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FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / How do you feel about vintage guitars?

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Contributing Member

Santee CA

I forgot my tagline
Dec 27th, 2017 01:19 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

DrKev and BbendFender pretty much nailed it IMHO.



Dec 27th, 2017 02:15 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Guitars are a very personal instrument, because unlike most other instruments, you don't simply address or hold the guitar. You wrap your arms around it; you hug the thing. It has to fit your hands, body, and playing style. It becomes an extension of you."

I wanted to light up a cigarette...and I don't even smoke!

I've got a couple of almost Vintage guitars one of them is collectible, a 1980's Fender Black and Gold Tele. It's heavy as lead, but mine is a great player. The other one is a 1970's Westbury Standard. That one plays as easily and sounds as good as any guitar I own. I can't say either sounds better than any other because of their age, but it is cool to own a fairly rare guitar like the black and gold Tele and it didn't cost a lot. I got it for $1000; which is less than most new American made Fender Teles sell for today and the Westbury was a yard sale find for $150 (I was offered $350 for it 20 years ago, but I didn't want to sell it) So you can get collectible or vintage for reasonable amount of money.

Contributing Member


Dec 27th, 2017 02:21 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"I wanted to light up a cigarette...and I don't even smoke!"


Contributing Member

Curled up

in the fecal position
Dec 27th, 2017 02:44 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If I ever influence anyone...I hope it's not to take up smoking!

Contributing Member

California Escapee

Don't look at me with that tone of voice
Dec 27th, 2017 03:21 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I greatly admire vintage guitars, especially Fenders and Rickenbackers (me being born in Fullerton, CA, in 1952) because I associate them so much with my youth. But I would never buy one at today's prices. It just makes so much more sense to buy a vintage reissue or custom shop model today.



Dec 28th, 2017 05:17 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Consider today's instruments and the steady flow of purchasers unhappy with new guitars they've bought to the extent they send them back. I'm guessing the same happened in days of yore, that just as many, if not more poor quality guitars entered the market.
Old and quality are not synonyms. An old guitar can be just as horrible as one of today's Friday afternoon specials.

A hobby player or collector may well overlook this as they're not relying on it to make a living, but I'm also of the opinion that an instrument must be played to be an instrument, otherwise it's nothing more than a few hunks of wood hanging on a wall, just another person's idea of art. Nothing wrong with that, there are far stranger works of art in the world, but if it ain't played, it ain't a guitar.

Contributing Member

St. Louis

"Thumbpicks don't slide into soundholes"
Dec 28th, 2017 09:16 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If it sounds good and plays well it's a keeper. I've seen several guitars over the years that were ancient and looked like hell but played and sounded wonderful. On the other hand I've had the same experience with modern stuff and not at a "boutique" cost.
Whether it was built with cnc help or strictly by hand and is a one off boutique build the quality can be there on any instrument. Paying more for worn out hardware that needs replaced or rebuilt isn't really my idea of a good deal.

Contributing Member


Dec 28th, 2017 01:25 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I don't know...I tend to go opposite of Peegoo:

If the guitar feels good/comfortable in your hands (more than others), and it's intonated correctly - it's a good guitar.
It's tough to find a bad sounding guitar that's set up properly. Sure, some amps can sound pretty bad. But plug a guitar into a good amp, it's going to sound good.

That's really it for me - feels good in my hands and it's intonated.

So I have no problem owning a nice vintage guitar - though I wouldn't pay for one.
If it didn't strike my fancy, I wouldn't have a problem selling it.
I think the whole "mystique" thing is overblown.

Sure, it's cool to have something old, something that connects you to the past. Heck, that's why I love "American Pickers".
But that's nostalgia.
...perhaps I just don't connect with "vintage music" enough for the nostalgia factor.

Having said all that - I own a cool-looking blue tiger striped Jackson Soloist.
It feels pretty good in my hands...but I look at it more like a piece of art.
I mean...who plays a Jackson Soloist these days, right? lol

I also have a Les Paul Custom that's about 40 years old. It feels great in my hands with that non-baseball bat neck. Sounds good, too.
Still, I've thought about selling it numerous times.
I mean, do I really NEED that guitar? Not really. I guess in that sense it connects me to the past - that I haven't sold it. I've owned it for most of it's 40 years.
...but perhaps I'm just wishing I could get more than the current rate. :^)

(This message was last edited by Mikeyguitar at 03:29 PM, Dec 28th, 2017)

Contributing Member


an acquired taste some may never acquire
Dec 28th, 2017 02:05 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

To echo what others have said: my skills are not sufficient to warrant spending big bucks on cool vintage stuff. I'd be too worried about having it get ripped off anyway.

Plus visual signs of age/wear like finish checking, nicks, buckle rash, cigarette burns and worn off lacquer don't hold any visual charm for me (which is also why the whole "relic" deal leaves me cold). To each, his own, but that's my personal preference.

I generally buy new, mid-priced instruments, but have only spent a little more than $1K once. Generally, I stay between $600 and $900 with case. As with most things, I have found that there is a noticeable step up in quality from "entry-level" to "moderately-priced" but that one must pay ever increasing numbers of ducats from there on to yield additional increments of improvement.

I haven't ever had any current-production, "boutique" instruments and the only vintage ones ones I've ever owned were an old Kay and an old Silvertone.

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Dec 28th, 2017 04:10 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My heirs will have plenty of vintage guitars in 40-50 years!

Contributing Member


Life makes a man tired.
Dec 28th, 2017 04:12 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My heirs will ask, "what is all this weird crap?!?"

Contributing Member

American Patriot

About as ordinary as you can get.
Dec 28th, 2017 05:03 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I have owned some really cool and valuable vintage guitars. I didn't pay much for them but I'm sure they are worth a thousands$$.
It is also sad if you happen to own and really valuable guitar and take it to a guitar show. Then some dealer says "the volume knob has been changed, no way this guitar is worth $50K, because of the knob, I'll give you 5K for it and that's it."

Contributing Member


Dec 28th, 2017 08:09 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Then when they sell it, it's "only the volume knob has been changed, no way this guitar is worth $50K, but because of the knob, I'll give it to you for $49,995 and that's it."

Mike the marksman

Kansas City, MO

Jan 9th, 2018 08:22 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

One of my dream guitars is a '64 or '65 smallguard SG special. Gibson CS reissues of these guitars are actually MORE expensive than decent condition originals..

A custom color L-series Jazzmaster would be cool too and those don't go for crazy money. Those are really the only two vintage guitars I'm interested in.

FDP Data Goon

We all want

our time in hell
Jan 9th, 2018 10:57 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I've owned vintage stuff. I've played a TON of it (including one of the many documented Hendrix strats, but that's like trying to count the pieces of the True Cross) as well.

I've been haunted by a vintage '64 Mustang I had to sell (thankfully at the top of the market versus the 'nobody cares' when I bought it) for over a decade at one point - but that haunting was chased away by a $250ish Squier version that admittedly isn't as "nice" but...has the "it", whatever that is.

A closet classic of yore probably wasn't an amazing guitar - if it was, it'd show signs of wear and playing. I take good care of my nitro-finished stuff, but it shows it if you look - and modern stuff holds up better. These "under the bed" type guitars probably weren't anything special to their owners, and they had enough $$$ to not cash out (given how expensive they were at the time of their first retail sale!).

And that's just taking the actual value vintage stuff.

I'm not talking about the magical price rise on stuff simply because it's now 20-30 years old and somehow made in Japan or (even more of a question for me) Korea. While both have made fine guitars, the vast, vast majority were price point instruments that are not worth more than when they were sold!


Pacific Northwest

Jan 10th, 2018 08:02 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

This notion that old guitars that have little or no wear are somehow inferior examples because they weren't played; that they were neglected by their owners because they were dogs, does not hold water.

Fender has determined that 90% of new guitar buyers give up learning after one year.
So many of those perfectly nice guitars wind up in the closet for years and years.

S Mac

Contributing Member

Maplewood, MN

Jan 10th, 2018 08:45 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

stratcowboy +1

L. Nedmundo


Jan 10th, 2018 09:55 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'm mostly a bass player, and I've tried a few true vintage basses ('58 Precision, for example) and a couple of vintage guitars too. I understand the appeal of some of them and why some players buy them, but I'd never be willing to pay what they cost, largely because I think less expensive modern instruments are often better. Mike Lull, Suhr, Dingwall, and others make spectacular stuff. Heck, even regular production US Fenders and G&Ls are amazing.

I also don't get caught up in the nostalgia thing. I do, however, get some emotional gratification from my "personal vintage" instruments, i.e., those I've bought new and owned the longest. I've enjoyed how they've been broken in over time, some improvements via mods, and how I still love playing them. Primarily, I'm referring to my 2003 Jazz Bass and 2004 Stratocaster, which won't be "vintage" any time soon, but eventually they will be -- and I'll still have them.

Contributing Member

Tried vegetarian:

miss steak.
Jan 10th, 2018 10:05 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"My heirs will ask, what is all this weird crap?!?"

Are you saying we're the HAM radio geeks of the new millennium?




Jan 10th, 2018 06:31 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

They look sophisticated, I just don't what will be the difference once you play it.

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FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / How do you feel about vintage guitars?

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