When Does Your Guitar Become Vintage?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by cravenmonket, May 14, 2020.

  1. cravenmonket

    cravenmonket Tele-Meister

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    Is there a specific age? Or is it more to do with classic years and/or eras in production? Does it have to be a model which comes to be recognized as a particularly influential instrument?

    Can a reissue ever become a vintage instrument in its own right?

    Is it all hogwashery?
     
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  2. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    It never becomes anything. We just decide we care.
     
  3. mugen74

    mugen74 Tele-Holic

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    Well, vintage doesn’t mean old.

    jh
     
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  4. ricardo1912

    ricardo1912 Tele-Afflicted

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    Often it's once people list it on Reverb or Ebay.
     
  5. nobis17

    nobis17 Tele-Meister

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    According to Fender, once it is reliced...
     
  6. teletail

    teletail Tele-Holic

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    I don't know when it IS, but if you have to ask then it ISN'T.
     
  7. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Friend of Leo's

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    Vintage doesn't really mean that much other than somewhat old (wait for someone to post a link to the definition of wine vintage, this always happens in these threads).

    A more general definition from the antique world is vintage means an item that's more than 25 years old but less than 100. So, that' 80's Kramer in your closet is "vintage". But, a lot of guitar folks set the time back to the 60's before major guitar companies (ie Fender and Gibson) came under external corporate control. Therefore, it's generally better to speak in terms of eras like pre-CBS or Norlin than specific years.
     
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  8. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    vintage would be a tag you could give a guitar about 20 years after the last year of manufacture , but more to do with continued rarity of a specific model I have a 78 'am strat it is now 42 years old , I have the original case strap, case candy, tags and registration from fender and setup book with the same serial # as the guitar I have the original pick guard ( rebuilt by Dan Erliwine) tucked away for safe keeping , is it vintage ?......I dont know

    hard to say
     
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  9. graybeard65

    graybeard65 Tele-Meister

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    "Vintage", "rare", and "minty!" are all Craigslist terms used by buffoons and novices to describe perfectly mundane instruments that they think merit the terms, more often than legitimate sellers using them correctly. My understanding of the term "vintage" is that it applies to instruments from a particularly desirable period of manufacture. I've never heard of an actual timeframe that applies, like you'd see with vehicles or coins etc...but I suspect that there must be one -
     
  10. mugen74

    mugen74 Tele-Holic

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    We live in a world where people dig up time capsules 50 years after they were buried. There’s no value in your old stuff just cause it’s old. That’s a game invented by people with more dollars than sense. I’d take a new modern instrument over an old overpriced one any day.

    jh
     
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  11. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    EVERYTHING that is made is always "vintage." The word is not supposed to stand alone; you're supposed to attach a year (or general time period) to it. It's meaning is, roughly, "year of manufacture" when used after a date/period, or "made in the year" when used before a date/period.

    My car is a "2015 vintage" Dodge (no sympathies needed; I'm OK).

    My Skylark amp is a "vintage 1963" Gibson amp.

    My wine is a "2020 vintage" Carlo Rossi.

    ...and so on.

    Used alone (i.e. without a date attached), it means any wine in which all of the grapes used to make it were grown in the same season, giving the wine defining characteristics particular to that year. The alternative is a non-vintage wine, which is a blend of wines from different years. The result? More consistency year to year, less year-specific characteristics.

    You could adapt that definition to manufactured objects. A vintage object could be considered an object that has defining characteristics particular to that year, while non-vintage items don't change so much from year to year. Not a generally useful use of the word for guitars or old stuff in general, IMO. Useful when discussing specific year to year characteristics perhaps, but not a general term to simply mean "old."

    The use of "vintage" to mean roughly, "kind of old, but not really old," was originally a misuse, which unfortunately has made its way into common use.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2020
  12. 50ShadesofOrange

    50ShadesofOrange Tele-Meister

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    This might be a slippery slope.

    If any of my gear, which is almost all newer than me, is “vintage,” and I predate it...

    I’d rather not go where that might take me. :(
     
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  13. tubelectron

    tubelectron Tele-Afflicted

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    Here in France, a guitar is usually considered becoming vintage when she reaches over 30-year old. ;)

    Maybe because, unlike in the USA, there are no (and there were never) significant guitar industry in the country... o_O

    -tbln
     
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  14. mugen74

    mugen74 Tele-Holic

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    “Vintage” anything is nothing more than a pissing match. Look at me, I spent all my money on the “rare” “old” thing!

    jh
     
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  15. Skub

    Skub Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think I've reached vintage classification long before any of my guitars.

    I feel obliged to tell you all,it's a bit overrated. :(
     
  16. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Are 60s Japanese guitars vintage? The really crappy ones too?
     
  17. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    When Does Your Guitar Become Vintage?

    I'm not even sure that's a valid question. An old used guitar is an old used guitar. It's not like a vintage automobile where the purchaser expects to either restore it or pay for one already restored. I have a 1974 in my basement, an Ovation Balladeer. It's in very good condition, maybe even excellent for its age with nothing wrong that affects playability. Is it vintage? It's an old used guitar that might possibly fetch a few dollars more than I paid for it back then. So considering all this, maybe we're looking at things wrong. Maybe we need to ask if a guitar is collectible. Is it rare? Is it beautiful, like a work of art? Was it played by a famous and renowned musician? Legitimate collectors tend to make better judgments about value than someone trying to get rid of something before he dies or someone trying to knock a few thousand off the price. And a collector is more likely to be able to get his investment back when he goes to sell.
     
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  18. naveed211

    naveed211 Tele-Afflicted

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    You can register your car as “Classic” after 20-25 years right? That’s the benchmark I’ve always gone with for vintage for guitars if we’re just looking for an age range here.

    But it’s also not very meaningful. No one gives a crap about your 1994 Ford Escort and no one is going to give a crap about your “vintage” 1994 American Tele (some might, I suppose). But, people may care if it’s an early 90s Acura, or Corvette and an early 90s...I don’t know, some cool guitar from the 90s.

    You get my point. Whether “vintage” matters to most folks is relative.
     
  19. Luthier Vandros

    Luthier Vandros Tele-Holic

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    When you want to sell it.
     
  20. Dreadnut

    Dreadnut Tele-Afflicted

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    Good answer Vandros, LOL!

    I have a '76 Guild D25M acoustic that I bought brand new, and a '99 Guild DV52 that I bought used, I consider them vintage because they are both from the Westerly, RI factory which closed in the early 2000's.

    I also have a Takamine Acoustic "Flying A" from 1981 that I consider vintage because of both its age and its rarity.
     
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