Five figures for a guitar...

zamdrang

Senior Member
Joined
May 2, 2009
Messages
129
Reaction score
157
This goes way beyond guitars, look what people pay for 70s and 80s cars now. Which let's be frank were pretty much shit as far as quality goes. People will like what they like.
 

Patek

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Messages
54
Reaction score
34
...is insane

We're not even talking vintage models here (which is also insane, because at end of the day it's just an old guitar and any "relicing" in reality is the finish falling apart), but guitars for 10 grand and up just because they're some kind of "limited edition"

Anyone who would pay that kind of money for an instrument had better have a charity in their name
hardly, the cost of exotic woods and skilled labour keeps going up every year so depending on the woods, components and skilled labour involved a $10k+ guitar is not something that out of the ordinary these days

certainly something made by the likes of Bartlett. Or consider a customshop LP by Gibson and then heavily modified by Historic Makeovers. Plenty out there


Perspective.

Having any guitar at all would be considered a lofty luxury by much of the world's population.

A $140 for a used low end Epiphone could feed, shelter and educate a pre-teen child in Burma for a full year.
hardly. I travel to to Myanmar (burma) a few times a year and $140 won’t get you very far at all these days let alone feed and educate and shelter someone for an entire year. Maybe not even a month

Either way, i do not compare my life choices and purchases with the lowest common denominator. Yangon has a Rolex boutique and plenty of mercs/BMWs on the road.
 

mlimbolimbo

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2013
Messages
9
Reaction score
4
We should remove money from the equation and send out guitars based on skill level of the player. I'll be in the corner enjoying my fishing line/wash basin/1 string banjo
Brilliant. Then no one will ever learn to play guitar.
 

mlimbolimbo

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2013
Messages
9
Reaction score
4
It's called a market economy. Value is based on perceived need. Perceived need is based on disposable income, or what people think is disposable. Most of the time they're going into debt. Just keep in mind that an instrument is something that someone is building. It is a product. Products are made by people that earn income that feeds their family and builds their local economy. Guitars made in Indonesia, Korea, China... or Maine, are all building the local economy and creating wealth. The kid that can't get a job at McDonald's today could be finishing guitars at PRS and making a good living doing it next year. And, maybe he will be the expert that puts a glass like finish on a $35,000 PRS custom, built witih wood from a man that earns his living harvesting trees in Indonesia, and dyed with colors from beans that come from Kashmir.
 
Last edited:

keys88

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2017
Messages
109
Reaction score
170
To me having a 5-figure guitar is like having a 6-figure car, or pieces of artwork that go for millions of dollars. If you have that kind of cash then who am I to tell you how to spend it? I'll never have to make those kinds of decisions, that's for sure haha. If I bought a 6-figure car I'd have to live in it...
 

DigitalTone

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
79
Reaction score
81
Speaking of Clapton, Page, Bloomfield, etc. and their '59 bursts, how can any of us be so sure that these were such great guitars? They were certainly great musicians, and they were playing some of the best instruments available at the time. How many of us have actually had a 1959 burst in our hands? How can we be so sure that there is some kind of "magic" in these rare birds? How much of that hallowed sound is due to the amplification of the late 60s and early 70s? We can't go back and see for ourselves, and most of us can't afford to spend the equivalent of a McMansion just to find out. I have read a number of books on Gibson Les Pauls, and have read more than once that a number of the 1958-60 Les Paul Standards are disappointing when played.

CivoLee, I am right with you on this subject. Modern, reasonably priced guitars are just fine with me. More options are available than ever before in terms of tonewoods, hardware and electronics. (I'll bet Jimi would have loved to have a double-locking Floyd Rose on his guitar!). And, though I have a few pawnshop guitars, I prefer nice, shiny new stuff without somebody else's sweat and dirt all over it.
In late 58, Ol' Man Gibson went down to the crossroads and sold his soul to the devil for a special run of Les Pauls. Whether they are good or they are disappointing, doesn't matter, they bring fame and fortune. Most of the artists you listed are known today because of the monkey's paw deal that Gibson made. Just about any huge band had a guy who had one, even if it isn't his number 1. It's a semi-requirement to get on the charts. Sometimes, even players like Kirk Hammett get on the charts with a song like Whiskey In The Jar, which he recorded using Greeny, which was used on the original Thin Lizzy recording of Whiskey In The Jar, too, not to mention what all it had done for Peter Green by that point. Look at the list of top 100 bands, pretty much 80 of them had a 59 LP in the group, sometimes the same one between groups. They're bless/cursed for some reason.

Or, we're Les Paul enthusiasts and need an icon, might as well be the one that most of us will never afford or even see in person. I like the deal with satan story, though.

Edit: Clapton probably did start it all, though, when he and George Harrison got theirs, then it was the cool thing to have in London at the time, so Keith Richards bought one with a Bigsby (which he loaned to Clapton after Beano got stolen). It's understandable that Page respected Clapton's thoughts, and it's very possible Clapton was bragging about his guitar to the kid he'd mentored, and then everybody that wasn't famous wanted to be like them, so it snowballed with the legend of the London music scene at the time.
 
Last edited:

rogue3

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2017
Messages
3,886
Reaction score
5,121
It's insane what people are paying for guitars just because they are "old."
easy son.i pay less now for gear,because i'm old(and wiser,i hope).
when i was young and foolish,i paid more:)hmm:)

just a twist on your quote( i get it,distressed guitars fetching top dollar...:rofl:)
 

Wise Guy

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2020
Messages
205
Reaction score
159
I get that people can spend their own money however they want, it just upsets me that they would choose to spend it on something that can only be of use to one person (or a series of owners over several years), meanwhile there are people starving in the first world

The only reason dealers can charge those kinds of prices is that there are people who will pay them

We should all start offering no more than the current MSRP of a new Standard on 1959 bursts, and when the dealers say "but it's a rare collector's item, they don't make them like this anymore", we can hit them back with "it's only rare because they didn't sell very many of them when they were new and Gibson wouldn't have started making them again if not for Clapton et al, and they don't make them like that anymore is because they've found better ways to make them"

You know, the awful truth
That's the great thing about free will. I don't want anyone telling me how to spend my money.
 

DBDM

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2020
Messages
210
Reaction score
261
Well, lets look at it another way. How much money did you make last year (rhetorical question, do not answer). How much do you have in your pocket? Where is the rest of it? It is in the bank, in a 401k, at the grocery store, etc. Now those people. How much did they make? Where is it? Your dollar spent gets spent over and over. It is a fundamental lack of knowledge of how money works that makes people think that if one person makes a dollar, then it takes a dollar out of other people's pockets. It is actually quite the opposite.

George Gruhn (good friend and former neighbor) sells guitars worth more than most people's houses. How much do you think he has in his pocket right now? Ill bet (knowing him well) that he has less than $100. Where is the rest? Other people are spending it. The only way that making a dollar takes that dollar out of circulation is if you keep it in your pocket. Otherwise other people are spending your dollar. If you buy a $300k guitar (played one there last month), you pay George, his son (who is president), his luthiers, his sales people--their car dealers, their health care insurance, their Doctors, etc. It is, again, a fundamental misunderstanding of how money works to think that spending $10k on a guitar somehow takes money out of people's pockets. Quite the opposite. It makes people money and puts more money in the system. None of these people I am describing (including George Gruhn) are what most would describe as Uber wealthy people (George is not poor but not Bill Gates or anything). SPENDING money makes many people money.

Good guitars are appreciating assets. A Les Paul bought new and well maintained is worth more today than it was when you bought it (likely). A cheap guitar is a depreciating asset. Which is actually cheaper--buying a mobile home for $30k that will be worth nothing in 20 years or buying a $100k home that will be worth $300k in 20 years? I would argue that paying for the mobile home (usually a depreciating asset) is WAY more expensive than the $100k home. 5 figure guitars will be worth more in 20 years than $150 guitars. I am unlikely to lose money, and very likely to make money on every one of my guitars and I am fairly confident in that.

I have $113 dollars in my pocket (just counted). Every other dollar I have earned this year is currently being spent by someone else.
 

efstop

Gold Supporting Member
Joined
May 29, 2015
Messages
10,223
Reaction score
25,476
It took me 5 years to spend five figures on guitars but I have 17 of them. Haven't spent more than $1600 on any of them. I look for discontinued, NOS, demoed and used. They all please me.
 

CB91710

Double Platinum Supporting Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
7,856
Reaction score
16,122
One mans disposable income for a week can be another's living income for a year.

You need to play in the sand box that's right for you.
This.

At one point, someone told me "Today I am starving on what I once dreamed of making"
Ironically, today, I am not making much more than I was 15 years ago, but 15 years ago the above applied to me.
Today, I'll drop $1,000 without a 2nd thought if it's something I really want.
 

northernguitarguy

SWeAT hOg
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
37,173
Reaction score
66,661
Can you please explain why feel the need to to try and cast guilt on people for spending a large amount of money on something they love? I have spent a thousands on my guitars and for real it is not anyone's damn business what or how much of my hard earned money I spend on anything. Let alone try cast guilt for doing so.

For 18 years I have been walking into a job that does not guarantee I will walk out of and yes...I get paid very well to do so. My family is well taken care and want for nothing. But I had my blood spilled at my job to make sure they are taken care of.

So if spending a few thousands on something that will help me to forget about life for a little while makes me wrong...then I will never be right. And if people think that they should give to charity in stead of spending money on a guitar...find a different forum. Stop hating on the people that can afford to spend a few dollars on something they love. Stop hating people.
That’s not what he meant. And a guy who winds premium boutique pickups is very much in favour of people who can afford to spend a few dollars on something they love.
 
Last edited:

waxout

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2010
Messages
22
Reaction score
17
I play the best guitars I can afford... that I can afford to gig with, meaning I'm not going to lose my mind if the vocalist smacks it with the mic, the sound tech hits it with a heavy cable end or (gasp) some sneaky drunk pulls a grab and dash. For me, that tops out around 2k. Thats the line where I'd feel sick, but not suicidal. I can gig and have a drink with the band afterwords without worrying so much about my gear that I can never enjoy the moment.

I suppose people who can blow 5 figures on a guitar, don't have to worry about them too much. Or that guitar never leaves it's climate controlled home. Whatever, I want to play my best guitar when performing and can't afford have a closet full of case queens. I have sold too many guitars that I could not bear the thought of the first nick or scratch that just reduced the value by half (unless I wait 30 yrs)

That said, I have no answer for income inequality, it's very real. People work hard to get rich, wealthy people pay other people to make sure their family stays wealthy. Check out Chris Rocks bit on Rich vs Wealthy, its funny but true!
 

bum

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2015
Messages
1,470
Reaction score
1,994
Disclaimer: I have no need for a five figure guitar, the only vintage stuff I love is four figures, like 60s Jags, Mustangs and my 68 Gretsch.
Having said that I do believe that once you get a good guitar over a certain age your money is safe, it's not going anywhere. Enjoy it for a few years then break even / make a profit.
I can either keep my money in the bank or have it slung round my neck, I choose the latter, well, some of it anyway :D
 

DigitalTone

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
79
Reaction score
81
Disclaimer: I have no need for a five figure guitar, the only vintage stuff I love is four figures, like 60s Jags, Mustangs and my 68 Gretsch.
Having said that I do believe that once you get a good guitar over a certain age your money is safe, it's not going anywhere. Enjoy it for a few years then break even / make a profit.
I can either keep my money in the bank or have it slung round my neck, I choose the latter, well, some of it anyway :D
We know the mafia uses art to hide money. I bet they do the same with 59 LPs.
 


Latest Threads



Top