Vintage Guitars in 50 years...

dwagar

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Before the present economic downturn, 429 boss Mustangs had sold as high as $500000. Now , recently one went for $185,000 and it was a big deal.

I really hate to see this.
Yeah, I owned one, a '70. I think I got $3000 for it when I sold it. But that was around 1975.
Who knew?

Same thing today I think. Who knows what to keep as an investment?
When Microsoft was steamrolling everyone in the PC market, how many were smart enough to liquidate as much as you could to toss it into Apple?

The boomers will be all gone. As someone mentioned above, so will that nostalgia. Supply/demand, the supply of 50s LPs won't change, but the demand is likely going to drop. From the 70s on there are shitloads of guitars. They'll likely still increase in value as our buying power drops with inflation, but personally I don't think guitars are great investments. Just buy them and play the snot outa them.
 

HarleyJohansson

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Impossible to predict, but rock'n'roll won't ever die and with that, there will always be a nice, old Les Paul. Amen.
 

bonanza2252003

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If we're going so far as to relate this to violins in a Gibson section, I think master-built electric guitars should be considered as well. Some examples of those make the prices of most vintage Gibsons look like chicken feed. And I'll bet they'll do so for a long time to come.

I've been thinking the same thing . Rist ,Max ,Derrig may well be great collectors items in the future . I will not be here but my master built customs will be passed on .I believe these master built to spec. old growth guitars are superior in every way to even an original burst . And yes I have played both and own several and similar to a strad ,they were only built in the dozens and not thousands :applause:
 

guitarbob123

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I'll want a burst when you lot are dead and gone and I'm only 16. I reckon I'll have a burst or some kind of vintage Les Paul before I'm 50
 

hecube

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Prices will continue to go up just because of these simple facts:
  • the number of '59 Les Pauls is a finite quantity
  • the world population continue to grows, producing new vintage guitar lovers everyday
 

DonLogan

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I finally get to ask a series of epically stupid questions that have bugged me for a while:

People nowadays like to quip "He bought this guitar in the 1940's for 2$ and nowadays it is worth well over 200$, har-har what a difference!".

Okay, bursts are a wierd example since prices have skyrocketed, but if we take a guitar that was bought for 200$ in the 80's, now in 2011 worth 1000$... how much actual profit would that render to the original owner if he sold it today, taking inflation etc into account? Call me crazy, but to me it seems he would break even if he still has bills to pay and mouths to feed.

I also remember reading somewhere that Alvin Lee paid around 500$ for his Big Red in the 60's, now it's worth over 500000$, but come on, wasn't 500$ still a HUGE amount of money back then?

Could someone in the know please answer me the following:

1. What did a Gibson Les Paul standard cost in 1959?
2. What was the average High-School English teacher's salary in those days?
2. How much would both of the above amount to in today's money?
3. What does a High School English Teacher earn a month in the States, 2011?
4. How much was 100$ in the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's compared to today?

Sure, we can say in 30 years time that we bought our R9s for 5000$ in the 00's, and sold them for 20000$ in the 2040's, but won't that mean jack if all we can buy for our supposed 15k profit is a month's worth of groceries?

I know, I am confused, I know nothing of economics.

Regards
 

Monstronaut

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Most of the people with/wanting 'bursts are baby boomers who grew up on Clapton, Green, Gibbons etc. The desire to own these instruments comes from wanting to sound like their heros as much as the quality of the instruments. I am 30 and also love these guys but I also love alot of music that was coming out when I was growing up. These bands were not playing bursts. As each generation comes in the music and perception of tone will change to a point where 50's Gibsons are just considered relics of a bygone age. It must be difficult for kids learning guitar to relate to music made almost 50 years ago(which was copying music made 60/70 years ago).

I still want one though! :thumb:
 

JustD

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Gotta agree with DonLogan, I can say for myself, in the 90's you could do a lot of things with just 50$, but what 50$ worth in our days? Not a lot. How much 250$ in 1959 worth today? I think a lot, but I can't say something I don't really sure about.
 

LPPILOT

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I see lots of teenies playing Stairway in stores just like the 70's.

Good music is good music...... why wouldn't new players want to know about the the axes form the 50's that timeless music was written performed on.

But , if the collectors keep all the good vintage Gibsons amd make future players only have 14 pound Norlins with bigsbys and brass nuts..... a revolution might break out. I can see them getting upset.
 

SkyDogJr

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You know, I have been writing a post for a while, and thought rather than re-invent the wheel, I should see what's been said...then re-invent the wheel!
 

zontar

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They will all be used to fire up heat in the new ice age....

Reminded me of this-It does involve guitars & burning things for heat.
[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OepVIbrY_Oo]Red Dwarf - S03E02 - Marooned - Part 3 - YouTube[/ame]

As to the OP--who knows?

Go back 50 years and see what people were suggesting as far as collectibles & investments in 1961 & 1962--see how many of them missed the mark...

And the world changes more rapidly now.
 

SkyDogJr

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Personally, I think I am too old to give a shi*.

However, when the Les Paul, as a for instance, was tossed aside for anything pointy and painted in neon colours, some people bought those old Les Pauls at prices that make people want to cry (Because they didn't buy one too....) Then, they got popular again.... :slash: I don't know why:slash: ...who could have made them cool again:slash: ... and the price of the old ones got just as silly, only on the opposite end of the financial spectrum.

As with anything good, there just weren't that many of the old ones made and the ones that survive are, for the most part, in private collections. One or another come up for sale from time to time and if they are priced too high, they don't sell... ...not right away anyway.

I mean, think about it... If the "Pearly Gates" or Page's No. 1 came up for sale, the price would be astronomical... but not so much for what it is in terms of the actual guitar, but that a certain musician owned it and the iconic music that was made with it. And, that will only be true as long as anyone cares enough. Again, what will music be in 50 years? Will anyone ever give a shi* about LZ or ZZ TOP? Don't forget, people did care about those two bands and Bursts were going for $50.00 in pawn shops at 20 to 30 years old.

No offense to the guys that own 10 or 13 of the Les Paul Historic guitars with this next thought.... The problem is that with the numbers being produced today by Gibson... 50 years to those guitars won't mean as much as even 30 or 40 did to the 50's Les Pauls that survived time.

Gary Richrath said he used to buy Bursts in pawn shops for $50.00 when Strats were the guitar to have... (then when he became a coke head, he probably sold his bursts to a pawn shop for enough to buy some blow....very sad) Now while that should never happen again (unless it's by mistake which basically means it won't happen...) the Bursts that everyone gets moist over are gonna be high priced for ever because their owners value them enough not to sell them for cheap...unless their finances bottom out, in which case, the collection guitars may wind up in the market...but again, you have to remember that if a seller needs money, while he's put a value on the instrument that it probably just isn't gonna get...the price will drop because he needs to sell it....and the price in the end goes down. Once that happens, the next time one comes up for sale, you can bet the price the last one sold for is on everyone's minds.

Now, let's just compare the two things that have been brought up in the discussion. The 1959 Gibson Les Paul sunburst and the Stradivarius instruments. I am gonna expand it to the '58-'60 for numbers....

These are the numbers that were shipped. How many actually exist and are legit, non-conversion, Les Paul Sunbursts? I don't know. The percentage numbers are what have been logged on the Burst Serial log site.
'58 '59 '60 Tot
434 643 635 1712
33% 57% 27%

(These numbers are incomplete, but enough to make my point.)
Stradivarius Violins
282 fr 1666-1737

Violas
13 known fr. 1672-1734

Cellos
70-80 built in lifetime. 63 exist. 1620-1736

Guitars
2 complete guitars..some pieces
one in 1688 one in 1700

Harp
The only Stradivarius harp to survive today is the arpetta (little harp), owned by San Pietro a Maiella Music Conservatory in Naples, Italy.

Mandolins
2 known to exist 1680 and 1706

363 instruments total ranging from as early as 1666 to 1737. Again, these numbers are incomplete.

These instruments are hundreds of years old and built by a master.

The Gibson Les Paul sunburst, while recognized as the guitar that has the most sought after design and build techniques, pups, etc. still isn't even 75 years old. and were built by masters....who work for Heritage now....or some of them did anyway....

Technology has changed so much....think about a violin maker that made 1000 to 1100 instruments in his lifetime and about half, 650, remain.

Then think about Gibson and their 50's shipping totals compared to what is happening now... Maybe someone knows the current numbers of guitars/day Gibson is producing...but my guess is it is a significant number...

So for me, until the production numbers drop and we have a Renaissance where there just isn't a call for so many to be produced, and the details will be paid closer attention to, I don't see current off the wall production models to demand much, if any, vintage value in 50 years....


...but I could be full of it too....
 

Bes628

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At 24, I would love to own one, but its more than likely never gonna happen. So I don't worry about it.

Coming from a kind of "Art school" College down in Florida, I ran into a shit ton of guitar players of all different genres, and most don't care about vintage guitars.

Except my one buddy and his penchant for cheap danelectro's and airline guitars, but he was in a novelty surf/punk band.
 

Liam

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Could someone in the know please answer me the following:

1. What did a Gibson Les Paul standard cost in 1959?

$265 + $42.50 for the case

2. What was the average High-School English teacher's salary in those days?

Probably not the best comparison to go for - teachers' relative salaries in the US have improved a bit since then. The average white male salary in the USA in 1960 was $4300 a year.

2. How much would both of the above amount to in today's money?

From the consumer price index, the multiplier is 7.58. So:

Guitar - $2035.20
Case - $322.15
Average annual salary - $32,594.00

3. What does a High School English Teacher earn a month in the States, 2011?

Varies dramatically. Median is somewhere between $40K and $50K per annum.

4. How much was 100$ in the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's compared to today?

$100 is $100, every year. What you can buy with it has varied over the years.

Sure, we can say in 30 years time that we bought our R9s for 5000$ in the 00's, and sold them for 20000$ in the 2040's, but won't that mean jack if all we can buy for our supposed 15k profit is a month's worth of groceries?

I know, I am confused, I know nothing of economics.

You're not that confused, pretty sensible questions I reckon. A new Les Paul Sunburst in 1959 cost about 6% of average annual income. In today's money that equates to about $2700, making the Historic Collection guitars a little more expensive than the real deal was in the late 60's. It also means the financial value of the real guitars has increased about 100 fold in 60 years.

Back in the real world, at the lower end of the food chain (that's where I live!) a 1959 Les Paul Junior was $132.50, equating to $1005.35 today. They currently fetch $4-5K in fair-good condition, so the relative value has increased about 4 fold.

Early 80's Tokais and JV Squiers have probably doubled in value since 1983. They cost about $200 new I seem to remember, which is about $450 in todays money. If they are nice they often exceed $1000 nowadays.

I don't think there are many guitars being made today that will generate the cache 50s Gibsons and Fenders did. And as I said before, they aren't going to make any more of them.

Liam
 

LPPILOT

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At 24, I would love to own one, but its more than likely never gonna happen. So I don't worry about it.

Well not with an attitude like that it isn't. I put up my guitars and Camaro, and didn't go to ART school , oh I wanted to but , it would have been a waste or time and money. ) . Mother was right I was young and stupid.

You can earn the money , you have a bigger chance of winning the lotto than becomming the next Slash.

This makes me want to put both hairs out of my head. EArning that money is possible ...if you apply youself to a work field that actually pays something ..you'll never do it teaching guitar , working in guitar store and gigging at the local bar on the weekends.

My niece recently graduated with a mechanical engineering degree and went to work for Boeing Aircraft. A 56-57 vintage GT is attainable now , if she was into guitars...she'll probally buy a new Porshe . Hopefully by the time she is 35 , she can buy 59 Burst if thats what she wanted .

But no.........the days of 1972 and 59 LP's selling for a song are over. Still if you work your azz off with a goal in mind I'm certain you can attain something simple as a vintage guitar , you can get what you want . :slash:
 

guitarbob123

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Even if they don't come down, I'm applying to universities for a degree in Engineering next year (currently study Physics, Maths, Electronic, Music and Business Studies) so perhaps I'll get a decent job and buy one. Tbh, I'd buy a 50's Custom and/or a goldtop with humbuckers before I bought a burst.
 

GuitarMechanic

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it's cool to see some young guys who can appreciate a vintage guitar and good old music.... MY kid is 10 and he only plays Zep and blues and he loves surf guitar (Dick Dale etc... who knows maybe he'll revive it) he appreciates vintage guitarrs (as much as a 10 year old can obviously)
As for comparing to a Stradivarius I really don't think you can compare the workmanship and time that went into a Strad flame if you want but even as hand made and cool (it IS my favorite guitar believe me) a 1950's Les Paul is it is still a production line item made on an assembly line by factory workers (albiet they likely cared a lot more then than most do now) Strad was made over a long time entierly by hand I don't think it is really comparable.
The thing that makes a relatively recently made guitar so valuable is the history of it Jimmy Page Clapton etc etc just like with a race car or a bicycle or any other collectable
I'm rambling so I will stop now
 

7gtop

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All of the desired vintage guitars have now had their day .
Bubbles inflated and now, bubbles have burst .
Whether Fenders or Gibsons , they ain't makin' anymore .
I believe that generations shall pass, and one will pick-up
where the last one left off , meaning us .
All generations love to
rebel against the last dominant one .
Eventually , the cycle becomes complete for whom is to be
the "new wave" .
As long as humans love to move to music , our period will
Always be referenced.
Rock and Roll , especially the instrument and attitude that went
with it will persevere .
Happy New Year !
 

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