02-24-2013 01:41 PM
02-24-2013 03:11 PM
02-24-2013 03:21 PM
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 shit 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.
02-24-2013 03:32 PM - edited 02-24-2013 03:38 PM
You agree with it wholeheartedly. The 0-17 is going to be '60s and prior. It will always be desirable. The D-28 of the same era will always be more expensive, but when a person wants a vintage small body Martin, there are only a few choices. An 0-17 will not cost the OP near the money of a D-28 of the same era, or even after. It's a pretty safe bet.
For instance, I would prefer an 0-17, and I'm not a small minority, over a D-28, because I prefer smaller fingerstyle guitars, and don't need a cannon.
02-24-2013 04:28 PM
02-24-2013 05:31 PM
Buy land...........they're not makin' any more of it.
02-24-2013 06:14 PM
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.
02-24-2013 06:29 PM
My humble thoughts - don't buy any guitar as an investment unless you simply find some killer deal (the prewar herringbone thats been stored under grandpa's bed and you can get for pennies). An 0-17 is a cool litttle guitar - even tho we think of the iconic 000-28 and above, the inexpensive all mahagany 0's and 00's helped carry Martin through the depression. There are lots of us who like them, but they are still off the radar, which means you can probably find one for a reasonable price, but also means that there won't be a big market when you go to sell it.
Educate yourself on vintage instruments. The UMGF has a special subforum dedicated to them (as well as an active buy and sell section), and here are two good references (mostly devoted to Martins from the 60's and 70's, but still good information).
With vintage instruments, one of the things that makes them desirable is originality. Neck resets and refrets are allowed (if done properly) as is fixing minor cracks. Refinishing, major rework, structural mods are all a no-no. They jury is out on whether converting an 0-17H (Hawaiian model) to spanish is OK - it is done a lot but these guitars are more players that collectors.
I have a friend with a 1837 D-18, the holy grail. It is easily worth six figures and sounds incredible. He knows what he has, but also isn't afraid to take it out and play with it (he owns several later models that are so priceless).
My own Martin history is a lot more humble - I have two from the 70's. I paid $600 for a D18 in about 1975, have put $750 into neck reset, frets and some other work, it would probably sell today for a little under $2k. Frankly that isn't very good RoR, but it is a great guitar and has given me many priceless hours of playing enjoyment.
(last thought, I do know where there is a small bodied hog Martin from the 30's - I think it is a 00-17). It was offered to me but the owner is a convicted pedophile and I couldn't stand to have that guitar in my house. Needs a reset and the usual stuff, its up in Alaska but if you are interested I could inquire.)
Good luck, let us know what you end up with
02-25-2013 08:23 AM - edited 02-25-2013 09:40 AM
Thom, one other piece of advice. Before investing in any old Martin you should invest in a couple of books. The classic is Longworth's, but it is out of print and he focus more on the upper level guitars (45's and stuff). The new ones by Richard Johnston takes up where Longworth left off and talks about the inexpensive guitars, ukes and mandolines that helped Martin weather economic hard times. The two books together aren't cheap (around 75 bucks) but it will help you understand these guitars a lot better.
Some other opinions here
and a very interesting graph that I stole from UMGF - sorry, no 0-17 tho
02-27-2013 04:11 AM
02-27-2013 06:55 AM
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.
03-07-2013 03:06 PM
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".
03-08-2013 06:38 PM - edited 03-08-2013 06:39 PM
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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