Vintage Gretsch Guitars

Is it only a baby boomers thing?

1

Seems to me that less and less kids dig the vintage guitar thing. Is vintage going to die when the baby boomers generation passes away?

2

It'll grow back when the guitar companies get back into an era of making crap again.

3

I, as a boomer, didn't really have much interest in vintage till I was older so maybe in a few years the vintage world will change again.

4

I’m 57 and never had an interest in vintage. Well unless it’s wine

5

You might need to invest in Vintage DJ gear...

If you watched the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction last week it always gives a good indicator...it was "Up" this year.

6

As an Xennial (apparently) I have always bought vintage guitars...I love things that have been worn in and always suspected they were made better. I’m a believer that if something has good honest play wear on it then someone enjoyed playing it. Also when I got into Gretsch guitars they didn’t make a reissue of the model I was obsessed with (still don’t)...the Viking...so I had to have one of them in Caddy Green and then of course I had to get another!
Having said that new made in Japan Gretsch guitars are fantastic. I have a 2013 6119-59 and it’s the only guitar I’ve ever bought new out of about 50 guitars I’ve owned. I did put an old pickup in it tho

7

The guys that made the now "vintage" guitars famous played them when they were relatively "new".

I've always like "new"...if it is going to be road-worn, then I want to do that myself...although I would fire "me" if I ever put a scratch on one of my instruments.

8

I believe many kids (as you call them and probably mean younger players) ARE actually interested in the vintage thing. But since most of the usual suspects are way out of their price range and more like "Dad's / Grandpa's stuff" anyway they focus on gear outside of the mainstream - like the early catalogue guitars and weird Japanese 60s/ 70s designs. Those are cool in their own way and prices have gone up massively over the last years just for this reason.

9

Yeah, there are probably a ton of pointy vintage guitars around, these days.

10

I still think when the boomers like me go into the home, the vintage thing is over... you already see signs of this. The guitar world is shrinking, somewhat. There will always be exceptions, where guitar-heads congregate, etc.. But by and large there are fewer people behind me in the population, and fewer of them are guitar heads. Even me, I don't own a single vintage guitar right now. That could change at any time but I don't really seek them, Had plenty of cool ones.

11

well, when I got my guitars, they weren't "Vintage". however, all these years later, they are now. my '59 Annie was only 7 years old when I got it in 1966. and my 1975 Les Paul Deluxe was only 10 years old when I got it in '85. they're not "Vintage" in my eyes.

12

well, when I got my guitars, they weren't "Vintage". however, all these years later, they are now. my '59 Annie was only 7 years old when I got it in 1966. and my 1975 Les Paul Deluxe was only 10 years old when I got it in '85. they're not "Vintage" in my eyes.

– Sgt Rock

Yeah, but both you and I are vintage Sarge! Lol

13

Late Gen X, and avid vintage fan. Not just for boomers.

14

I know a lot of younger people who would love to own vintage guitars but they can’t afford them. The reason I could afford them was because I started buying second hand guitars in the 80s and by chance they became vintage after a while.

15

Love my old guitars. I have been buying since I was a 17 year old and didn’t know vintage was a thing, like some of the other posters here.

I agree with some of the other folks here, as people get older and have more income they will buy the originals.

Not to mention the international market. When I do sell I get a lot of overseas interest.

Can’t make more old guitars and every year there are less of them.

I have been pleasantly surprised by the value increase on several of mine.

I’m an admitted vintage nut though. Love the sound, designs, even the vintage case smell.

Side note, per the book Factfullness More people in the world have guitars than at any other time in history. Might be a good sign.

16

Duane's 6120 is as deep in the Millenials' past as Orville Gibson's harp guitars are in the Boomers' past. Another example-Jimi is as far in today's past as the first Model T's were in his past. I'm a little surprised there's as much value placed on vintage anything from 1950-70 as there is.

17

Another angle to this is the collector side of it (vs player side), and whether you are defining "vintage" as something pre-1960 (for example) or as something 60+ years old.

I heard George Gruhn speak at a guitar show years ago and he gave an example of why he thought new guitars would never become valuable collectors items: it was that Martin guitars used sequential s/n so you could tell production numbers. And it was some staggering stat like they produced more guitars in 2009 alone than in the entire first 40 years of their existence. So the lack of rarity will keep collectability and prices down by the time these guitars are 60+ years old.

That said, 60 years from now, I'm guessing a 1959 6120 will be worth an absolute mint.

18

It will go, along with vintage cars & professionally recorded music.

19

It will go, along with vintage cars & professionally recorded music.

– Billy Zoom

Scary.

20

Yep. Go to any show of young bands that have roots, and notice how many geezers there are. Then peek in at the teckno or rap scene. Depressing .

21

i've never had anything other than a casual interest in vintage anything. the prices alone have been totally impractical for someone of my socioeconomic station since the late 70s, and i have never thought the equation pencilled out. why would i want to buy one old Stratocaster when i could literally buy twenty recent ones for the same amount of money? it's also always seemed like most "vintage" prices are more to do with relative rarity than any kind of useability; sure, there are a ton of e.g. old flattops out there, but how many of them are actually playable/sound good? for that matter, when it comes to recent guitars i firmly believe that the premium you pay for e.g. a bog-standard brand-name (Gibson most particularly) is not worth it compared to less expensive options...a Tokai/Edwards/better Epiphone gives you 90-95% of the sound for 35-50% of the price, and good modern pickups are entirely equal to old other ones other than the top 1% of vintage. it's kind of like rock-band t-shirts; why pay north of $200 for an original one when a reprint is easily available for $20?

22

My hometown has a population of about 90,000. Of these over 30,000 are university students. Live music venues are few and attended mostly by people of a certain age. Clubs featuring electronic dance music are thronged by students nearly every night. The few college-age people interested in live music seem to go for navel-gazing singer/songwriters. I truly do not know if musical heroes even figure into the lives of 21-year-old students.

It would be safe to say that the guitar figures less prominently in the music heard by college students than it did 50 years ago. While the guitar has largely replaced the piano as the instrument that everyone can play “a little,” it doesn’t seem to loom so large in contemporary music as it once did.

These trends come and go. Musical heroes in my parents’ generation were clarinet players like Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman. Not many of us know, or care, what type of clarinet they favored. The clarinet is still with us, and the guitar will be around for a long time. Whether future generations will obsess over guitars as boomers have remains to be seen. I have my doubts.

23

i've never had anything other than a casual interest in vintage anything. the prices alone have been totally impractical for someone of my socioeconomic station since the late 70s, and i have never thought the equation pencilled out. why would i want to buy one old Stratocaster when i could literally buy twenty recent ones for the same amount of money? it's also always seemed like most "vintage" prices are more to do with relative rarity than any kind of useability; sure, there are a ton of e.g. old flattops out there, but how many of them are actually playable/sound good? for that matter, when it comes to recent guitars i firmly believe that the premium you pay for e.g. a bog-standard brand-name (Gibson most particularly) is not worth it compared to less expensive options...a Tokai/Edwards/better Epiphone gives you 90-95% of the sound for 35-50% of the price, and good modern pickups are entirely equal to old other ones other than the top 1% of vintage. it's kind of like rock-band t-shirts; why pay north of $200 for an original one when a reprint is easily available for $20?

– macphisto

Macphisto makes a telling point. The budget-level offshore instruments look just like real Americana,and consumers therefore object to paying American prices for real Americana,even though in terms of real purchasing power(not today's shinplaster dollars) today's American prices are lower than what we cheerfully paid for the originals when new.What's lost in this bit of translation is that the offshore budget pieces are made by what under American law is slave labor..... It would be most illuminating to see import price points if the makers had to comply with US wage,hour,environmental,worker safety,unemployment security,Social Security,union recognition,intellectual property,and diversity regulations as a condition of export to us.

BTW I do have a couple of budget-level imports.Inexpensive,but not gigworthy.

24

I think maybe I should have included the Generation x as well. Seems to me they are pretty vintage orientated too.

25

As a millenial interested in vintage guitars, as much as I'd like to see the mainstream vintage guitar bubble burst, I just don't see it happening.

What I do like is that as soon as you get off the mainstream, you can find some awesome and affordable pieces. You've got to sift through a lot of junk, but there are some amazing instruments (and amplifiers and effects) from the 60s-90s available. Lots of hollowbodies from the 60s not made by Gretsch, Guild, Gibson, or Epiphone. Lots of rockin tube amps from Traynor, Ampeg, Musicman, Peavey. Lots of very solid pedals out of 1980s Japan, not to mention their instruments: my 84 Squier P-Bass and 85 Ibanez Roadstar are two impeccably built guitars. If you can't find affordable vintage equipment, you're not looking very hard.


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