Vintage Guitars Are Not That Expensive

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by Treeface, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. Treeface

    Treeface Tele-Meister

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    Reading through the Flea Market 1952 tele thread (which is incredible & awesome by the way) it struck me how everyone is treating it like this incredibly valuable and rare instrument. Setting aside the story of how he got it, focus on the instrument itself. Obviously it's been refinished and altered, so it's not "pristine," and looking at reverb for non-pristine 50s teles you can buy these all day for $15,000 and sometimes for $10,000.

    That's really not a lot of money. It's the cost (in the US at least) of a used sedan, or a slightly busted up F-150. Yet people in that thread are telling OP to fly down to Nashville to have it inspected and valued. Imagine telling someone they have to go halfway across the country for an evaluation of their 2013 Toyota Camry. They would think you were absolutely mad.

    I realize that cars are "necessary" in a way that guitars aren't, and I'm not trying to start some debate on the relative value/worth of a used car vs. a vintage guitar. The point is that almost everyone reading this thread owns something costing at least that much (and in some cases, more than one such items, and in some cases they own ones costing multiples of the value of the guitar) and we don't really give it a second thought.
     

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  2. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Holic

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    It's not much when compared to a car or house sure, but it's an apples and oranges conversation you're starting here. A house is a drop in the hat as opposed to........ a Space Station?

    When you can buy a really good professional grade guitar for $1-2k, $10k seems a little harder to justify. If you're going to fork out special money the item had better be special & be what you hope/think it is.
     
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  3. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Holic

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    I've had guitars that were $3000 back in the days when I had deposable income. Ones that have gone up considerably since then.

    Having already had those, IMO none of them are worth even that kind of money if you're using the guitar as a tool to create sound.

    If you want an investment then maybe, but then it better be something everyone wants & only you have. Plus you wont really be able to use it as a tool anymore.
     
  4. Treeface

    Treeface Tele-Meister

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    Right, and for a house you pay a guy a few hundred dollars to run an inspection before you move in.* You have people telling the OP in the other thread he should pay a few hundred (plus his time, gas, etc.) for a verification of a guitar that costs about 1/20th of what the house costs. My point is, that process is out of whack to the actual value.

    *I imagine the process for buying/selling a space station is even more expensive but, to be fair, I have no firsthand knowledge.
     
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  5. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Holic

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    How much do you pay for car insurance vs home insurance? My car insurance is about half again what my house insurance is. My car is worth $2.5k & my house $450k. You pay that insurance for the entire time you own or use either, but if you ever use insurance it goes up (a lot).

    Granted it's unlikely I'll ever hit anyone with my house, but still the value to cost ratio is out of whack.

    With home inspection or car inspection or guitar inspection, time is time & it costs money. Finding out whether or not to buy something expensive before hand isn't a bad idea. IMO $10-15k for a guitar is a lot of money (being as my car is $2500) I would want to know why I'm spending it.

    Of course acknowledging that no one actually needs a $10,000 guitar & that if you have that kind of money for a guitar, you likely have another $3-400. that isn't going to break the bank.
     
  6. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

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    10-15k is enough money to have somebody killed just sayin
     
  7. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Holic

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    Plus $3-400. more to make sure you hired the right person.
     
  8. Lies&Distortion

    Lies&Distortion Tele-Afflicted

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    If I could get a car that did what I needed for less than a grand I would be driving it. Apples & oranges
     
  9. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

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    A 2013 Camry is not an appreciating asset.
     
  10. scrimmer

    scrimmer Tele-Afflicted

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    and how do you know that? ;)
     
  11. Marquee Moon

    Marquee Moon Tele-Holic

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    danelectros, supros, harmony, etc gretsch tenneseans, which sound great are also there for reasonable sums of money.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
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  12. G.Rotten

    G.Rotten Tele-Holic

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    Me too, but the price of the road certification for a 1990 Honda Civic is the same $35. as the Road certification for 2018 Lambo so that's pretty out of whack.

    I suppose if either one looks safe enough I'll just drive it without certification.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  13. LeicaBoss

    LeicaBoss Tele-Holic

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    Tiesco. $300.
     
  14. 2 Headed Goat

    2 Headed Goat Tele-Afflicted

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    ...has anybody seen the bridge? I'm just tryin' to find the bridge...
     
  15. _Presto_

    _Presto_ TDPRI Member

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    Cars vs. guitars!

    Earlier this year we purchased a pretty nice 2nd hand car for our family (VW Tiguan R-Line)...then not long afterwards I purchased a guitar that cost the exact same amount haha.

    I can justify it (to myself) any day of the week, but I do enjoy the absurdity of the situation also.
     
  16. Jorgen83

    Jorgen83 TDPRI Member

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    Material costs for a car far exceed material costs for a guitar. Same goes for labour. So relatively speaking, 15k for some small pieces of wood and very oldschool electronics is a lot of money.
     
  17. claes

    claes Tele-Holic

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    Lol, 75 dollars ain't a lot of money. But it is a lot of money for a cup of coffe.
    15,000 döllars for a plank with strings that most kids can make themself in woodshop is a lot of money (remember, brian may did).
    See what I did here? I layed out different perspectives. And that's what I miss here. The ability to put things in perspective..

    But hey, I'm a human being. If someone asks me if he should by a plank for 15k I tell him he is a moron. If someone tells me he has bought a plank for 15k the answer is "how nice"

    Comparing a complexed car with a plank? Lol, I've worked att Volvo (240-series)..and built a plank with strings

    Am I to mean here? I'm generally not the guy that points out to the guy with 27 pedals that he probably has the wrong amp. I think it, but I don't say it.
    Only when people ask for songs for a 14yo girl and peoply only suggests songs with old geezers they like themself do I normally get triggered.
     
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  18. Fuelish

    Fuelish Tele-Meister

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    I picked up a near mint '65 Harmony H15 offset with case for just over $400 a couple months back, same guitar I grew up learning on and playing for a couple decades ... loads of fun and takes me back to my reckless youth
     
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  19. _Presto_

    _Presto_ TDPRI Member

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    @claes @Jorgen83

    Yes the materials + labour involved in building a car is more than those required for a guitar....and that's not including development costs. That's why, in general, cars are more expensive than guitars hah.

    If that's how you look at all of life's material purchases, then that's cool.

    To me there's a big 'what it means to you' factor. Some people will travel across the world and pay $$$$ to eat at a particular restaurant. Does that make financial sense? for some food that will end up in the toilet a within 24hrs? I don't think so....but if it means enough to that person, I say go for it.

    It's the same for my guitar....it means enough to me to justify the purchase. Also I get to play it everyday for the rest of my life (well as long as physically possible anyways). Based on my age, that works about to be just $2 a day! :lol:
     
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  20. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

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    99.9% of the low money "vintage" guitars were not "vintage" before the internet.

    For the car comparison using what people have mentioned in this thread, in 1993 (last production year) a Volvo 240 was about $22,000.

    I bought my first Burst in 1997 for $22,500.

    Today, I would guess I could buy a Volvo 240 for about $3000.

    The cheapest 1960 Burst on Reverb is $151,000.

    I guess I was a moron for buying the guitar and not the Volvo. Especially when you figure in what I would have paid for gas, taxes, repairs, etc... on the Volvo vs the strings and occasional setups I've done to the Burst.

    Here's the thing, buy a guitar you like. Don't buy a faux "vintage" guitar. Honestly, I feel bad for the people who are fooled into thinking flea market junk are somehow "vintage" because they're old.

    If you find a clean iconic guitar (i.e. pre CBS Fender, up to 60s Gibson, 50s White Falcon/Penguin 6120, etc...) and you get a decent deal on it go for it.

    If you find an off brand guitar at a flea market or pawn shop for a hundred bucks and you like it then good on you.

    Just remember that a lot of stuff that's collectable now was never that good to begin with and IMHO the people who are obsessed with what other people choose to spend their money on usually are just frustrated with what they can't buy.
     
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