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What gets cheap when the boomer selloff happens?

Bossanova

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,395
Late 60s 335s have been one of the biggest growth areas in vintage guitars over the last ten years though - they've more than doubled where early 60s have stayed pretty much where they were. I think there's a real push back against the old 'too narrow to be playable' narrative that kept them depressed when the boomers were driving the market. I'm not sure they'll continue to go up, unless the overall 335 market does, but they've certainly had a bit of a re-evaluation.



Again though, 70s production guitars have increased in value dramatically over the last ten years and it's primarily Xrs rather than boomers driving the market for them, so it's unlikely a mass boomer sell off - if it comes - is going to depress 70s Gibson and Fender prices by a huge margin. Mediocre is subjective - a lot of us that like 70s guitars got into them when we were teenagers in the 90s because they were dirt cheap because the generation above us seemed to hate them so much, so we bought them, cut our teeth on them and now look back fondly on them.
This proud Gen Xer has no time for CBS/Norlin guitars. At all. I think they went up because people want to say they have “vintage” guitars.

I learned to play on Japanese LP copies and strats, until I finally got enough to get a (omg) American Standard Tele. I look fondly upon modern reissues that are much better music making tools for me.
 

g_david59

Member
Messages
62
The real good stuff, 50's and 60's vintage will always have value due to the limited supply. Much like baseball 50's Topps trading cards, just not much of it out there. Anything built from 70's on will be sketchy. Right now, Techno and electronic music is carrying the day for young people much like disco did in the 70's. The pendulum will swing back when guitars will be "cool" again and another generation will be looking for certain models. As many have stated, never buy anything new as an "investment". Buy it if you like it and be prepared to take a beating if you want to sell or trade. So buy it as competitively as you can find it I am going to buy a 60th Anniversary Les Paul. The day I take delivery I will be $1,000 upside down. That's ok, I am not buying to flip. If I play it for a year or two and lose a grand, I just amortize the loss over the time I had it and consider that was my cost to "rent" it for that time span. So, those of you who are waiting for the 50's and 60's good stuff to drop when us baby boomers die off, you will be in for a surprise. If you think a playable 1960 les paul is going to drop so us mortals can afford them, it won't happen. So few were made and even fewer exist and they are scattered around the world.
 

lost sailor

Member
Messages
387
Man, we aren't even dead yet and the vultures are jockeying for position......except for the one I'm taking with me, I am
going to part out the good stuff and render the rest unplayable. So don't bother to wait for me!
 

Anacharsis

Member
Messages
1,762
Also, we joke about it, but I am genuinely intrigued by the long term value prospects of the huge number of relic guitars out there. In theory, we'd have to trust someone (the seller, some sort of wear/relic expert) to assess condition. As the non-reliced guitars age and wear, how will they be differentiated? I presume that the premium paid for the relic work would have to vanish, but the challenge of assessing condition in some meaningful way would have an effect on long term used pricing that I can't predict. It's also impossible to know whether the future market will value a guitar that looks old once it (and a mostly identical, but newer looking example) really is old.
 

ssdeluxe

Member
Messages
1,217
If you are into vintage acoustic archtops, the prices are dropping.
this is true, but man...too many good builders today struggling to sell their archtops.....I'd take a small builder over vintage these days....I'm just not into the idea of worrying about an "investment" (been there done that), guitars were never that for me, never I concern for future $$..love them now ! lol : but to each their own.
 

ssdeluxe

Member
Messages
1,217
so the more things change, the more things stay the same?
yup, I think so :)

only difference, those vintage guitars are just not that useful as they age and age...and need repairs etc..... I had a 52 ES 295 20 years ago....and it was beat to an inch of its life...just flat out worn out....there are more of those than "ex to ex+" out there.....and the virgin good condition anything will always have a market, just not a market I'm into.

"same as it ever was"......."letting the days go by........"
 

bobcs71

Member
Messages
4,472
Is there an assumption that well-off Gen-X players won't pay top dollar when an older Boomer sells?
 

ssdeluxe

Member
Messages
1,217
I feel like the market for 60s Fender basses has been flat or even declined a bit in recent years.

true, I think its an issue of utility, my gawd...the quality of mid/lower instruments is astronomically better compared to the crap I was subjected to in the 80's..lol....I kinda prefer a good quality current-ish bass....played and owned enough to compare vintage to curre3nt, but its all in the eye of the beholder, are you playing it ? ...or collecting it ? very different things...I decided to find the stuff I like now and not have "collections". both are equally valid.
 

ssdeluxe

Member
Messages
1,217
A friend of mine deals a lot in vintage gear (LawmanGuitars.com), and he is quite optimistic about the future of vintage gear. For one thing, he is selling a lot more overseas, particularly Japan and Europe. My theory is that the international market will pick up whatever the US boomer drop-off might be.
+1

that's a great point, and, often forgotten: where once hip markets are shrinking....other up and comers are expanding and taking their place..
noboby wants to admit they are in decline ..lol!
 

COYS

Member
Messages
5,315
The Gearpocalypse won't be about Fender and Gibson and Marshall and Vox gear from 1948 to 1965.

It'll be about high end guitars from builders only famous among gearheads, and the proliferation of Custom Shops (in all their variety). It'll crush the value of formerly bespoke pedals from obscure builders. It'll hit amps, especially big ones, that are high end but not Big Three.

The really old stuff was made in much smaller numbers for a much smaller market back in the day. Those smaller numbers dwindle due to wear and butchering and simple mistakes. Those values won't collapse, because supply isn't sufficient for even half of current demand. But that Bogner Shiva or Soldano SLO, that 10 top quilt or R9 or CS Masterbuilt Tele is another story altogether.
I think you make some good points.

Boutique amps might suffer the most of all. The majority of those are big, heavy, high wattage, high spec on everything, often with polarizing styling. If it's already hard to sell a warhorse amp like a 40 watt Super that most everyone agrees is a good amp, how much harder is it going to be to sell a boutique clone of it? Especially when that builder isn't around anymore, when they're not being reviewed in guitar publications or written about on message boards anymore... those things are what drive most of the boutique business.
 

Bossanova

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,395
Is there an assumption that well-off Gen-X players won't pay top dollar when an older Boomer sells?
There are only a fraction of us compared to boomers. And, we're not as well off. If 100 people are selling 20 guitars each to 10 guys who only want 8 guitars, guess what happens?
 

ssdeluxe

Member
Messages
1,217
Late 60s 335s have been one of the biggest growth areas in vintage guitars over the last ten years though - they've more than doubled where early 60s have stayed pretty much where they were. I think there's a real push back against the old 'too narrow to be playable' narrative that kept them depressed when the boomers were driving the market. I'm not sure they'll continue to go up, unless the overall 335 market does, but they've certainly had a bit of a re-evaluation.



Again though, 70s production guitars have increased in value dramatically over the last ten years and it's primarily Xrs rather than boomers driving the market for them, so it's unlikely a mass boomer sell off - if it comes - is going to depress 70s Gibson and Fender prices by a huge margin. Mediocre is subjective - a lot of us that like 70s guitars got into them when we were teenagers in the 90s because they were dirt cheap because the generation above us seemed to hate them so much, so we bought them, cut our teeth on them and now look back fondly on them.
this speaks to the mind set to me: I'm an x'er and I really don't want the same things as the generation before me wanted (I'm not wanting a "birth date guitar..or what my hero's played"....or a 59 lester....or whatever quintessential guitar comes to mind ), I think the "wants and wishes" is a fluid ever-changing notion as well.

As an ex'er, I'm not into collecting, so don't want the best historic originals, nor do I want "player grades with issues"....I have learned enough, for me that is, to be aware of when a great guitar (to me) presents itself, I assure you: great guitars are in all the decades.....awareness is everything :)

I guess what I'm getting at is: if you stay curious, and, just enjoy guitars, you will be rewarded with guitars that others will pass-by unaware.

sorry for the slight side track, really great thread!
 
Messages
23,888
It'll be about high end guitars from builders only famous among gearheads, and the proliferation of Custom Shops (in all their variety). It'll crush the value of formerly bespoke pedals from obscure builders. It'll hit amps, especially big ones, that are high end but not Big Three.
Generally, I disagree. I do think the market for USA high end products will sag outside of the USA and perhaps demand for such products will contract to the area closer to the builder or source. And I think a few high end builders' products will fall out altogether (but that happens from time to time anyway). The attraction of this kind of stuff was never for "legacy" purposes but was for the here and now. If the builder of a custom or bespoke guitar, amp or pedal can keep the business open, I think demand for older examples of his products will stand in defiance of the general downturn in the overall market for such things. It won't be crushed.

For the most part, the guys making these custom products are about the same age as the guys buying them. Their job is to stay healthy, and keep the business moving along and I think they will be insulated. The product will be indelible and then one day, a batch of guitars, amps and pedals will fall into the lap of a niece, and she won't know where Uncle Pete got these things and what they're worth, and when she calls the company, the reply she gets will be weak because the company tailed of after the Proprietor died within two months of her uncle. But she'll find someone who can help her sell the things, at a fair price.
 
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daacrusher2001

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,870
I know one thing..I'm 66, closer to the end, than the beginning...when the time comes (and I hope it's on the 17th fairway) I won't give a crap about how much my gear sells for.
I'm a few years younger than you, but feel the same way. I have been thinking of selling off all but two electrics just to reduce what I have to take with me when I move for retirement. But, I'll probably keep them all. I have enough space now, and will have enough space where I'm headed.
 

Salfordlad

Member
Messages
947
For the most part I agree about smaller amps being increasingly desirable, but I also feel that the price of Champs and 5 watt amps in general will fall once people come to their senses and realize that $600 or more for a crappy 5 watt amp is irrational.
 




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