Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Posts 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    The ‘50 year old Gruhn guitar catalog’ and a few other posts got me wondering about what the future of vintage guitars might look like. Reading that list had me thinking “what guitars would be on my generations version of this list?”

    I keep seeing Baby Boomers pegged as today’s trend setters for the demand & pricing of various models, so I wondered if members here might have any pet theories on which guitars could rise or fall as generations change.
    Last edited by Flying Ashtray; 03-03-2021 at 06:50 PM.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    It could go either way, but IMO, as population increases and the supply of high demand vintage guitars shrinks (every year some are lost to fires, war and natural disasters), I think the price will keep going up. Also the raw materials (Spruce, Ebony, Rosewood and Mahogany) are fast becoming scarce.

    Bear in mind that part of the price difference over time is inflation and that guitars do have "carrying costs" (storage and maintenance) so, they are probably not the best investment. That said, for me, owning guitars as an investment is way more fun than bonds, stocks or certificates of deposit. YMMV

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Not giving financial advice but I think this question is pretty silly.

    Your ROI from a good stock pick in 1 year is multiple times better than your return on a good guitar pick. Even a "really" good one. Sure a telecaster went from about 1k to 50k in real dollars over a 70 year period. 4900% return sounds awesome, but that's actually only about a 5.75% return compounded annually. The S&P 500 had an annualized return of 7.72% since then.

    Another way to think about that example is that if I had bought a tele for $1k (in 2021 real dollars) back in 1950, I would have spent 1k to buy a guitar that might one day be very desirable, taking the risk that it wouldn't be valuable at all. If I had invested that $1k, I'd get my pick of extremely desirable guitars down the road. I know our society puts absolutely no value on delaying gratification, but I always feel that I benefit from practicing patience.

    Buy guitars because you love them. Whether you play or just collect doesn't matter to me; I have nothing against big collectors that treat them as artifacts or toys. But thinking you can get rich from buying the right guitars is kinda nuts.

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    I've already posted elsewhere that while it's hard to predict with certainty what items will be extremely collectible in the future, right now most things older than midcentury are losing value. And while a millennial or Gen-Xer can connect with an LP or Tele or Strat, whether they will see the value in, say, a Stromberg in 20-30 years is much more questionable.

    But I think a more interesting question is what items currently for sale will be considered highly collectible in 50 years?

    TBH I'm having a hard time thinking of any. Some of the abortive experiments like the Roland Synth-Axe and Gibson Dusk Tiger may actually be VERY collectible, given that they represented an evolutionary dead end, with a very small number of surviving items.

    Put another way just cranking out thousands of LPs and 335s and Teles and Strats in various configurations is not a great way to ensure collectibility.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Back OT I think that rare classic Gibsons and Fenders from the 50's and certain iconic guitars from the 60's like the Vox teardrop guitar and Rickenbacker 12-string will still be very collectible. As they say, they ain't making any more of them.

    Prewar Martins should be a good bet.

    Other than that, I've got nuttin'.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    Perhaps a pre Gibson Mesa Boogie will be considered valuable in the future.
    Amps rise in value also.

  8. #7
    I just meant it as a fun question I didn’t think about it very deeply. Sorry if OP came across as leering, thanks for the recommendations

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    I believe that the iconic carved Gibson archtops, if kept in good condition, should do well over the long haul. 20-30-40-50 years.

    So get a good one with really nice figuring, play it and take care of it.

    Of course it helps to like a 25.5" scale.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    Late 80s American Standard Strats are going to take off. Mark my words. I can get you in on the ground floor for a mere $3000. Hell, I'll give you a 15% forum discount cause I'm in a generous mood.

    John

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    I'm all for great instruments getting into the hands of future players. Musical instruments are made to make music. If along the way, somebody makes an honest buck, that's OK by me. I'd like to see my modest accumulation survive to find appreciative homes. I'd like to think that people would enjoy playing them, and even more people enjoy hearing them. I hope some of it is Jazz.

    As far as financial considerations, markets are fickle.

    But you never know.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Hard to predict. How about the Roland TB-303 bass synthesizer. I got one when it first came out. I programmed bass lines with which to jam along back in the 1980s.

    Of the things I got in 1987 that I still own, my kids may more likely want my TB-303 as a 'collectors item' rather than my Ibanez RG550.


    Opinions on the future of vintage guitars?-screen-shot-2021-03-03-7-25-21-pm-png
    Opinions on the future of vintage guitars?-screen-shot-2021-03-03-7-27-32-pm-png

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    The thing about vintage guitars, or vintage anything, is that the value varies from influences beyond your control. It is kind of a faddish pursuit. For instance, about 15 years ago my wife bought me a nice '50's bubble back Rolex- not a ton of money at the time but a nice collectible. But then the market went to dinner plate sized watches and sports models, and the earlier one's value has sunk. So a fad affected the value. Not that it bothers me, still love the watch.

    Similarly with guitars, fads can come and go depending on who is playing what guitar when. In earlier days everyone wanted strats, telecasters, Les Pauls etc. Now suddenly Jazzmasters and other offsets have gotten hotter, famous dudes have been playing them. So that is a variable worth considering.

    Guitars of course have intrinsic value based on the quality of construction and materials. But if that were the whole story, a '59 L5CES would be worth more than a '59 Les Paul. They were much more difficult to produce, and with finer materials. But Jimmy Page never played one. On the other hand, prewar Martins have woods that are no longer available, and they have held their value since 2008's crash better than Fenders etc.

    I was lucky to snag a few back in the '80's, and I feel that if you are going to buy now, you better do it for love- there is no way to predict which way prices will go, especially as boomers get old and divest. Especially, arch top guitars are a small niche, and vintage ones have been tough to sell. But that doesn't keep me from looking, not at all!

    And I think that some of the better builders of arch tops may increase in value, the same way D'Acquistos and D'Angellicos did, but it is difficult to predict whose that will be.

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by bluejaybill

    And I think that some of the better builders of arch tops may increase in value, the same way D'Acquistos and D'Angellicos did, but it is difficult to predict whose that will be.
    Well, there's:
    • Monteleone,
    • Bob made Benedetto guitars,
    • Buscarino guitars

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    We are analogue people.We were raised to value things, like cars and guitars.The rising generation is digital. Everything they have is virtual. They have no use for things. And they do not listen to guitar music.

    Nobody sells old pianos any more. They give them away. There is no market.

    Guitars will be junk before too long.

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    My prediction is vintage instruments, without exception, will continue to get older 1 year at a time.

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    We are analogue people.We were raised to value things, like cars and guitars.The rising generation is digital. Everything they have is virtual. They have no use for things. And they do not listen to guitar music.

    Nobody sells old pianos any more. They give them away. There is no market.

    Guitars will be junk before too long.
    We traded a baby grand for a Yamaha digital last year cause our piano tuner was a nut, and we got tired of paying him. Surprisingly the piano sold for a couple “grand” within a week.

    I agree with you to a large extent (as I think I’ve posted before), but on the flip side there is a strong roots movement among younger people—my kids’ age—that celebrates natural foods and farming, sewing and other crafts (the “makers movement”), and analogue music. Look at the success of people like Molly Tuttle, Billy Strings, Old Crow Medicine Show, Punch Brothers, Nickel Creek and many others.

    I am hoping to see Devil Makes 3 at the Hinterland Festival this summer—great roots music—and they play vintage archies (Epiphones). Very popular!

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Right now, I think the price of a vintage L5 is boosted by a lot of old guys, like me, who grew up idolizing Wes.

    Forty years hence, the Wes luster may have diminished in intensity (maybe) and the guitar will stand on its own, maybe closer to a Gibson model that hadn't become iconic.

    But, since the supply of genuine vintage quality instruments can't go up, I'd expect rising value. They are works of art and craft and it's hard to think of something of that description that doesn't command a decent price after 100 years. Not that they have to rise as much as the stock market.

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    We are analogue people.We were raised to value things, like cars and guitars.The rising generation is digital. Everything they have is virtual. They have no use for things. And they do not listen to guitar music.

    Nobody sells old pianos any more. They give them away. There is no market.

    Guitars will be junk before too long.
    I hate to say it but I have to agree with you the generation coming up doesn’t want to own anything. The “great reset” will push the narrative you’ll own nothing and be happy. So there’s that....

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by skiboyny
    I hate to say it but I have to agree with you the generation coming up doesn’t want to own anything. The “great reset” will push the narrative you’ll own nothing and be happy. So there’s that....
    Well... They have to own their interfaces to the digital world, their gear for excursions into the natural world, their rigs to work, shop and bop in the urban world. And (gasp) they will get older and look for ways to take a break from the digitized world and may come to seek tools to meditate in the harmonic world.

    Plus in a world of climate change, rolling blackouts, Covid caliber viruses, political apocalypse and etc... The real question may be acoustic or electric?

    In the Kevin Costner post doomsday epic "The Postman" it is fun to see that one of those communities preserved an archtop.