What Was a Broadcaster Worth in 1980?

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by BeelzeBob, Nov 1, 2019.

  1. Paulie_Boy

    Paulie_Boy Tele-Holic

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    Back in the day we thought of Fenders in terms of "Pre CBS" vs. "The junk they're making now." I never had a customer come into the shop asking for a "vintage" or "collectible" Fender. "Any PreCBS?" There was no internet so most players didn't have a clue about what was around in the 50's unless they were around in the 50's. It was common for guys to take chisels and drills to the older stuff to mod. I would have had a hard time getting over a grand for a Broadcaster in Austin in 1980. That was a lot of money. Manny's in NYC probably could.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
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  2. scelestus

    scelestus Tele-Meister

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    Does the actual value matter? Given the varied responses and such, you might be able to work in what someone thinks it was worth versus what it actually was. Now that would be a reflection on the vintage guitar market!
     
  3. lycheelassi

    lycheelassi TDPRI Member

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    On normanˋs rare guitars podcast #13 rick vito states, he bought a 53 tele and 57 strat for 1250 dollars in 1976.
     
  4. DaveGo

    DaveGo Tele-Meister

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    There was a ‘57 Strat in a mall music store in Amarillo, Texas that hung on the wall for the best part of a year for $150 in 1974-75. It was just a used guitar at the time.
     
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  5. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Tele-Holic

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    39 years "wasn't that long ago?"
     
  6. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Feels like it was just yesterday to me.:)
     
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  7. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Tele-Holic

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    Yeah, me too, but it wasn't...:(
     
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  8. hepular

    hepular TDPRI Member

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    just watched Eric Johnson sweetwater interview in which he mentions not buying a 50s tele in 87 or so for $800
     
  9. VWAmTele

    VWAmTele Friend of Leo's

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    Make it a 'celebrity owned' Broadcaster, that way you can put any $ amount you need on it.
     
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  10. bblumentritt

    bblumentritt Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

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    A 56 Tele for $800 would be a pretty good deal in 1982. I paid about $750 for a '66 at a retail outlet.

    Old Teles didn't really take off until the late '70s, and that's pretty much all Roy Buchanan. They weren't collector's items back then.

    In 1973, Robbie Roberston had his 1954 Stratocaster modified by turning the middle pickup around and moving it to be next to the bridge pickup, with a push-pull switch to make them humbucking. Then, in 1976 he had the guitar bronzed and further modified, and then the next year he had a WonderBar tremolo added. 1954 Strat serial number 0234.
     
  11. billstyler

    billstyler TDPRI Member

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    Maybe a note to George Gruhn might get you some dates and values for the setting of your novel.
     
  12. stanger

    stanger Tele-Meister

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    I agree. I think a Broadcaster would probably have sold for $2-$3,000 at the most. Back in 1980, they were rare, but most players of that time were much more aware of the Telecaster than the Broadcaster. The early Teles went for as much and there were more of them.

    The players who knew about the Broadcasters knew only that the name had gotten into a conflict with Gretsch. The differences between th eBroadcaster and Telecaster weren't well known at all then, so most players thought they were the same guitar with different names.
    The guitars were rare, but there were far fewer serious collectors back then, and far less vintage demand for electric guitars.

    A lot of the collector talk back then came out of California, where a lot of the rock stars of the day began collecting. Steve Stills was one, and his collection got a lot of attention, along with some other guys.

    The pre-war acoustics, particularly Martins, were the hottest collectibles.

    But the Broadcaster did have a lot of mojo as a legendary, rare guitar. I'm sure that whenever one surfaced, it was snapped up fast. Most likely in California by a famous rock star.
    regards,
    stanger
     
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  13. stanger

    stanger Tele-Meister

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    That figure would be pretty accurate for a Les Paul Standard w/ a sunburst. EVen more if the guitar was mint. 56-59 were all prime vintage back then.

    A pre-war Martin D-28 then sold for around $2500-$3500. and a D-45 for over $5,000 or up.

    The Les was hot because the originals went out of production for so long. The same was true with the Martin D-45.

    I purchased a 1939 Gibson Advanced Jumbo in 1980 for $1000,and could have bought a '38 D-18 for the same money.
    The AJ was a legendary guitar like the Broadcaster, but most players had never seen one, and it seemed only the New York players knew much about them.

    That was mostly due to Matt Umanov. He was the first guy I know of who actually collected a few AJs.

    He was also the guy who helped start the Les Paul as a hot collectible. Matt kind of pre-dated George Gruhn. He was a well-known repairman whose little shop specialized in old guitars only.

    Back then, NYC was the real center of the recording industry along with being a major market for live performance. All the foreign players most often landed in NYC first when they came to tour.

    Umanov Guitars was a little hole in the wall kind of shop that was a word of mouth deal, which was the perfect place a lot of players would naturally think an old guitar would be found.
    Matty had been in biz since the 1950s, and he sold a lot of acoustic instruments to the big-time folk singers back then, which gave him his reputation.

    As the music changed, and the the folk singers began playing electrics, Umanov had plenty of them too. He was a real insider kind of guy who was a good player himself. Like McCabe's in L.A., Umanov used to hold jams after hours in his store.

    Hope this background helps...
    regards,
    stanger
     
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  14. 56relic

    56relic TDPRI Member

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    I don't knoow about a Broadcaster, but I had an all original 1952 Telecaster which I sold for £600 in 1980,, after weeks of trying to find a buyer.
     
  15. vintageampz

    vintageampz Tele-Meister

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    Instead of using everyone's "I think" or I guess, I remember, ...... write to the publisher or Editor of Vintage Guitar Magazine and ask them if they would research their archives for a price, but you will need to choose what condition your novel's Broadcaster was in as that is how the magazine published their price listings. I believe that the magazine has been in regular publication since the early 1980's.

    Otherwise, I would suggest you contact Elon Schmuck and ask him to use his secret "Time Machine" to go back to 1980, since he claims he's either already invented everything, or is "working on it".

    PS, while you are back in 1980, pick up a Broadcaster cheap for me too.
     
  16. number71

    number71 TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    And one of the reason Stephen King makes up song lyrics
     
  17. KelvinB

    KelvinB TDPRI Member

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    I'd say try to get ahold of a guitar values guidebook of the time frame you are talking about. A good book would be Gruhn's it was written or at least authorized by George Gruhn of Nashville. Good luck.
     
  18. KelvinB

    KelvinB TDPRI Member

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    P. S. I don't know how often Geroge updates his guide books. I have one but it is only 8-10 years old.
     
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