Will the vintage les paul market ever fall?

zdoggie

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2015
Messages
177
Reaction score
58
I remember not so long ago that pes pauls were abundant then slash came long and all of teen's went over the edge
all of the used LP's went away and gibson slid into home plate with RI's and what the kids were getting for less than a grand today were paying in the 6's I don't think gibson quality merit these prices I think It's just the times

zdog
 

rockstar232007

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2008
Messages
17,488
Reaction score
15,263
Depends on what you mean by "vintage"?

There will ALWAYS be a huge market for '50s LPs.

Modern (made within the past 40 years) LPs, not so much.

In other words; My 2001 Classic is on the verge of being considered "vintage", but in 20-30 years, it isn't going to be worth much more, than it is now.

The key factor being "rarity", and there's definitely no shortage of modern LPs.
 

captdan61

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 13, 2011
Messages
229
Reaction score
166
So I was thinking and I thought, "hey, I wonder what will happen when the people like Clapton, Page, Beck and Richards die, and the people who were inspired by them directly start to retire from touring and playing live, and the new breed of millenial guitarists come up to middle age, what will happen to the price of bursts? I genuinely dont think the interest is there in younger musicians to uphold such massive prices for an instrument. As we get further and further away from the music that inspired the whole burst thing, the closer we get to them being... well... nearly worthless? Only to the specific few. The market will dwindle and people who need to sell them will inevitably have to lower prices to move them on.

Food for thought, correct me if I am wrong?
never fear by the time all that happens Joe Bonamassa will have collected all of them! And they'll be with him sealed away in a cryogenic chamber inside a pyramid sealed waiting for his rebirth and return....
 

DBDM

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2020
Messages
258
Reaction score
348
There's a wide gap between "20s/30s" and "early 60s". Of all the bursts I've watched sell, and can track where they went, in the past 5-ish years, only one went to someone in their 60s. Most went to people in their 40s. Next largest category was people in their 20s and 30s.
Keep in mind that vastly most bursts that are bought and sold are not sold at public, trackable auctions. Most are sold through an informal network of owners and dealers. People "put the word out" that they want to buy and sellers are found. Several of the stores where I live (Nashville, Tn) are part of this "network". There is nothing wrong with that but unless you hang out there, you rarely hear about those sales. I know for a fact that Gruhn's has sold several (5 or 6) Bursts within the past year (I have held 3 of them and just missed seeing the 4th by a few hours)--getting bursts in and typically selling them before the close of business that day. They have lists of people who are looking for certain features (flame, no flame, thicker necks, Bigsbys, thinner necks) and usually just need to make a call to make the sale. Many times a guy that just bought one (say, a plain one) will tell George Gruhn, "If you get one with flame call me". George Gruhn will then take in a flame one, call him, and sometimes take the first one back on trade then sell it that day to a guy who has called and said he would like to buy a plain one. Gruhn's also buys Bursts stright up, and then resells them. In addition, they consign them and flip them for the owners. They are a business and it is simply good business to move these guitars as fast as possible. Keep in mind that many of the auctions that you see on TV charge 25% to buyers. A $500k sale really costs $625k. Most stores cap their commissions at more like $25k for these large purchases. Also, remember that some guys want the world to know when they just bought a $500k guitar, and some guys do NOT. So it is easier, cheaper, and more discrete to buy them from within the "network".

One more thing to remember is that even dudes with a seemingly perfect 1959 Burst get G.A.S. and love NGD as much as the rest of us. Some buy and sell them the same way many of us buy and sell $2k guitars--and for the same reason!
 

steph74

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 8, 2020
Messages
21
Reaction score
19
Maybe I’m off but weren’t there some sold for about 500/600k few years ago (around 2007/2008)? Now I see they put them around 300k and they don’t easily sale, often they drop the price around 200/250k... I might be off, I’m not a collector just someone who love old burst... I remember seeing a video from 2008 (you can still find it on youtube) called $750,000.00 Les Paul...
 

DBDM

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2020
Messages
258
Reaction score
348
Maybe I’m off but weren’t there some sold for about 500/600k few years ago (around 2007/2008)? Now I see they put them around 300k and they don’t easily sale, often they drop the price around 200/250k... I might be off, I’m not a collector just someone who love old burst... I remember seeing a video from 2008 (you can still find it on youtube) called $750,000.00 Les Paul...
There have been many many bursts sell for $1M+. Just not at auction. Again if you bought a $1M burst at an auction, you would likely pay $250k to the auctioneer. Those are private sales. Indeed burst prices peaked in the 2007/8 range and are less now. Gruhns has a 1960 that they have marked down 3 times for $275 now. It has a factory Bigsby and some do not want that feature. Joe B was initally interested but even he decided that he has too many. Below is a photo of my 17 year old playing that guitar. Notice George Gruhn personally adjusting the Vintage Fender amp for him.
 

Attachments

Jake_Jakerson

Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2019
Messages
58
Reaction score
113
I know most of this thread is talking about 50's - 60's era guitars, and I know most of these numbers could also account for inflation and price hikes for fees and such (especially since it's reverb) . Since Adam Jones's released his sig model of his '79 LPC prices of Norlin era guitars went up, in late 2018 my 70's LPC was appraised for around 3,000 which at the time was around the the right price for a standard LPC from the norlin era IMHO, but since the sig model came out prices increased incredibly, I took all of sold listings prices from the last couple months and the average was around 4,500 USD which is almost double what I paid for mine that was in excellent condition.

This is all my opinion and just looking at only reverb sales.
 

DBDM

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2020
Messages
258
Reaction score
348
I know most of this thread is talking about 50's - 60's era guitars, and I know most of these numbers could also account for inflation and price hikes for fees and such (especially since it's reverb) . Since Adam Jones's released his sig model of his '79 LPC prices of Norlin era guitars went up, in late 2018 my 70's LPC was appraised for around 3,000 which at the time was around the the right price for a standard LPC from the norlin era IMHO, but since the sig model came out prices increased incredibly, I took all of sold listings prices from the last couple months and the average was around 4,500 USD which is almost double what I paid for mine that was in excellent condition.

This is all my opinion and just looking at only reverb sales.
Not sure how I feel about the reissues costing more than the original. On one hand that is absurd, just buy a real one. It is not like they are rare. On the other hand the reissues are likely better guitars than the original--so there is that.
 

Jake_Jakerson

Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2019
Messages
58
Reaction score
113
Not sure how I feel about the reissues costing more than the original. On one hand that is absurd, just buy a real one. It is not like they are rare. On the other hand the reissues are likely better guitars than the original--so there is that.
I agree, once the signature dropped, everyone had a Silverburst up for sale for like 7,000 plus to try and grab at the signature model hype. I bet, like you stated, that the new signature models are likely better guitars than the originals.
 

DBDM

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2020
Messages
258
Reaction score
348
I think many would certainly agree that a 2020 Custom Shop LP is likely a better guitar than a 1979 LP. The same "issue" is true about the new "Chuck Berry" signatures. The reissues cost more than the originals (or about the same for a new one, $10k). Issue there is that the reissues were nearly instantly all sold and now they are higher on the secondary market than the originals. In the case of the Chuck Berry, few would argue that the new ones are "better".
 

kakerlak

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Messages
2,651
Reaction score
1,748
I think it depends on what you mean by "Fall". I think with the coming stock market bubble burst, there will be a dip in the prices as people who paid $500k for a 1959 LP will need to move them. That said I do not believe the prices will fall to the point that a "regular joe" would be able to own one. If a $500k LP falls to $250k, that 1/2 price sale does NOTHING for most of us. Unless they fell to like $20k (MAYBE) it would not move the needle on my ability to afford one. In addition, if the economy crashes and people are dumping LPs, it will very likely crash for me too and I still will not be able to afford one. For the record, the prices of classic bursts are already lower than they were from 2005-2008, when they peaked. George Gruhn talks about it all the time. I suspect there are some guitars that will nearly "always" cost much more than others (even if they are less than now) and I doubt my ability to ever afford one.
That's a lot of what I was getting at. Prices could "crash" -- lose 75% and still be ten times the cost of expensive reissues.

BTW, not quite sure how it ties in, but the insane prices for bursts certainly leaves a lot of room in the marketplace for expensive reissues.
 

sws1

V.I.P. Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2015
Messages
957
Reaction score
1,332
Keep in mind that vastly most bursts that are bought and sold are not sold at public, trackable auctions. Most are sold through an informal network of owners and dealers. People "put the word out" that they want to buy and sellers are found. Several of the stores where I live (Nashville, Tn) are part of this "network".
I'm aware of that. Any my guesstimate includes many that transferred hands that way. Am I tracking all of them? Of course not. I'm only referring to the ones I have been able to track.

And don't think Joe didn't buy a burst because he has too many. He most likely simply didn't get the discount price that he expects.
 

eric ernest

V.I.P. Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
2,118
Reaction score
6,705
Gruhn's is one of my favorite shops...been buying from them for 35+ years and I JUST GOT back from picking up a guitar there....but because they are largely a consignment shop (vintage stuff) it is near impossible to use them as a "yardstick" because the OWNER of the instruments are largely driving the bus.

As a result Gruhn's CAN be considerably over or under market value.

And don't think Joe didn't buy a burst because he has too many. He most likely simply didn't get the discount price that he expects.
I would tweak that comment to say, "discount price that he wants..." But yes, you are 100% correct.
 
Last edited:

DBDM

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2020
Messages
258
Reaction score
348
Gruhn's is one of my favorite shops...been buying from them for 35+ years and I JUST GOT back from picking up a guitar there....but because they are largely a consignment shop (vintage stuff) it is near impossible to use them as a "yardstick" because the OWNER of the instruments are largely driving the bus.

As a result Gruhn's CAN be considerably over or under market value.



I would tweak that comment to say, "discount price that he wants..." But yes, you are 100% correct.
I was there today, too! I stop by nearly every Saturday. I eyeballed George's current Burst (60 shown above) but did not play it. It is currently $275k (it is consignment). Not sure I agree that his inventory is "mostly consignment".. He just got 40 guitars from Vince Gill that are being consigned but they are not "out" yet. I saw a few but they are all in cases and getting checked out and getting set ups. George has a considerable number of new Martins arriving daily that he is real excited about. He is even keeping one of them for himself which is not real common for new Guitars. It is a 000 12 Fret Slot Head Sunburst with East Indian Rosewood on the back and neck. Personally I felt it to be a rather average example but George was pretty excited about it. He likes MUCH brighter guitars than I do--I prefer a little more low end. Drives him nuts when I say, "this one is better" when to him it is not. His inventory seemed lower than when I was there 2 weeks ago. He is selling them faster than they are arriving. @eric ernest --next time you are in, check out his Gruhn Avatar. Designed by George and built by luthier Paul Beard. They are very nice guitars ($5k ish)
 

jonatwell714

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2009
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
My 77 custom has almost deformed my neck and shoulder . I lean to the left . .. lol
 

Gas4LPs

Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2016
Messages
51
Reaction score
58
Top 10 collectible items: fine art, rare coins, horses, jewels and gems, stamps, Faberge eggs, classic and exotic cars, fine wines, Chinese porcelain, timepieces.

My point: who wants to buy something which cannot be used or enjoyed. At least with expensive art you can look at it every day. Wine you can drink. Cars you can drive. A $100k Les Paul. Take it to your local jam session?

What I read is a lot of pros leave vintage instruments at home. So, as vintage prices increase less people will actually take them out to play. So, if you cannot afford a vintage Les Paul or do not want to tour with a $100k+ instrument then a lot of people turn to the custom shop. Even with that choice the custom shop prices are going crazy. Furthermore, price is based on supply and demand so if less people want vintage instruments due to the high price it will reach a ceiling.
 

eric ernest

V.I.P. Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2007
Messages
2,118
Reaction score
6,705
if less people want vintage instruments due to the high price it will reach a ceiling.
This is completely 180 degrees of reality.

The HIGH PRICE creates more demand.

People "want" what they can't have....it's human nature.
 

Thundermtn

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
1,218
Reaction score
3,070
Regarding future values..... the way things are going we are going to have fewer super wealthy people with substantially more buying power than they have now, and increasingly more average Joe's with even less cash in their pockets than they currently do. Disposable income for large portions of society won't exist forever. It's a cycle and we're currently moving away from that style of society.

The moment 50's Les Paul fall out of vogue (twenty+/- years after nobody knows who Page or Slash is) with the super wealthy, there will be a massive market price correction.

With the limited number of the guitars made though, the ability to artificially inflate the price though limited availability may be able preserve the high price for a long time.

Sooner or later the families of those people will need to cash in on the value of these type of guitar collections. So unless we have people that will risk having hundreds of bursts in their possession, the price will fall.

It won't fall to zero though, they'll still be worth multiples more than any reissue, but as the reissues age and turn into vintage guitars themselves, the people that want to have the Les Paul sound will turn to known high quality and relatively affordable great sounding guitars to scratch that itch.

Famous guitars will retain their high prices, but under the bed for 100 years type of guitars are going to nose dive. Same as model A Fords, vintage airplanes etc..... the future's big money will hold other objects in higher esteem than vintage electric guitars.

People will instantly shout Stradivarius, but classical music is just that, timeless, and has wealthy benefactors loaning out instruments and supporting orchestras. The film/tv industry will always be buying that type of product.

Loud brash music of the sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll generation is already dead. No money bags patron of the arts will save it in perpetuity.
 


Latest Threads



Top