Before "vintage", they were just used guitars.

Discussion in 'The Backstage' started by Paul Hickman, Feb 27, 2021.

  1. Paul Hickman

    Paul Hickman Member

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    I know I'm going to catch a lot of heat for this, but is "vintage" really all that?
    I've known people to spend big bucks on a "vintage" Marshall, spend additional $$ having it put back to original factory specs, just to put an $80.00 pedal in front of it.
    I have personally had in my possession a 1947 Martin D-28, that was donated to me for a charity function. People couldn't believe how poorly someone treated a "vintage" Martin with the horrible headstock repair. Well, truth be told, the guitar belonged to the lady's brother who was a working musician in the 60s. And one night the head stock broke, and he fixed it, and continued using that guitar until he was killed in a car accident. It had been in her closet for decades.
    In 1960, a 1947 D-28 was just an old guitar. So what changed? In the 80s you could get 60s Gibson guitars all day long rather inexpensively.
    So what made the "vintage" market? I suspect, it has to do with non players buying up these instruments as investment pieces. I've seen my very first electric guitar, the Kay Vanguard single pickup being touted as "vintage" those things were turds in the 70s when I had one, they're just a petrified turd now, and definitely not worth $700.00! But slap on the terms "vintage" "mojo" "vibe" and people eat it up. Especially the non guitar playing Orthodontist guitar collector.

    As for the old D-28, I didn't take the lady's guitar for donation, instead I found a buyer who would pay a very fair price for the condition it was in, and restore it to it original condition, or as close as possible. She couldn't believe I got her that (undisclosed amount) for an old broken guitar.
    The guy who purchased it, was able to find a neck from a 1948 D-28, reattach the ebony bridge, and clean up the water damage. I doubt that any collector would touch that guitar, but the player who has it, cherishes it, and plays it regularly.
     
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  2. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    As a 1953 very Limited Custom Bedroom Edition model, I know I am now worth much more than when I was made.
     
  3. Paul Hickman

    Paul Hickman Member

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    Only to the right buyer :)
     
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  4. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    It's a perfect scheme because just because people can be outstanding in playing a guitar it doesn't mean they know the first thing about what makes a guitar sound the way it sounds or what it takes to make a guitar at all. Hence they're easy prey for the kind of "facts" that you see in guitar magazines, hear from your friends or indeed read on internet forums. Another reason could of course be that an item is rare and you like having rare items, or just like old things. I personally wouldn't look down on anyone buying a "vintage" guitar fro whatever reason. If they can afford it and like it, fine. But when they try to tell me it's better than a new one...
     
  5. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    They are still just used guitars.
    A good guitar is a good guitar.
    Doesn't matter what year it was made.
     
  6. Go Nigel Go

    Go Nigel Go Active Member

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    I have seen the same thing in the "vintage car market", and it annoys me equally there. Rarity increases prices if something is desirable, That part is not what bugs me. It is when people buy something because someone else wants it, and then has the temerity to complain about things that are inherent characteristics, or exaggerate the benefits to impress others with their possession. Even worse when they clearly have no knowledge of how to use or maintain the often very nice objects they bought.

    I have purchased a few things (new and used) that have increased in value several times over. I wouldn't sell them because they still do what I want, but I would never pay the going rate for them today either. There is still plenty of used stuff that the "collectors" haven't driven the players out of yet, and a boatload of new stuff coming out almost daily if one knows what they are looking for and how to use it.

    Most great music of any era is written, played, performed, and recorded on the instruments the musician could afford. What makes the music great is the artist more than the axe. Sure some instruments are different than what came before, but to the artist, the medium can influence artistic progress, but never defines it. A great player will sound great no matter what they play on, and the "know it alls" on the internet will always attribute the greatness to the gear rather than the hand that plays it or the mind that creates it.

    I think most of what makes most vintage (used) gear great from a player's perspective is the decades of fine tuning and even outright modifications made by players and technicians who improved upon what came from the music store. You can do the same thing with any instrument made today. I do wish the "collector's market" could just be content with Beanie Babies and Pet Rocks.
     
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  7. Tiboy

    Tiboy Member

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    You missed a marketing step. In reverse order: Vintage, Pre-Owned and finally Used.
     
  8. Von Trapp

    Von Trapp Well-Known Member

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    Those are modest compared to this. As a pipe smoker I frequently come across pipes billed as "Pre-loved". Those sellers should just have a kick in the fckn balls. At least once a day.
     
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  9. deMelo

    deMelo Well-Known Member

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    The funniest part of watching the "Vintage" fad is that while people praise, worship and spend indicent loads of cash on old Gibsons and Fenders, and also defend them for being US made and handmade...

    Rickenbacker remains a company that produces all their guitars in California, defines their machinery as a production improvement and state that their currently made guitars are just as good as the old ones, if not better, so no need for overvaluing or fetishizing old ones...

    Go figure.
     
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