A vintage guitar is an older guitar usually sought after and maintained by avid collectors or musicians. While any guitar of sufficient age can be considered a vintage instrument, the term is typically applied to guitars either known for their sound quality or rarity.
As early as the 1970s, musicians and collectors began to recognize the value of older instruments. The mass production of both acoustic and electric guitars in that era served to highlight the quality workmanship and materials of the older instruments. Historians, such as George Gruhn, helped to codify both the monetary value and sound quality of these guitars for both collectors and musicians.
Examples of well-known vintage electric guitars are 1950s and 1960s era Fender Stratocaster and Telecaster and Gibson Les Paul. Also, Vox, Gretsch, Rickenbacker, and Epiphone. Examples of well-known vintage bass guitars are 1950s and 1960s era Fender Precision Bass. Although less well-known and not as financially valuable, older electric guitars under the names of Harmony, Danelectro or Kay are becoming increasingly collectible.
1932 Martin 0-18 T Sunburst Tenor Guitar.jpg
1932 C. F. Martin 0-18T Tenor guitar
Fender Nocaster (1951), Museum of Making Music.jpg
1951 Fender Nocaster
1954 Fender Esquire ($27,000), Vintage Guitar show, SXSW2009.jpg
1954 Fender Esquire
1958 Fender Stratocaster ($32,000), Vintage Guitar show, SXSW2009.jpg
1958 Fender Stratocaster
Vintages @ FUZZ Guitar Show 2008.jpg
1957 Fender Stratocaster
Silvertone 1454 (Harmony H78).jpg
Silvertone model 1454 by Harmony
Truetone by Kay.jpg
1960s Truetone by Kay
Danelectro 3022 1962.jpg
1962 Danelectro Shorthorn model 3022 (Bronze)
RECORDING KING 1940.JPG
1940 Recording King by Gibson
Vintage guitars as an investment
Values of vintage guitars have risen considerable in the past 30 years, and are considered by some as a stable investment. While the average value of these instruments has risen and fallen roughly equivalent to other more traditional areas of investment, particular models of guitars have seen very steep increases in value. For instance, 1959 Gibson Les Pauls which may have sold in the early 1970s for less than a thousand dollars are valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Early Martin acoustic guitars, especially those known as pre-war models (prior to the Second World War), can realize values in the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
- Makos, Jeff (August 1996). "Would You Buy a Used Guitar from this Man?". The University of Chicago Magazine. Retrieved 11 May 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- "Sound Investments". The Sun. 22 April 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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