This is why I don't believe vintage instruments are superior to new ones

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by wyclif, Jul 15, 2016.

  1. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire

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    I hate to be the one to tell you but that 1976 Les Paul Custom... That's only 20 years newer than the 56 Gold Top and today, they're both vintage.

    The first real Les Paul I played was in 1977. A Gold Top. It was pretty new as far as I could tell (I was 13) and it was like magic in my hands.
     
  2. chemobrainkid

    chemobrainkid Tele-Meister

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    poh-tay tah, pah-tah-toe ;-)
    I am a big fan of Ry Cooder music ,recorded tones et al.
    his Cooder Caster was It not made from parts in a relatively modern era. ! Both Caster A and Caster B sound great , yes but doesn't Ry have a vintage channel strip and other great sounding gear the is guitar plugs into (kinda' a secret mojo box.set to his taste)
    who put it together the guitar , what skills did the luthier possess? this is not a vintage instrument, made in a custom shop of the big boys and yet how does it sound?
    older is better vintage is king , only if you are involved in the sale and promotion of vintage instruments.
     
  3. The Kirbster

    The Kirbster TDPRI Member

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    Part of the vintage thing is, if you get a nice older guitar, keep it and play it for 30 or 40 years, by then you KNOW how to make it sound it's best. By then, you're BOTH vintage!

    (Or that's my theory, based on the old '54 Esquire reissue I snagged a couple of wives ago, around 35 years now). I own & play several other guitars, but I always eventually go back to my Essie!
     
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  4. claes

    claes Tele-Holic

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    The sound of a guitar change with age. It's because alnico magnets die....look it up. There is no sound coming from wood on an electric guitar plugged in.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2016
  5. Revv23

    Revv23 Friend of Leo's

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    I think the whole thing is survivorship bias. A stock broker with 30 years on the job has survived many crashes. Just like a 50 year old instrument has survived many fads. I dont know who to quote - but only the strong, and the lucky survive.
     
  6. tube.tone

    tube.tone Tele-Meister

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    Wow! Do you really believe that wood has no impact on sound?!
     
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  7. sparkskid

    sparkskid NEW MEMBER!

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    Part of this argument is "How do you define "vintage"". A nonreverse Firebird? A Fender "The Strat"? A 1971 ES-325? A red-knob Fender Twin?
    OR...are we talking about 50's Les Paul Standards, Black guard Teles, Fender Tweed amps, 60's Marshalls, 30's Martins, etc..
    I have successfully proven this type of "vintage" superiority MANY times by just handing a guy a 50's Les Paul with PAF's, plugged into a Fender Tweed or vintage Marshall, or a 30's D-18 and watching his reaction after just playing for a couple of SECONDS. You generally hear something like "Holy crap!"
    And at that point, you can just put away all those "clone" and "reissue" and later, more mass-produced pickups, guitars, amps and just appreciate the not subtle, but OBVIOUS difference which has still not been matched.
    Good example...there's really nothing that sounds like an original PAF pickup. Its the sound you've been hearing on records your whole life. Same is true for tweed amps.
    Bare Knuckle, Duncan, Fralin, etc might be fine products, but again, NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING sounds like a real PAF, mounted in a guitar made with 100-year old wood with hide glue, built by a cadre of luthiers trained in the 1920's and 30's.
    Don't believe the hype? Just go try one.
     
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  8. Jakeboy

    Jakeboy Tele-Afflicted

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    I just sold my last vintage piece...a super resonant 1980 Hamer Special. That thing was a rocker with a brighter bridge tone than my Tele or Strat! Why is it gone? The neck was skinny and thin...and I wanted a 2004 Hamer Newport. So the Special went away and the Newport came in. I love the Newport and don't miss the Special.
     
  9. Frank'n'censed

    Frank'n'censed Doctor of Teleocity

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    Standing on vintage turf, you can rule the world, sporting your cargos
     
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  10. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've tired a few new Fender guitars recently and I'd say my vintage bias has been shattered. I've been playing guitars for 40+ years and I've had my hands on a lot of guitars old and new in that time. I'm not one of those gifted players who can make music with a spoon and a piece of wood or something, I've just always been drawn to the guitar and I'm really persistent about not giving up the dream.

    Anyway, the guitars I tried were mostly your basic, no frills MIM Stratocaster's (no CS or Artist models) and they played like a dream; really effortless to play right out of the box, without a proper setup. They were brand new too so they looked flawless. I bought a brand new MIA Stratocaster in 1992 and it was a lemon; these guitars were night and day better than that guitar. I even grabbed an upscale Squier while I was checking these guitars out and it played amazingly well.

    So what am I to conclude? Am I such a proficient player now that I can play any off the shelf instrument and play that effortlessly and feel that inspired :cool:

    ...Or what's more likely is that they've dialled in their production methods so tightly that they are producing amazing guitars in volume ;)

    I'm thinking they've dialled in their production methods.

    That's not to say I don't appreciate a vintage gold top Les Paul with cream soap bar pickups or that I'm going to clear out my 35 year old Ibanez guitars; I'm not. It just means I'm going to accept that the quality of the guitars that are being produced today are probably as good as they've ever been and logic dictates that because they've automated the process and dialled it in to such tight tolerances that they are producing less clunkers than ever before.
     
  11. flyingbanana

    flyingbanana Poster Extraordinaire

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    To the op, thanks for your input.. there's the door. :D
     
  12. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Wow...that's a cool door. It looks old. Is it vintage? I think I'll make an electric guitar out of it. Should sound awesome!
     
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  13. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Vintage has something going for it.
    I think it's broken in - ness.
     
  14. awasson

    awasson Poster Extraordinaire

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    Edit: Nevermind... my mistake.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2017
  15. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

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    Ditto.
     
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  16. flyingbanana

    flyingbanana Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't think that preferring vintage equipment is cork sniffing.

    It's just that old guitars and amps have character that new stuff made in China doesn't.
     
  17. william tele

    william tele Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The whole point of using a word like "cork sniffing" is the irony. Back in 1965, a 1955 Telecaster was just an old guitar and MOST anybody saw it for that. They could pick up a new one and play it and discover the pickups weren't so microphonic, the frets not worn down, the board had no divots and it looked shiny and new. There was no down side about it.

    This same attitude toward that same 1955 guitar continued until...one day the clouds of ignorance parted and with ultimate clarity it was proclaimed: VINTAGE! MOJO! CHARACTER! EXPENSIVE!

    I only wish I'd have seen that day coming just a week or so before it happened...:)
     
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  18. Frodebro

    Frodebro Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Original PAFs were scatter wound and there was little consistency in the amount of wire used from one to the next, so there honestly isn't a singular "PAF sound"-they vary.
     
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  19. flyingbanana

    flyingbanana Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yep. Shoulda bought about 100 of those guitars with my paper route money in the mid 80's. Could have sold them and been rich by now. :)
     
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  20. Dave W

    Dave W Friend of Leo's

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    :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

    Riiiiggght. :rolleyes: Postwar Gibson electrics didn't use hide glue. Cuban mahogany had already been so extensively used in the furniture business for decades that it's highly doubtful any 100 year old wood was left to be used. They bought the cheapest they could get, by the boatload. That's also how they wound up with korina, it was intended to be an even cheaper substitute for mahogany. They didn't have a "cadre of luthiers" -- the guitars were built by skilled and semi-skilled production workers. And as someone already mentioned, there's no "real" PAF sound, since they were so inconsistent.

    Fender never used hide glue, bought alder, ash and maple by the trainload as cheaply as possible, and for the most part used semi-skilled and unskilled Mexican-American workers who were paid by the piece.

    I remember being in a certain former Twin Cities wannabe-vintage guitar store about 15 years ago, and watching the manager show a customer how much better a '59 LP sounded than a modern custom shop reissue he had there for demonstration purposes. I thought the '59 sounded like a lifeless dud, the reissue sounded much better. I nearly broke out laughing when the customer said he preferred the reissue. The look on the manager's face was priceless.

    Some vintage guitars and basses sound amazing. Some are real dogs. Most are in between. OTOH the same can be said about new instruments.

    But don't let facts get in your way. Keep spreading it on thick, you'll always have true believers.
     
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