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

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

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

  1. fjrabon

    fjrabon Tele-Holic

    Dec 22, 2010
    vintage guitars do need to played semi-regularly to stay in top condition. Supposedly the wood becomes less resonant over time if it's not vibrating. There are people who have as a job going around and playing literal museum pieces of Stradivarius violins so that they retain their vibrancy. This probably doesn't matter as much for an electric guitar, but it also likely matters at least a little.
    Twisted Kerle likes this.

  2. King Creole

    King Creole Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jan 24, 2011
    I gig with a good violin that is about 140 years old, but that isn't terribly unusual for violins. It's probably worth several thousand dollars, but it's definitely no Stradivarius. And even Stradivarius violins get played daily. Most violin collectors recognize that violins need to be played regularly to preserve their tone. So a lot of the most valuable and collectible violins in the world are lent to performing musicians (with ungodly amounts of insurance).

    Learning fiddle and hanging out in good violin shops definitely puts guitar gear into perspective. Your average third-chair violinist in a small-time city orchestra likely could have bought a pristine '50s Telecaster with the money she spent on her bow. And her Mustafa violin case cost about as much as an original '65 Deluxe Reverb. That's not even reaching her instrument itself, which could cost tens of thousands of dollars.

    A drummer friend of mine married a professional violinist. He wanted a new drum kit and sheepishly asked his wife. When she found out it "only" cost $2,000, she laughed, relieved. Buying her violin had required years of monthly payments in that amount. Many violinists also keep a "cheap" $5,000 violin for outdoor concerts.

    So insure your valuable guitars, and take them out and play them every single day.

  3. fjrabon

    fjrabon Tele-Holic

    Dec 22, 2010
    I tutored a girl a few years back who played with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra as a 17 year old. Her dad was some sort of big shot and her mom was a swedish model. Her violin that she took to school every day was worth $140,000
    King Creole likes this.

  4. Crashbelt

    Crashbelt Tele-Meister

    Mar 15, 2017
    Cambridge England
    I gig the beat up 66 Custom Tele (pictured in my avatar) and a 59 Les Paul Special with a repaired heel break all the time.

    The 64 cherry 335 gets out sometimes but sadly the mint 59 blonde 335 only for dead safe gigs like private parties. 20170314_174005.jpg

  5. Sjnoring

    Sjnoring Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 26, 2017
    I see old guitars like old race cars. They look good in museums but they were built to run hard and get banged up. Nobody in 1953 was saying don't ding my Telecaster it's vintage! No, the fact that it could get dinged up and still work was the very reason they bought it. I can see historically significant individual units, like a guitar someone used on a famous recording, or the first Stratocaster off the line, or the charred remains of Hendrix's Strat from Monterey. But just because a guitar was made in 1953? It wasn't priceless then so why is it priceless now?

  6. Henry

    Henry Tele-Holic

    Jan 2, 2012
    Hey Twistedkerle, ever thought about a holiday in Sydney, Australia? You can bring your guitar, nice weather ...
    Twisted Kerle likes this.

  7. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    It wasn't old then.

  8. Twisted Kerle

    Twisted Kerle Tele-Meister

    Feb 2, 2016
    Lol... That would be great. I have always wanted to go to Australia someday. If I do, I will indeed bring my guitar & msg ya! You ever visit Seattle, msg me... Deal?

  9. Henry

    Henry Tele-Holic

    Jan 2, 2012

  10. Sjnoring

    Sjnoring Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 26, 2017
    Actually it's not even that old. 1953 wasn't even that long ago.

  11. telecasterbill

    telecasterbill TDPRI Member

    Sep 16, 2014
    Well I am for sure a person who believes that guitars should be played. But my mentor in vintage guitars always said that the instruments' worst enemies were players, because they take them out, beat them up, hack holes in them for after market pickups, leave them out in the rain etc. So I can see both sides.

    You can see in my avatar that at one time I had a nice '54 blackguard and a mint '62 Custom telecaster. I used to gig the former but never the latter. In fact I eventually sold the custom because I felt limited in playing it, I used it only in the studio. Still have the '54 and don't feel bad about using it at all. I sold a mint '60 Fender tweed baseman once for the same reason. And a '46 Gibson SJ. And I still have an old mint D28 that I'm a bit nervous around.

    So it is easy to say "what a shame, these guitars don't get played", but I think the mint examples should be set aside as historical artifacts, and the well worn ones should be played.

    A band I was in once was playing a funky beach bar, and I remember looking at the gear on stage: I had a '54 tele, a '63 strat, a '63 AC30 and a '64 Vibroverb. MY fellow guitarst had a '52 tele and an early Gretsch as well as a early '60's fawn AC30. The bass player had an original P-bass with the single coil pickup.

    Now I ask you, did it make sense to have that many dollars on stage in a funky LA bar? No it did not- but they sure sounded great!
    Last edited: May 26, 2017
    Skamania, thegeezer, Bluebird and 2 others like this.

  12. Major Gruber

    Major Gruber Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 24, 2012
    Colombes France

    But would anybody worry about somebody getting to the bar in a car that's worth as much as a 52 tele? No, and the car would take much more risks by driving on the road than the guitar by playing in the bar. I personnaly think that dollars are much better employed in producing a great sound! I have an old friend that's an amazing jazz pianist and composer, he just bought himself a brand new Steinway for 47,000 euros, a friend second violin solist in a symphonic orchestra took a morgage to get his instrument that's worth more than twice the Steinway… There are many different reasons why great instruments are worth money, including vintage collective rates for guitars (piano don't age that good), but they're great instruments and they're worth money, period.
    Twisted Kerle likes this.

  13. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 6, 2012
    As a historian I agree that it's important to keep relics that are well preserved. As a player they should be played.

    I think guitars are better now. As great as a 52 Tele is a new midrange Tele has a better range better finish better pups.

    In short. I'm conflicted.
    Twisted Kerle likes this.

  14. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's

    Feels like a lifetime to me (born in '53).

    - D
    Skamania, Sjnoring and thegeezer like this.

  15. jondanger

    jondanger Friend of Leo's

    Jan 27, 2011
    Charm City, MD
    Former used/rare book dealer here. Bibliophiles are NOTORIOUSLY picky about book condition. Most would not even consider reading a first edition of a valuable work of fiction. I don't collect anymore really, but there are books that I have reading copies of in addition to my first editions. UV plastic on the dust jacket is the minimum level of protection that most folks would use.

    I think you can find OCD people with just about any interest, but some interests pull them in. Books/guitars/cars all got their crazies.
    dlew919 likes this.

  16. Masterbuilt

    Masterbuilt Tele-Holic

    Oct 28, 2004
    The new '52s I played were pretty dreadful....

  17. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

    Feb 10, 2009
    I have some really pristine things that I only play at home or when I'm recording. I also have some really collectable vintage guitars that I have taken out to play.

    I should clarify that I'm kind of old school in that to me vintage means iconic guitars from the larger manufacturers' golden years.

    For what I call "online vintage" types of stuff, I play those everywhere all the time (70s Fender, Gibson, etc...).

    A pristine vintage guitar that I don't gig with (1957 GreTsch 6120 in almost new condition with cowboy case, tags and original strap):


    Vintage guitar that I take out to play a few times a year:

    1958 Gibson Les Paul Standard with factory overspray:


    1959 Martin 00-21:


    eBay "vintage" guitars (what I call used) I take out all the time:

    '73 Custom:


    60s ES-330

    Twisted Kerle likes this.

  18. Tedzo

    Tedzo TDPRI Member

    Jul 1, 2016
    Northern California
    Since this is a Telecaster forum, you should probably get rid of all these other beauties and send them to me at Gladville, USA.
    Thanks for the pics.
    lycheelassi likes this.

  19. tim mayer

    tim mayer TDPRI Member

    Oct 3, 2016
    PVB Florida
    I guess I am that guy. With both guitars and with comics, I collect and play. I love guitars , can’t play a darn, still play, still buy and yes I do have one that to me is too nice to play. I still like having it. And I couch play it .

    With comics, I hated graded. I bought off condition copies that I can read, but I still collect them. I got a few graded in a trade, and had to go buy other worse condition copies cause I just had to read them. Eventually the better copies were cracked out of their grading holsters cause I hated I couldnt see inside .

    I used to make excuses for my guitars. I’ve had friends who think since they play great I should give them to them. No kidding ..but you know what I like having a few nice things even if i am a hack player . In the end we all love guitars, so I respect the guys that use them as tools. Someday I’ll buy a birth year guitar. I am sure it will be beat up and well used, and I’ll love it. Hopefully
    hellopike likes this.

  20. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 6, 2012
    If you like them they’re yours. That Simple. Enjoy what you have. Maybe you don’t play well. But you play. That’s all that matters. (Of course if you change your mind pm me for my address ;) )

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