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Rumble Seat Music, Retrofret Vintage Guitars

mudster

High Prairie Wrangler
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3,664
Has anyone had experience purchasing vintage instruments from either of these dealers? I am far less trusting of music stores than I used to be. It never hurts to ask. Rec's on reliable vintage dealers in the USA appreciated as well. Thanks
 

gtrfinder

Silver Supporting Member
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3,726
While almost any vintage guitar transaction has the potential to be risky; those two are some of the more trusted and well reviewed dealers that I am aware of.
The prices they ask will reflect that, though….
 
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2,395
What do you want?

If you're worried about buying something that is 100% fake I think those chances are very slim to nil. If you're worried that every part on the guitar is original you might find undisclosed shenanigans like repro decals, or repro knobs, little touch ups et cetera. Funny enough, looking at Teles Rumble Seat listed a 69 (maybe?) as a Maple Cap tele on Reverb/Gbase a few weeks ago... but not only that: the description waxed poetic about the tone/feel of the "special era of maple cap" guitars.

You could see the plug on the headstock! :jo (they corrected it after a polite message)
 

Highnumbers

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,767
Yes always check everything out and get an inspection at a third party dealer if you can.

But both of those dealers are on the short list of the most trusted dealers in the country (especially Retrofret). No shop is perfect and mistakes can happen, but both of these shops are reputable when it comes to dealing with mistakes.
 

RAG7890

Gold Supporting Member
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2,559
A good friend of mine (here in Australia) has done a LOT of deals with RSM, buying & (mostly) selling (a Burst, GT's, loads of Fenders) & speaks highly of Elliot.

:beer
 

SBlue

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
669
I've done a few business with RSM and can't recommend them enough.
 

Studio Owner

Member
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833
They are reputable dealers, but you CAN NOT rely on the dealer to authenticate anything, you need a THIRD PARTY EXPERT to authenticate things.

And in general, even the reputable guitar dealers are still relatively shady.

You CAN NOT petition the Lord with prayer.
 
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Blauserk

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,413
I've had good luck with Retrofret. They do a pretty good job of detecting and disclosing issues with vintage guitars. Also, good luck with Gruhn; they don't necessarily list on their website all the work that is done, but if you call, they'll give you chapter and verse on every issue on the guitar.
 

Black Squirrel

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,339
I have dealt with both with no issues, The thing with Retrofret is they really go through everything and make sure its straight, They get all the money but I'm my experience with them you get what you paid for. As it has been said get expert eyes on it if you can, But I understand not everyone has access to experts. So do your homework if possible.
 

Studio Owner

Member
Messages
833
If you are buying vintage guitars, you should have a relationship with a luthier or tech who is competent to work on them and authenticate them maybe for a few extra bucks above initial setup. My fav, who is a retired dentist, absolutely brilliant luthier and obsessive maniac about vintage guitars, is usually more than happy just to get his hands on some of these specimens. A true blues dentist. They are in every city I've ever been in. And a few are on TGP.

I don't trust any guitar dealer. I've seen some rancid sleaze from the best of 'em. Still bit of a wild west.
 
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mudster

High Prairie Wrangler
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3,664
Thanks for the input, much appreciated. I asked because even businesses who have been around decades can be very sketchy IME, so I thought I'd ask for direct experiences. I had my eye on one instrument in particular, but alas it sold.
I definitely plan to see if one of the well-respected experts on TGP would provide input for a fee prior to any purchase. Some dealers are too far for me to travel to, but my preference would be to do the preliminary verification, then visit in person to determine if I like the instrument.
 

mudster

High Prairie Wrangler
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3,664
If you are buying vintage guitars, you should have a relationship with a luthier or tech who is competent to work on them and authenticate them
I definitely know someone competent to work on them, but I do not personally know someone who can authenticate Fenders in particular. There is a repairman who posts on TGP whom I would reach out to in hopes of paying for a professional opinion in that regard.
 

Rockinrob86

Gold Supporting Member
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3,968
Some places are fraudulently trying to pull one over on you, some places don’t know what they’re doing/talking about, and some places have seen, owned and sold so many instruments and know so much about them that sometimes something slips by innocently. The key is knowing which one you’re dealing with and responding accordingly.
 

TwoHandsTenThumbs

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,649
Yes always check everything out and get an inspection at a third party dealer if you can.

But both of those dealers are on the short list of the most trusted dealers in the country (especially Retrofret). No shop is perfect and mistakes can happen, but both of these shops are reputable when it comes to dealing with mistakes.
This mirrors my experience completely.
And in general, even the reputable guitar dealers are still relatively shady.
Well-known ≠ reputable. After 35 years of buying, selling, trading, going to shows…I would disagree that reputable dealers are relatively shady. Any mistakes that I’ve ever encountered were honest, and remedied to my satisfaction swiftly. That’s not shady, just human.
 

70 Mach 1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,514
Retrofret 100% reliable and trustworthy
Been in Brooklyn ever since I can remember

Never heard of the other store.
Also worth checking out is main drag music and Southside guitars both also in Brooklyn
 

davidos

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
790
Never dealt with Retrofret. Won't deal with Rumbleseat again. I'll leave it at that.
 




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