The last generation of guitar aficionados?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by 70' s Tone, Jan 3, 2018.


  1. MkIII Renegade

    MkIII Renegade Member

    Messages:
    929
    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2017
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    It will still be around quite a well. The death of Rock N Roll (and therefore electric guitars to a great extent) has been predicted countless times since the 1950s. :oops:

    Perhaps one day I will be a Renegade loner prowling the desert in my gasoline V-8 Interceptor with an old fashioned stringed guitar and positively ancient tube amp. I'm ready. :cool:
     
    SMT and stonem like this.
  2. Advisable Owl

    Advisable Owl Member

    Messages:
    1,051
    Joined:
    May 1, 2013
    Location:
    The Ohio State University
    We're certainly in the last generation of guitarists that will pay any substantial amount of money for guitars. Mark's GL had a CC#7 for sale for $4k for what seemed like a year before it was snapped up. Hell there's a DGN in the emporium that hasn't sold that should've been snapped up by now at the price it's sitting at. George at Metro couldn't even come up with the funding for a 50W version of his Super/Metroplex series because there wasn't enough interest. Ken Fischer is dead and HAD has no real relevance to anyone but pros these days, let alone any semblance of a connection to a new generation.

    Marshall/Fender/Gibson/GC are basically dying as we watch. There's a plethora of FX pedals being made today that stomp anything made in the past 30 years, without all of the issues with hum, noise, and consistency. All of the "collectible" guitars and amps, are already collected, and anything that isn't is either astronomically overpriced, or has a dubious air about it. We're getting to 60+ years from new, and in most cases, even originality. We're getting to the point where it'll be 2nd and 3rd hand attraction to these items, and there's no real money in that. Guitar won't die, but the market behind it will.
     
  3. pickdropper

    pickdropper Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,538
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2011
    Tastes may change, but I'm not quite convinced guitars are going to die quite yet, even if the market contracts a bit.

    Besides, a lot of us Gen X'ers who grew up in the 80's still love guitars. In a few years, I'm looking forward to the TGP arguments about whether or not the Snakeskin pattern on the Jackson Soloist Reissues is period correct or not.
     
    (Something), gerg6 and Tommy Biggs like this.
  4. Jayyj

    Jayyj Member

    Messages:
    1,907
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    As far as the used market is concerned, there are a lot of factors at play. A well made guitar can remain highly playable for many decades, and as mass production techniques have improved the point at which the guitars last a decent lifetime and don't end up in landfill (or condemned to spend the rest of their days sat on Ebay with a ridiculous price on it because the owner confidently believes that Japanese catalogue guitar from the 60s is a vintage collectible) has dropped lower and lower. So, every year the pool of used guitars gets bigger as the factories funnel more and more new guitars in whilst the old ones remain in circulation.

    Meanwhile, manufacture has never been better and factories are churning out product with lower and lower reject rates - record numbers of new guitars are being made every year. I'm the buyer for a guitar retailer and the number of phonecalls I take from people who are determined to sell me their line of mid priced acoustic guitars despite the fact I already have existing lines coming out of my ears - there's just so much of this stuff being made it's unreal.

    This is compounded by the fact many of the big manufacturers boost their sales bymarketing primarily to those who buy and sell multiple guitars because they want whatever the latest flavour of the month is rather to than someone buying their one good guitar that they're going to own for years, so turnover of new guitars is fairly high. You can see this in Fender's constant stream of FSR guitars and in Gibson's yearly range revamp.

    On top of all that it gets easier and easier to sell your used instruments - 20 years ago you either advertised in local second hand papers, in the classified of guitar magazines or you sold to the local shop. Now selling globally peer to peer is easy for anyone with a tablet.

    It's becoming an increasing problem for manufacturers in that the used market is heavily eating into the new market - for all the trademark posturing for example, at this point Gibson's main competitor is Gibson, because if you want a Les Paul you can either buy a new one or there's upwards of 30 years worth of perfectly good vintage correct-ish used ones available for much less than the new one. That's why they keep doing weird things with the model - there's no point making a simple LP Standard like everyone wants them to because there are 1000s of 1990s ones for half what they can make them for. Add in zero frets, push pull pots etc and at least the salesman can say 'if you want the state of the art current model, you have to buy it new'.

    Retailers are also affected by this - yes, they can get round the used problem by buying used themselves, but it's not as easy add that because the days of having a constant stream of walk in customers selling their old guitars are good thanks to the Internet. A motivated seller will get far more for their guitar oboe than the shop can offer, and everyone who does bring something in has unrealistic expectations because they've googled grandad's old Danelectro before they came in and they're loads of them for $2k on Reverb.

    So, all of those are pressures on the current market long before you get into who's buying!
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  5. bobmc

    bobmc Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,266
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    Boonton NJ
    I'd say this about the vinyl analogy; like playing the guitar, you can play a record in a room full of people and the majority wouldn't have any regard or respect for music. They will simply keep talking about x,y, and z. Add a big screen TV and well, even the commercials are more interesting!

    I kinda/sorta get the OP. I am not sure what it would take to make the guitar (or any instrument) as popular again. I hope it shows up, but I don't know what it would be.
     
  6. clayt0n

    clayt0n Member

    Messages:
    289
    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2017
    Location:
    Urbana / Champaign
    Lossless audio played through a high quality DAC will beat the vinyl every single time. Bit perfect reproduction of audio vs. etchings on a vinyl polymer? Scientists, audiophiles, and the engineers that produce the audio systems will agree.

    It is not fair to put MP3 in any comparison against vinyl unless the vinyl record is of some recording made on AM radio.
     
    deluxelespaul and Fat tone79 like this.
  7. Jayyj

    Jayyj Member

    Messages:
    1,907
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2015
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    To be fair, there are a fair few names that could legitimately be added to the end of that list - my generation was just about old enough to remember Kurt but the guitarists that got us playing were John Squire, Bernard Butler, Nick McCabe, Jonny Greenwood, James Dean Bradfield, Noel Gallagher. They're not names that probably mean much to older people but, you know, young bands aren't there to impress old people, they're there for the kids. And there are some pretty big guitar magazine friendly names covering the last 20 years: Jack White and Matt Bellamy have been a big deal in younger guitar circles, Tommy Emmanuel and Joe Bonamassa inspire a huge devoted following largely of guitar players.

    One of the most satisfying thing I've seen in ages from working in retail is the number of teenage girls who are suddenly coming in looking at electric guitars - and when you hand them a Telecaster the first thing they play is always a Wolf Alice riff. Every generation finds its heroes.
     
  8. 27sauce

    27sauce Supporting Member

    Messages:
    25,336
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2010
    Location:
    Austin
    Those old players of the classic era still influence and will influence players for generations to come.

    The beauty of recorded music is that you can play it more than once. It’s not fruit, it doesn’t go bad.
     
    70' s Tone, gerg6 and Jayyj like this.
  9. sksmith66

    sksmith66 Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,620
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2010
    my 12 year old nephew loves john mayer and can tell you all about the various guitars he plays on stage.
     
    Hawking likes this.
  10. mjross

    mjross Member

    Messages:
    541
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2010
    Does not matter and I really do not care! I’m 65, a long time rock and roller and doubt I’d hear the difference any way. Look, I did the vinyl thing for many years and had more records than you can imagine. However, I would not be excited about the issues vinyl brings. The statement in regard to “clean record” becomes the issue. When you have a needle touching vinyl, handling the vinyl, etc., it is only a matter of time before you get the snap, crackle, and pop that we all hated back in the day.

    If vinyl is your thing, then you should go that way and I hope it works for you. However for me, that boat has sailed.

    Peace,
     
  11. LZRFACE

    LZRFACE Supporting Member

    Messages:
    82
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2015
    Last generation that has the disposal income to spend on high quality guitars perhaps. It's not like younger guitar players don't value quality instruments, but when you are looking at student loan payments, stagnant wage growth, and vastly increased housing costs kids gotta prioritize.
     
  12. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

    Messages:
    29,944
    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    East of the Rockies...
    Well, SOME of it does!
    Me, neither! I still have albums from the 1960's and I never stopped having a turntable, but its CD's for me as my preferred listening medium.....

    You make good points, but all the ads for new guitars, amps, pedals, pickups, and other miscellaneous musically related items in VIntage Guitar and Premier Guitar magazine would indicate otherwise. There is a plethera of musical items available now.....more than ever before....

    i haven't heard of most of those people, but if they're known enough in some circles to be influential and create interest in learning the guitar, then I say that's great!
     
    Jayyj likes this.
  13. Benz2112

    Benz2112 Member

    Messages:
    240
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2017
    The idea that young people don't play guitar is a myth. Our pop culture has become fractured into a million little niches, because we now live in a society where you can pick and choose exactly what you want to be exposed to. This is great in the sense that I can go on youtube and go down a rabbit hole of obscure stuff that I like, but also bad in the sense that there is no larger platform. The example here is the youtube star vs. platinum selling rock band. We live in a day and age where someone with a guitar can go on youtube and have enough of a following to make a living from it, but forming a band and making millions as a headline act in many ways is much harder now. There is a thousand little stars in lieu of the supernova now. Go on instagram, there are tons of great young guitar players, making a whole lot of music. For every one instagram star, there are a thousand people at home trying to do the same thing. Our consumption of media has changed to the point where it is hard to gauge what is even popular anymore.
     
  14. Advisable Owl

    Advisable Owl Member

    Messages:
    1,051
    Joined:
    May 1, 2013
    Location:
    The Ohio State University
    Exactly.

    So now where is the market for a $20k+ vintage Strat/Tele or the market for a new $1700 American Elite Strat or whatever over an equivalent used one?
     
  15. 1973Marshall

    1973Marshall Member

    Messages:
    6,124
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Location:
    NYC
    Not sure about the market per the WaPo article or used market referenced in this thread, but they certainly support a situation that appears pretty bad.

    I have a horse in this race and want guitar to be a big deal, but every year a variety of factors show that it is not looking good.
     
  16. mikefair

    mikefair Member

    Messages:
    719
    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    This will be a fun thread to re-read in 2048!
     
    70' s Tone and vintagejunky like this.
  17. Advisable Owl

    Advisable Owl Member

    Messages:
    1,051
    Joined:
    May 1, 2013
    Location:
    The Ohio State University
    If they're available, it means they're not selling, because they'd be sold if they were selling. And who actually buys those magazines now? I haven't picked one up since 2013 and the prices were outrageous then and I can't imagine they're any better now. The only people who advertise either sell junk, or charge too much, which is probably why they have to advertise in the first place....
     
  18. Bluedawg

    Bluedawg Member

    Messages:
    9,873
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2002
    Location:
    Arizona, USA

    That's why I think a good economic run could change things ... the last few years haven't been bad .. but they haven't been good either

    :banana
     
  19. prototype

    prototype Member

    Messages:
    2,351
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Location:
    Live from nowhere
    Depends what you mean. I do think that vintage fenders and gibsons and tube amps are probably going to follow a very similar trajectory to old school radio and hifi enthusiast gear. There was a time when virtually every middle class home aspired to have a nice tube system and big marantz or klipsch freestanding speakers. Those companies live now catering to the very high end of the market. Kids will still be playing guitar in 2060, but those kids will not have grown up with vintage fenders and gibsons on posters in their bedrooms.
     
  20. prototype

    prototype Member

    Messages:
    2,351
    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2012
    Location:
    Live from nowhere
    St Vincent, Josh Homme, Dave Grohl, Ed O'Brien, John Frusciante/Klingelhoffer are in millions of kids headphones as we speak. Radiohead literally headlined day 1 of coachella last year - you can't say that for any EDM artists for example. And that's only thinking about mainstream rock. As mentioned earlier there are a million little niches in music these days. Ask you local metalhead!

    can't believe i wrote all that before catching myself responding to 2hbstrat
     

Share This Page