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What's so great about vintage?


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  • What's so great about vintage?

    Call me ignorant but I've never really been told what it is that makes vintage guitars superior to modern guitars, I've just been told how it is. Could anyone shed some light on why for me?

    Also if you had a budget of around

    I am a spammer who disrespects the entire community by offering nothing to you but Donnerdeal spam.

  • #2

    I would get a Custom Shop relic instead. An original from say 1962 or whatever is likely to have worn out tuners, in need of a refret, or even worse already been refretted badly and above all else is it really original or a fake. Someone wrote that at a recent vintage guitar show in the U.S. he saw more vintage guitars than he had ever seen at similar guitar shows and concluded that all of them couldn't possibly be real. Quite honestly it's not worth the risk as Fenders are pretty easy to fake especially if they are claimed to be refinished. The old ones might sound 10% better but at least the Custom Shop guitar can be replaced if it is stolen. Come to that Fender are not the only company in the frame for a quality guitar of that type. James Tyler and John Suhr make some classy items for about the same money.

    Professor Tom


    • #3

      Sometimes what makes them good is just that they survived. 

      The ones made at the same time that had issues, neck warping, e.g. have been weeded out of the for sale population. 

      For some, they were made with different parts, that might be superior to you, but it is subjective. 

      I have a 1964 Gretsch, it has an unusual midranging tone and I love the way it looks and plays. But if I'm honest with my self, I can get that same sound from my 2010 Reverend, and other normal modern tones as well. And the tuners are more stable, etc. etc. 

      It is a different answer for acoustic instruments. The wood actually changes on a microscopic level. Granted, it is still more subtle probably than some people like to admit. I had a 100 year old classical I thought for a long time sounded the way it did due to its age. When I actually tried other models that were french polished with solid cedar tops, I finally found some that sounded similar. Still, nothing I've found is quite as rich, but it is a pretty marginal thing, I'd be surprised anyone seeing me play could tell.

      Blind tests are few and far between.

      Blind tests by some of the best violinists in the world with $3,000 to $300,000 violins, were not particularly flattering to the $300,000 ones. Blind acoustic guitar tests (not vintage) between $300 Hohners and $2000 Taylors were mixed. 

      Another factor is that some of the people GASsing for vintage guitars are stuck in 20 years ago. Computers have vastly changed production quality in the lower and mid price ranges.

      At a modest price point now you begin to get into purely subjective territory.




      • thom
        thom commented
        Editing a comment

        What's so great? Compared to a similar but much cheaper model from the custom shop? Collectability. That's it. Not that I've played a zillion 50s strats or anything, I'm not exactly an authority on the subject. But electric guitars aren't rocket science, they're not nearly as complicated in design/construction as the mojority of classical instruments and even acoustic guitars. The age of the wood might make a very slight difference in tone, and I suppose some people prefer the feel of a neck with some mileage on it...But for today's vintage prices, there's no good reason imo to pick a vintage guitar over a new one unless it's for the sake of collecting/investing.




    • #4

      Since you're talking electric guitars, I'm thinking you'd get better answers in the Electric Guitar forum. But since you're here, what the hell. Here goes;


      Wood is initially in a tree. Therefore, wood thinks it's a tree. Trees aren't known for sounding too much like guitars. When you take the wood out of the tree and put it into a guitar, the wood still thinks it's a tree, and not a guitar. It takes wood years of being in a guitar before it finally begins to think it's a guitar.

      __________________________________________________ _________
      Proud reject from the HCAG Civil Posters Society.


      • #5

        Braggin' rights


        • poppytater
          poppytater commented
          Editing a comment

          My wife really digs vintage

      • #6

        I doubt that you couldn't find a new electric guitar as "good" or the sound you are looking for from a vintage. That being said, acoustics do change over time.

        Some boutique guitars like Froggy Bottom, Sega, etc. sound damn good right out of the box, yet I still believe they change their tone over ageing.

        For a completely different reason, Vintage guitars do take a person back in time...they look the part, feel the part and can smell the part....MOJO galore. This may be important to some.

        I love Vintage guitars...I believe they should be played. I would take a vintage Gibson/Martin over a new one, though the new may be a better built instrument.

        Here's one of mine...it has a VERY unique sound I have not heard hanging new in a shop....


        Attached Files
        Steve Goodman Fan/Eddie Wright Fan/Damon Fowler Fan 2006 Martin OM21, 2014 Martin GPC12string, 2012 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)


        • Graeca
          Graeca commented
          Editing a comment

          If you can't hear the difference in the sound of a fine vintage instrument over the same model fresh from the factory, try changing the strings.

          If that doesn't work, there's also this option: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cochlear_implant