"Vintage" and/or "Boutique" Pawn Shops these days, I don't get it.....

deytookerjaabs

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,551
For example, I was on a Super Reverb (or Fender amp w/reverb) hunt a while back and stopped into a big deal local shop (Carters).

Tried a cosmetically blackfaced early 70's model first. Fella brought it into a little room for me and it died after we turned it on. .....Back to the tech area it went (where it still was two weeks later)

Next up a normal early 70's SR model. Turned it on, started playing and there was a noticeable rattle, I looked in back of the amp and there was a 12" speaker literally overlapping two other 10"...wtf?

Okay, well then I tried out a Rivera concert since I dig those too, wasn't very loud or punchy then I look in back to see a 30W Jensen reissue in this 60W amp.

Of course, the 3K 70's Tele that I was also possibly interested in had blacked out rusty strings.

Then, as you wander around it's not hard to find issues on other vintage items, issues which aren't just a matter of opinion.

All of this stuff was priced at, if not more than, absolute top dollar that you'd see on the cleanest examples. And at that, still a tough buy at top dollar when the items clean because anyone buying in that price range is likely NOT collecting (as far as the amps are concerned).

I just don't get the love for these places.... There are spots which ask high end prices but everything on the floor is in perfect working order, things like bad voice coils, or warped tops and neck resets aren't something you should expect at top dollar, that's the stuff I expect at a pawn shop or at a far better price from a normal music store who takes condition into account.

That's my rant.
 

supergenius365

Disclaimer: Not an actual supergenius
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,128
I would avoid that shop or aggressively negotiate prices citing all the defects/deficiencies. Some stores are just in the business of flipping merchandise with no care/concern/interest in what they are selling. I have been fortunate that the two main shops I have purchased from in my life (Cremer Guitarworks in IL and the B-String in W-S, NC) take time to set guitars up before selling them or include a repair/set up with the purchase. Those are the kind of shops I choose to give businesses to.
 

Jazzandmore

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,712
Hmmm sounds like an issue unique to places that have music scene maybe? Out here in SoCal I can't really think of any shops similar. Heck it's just hard to find a really well stocked high end store once Buffalo Brothers closed their doors.
 

old goat

Member
Messages
1,987
Nashville, huh? Maybe the problem is that all the good stuff changes hands without ever showing up on the floor of a shop. After all, there are thirteen hundred and fifty two guitar pickers in Nashville, at last count.
 

Guitarworks

Member
Messages
12,503
Quite simply, 'old-and-no-longer-made' is valuable, whether it has issues or not. If it has issues, it's priced high. If it has no issues and is in great condition, it's priced exorbitantly high. People love to patronize these places not because they're getting the best deal or the place has the lowest prices. They patronize them because they have merchandise that is old and no longer made that they want.

If you want to be an enthusiast of old tube amps, you need to be an electronics technician for a living, or be someone who builds amps from the ground up, or know someone who is either one or both of those things. IME, old tube amps seem to be the most d*cked-with, modified, issue-riddled piece of gear on the planet, partially because old tube amps DO need regular routine maintenance. But previous owners also go nuts with speakers and mods while they're at it because amps have the most profound effect on your sound, and, unlike a something on a guitar besides pickups, results from changes are very real and tangible.

I'm fortunate in that I know a couple guys who are serious electronics brainiacs at their day jobs that do build & modify amps. One of them has limited his service to guys dropping off old amps in his shop that need this or that, simply because he sees so many of them. If he took every amp that came through the door, that's all he'd be doing 24/7, while trying to get paid for his services to local gigging musicians who are always broke.
 

ozspawn

Member
Messages
345
IME, old tube amps seem to be the most d*cked-with, modified, issue-riddled piece of gear on the planet, partially because old tube amps DO need regular routine maintenance. But previous owners also go nuts with speakers and mods while they're at it because amps have the most profound effect on your sound, and, unlike a something on a guitar besides pickups, results from changes are very real and tangible.

This isn't my experience. None of my dozen black face amps have been modified. In fact, a lot of them appear to have the original tubes. However, they all have replacement speakers, except the Vibrolux Reverbs, which have the original Jensens. I have the original speakers in boxes for all the other amps. Of course, all have had some caps replaced.
 

deytookerjaabs

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,551
Quite simply, 'old-and-no-longer-made' is valuable, whether it has issues or not. If it has issues, it's priced high. If it has no issues and is in great condition, it's priced exorbitantly high. People love to patronize these places not because they're getting the best deal or the place has the lowest prices. They patronize them because they have merchandise that is old and no longer made that they want.

If you want to be an enthusiast of old tube amps, you need to be an electronics technician for a living, or be someone who builds amps from the ground up, or know someone who is either one or both of those things. IME, old tube amps seem to be the most d*cked-with, modified, issue-riddled piece of gear on the planet, partially because old tube amps DO need regular routine maintenance. But previous owners also go nuts with speakers and mods while they're at it because amps have the most profound effect on your sound, and, unlike a something on a guitar besides pickups, results from changes are very real and tangible.

I'm fortunate in that I know a couple guys who are serious electronics brainiacs at their day jobs that do build & modify amps. One of them has limited his service to guys dropping off old amps in his shop that need this or that, simply because he sees so many of them. If he took every amp that came through the door, that's all he'd be doing 24/7, while trying to get paid for his services to local gigging musicians who are always broke.


I feel like I still see old Fender amps almost everywhere, at least around here and back in Chicago. I've had a few shops I'd do business with and was just used to the higher end places checking the heck out of gear before it hits the floor, or at the least not taking in poorly working examples with parts that won't even work properly. Heck, even the local Sam Ash will include a bill of repair with vintage amps that had issues and they're priced far better than these some of these jokers.

But, sadly, yeah, the stuff has enough value to find the right sucker if you're willing to sit on the gear for long enough.


The screwed up part I just realized is...I consider Guitar Center's Used/Vintage department to be kind of like a gear dumpster, you really have no idea of the condition unless something is excessively blatant. The prices reflect the market, but more so when the item sits and they price drop until it's gone. Thing is, if you look online, people hold Guitar Center to a HIGHER STANDARD and these pawn shop level boutiques get a free pass for some reason when their prices are significantly higher.
 
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