What's the best "bang for buck" value in Vintage Fender Guitars?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by BigDiceBuddha, Apr 20, 2015.

  1. BigDiceBuddha

    BigDiceBuddha Member

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    Been thinking for a while now about buying a vintage Fender. Preferably a Telecaster (as that's my guitar of choice) although not married to it, interested in Strats as well....

    Here's my question, though. Where can you find the best bang for buck in Vintage Fender Guitars? Years, models... What are the hidden gems that reside between the pre-1970, $20,000 Stratocasters, and the late 70's, early 80's Tele's and Strats that seem to have gotten the bad rap of lower quality, and therefore available at a lower price range?

    Are there any hidden gems of Vintage Fender Guitars that can still be had for a working man's salary, that sit in the middle of thosee categories that have the awesome playability and quality of build that vintage Fenders are desired for?

    I've noticed a lot of early 70's Telecasters ('70-'73ish) that seem to be able to be had for reasonable prices, like in the upper two grand to three grand range. Also, a few 60's Mustangs that seem to be in that same price range. How are the quality on these?

    Any and all help would be appreciated. I'm not necessarily buying as an investment, I'm buying to play it, but would be nice to find something that will hold it's value.
     
  2. Jiffy_Jeff

    Jiffy_Jeff Playin Tunes and Having Fun! Silver Supporting Member

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    I have been looking for a '72 Tele, blonde with maple neck.

    I played one years ago and loved it. So I have been on the hunt for one that plays and sounds like that one.
     
  3. BigDiceBuddha

    BigDiceBuddha Member

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    I've looked at a couple of '71 and '72 Tele's that have definately had me interested, especially at the price point.
     
  4. BigDiceBuddha

    BigDiceBuddha Member

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    The "Post your vintage guitars thread" definately was an inspiration for this thread.
     
  5. dcbc

    dcbc Member

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    I have an 89 Tele that plays like a dream. I wasn't aware that they had gotten a bad rap. But I'm not particularly bothered by that fact.
     
  6. BigDiceBuddha

    BigDiceBuddha Member

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    Actually, I think it's the mid to late 70's Fenders that have the bad rap. Never heard a bad thing about 80's Fenders, really. Just looking for something older.
     
  7. Thedude99

    Thedude99 Member

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    Depends a lot on what you are looking for. Mustangs are a good value proposition - but do you like Mustangs?

    If look for guitars that are less collectable - refins, non-original bits, etc the value comes down quite a bit from collectors grade.

    Others may disagree - but there are plenty of good 70's Fender guitars. Quality was suspect though so make sure you play those thoroughly before buying (which applies to all vintage guitars - there are plenty of dogs even amongst the "best" eras).

    That said - pre-CBS/early CBS Jagaurs are a good deal in the vintage world. They can still be found for decent prices. Same with Jazzmasters - if you stay away from the dealers. Some one listed a '64 Jazzmaster on here not to long ago for $4300 I believe.
     
  8. BigDiceBuddha

    BigDiceBuddha Member

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    Thanks for the advice, and I'm not against refinished, or some replaced parts to get a vintage "player" guitar. I just want that vintage vibe from what is considered to be one of the better eras of quality.
     
  9. kinmike

    kinmike Supporting Member

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    I would say check out a pre-CBS Jazzmaster or Jaguar. They may be in your price range. Jaguar is shorter scale but you may like it because they sound great.

    The 70's Fenders are not vintage if you go with the IMHO true definition of Fender vintage being pre-CBS. Also,70's Fenders are not known for any of the qualities you are looking for.
     
  10. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Best bang for buck would be a "player grade" '50s or '60s guitar.

    I've got a non-pro refin '57 Tele - changed tuners, pick guard and neck PU.

    Totally righteous guitar - still sounds and plays like a primo collector's piece, but is worth maybe $7K, on a good day.

    The best value would be a collector grade pre-CBS Fender - expensive to get into, but they're about the only ones that traditionally have held their value. Someone will always want one of them, and prices are good now.
     
  11. BigDiceBuddha

    BigDiceBuddha Member

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    When you mention prices being good now, roundabouts what kind of price are we talking about?
     
  12. tapeworm

    tapeworm Supporting Member

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    the Fullerton reissues from the early 80's
     
  13. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    Better than in 2008, when things were really out of control.

    I'd imagine if you shopped hard, and weren't picky about anything that didn't actually affect the tone/playability, you could find one in the middle 4 figures?

    IMHO, there's a certain magic in the feel and tone of the pre-CBS stuff that would preclude me from considering anything else, if you're truly looking for that.

    When you play a good one, it becomes apparent why they're so pricey.
     
  14. BigDiceBuddha

    BigDiceBuddha Member

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    Thanks for the tip, appreciate it.
     
  15. supercreep

    supercreep Member

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    In reference to USA Fenders:

    I used to buy up guitars from pawnshops back in the day because Im a gear hound and also to make a buck back when you still could. I had a lot 1970's Fenders (probably at least 200 or so - mostly strats and teles). IME the guitars from the 1970's, especially the middle to late 70's,pretty much deserve the reputation that they have.

    If you play enough guitars of any type or from any era, you are likely to find at least one or two they are pretty good. This may be your angle - find one that is the exception to the rule. Don't buy one online - your chances of getting a good one are extremely slim. But on average there weren't too many great 70's guitars, the 80's were only slightly better IME. The 90's - pretty much the same story but not quite as bad - things started to get decent by the end of the decade.

    Unless you really need vintage, the current reissues or a custom shop models are on average far better instruments. I was never really all that impressed with the Fullerton reissues either - Ive never understood the hype.
     
  16. BigDiceBuddha

    BigDiceBuddha Member

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    And that was going to be my next question... Am I better off just spending the money on a current Custom Shop re-issue, so thanks.
     
  17. misterturtlehead

    misterturtlehead Member

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    I like my 1967 Bronco and 1976 Jazzmaster.
     
  18. sinasl1

    sinasl1 Member

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    I just bought a 1966 Tele, I think the 66-68 Teles that are not pre CBS but still have lacquer finishes and basically are the same in many ways as earlier 60's models are great buys currently, but still not cheap, way less than pre-CBS though. If u get a clean one, it's kind of "money in the bank", an investment you can play and have fun with!

    Here's mine:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. supercreep

    supercreep Member

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    I suppose it depends on why you wanted vintage? We all know old guitars look cool .. how important is that to you? If you don't really dig relics, then you may have to go vintage. If you want a great sounding and playing instrument, custom shop reissues may be the way, personally I am pretty impressed with the post 2012 American vintage 60's reissues.
     
  20. slowerhand

    slowerhand Supporting Member

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    Get a vintage Tokai, Greco, Navigator or Fernandes.
     

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