1 Parabar 10 months ago If you're talking generally, there isn't necessarily a big difference, depending on which factories, when made, specs of the guitar, etc. Japanese guitars from the 70's were generally not so great, but by the 80's, Tokai and Matsumoku were making guitars that were often better than the Gibsons and Fenders they emulated.High-end guitars made in Korea's Samick or Peerless factories, for example --- regardless of the name on the headstock --- can be as good or better than individual guitars from Japanese factories. Terada and Fuji-Gen, as well as high-end Matsumomku guitars from the 80's and 90's, can be every bit as good as US-made guitars, and certainly better than lower end models from second or third tier factories in Korea.Both Japanese and Korean factories usually build guitars to spec for other companies. Those individual model specs have more to do with the quality of a particular guitar than which factory made it.If you're talking about Gretsches in particular, yes there is a big difference, because the pro line models are made in Japan while Korea and China make Electromatics and Streamliners, which are built to very different specifications. Quality control seems to be very comparable and of a uniformly high-standard though, so both Japanese and Korean made Gretsches can be superbly satisfying instruments --- just with different intentions behind them.