What's up with the "Magic Year" hype?

leofender55

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Having played guitar for 40 years, I've always been intrigued with the supposed "magic years" of certain instruments (and amps). When I got my 1961 Strat years ago I was told that '61 was a magic year at Fender. When I recently lucked on a 2002 Standard a few weeks back I did some research and kept seeing 2002's for sale stating that these were "magic years" for the Les Pauls. Is this just a marketing point for folks selling their guitars, or is there something special about certain years of Les Pauls? I do mean recent, not the 1959/1960/1968 changes that we are aware of. I've played good and horrible versions of guitars of the same vintage. For example, I dig 1967 VW Bugs (highly revered as the Magic Year) and have owned 3 great ones and 1 that I gutted and pushed over a cliff. That Death Bug did not belong on this planet.
 

RRfireblade

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All companies are constantly trying to keep their devoted and loyal fans while at the same time, drawing in new customers who may have never considered their products in the past for what ever reason.

These always end in some kind of compromise and the needle of compromise continually swings back and forth while said company tries to get the best of both worlds.

Every once is a very blue moon, the planets align and these compromises hit a shit load of buttons on both sides of the fence and an unanticipated large number of the buying public is sold heavily.

These are the 'magic' years.
 

ARandall

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Its always a magic year for those that either own them and want to make others jealous, or want to sell them and get more $$$
Lets face it, for the sellers if it was such a magic year why are they selling???
 

Pwrmac7600

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For me it is the late 90's early 2000's. But I have no delusions of marketing hype in my head, it is those years, because during that time frame is when I started buying les pauls, and I came to really love the spec of them from those years, from the 50's neck profile that feels closer to a 60's profile, but not as wide. to the weight relief method, the fact that they had grover tuners, which i prefer, and even the ones that had vintage style tuners, had peghead holes that were the same size as grovers so I could swap without having to ream a larger hole, and the fit and finish of the guitar, I find that during those years, pretty much every one I pick up has no issues with bad binding, crappy fret work, etc...

With that being said, I also just this year purchased a 2013 Trad Pro II and a 2014 Trad Pro II because I really liked them a lot, BUT they still don't feel the way my 2 standards from the earlier era feel, and it's all down to that neck for the most part.
 

JM2112

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Its always a magic year for those that either own them and want to make others jealous, or want to sell them and get more $$$
Lets face it, for the sellers if it was such a magic year why are they selling???
And amazingly, to them every guitar that you or anyone else would want to sell is just a dime a dozen guitar.
 

John Vasco

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Good and bad guitars from every manufacturer in every year/era. End of. :dude::dude:
 

acstorfer

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It all depends on the vintage of the magic fairy foo foo dust that's being spread around the factory.

Everyone knows that the magic fairy foo foo dust of 1959 is the finest of all magic fairy foo foo dust.
 

Comanche

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It's the same way 2013 will be remembered as a magic year for Gibson. People are already looking for 2013 Les Paul's, because of the changes in product line.
 

Shawn Lutz

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Well I think there is some hype and some flat bullshit really. People who have a particular year of guitar and have a nice one from the era will always praise that year and try to dump on other years to make their year more important to them lol.

There are gems and turds in every production year, let the guitar do the talking, not the year it was made. Vintage LP's are sought after in the 52-60 year but you can bet your ass some of those suck and some of them smoke! They are rare in terms of numbers produced and I think that also helps with the collectability of them but also some flat out magical ones. Does a 59 flame-top auto-magically mean it is a magic player and every note rings of heaven filled with player emotion? Nope..there is a potential for you to have a very expensive display piece that plays and sounds cheap lol ;)
 

leofender55

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'57 Bel Airs are OK, but the '55 was the real deal. First year body changes, smooth lines, 1st year V8... magic year! Yep, got one in my garage. If I can stop buying Les Pauls I can save enough to have her painted!
 

Ansen

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If workers are satisfied with their job and the overall circumstances, they'll do a better job, which will result in a better overall quality produkt. Period.

Not to speak about woods, supplier parts and the overall economy. So, simple by logic, there MUST be better or worser periods, seen in a long distance run.

To deny this, is denying logic at all..
 

MikeyTheCat

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Because they're the opposite of supposed 'shit years'?
Very true.
I still remember the supposed bad old days of Norlin Les Pauls and Strats with large head stocks. Yet somehow people used them to make hits and fill stadiums and arenas (and clubs).

I think we now suffer from an abundance of guitars both new and old to project mystical attributes onto. In the past you got what you got and just had to make it happen with that guitar.
 

Comanche

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1969 Chevy Camaro body style as only made for one year.
 

Otto tune

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I believe it.
It's when the chart of "Want to make a better product"
intersects with the chart of "Save money".
 


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