Five figures for a guitar...


Senior Member
Mar 17, 2020
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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.
George Gruhn says the price of nearly every guitar skyrockets when individuals who turn 40-50 (ish) begin having more disposable income and desire to purchase the guitars (cars?) depicted on posters that were on their walls as kids. Likely something to that thought. George also says that the best electrics were buit in the 50's. He says second best is "right now". I think (not his thoughts but mine) that many times when people are living in a "Golden Age", they do not recognize it. Guitarists in the late 50'sdid not recognize that 1958-1960 was a golden age...and they seemingly do not know it now. Ditto with pre-war Martin acoustics. (And right now). Human nature that the grass is always greener (in the future and by looking back to the past great guitars). I think there are several being made right now that are future great ones. The 2019 1959 R9 60th may be one of those someday. There are likely enough of them and they are recognized as high enough quality to not ascend to true "million dollar" (todays money) guitars in the future but they are GREAT ones.

In my other hobby, shooting, the same holds true. We just ended a time when weapons were better and cheaper than they have ever been or likely will ever be, as far as price vs quality. Fortunately for me I did recognize it and made some purchases. I am not sorry I did so.

Back to guitars, I have a theory that the days of USA made largely (semi-)hand made "big player" guitars are coming to an end..soon. (years to a decade). I simply do not think the big players can keep doing it in the US from an economic standpoint. Wonder what the collectors market will do the day one of the big players announces they are moving to Asia? Wonder how the "shitty" 80s USA models will "sound" at that point? Wonder how many stories of "I bought this for 3 figures on "Musicians Friend" on as a deal of the day, and now people are paying 5 figures" (theme of the thread). The thought that Gibsons cost "too much" (new) is laughable. Gibbons cost the exact same as they have always cost (when adjusted for inflation).

Gibson went broke less than 2 years ago. I know for a fact that 4 of the 5 suitors of the company wanted to move the company to Asia. I (also) know for a fact that Gibson could not afford to pay Christmas bonuses this year so they instead let every employee (USA shop) walk through the warehouse (by senority) and pick any one unsold (again USA shop) guitar for $100. The stories of that employee sale witll likely be the stuff of future legend. Does that sound like a company making a lot of money? 2 things there, one--they had at least 450 (ish) guitars that they could spare. 2 they could not afford to spare them for no money and $45,000 was a meaningful number to the balance sheet.

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