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10 Most Valuable Guitars – Broadcaster #9

Vintage Guitar magazine has released a list of the 10 most valuable production-model electric and acoustic guitars. Using data accumulated in the research for The Official Vintage Guitar Price Guide 2011, the list includes only guitars that were originally offered in manufacturer product lines. It does not include custom-made and/or celebrity-owned instruments.

Guitars are an American pop-culture icon,” said Alan Greenwood, publisher of both the magazine and the Price Guide. “And through the years, certain guitars have, thanks in part to players, songs, and the laws of supply and demand, become exceedingly valuable to collectors.”

There are few collectibles as cool as guitars,” Greenwood added. “They’re functional, tactile art that inspires players and music fans alike.

The 10 most valuable guitars, as seen by Vintage Guitar, are:

1. 1936-’39 Martin D-45 ($320,000 to $400,000) – Vintage Martin dreadnoughts are considered the pinnacle of steel-string acoustics, and those given the Style 45 details are the top of the line.

2. 1958-’60 Gibson Les Paul Standard ($300,000 to $375,000) – The status of Gibson’s Les Paul changed dramatically with the 1966 release of John Mayall’s Blues Breakers featuring Eric Clapton. Then Michael Bloomfield started playing one, which influenced other top-tier guitarists of the late ’60s.

3. 1958-’59 Gibson Explorer ($250,000 to $310,000) – Part of an attempt to market “modernistic” guitars in the “space age,” it got little attention from buyers, so production numbers stayed very low.

4. 1958-’59 Gibson Flying V ($200,000 to $250,000) – Another of Gibson’s “modernistic” guitars, it was offered for only two years (1959 and ’60).

5. 1931-’36 Martin D-28 ($140,000 to $170,000) – Though not as fancy as the D-45, its $100 price tag was still high in the midst of the Great Depression.

6. 1938-’42 Gibson Super Jumbo/SJ-200 ($90,000 to $120,000) – Gibson’s answer to Martin’s D, it was larger, showier, and wound up in the hands of many a big-screen singing cowboy.

7. 1957 Gibson Les Paul model ($86,000 to $106,000) – Gibson’s original Les Paul, the “goldtop” was refined until it peaked in ’57, when it was used to launch the company’s new “humbucking” pickups.

8. D’Aquisto archtops ($75,000 to $100,000) – Luthier James D’Aquisto mostly built to order, and his rarest models bring a premium.

9. 1950 Fender Broadcaster ($68,000 to $86,000) – Leo Fender’s original single-cutaway design has a simple, workingman’s appeal. Known today as the Telecaster, it’s one of the “big three” collectible electrics.

10. 1957-’60 Gibson Les Paul Custom ($66,000 to $81,000)- With a black finish and gold-colored hardware, it was the fanciest version of the original Les Paul guitar.

You can find more info at the Vintage Guitar Magazine website.

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6 Responses to “10 Most Valuable Guitars – Broadcaster #9”
  1. D’Aquisto is more valuable than a D’Angelico???

  2. Ajt8000 Ajt8000 says:

    Why isnt there a Strat on that list?!!!!!
    I cant see the huge appeal of Gibsons, in my experience there all les pauls with different body shapes

    • Some of the gibsons were made in very low quantities. Strats would probably be the newest guitar on the list (other than maybe D’aquisto) and were made in huge quantities. And sold a lot.

    • shaire99 says:

      Strats are a dime a dozen, zillions of them made and sold. Don’t get me wrong, I own five strats including a 1962 that sounds like a million dollars, but you have to know how to make it sound that way. The strat sound is largely not distinctive other than the raw sound of the single coil itself. You’ve got to ‘make’ the strat sound good. And you certainly ‘can’ but there are many brands and knockoffs that sound just as good.

      Gibson, on the other hand, is a guitar that is crafted for sound, distinctive sound. You can’t make a Gibson sound like something else, you know that sound the first second you hear it. Every well attended Gibson guitar sounds and plays great. Not so with Strats. They can be adjusted to sound like any number of other guitars, just not like a Gibson. They can sound like butter or they can sound like trash. Again, the Gibson always sounds smooth, full and a dream to play and hold.

      Take a look at the workmanship of a Gibson, the bindings, the finish, the superb through the body neck quality, far superior pickups and looks to kill. They’ve always been that way, no compromise and yet Fender strats have been compromised to a fault, trying to be everything to everybody, every configuration you can imagine.

      Other than celebrity value, you’ll never see a Strat compete with a Gibson 335 on the re-sale market for example. The most valuable guitar, however, is the one that has value and meaning to you, yourself.

      Anywhooo, I love ‘em both. Would never sell any of them.

  3. Ragtime Dan Ragtime Dan says:

    Thanks, but I’ll keep my Ron Kirn Tele ; )

  4. For-caster For-caster says:

    I think my 54 Tele just went up!!!!

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