Deals Still Exist For Vintage Guitar Collectors
By Joey Robichaux, Sat Dec 10th
If you're a recent vintage guitar collector, the stories you'veheard are true. You once could step into pawn shops or fleamarkets and find vintage Gibson Les Pauls and FenderStratocasters for $50 to $100. True. These guitars now sell forthousands of dollars on Ebay and Gbase.
Those days are gone -- but there are still deals if you knowwhat to look for.
The simple thing to remember in vintage guitar collecting is ...American guitars. Not to say Japanese or European luthiershaven't made fine guitars, but the vintage market isn't lookingthat way. If you stay American-made, you'll have the best chanceof an instrument that will appreciate in value.
Next, forget about those who claim certain years of Americanguitars aren't desirable. It's true that folks once looked downon '70's Stratocasters -- but folks are now scrambling andpaying top dollar for 70's and 80's models! Same thing with'80's Gibson guitars -- once thought of as poor-qualityexamples, people now bid high amounts for them.
Why? Well, once the most desirable pieces are gone, whatever'sleft is going to command attention.
So -- to find the next "deal" -- look for American made guitarsthat collectors are currently ignoring. Because -- soon enough,these will be at the top of the food chain.
How about specifics? Well, think "student" models. Some modelsare already desirable -- Fender Mustangs and Gibson MelodyMakers, for example;
other models haven't gained notice yet ...but they will!
For instance, Fender Bullets, made in the early 1980's, arestudent model guitars, but are American made and use parts foundin Telecasters of the same period (pickups, etc). These aregreat-sounding, easy-playing, and nice looking instruments. Youcan still find Bullets for less than $300 ... although they'rebeginning to gather attention. Note, we're not talking theSquire Bullet Stratocaster-type model, but the American-madeFender model (looks like a Telecaster).
Fender also put out a Lead series -- the Lead I, Lead II, andthe Lead III. Again, these were an American made student series-- but are great playing, solidly made, and sound wonderful. Youcan still pick up Lead's for less than $300.
Gibson Melody Makers have already been discovered by collectors-- but there's not a lot of action with Gibson's Kalamazoo line... yet. These student models are similar in quality to theMelody Makers and Fender Mustangs. I've found Kalamazoo modelsfor less than $100!
I haven't mentioned other brands -- Epiphone, Gretsch, Guild,etc
-- because either their student models have already explodedin price
or they really don't have student models. Stick withFender and Gibson,
stick with American made, and keep your eyeson lesser-known student
models ... and you'll find deals thatwill likely join other lines
in appreciating over the comingyears.