When did 50's & 60's instruments become so desireable?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by pete74, Jun 29, 2020 at 3:19 PM.

  1. Danny W.

    Danny W. Member

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    "Vintage guitar" dealers like George Gruhn started popping up in the early '70's. In 1972 I sold a 1960 Byrdland to a guy who showed up in a white panel truck full of old Fenders and Gibsons. He told me he would drive down to the Keys and work his way back up the coast looking for "for sale" ads of old guitars, and then sell them in NYC for a profit.

    Danny W.
     
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  2. Tommy Biggs

    Tommy Biggs Silver Supporting Member

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    We sure might have! I think I remember the Explorer, I definitely recall racks of 50s juniors for 400, 500 bucks. Just out of reach for me.
     
  3. portobear

    portobear Member

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    Probably around the time people started taking the Floyd Rose trems off of their 60s Strats and magically restoring them back to "all original" specs.
     
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  4. icr

    icr Member

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    Pre-CBS Stratocasters became desirable in 1966.
    1950s Gibsons became desirable in the mid 1960s also. By the early 1970s, the 1950s Les Pauls were very hard to obtain, especially so, since the Les Paul Deluxe had replaced the Les Paul Standard and nobody wanted those little humbuckers.
     
  5. MikeMcK

    MikeMcK Silver Supporting Member

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    I started going as a young kid, so around 1972. At that time the only Juniors I ever saw were in the pawn shops between 48th and the Port Authority. And they were dirt cheap.
     
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  6. Defendant

    Defendant Member

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    I started playing in the mid 80s, so my understanding comes from older guitar store guys who told teenage me that vintage demand started becoming strong when Fender and Gibson dropped the ball on quality in the 70s.

    Over the years I’ve found that to be broadly accurate, especially for mid-late 70s Fenders.
     
  7. MikeMcK

    MikeMcK Silver Supporting Member

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    I remember looking up to the older guys in their teens and '20's who seemed to know all about guitars in the '70's. They'd get a Les Paul, install a brass nut, sometimes a Badass bridge, have it routed if it started as a Deluxe, replace the Klusons with Grovers and if they didn't replace the pickups with DiMarzios, they'd at least remove the covers and probably lose them. Say what you want about Ed Roman (and I've said plenty), but I remember him asking why there were so many all-original LPs for sale and none of those modified ones.
     
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  8. noisebloom

    noisebloom Member

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    I think a good argument could be made that Eric Clapton helped drive interest in Les Pauls (the Beano album) and 50s Strats (Brownie and Blackie).
     
  9. Yamaha 350

    Yamaha 350 Member

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    Then why are Silvertones, Harmony, and Airlines considered junk? I love those but most guitarist do not and talk about the fact Sears, and Wards sold them. And how trashy they were?
     
  10. 83stratman

    83stratman Member

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    So '50s and '60s Fenders became desirable in '65? I think your quite a bit off on that assessment.


     
  11. thecoworker

    thecoworker Member

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    While true in some cases, there are certain models that are desired and do fetch a substantial sum.
     
  12. 83stratman

    83stratman Member

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    First off, there is no way that the three screw neck joint as implemented by Fender at the time could be consider a cost cutting measure. All it takes to realize that is to stop and think about it for a millisecond! How you think more routing and more parts, not to mention more labor to assemble cuts cost, I'd like an explanation on how that could be.

    Yes people generally regard the up to '72 or '73 ish 4 screw Strats as good vintage...Now. What is considered a "good" vintage Strat has changed dramatically over the years.

    For the vintage collectors concerning the Strat...

    In the '70s anything not pre CBS was junk. (anything pre '65)

    Then in the '80s anything that didn't have a big head stock was good vintage. (up to '66 IIRC)

    Then in the '90s if it had a big head stock but not the "modern" '70s logo, it now was acceptable as not junk.(up to '67 or '68 IIRC)

    Then in the 2ks, any Strat that up to the point of three screw neck joints were good. (I forgot the years, but early '70s)

     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020 at 5:07 PM
  13. 83stratman

    83stratman Member

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    So your saying that '50s and '60s guitars had no demand until the '90s?

     
  14. DinoMikeSr

    DinoMikeSr Member

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    Born in 1963 as I recall there was a time where they were just old guitars around. In 73, a 63 strat was just a 10 year old guitar. A 59 Les Paul just another 14 year old guitar. Not a big deal. At all. Not a big deal now either, but if you say it's a big deal enough times sooner or later the the myth starts being believed. Recall that in 1970, Eric Clapton bought 6 1950's strats. Gave 3 away as gifts and took the last three and mixed the best parts of the 3 to make one good guitar. Blackie.
     
  15. ozraves

    ozraves Member

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    In 1981 or 1982, my guitar teacher told me he had had two offers of $25,000 for his 1954 Fender Stratocaster, one from Roy Clark's manager and one from a Hank Williams Jr. concert promoter. Joe Bonamassa owns it now so I imagine it is sitting in storage somewhere.
     
  16. ripgtr

    ripgtr Member

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    I bought a '60 in '76 for 250 bucks. People wanted the 50s one because of Clapton, so the rosewood ones were cheap. 50s ones were around a grand, the new ones 6 or 700, something like that. With inflation, mine was a bit more than a grand today.

    I was a used guitar. I gigged it. I still gig it.
     
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  17. ripgtr

    ripgtr Member

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    Are you talking today's money? Cause the '60 I bought in '76 was 250 bucks. That is about 1200 today, so yea, if talking today's money.

    By 80, I was starting to get offers for a grand, to sell, so the price did just pretty fast the last part of the 70s.
     
  18. prototype

    prototype Member

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    Because Fender plans to make the strat for more than a year or two. Newer, cheaper versions of products come out all the time and they are expensive to implement at first, but save the company money in the long run. It isn't cheap for Fender to develop printed circuit board amps but in the long run it ends up saving tons of money compared to hand-wiring everything. When sony comes out with a cheaper version of the ps4 2-3 years into production, it costs money to make it cheaper, but over time they recoup that money. The thinking at the time was that the three bolt neck was going to lead to faster and cheaper assembly. the idea was that it would take less time to set the neck angle than an old four-bolt design. There is also economy of scale in using one less bolt and a slightly smaller neck plate, which adds up when you consider all the guitars and basses fender makes in a year, but i think it was primarily aimed at simplifying assembly.
     
  19. COYS

    COYS Supporting Member

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    There was a vintage craze that started in the 1990s in many areas - maybe just good prosperous economic times lead to people having more money to spend on collectibles.

    It seems like people used to want new guitars the way you'd want a new car or a new suit... because it was all fresh and new. The other stuff was just old and beat up.
     
  20. woof*

    woof* Member

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    It started in the early 70’s when Fender, Gibson and even cars appliances went to crap.
    I saved up in 1973 to buy a brand new white strat..just like jimi’s.
    I went to a music store and they had a couple brand new white/maple strats.
    I sat there playing them and was amazed how heavy they were. I couldn’t keep either one in tune.
    That’s when I spotted a sunburst strat hanging in the corner. I pulled it off the wall and couldn’t believe how much better it was. Way lighter, played great and stayed in tune. I hated that it wasn’t white like Hendrix’s and I hated the sunburst but after 30 minutes I decided it was the one.
    I still have it today, a 64 3t sunburst strat with rosewood board. It’s beat up more now and had three refrets..but it was the best decision I’ve ever made.
    It wasn’t just Fender, everyone complained how much worse the new 70’s guitars were.
    It wasn’t long into the 80’s when guitar shows and collectors showed up.
     

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