After, “why do you call yourself Hell Guitars”, the next most frequently asked question we receive is, “where is it made?”
The short answer is China. It’s China because the stickers on the back of the headstocks say that’s where they were built and shipped from. It’s China because they were cut out, sanded, painted, assembled and finished by skilled hands in a Chinese guitar factory. This is the short answer.
The long answer is, well, …longer. The woods used were harvested and exported from the U.S. and Canada. The tuners were either made in the U.S. or Korea (depending on model). The pickups were made in England. The strings are either U.S. (D’addario) or U.K. (Rotosound). In fact, most of the materials/components used in our guitars are from North America and the U.K. Even much of the precision work (CNC milling for example) done at the factory is done on machines made in the U.S. and Japan.
To be perfectly honest however, I’m proud of where our guitars are “made”. I visited with at least 20 companies throughout China to find an organization I felt comfortable with. We toured factories to check their methods, quality control and working conditions. “Our” factory is one of the best. They have become our friends and trusted allies. Many of you have bought their products without knowing where they came from but they carry U.S. brand names you are doubtless familiar with.
There are several key differences between the guitars the factory makes for Hell and the ones made for the other companies. Mainly, the overall quality of the components and materials and the quality control of manufacturing. In my opinion, quality control is a huge part of what makes Hell Guitars special. As China is just a short flight away, we regularly inspect production at various stages. We personally test nearly every guitar at the factory alongside the factory’s techs. Once the guitars arrive in Japan they are given a full inspection, final set-up and polish. Every guitar that leaves our company has a fantastic neck, fine fretwork and a super resonant body.
I understand that one tends to assess a guitar’s value in part, by where it was made. However this assessment is becoming less reliable every year. In another post, I will explain why this is.