of useful resources on my blog, so make sure to have a look around – you will find lots of cool gear recommendations in there!
As you can see, these guitars are really interesting. And in fact, I do believe that they’re worth the money. The thing is, not everyone can afford a real Gibson. I also disagree that the existence of these guitars will affect the Gibson brand as w hole. To be honest, people who buy Chibsons are not likely to buy Gibson guitars. The Chinese manufacturer is not stealing clients from Gibson – they’re just offering similar (or should I say almost the same) guitars at much lower prices, which are affordable for guitarists on a low budget.
Personally, I think that despite of the obvious flaws like minor quality issues, this guitar is still an interesting choice for beginner and more advanced players. Actually, I’d recommend it for intermediate players as a side-guitar for fun. If you’re a beginner, you probably should choose something from Epiphone, Ibanez or Squier instead. The main issue is that these guitars often have problems with electronics or buzzing strings, which can be really discouraging at the beginning if you don’t now how to fix it. Nevertheless, not every Chinese guitar is flawed.
Thanks for checking out Best Guitars Now! I hope that my article was helpful. What do you think about the Chibson guitars? Would you buy one copy for yourself? Let me know in the comment section below, I’m curious! Also, if you enjoyed this article, you may also like: