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Is A Guitar Ever Worth 9K?

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You will evolve a practical (relative) sense of value, or you won't, depending upon how romantically involved you are with the whole of the acoustic guitar as an object and as an instrument for making music with. I suspect many are taken in by it as an object with an intrinsic value that eclipses any (mere) monetary valuation. In this sense money is an irrelevant method of valuation.

If you do not have that sense of the guitar, and value it strictly upon it's benefit to making music, your evolved ears and hands will determine the value of a guitar, distinct from all others, and they cannot be influenced or persuaded by the builder's asking price.

I see countless private builder's used guitars on the market and this tells me a couple things. People with means bought them and then decided to divest them. Why? Should I suggest that money alone did not provide them with the magical sound they were searching for. Or, should I suggest that money alone did not make them good players? Or, name your reason, they were bought and by some measure presented a less than satisfying experience to their buyers.

Now, I've perused all of the private builder sites and have seen their products. They are beautiful examples of finely crafted woods brought together in the most aesthetically pleasing variety of ways. But, I'm guessing many of those guitar's appeal stops right there. I've played many, many of them in my short excursions around one day's reach and have not found any I would invest $1000.00 in, much less they're asking price.

I did buy a guitar that wholly consumed me in 2007. I chose it over many other high-end boutique builder's guitar's. I found a shop in an off-beat town that carried many of these guitars. At the end of the visit I walked out with a guitar that I would have never, in a more rational moment, purchased. But, moreover, I was imbued with a sense of disappointment insomuch as a first hand acquired sense of mediocrity regarding the other boutique guitars I'd played. With lot's of forum-speak support heaping accolades onto those guitars I could only think such chatter was mostly from inexperienced people of means rather than evolved skills - ears and hands - who embraced the guitars as precious objects first, musical instruments second.

Last word, the boomer generation is huge and has a lot of buying power. Throw a few guitar forums at hobbyists and watch a boutique market blossom from it. I suspect the reputation of the average private builder to be born of forum speak alone, driving demand, driving up prices and I expect it to all come crashing down when the boomers slip past their newly retired spending sprees. It's already starting if we glance at the used market. Bottom line, the boomers inflated the prices of guitars and that alone is economics 101, meaning, no, the guitars really are not worth their asking prices.

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Well thought out.  And I agree.  Which now begs another question.  What is reasonable.  That’s not an answerable question, I know, but it’s at least agreeable that 9K is a bit out there.

I read Leo Kottke’s Bozo 12 string is selling for 50K.  I also heard that a Bozo is up toward that price anyway on the secondary market.  Your last paragraph examines this very thing, I think.

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