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

How to verify a vintage guitar age

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by JeffKuritz, Jul 3, 2017.

  1. JeffKuritz

    JeffKuritz TDPRI Member

    Age:
    55
    4
    Jul 3, 2017
    Baytown,Tx.
    Does the serial # identify the year of manufacture of vintage guitar? I want to find one in original condition and not sure how to be certain ? And what is typical cost to purchase one
     

  2. dented

    dented Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Apr 17, 2006
    Back at the Beach
    Welcome JK! There are so many questions with this. In some cases a serial number can identify year with a guitar. But it does not guarantee the guitar is completely original. It would help if we knew what specific guitar you were going to look at. Costs also vary on specifics and validity of age and what the market says the item is worth. So pick out a guitar and send a bunch of photos of it to the tdpri and post it. Then folks here can give you mucho info about it I am sure. Good luck in your hunt.
     

  3. brogh

    brogh Super Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 26, 2010
    italy
    Hi & welcome !

    As dented pointed out many variables are in place here, depending on year and numbers made can affect the cost quite a while.

    If you're looking for an original vintage esquire in sunburst well you have kinda a bunch of money there, not so much with more recent or very available ones.

    Cheers
     

  4. 71Tele

    71Tele Tele-Meister

    108
    Dec 5, 2014
    Virginia

    Seriously? Is this a joke? The way you’re asking this leads me to believe that you don’t know anything about vintage guitars, or even about guitars in general. :eek:

    So, assuming this question is somewhat serious, I suggest that you start by doing your homework. Get to know them, all the details, history, etc. You have books, magazines, music stores, and internet.
    Get to work. And good luck. ;)
     

  5. mipstoo

    mipstoo TDPRI Member

    16
    Apr 19, 2010
    Rockingham Palace

  6. Wildwind

    Wildwind TDPRI Member

    Age:
    64
    57
    Jul 23, 2010
    Lansing, Michigan
    Fair questions IMO. With Strats and Teles, IMO, it's darn near impossible to date without an expert opinion. There are a ton of forgeries perpetrated by "not nice" people. I've heard some experts speculate there are now more 50s Strats for sale than Fender ever made. And not just Ed Roman. First time I heard that was the used/vintage guitar manager at Elderly (no longer there, now lives in Europe), a man who knows vintage and uncovered dozens or hundreds of pretenders.

    But IMO only those who know this market can give you that information. I would pay their fee and be happy that I got what I paid for. I believe if Elderly lists a vintage guitar, they will list it truthfully in respect to its provenance. I'm sure others will as well.

    Truly there is no way I would make that kind of purchase based on what I know or think I know. Unless it was stamped "fake," I could not tell. I have played fakes that were fantastic...lots of tarpits to fall into.
     
    Twisted Kerle, soulman969 and mipstoo like this.

  7. brenn

    brenn Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 8, 2013
    Kentucky
    That's like asking "How much is a diamond ring and are the gold ones the best?"

    A vintage guitar? $100 to $1,000,000 (but mostly under $100,000 unless they were celebrity owned). Which one do you want?
     

  8. Ripradiant

    Ripradiant Tele-Holic

    906
    Jul 31, 2014
    Alberta Canada
    If your talking Teles then this book will give you all you need to understand how to date a Tele: its not that complicated but you need to know your stuff. Lots of people trying to fake or mislead for their own benefit.

    What constitutes "vintage" though is another matter!
    51IK65BLFmL__SX365_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
     

  9. mipstoo

    mipstoo TDPRI Member

    16
    Apr 19, 2010
    Rockingham Palace
    I strongly suggest to get an opinion from an expert or to buy from a reputable dealer...
     
    soulman969 and brogh like this.

  10. Ripradiant

    Ripradiant Tele-Holic

    906
    Jul 31, 2014
    Alberta Canada
    Good point- if one thinks they need an "expert" opinion then they should get one.

    But caution - Why trust someone else (who may have a conflict of interest) when you can arm yourself with all the information you need? There is no magic in dating guitars.
     

  11. mipstoo

    mipstoo TDPRI Member

    16
    Apr 19, 2010
    Rockingham Palace
    For example: Even Duchossoir has mistakes in his books. You want to trust on a book? Or a forum? Or a website?
    I should have said "independent" expert. Someone who has actually seen many vintage guitars; Who knows where to look and with what tools; Where the forgeries often have mistakes. A book doesn't teach you that.
    And a reputable dealer has a reputation. Built over many years, but if fooling people, destroyed in a matter of days. They can not afford it if they want a sustainable business.
     

  12. Ripradiant

    Ripradiant Tele-Holic

    906
    Jul 31, 2014
    Alberta Canada
    This is not rocket science. The special tools needed are a couple of screwdrivers (and just maybe), common sense and some knowledge which is readily available in such things as the book I pointed out. You can equip yourself or rely on others but there is no secret knowledge or special touch required...but, as I already said if you feel you need help by all means get it. Would you like me to repeat that again for you?
     
    mipstoo likes this.

  13. Mur

    Mur Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 30, 2004
    USA
    You need an expert to know what it is, that is, if it's a real old one like 50's.
     

  14. mipstoo

    mipstoo TDPRI Member

    16
    Apr 19, 2010
    Rockingham Palace
    You can repeat, if you like ;)

    However, I don't think that someone who asks the same questions as the OP and in another posts says that he want an early 50's tele, preferably with a rosewood fingerboars, should be motivated to read some books and then go out and buy a vintage guitar. I'm not talking about secret knowledge or special touch, but I know that there are some replica's (or forgeries, whatever you'd like to call it) out there and still being build, that would fool 70% of us. Yes, even in Canada.

    I've seen my share, and I've got fooled. I know dealers who were fooled. I know sellers who were fooled and thought they sold a 100% original one and I also am aware of sellers who purposely leave out details when they sell. If you think that advising someone to read Duchossoir, or any other book, will make them able to judge by themselves, please do. But I prefer not to. :)
     
    Ripradiant likes this.

  15. Ripradiant

    Ripradiant Tele-Holic

    906
    Jul 31, 2014
    Alberta Canada
    D
    I completely understand your point which you have clearly stated above ... which is: that you don't think persons are capable of understanding how to date vintage guitars, and that the information out there is subject to error and therefore cant be trusted and further that this is something best left to experts.

    I disagree. IMHO informing oneself is a basic required operating principle. Just because its hanging in the shop window and says 62 Tele don't make it so - as you have already noted. Vintage guitar dating information has been studied to death and is straight-forward and readily available in a variety of sources if you want it. If someone doesn't feel comfortable then they can go see an "expert" and that is an individual choice.:rolleyes:

    Different approaches are ok.
     
    mipstoo likes this.

  16. mipstoo

    mipstoo TDPRI Member

    16
    Apr 19, 2010
    Rockingham Palace
    As are different opinions, luckily... (in most countries anyways) ;)
     

  17. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    56
    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    How deep is a hole?
    Maybe I'll check back for your answers in a few days...
     

  18. 66tele

    66tele TDPRI Member

    36
    Jul 26, 2014
    The Dalles, Oregon
     

  19. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    68
    Aug 23, 2014
    Woodstock

  20. 66tele

    66tele TDPRI Member

    36
    Jul 26, 2014
    The Dalles, Oregon
    Well, no it's not rocket science. 20 - 30 years ago you could read a few books to educate yourself and feel reasonably confident to judge an instrument. Not so today. There are so many talented builders who make reproduction guitars and parts (even if they do not try to pass them off as original) that it is really hard to tell if a guitar is refinished or has replacement parts.
    To think that a newbie could read a few books and be qualified to judge a "vintage" guitar is ill-advised. Unless one has been in the vintage guitar market for 30 years or more and seen authentic examples, it would be hit-or-miss judging vintage guitars.....the reproductions are just too good. In this case, experience counts. As others have said, I know vintage guitar dealers who have been fooled.
    If one is a newbie and looking at investing $10K - $50K in a vintage guitar, I would advise hiring an acknowledged expert (yeah, an old, grey-haired guy who has been doing this for decades) to advise on a purchase or cough up the money and buy from one of those guys. Otherwise you could make a really bad investment. Like most things, if big dollars are involved, there will be people selling fakes.
     
    H. Mac likes this.

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.