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How rare are vintage guitars? Or: Vintage guitars, where did they all go?

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by hellopike, May 20, 2016.

  1. hellopike

    hellopike Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 3, 2015
    Hah! He does just have a bunch of blonde strats just piled up on top of one another. #excess
    savofenno likes this.

  2. Grabsplatter

    Grabsplatter Tele-Holic

    Dec 7, 2015
    Burgas, Bulgaria

    I'm not sure a will really covers it. "To my kids I leave my guitars" doesn't tell them what they are. They could still think the whole lot is firewood. Hell, the whole house clearance business is based almost entirely on people just not knowing that some of Auntie Mabel's stuff is actually worth something. We've all seen plenty of things come up on Antiques Roadshow that turn out to be worth a fortune, but has always been seen as junk, like a Ming vase used for decades as a doorstop.

    To most people, a guitar is a guitar. They don't know an Encore Strat from Blackie. One is priceless, the other would disgrace a garage sale. I used to live next door to a guy that found an early Vox guitar in a skip. There wasn't even anything wrong with it! How many collectable guitars went the same way?

  3. hellopike

    hellopike Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 3, 2015
    Then itemize that will! Or at the least photograph and describe each of your guitars with any pertinent info/value and keep it on file. It'd be easy enough do whip up an inventory card you could keep in each case of each specific guitar. Or a spreadsheet on the computer.

  4. Robert H.

    Robert H. Friend of Leo's

    Jul 28, 2005
    N. Cal.
    Lot's of talk here about large collections, Japan, and celebrities. But I know many players who have a couple, a few, nice vintage instruments. There has to be thousands and thousands of us who have and hold onto these guitars. Many obviously right here at TDPRI. But many more elsewhere.

  5. ripgtr

    ripgtr Tele-Holic

    Oct 12, 2012
    Austin, TX
    Yea, that was kind of the point I was making.
    I have some vintage stuff, got it when it was just old beat up guitars.
    I have 3 guitars '61 or earlier, 2 steels, '57 and earlier. I got them to play and played them. Most I paid was about $1000 bucks in today's money, which would have been 1/2 of retail, about right for a used guitar. Heck, I spent that or more on my Musikraft blackguard clone, lol.

    My buddy has put away his '60 P for the most part but he was gigging it regular up until a year or so ago.

    There are thousands of pre CBS guitars, probably the vast majority are player grade and owned by players. Yea, the NOS ones go into collections, I don't think mine will ever be in a collection, certainly not museum quality.

  6. savofenno

    savofenno Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 16, 2010
    Not much, because it did not affect big cities. Mostly countryside was in tsunami`s way, earthquake was in sea bottom quite a distance away.
    Last edited: May 31, 2016

  7. hellopike

    hellopike Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 3, 2015
    While it did affect the northern area of Japan, you do realize that a large area around the Fukushima Reactor was evacuated and towns were left basically abandoned and remained empty? And while it didn't hit Tokyo, Sendai was hit by the tsunami wave and the earthquake shook the entire island. Hundreds of thousands of buildings were totally destroyed.
    savofenno likes this.

  8. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Silver Supporter

    Jun 22, 2010
    Osaka, Japan
    I think relatively few vintage fenders were lost in that earthquake.
    savofenno likes this.

  9. cjp60

    cjp60 TDPRI Member

    Apr 18, 2008
    Chandler, Arizona
    As already said, many of us have vintage pieces we purchased years ago on the cheap. I have a 54 Gold Top I paid $800 for and a 1960 Tele Custom I paid $700 for. Both have a few issues but both sound and play great. I wouldn't be able to afford them today though! I won't be selling anytime soon. I'm sure my two son's will inherit them some day.

  10. Jack FFR1846

    Jack FFR1846 Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 18, 2011
    Hopkinton, MA
    Heck....look at the web pages for Guitar Center Vintage, Elderly, Gruhn, Dave's just to start and we're into hundreds of vintage Fenders. If I handed you $50k and said I want either a 54 strat or 52 tele....and you keep whatever you underpay....GO!, you'd have it on the way in less than an hour. They're rare compared to the billions and billions of new guitars, but they're not so rare that you can't easily go and get one (with money, of course).
    hellopike likes this.

  11. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2009
    Western Canada
    I tend to agree with your point of view... I just want to expand on it a little.

    5500 may seem like a fair amount, but there have been many deaths and manglings over the years that will have diminished that number substantially.

    Before guitars become collectible or vintage they go through a period of having little to no value. That is the time the damage is done. Several hit the landfill, several were abused/smashed/destroyed, several got hacked up because the owner decided they like the "strat" more but couldn't afford one, etc... etc... There may be hundreds of "in tact" blackguards out there.... but I doubt there are thousands. The demand to own one far exceeds the amount available, and that is what defines collectible.

    Just my 2 cents...
    savofenno and SheldonP like this.

  12. Les Gear

    Les Gear TDPRI Member

    Sep 3, 2010
    The Stradivari / Guarneri / etceteri violin thing raises interesting points.

    . Almost every Golden Era violin (that would be 1675-1725 ish) has a replacement neck. They cut the scroll off the original, shorter-length neck, glued it onto a new longer stick and reset the angle when the put it back together. No, I am not kidding. You can look it up.

    . A diminishing number of artists actually own the masterwork violins they play. It is increasingly common for wealthy patrons to sink a house or mansion's worth into a masterwork violin and then long-term-loan it to a virtuoso to play. At first blush that doesn't make me sad either.

    . Many of the same violin snobs who look upon 19th-century pieces as too 'green' for their refined taste are happy to pick up a brand-new bow. That's exactly like playing a blackguard Tele through a Mesa 5:25 -- oh wait, people already do that, don't they?

    . A brand-new King 2B -- the gold standard for professional jazz trombones since the 50s, and every bit as good today as it was then -- will set you back about two thousand dollars. Used ones are hanging on EBay today starting at eight hundred. In contrast, you can buy a Stradivari violin today if you have in your pocket all the money I will earn in the next decade or so.

    In other words, although trombonists are luckier than us we should count our blessings and play on!

    I'm out.

    savofenno likes this.

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