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Possibly looking for a vintage Tele or LP Jr.

Laurent Brondel

Silver Supporting Member
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3,618
I guess I was more interested in how the vintage market was, as in overpriced or whatever. I think it would be best to wait for a recession and research in the meantime.
There are many threads here in the vintage section where the COVID bubble in the vintage market is discussed at length, do a quick search and you'll find plenty.
Yes we are in an inflationary curve and many vintage instruments are overpriced now, and due for correction at some point in the future.
My opinion is that there is too much money chasing an inventory that cannot grow (no more '50s or '60s guitars are made today, a downside of the spacetime continuum), whereas new instruments can be built all the time.
I surely don't hope for a recession though.
 

Spider-Man

Silver Supporting Member
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5,905
I suppose I asked the wrong question because the thought of purchasing a vintage instrument had just came to me that day. I guess I was more interested in how the vintage market was, as in overpriced or whatever. I think it would be best to wait for a recession and research in the meantime. Does the vintage market take a hit during recessions?

And believe me, I do my homework, it takes me 6 months to research and buy a pressure washer or a firearm! Lol

Prices are definitely higher than they were two years ago. Whether it's a bubble or the new norm remains to be seen. As long as people are willing to pay the current prices they will continue to increase due to limited availability. Short of a recession, the only way prices are going to come back down is if people stop buying.
 

andersmv

Member
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565
Those 2 sentences are in contradiction with each other.
First things first: maybe before buying anything, do some homework?

why im here.jpeg
 

Blauserk

Gold Supporting Member
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1,413
This thread is classic Gear Page (and classic Internet). Guy asks for help determining originality of a vintage instrument and thread has now devolved into whether vintage guitars bought now will appreciate.

Another vote for buying from reputable dealers until you've developed more expertise. I've had good experience with Gruhn and Retrofret (both of whom have given me hyper-detailed reports on guitars I've bought; Retrofret has given fair disclosures on guitars I've given them to sell). Lark Street seems pretty good from what I've seen over the years but I've never bought from them. Jay Rosen missed an issue, but sold me the guitar for a sufficiently low price that I forgave him.

As far as frothiness of the market goes, LP juniors are still not that stratospheric; I still see ones going for what I sold one for in 2008 ($6500--about top of the market then). Vintage Teles and Esquires, even if you're talking post-CBS (but pre-polyurethane) are quite expensive. Most LP Juniors sound pretty good, and are fairly affordable with ordinary wear and tear. For that matter, SG juniors sound pretty damned good, and are less expensive still--but neck thickness varies from year to year.
 
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Spider-Man

Silver Supporting Member
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5,905
This thread is classic Gear Page (and classic Internet). Guy asks for help determining originality of a vintage instrument and thread has now devolved into whether vintage guitars bought now will appreciate.

Actually, if you read post #20 the OP clarified that what he wants to know is how the market is and whether it is overpriced...
 

smiert spionam

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,847
If you remove the quotation marks, you basically have the definition of how I've always looked at vintage guitars. As sound investments.

;)

I think they're a smart way to spend guitar money (I've never lost money on a vintage guitar, but have lost plenty on new stuff), and they're definitely an investment in sound.

I just think it's foolish to mistake them for an actual financial instrument, which is usually only imagined by people who don't own them or play them. People who think of them that way seem to be missing the point, and the real value -- so they'll be disappointed when their vintage guitar purchase doesn't perform like a 401k.
 
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Benz2112

Memba?
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6,896
There are certainly reputable dealers and brokers out there, but I'd highly suggest reading up about the years you are looking at, what the specs are, the serial number ranges, as well as identifying features. There is a lot of great information out there.

I'd also look at price history information on reverb, gbase, and other places, to see where the market was, and where it is going.
 

bebopdeluxe

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
90
And in 2008 prices dropped a lot. Some of them only came back to even this year.

I think that there is a difference in the market between all-original, "no issues" vingage guitars and, say, re-fins. While the two guitars that I purchased in the early 2000's (1959 Junior and 1968 ES-330) are now worth 3-4x what I paid for them, my re-finished 1956 Goldtop has barely moved in value from when I bought it in 2007. Granted, I got it at a discount from what a "no issues" '56 was selling for back then, and I am back above water from what I paid for it (I am sure I would have taken a major hit had I had to sell it in 2010-11, for example). However, I do not expect any massive price appreciation from here. For me, the lower re-fin price allowed me to get into the instrument I really wanted at a price point that I could live with.

I think that is the question one needs to ask oneself when buying right now - are you buying as an investment, or are you buying because you love the instrument and want to have it in your collection to PLAY?
 

Spider-Man

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5,905
Why not both? It can be an investment that I enjoy playing. They are not mutually exclusive. I would never own an instrument for collecting only. They are made to be played.
 

slimdave

Member
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829
Why not both? It can be an investment that I enjoy playing. They are not mutually exclusive. I would never own an instrument for collecting only. They are made to be played.

True. But at certain levels it’s not easy to combine both. Not talking about bursts or really really high end stuff.
But let’s say you buy a 58 all original strat for 30k. Maybe you’re in a big band and you can justify it and somebody takes care of it constantly and you can gig it without caring too much. But let’s say, you play small places and rehearsal rooms. Like me.

Where do you draw the line? I’m thinking about it lately. Not easy.

Even if I could afford a 50s all original strat or tele, would it make sense to buy such a great guitar and use it only in certain situations and use the backup most of the time? Because if I buy the best guitar I can afford, then I want to play it everywhere, all the time. Just a Sunday thought.
 

ned7flat5

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4,757
Both guitars are arguably among the “best” models to sweat over originality aspects as they have minimal parts. It’s probably much easier to validate an instrument’s claimed provenance that way.
 

hogy

Silver Supporting Member
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14,177
True. But at certain levels it’s not easy to combine both. Not talking about bursts or really really high end stuff.
But let’s say you buy a 58 all original strat for 30k. Maybe you’re in a big band and you can justify it and somebody takes care of it constantly and you can gig it without caring too much. But let’s say, you play small places and rehearsal rooms. Like me.

Where do you draw the line? I’m thinking about it lately. Not easy.

Even if I could afford a 50s all original strat or tele, would it make sense to buy such a great guitar and use it only in certain situations and use the backup most of the time? Because if I buy the best guitar I can afford, then I want to play it everywhere, all the time. Just a Sunday thought.

Yeah, I don't get that line of thinking. I play dive bars and outdoor gigs with my best guitars. That's what I have them for. They're insured and I'm not being stupid with them. I don't get drunk or stoned, I don't leave them unattended, and no, you can't sit in and play them. Bring your own guitar.

What would I be saving this stuff for? So that some random dude can enjoy it when I'm dead? No indeed.

I play these guitars "everywhere, all the time". The whole point of owning them is that I get a thrill out of playing them out.
 

smiert spionam

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,847
Guitars are for playing. If a place is safe enough to take my precious temple of a glorious, wondrous body, a '50s tele will be just fine.

I'd personally choose any number of prewar acoustics (or '50s archtops) over a strat or tele for $30k, but I don't for a second begrudge anyone who is more fulfilled by a solid-body electric.
 

Laurent Brondel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,618
Where do you draw the line? I’m thinking about it lately. Not easy.
The line is easy: get a Heritage insurance plan tailored for you: for a few hundred $$$ per year you’ll be able to bring and play your vintage gear everywhere you want.
Otherwise, what’s the point? I play and travel with my stuff all the time and don’t even keep what I don’t use.
 




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