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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

A question for folks with collector grade vintage gear...

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by hellopike, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. hellopike

    hellopike Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 3, 2015
    Philadelphia
    This Is a question for the folks with truly "collectable" vintage equipment from the 1940s-1950s, not "players" guitars, but pristine examples. Do you actually play that original nocaster/blackguard/whatever? Maybe not regularly, but do you take it out and handle it and use it for its intended purpose? Or is is a display piece at this point, or worse yet an investment piece and handling it would effect its value more than you'd like, so it's not worth it to take out of its case?

    I ask, because I got into a conversation with someone about comic books, and there exists a third party grading system that will determine a comics condition, and if it is deemed "high grade" it is sealed In a plastic case, and its value is considered about 5x that of a unsealed,ungraded example of the same comic. Which to me seems crazy, because it ceases to be a comic book the moment it is sealed in plastic and you can't physically read it appreciate the artwork or writing inside. Traditional Book collectors do not do this, (as far as I know)... historic books may be put behind glass, or in storage but their most basic function is still considered. They still get read from time to time and still be considered to retain their value.

    So to bring this back around to the topic at hand: guitars. They are made to serve a single main purpose when you get right to it- to be played to make music. So do you play yours? Or is it like the sealed up comic? UV protected, sealed with inert gas so that its guaranteed to outlast you, but never to be used for its intended purpose or appreciated outside of what it looks like for the front? And at that point can it still be considered a guitar?
     

  2. Bill

    Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Mar 16, 2003
    London
    I seem to recall a poster years ago who had a later 50s Tele that was like that and was considering selling because it was too pristine to play. For what it's worth, I have a late-20's Martin and a '66 Deluxe Reverb that are in great condition (the DR even has the original two-prong power plug). Until I read your post I'd never thought about keeping them sealed away. I took the Martin with me to music lessons every week at the local adult ed college last year.
     

  3. El Jeffe

    El Jeffe TDPRI Member

    76
    Oct 4, 2009
    Eugene
    I think this whole collecting vintage instruments thing has gotten way out of hand. Whose to say a vintage tele plays or sounds any better than my American Standard Tele?

    When it comes down to it all these guitars are is two pieces of wood bolted together. The collectors are responsible for these outrageous prices because they pay ridiculous amounts of money for them.

    I bet a lot of these vintage collectors can't even play a lick. Makes me cringe to think of how many beautiful vintage instruments are being ****tily wanked on. As I type this, there is some ****ty guitar player somewhere in the world learning how to play a ****ty version of Stairway to Heaven on a mint vintage guitar.

    IF there are collectors out there who treat their vintage instruments like rare comic books (sealed up and not being used for their purpose) it'd be a real shame.
     

  4. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    57
    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia

  5. Piotr

    Piotr Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 5, 2011
    Poland
    If I had a valuable vintage telecaster, I wouldn't mind playing it live if I wasn't planning to sell it. A different story is when you have something vintage you might part with later on. Then I guess you could feel the $$$ dripping of the guitar with each gig and new ding.
     

  6. JazzboxBlues

    JazzboxBlues Tele-Holic

    765
    Dec 6, 2014
    Crook County IL
    I have a 1953 ES125 and 1956 ES175. I'd say the 125 is in excellent shape and the 175 is more player grade but a nice example. I play both of them but they aren't expensive in comparison to other vintage guitars. Also I'm what I'd consider to be an advanced beginner that likes the sound of a p90 jazzbox.

    DSCN0798.JPG
     

  7. thegeezer

    thegeezer Tele-Holic

    Age:
    64
    564
    Jul 5, 2010
    West Michigan
    Don't you think your responses are generally going to fall along lines related to a bit of envy, resentment and jealously....and on the flip side the guys that have them will reply that they play them.

    That seems to be where these questions usually go. Just sayin'.
     
    Admiral Akbar and Gibsonsmu like this.

  8. ricknbaker

    ricknbaker Tele-Holic

    607
    Nov 12, 2014
    Watford, UK
    This reminds me of a guy I once knew who had a lovely E-Type Jag - Kept it in his garage, took it out once a year to get its MOT. What a waste. Cars are made for driving and guitars are made for playing.
     

  9. El Jeffe

    El Jeffe TDPRI Member

    76
    Oct 4, 2009
    Eugene
    It's not really envy, resentment or jealousy. I call it being rational about the price of vintage gear. If I had a valuable instrument I would sell it in a heartbeat, buy a new guitar of equal playability and tone and still have a wad of cash that I'd put into savings.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
    strat123 likes this.

  10. Tonemonkey

    Tonemonkey Poster Extraordinaire

    Cool ....... Hmm, time for a check up I think!

    Widdly, widdly, good drills!
     

  11. El Jeffe

    El Jeffe TDPRI Member

    76
    Oct 4, 2009
    Eugene
    And boots are made for walking
     

  12. Gibsonsmu

    Gibsonsmu Tele-Meister

    297
    May 7, 2015
    Texas
    I don't buy perfect guitars because of this. I buy players and I play them. I guess my difference is I feel that at some point things become historic and they are somewhat of a relic of a different time. I would never buy one but I think it's cool that there are still mint black guard teles out there. If they exist then I think it's kind of cool that some of them get preserved for the future. Not just taken to a dive bar and getting the crap kicked out of it. It's so easy to get any guitar to do that. I think it's the lover of history in me that kind of gets it. I could see having a very special car and driving it once a year. They are irreplaceable why risk it getting smashed and destroyed. Either way I don't hate on people doing what they want with their money, they made it and they can use it, and the market reflects that. Knowing that I only buy stuff I play.
     
    big jimmy, RLee77, fjrabon and 6 others like this.

  13. Gibsonsmu

    Gibsonsmu Tele-Meister

    297
    May 7, 2015
    Texas
    Does it bother some that Billy Gibbons no longer takes Pearly Gates on the road?
     
    Rich B in Tempe likes this.

  14. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    57
    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    No, it bothers me he lyp syncs.
     
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  15. El Jeffe

    El Jeffe TDPRI Member

    76
    Oct 4, 2009
    Eugene
    I was just thinking that. I'd rather play a guitar of my own time, not of the past. That's also why I have never been interested in reissues. If a reissue crossed my path and was a good player.... then sure, why not? But I'd rather just get an American Standard or Professional.
     
    dlew919, strat123 and Gibsonsmu like this.

  16. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    55
    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    I'm not aware of it, but if people aren't commonly restoring amps yet...they will.
    People are already restoring guitars in large numbers.
    In this case, having some pristine examples around that reflect how the originals were when they rolled out of the factory is probably very important.
    These unrestored pieces are highly prized in the automotive world.
    I've had 3 of these (I think...) in terms of guitar stuff...a '61 Deluxe, '66 Princeton and a virtually unplayed '63 ES125TC.
    The amps I gigged a couple times and sold and the guitar I sold before I gigged it.
    I couldn't bear to be the one to make the first ding.
    Anything with even a little wear is a player.
    It's not that hard to take real good care of stuff.
    Most of my gear looks the same 10 years later...with one notable exception...
    DSCN3917.JPG
     

  17. thegeezer

    thegeezer Tele-Holic

    Age:
    64
    564
    Jul 5, 2010
    West Michigan
    Hee, hee...I am from the past. And some of the stuff I use I have had for almost 50 years and bought it used then. So, maybe I'm not the best to weigh in on this.

    I don't care what my stuff is worth up to a point, it's just my stuff and I've always cared for it, used it and always will. They are guitars and amps. To me, they are meant to be played and heard.

    I'm heading out tonight for a gig with an old Deluxe, a Tele (not especially old, I just like it) and I'm going to do a set with my '62 Tennessean. Doesn't get any better, in my view. Use 'em.
     

  18. Horsin Hank

    Horsin Hank Tele-Meister

    Age:
    63
    182
    Jul 2, 2016
    Green River Wy
    People do this with guns too!
    I love vintage revolvers. S&W K-22s, N frames from the 50s, old colts and Winchesters. I have many, but I shoot them too. Not everyday, and I dont carry them around with me (much). But I dont let them sit In a safe either. I bought them for me, not for my grandkids to pawn or trade for AR-15s.
     
    Twisted Kerle likes this.

  19. CharlotteTele

    CharlotteTele TDPRI Member

    64
    Sep 30, 2015
    Charlotte, NC
    [​IMG]

    That's one of the reasons I like my 52 so much. It's a refin and pretty worn put, so I can gig it without too much worry. I also have collector clean stuff and and some players...they all get used. Same for the amps.

    Whatever floats your boat!
     
    Omiewise65, netgear69, rze99 and 4 others like this.

  20. Bartholomew3

    Bartholomew3 Friend of Leo's

    Dec 8, 2010
    Montreal
    In the Fifties & Sixties we didn't know we were learning to play on vintage guitars. My buddy across the street had a 1956 Les Paul Jr that probably cost $65.

    Have dumped enough vintage guitars and amps in those years to finance a new luxury car at today's inflated prices, won't bore you with a list. We cut them up and put in neck humbuckers, spray-painted them with metallic car colors for stage, dropped them down stairs by accident at gigs, left them overnight at 40 degrees below zero in uHaul trailers and sweated all over them under stage lights, etc.

    Most players didn't buy and hold since there was another cheap axe at the music store down the street. Only way to find a pristine example of anything these days would probably be from a hobby player or someone who gave up playing to make more bucks in the real world, or a high-end instrument dealer. Met a guy last week with a 68 tele in amazing condition almost brand-new. My 68 looks like a train-wreck beside it, cost me $285 that year case included.

    Personally I play them. Had an old Country Gent under the bed in a case for 45 years and recently started using it. Got dinged a bit, don't care, love the Bigsby, sounds great. The Executor of my Estate can be concerned with condition of my Assets but I'm not...YOLO.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017

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