Price of new guitars are actually less expensive than they were back in the day

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by instroverbs, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. raito

    raito Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    https://www.amazon.com/dp/0671721399/?tag=tdpri-20

    You could also read Wilson's An Enemy of the State, which is the first part of the Chronicles and has most of the economic stuff.
     
  2. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It gets more complex than simple inflation calculation.

    Houses are still built by people, but cars and guitars are partly built by robots, which reduces the cost of building them.
    Cars have more robot labor in them than guitars, so the labor cost difference is not 1:1 compared to guitars.
    Since houses have no robots building them, the inflation of home prices is not 1:1 compared to the inflation of car prices.
    Then we look at income, and see that the lowest paid "workers" and the highest paid "workers" are further apart in earnings now than in the '50s/ '60s.
    Back then a single earner blue collar family could raise kids and buy a home.
    Now that is nearly impossible, unless the earner is in a good union.

    Then add in that third world guitar quality has come up to near equal with US made guitars, and the confusion sets in.

    And last I'd add that first world society, the US in particular, has a rabid appetite for more and more products, thus families are FORCED to buy cheap disposable import products in order to be able to afford the vast array of stuff required to live a happy fulfilled life.

    When we look closely at the odd syndrome where we buy a guitar and immediately feel dissatisfied with it, first looking into mods to make it more satisfactory, then going ahead and buying another "affordable" guitar, I'd say the reason many feel that the top shelf guitars are too expensive is that we feel an obsession and compulsion to shop for and buy many guitars, while never feeling the old time satisfaction of ownership.

    Buyers of those '50s/ '60s guitars seemed to be more satisfied with them, at least according to evidence that shows they didn't keep shopping for more and more guitars.

    So do today's guitar players need so many guitars because they are more affordable?
    If so why complain that they are over priced?

    Or do today's guitar players need so many guitars because they are not really satisfied with the good cheap ones?
    If so, why not simply buy fewer better guitars, ultimately spending the same money?

    Or is the buying and complaining on the internet entirely unrelated to how good/ bad/ expensive/ cheap guitars are today?
     
  3. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Guitar Center wants, and desperately NEEDS you to buy a guitar TODAY. Get off your duff, and get down there, they'll make a deal, you'll get credit if you can show signs that you are still breathing, and a heartbeat can be ascertained as being present by electronic means, even if a pulse cannot be felt by a specialist trained in the field of medicine.
     
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  4. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman Tele-Holic

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    Guitars just like any product in a free market are priced for whatever the producer believes they can get for it. If they price too high the product doesn’t sell and they won’t make money. If they price too low then obviously they lose money. All this convoluted reasoning about inequality and credit and changes in manufacturing methods etc. is not a factor. If you think a guitar is worth the price then save up and buy it. If not then thats your choice. Don’t blame it on nonsense.
     
  5. OzShadow

    OzShadow Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    About 1995 I paid $700 for a new American Standard.

    Today you can get a American Professional for as little as $1100

    Minimum wage has more than doubled since then along with most other prices.
     
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  6. howardlo

    howardlo Tele-Holic

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    I would never, and never have, bought a guitar that I couldn't just have paid cash for. I have used the 0% financing offered by Sweetwater a few times even though I could have paid for it at the time. But using someone else's money for free for a few months makes sense for me.

    When I bought my new 1964 Jazzmaster back then right after high school I believe it cost $329. That was a lot of money back then. Figuring for inflation a new one now would be a bargain in comparison. For reference, minimum wage was 65 cents an hour back then and I could go into a local restaurant and buy a full size handmade hamburger, fresh made fries and a handmade shake for 85 cents.
     
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  7. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    set up Marshall side & Fender side of room..just grab a guitar until fits next required song or session..not any finances come into the equation.....
     
  8. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    Populism and economic literacy are two separate things. I think a more intelligent reading of populism usually reveals a disconnect between the social and cultural norms of the populous and those who lead. Think of it as a reaction to a weird type of aristocratic autism. When "Let them eat cake," fails. ;)
     
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  9. Lonn

    Lonn Friend of Leo's

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    A lot of things are cheaper these days. I lived in England back in the 70s and round trip airfare from the sates was nearly $2000. I just went to Germany 2 weeks ago round trip under $800.
     
  10. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    or work real hard...be the best at what you do..then do what ya want..
     
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  11. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    Ha, this is great and I totally agree. But another element has to be included in the mix, and that's the experience of the consumer. I guess my Kentucky windage idea would be to also apply household median income to the equation. It's fine to say a $289 guitar now costs $2,300 nowadays, but how accessible was that instrument to everyday folks? I'd suspect you aren't going to spend $289 on a Strat in 1965 unless either you plan to make some money with that guitar or its your passion. Some guys built hot rods, other guys bought guitars. That sorta thing.

    I'd imagine that a custom shop Fender Telecaster was just as inaccessible to a hobbyist in the 1950s as it is today (everything was Custom Shop in the 50s, right?). So I'd imagine that the blue collar hobby players were buying knock offs and Pawn Shop gear back then are now buying brand new name brand MIM and Pac Rim gear today. I couldn't justify $4,000 for a piece of gear unless I was trying to make a living with it. And I suspect if I were alive in the 50s, that would be pretty much the same story.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  12. VWAmTele

    VWAmTele Friend of Leo's

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    Ballpark inflation from 50's- 60's is about 10x and 9x respectively. Guitars have never been less expensive. In 1973 I bought my Les Paul for $325, today I can buy it for $2,399 - actually %28 less than it cost in 1973. And of course we are not paying for just a 'slab of wood' - there is a certain cost to doing business (people, taxes, real estate to name just a few) and that is all factored into the final price.
     
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  13. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I wish I could step back in time and had the money available to me that I have now. At a hock shop here in town in 1965, you could have bought a pre 1955 D-28 Brazilian Rosewood Martin guitar for about $225. maybe a little less if you were a good haggler. A D-18 was around $180. I bought a 56 D-18 off of a guy for 50 bucks, beat up but a good player. A new one was around $375 which would have also been BR with a nice case.
     
  14. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Of course they aren't.
    Economic illiteracy is crucial for populism to succeed ,trust me,I have been there,done that,bought the t shirt(I live in Greece where the first major populism wave started ,and destroyed the country after 2015 and trust me it surely wasn't a case of ''let them eat cake" )
    If people had basic/fundamental understanding of how the economy works and a minor knowledge of mathematics populism would have never prevailed.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  15. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I don't understand what you mean. It's a Custom Shop guitar.

    If you don't like that price, grab the production line version for $2500. https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/LPS5P9GTNH--gibson-les-paul-standard-50s-p90-gold-top
     
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  16. teletail

    teletail TDPRI Member

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    The young guys probably don't remember the 60's when you mostly had professional grade instruments and junk. Not much in between. Today, you can buy a playable guitar for $200-$300. Just using Fender as an example, you can go Squier, MIM or MIA, anywhere from $200 or so to north of $2000. Pick your price point and buy one.
     
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  17. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    They are still two different things. There can actually be populist movements within the discipline of Finance, where economic literacy tends to be quite high. Populist movements that are diametrically opposed to self-interest can cut through many strata of a given population, can take root among the investment bankers, the truck drivers, the academics.

    Its popular to believe that populist movements that we don't understand are fueled by stupidity, or by economic illiteracy. They never are, and usually we're just too lazy to understand the motivating factors.
     
  18. PCollen

    PCollen Friend of Leo's

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    That only holds true if a persons income has kept pace with inflation. What if $289.50 was a week's paycheck in 1965, and a week's paycheck in 2019 is now $1800, or less ?
     
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  19. Old duck

    Old duck Tele-Meister

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    When I was in the Army in 1966 I was assigned to Ft Sill, Oklahoma for a while. I needed to get some cash so I went to the bank, on post, thinking I could get some money out of my California bank account using my new BANKAMERICARD. I thought they were going to call the MPs and have me arrested. They had never heard of bank cards or the Bank of America and thought California was the land of "fruits and nuts". They were sure I was trying to scam them. After a zillion phone calls, they let me write a check for CASH. Didn't try that again for a while......course I was in Vietnam for a while after that anyway and everything was free......
     
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  20. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I worked for a guy during that time period who was pretty well off, and he didn't even have a credit card. He was always uncomfortable carrying cash in those days. I'm glad I didn't have a credit card, if I had of, and they would have arrested me here in California, you were gonna get stomped in the elevator even if the charge was only jaywalking! (just for baton and boot practice) :D:lol:
     
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