"Vintage" D'Pergos?

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by fullerplast, Feb 11, 2008.

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  1. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    Since D'Pergo appears to be the topic of the week, here's yet another path to discuss.:)

    If history repeats itself, the earliest examples of any successful builder often become the most valuable over time. Look at the '85-86 PRS's as a modern example, beyond the well known Fender and Gibsons. Given that, it seems likely that those owning the earliest D'Pergo's may do well to hang on to them.

    Splatt indicated that he thought Stefan started building around the mid eighties, roughly the same time as PRS, so there must be maybe a couple hundred early examples floating around? The earliest one I remember hearing about was probably Julien Kasper's maybe around 2004 but there must be lots of earlier ones out there. Anybody here own or seen them? I know they wouldn't have the aged bodies but did they have the same current features like the enhanced cutaway? Was he making his own pickups at that time? Regardless of actually being better or worse, the early ones often will end up being worth far more than the new ones to collectors. So what will constitute a vintage D'Pergo in 20 years?
     
  2. Peppy

    Peppy Member

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    I don't know much about D'Pergos but I can't see there being "a couple hundred" around...or at least even close in quality, thus close in demand. I could be wrong and I'm sure someone who knows more will chime in. I would think the ones he is making now may end up being "vintage" in 20 years.
     
  3. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    Yeah, maybe not, but the reason I threw out that number was the roughly 20 years worth of building before Julien's guitar. Five or ten a year seems like a reasonable guess.....

    As for quality, I'm not sure that PRS's quality was as good in '85 either, but they sure are collectible and in demand now.
     
  4. wstsidela

    wstsidela I'm bonafied Gold Supporting Member

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    Have you called Stefan yet?
     
  5. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Silver Supporting Member

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    If D'Pergo started building yesterday, I don't think it adds or detracts one wit from what he's doing *today*.
     
  6. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    That's fine, except the ones I'm asking about are the ones he built "yesterday", not the ones he's building today. I hear about the current ones every day.;)

    IOW, 2008 PRS ME is to 1985 PRS Custom 24 as 2008 D'Pergo AVC is to ???? There are several people here that have the earliest production PRS's. Are there any that have the earliest production D'Pergo's?:confused:

    Serial numbers are at least up to 290 or more.

    I'm more interested in hearing directly from the "earliest adopters" on TGP than the builder that sold them. Somehow I doubt he is going to provide me with a list of owners and spec sheets since 1985.:)
     
  7. 6thstringmusic

    6thstringmusic Member

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    Interesting and legit thread, hopefully it'll stay clean. I'd love to see pictures of some of his early work, if they exist. I just wonder how the heck one gets into building every stinking component in a guitar, very impressive.
     
  8. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    Thank you....someone who gets the fact that it must have been an interesting and evolutionary process.
     
  9. mude

    mude Supporting Member

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    While an interesting question, I don't see the comparison (yet anyway) between D'Pergo and PRS from a vintage value perspective. The early PRS guitars are valuable/collectable due to the widespead success and popularity of PRS guitars today. D'Pergo builds in VERY small numbers it seems and certainly does not a have the widespread audience at this time.

    In general, I don't find the older stuff of the very small builders to be very collectable yet. The value seems to be more related to whether they are still being made. There tends to be a bump when they become unavailable new for some reason.

    Bakers went up in value briefly when Gene stopped building his own stuff for a while. The older ones have dropped back down a bit now that Gene has relaunched. The old Strat/Tele style Lentz models went up when they stopped being produced (but they seem to have come back down a fair bit as well now that others such as D'Pergo have arrived). People are speculating about Tyler guitars going up if he cuts back or stops building guitars over the next few years.

    With builders like Anderson/Grosh/Suhr, I have not generally seen the older ones being worth more. The new guitars I have seen from these builders have generally been better than the older ones I have played (with exceptions of course) as they have continued to refine their techniques. Buyers (even on the used market) seem more attracted to their recent creations, etc. The exception for Suhr may be the stuff he produced in the Custom Shop while at Fender, but this is certainly largely related to the Fender brand being attached I would think.

    In the boutique amp world, we have not really seen the value go up for much of the early boutique stuff (other than Trainwrecks/Dumbles for unobtainable reasons generally speaking) for the very small builders that are still building. Some companies that make changes (either markeing or actual improvements) have seen the value of their older stuff sell quite inexpensively (relatively) on the used market.

    D'Pergo seems to currently fall into that camp IMO. The Vintage Classic models don't seem to sell quickly on the used market (unless priced agressively) as I suspect many would prefer to get the lastest upgrades such as the aged body (assocated with the AVC model). I'm not sure what the Limited version is at this point, but I assume it has upgrades over the AVC in some way.

    Since D'Pergo appears to be actively attempting to be on the cutting edge of technology and improvements, one might suspect that his most recent creations are among his best. That seems quite different from those that perceive the early creations from PRS/Fender/Gibson to still be their best work work.

    Evan.
     
  10. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    Lot's of good points Evan, but the thing is, guitars like the early PRS's, Fenders, and Gibsons were not recognized as being collectible until much later than their introduction. They were available at very cheap prices prior to that. You could get '52 tele's for a few hundred dollars in the 70's.

    What I found very facinating at the various PRS events was the virtual museum that Paul has put together, having bought back much of his original work. You get to see 30 years worth of evolution of his thinking from his high school clone projects to the first PRS shape, to the actual guitars he sold to artists on a "no-money if not satisfied" basis. Great stuff to see in one place.

    So where is D'Pergo in that evolutionary path? He's certainly taken the fast track to "builder to beat fame" it seems, but what were his first 100 or so guitars like? Were they just strat clones? Did he cut his own bodies and necks? Did he bring his guitars around to artists like PRS? Was he a one man shop doing all the cutting, shaping, finishing at home? When did he start fabricating his own parts? What changes did he make and when? When did he start trying out submerged wood? How many did he build while working out his 70 plus molecular cell tone matrix parameters? All this would really make a facinating interview IMHO, but that evolution must have taken place in the first one or two hundred guitars, because by the S/N 200's they appear to be the Vintage Classic. That's why I'm asking about those in particular. It does seem odd that nobody seems to own or know about these earlier guitars, only the ones that are less than 5 years old.
     
  11. wstsidela

    wstsidela I'm bonafied Gold Supporting Member

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    You really should call him if you're sincere in your quest for information. He's just a phone call away.
     
  12. Peppy

    Peppy Member

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    As someone who has played the electric guitar for nearly 42 years I definitely understand the "evolutionary process". I still stay with my first thread post that feels the newer ones may be the "vintage ones"...as echoed more fully in mude's final paragraph in his post.
     
  13. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    Do you think he has those first 100 stashed away? Maybe so, since nobody else seems to have them.;) Maybe you can ask him since you have a call scheduled soon anyway? He'll be more likely to talk to someone that is actually buying a guitar.

    I'm hoping TQR will take the hint at an interview....it's right up their alley. In the meantime, it's :munchfor S/N 001-100 owner feedback I guess.
     
  14. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    The newer ones may be the "best" but they will never be the first. The world tends to often favor chronological order over function in terms of interest and collectible value. Les Paul's "log" guitar comes to mind as just one of many examples.
     
  15. matte

    matte Senior Member

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    tqr lends legitimacy to nothing from where i sit. nothing more than an end user fetish rag for those with more dollars than sense. if you need to be told what is "good", then i can't think of a better way to burn money.
     
  16. wstsidela

    wstsidela I'm bonafied Gold Supporting Member

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    [​IMG]

    ;)
     
  17. rick13

    rick13 Member

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    the universal truth is that something is only worth what somebody is willing to pay for it.
    Rick
     
  18. fullerplast

    fullerplast Senior Member

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    They ask some questions, the builder (or artist) talks about whatever he want to. It is as useful, accurate, or as interesting as the builder or artist makes it. It's an interview. I like reading them. I don't really care if you don't.
     
  19. matte

    matte Senior Member

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    you bitch about "hype" and then reference the mother of all guitar hype? wow.

    has mike stevens ever been featured in tqr? how about steve klein? johan gustavsson? theo scharpach?
     
  20. photoguy

    photoguy Member

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    I think the DP site references building guitars for 20 years. Maybe they were done for someone else/different company/different name? I wouldn't get too hung up on serial numbers as a means for establishing quantity...there's lots of different systems people use and not all of them are sequential.
     
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