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. Wrighty

    Wrighty Tele-Afflicted

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    You could argue that they were very overpriced to start with, now they’re just overpriced! But, it’s true. When I started out, the only way to get a decent instrument was to trawl through the second hand gear ads. in the local ‘paper or whatever. I recently picked up a Bullet Strat for a friend. Played it before I handed it over and, I gotta say, there was nothing about it that would put off any aspiring young guitarist. It was ninety quid. Really around £200 will set you up with a decent practice amp. and a guitar. That’s not much nowadays.
     
  2. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

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    So if I walked into Guitar Center in 2005 I could buy a Jimmie Vaughan Strat for $529 before discounts.
    I could buy a USA made Highway One for $599.

    Today a Jimmie Vaughan retails for $849, the Lowest priced USA Fender is now $1049.

    To put it in perspective a base Subaru WRX was about $24,000 in 2005, today is about $27,000.
     
  3. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    Well that's the other thing. Once upon a time, at the dawn of rock and roll, your choices of telecasters were limited to only the very best Fender had to offer. Now we've got many grades and many iterations of the same instrument at multiple price points (Squier included). Guitars are less expensive today, but even if they weren't they would be a whole lot more accessible than they were in the 50s and 60s.
     
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  4. 2 Headed Goat

    2 Headed Goat Tele-Afflicted

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    It easy to just look at the price of what things went for back in the day and not take into account the inflation factor. My avatar guitar originally sold for $499 USD back in 1976. Not factoring sales tax that was $2249.96 and the case was an extra $90 ($405.80)
    $2655.76 in today's dollars. Crikey! Granted, it was made with top quality materials and craftsmanship plus was Leo's first re-emergence on the music scene.

    Today it seems its a totally different ball game; things have changed so much across the board. I do believe gear IS more affordable now than it was in the past, however, I believe the quality factor to a large extent has lowered proportionally.. tho heaps of folks don't know or care about what they missing. All good, as the Isley's put it, its your thang...
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  5. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well I’ll be damned! Thanks. I stand corrected.

    I couldn’t find that model at our local Gibson shop. I could only find the VOS Reissue and asked a buddy of mine (Gibson LP guy) about it. He seemed to think the only Goldtop P90 model is the expensive one as well.

    This is $3,290 Canadian dollars. It’s still a whack of cash but that is about where I would have thought it should cost. This guitar is on my bucket list or maybe the VOS Reissue. Not today, maybe not for a while but I do really have a thing for a Goldtop Les Paul with P90’s.

    Thanks for straightening that out.
     
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  6. Marquee Moon

    Marquee Moon Tele-Meister

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    That's probably because they aren't as good.
     
  7. OldDude2

    OldDude2 Tele-Holic

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    I just googled the base price of a 1959 Corvette @3,875 according to Wiki. I realize it's probably not totally accurate, but the question is how far off is It?

    I would consider the price of a custom shop Gibson a steal with this ratio;)
     
  8. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I understand what you are saying but isn't falling for a populist idea a form of stupidity in the first place?

    i.e. the actual fact that 70% percent of Greeks REALLY believed that the "Europeans" (as if we aren't Europeans our selves) conspired against us and created the economic crisis because they "envy" us due to the fact that we have the best way of life,the best weather,the best beaches and they want to take our homes ,a colossal mass stupidity phenomenon?

    :lol:

    (The actual reason for the country's bankruptcy was the fact that for decades the governments hired millions of public servants that did nothing and gave them huge pensions at 45-50 in order to get votes.All these of course funded by massive loans since the remaining ,few, working in the private sector didn't pay taxes in exchange for their tolerance to this phenomenon...This created a soviet state centered economy but without any actual production of goods and services and a humangous trade deficit, that naturally collapsed,even today the pensioners and public servants are three times more than the actual private sector workers that pay their pensions and salaries through taxation)
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
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  9. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Afflicted

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    Someone shared in a post recently on the same subject, that the cost of a guitar and amp runs about a paycheck, and ran about a paycheck in the early 1960's. Its like an ounce of gold: it bought a full suit of clothes for a man in ancient Greece, as well as today.
     
  10. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    I'm not familiar with Greece's problems, sorry. But "populus" movements are, as you'd expect, fueled by popular or widely held opinions, or conversly, and as is usually the case, a prevailing opposition towards something unpopular. I wouldn't ascribe it to stupidy at all. The civil rights movement, as an example, was a popular movement. The American Revolution, Womens Sufferage, Abolition, all populust movements. My own cynical view is that populust movements are totally avoidable and often the stupidity belongs to those in power at the time who were unwilling to respond to the people.

    Maybe a populust movement will in time cause Gibson to make a great guitar for under $1,000. A guy can hope.
     
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  11. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Well I guess we should start from the beginning and DEFINE what "populism" means :)

    I wouldn't describe the civil rights movement or the American Revolution as "populism"...they weren't based on lies,hate and deceit.
     
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  12. Toast

    Toast Tele-Holic

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    https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-ta...rs-real-wages-have-barely-budged-for-decades/

    --Snip--
    . . .wage gains have gone largely to the highest earners. Since 2000, usual weekly wages have risen 3% (in real terms) among workers in the lowest tenth of the earnings distribution and 4.3% among the lowest quarter. But among people in the top tenth of the distribution, real wages have risen a cumulative 15.7%, to $2,112 a week – nearly five times the usual weekly earnings of the bottom tenth ($426).

    Another perspective.

    http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/real-wages-are-rising-for-those-at-the-bottom

    The meager increases in wages in recent times don't begin to make up for the decades of wage stagnation that have critically damaged people's total net worth over their lifetimes, not to mention the losses people have incurred due to health care costs. So yeah, buying a guitar is an expensive proposition for many of us.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
  13. Toast

    Toast Tele-Holic

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    Duplicate
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
  14. etype

    etype Tele-Afflicted

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    The inflation factor is clearly the big thing people miss. I am convinced that around age 22-25 we sort of get imprinted in our brains what "fair prices" are and after that, price increases bother us. But there are several other factors going on with guitars.

    First, production technology (including shipping, which allows low cost labor to be used) has 1) reduced the cost of making almost everything and 2) increased the quality of most things. For a lot of things, from toothpaste to TVs to computers and phones, quality has increased while nominal prices have remained pretty stable or even decreased. That is, controlling for quality, real prices have fallen. So for a lot of goods, we don't see the inflation. However, with guitars, which still take a fair amount of skilled labor hours, prices have not fallen as much as for a lot of things we buy. This means that even though real prices of guitars have fallen, they have not fallen as much as other goods.

    I wonder if you could time-travel to 1958 and buy a brand new 1958 Telecaster, how would it compare to a 2019 Player Series Telecaster? $675 for a MIM and maybe $200 for a new 1958 Telecaster. Inflation has driven average prices about 25x since 1958, so that's $5,000 for the 1958 Tele compared to $675 for the Player Series. Even comparing to a American Pro Tele, the price has come down.

    Few professional musicians in the 1950s and 1960s had more than one guitar, and now members of TDPRI probably average 3-4 of them. That is probably the biggest testament to what has happened to price.

    But also! Pricing theory has advanced too. So producers offer models at a wider range of prices. The availability of Squier and lower priced Fenders means the demand elasticity for those who want and can afford a higher end model is more inelastic. Meaning they can charge more. If there was only one class of seat on an airplane, airlines would probably charge $500 per ticket. But with a first class and business class option, they can charge $350 for coach, and then $600 for business class and $1,200 for first class. That makes comparisons harder. And Fender didn't offer 8 different levels of Telecaster in 1958.
     
  15. Festofish

    Festofish Tele-Meister

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    Production models are also better quality than they've ever been.
     
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  16. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Afflicted

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    I own a great Gibson that cost less than $1000. I find the anti-Gibson movement to be hysterical, and unfounded. "Populist" in other words.
     
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  17. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    Ha, once again the ruling elite failing to understand the will of the people. ;) I love Gibson guitars. My Hummingbird is an excellent acoustic. But its checking already, could use a neck reset and I'm embarrased to say what I paid for it. Still, it sounds warm and sweet.

    So you hit the jackpot though. Cool. How'd you manage to buy a new Les Paul goldtop for less than $1,000? Nice.
     
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  18. JuneauMike

    JuneauMike Friend of Leo's

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    Amen to that. I've got 7 guitars and I'm a couch-bound hack.
     
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  19. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Afflicted

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    Not a gold top, but a 60's Tribute in Sunburst, NEW with warranty from Sam Ash, for $x shipped. It was during the bankruptcy scare last year. They did have a gold top Tribute, but I wanted the burstbuckers and the sunburst. Full thickness Maple top, Mahogany body and neck, rosewood fretboard, - and - MinE Tune! Which actually works well. I bounce from standard tuning to half-step flat, to open G in 30 seconds.

    And, there are some RIGHT NOW for $x for the shoppers out there...
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2019
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  20. Sax-son

    Sax-son Tele-Meister

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    I paid close to $300.00 for my 1964 strat back in the day. That was a fortune for a teenage kid. It took me 6 months of working odd jobs to pay off the financing that my dad had cosigned for. The good thing about today, is that you can buy really decent economy guitars than those that were offered then. There were two types of guitars offered back then. Good and crappy. The good ones were expensive.

    Guitar prices are always relevant to inflation. They really haven't changed that much.
     
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