How important is originality in a vintage guitar to you?

Discussion in '"Vintage" Instruments' started by Jayyj, Dec 1, 2017.


  1. BMX

    BMX Supporting Member

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    I'd only be interested in vintage guitars with very high end refrets. If it's not refretted it's like buying a problem I have to fix. If it's got a really well done refret, everything else is original AND it has a legit history (so I don't have any doubt it's a vintage guitar) then I'll pay top dollar. If it's just a vintage guitar on the wall of a guitar store and they can't really prove it's legit I'll pass.
     
  2. slowerhand

    slowerhand Supporting Member

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    Bit off topic, but how many times can a guitar be refretted, assuming it's done competently? If the frets are original, at least you know it has many more refrets in it.
     
  3. rickenbackerkid

    rickenbackerkid Member

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    I don't really care. I like old guitars for the sound and feel, if they have that, then that's all I care about. Both my vintage acoustics have replacement bridges, pickups mounted, etc.
     
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  4. philiprst

    philiprst Supporting Member

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    I am somewhat in the middle here; I am mainly interested in the sound of the guitar so being original matters more for some components than others. Assuming that the basic structural components (neck, body) are original I certainly want the original pickups and electronics. I don't care so much if a pickguard screw is a replacement or a wire has been resoldered. Since frets are a wear and tear item I am not too concerned if the guitar has been refretted, provided it is a good job to original specs and the price reflects that. My general attitude towards refrets is that since I will play the guitar it will need a refret down te road even if the frets are still original. So if there is to be depreciation caused by a refret I would rather that the previous owner take that hit rather than me.
     
  5. Pinstripe

    Pinstripe Member

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    Depends on the price.

    The higher the price, the more important originality is.....mostly because it helps you on the way out of a guitar, should the need or desire arise.
     
  6. sixty2strat

    sixty2strat Member

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    YOUR A LUCKY MAN
    Friend of mine has a X he built him...worth every penny, worth the weight and never played a new guitar that felt so old and sounded it. Never played any max but there are a lot of guys trying to copy the old stuff he nailed it. For my money Clive Brown is a master, I'd bet as good an investment as a vintage piece with out the worry.
     
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  7. GiorgioV

    GiorgioV Member

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    Thanks man! My Eliminator is due to leave Clive's lab tomorrow morning and I could hardly sleep tonight (might also be due to me drinking a couple more than necessary yesterday but that's another story..)!
     
  8. sikoniko

    sikoniko Member

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    I have two stories to tell, so I will break them up into separate threads and post the second one later for discussion.

    The first one was an encounter I had recently. I was in my friends shop and he had a guy bring in a mutt. It was a '63 strat with a '57 reissue neck and he had changed the second tone knob to be some sort of switch. When he bought the guitar sometime in the '70s it already had a '73 neck on it. He didn't even know. He just assumed it was all original. Guess that was what it was like in the days before the internet. Guess what? he didn't care.

    He traded the '73 neck to my buddy (my buddy made a Ritchie Blackmore strat out of it) and didn't think twice about having a '57 reissue neck. Why? Because he wanted to guitar as an instrument. his instrument. This guy can play. He was running through sultans of swing in the shop. he also plays at one of the local churches I'm told.

    Now, he bought the guitar before it was valuable, or a collectors item, but he never cared about it in that context. He bought it to play it and made it what he needed to be his instrument.

    To me, a guitar is first and foremost a musical instrument that should be played. Every time I've bought a guitar, I have put myself on a strict practice regime to justify the purchase.

    Vintage guitars can be great. So can modern guitars. It doesn't really matter, as long as they inspire people to practice and play. Find a guitar you want. Find a guitar you love and play it. Find a guitar that inspires you, and don't worry about what others think. If it's original, thats cool. If its not, thats cool too. Whatever inspires you to be creative.
     
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  9. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    Originality would be a distant second to a good fit for me. A player grade guitar, at a fraction of the cost of an original, that feels, sounds and plays the way I want it to would be purchased before an all original. If I had the income to collect I really don't think it would change my choices. In other words, it's the individual guitar, not the wow factor or cost.
     
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  10. Dumb Bell

    Dumb Bell Member

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    As far as the fake Strat thing goes, my buddy about 25 years ago bought a Salmon pink Strat from the only vintage dealer around here for a seemingly decent price, guitar looks beautiful. He was told that it had changed pickups, to Texas Specials. Turns out the only original parts are the neck and hardware, body is a reissue. I mean it's a fine guitar the way it is, but i would never consider it a real vintage Strat. As far as sound goes, it pales in comparison to my '60.
     
  11. Laro

    Laro Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a 75 hardtail Strat that I’ve had 7 or 8 years. When I first purchased it I couldn’t get it set up right, to much buzz all over the neck. Had my tech look at it and he said if needed a refret if I was going to play it. Had a refret and it plays great.
    Guitars generally not good investments. If you find a older one you like play her, and when you pass give it to your kids.
     
  12. Lotis

    Lotis Silver Supporting Member

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    Pure 100% vintage is like buying a 1956 Chevrolet with original water, oil, battery, tires. You can brag and dig it.......but you probably aren't going to go anywhere with it.
     
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  13. 27sauce

    27sauce Supporting Member

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    Not really, unless you’re only talking about strings.

    I have a few completely original guitars from the 50’s and 60’s that I gig often. Electronics are good, frets are good, tuners are good...why change them?

    Definitely not like original tires, battery, oil, water on a 56 Chevy.
     
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  14. Mr Fingers

    Mr Fingers Member

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    I'm a player, not a collector, so the idea of possessing a pristine yet very old, great instrument is both perverse and offensive to me. A instrument no one plays is not even a musical instrument anymore -- it's a weird trophy or fetish. The world's greatest violins are placed in the ands of brilliant musicians in order to be played. They have been repaired , and in the case of Strads, highly modified (neck!) many times over. With so many guitars out there, and being a patient buyer, I tend to seek instruments that do not need to be heavily modified to fit my use, and I wish others would do the same, as much as possible, because each mod job tends to make the guitar more "particularized," and very few modders do work even to the standard of the original factory. Ditto, refins and repairs. I did a gentle restoration of the finish on my played-to-death '36 Gibson 00 and it is incredible. I'll be most others, trying the same thing, would have ruined it. As another poster said, price usually settles everything anyway. I enjoy saving huge dollars buying instruments where I can undo some knucklehead's lousy work and bring a great guitar back to normal life. So I guess I'd say that the only thing I hate and avoid are great guitars that have never been treated like musical instruments. If I had one of those, I'd likely sell it instantly to some insane collector and buy a player.
     
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  15. datguytim

    datguytim Supporting Member

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    Depends on the guitar & modification IMO. I got my '53 Epiphone Zephyr Deluxe Regent - somebody at some point put PAFs in place of the New Yorker PUs & put a tuneomatic bridge on top of a rosewood base. Unsure if the neck was ever reset or not - has great intonation & action. I love the guitar. Overtones that are straight mystifying & the 'buckers make it much more usable. Doesn't hurt that they are real PAFs.

    I got it for a price I couldn't pass up.

    As for routed LPs & switched out neck/bodies/parts - no thanks.
     
  16. billyguitar

    billyguitar Member

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    Changed parts and repairs are great for bargaining.
     
  17. 27sauce

    27sauce Supporting Member

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    That’s the best/easiest way to get over on somebody, on the really high end stuff. Routes, refins, changed parts distract the buyer. If the worst is in your face, you’re less likely to examine as closely as you would a “no issues” example.

    Like this. The whole story is the damage and the price. Hard to look past it to see nearly everything is wrong on it.
    https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/59-deadburst.1894715/
     
    Jayyj likes this.
  18. mvsr990

    mvsr990 Supporting Member

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    Not really into high end vintage (even if I had the money) but if I was I'd want the guitar with original finish and electronics.

    If we're getting into major changes or refinishes, I don't see the point vs. boutique/custom shop (since a vintage refinished Fender is generally still more expensive than either). Wood is wood.
     
  19. Coolidge

    Coolidge Member

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    I see no difference between replacing worn out strings and worn out frets.
     
  20. bigtone23

    bigtone23 Member

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    I like originality, but performance is king.

    I'm a player that likes older instruments that don't depreciate. If some consumable parts are switched out, no big deal, it's necessary to keep it on the road. When I found my 69 Strat, it was in pretty rough shape and needed frets just to be playable. The tech and I could tell from the radius and thickness of the board that it had been in for a refret at least once before, so it was of no consequence except to make it playable again. I put 6105s on it since I prefer medium jumbos and it is my guitar until I'm dead. The guitar also needed new tone pots and it had already been 5-wayed at some point. Sure, it's not all original, but it plays and I could possibly restore it to nearly stock if I found a 1969 harness. Not gonna happen, though. It's working perfectly and why spend hundreds on that harness? I'm not selling it.

    Same goes for my 72 Jazz. I got it for a song because it had been refinished (natural ash from the original natural ash) and the original electronics and pickuguard were swapped out. That is also fine by me since it was purchased to be played and I had a Bartolini/J Retro pre to drop in it already. It was my main player for years until I went 5 string, now it gets much less play time.
     

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