Have looked at this site!
He sells his instruments on Ebay. Tony is from Taiwan and has a shop where he and his team make inlay instruments. I bought one. After the first two weeks in started cracking and hasn't stopped. There are more than 20 cracks (see updates below) in the guitar since I received it in Oct, 2005. If you are thinking about buying one of his pieces, be sure you are ok with getting an instrument that may fall apart within a few years.
My many attempts to resolve this have failed.
PLEASE NOTE: Antoniotsai has good feedback on ebay because he sells thousands of small pieces of inlay compared to the number of instruments he sales. Since there are few problems that can show up on the carved inlay pieces, the numbers give him a good rating. You must know that his instruments are mostly of poor quality. You will always be taking a chance to order any of his instruments. If you feel lucky, go for it; but don't be taken in by his feedback rating.
UPDATE: 1/13/2006 - There are 37 cracks on the back of the guitar and I emailed this to Tony, but am still getting no response from him.
UPDATE: 1/23/2006 - I got an email back from TONY! He suggests that I pay $100 to ship the guitar back to him in Taiwan and he will refund what I paid for the guitar (minus the cost of shipping the guitar to me and back to him). That's almost $200 it will have cost me to get a defective guitar. What do you think? Should I risk sending the guitar back not knowing if I will ever see anything back?
I understand about the humidity. I keep this guitar with my 7 other guitars. One is a 1943 Gretch and it hasn’t cracked. I have two Ovations from 1971 and 1983, another 1973 Gretch,
This Guitar from Tony has been cracking every day since it arrived. The luthier here seems to feel that either the wood was not cured properly or most likely there is too much stress on the back due to improper bracing. Some of the bracings on the back are coming unglued. I did post something in the ebay forum. I just wish he would make it good. I waited months to put in my feedback, because I didn’t want to give him bad feedback, so I gave him ample time to do the right thing.
Thank you for your web page on the antoniotsai guitars. I purchased one a few years ago. It is by far the most beautiful piece of non-working junk I've ever had. The frets are poorly spaced so the sound is completely off key when chording. It is cracking on the neck and twisted. But, the inlay work sure is beautiful! It makes a great non-functioning decoration. Sad, because if he used better quality wood and paid attention to functional detail (fret spacing) he could have been a great luthier.
LM Musicimport & US Guitars.
We have for one year tried to help Antoniotsai , with his guitar
problem, he ended up chiding us very badly. I received on the, 10th of
December 2008 nearly 100 guitars from him. We have being visiting him 3
times to prepare, this import. With me I have a specialist in guitars,
the Classical Concert guitar player, Mr. Laif Møller Lauridsen, one the
first visit he gave him his new design for a classical Concert guitar,
this guitar should like all the other guitars we made contract on, be 1
class guitars both acoustic- and electric guitars. We were very hopeful
second time we left Viet Nam, we should receive the first order medic
October 2008, but I first received the order on the 10th of December,
only 5 day before I was going on my winter holyday in Thailand. When I
arrived back from Thailand I had a very shocking experience, due to
control of the guitars I found 16 with cracks, some of them very heavy
Ib Rasmussen LM Musicimport & US Guitars
So I stumbled onto your site, after googling the "luthier" known as Antoniostai. When I saw his guitars on ebay years ago, I assumed they were crap, but i had no idea he could get way with peddling so much shit! So, I know you and many others have been looking for ways to get him banned from ebay, or in more trouble for what he is doing, because it is obviously intentional, the poor way he conducts his business. He has no ethics, and no pride, and I am disgusted with that.
To see his ebay add, click here.
Anyway, I thought I would bring this to your attention. It seems he is infringing on epiphone logos, and gibson headstock design, on some of his Les Paul models on ebay. I have never seen anybody make guitars with an epiphone logo and sell them as their own. Not only is this instrument bound to be flawed, but im sure it has to be in violation of some sort of copyright trademark that Gibson or Epiphone has. I think ebay should be notified of this, maybe even epiphone. Its worth a shot to try and get some justice for this guys immoral business practices.
Its just another example of why this guy should not be dealt with, and why he should be banned from ebay, so he can never take advantage of another innocent musician!
These are emails I've received from people around the world about the antoniotsai guitars since I first posted my concerns about his work. They are listed in reverse chronological order (the newest posts are first).
I was glad to find your site on Antoniotsai instruments. My issue is a little different. I can't speak to the quality of the instruments having never seen one, but I was alerted to the fact that the proprietor is using my name to market irish bouzoukis on Ebay. I have taken a first step by sending in a report to Ebay though I don't know how effective that will be. I would like to advise any readers on your site that Phil Crump Bouzoukis are not made in Taiwan and information on our products can be obtained at http://www.pwcrumpco.com
Also, when you take Antoniotsai's shady business practices in combination with the poor quality described by contributors here, it 's pretty clear that anyone in the market for a musical instrument could do better elsewhere.
P.W. Crump Co.
Fine Stringed Instruments
i am another that appreciates the info. i have all but handed over my 56'gibson j-50 accoustic,. for one of these so called mastercrafted guitars,.. even swap. the sound of a gibson. ahhh..what was i thinking.. thanks again - Chad 7/10/2012
Just reading your posts about Taisamlu stuff. I bought an inlaid pick guard from him and sure enough, it came flat but within a couple of days of receipt it started to curl. Within a week or so it looked like the outer leaf of a good Cuban cigar. I tried to flatten it but it just broke up into three pieces. I used one of his inlaid fretboards on a high quality build I was part way through at the time. Up to now it has stayed as good as gold and plays beautifully.
Hi Have read your warnings concerning products from this "luthier". A mandolin presently being auctioned on Ebay made by " Allievi di Vinaccia" is being sold by a ebayer whose website is www.mandolinsplanet.com. The mandolin is in incredible condition if genuine. The first mandolin being sold on this website is called "Mandolin with floral Inlay" and is the same in design as that on www.antoniotsaiart.com in catalogue page 43. Has our Antonio found another outlet for his questionable "quality" instruments? Has this Ebay item actually come from a Taiwanese sweatshop? Interesting possibility. Mike - 4/25/2012
Well now. I've had my guitar 5 years now without any problems. I read part of your article and had to stop. Every one of the complaints had the same writing style and used the word "I" excessively. You have it in for this guy. He offered to take it back so send it to him and then try to get back to living. You offered no names or email addresses of the people who complained to you. I would want more than your word because it does seem to me, the same person wrote them.all. A happy customer. 4/19/2012 - I assure I don't write these emails. And I'm not going to give out email address unless asked to do so by the sender.
Ha! Your website looks completely FAKE. Every single 'post' reads the SAME- like the SAME PERSON wrote each one, or the vast majority. I have many of his acoustics- since 2011- and EVERY SINGLE ONE- is better than any other guitar I've owned in 30 years. No cracking, no nothing...lucky????? They sound truly amazing. You are a dunce, with issues, who came up with this crap on your own. He did have some quality issues prior to 2009, in my opinion, but that seemed to concern the huge inlays on the backs that were causing some problems with some guitars. I grant you that. But since then, every single guitar I have bougfht from him is absolutely perfect, stunning. I have taken steps to take down YOUR bogus website, which is delusional at best, and a complete lie at worst. Maybe an attorney nees to look into YOU. I have nothing to do with the seller, just sticking up for him. I live in the US. Baaaa! 11/12/2011 If any of you who have sent me emails to post on this site would like the email address of this guy who is saying that all your emails are FAKES, just email me and I'll give you his email address. Maybe he need to hear from you directly, unless he's really the one who is a FAKE.
Hey, I am so sorry to hear about your and others troubles with his guitars. Shameful. IMO, he really should not be exporting the guitars. My guess as to why this has happened on such a consistent basis is the dramatic climate difference between Taiwan and the US / Europe. No matter how much one dries their wood, I imagine in that moist of an environment (humidity being pretty close to 95%, a finished guitar (remember the wood is still unfinished in the cavity) would still absorb quite a bit of moisture. It doesn't surprise me at all that transported to a radically drier climate the guitar would start to crack after awhile. Anyways, just my two cents FWIW. I could be wrong but I've seen this happen to nice solid wood furniture exported from Taiwan. Cheers, Rich 10/5/2011
Im an other fool that got sucked into his shit i bought at least 13 guitars basses mandolins and banjoes at a loss of about ten grand at first look i thought wow this is nice then as i inspected futher their was some thing wrong with every one they all had truss rod covers but no truss rods they cracked necks were warped frets were'nt filed...I ended up giving these away because they could not be sold...so now they hang on family and friends reckroom wall as decoration THATS ALL THEY ARE GOOD FOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5/3/2011
I am incredibly grateful for your site. I nearly purchased an inlaid viola from him. They appear to be beautiful works of art, but after seeing your site, I will not risk purchasing one. Plus, I always thought they seemed to cheap for the instrument itself to be of any quality. I noticed they only have a fine tuner on the A string, something normally reserved for instruments of better quality, such as my rented Lin 300. I would end up spending far more than what the instrument is worth trying to make something good out of it. Does anyone else have stories about his violas? It seems that is all he sells now, and suddenly he claims to be a concert viola player. Thanks, KM 5/15/2011
Thanks for the photos of the cracked guitars. I was about to click to buy one on e-bay and at the last second decided to check if there were anything on the internet about this make of guitar. The price seemed low for such elaborate inlays. I see now why they are so low in price. Troy. 4/1/2011
Thanks for your site
I found it moments before I was going to purchase a violin from him. It
seems he's now trying to hawk his goods in the violin market. He won't get a
single buck from me. Thanks again for the heads up.
In reference to your posts about these guitars...I bought 5 guitars and 1 bass from this fool.They have all become unplayable!Cracking,necks bending and no trussrod adjustment possible.His wood is not cured AT ALL.Pretty and useless.Thousands of dollars spent.Please add this to your list of warnings.Thankyou 12/14/2010
Hello! I purchased an Antoniotsai guitar several months ago, and though so far it has not split (though i better go open the case and check!) it came in very very bad shape. First of all he sent me a factory second. clearly stamped 'B' inside the F hole. it was suppose to have a bone nut, however it had a cheap hollow plastic nut that didnt even fit, and hung over the pitch in the headstock. when i brought it to their attention they assured me it was bone. When i sent them photos of the hollow plastic nut and just told them to send me some bone nut blanks to make up for it, they did. I made one better than they ever could/would. The fret job was horrible! i couldnt believe that the frets actually had GLUE all over them. I chipped it all away before knocking down about half of the frets, recrowning and polishing them all. The rosewood bridge was nice, but the radius did not match the top. I fixed that, but the width of the bridge is not quite wide enough to fit the width of the strings based on the neck size. The electronics are some of the worse i've seen. though they worked, they were very cheap and the pots seemed to be either on or off. The inlay work is very decent but with a lot of filler. The case was actually much better than expected for a cheap chinese case. its a pretty guitar, but i expected to get a project. I might as well have built one with the time I put into fixing it -Nate DeMont 10/5/2010
Well again you seemed to have saved someone some grief. I was looking around on Ebay mostly out of whimsy at mandolins and was drawn in by the beautiful looking inlay work of one of his pieces and started investigating other pieces. I wanted to find out if he had a more official online store to look at other instruments in more detail before committing to a purchase when I stumbled upon your blog site. I'm very glad I did. As much as I wish these somewhat inexpensive beautiful looking guitars were legit it seems it is much to good to be true. Looking at some of the pictures that were posted definitely dissuaded me. Thank you very much for saving me around $250 dollars. 7/20/2010
Hi. I read with great interest the posts on http://www.chionline.com/Antoniotsai/index.html. I have been playing and repairing guitars for over 4 decades. I bought 5 elaborately-inlaid guitars from Tony around 1995. All 5 of them cracked wide open. I was able to save one little parlor guitar; the others weren't worth repairing. His pearl-inlay work is great, but he doesn't dry his wood sufficiently before working it. He and I discussed this, and I told him he had to get the wood to below 10% moisture...preferably 6-8%. All he could say is that he air-dried his wood. Apparently, this isn't good enough in Taiwan. He need to either buy or rent a kiln or send the wood elsewhere for drying. In one of the guitars I bought the bridge-pin holes cut right through the edge of the bridge plate. I'll attach a photo of this. The bridge lifted right off the guitar, and when I looked inside under the bridge, I discovered the bridge-plate mess. Because of his elaborate inlays, one would have to splint every crack in that guitar...a real waste of time. The nuts varied in quality (I use the word "quality" very broadly) varied terribly. The nuts appeared to be slotted with a cheap carpenter's handsaw. One guitar had D-45-style ab borders, and at one point there was a 5/8" straight piece on a curve. Rather than breaking the piece to accommodate the curve, it was lat straight, and the binding was cur paper thin at the ends of this piece...really nasty work! I also bought some peghead overlays and a couple of fingerboards from him. The overlays cracked and the FBs twisted. I wonder why this guy claims to be a great craftsman who maintains instruments for the largest Taiwan museum...including a Stradivari violin. From what I've seen of his knowledge of wood and humidity, I couldn't imagine anybody letting him touch a Strad. If only he were as careful with the wood as he is the inlay. I also bought some abalone blanks from him. They were large, wavy slices of ab, very inconsistent in thickness. Apparently, they flatten one side of the ab cut it and inlay that flat side against the guitar. Then they sand it flush with the surface...much unlike we westerners (usually) do in using uniform-thickness pearl to minimize follow-up sanding. Somebody in your forum mentioned Bruce Wei. I'm not familiar with his guitars, but I had the same problem with this peghead overlays, fingerboards and pickguards. Every one of them warped too badly to use. He replaced one pickguard twice. The two replacements were no better than the first one. Keep up the good work! ...Jim 3/24/2010
I too bought TWO Antoniotsai instruments through Ebay - a parlor acoustic (for my daughter) and an electric 4 string bass (for my son) - both within minutes of each other. (06 of 1009) BOTH were incredibly defective. The acoustic guitar top came cracked - the nut groove was over size - so it was slopping around, the bridge wood was cracked and the groove in the bridge for the bone saddle was to large and was flopping around, the FRET WERE GLUED IN. The gig bag WAS FILTHY AND MOLDY. I wonder if the centers of disease control would be concerned about mold from the Far East entering the West???? Anyway - The bass body had gouges and dings and the electronics would not work (hum and no audio) - they sent me a PHOTO of the electronics in a working unit so I could attempt a self repair - only what I had and what the photo showed were not even the same - not by a freekin long shot. These were supposedly BRAND NEW pieces. The response from them - go to a local lutheir and have them fixed. Right. Eat me. They were BOTH sent back - though I was out the import/customs fees. STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY. Elam 2/7/10
Hi, I just came across your site and I've learned a lot. Thank you very much. The reason I'm writing to you is to tell the way I got an Antoniotsai electric guitar Stratocaster style. It has been through a Spanish seller who has sold about 500 items - mostly Antoniotsai guitars - including false information. I bought mine as a "luthier hand-made guitar with Fender pickups, parts, and electronics". And I got an Antoniotsai guitar with horrible electronics plus pickups an other parts from unknown manufacturer. And I know I'm not the only one, I know more people than bought a guitar from this guy believing his lies. The name of the seller is rubinstein-arthur from the Canary Islands, in Spain. So AVOID this guy. I hope this information can help other people out there. Best regards, Tello 2/1/10
You & all your generous contributors have just saved me money & aggravation. even more, my mental health. (ahh, now you little guppies are discovering the Vietnamese that I knew...welcome aboard !). there is no excuse for e-bay not to have eliminated these thieves long ago...if they don't think they have a ethical responsibility to protect their buyers, they better start thinking about their bottom line. shameful & disgusting ! I'm alerting e-bay to your website & requesting an explanation, there's no reason for you to have taken on the burden of this website.....isn't anybody here that can write a decent press release? investigative reporter at the local TV station?? it requires those of you with evidence & e-mails to be willing to do the interview (we all KNOW how much ebay likes bad publicity. but if this is their current policy, how can we change it unless a couple people will blow the whistle?? this wouldn't just help protect people from this seller, but maybe convince them to start paying attention. the BEST testimonials are going to be from people that can show how heartless ebay/paypal (same company) was in resolving the issues. thank you & carry-on 01/09/2010
Hi, I too bought from this seller on eBay, it was pretty early on, about 6 years ago I got a Mandolin. I paid $800.00 plus the shipping. I liked it very much, kept it in the house, in the case. About 6 months in I found a huge crack in the back and when I took it to my local guy for a cleat he pointed out hundreds of tiny cracks on the entire body and more on the headstock. I have also had to replace the tuner buttons 3 times as they all break in half when I tune. If you should ever come up with a mass resolution PLEASE let me know. I have much more to my tale but I hate to type - Mike 01/07/2010
About 3 years ago I bought a 12 string guitar from Antonio tsai. After reading the various reviews of satisfied customers on eBay I decided to buy a 12 string acoustic-electric guitar. The inlay work is very nice and so far nothing has fallen apart. That is not to say there weren't some "concerns" about the guitar. When I first got it, it played well and sounded pretty good. After a couple of weeks things changed. I live in a dry prairie climate and it seems the wood was drying out and shifting. The neck bowed back and the strings lay flat on the frets so it was unplayable. As a 12 string is under a lot of string tension I was not surprised to see the area behind the bridge bowing up and around the sound hole bowl inwards. I have had other 12 strings and have seen this after several years but not straight from the factory. I emailed the factory about this and they said to just tune it up and it would be fine. (???) Due to the body warping the strings raised up from the bridge and were now high enough to sound again. As shipping it for repair was not cost effective I tinkered with it myself. Nothing to lose, right? The truss rod was ineffective as the threads were stripped and may have been why the neck moved in the first place. I shaved the bridge saddle down to lower the strings to a more comfortable action and got a lot of buzz. I also cut the nut depth properly. I attempted this because the neck was still straight. I then had to dress and file a few frets in order to eliminate the buzzes. After all this the guitar is in a comfortable playing mode and sounds OK for an instrument of this quality. I have had no problems with the electrics on it. After reading other reviews of these instruments it seems a lot of people share similar problems with these guitars. (Shortly after buying it I got an e-mail from another eBay customer who asked me about my guitar as theirs had significant problems and they were trying to negotiate a replacement from the factory). I seem to have come out somewhat lucky as my guitar was salvageable and I was able to tweak it myself. It still has it's weaknesses though. Finally my advice which also comes with a caution. Be prepared to buy an instrument that may look good but could just as easily be a nightmare to play or repair. 11/29/2009
I have been looking at an Antoniosai eclectic violin on EBay to purchase as a Christmas gift for my elderly father, the man who has everything. I was dumbfounded of the problems people have had with this brand. Thanks so much for saving me the error of bidding. 10/19/2009
Hi I have also had troubles with Mr tony inlaidartist. I Have bought things from him in the past and have had no problems but recently bought a banjo neck from him that looked ok in the photo but when it arrived there were vast amounts of filler around the inlays as if one lot of inlays was removed from the finger board and a new lot of much smaller ones replaced leaving al these areas to be filled.I started a paypal resolution dispute and then got emails from him with the usual send it back and we wil refund , but of course the freight would be more then than the neck cost, basically the same old story, kept the dispute going with promises until the dispute resolution time ran out and then.... I have gone thru his feedback on ebay and it all seems the same, if anyone has problems they are branded liar or worse. Stay away from him. Horace in New Zealand 10/15/2009
Hi and thanks for blogging on the antoniotsai guitars. I, unfortunately, bought one before you started your page and have a similar story. I bought a hollow body acoustic with the f holes and floating bridge. I have never been able to get it in tune all the way up the neck, or for that matter, just in open tuning E. It is cracked all over the back where the inlay is and I think the truss rod is bent. truly eye candy only. As a musical instrument, total crap. I am glad that you are warning people and hopefully helping save a few hundred bucks here and there. If it sounds too good to be true, IT ALWAYS IS. 9/15/2009
Hi, just found your site after running a search for Antoniotsai on Google. Wow, looks like I just dodged a major bullet! The 5 string bass I bid on looked pretty nice at first look, but I decided to blow up the pics and upon further inspection, the bass looked rather cheap, with many, many flaws in workmanship. Wherever the mahogany was joined by the "spalted" maple the joints were shoddy looking, and there were gaps in the pearloid work all over the face of the instrument. Also, the cutaways were lopsided, and the pickups were installed kinda cockeyed, looking like it was all eyeballed rather than measured for accuracy. It looked like a half assed high school woodshop project! I did not want to go through with this purchase any longer but couldn't figure out how to retract my bid, so I had to hope against hope that I was outbid. I was, but even that process left a funny taste in my mouth. It seems that all the bids except mine were attributed to an "anonymous bidder", and I was unable to contact any other bidder trying to win this instrument. Kinda made me think that I was being bid against by "the Phantom Bidder", and seemed it was all to try and inflate the amount I was willing to spend on this instrument. They got me to increase my bid once (shame on you), but not twice (would've been shame on me then). Also, every item Antoniotsai has sold "ever" was listed as "private", and I was unable to view any of them to compare quality. Odd... Well, I'd like to extend a hearty thanks to you and everyone else on this site for your information, which has saved me several hundreds of dollars I don't have to buy a bass guitar that needs hundreds of dollars worth of work to make it marginally playable! I'm fully disabled and live on a fixed income, and need a good low price instrument for the times I can get out to play (I'm a semi retired professional player, limited only by my physical shortcomings). I wound up buying a simple but gorgeous Douglas WOB 826 TBL 6 string bass for $189.99 (in the most stunning transparent blue finish...truly awesome, even if it is much simpler in execution) from Rondo Music Online, another Ebay supplier with an amazing track record...and I paid $135 less in shipping costs due to the fact that they're located in New Hampshire! I highly recommend Rondo Music, and hope Mr. Tony doesn't scam anyone else with his sweatshop guitars and questionable practices! 9/13/09
Hi and thanks for blogging on the antoniotsai guitars. I, unfortunately, bought one before you started your page and have a similar story. I bought a hollow body acoustic with the f holes and floating bridge. I have never been able to get it in tune all the way up the neck, or for that matter, just in open tuning E. It is cracked all over the back where the inlay is and I think the truss rod is bent. truly eye candy only. As a musical instrument, total crap. I am glad that you are warning people and hopefully helping save a few hundred bucks here and there. If it sounds too good to be true, IT ALWAYS IS. 9/15/09
Call me # 74... Hi, thanks for creating this warning about Antoniotsai's products on eBay. Unfortunately I found your page AFTER winning a bid on eBay for a fine looking electric violin, but as my purchase and payment was made within hours of finding your warning, I wrote Mr Antoniotsai a request for full refund. At first he tried to convince me to ignore the messages and take the violin, that it could be repaired later as there was a warranty, but the comments on this warning page really made me wish to get my money back, so I requested another time... He said he would refund it in full. That was TWO weeks ago and still no refund. Meanwhile, Paypal is refusing to help me get the money returned. Now I need to make a request with my bank. And I can request this because the seller told me he was refunding my money and re-listing the violin. As the violin has been relisted (it's a one of a kind, right, and it's up on eBay, just saw it), my money should be back... but it's not... 7/21/09
I won an auction that stated $1oo insurance loss damage included (see the shipping details for the auction) which influenced my decision to bid and by how much. then the eller sends an email asking for $1o insurance "required". I emailed asking them to correct it- they replied I was "to bear" if any damage occurred for not insurnig it- but I said: you auction state sthat insurnac already IS included. They would not pay insurance then reported me to ebay for not paying. I was mostly dissappointed in ebay- they did NOTHING even though their rules state they protect sellers by taking the sellers item off the website and not returning listing fees, or by removing their power seller rating etc. They had all the power to enforce their own rules and stood by and did nothinhg- actually they wanted me to take all the risk myself: they said that paypal had no way of verifying my claim so I am gauranteed my money. (I want my auction item not my money) But paypal website says I my have to send the item to them or third party to resolve dispite. Why should I have to pay again? So I refused to surrender any money and insisted thaty ther sller perform as their auction said they should. The seller sold my ukulele to somebody else for $1700 cheaper! Ya I know... they would have made more money frmme oif they would have just paid the $1o insurance and ebay could have pared all this cvrap if they just woul dhave enforced their own rules! Rick 7/16/09
Hi, I purchased 15 or more guitars from antonio tsai, half of them fell apart like this one, i gave him a good rating before this happened to the guitars. 5/20/09
Thanks for that web site of yours! I was just about to buy an Electric Violin when I decided to see if he had a site, so thanks! I saved $180! Thank You Sooooooooo Much!!!!!!! Pinki. 4/13/2009
Hi, Thanks for the web site regarding the inlaid
guitars. I just want to say that I have several of these guitars. These
guitars are generally lookers not players. Although two acoustics I bought
play and sound fantastic. I also bought some solid body neck through teles.
They came without hardware and I completed them. The fretwork was really bad
and the frets had to be glued down and leveled (but they were cheap at $35.
plus $90. shipping). I do this work my self but if you had someone dong it
for you it would be expensive. So if you see guitars not completed for sale
there is probably a reason for it. I figured some of these are factory
seconds that they get and do some fancy inlay on. Honestly, for the price
it's worth it just to hang on the wall. The problem is definitely the wood
drying out. The wood they use is not dried sufficiently. As soon as winter
hit here and the house is dry these guitars tend to crack. I keep mine in a
guitar room with a humidifier (which any good guitar player would do with a
more expensive guitar). I have to say that one guitar that I bought from
Bruce Wei developed a crack and he took it back and gave me a full refund,
shipping and all. Several other are fine. BTW, I was in Best Buy a while
back and they had a top of the line ($2900.) Taylor acoustic that had cracks
and a bent neck. They had it behind the counter ready to return it. That's
unusual but it does happen in severe temp changes and/or dryness. I guess it’s
true, you get what you pay for.
I purchased one of these guitars from a pawn shop because it had great sound and it did have a crack in it as well down the middle of the back and thought it was due to sitting near a wood stove. Loving the sound decided to buy another and ran across your site and realize now that the guitars are junk.. Thanks so much for posting this site.. Saved me some money, trouble and hassle.. Goes to show Best to look things up before you buy.... John in Ky 2/22/2009
Thanks I too saw the guitars from Antoniotsai and thought wow what inlay work. I have nine guitars, fender schecter gibson ovation and epiphones, but not one with great inlay work. I guess I will look other places for a custom guitar. 2/18/2009
This prick sent me a mandolin scratched and with a broken neck! I couldnt believe it and then sent it back and opened a dispute and used registered mail now I lost the reciept for the proof of postage and now lost at he dispute case and im pissed at paypal and tony is saying he never got the guitari can't believe this robbery. I am so upset I wish i saw your web log before now! put it out as much as you can! my name is aaron butt please put my case up its recent and unreal! they are thieves now not only rippoff artists! imagine saying they didnt get it when I have tracking proof that it was delivered! aaron, hong kong 2/16//2009
Well paint me another fool as I bought one of his mandolas two years ago and have been kicking myself since. 30 days is all it took for the thing to start cracking on top at the fret board and on the back full length of the body. I've kept it stored in its case in a closet in the mean time trying to decide what to do with it. Luthiers I've shown it to said the top was to thin, the instrument was not properly braced and the wrong glues were used. The finish looked like it was poured on and left to drip dry. I like what one fella did and I'm considering, putting it back on Ebay as is with plenty of pictures and marked up to $1000 so nobody will buy it.. after all, it is an Antoniotsai original. -Matt in KC 1/11/2009
Thanks for your great info site! I have bought around 10 guitars from Tsai and about 60 guitars and mandolins from taisamlu. All of Antonios guitars cracked after a while and he was blaming that on me,altough i keep always an eye on humidity! When i discovered taisamlu he had the same problems in the beginning, but gave me very generous refunds for these instruments. With him i have the feeling that he is always trying to improve his instruments and since he is using indian rosewood there were no more problems. i have ordered many custom guitars made to my specs and these were incredible with a sound that rivals much more expensive guitars. I have sold my Martin Om42, Gibson SJ200 and Goodall Jumbo because his guitars were so close soundwise. And if you consider the price, i think these instruments are really a bargain!... 11/1/2008
I bought a violin from these guys that they claimed took three months to make and was the work of a master. Well maybe the inlay was the work of a master but the violin was a pile of cheap dog droppings. It had no volume, the sound was cheap and tinny like a matchbox with fuse-wire over it, the top and bottom plates were so thick you could have built a house on top of them. The chances of them vibrating and making some sound were non-existent. The whole thing looked like a factory made pile of junk with nasty wood. If it was hand carved as claimed then it was done in a workshop with people churning out plates as soon as they looked vaguely violin like. There was no attempt at proper graduation of the plates. I had a long battle to get my money back, they rely on people not wanting to pay multiple lots of postage which is worth more than the price of the instruments. You throw good money after bad. I flatly refused to pay postage and in the end they paid for the violin to be returned themselves after I opened a dispute in paypal. Eventually I got a refund. I hope this stops someone buying a bad violin from them. Tony Tsai should leave the employ of the crook he works for and go somewhere else. His inlay is great, he doesn't need his name tarnished by association with bad instruments. Anyway - before anyone buys have to look at the comments they make when they get negative feedback - they either insult the buyer or tell them to fix the problem themselves. Unless you want bad goods and loads of hassle then steer clear of this lot. Please post this on your blog. 7/9/2008
hey. just read the comments on your site. i just won a bid. now i am not sure if i won or lost. time will tell but i think the problem we are dealing with is humidity control. i remember using the sponge type controller in my blueridge faithfully for about a week or two and much to my surprise it started to bulge. i was horrified. then the shop where i bought it gave me a couple of special bags filled with kitty litter to absorb the excess moisture. thankfully everything is fine. i am worried about what will arrive but i now know that i will have to take some extreme measures and try humidity control and hopefully it might help. with all of the problems i am reading about, the woods that are being used can't be properly dried. if they used stabilized woods i don't think that these problems would occur. of course i am just guessing and praying at the same time. win or lose i guess i'm like everyone else, i own it. thanks -- g.. 7/9/2008
Well another mistake made. I saw your site after I
won my ebay bid. I paid 172.50 for the item and shipping. Two weeks later I
receive an e-mail saying "hello we very sorry, because the
guitar7211(310051626516) you have paid is empty my store, so we showed this
guitar similar for you, hope you like it. if you accapt , please let me
know, we'll ship it to you soon. thank so much for your patience . TONY' s
workshop." Ok so the second guitar was nothing like I won. It was
inferior to my auction. After many, many e-mails and attempts to have him
issue a refund I still had to dispute it with paypal and get a refund. This
guy is a scam artist beware if you buy!
Wow!!! Now I'm worried. Saw the eBay site while looking for a guitar. Seemed like a good deal so ...I bit! ( New at this eBay Game). The item is still currently on eBay and closes in two hours. Anybody think of how I can get out of this one without causing harm to my eBay status. ie: is cancelling bid due to such high negative respose an option? Thanks 5/29/2008
I am thankful for your post but sad you had to go through the agony. I was considering purchasing a guitar on E-BAY by him, but checked your his name on Google first and happy i did. I have a Fender Stratacaster that is beautiful done by Shotgun Willie with eagles and star burst inlay of mother of pearl and abalone with an eagle the length of the neck. Again, thank you for your post and sorry for your pain. John 5/17/2008
I see there are postings on london.kijiji.ca for these guitars as well. I’ve put up a free ad that just says information and included the link from this page. Thanks for the great page and let’s hope nobody else gets stung!! 5/7/2008
Hi. I recently won a bid on a guitar from inlaidart and I am waiting for this solid body guitar to arrive and after reading your site I am terrified about what I will recieve from tony. Have you heard any bad reading about the solid body guitars? I was hoping that I could put his guitars in my shop, now I think I will pass on any farther dealing with inlaid art. I will advise you when I recieve this guitar. Thank you for your information on dealing with them. Brad 5/7/2008
HI, bought 2 guitars from Antoniosai, and archtop that was great for 4 months and then split about 4 places and neck swan dived to where it fretted out anywhere below the joint. The 2ns was a lovely classical that only split on back 6 places and then did the famous neck swanning where it's fretted out beyond repair. So far a neck through solid body of his is fine but needs frets reset and levelled. And EVERY piece of guitar parts I bought split open and needed gluing back together. A fretboard popped all the frets out and then warped into a radius. I heard he buys cheap guitars from Vietnam and then inlays/onlays at his shop. Nice cases included though! 5/4/2008
Hi their, Hey I wish I had to google this guy before I got ripped off 414 dollars, I've been given the run around with this guy paul for about two weeks now. I purchased a mandola from Inlaidartist and when it arrived it looked great until I went to set it up, the tail piece was broken, there were no hooks for the first two strings to hook on to, it had a crack near the upper sound hole about 3 inches long and damage to the bottom of it. I e-mailed them until they would not respond up to 3 days ago. The last conversation I had with them they said pack it up in the same box and they would have TNT come to my house and pick it up and of course nobody ever showed up and they are not answering any e-mails. My next step is to deal with paypal and E-bay on this guy and they should shut him down, this guy is a con-artist. well I guess I will have to hang it on the wall and just let it remind me not to purchase anything else on e-bay, if this is the way e-bay works you can have it for me. Hey I'M RAMBLING, GUESS I JUST WANTED TO VENT. Thanks for listening ps. Any suggestions would be great. JOHN 5/1/2008
Hi! I really wish I would have found your site BEFORE I sank a bunch of money into a piece of crap! I ordered a 5-string bass from Tony. I got a shipment within about a week. The bass was VERY poorly packed and the box looked like it had been run over! Fortunately, the bass was OK. Unfortunately, they sent me the wrong bass. After a TON of run-around and a lot of threats to file claims with PayPay, I made a deal with them to forward the bass to another unwitting customer in Canada and have them send me the “correct” bass. I FINALLY got the correct bass after about 2 months. So now, this bass is a pile of crap! I just got a call from my repair guy and he says to me “I hope you didn’t pay very much for this bass.” The wood on the front is cracking in about 6 places (so far) and the bridge was damaged when they installed it and he showed me where the “covered it up.” I was VERY hesitant to buy from this guy and only did so because of his high feedback rating on eBay. Guess I know not to trust that now. Keep up the good work warning people. Just wish I would have found you sooner. 4/30/2008
Hello, hopefully you can help me or someone can!! I had won an auction for an electric guitar neck from tony, but have not paid for the item yet cause just moments after winning i ran across your site. Now i am in a serious delima, me not paying for an item is a not paid strike from ebay but seems better then spending 75 dollars for a neck and 40 dollars for shipping plus maybe having to dish out another 40 to return it. i just cant see any reason in this. I am a serious musician that dabbles in luthier. Mostly refinishing electrics. I know that warped necks are only good for fire wood. But all of the negatives are from acoustics. Has anyone bought just a neck and had probs. This neck is for a 2004 Ibanez Iceman that needed a new neck.No im not trying to cut corners, but the new inlaid neck looks amazing. See i dont want a peice of junk on a high dollar guitar. Any one with neck problems or pics or anything to please help me to decide what to do. you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org And whats with the climate change warping wood, could someone elaborate. 4/24/2008
I think this is protected by ebay. Nothing seams to stop him. I was also screwed. 4/18/2008
WOW. THANKS FOR YOUR INFO ABOUT THESE BEAUTIFUL
GUITARS. I WAS ABOUT TO BUY ONE THE 2008 INLAID MODEL. NOW I KNOW BETTER
THANKS TO YOU. IF IT SOUNDS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE IT PROBABLY IS. I HAVE A
GREAT WASHBURN THAT WAS MADE IN CHINA SO I THOUGHT THESE WOULD BE LIKE THAT
ONE BUT IT CERTAINLY DOES NOT SOUND LIKE THEY ARE ANY GOOD. MARTIN MADE A
D100 MODEL THAT HAS A SIMILAR DESIGN ON THE BACK FOR A MERE $105,000
DOLLARS. THERE IS ONE FOR SALE ON EBAY NOW. THANKS FOR THE ARTICLE AND
WARNING THE PUBLIC. YOU SAVED ME MONEY. AND HEADACHES TOO.
JAN - 4/15/2008
Hey, just bought a mandolin from this 'tony' and only after it went through i found your website. now I am worried I will get a load of crap. I wish, as im sure everyone else does, that we could all boot the con-man off of Ebay. I will let you know in what state the mandolin arrives. I'm hoping as it is solid it will be ok, but it will probably warp like everyone elses. Thanks for the site because at least if it comes like a bit of tree and some wire I will have someplace to vent!!! It's a shame that he does these things because people want good products and he is a disgrace to call himself a luthier or great instrument maker, he is shocking. I think I may buy a ticket to Taiwan and inlay my fist to his face for all the people who have been screwed over by him, I just feel bad for everyone because it is just not on. Anyhow, I shall let you know how it turns out. (sorry about the rant!) Tom 4/15/2008
I should have done a search before I bid and won this guitar Ebay Item number: 260217529477, (GT6813) Jazz Guitar was designed by Antoniotsai- it will not play without major fret rattle, he responded and stated I need to have it setup by a professional and I have already done that, two pro's stated it can not be adjusted to get the rattle out it was warped during the making process. He no longer responds to my emails. Please post to your web bog...... Nick 4/14/2008
Hi, I ordered a tsai guitar, and then found your site..... As I opened the box several screws fell out..., from the case falling apart. The guitar arrived with a crack on the front near the pick guard, and then the binding started falling off. The gold tailpiece looked tarnished and like very cheap gold-tone. The neck was nicely in-laid but fat and oversized and was warped. Wish I had found you first!!! Damn! 2/20/2008
Hi, I have read your warning about cracked guitar from inlaidartist ANTONIOTSAI; someone who lives in Taiwan, but who has his shop in Vietnam. I am a bidder on Ebay for a soprano ukulele from a person who calls himself BRUCEWEIART who, like Antoniotsai, lives in Taiwan but has his workshop in Vietnam. Do you know of these two names represent the SAME person? The products they sell look very similar. Would Ebay accept a seller who uses two different names? It looks unethical to me. 2/11/2008
Firstly I would like to thank you for making this web site available. Unfortunately- time will tell - whether I made the right decision. I purchased a "Buy It Now" viola this morning before coming across your website. I'm hoping the workmanship and wood quality has improved. I'm wondering if there are any indications from Tony on improvements he has made in light of all the complaints? His instruments are truly works of art but I'm hoping to enjoy the sound as well for years to come. Having said this, we should -if not already done so- send him a link to this web page as a reminder that not all are satisfied, many want to be made whole. We as consumers all want an excellent deal and need to encourage makers to understand that repeatability in quality and service is just as important as price. Until someone statistically shows me otherwise, I got to believe that the majority of their products are more than acceptable. 1/30/08
thank you for your web site i should have looked before i leaped but i was checking on antonio because i was impressed with a seven string bass i won on e-bay made by his company after seeing all this negative feed back i cancelled my order and you have my backing on this its not right to offer quality and send crap. again thank you and good luck 1/29/08
First of all, I would like to thank you for sharing your site and letting buyers aware of problems people have had with "Antonio Tsai's" instruments. I won a bid on a solid body 6 string guitar made of mahogany, rosewood neck and inlay work. After paying for the item and several weeks went by, I started to panic and came across your site. So far I have read alot of problems about Acoustic Guitars and mandolins, but my question is, has any one had any problems with the solid bodies? The guitar came intact, looks great, but I can tell the wood is not fully cured/treated so I have been doing the "Tung Oil Trick" and it has a beautiful finish. I am attaching photos for you, but before I sink money into applying hardware to this solid body, I wanted to get some opinions or feedback. Please feel free to post my message on your website. I have had the guitar now for about 1 month and I have not added the first piece of hardware to it yet due to fear of what could happen later. It is a tele plus style guitar so I will be having to drill 6 ferrules in the back were the mahogany meets with the rosewood and maple so you imagine how nervous I am about continuing on with this project. Please reply with your feedback and help if at all possible! Thanks! 1/25/08
I bought a semi hollow body early in November 07 that had a truss rod cover on the guitar photographed in the auction and very dark wood on the top. The guitar (same model ) came in without a truss rod cover, lighter wood on top and the inside had a lot of dirt and wood shavings. I filed a complaint, they made me send them pics of the guitar and then stated they saw no difference in the guitar. While this guitar was shipping I won 2 more solid bodies. During this time I am trying to resolve the issue through many e-mails and was promised the truss rod cover would be sent with the solid bodies and a credit off the shipping. Two days ago I e-mailed Paul, Toni's " Customer Service Manager " to inform him the credit has not been applied and the truss rod cover did not come with the solid bodies. For the 20th time Paul replied with a promise to look into it and get it fixed . It is New Year's Eve and I have no reply. Too bad for their customer service ( NONE ) I will let you know if this is ever fixed. 12/31/07
Hey: I was cruising E-bay and saw one of his Inlaid 5 String Basses...I figured it would be a place to start. I was looking specifically for a studio piece of gear and something to essentially gut and put new electronics in...I will heavily reconsider now after reading your page...Something I noticed from other on your page is that he repsonds" have you seen my feedback?" I have seen and read his feedback. in fact 95% of it is sent Same Day, by the Same Member and if you look at the times, they are either at the SAME TIME or a MINUTE apart. I think someone is benefiting off of inexperienced members. Feel free to post this on your site and read about his feedback discretely. PS - it looked like a NICE bass... 12/29/07
Dude thanks for having this site about the shabby lowdown guitars, i too was just fixing to make a bid and so glad i started looking up on puter about that brand and came across your site thanks a million for saving me the time grief and effort and not to mention the idea of being screwed royally....from another lowlife off ebay........ many thanks 12/28/07
Can’t thank you enough for your web page on “inlaidartist” I almost bid on one today. Yah I figured it was too good to be true, but thought maybe it was cheaper because the shipping was so high. Duhhhhhh! I don’t have money to blow – so thank you for sharing your story & allowing others to share theirs. 12/8/07
I was going to buy such a guitar but decided to 'google' Antoniosai first. So glad i did!!! Many Thanks for the warning. 11/26/07
Aloha From Sunny Maui Hawaii: I was just about to resell a Antoniosai Parlor Guitar. One of his Master works from 2005. My friend was going to put it on Ebay until he found all the negative stuff about Tony. I was in shock to find out so many people have had so many problems with his stuff. Maybe it's just that I live in Hawaii and the tropical climate has kept my guitar hydrated, but I have not had any problems with cracking or such. I have bought four instruments from him and the only issue I ever had was that one guitar came with rub marks on it and I had asked him to fix it. He advised me to send it to his shop in Oklahoma, I think. They never returned my calls and I gave up. Other than that I have not had a problem. I guess with so much bad publicity, I will have to just keep it and hang it on the wall like everybody else. Thanks for the website, its great to have this type of knowledge to turn to when researching purchases. The internet, What a Invention!!!!!! 10/30/07
I bought 5 different guitars from bruce wei and from tony as well as many parts all are useless and he didn't help me at all. 10/29/07
Hello, Thank you for your website. Do you know anything about his violins and violas? I played in Berkeley, CA a gorgeous viola of his shortly after its owner received it. It sounded and played beautifully. It was also the most beautiful viola or violin I had ever seen. This morning I told a violin student that I would find one of inlaid artist's violins for him. Now obviously I won't, unless someone knows that the story is different with his violins. Thanks very very much for your website. 10/01/07
Hmmm....I won a bid on a banjo neck a few days ago, then saw your site.... I was wondering about the guitars and mandos and planned to see if the neck was any good before bidding on something more problematic. Question -- what are the locations of the intstruments that have cracked? There are a lot of low humidity environments in the US, and the fact that other, already old instruments dont crack is no indication there is something wrong with the Taiwanese stuff. Not saying you are wrong, and thanks for the warning. 09/24/07
Hi, Sure wish I would have seen your site b-4 I purchased...I had the same problem....It seems anything he sells made of Rosewood or Ebony splits and cracks...plus if you look closely at the pictures there is almost always sloppy work like crooked fret inlays etc... He always replies with the same "look at my feedback"......this guy is in DENIAL ! Unfortunately I had the same problem with TAISAMLU,...after a couple of months my classical neck was warped so bad the strings were laying on the neck... The reason they get away with it is time it takes to warp...usually we have already left feedback by the time it takes to dry,,,(couple of months). The guitars do look way cool, and the temptation is strong, but they usually end up as conversation pieces. 9/17/07
Thanks for stopping me from bidding on this crap! I knew it looked too good to be true. 8/31/07
Hi. Thank you for your site!! I have been shopping for the last two days and had been impressed with the Antonio Tsai inlay.... I decided to try and find something on line about the maker, since I had never heard of them. I guess I am letting you know to update the number of people you have saved from making a big mistake. I will send your site to the guitar store and pass it on to friends, etc. Feel free to post this. Thank you, S. Vermont, USA 8/28/07
Hi, Did you know that "inlaidartist" is no
longer a registered user on ebay, as of a couple days ago? I am
mid-transaction with them, having bought some items, paid, but not yet
received. I'd like to find out more about what's going on. Any contacts or
connections you have would be great! You can post this on your discussion if
you like. Many thanks, an ebay user... 6/21/2007
He's been kicked off emay before, when I was waiting on my guitar to be shipped. He told me it was just a mixup and he would be back on ebay the following week... and he was. The only way I know to even TRY to contact him is through the email address I have (email@example.com). I feel sure he will surface somewhere on the web before long. Good luck to everyone and I do hope my site here has been helpful. I plan to keep it open and will continue to post information as it comes it.
Looks like he's off ebay. Anyone looking for a
cheaply priced but fantastic quality guitar should try Jay Turser. I just
got one with a great serpent inlay, better than the crap on ebay for about
$280 bucks, sounds and plays great.
I was considering one of his guitars and decided to do the research. Thanks for this site and others like it I will skip his merchandise. How does he stay on ebay? J.D. 6/17/2007
thanx soooo much for the info about this bloody charlatan. i was just about to bid for a bass on ebay when we looked up your site. not now in a bloody month of sundays.. thanks again. 5/27/2007
Hi I've come across your website when googling
antonio tsai, thanks for the eye opener! I wanted to ask you if you know if
his solid body electric guitars and basses crack as well? Most stories i've
read are of acoustic guitars cracking, i'm not sure if i've read any of
solid bodies cracking. Have you heard of any? Also, i've noticed on ebay 3
guitar makers from asia with the same style of guitars with fancy inlay
work. 1/ inlaidartist, 2/ bruceweiart, and 3/ taisamlu. Do you know if they
are connected or do they have nothing to do with each other? Do you know if
the other 2 are any better than antonio tsai? hope you can help me, and
thanks for your website all the best...
hi there, i would ask you about the email adress of the author of RS 9/19/2006 mail. i am thinking about buying a custom bass guitar from Bruce Wei and i would like to contact him. i'll be glad for your answer cheers and thanks a lot for information about antonio's crap. 5/04/2007
I purchased a very nice looking Acoustic guitar in 2005, Panther Lady, outstanding inlays! I got the guitar, shipping went very well in the hard case. I opened the case and cleaned up the Styrofoam pieces that were all over the guitar and to my surprise the back had what looked like small imperfections or cracks starting under the finish. I looked closer and i could see where some cracks had been repaired with what looked like super glue and then finished over again. You could not feel any ridges but it just didn't look good for a 600.00 guitar. I emailed Tony and his response was my humidity was wrong, i just got it dummy! Next email was to call his warranty guy in Texas or send it back to him. I emailed the guy in Texas, sent him pictures of the imperfections. He said that those are normal in hand made guitars, they add to the value. I knew then i was in trouble...!!!! After several more nasty emails to this guy he wanted to see the guitar. It cost me 35.00 to ship it to him, he emailed me and said there is no cracks, just the finish looks like it. He then offered me to exchange it for any of the guitars he had in stock or he would refund me 400.00...that's 210.00 less than i paid for it. All the stuff he had looked like returned junk! I said just ship it back to me and i will eat the damn thing. I get it back from him, he sent it in some sort of crappy box, no padding at all, the guitar now has a hole in the side of it. More emails, did he insure it? Yes, took 3 months for him to get a claim filed, i got 200.00 back. I still have the guitar if anyone wants it, i never played it. And by the way, when i got the guitar it had all kinds of pick marks on it from someone playing it. I wish i would of seen this web site before i bought it. EBAY should kick him off! 03/09/2007
Well I guess I was another
sucker who fell into the trap, bid and won 5 of Inlaidartist's
musical instruments. a tenor manodolin, an A Mandolin, a Rose Beauty guitar,
another guitar and and one of his F4 mandolins - all five of the instruments
cracked - in less than six months - one mandolin
arrived cracked in several places and the sound holes were never
finished on the side of the instrument. The guitars buzz and are unplayable.
It appears that the only usable items may be the cases. What
a shame. I also bought a pick guard for one of my guitars - which I
could not use, as it was not the right size and warped significantly. THE
WOOD IS AIR DRIED - IN A DIFFERENT CLIMATE AND IS TOTALLY NOT AGREEABLE WITH
THE CLIMATE IN THE NORTHEASTERN US.
The public should be made aware of the scam that is going on with this guy - First of all I took this issue up with my visa card and paypal and neither one of them would consider refunding any money unless I returned the instruments (SHIPPING CHARGES ARE QUITE EXPENSIVE - ALMOST MORE THAN THE COST OF THE INSTRUMENT ITSELF -(bear in mind that paypal and e-bay also make money off of this scam).- Antoniosai's policy is to ship the instrument to his Canadian expertise, T. Muldoon, prior to issuing any kind of partial refund. I called this gentlemen - to find out what the deal was and was advised that Antoniosai is running schools both in Taiwan and Vietnam - teaching people how to do very tedious inlay work - after the instruments are constructed they are placed for sale on e-bay
I'm sure the students are not getting paid for any of their labor and probably are paying him to go to these sweatshop schools. This telephone call cost me an additional $35.00.
I was advised by the Canadian representative that he has a potential interest in the instruments as he repairs them and resells same. He said that he had interest in the guitars. I took the time and trouble to e-mail pictures to him of the rose beauty guitar showing the cracks in the back - and received an e-mail from him - stating "looks like the wood was not cured properly". When I asked if he was interested in purchasing the guitar outright - I received no response.
I learned my lesson the hard way - as I now own some beautiful cases - and five unplayable instruments - not worth fixing - and just taking up space. Looking forward to my next camping trip and bonfire. You have my permission to post this on your website. Thanks! 03/03/2007
Hi, after playing guitar for 26 years now and having
owned probably 70 guitars or so there is one advice that will ALWAYS stand:
IF IT LOOKS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT IS. Of course also I had to learn the
hard way (many times over) and I can honestly say that every time I let my
guard down and decided to take the chance, I was remembered to the truth of
the saying above. Every once and a while I see stuff for sale that makes me
want to hurry and buy. But thankfully nowadays we have
the internet to search for information to keep us from making stupid
purchases. And even then we still get conned. After reading the
negative feedbacks on Ebay and the reviews on other sites I stumbled upon
your website. I gues 'teh artist' does make quality guitars, but they will
cost you as much as any other quality guitar. The only shortcut is to have
the insight that there are no shortcuts. Quality has its price, and this
will always be so. I very very much wanted to buy one of these guitars but
I'm glad I took the time to do some research first. Thanks for putting up
Regards, G Belgium/Europe 2/14/2007
I AM SO THANKFUL THAT I RAN
ACROSS YOUR WEBSITE, I HAD FOUND A BEAUTIFUL BANJO WITH AWESOME INLAY
DESIGN ON IT ON EBAY AND I HAD STARTED TO BID ON IT, BUT KEPT GETTING
OUTBID, SO AFTER GETTING UP TO $200 I DECIDED TO DO SOME RESEARCH, THANK
GOODNESS I DID! YOUR SITE SAVED ME SOME MONEY AND MY
HUSBANDS SURPRISE, HAD I WON, WOULD OBVIOUSLY NOT BEEN MUCH OF A
SURPRISE AFTER IT STARTED FALLING APART. AGAIN, THANK YOU SO MUCH
ANGELA B. KY 2/7/2007
Howdy, I purchased a solid body 5 string bass guitar
from Antoniosai through ebay in November 2006. It has no major structural
flaws and the inlay is of good craftsmanship. I have watched it with much
eagerness as I read this web page after I paid for it. Two months has past,
everything is as it arrived. It does have a pickup selector which has never
worked and pops loudly if moved the longer I play. I didn't think that was
worth returning since both hum buckers are working. The frets hang over the
side of the neck a little in some areas. This is noticeable when I grab the
neck tight or slide on the strings, it does encourage proper hand technique.
It arrived in a well padded gig bag, deluxe quality. The packaging was low
quality. The box it came in was all but destroyed and had been re-taped by
someone to keep it together. Styrofoam was missing in and crushed. This most
likely is the burden of shipping from such a distance, even though the
shipping and handling is high. One could say the Styrofoam did its' job, I
guess. If it was not for the gig bag it would have been disastrous for the
bass. I also play Classic/Flamenco guitar however after
reading several web pages about the quality of the hollow body guitars, I
want be buying it from Antoiniosai.
Thank you for the information. E. B. 2/01/2007
I saw one of these guitars on a site that sells stuff. the inlay looked so rad on this guitar that i came across that i thought i would google it. i have been playing for a long time and have owned well over 30 to 40 guitars in my time. i am so stoked that i came across your site. for sure i would have been blinded by the inlay. and for that i thank you so very much for saving me the grief that you went threw...damn!! i love the internet.. and its due to people like you who take the time to do things that will save other peoples asses and bring some kind of justice to the scams........ peace. 1/29/2007
I have been following your website about antoniotsai
with interest. I have collected a veritable notebook containing negatives
about this seller! In my opinion he needs to be put out of business.
Here’s what happened to me:
After I won a bid on eBay December 2, 2005 for a mandola from this antoniotsai (a.k.a. inlaidartist), on December 20, 2005 I received a severely damaged instrument that had multiple cracks on the top. There was no damage whatsoever to the sturdy hardshell case. No shipping peanuts or padding whatsoever inside the flimsy box, but there was lots of thin (less than ½”) rigid styrofoam packed inside the instrument case itself. When I received my damaged instrument, I contacted Antoniotsai immediately and sent photos of the box and damage to the instrument. After an initial 48 hours of no reply and some confusing instructions about a U.S. distributor, he finally instructed me to send the instrument back, which I did (at my expense) on December 27 (before a seven-day deadline was up). With all that styrofoam inside the case, many people might think that was good packing. However, an instrument case is designed to "suspend" the instrument, with limited cushioned contact points so that the instrument has space all around it. At first, the only way I could imagine our mandola being damaged in shipping without a hint of damage to the case was if it suffered some sort of compression or concussion, either something heavy sitting on top of the box, or it got dropped or thrown. That would have had to be some blow! With all that styrofoam inside the case, many people might think that was good packing. However, an instrument case is designed to "suspend" the instrument, with limited cushioned contact points so that the instrument has space all around it. I even dared to consider that the mandola could have been damaged before it was shipped. The flimsy cardbox shipping box was caved in, with nothing but between it and the instrument case, so it would not take much to damage the box. There were no shipping peanuts or anything surrounding the case. After reading comments from other "stung" customers, I now consider that the wood was not cured correctly, or that the instrument was incorrectly braced. It being December, temperature changes also could have had an effect. In any case, antoniotsai didn't care. You will note this seller has a fairly high feedback rating, but many of his items are for small bone or metal parts, guitar picks or shell, that he sells in large quantities to luthiers, and he might get 20 positive feedbacks from any one of these sellers. In fact, it was reading his positive feedback that gave us the confidence to bid. Those numbers are deceiving, and potential buyers need to read more carefully the negative feedback, and contact those buyers. If I had done that, it would have saved me from bidding! In some instances antoniotsai offers insurance, in other instances he doesn't. In our case, he did not. When we left feedback that the instrument was damaged, he replied back, "Why you not buy insurance?" Often his feedback to a complaint about a damaged or poor quality instrument is, "Our feedback on (thousands) happy deals speak themself." As if you didn't get a damaged instrument because everyone else’s picks, pegs and abalone shells arrived in good condition. We finally did receive a refund on the cost of the mandola, minus shipping both ways, which was our responsibility. This mandola was to have been my husband’s 50th birthday present, and no one can make up for the loss of joy we experienced, nor the time and aggravation we spent on trying to resolve this. Here, a full year later, I am still grieving those losses, and I hope my comments will save someone else from going through a similar experience. If you want to use any of this on your web page, you are more than welcome to! I even thought about putting up my own web page.
Sincerely, DJG (1/15/2007)
Wow. So glad I ran across your website. I was considering purchasing an unfinished Bass guitar, but I wont from him because of the common underlying thread of his instruments cracking. Thanks again! (1/11/2007)
Hi. I stumbled across a link to your posting about Tony Tsai's guitars. Thanks for sharing the photos. I've had some similarly bad experiences with Tony's guitars. With the hopes of providing some of my customers with some decent, low-to-mid-priced guitars, I bought 5 guitars from Tony and all 5 of them are cracked. 4 of them cracked so badly they are not worth repairing. I've been repairing guitars for over 40 years and have "pulled off some miracles," as any good repairman can, but these repairs are just not cost-effective to repair. You mentioned that you buy guitars from Bruce Wei. I bought a few inlaid pickguards and peghead overlays from him, and every one of them has warped badly and most have eventually cracked. He has replaced one particular pickguard 3 times (two of them after I told him to forget it and not to send me any more of his junk), and I have never gotten one that did not warp. The last of them is still sitting around somewhere, just as I received it: shrink-wrapped to a piece of 1/4"-thick cheap mahogany to prevent warping. It still warped, and it warped the backing board with it. I wish there were some way to get buyers to avoid buying any instruments from Taiwan at all. Those boys don't know how to dry their wood properly. When I told Tony he needs to get the humidity level down to around 8%, he replied that he air-dries his wood...something it seems you simply cannot do in Taiwan...or Vietnam, from which some of his instruments seem to come. I put a lot of faith in Tony from the beginning, partly because he reputedly keeps us several museum pieces, including Amatis and Strads. I have come to doubt these claims because of the lack of quality I have seen in Antoniotsai's instruments. At one point I offered to do warranty repairs for Tony, but I told him that he'd first have to farm-out the proper drying of the wood if he could not do it himself. I got the typical butting-in yakety-yak crap from this no-nothing calling himself "J.P.Smart" and finally told him that if he would defend Tony's building with wet wood, then he really knew very little about quality instruments and should mind his own business. I own a full-time repair shop. The bulk of my work is wind rather than string instruments, but I contend with similar nonsense with the Chinese wind instruments...flutes, clarinets, saxes, etc. I keep asking my customers to avoid buying that junk, but they keep trying to bring it into my shop. I don't accept this junk any more to repair. Not only is the workmanship miserable, but the materials are terrible. Pads wear out quickly and keys bend like putty. If only there were a forum on eBay which would allow us to speak the truth about junky instruments. However, because eBay makes a tremendous amount of money on that junk, they would certainly censor our comments and perhaps even give us the boot. Have you found a good way to convey to others how trashy the Taiwanese and Chinese instruments really are? I'm certainly not trying to police the whole world, but I'd like to save my customers the misery of dealing with junk in the first place. The relatively few I have kept from buying that trash (maybe 400-500 customers) have been very thankful they invested a little more money in far-superior instruments, and they have shared this with friends. However, with so many eBay sellers passing this stuff (which one flute list member called "instrument-shaped objects") off as good instruments, it hard to get the word out before the damage is done. Thanks. ...Jim (12/28/2006)
Sent Tony this shot and asked for another since it's basically a wall hanger (filled slots -inlaid after they were cut!) and haven't heard back. Caveat (PHOTO) (12/20/2006)
Thanks to your website I will NOT be ordering one of his guitars!! I had my eye on one of his basses and I am grateful to have found your website...thanks Carl S. (12/192006)
Hey there... I found a reference to your website when perusing Inlaid artist's feedback How frustrating. My son purchased a beautiful guitar from Inlaid Artist on Ebay last month. A month went by...no guitar. I emailed the seller since the item was paid for through my Paypal account. Finally, I got the message that the item's finish was flawed, and that they were offering me a replacement, which was a LEFT HAND GUITAR. Can you tell me what good this might do for a right handed guitar player? Anyway, I filed complaints with Paypal and Ebay about this. Very frustrating. I just want for him to give me my son's money back so that he can purchase a guitar from a reputable seller. I wish I had seen your website before allowing my son to purchase this item. Just thought you might want to know that there are still yet others getting ripped off by this seller. Thanks. T.S. Nov. 21, 2006
I, too, was considering a carved bass from this seller,
but after reading feedbacks and now seeing your page, I don't think I will
buy it. Do you think solid body electrics would have the same kinds of
defects as the acoustics people are complaining about? Considering he
charges $200 a pop to ship these instruments ... Nov. 18, 2006
I too would like to add my thanks for your great,
useful web page. You are truly showing the power of the internet to help
make people's lives happier. I feel so good that I did not bid on any of the
beautiful looking guitars that Antoniotsai has listed on ebay. I know you
saved me money, frustration and anxiety. Following the tip from one of the
emails you posted, I was able to find Taisamlu on ebay at Sam Musical
Instrument Workshop. I was also able to find Bruce Wei at bruceweiart. Any
other recommendations out there?
Thanks again, RufSoft Nov. 12, 2006
Hi, saw your website and thought I would log in with my experiences.
I have bought several instruments from Tony Tsai, most have
had some kind of problems developing from uncured wood. One tenor guitar arrived
in beautiful condition, 3-4 months later has splits in the wood on the back
running from top to bottom. The neck on this instrument has warped so that it is
not playabel or repairable.
A mandola I bought arrived in beautiful condition but once again, 3-4 months later the neck had warped. I solved this problem by replacing the zero fret with a much taller fret and it is now playable.
I have also received 2 guitars from Bruce Wei and have had no problems with these instruments, they are heavily built and are beautiful to look at, nice to play and sound O.K.
I have also purchased several instruments from Taisamlu, some that were custom made to my specifications. I have had NO problems with GUITARS from Sam, they are beautiful, playable instruments and draw oohs and aahs from everyone who sees them. As one musician friend of mine exclaimed, "they look like they cost a million bucks!!" The mandolins I bought from the same maker are quite a different story!! Bought 2 and both began to deteriorate within a couple of months, I was actually playing one when I heard a loud crack and discovered the top had seperated at the center joint from top to bottom. Sam is a complete gentleman, honored his warranty and paid for shipping on both mandolins. Sent me replacements and when those too developed problems, Sam paid return shipping and sent me a gorgeous guitar in lieu of new mandolins. I must say that these problematic mandolins were the F-5 style, I also have an A style that has had no issues in about a year, continues to play beautifully.
Here's a deduction I have made from my dealings with these Taiwan luthiers, it may or may not be true. If they have a buy it now price, it is a first quality instrument. If it is up for auction with a low starting price it is a second and already has some sort of flaw. They are not listed as seconds but this has been my experience. I will continue to buy beautiful GUITARS ONLY from Bruce Wei and Taisamlu but no instruments at all from Tony.
You are like me with several vintage guitars... You
should keep on his case. If it goes unresolved I would post that cracked
guitar on eBay for all to see. Of course, it will cost you some money.
"I also bought a guitar from Inlaidartist and it
now has over 15 cracks. Did you ever get any resolution to your problems
with his guitar?
I am waiting, but it does not look good, and we are out..."
"this guy sells garbage... and wont help
then he'll bar you from bidding...he screwed me too..."
"I also bought an acoustic single cut away. I have
tried many times to email TONY'S workshop and Tony, about the crack in the
lower front corner. Thank God it is only a surface crack. But on the back, I
found one that is about an inch. This scares me, because I also asked him
for the store in Oklahoma, USA. Never emailed me... Tony never left me
"I saw a photo from a guy who sent me a link. The
guitar he got was clearly used. It had lots of scratches, binding looked
like it was repaired, there was what looked like a burn spot from a
cigarette, lots of glue where the fingerboard meets the body, and the saddle
slot was chipped. He said Tony sold it to him that way. The listings
indicate new under condition. I am not sure if he bought a return. Bruce Wei
seems to have a far better reputation and he is getting more $$$ for his
guitars. I guess Tony better get the shop in order or he will quickly go out
I wanted buy an electric bass from Antoniotsai, but
reading what you have written, I have some doubts.
was the job so done ache?
about to bid for a heavily inlaid mandolin from this luthier (?) !! Glad I
saw your, and other comments and photos first!! Musicians of the world
Any info you can share (that will assist me in making a
GOOD SOUND decision) would be highly appreciated.
I'm so happy I found your
dedicated webpage on Antoniotsai guitars! I almost bought one.
Hi, i have been searching for about 2 weeks to find a very inexpensive, but well made guitar and i was semi-looking at antoniosai's guitars..... i kind of decided not to do i because it seems you'd be paying for inlay rather than sound..... but your website definitely is the final reason why i will not send my money there... i feel bad for your situation, but i wanted to say thank you for putting the site up...i hope it helps tons of other people as well, have a great night and a good week, thanks again.
Click here to read Positive email responses... I
Click here to read Positive email responses... I think!
You can see photos of the Antoniotsai guitar I received from Tony "inlaidartist". Click HERE
Here's the email address for Antoniotsai, also known as inlaidartist: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can email me at: email@example.com