If you have been playing guitar for awhile and are thinking about upgrading your present guitar, then may I suggest having a look at purchasing a vintage guitar. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you can get for the same money in a vintage instrument.
All you have to do is to attend kitchen parties, jams or open mikes, and pay attention to what type of guitars the players are using. You’ll probably be surprised to find out that most of the guitars are of a vintage model,/a>. What I call vintage would be 1980 or earlier. Most seasoned players have had their instruments for years and most would not give them up. And of course some will have newer expensive models.
There’s no doubt that expensive models normally have a great tone. But you can get that tone, and sometimes a better tone, from a vintage instrument. There’s no replicating the tone of a thirty, forty or fifty year old wood that has aged like a fine wine.
1. Not only can they have a much better tonal quality but if they were taken care of then the wood of the guitar has pretty much settled in to it’s shape and form.
3. Vintage models tend to be made better and have better quality woods than newer models. Especially vintage models made in Japan and the US. There were a number of guitar makers in the sixties and seventies in Japan that did excellent work. There were also great instrument makers in other countries as well. Recently I bought a Framus made in West Germany in the late sixties or early seventies. This guitar needed work (I will address this in another article), but I could see the potential. After cleaning it up, among other things, it turned out to be my favorite finger picking instrument. What a sound, fantastic looking and a piece of history.
4. Like well make furniture vintage guitars were built to last. Today with mass production the same can’t be said. Quality guitars today will cost you money. If you have a limited budget, vintage may be the way to go.
5. Resale value of a new guitar is like a car. As soon as you take it out of the store it depreciates. The buy and sell ads are full of guitars that people have bought and did not play. Everyone is going to expect a deal on your new guitar and you will not recoup your money. A vintage guitar will hold it’s value. If you buy a vintage guitar today, assuming you payed what it’s worth, and you play it for a month and decide it’s not for you, more than likely you will get your money back. And if you got a deal in the first place you may be able to make a few dollars on it.
Now that I have you thinking about vintage, in following articles I’ll tackle what to look for when buying a vintage instrument, how to clean it, how to have it set up for your playing style and how to maintain it so that you can pass it on to someone who has the same passion that you do.