Reviving the "Why vintage guitars are not worth the money" discussion

Milspec

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It has that value simply because it was from the era where rock was young and it was the wild west of creativity. My Grandmother had a silver spoon made by Paul Revere that she sold for tons. As a spoon, it sucked, but because of who made it and when, it was crazy valuable.

I see a lot of vintage stuff in the same way and the people who buy them are mainly collectors. Nobody was going to be eating soup with that silver spoon and most buyers of those real vintage instruments are not out there gigging at Joe's Rib House on Friday nights.
 

Billy3

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Collecting is about rarity and playing is playing. These are different aspects, but one guitar can do both.
Play them if you got them. An instrument is no good just to look at. Let them speak. Unless you are in it for the money. I can't say anything else about that. Never owned a guitar I was afraid to kick around. Keep on picking.
 

teleman1

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Vintage is worth the money if you, have the money. Otherwise, most quality in vintage can be replicated. And vintage & collecting have little to do with, playing. There are some people with playable players vintage guitars. If you find a vintage guitar less than $5000 and it can be your player, by all means. But buying higher than that and the guitar isn't a players guitar, it better be a collectable vintage. Then, you keep it polished and bring it our when special friends come over & you covet & drool.

I had a modern 54 ri ALL GOLD Les paul, near mint. I NEVER enjoyed it because of the value loss I'd take. I doubt the person I sold it too made it a player. I remembered my first ding on my Gibson acoustic for years. I am SO glad this thing called relicing came on the scene. You have to ask yourself, what's snot, and what's real on those relics.
 

sax4blues

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People collect all sorts of vintage items they never use; Cars, firearms, woodworking tools, knives, Barbie dolls. They pay a lot of money for the pleasure of just owing, a guitar can be the same.
 

dreamingtele

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I really have no interest in vintage guitars.. however, if I come across one and miraculously be able to afford it, I'd be gigging it to hell and back.

modern instruments appeals to me more due to quality of build, playability and none of the issues that I dont know about.. Id be very nervous to take out a 1959 ES-330, but heck I only live once, might as well play the dang thing..
 

TokyoPortrait

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Hi.

I guess I’d like to have a vintage guitar and amp or two, as examples of things of a certain nature or type that I am interested in. Just cool and groovy in of themselves. Same way I’d like a vintage motorcycle or car, I guess. Just a vague notion though.

But, aside from the cost, I also know I probably couldn’t be bothered with the responsibility, effort of care, degree of curatorship, etc. that *I* would feel it necesitated. I’d rather just take moderate care and feel no great concern about my small assortment of modest guitars.

Pax/
Dean
 

msalama

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10-15 more years before that value goes to near zero

Yeah! Happened with the Biedermeier stuff too, because all those 1830's boomers are now long gone... oh wait...

But yeah, the current vintage guitar market is in a bubble still, no two ways about it. No way _any_ 60's Jazzmaster is worth north of $10.000, which is what folks seem to ask for them at least on Reverb. BS is what I say!
 

tomasz

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I think a fair comparison of a older (Vintage If you Like) guitar would bei tobcompare ist to a older Car. Strats and teles we're a mass market product for the people, similar to a Cadillac. You could compare mojo, handling, comfort, hardware, cost od care.. Why are so little people driving an Eldorado nowadays, but prefer a vintage Tele?

Reversing the perspective though, if a musician in the 60's was magically able to choose between his old Tele and 1x12 combo vs a modern PRS and a helix or Kemper.. guess what would happen and how much others would want to pay for it.

To everyone its own, I guess ;)
 

Peegoo

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I replied to the zombie thread on Ed Roman's rant. Not knowing it was quite dead.

Just like Ed!

You have to remember: at the time, Ed didn't sell vintage guitars. His inventory was mostly current/late-model brand name production and parts-a-casters his staff assembled or he had built under contract.

It's like Ford dealer saying, "don't buy a Chevy."
 

TokyoPortrait

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Hi.

Strats and teles we're a mass market product for the people

I’ve heard people saying this quite often, but I’m not sure it’s really true, as I’ve also read people pointing out that when you work out their worth in modern terms, Teles, Strats, etc. were fairly pricy. I think you had to be doing well to afford one.

Pax/
Dean
 

tomasz

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Hi.



I’ve heard people saying this quite often, but I’m not sure it’s really true, as I’ve also read people pointing out that when you work out their worth in modern terms, Teles, Strats, etc. were fairly pricy. I think you had to be doing well to afford one.

Pax/
Dean

Yep, I'm not claiming they were and neither were cars. But by mid 60's Fender was employing a good few hundred workers and bursting out, according to different speculations ~30 000 instruments (units) per year. Leo designed the instrument in a way, that allowed production scaling, contrary to hand build instruments. That made it mass available
 

TokyoPortrait

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Leo designed the instrument in a way, that allowed production scaling, contrary to hand build instruments. That made it mass available

Hi.

True. Actually, I was going to edit my response to say that yes, they were def. a mass production orientated design. Got sidetracked by the kids.

Pax/
Dean
 

bgmacaw

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If it plays and sounds how you like it's worth whatever you will pay.

The thing players and collectors sometimes miss is there's not a "pre-CBS" of the 80s or 90s. In 50 years those 70s or 80s Strats will be worth the same as your parent's grandfather clock, whatever it costs to move it.
That's just the nature of collectables. As the collectors age out the market collapses and something else takes over.

I can appreciate a 60s Tele but my kids can't. And young players don't want grandmas old stuff. So if you want a truly vintage instrument go get one and rock it, I do. But remember the folks snatching up 1963 Fenders are in their 60s and 70s or more. So you've genuinely got about 10-15 more years before that value goes to near zero and the next thing takes over. So if you do get one remember the difference between a collectable and an investment. Buy it and play it.

I'll have to disagree with some of these assumptions.

The value of 70's Strats hasn't stayed low over the years. For example, in 1988, I bought a really nice 1973 Strat for $250 and sold it for the same in 1992. Accounting for inflation, I should be able to buy one for about $500. But, they're about $2000 to $2500 now, roughly 10 times what I paid. While I don't see them hitting prices like older Fenders, I don't see them dropping back down to 1990's prices either.

I'd also have to disagree about only old folks buying vintage instruments. I see a lot of interest, if not outright fanboying, of vintage instruments by younger players. This is particularly noticeable in the reverent awe some seem to have for MIJ Fenders from the 80's and 90's. On the collector side, Silicon Valley types are buying them to displaying in their offices as status symbols.
 

Killing Floor

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I'll have to disagree with some of these assumptions.

The value of 70's Strats hasn't stayed low over the years. For example, in 1988, I bought a really nice 1973 Strat for $250 and sold it for the same in 1992. Accounting for inflation, I should be able to buy one for about $500. But, they're about $2000 to $2500 now, roughly 10 times what I paid. While I don't see them hitting prices like older Fenders, I don't see them dropping back down to 1990's prices either.

I'd also have to disagree about only old folks buying vintage instruments. I see a lot of interest, if not outright fanboying, of vintage instruments by younger players. This is particularly noticeable in the reverent awe some seem to have for MIJ Fenders from the 80's and 90's. On the collector side, Silicon Valley types are buying them to displaying in their offices as status symbols.
One way to find out!
 

Telekarster

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I suppose it's the same with just about everything collectable. Why do people/orgs pay 10's of millions of dollars for a Picasso? I have a pro artist friend that could paint me a copy in a flash of just about any Picasso I'd want, for about 500 bucks. The diff is it would never be the real deal. I would hold my 51 Nocaster that I built with my own 2 hands up against any original 51, tonally and otherwise, but... it will never be the real deal. The "Real Deal" are rare and desirable = supply vs. demand. You have people that will pay whatever it costs to have the real deal, and there are plenty of people in this world where a million bucks is like 1000 bucks to the rest of us. So... there we have it ;) Now, grab your modern Tele or partscaster and rock on! :)
 

Boreas

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Thank you! I like vintage guitars but if may borrow a term from Bloomberg the market is overheated.

I agree about Guild I have a 1959 T100. It’s a cool guitar.
I have been hearing the vintage market is "overheated" for decades. Once musicians started becoming rich superstars in the late 60s, the same money that made them rich drove the vintage instrument market. Still driving it. Perhaps not recession-proof, but what is?

Many craftsmen pay good money for antique tools. Not for show, but because of lack of quality in modern many tools. Musicians are craftsmen as well.
 

Boreas

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People collect all sorts of vintage items they never use; Cars, firearms, woodworking tools, knives, Barbie dolls. They pay a lot of money for the pleasure of just owing, a guitar can be the same.
Baseball cards and comic books. The collectors can't even touch them.

I buy vintage guitars because I like them, they sound good, and I rarely lose money on them unless I take them in the shower with me. I buy used for the same reason. What else can you buy, drive 200k miles and sell it for more than you bought it for? I would NEVER buy a closet queen, but a well-worn warrior is held in high esteem in my eyes.

I bought numerous Silvertones when they were cheap, but ended up selling many of them (for profit) because they just didn't sound that good. Some of the old Kay-built Silvertones had pretty weak pickups. I still own a nice 1446 ("John Hiatt") that sounds good and still is appreciating.
 
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ChicknPickn

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Mystique is something people will pay for. Sometimes handsomely. Watch an episode of Pawn Stars and that becomes clear. A good broker knows how much mystique an object has, and knows the market for it. It happens with cars, coins, furniture, you name it.

Personally, I've been immune to this. Probably because my father was an accountant, and he warned me many times about getting carried away with intangible values. I like to be able to measure it, feel it. I understand collectors, though. Good ones are smart and know how not to get burned more often than not.

Sometimes, though, I just want what I want. I will, in fact, pay more for the decal on the headstock. But not too much more.
 




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