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Why the fascination with "older" guitars?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Digiplay, Dec 4, 2020.

  1. hnryclay

    hnryclay Tele-Meister

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    I like old guitars because they tell a story, the marks on the fretboatd, cigerette burns belt buckle marks, these are scars from a life well lived. I dont get reliced guitars, but I admit some of them do look cool.
     
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  2. standup

    standup TDPRI Member

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    I have always bought used guitars to save money. I also think used guitars with some wear are cooler and more fun than a new guitar that’s shiny and the first ding will be heartbreaking.

    I’m in my 50s, so the 62 reissue télé I got for $300 is worth more than that now, for example. I picked up a ‘60 Gretsch Anniversary for maybe $400 because it was unplayable, needed work. I got the work done, it’s a great guitar. I don’t think a current Electromatic Gretsch would compare.

    i have some cool guitars, but I got them because they were cheap.

    When I bought a blackface fender showman amp it was cheap because it was in the last few years that people considered solid state amps more modern and reliable.
     
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  3. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    We fear the erasure of death, ache at the isolations upon us, resent the obliviousness of so many about our elders' loyalties, need to lean on what roots alone can grow. Hence, things marked by time, from the distant past, long used by fellow humans to express emotion, dinged and dented by their imaginable needs and trusts, hazed from our current woes, symbolizing endurance, made of solid materials and the ingenuities of their day, are very reassuring. Ghosts join us when we pick up an old guitar.

    "Texture" sums it up.

    Plus, those patinas! A sun-soaked old guitar has sepia pastels that are so warm they're ultra cool. Whereas the very new is still more factory than universe, more chemical than character.

    My borrowed 2 cents, anyway....
     
  4. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I have a couple of 70s guitars. For me it’s owning those very same guitars that first gave you GAS - as in the real ones, not the reissues and tributes. Nostalgia? Maybe. Also 70s Fenders have amazing necks, should that be your taste! I think feeling around this depends partly on how much of a fan people are of guitars as objects as opposed to a musician looking for a tool.
     
  5. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm guessing Fender getting sold to CBS has a lot to do with it. It created a line in the sand of the perception of better quality in pre-'65 Fenders. As time went by other brands benefited from the illusion of past = higher quality.

    Thing that cracks me up is people buying up the old Teiscos from the '60s. I had a friend with one back then - it was literally junk; a toy, like the Starcasters you see for $80 in Costco. Now people are asking $200+ for them, just because of the age.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2020
  6. Joshtheguitarguy

    Joshtheguitarguy TDPRI Member

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    I think it's our fascination with players who used them. Everyone wants a 59´, a 62 strat, a 1951 nocaster. But most people can´t afford them. So we buy reissues to be able to feel that thing that we want from the old ones.
     
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  7. regularslinky

    regularslinky Tele-Afflicted

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    Nostalgia + a mature market with disposable income + high quality/low cost guitars.

    Back in the day, most non-pro players (including me) felt lucky to have one decent guitar. Now that decent guitars are relatively cheap and plentiful, we're like kids in a candy store. Affordable reissues of lesser known, under-the-radar guitars are a perfect way to separate us from a few hundred bucks. We weren't clamoring for an Epiphone Coronet reissue, but they're cool and unusual, unlike anything we already have, and many of us will gladly drop $400 for one.
     
  8. golfnut

    golfnut Friend of Leo's

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    I'm not fascinated so much with the old 50's style teles. The 2 telecasters I own are modeled after 50's guitars. I'm more fascinated with the music of the 50's - 60's so I feel my Telecasters are more appropriate for the music I'm playing. In the 80's when I played the hair metal music I owned the pointy shredder guitars. I own the gear that best represents the music I'm playing. I don't know about anyone else.
     
  9. aFewGoodTaters

    aFewGoodTaters Tele-Meister

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    If you're asking why people buy new reissues or otherwise new 'inspired by vintage' model guitars, it's because people can't afford (or cannot justify) the cost of the real thing. They want the general look and tonal qualities of the classics but at a price point they can justify. I'm firmly in that market, as are lots of others.
     
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  10. PeteWaller

    PeteWaller Tele-Meister

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    I dont like modern....my guitar is a reissue and its has a relic finish...fake finish I know and if I had the money and the patience to wait i suppose I could have ordered from the custom shop a new finish which I think I would have preferred...but my tele came up used for sale and I do feel a bit of a fake BUT i love the way it looks and for me it harks back to happier times before the digital age, for me better music and just BETTER:) Like old motorbikes and classic cars...as someone else said> nostalgia. And its a keeper which I will hand down to my son.
     
  11. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    I may not know why people gravitate to the the reissues and drool over the vintage stuff, but you must be a Smart Aleck young whippersnapper. Now get off my lawn! :cool:
     
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  12. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    They keep changing specs and models so often, there are very few of my guitars you could replace with the same thing, and quite often it's not even just the finish. Not that they are that old.
     
  13. Bryan A

    Bryan A Tele-Meister

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    Fender, Gibson, and Martin went through a bad period in the 70s when their guitars weren’t that good. Then came the 80s where it seemed like every guitarist had purple or zebra striped guitars with Floyd Rose whammy bars and all that crap. A lot of people probably got to the conclusion that “I want a guitar like when they were good, before the 70s and 80s”
     
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  14. hemingway

    hemingway Poster Extraordinaire

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    I like new guitars. I like old guitars. I like guitars.
     
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  15. El Famoso

    El Famoso Tele-Meister

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    I’m 43. I hang out here to feel young :p
     
  16. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    When I was in high school in 1970, I had bought a 54 Strat, 1953 LP Goldtop, and a 1970 LP Goldtop. A couple of years later, I bought a 1930's L-5.

    They were great guitars, and I sometimes did a little work on them, but as far as age and collectability goes, they were great conversation pieces. But I notice that I had little or no photos of them. I was too busy playing out in those days to take time to photograph them. I do have a lot of tapes, though.
     
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  17. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Tele-Afflicted

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    Old guitars:
    1. Mojo
    2. Aging tonewood continues to sound better through time and improves longer the guitar is played
    3. Pickups' magnets weaken with age and some believe vintage pickups sound great
    4. Not to mention the value of vintage instruments
     
  18. Area51

    Area51 Tele-Holic

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    I don't get it either. Especially reliced guitars. Makes no sense to me, but it is the latest trend. I'd rather have a shiny new one!

    Of course, if you're a collector that's a whole different answer. Then it might not be just how old or rare, but who played it.

    There are some old cars I wouldn't mind having, but doubt I'd actually go buy one. In this case, however, people like the ones that are the most original and closest to new. No one wants a reliced old car!
     
  19. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    My wife’s Nissan Altima is light-years better in reliability, comfort and overall quality than my dad’s ‘56 Ford Fairlane—even with the upgraded engineering he installed (disc brakes, air conditioning, etc.)...

    But guess which one is cooler to drive?
    3C81078F-B34F-4316-A26F-0E6A294798EF.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2020
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  20. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    I guess you’ve never seen a Rat Rod (car or bike)...that’s what I look at relic’d guitars as—Rat Rodded guitars.
     
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