I’ve been scared off from buying a vintage guitar but would love to own one

Discussion in '"Vintage" Instruments' started by VJF, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. bibir

    bibir Member

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    I know and believe that some of the vintage strats will be so good to play, but I can't justify myself to pay 10k+ for a guitar and worry about so many things about originality. That's why I settled with two masterbuilt strats instead.

    For vintage, I prefer Gibsons, but I never bought myself a 100% original also. As long as the pickups are original, I am happy. Honestly I don't have the patience to learn about originalities in so many parts, I don't even have the patience to learn about some scales or chords, let alone about originality of some guitar.

    You have to know yourself first before dwelling to vintages, whether you are a player/hobbyist, or a collector..
     
  2. sikoniko

    sikoniko Member

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    I get the sense that you don't really want a guitar, but you want a time-capsule that you look at, but don't want the reality of aging. Be prepared to spend big bucks, and buy a properly sealed and humidified room.

    OTOH, if you want a guitar, go buy a guitar, play it, love it, and accept whatever fate may bring.
     
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  3. slimdave

    slimdave Member

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    There’s always a risk at any transaction. But buying from a reputable dealer reduces the risk a lot. Another discussion would be: who is a reputable dealer in today’s market.
    But at least when you buy from a reputable dealer, you know who you have to go after if anything is wrong. But frankly, how manny people do you know that have been scammed from one of the major vintage dealers?
    Another good way to reduce risks even more is to do your homework and learn as much as you can about vintage guitar dealers. Internet is your friend.
     
  4. NewLeaf09

    NewLeaf09 Supporting Member

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    Never ask a barber whether you need a haircut. Be clear on motives - sellers have one set of objectives, buyers another.
     
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  5. clint

    clint Member

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    I went with boutique builders and never looked back. Spent some dough on nice amps, too, since more of the sound comes from the amp IMO.
    I used to live near a big vintage dealer and except for one really nice '59 ES-335, I never ran across a truley great vintage axe. There are lots of basically average sounding/meh vintage pieces on the market and cost a small fortune compared to a small builder.
    Skinny worn frets, questionable originality. Stories. No thanks.
    Now when the vintage market implodes, I'll be definitely looking for those great sounding and playing vintage axes folks always rave about.
     
  6. NewLeaf09

    NewLeaf09 Supporting Member

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    I was talking with one of the great guys who work at Dave's and he said he had played a number of the guitars in the upstairs collections and said as instruments some were great but some were so-so, which shouldn't surprise anyone. I've had the same experience trying to chase down a '50s Goldtop or a Special and so far I have not been wowed. My '03 R6 with '53 P90s is to me an awesome guitar and for full disclosure, I"m not sure the '53 P90s made all that much difference except they might be slightly softer played clean compared to the originals, and they're out of phase. I tried out a '50s Les Paul Special at a vintage mainstay store - it was priced at $13k but that dropped to $10k the moment I mention price and they even offered to overlook the sales tax - it had nothing special except looks and the bridge pickup was on its last legs.

    When the vintage market implodes you'll leap in? You and everyone else who thinks similarly will act individually to keep that from happening.
     
  7. VJF

    VJF Member

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    Well...your "sense" is way off. Umm maybe re-read the OP slowly :dunno

    Let me re-quote and highlight the key parts for you:

     
  8. Mr Fingers

    Mr Fingers Member

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    As a lifelong player who also just loves looking into guitars, period, and is always on the lookout for the next one, I agree completely with Laurent Brondel's post. If you're serious about, say, an old Fender, the information is out there to allow you to verify every single part of that instrument. Yes, it may be that the machines were moved from another instrument, or something like that, but you can at least verify that every part is period correct, that the neck goes with the body, etc. If you are not prepared to do that, or do not have access to a third party who will do it for you, you may or may not get hosed. If you have a magnifying glass, and care to look, you can spot a refin. Etc. At the really high price points -- 58-60 LPs, the oldest Strats -- I suppose a faker could indeed invest the time and skill to stump me, certainly, and maybe an expert, but that requires a whole other level of skill and investment than we see in questionable guitars at, say, $12K. I'll bet that 90% of the cases where someone ends up with a questionable guitar come because the buyer saw what he wanted to see, took someone's word, etc., instead of verifying the instrument objectively.
     
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  9. sikoniko

    sikoniko Member

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    no, my sense is right. you are saying one thing, but are putting a requirement in place that contradicts that statement. If you want to buy a guitar, you should accept that anything could happen to it and just play it... forget about all of the possibilities that might or might not happen that are causing you paralysis on your decision and just do it or don't do it.

    worry about the future when that day comes, and enjoy the present for all it has to offer you.
     
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  10. sws1

    sws1 Member

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    You’d be surprised how many I’ve come across...all with the same dealer.
     
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  11. slimdave

    slimdave Member

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    Was this dealer an Englishman or did the shopname rhyme with trick? ;)
     
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  12. VJF

    VJF Member

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    Not sure why you're continuing to struggle with my OP so let me try and make it clearer for you by restating it simply:

    I do not want to buy a vintage guitar at today's prices for various reasons and wish I had bought one years ago when they were just used guitars.

    That's it...no "paralysis"... I declared my decision not to buy in the OP. Where do you get the impression, "sense" as you say, that I'm sitting here going back and forth on whether to buy or not?

    Maybe what is confusing you as a "contradiction" is that I'm saying I would like to own one. I would like to own one...but only because I bought it years ago when the price I would have paid was for a typical used guitar.

    Hope that helps :aok
     
  13. sikoniko

    sikoniko Member

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    yes, I see that. your decision to move forward is based on fear, which has paralyzed you from moving forward with a decision you have regret about. seems pretty straight forward. you can be in denial all you want, but those are your words, not mine.

    What I don't understand is if you want our sympathy or you want someone to tell you it is OK to buy one. I told you to buy one, and you told me no. So, I guess you are just whining and looking for sympathy...

    If you want one, buy one. if all you want to do is complain about your shoulda oughta's, then go see a therapist...
     
  14. guitarplayer1

    guitarplayer1 Member

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    I'd agree with many posters here that buying for a reputable dealer would alleviate several of those concerns ... however I don't personally see a vintage guitar as any decent investment at this point . I'd go so far as to say the market has already peaked years ago and I think the years ahead will not be kind to vintage guitars.

    Of course, if you want to fulfill a dream of owning one I'd say that's reason enough .... of course I'd buy a '63 as it's my fav year for pre-cbs strats.

    Good luck.
     
  15. slowerhand

    slowerhand Supporting Member

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    Re the market dropping further, if you watch the market and have some patience, you can get a nice refin with minor issues in the 6-8k range. That's in the ballpark of a Masterbuilt. Buying as an investment is a terrible idea IMO (not just for financial reasons), but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for the market to be flooded with cheap vintage guitars again. I think refins are expensive but worth it and that's my favorite segment of the market. Paying collector prices for a 100% intact one only makes sense if you have money to burn. Any time you pick it up one of your pickups may have gone poof! and there goes your "100% original" premium.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
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  16. VJF

    VJF Member

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    Wow you really are a piece of work. I have never seen somebody over analyze such a simple statement. You must be so much fun to be around at parties...do you get invited?
     
  17. sikoniko

    sikoniko Member

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    guess what, I own a '62 strat... and a '57 and a '60. so you can complain about being scared all you want... I actually did something about it while you are sitting on the side-lines.
     
  18. Guitarworks

    Guitarworks Member

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    I know, right? :rotflmaoThat's why it's a such ridiculous myth that the vintage market will collapse, least of all because of the supposed reason that "all the baby boomers are gonna die or retire". Yes, they're going to. Nothing can stop that. But that makes no difference. Maybe there aren't many people under 40 who are interested in those instruments right now...BUT....There are lots of people younger than 65, younger than 60, younger than 55, younger than 50, etc., etc. that are all lined up ready to take their place as the caretakers of those instruments. I've heard so many people say, and read so many quotes that go something along the lines of "Boy howdy! When all those boomers die and the market gets flooded with really, really old guitars, I'm gonna swoop in and scoop 'em all up for pennies on the dollar because nobody will want 'em!!" WRONG!! There are a couple million other people saying that same exact thing. You'll have to compete with them. And in doing so, you'll keep the market and market prices safely and securely afloat.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
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  19. Ferret

    Ferret Supporting Member

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    Why do people want and buy vintage guitars, especially when modern reproductions are often such good instruments, and just as often, 'almost' reproductions are more comfortable and playable? Beyond the feeling and bragging rights of owning something 'old, rare and valuable'—and only you can say how much that stuff is worth to you—I assume what you are really interested in is vintage sounds. And that is why people who buy vintage have the time and interest to learn all the stuff you need to know to detect fakes. You start learning before you buy because you want to know how those great sounds were produced. For my part, I'm not into paying top dollar for the really 'collectible' stuff. I don't mind much if a 50s guitar has replacement parts if they don't effect sound or playability or if they effect playability in a positive way. A fully restored 50s Harmony needs its sound box and P13 pickups intact and probably its neck or one from a Harmony of the same vintage. The neck will almost certainly need a lot of work, might need to be thinner, might need a lot of work on frets and fret board. The electronics might need to be replaced in part with vintage correct parts. After all this it will sound great and play great and give you everything the original owner had in sound and much more in playability. This was what you wanted wasn't it?

    As for owning original in all respects, I do own a Guild archtop from the mid fifties which is pretty certainly all original and is still a killer player. It didn't cost me much at all, so if I'm wrong about it being all original I won't lose much, if anything, if I sell. Not that I'm planning to sell. I love those 50s jazzy sounds. That's why I bought it.
     
  20. smiert spionam

    smiert spionam Member

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    Unfortunately, it was a business model for more than a few -- and now there are a lot of guitars out there with laundered pedigrees. I'd never pay vintage money for anything that passed through Chicago Music Exchange during the Scott Silver era, for example.

    I agree, though, that there are lots of good vintage deals to be had, especially if you're ok with a quality older refin or some fairly disclosed mods or repairs. It also helps if you're more interested in offsets or archtops than strats or LPs, though of course that doesn't help the OP much. ;)
     
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