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Investing in a vintage Martin?

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  • Investing in a vintage Martin?

    I'm looking for a nice acoustic, but I'm not the sort of succesfull rock star who can easily justify buying $2K guitars.

    My kids (oldest one's 4yo) have got a pretty nice savings acount, which will only end up costing us money thanks to the ridiculously low rates and the inflation. And we all know the stock market is unreliable and not particularly profitable. Lower risk options like index funds probably won't give me much more than 3% profit.

    So if I look at a low end pre-war Martin, like a 0-17....What sort of risk/return should I expect if I'd want to sell it fifteen years from now? I'd enjoy it a helluva lot more than ANY sort of stock/fund/acount/share/whatever, so as long if there's not too much risk involved, I wouldn't mind making 'only' 3% from this investement.

    Am I being delusional, is it a bad time to invest in guitars? Or is the 0-17 just not the right model or something?

    Cheers.

  • #2
    It's always a bad time to invest in guitars. If you're investing, that's one thing. If you're playing it, that's another. Get the guitar you'll play and you'll be happy.

    The 0-17 is always going to be a desirable instrument to some, it's a small body, all mahogany little bluesbox, I have a '37 00-17 that I'd never trade. But if your intention is to not lose money, you're priorities are more in tune to a financial website, not an acoustic guitar website. No matter what you hear here, we don't really know **************** about where the market will lead.

    That's good advice. Take it.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/MrOddmanout1

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    • Folky_Grunge
      Folky_Grunge commented
      Editing a comment

      Neal wrote:
      It's always a bad time to invest in guitars. If you're investing, that's one thing. If you're playing it, that's another. Get the guitar you'll play and you'll be happy.

      The 0-17 is always going to be a desirable instrument to some, it's a small body, all mahogany little bluesbox, I have a '37 00-17 that I'd never trade. But if your intention is to not lose money, you're priorities are more in tune to a financial website, not an acoustic guitar website. No matter what you hear here, we don't really know **************** about where the market will lead.

      That's good advice. Take it.

      I agree with this for the most part. Honestly, you never know what any market is going to be like, and the guitar market is very finicky - I've heard talk about vintage guitar bubbles since I've been on this website, not to mention how the ecomony in general affects the market. If you apply that to something like an 0-17, which isn't nearly as desirable as something like a D-28 to most people, you end up with a very unstable "investment." Will it be worth more in the future? No one can really know, unless you can prove Woodie Guthrie owned it or something.


  • #3

    What's your idea of "investment"? Actually seeing a return over time, or just avoiding inflation, as opposed to helplessly watching your investment depreciate to nothing?

    I can think of worse things than a pre-war Martin 0-17 to to spend your money on. But don't expect it to perform like 1986 Microsoft stock.

    Proud reject from the HCAG Civil Posters Society, Martin snob, vitriolic sociopath, and tantrumist

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    • #4
      I buy and sell about a dozen guitars a year. A nice acoustic isn't necessarily a vintage guitar. If its an investment you want.....$2000 is at best the entry level vintage instrument.

      I would look at used or new Larrivee's, a used 60ish Gibson B25 (best kept secret...play one, you'll see what I mean), or a top line Eastman....all to be had for aorund a $1,000...extremely nice instruments that save you a lot of money and will never hurt you if you end up selling them.
      Steve Goodman Fan/Eddie Wright Fan/Damon Fowler Fan2012 Gibson J45 Standard Spruce/mahogany1969 Framus 12 String Spruce/Mahogany1990's Larrivee D2 (Spruce/Mahogany)2007-8 Guild C0-2C (Spruce/Mahogany)2009 Recording King RO-26 (Spruce/Mahogany)1962-3 Gibson LG2 (Spruce/Mahogany)

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      • thom
        thom commented
        Editing a comment

        Thanks. Really. Don't mean to suck up to anyone, but I usually hang out a couple of the other sections of this forum, and the responses there aren't half as good as what I've been getting here. 

        Anyway...The reason why I mensioned the 0-17, is obviously because it's somewhat affordable, and because I like mahogany acoustics, and I like the smaller size. Don't think I'm ready to plunge into the 'real' vintage guitar market just yet, thanks for all the advice though.

        I'll look for those books, as well as for the guitars that were mensioned. Thanks again. 


    • #5

      The bottom's dropped out of a lot of "collector's item" markets--comic books, coins, baseball cards, etc.--and I'd suspect the new economic realities will bring a bit of cold hard truth the most of the other such "investments".  

      Jukejoint Handmedowns (my band)

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      • larry50
        larry50 commented
        Editing a comment

        The best advice I can give is don't buy a guitar as an investment.  You'll do better putting your money in a good no load mutual fund over the same period of time.  The vintage guitar market is very fickle, and although some vintage models (pre-war Martins such as the D-18 or D-28 or just about any Martin from the late 1920's or 1930's) will always retain their value as investments, guitars are just a bad investment all the way around. 

        Buy the guitar because you like it, not because you might, if you're lucky, break even or make a small profit when you sell it. 



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