Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Vintage v.s. new


eeh1

Recommended Posts

Here's a can of worms.............

 

I LOVE my '03 J45RW. I mean, I LOVE it. I've played older ones that were worth more, but wouldn't trade even. I think Bozeman is building some of the finest guitars on the Planet TODAY.........

 

But, my 1933 Gibson A-00 Mandolin has a weird quality of tone I can't explain. Must be the wood, Scotty, or something. F's, new, old whatever just don't ring like it does.

 

1933 was a LONG time ago?

 

It's just up to you.

 

Murph.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just my humble opinion, but...

I always like the idea of vintage, but there are no vintage bargains any more. It is absurd what people are paying for old, beat up guitars that were probably never all that great to begin with. My humble opinion is that there are way too many people speculating on them as investments, and not really intending to play them. I play vintage guitars every chance that I get, and I am seldom impressed. Literally 1 in 100 are what I would consider to be "excellent" instruments.

Many people may not like to admit it, but the guitars being made today at Gibson and just about everywhere else are the best that have ever been made.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just my humble opinion' date=' but...

I always like the idea of vintage, but there are no vintage bargains any more. It is absurd what people are paying for old, beat up guitars that were probably never all that great to begin with. My humble opinion is that there are way too many people speculating on them as investments, and not really intending to play them. I play vintage guitars every chance that I get, and I am seldom impressed. Literally 1 in 100 are what I would consider to be "excellent" instruments.

Many people may not like to admit it, but the guitars being made today at Gibson and just about everywhere else are the best that have ever been made.[/quote']Tell it like it is...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many people may not like to admit it' date=' but the guitars being made today at Gibson and just about everywhere else are the best that have ever been made.[/quote']

I believe my recent Gibsons are some of the best sounding guitars I have ever heard. There are some vintage Gibsons that sound absolutely incredible, and even better than my recent ones, but many of these are not as playable any more, or are so expensive I would never be able to afford one.

 

Dave in SLC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think there was a time (perhaps in the late 70's and throughout the 80's) when guitar production quality was poor and vintage instruments really were better than the new ones that are being offered. We now have the technology to make exact replicas of vintage instruments, some with modern improvements that enhance the sound and playability. From a manufacturing standpoint, I think this is absolutely the best time to be a guitar player and collector. The only caveat would be if you want the mojo that comes with a vintage instrument. If that is what you're after, pull out your wallet and enjoy!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think modern guitars are a marvel of quality and consistency, and Gibsons in particular have never been as nicely joined and finished. But I also have never heard a Bozeman (as good as they are) that has sounded as rich to my ear as a typical 50's-early60's Gibson flattop. Same with Martins--the new ones are consistently good, but the earlier ones are often Great!

 

I believe contemporary guitars will sound just as good as vintage when they are vintage, in fifty years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I bought my Martin new in 06 I played it and then a 1940's 00018. The sales man said what I was thinking "no comparison".

 

I am sure there are great vintage guitars, but also great new ones. No doubt the wood and lacquer aging affect tone, but if the guitar wasn't that good to start with it won't make it great.

 

I always thought a 10-15 year old guitar would be the best of both worlds. I would be afraid I would break a 70 year old guitar!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just my humble opinion' date=' but...

I always like the idea of vintage, but there are no vintage bargains any more. It is absurd what people are paying for old, beat up guitars that were probably never all that great to begin with. My humble opinion is that there are way too many people speculating on them as investments, and not really intending to play them. I play vintage guitars every chance that I get, and I am seldom impressed. Literally 1 in 100 are what I would consider to be "excellent" instruments.

Many people may not like to admit it, but the guitars being made today at Gibson and just about everywhere else are the best that have ever been made.[/quote']

 

 

Hear hear I agree!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dig old guitars but.....

 

There are very few situations nowadays where the consumer can buy a new item with complete confidence about it. I came of age in the late 60s and 70s and all I ever heard was "they don't make 'em like the used to" whether it was cars, refrigerators, guitars... whatever. That message was ingrained in me. Fast forward to 2009, I would buy any Gibson product sight unseen and have every bit of faith and trust that I would be getting a good product. Now that isn't saying I like every Gibson made; my only exposure to a good variety of new Gibsons was the visit to Music Villa in 2007 and to be honest, some sang, to me, some coughed in my face, I think one spat on me, and one J185 askd me to marry it. That's just the way it is with a rack of guitars. But across the board, all were good guitars and none evoked the emotion "what were they thinking?" or "Jeez, why did they do THAT?".

 

I don't believe in blind faith and I will slam Gibson sometimes but I'm tickled pink with the product they're putting out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My J-100 is really great right now. I got it in 2003 Memorial Day (I looked it up -- the receipt) and so it is something more than 6 years old -- not exactly vintage -- and I have had work done on it (at different times). (I kind of expect some screwing around until you get it how you want it -- and I am about there). (I am still a little undecided about exactly -- exactly -- what strings it likes best). That said I really like playing it. I like the brand name. I like the looks. I like the feel of it. I like the wood (maple -- beautiful). I like the sound. I even like the pickup. I play it a lot. (but also my others -- inclluding my cheap Yamaha from Craigs list). I am 68 so you can do the math on how vintage it is going to get while I have it. maybe 20 years. My grand son ought to be about right age at that point (or grand daughter) ...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are some pretty amazing vintage instruments out there. However, acquiring them is different than getting a recent one. Often you have to deal with niggling issues and problems, big - neck resets, etc. - and small - binding coming loose, worn frets etc. So it's rewarding but maybe not instantly and there may be additional investments required. New, on the other hand, everything is in good shape when you receive it and all you need is a setup and you are ready to go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are amazing vintage instruments [but] you have to deal with niggling issues /big problems
.

 

Well' date=' that's it. It can be a hassle to put 'em right and deal killers if you re-sell. It was worth the hassle in the 70's-80s, when new models were sub-par. Right now, you can get a new one out of the box that gets the job done. Even some of the players who got the vintage thing going in the first place are playing new guitars. What's left is the cachet of the old ones--crazed finishes, that played-in feel, the sense of history.

 

There [i']are [/i]exceptions, tho. The only L00s that really nail the vintage equation are high end copies that cost as much or more than the vintage ones. Calling Bozeman--how about an L00tv!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think there was a time (perhaps in the late 70's and throughout the 80's) when guitar production quality was poor and vintage instruments really were better than the new ones that are being offered. We now have the technology to make exact replicas of vintage instruments' date=' some with modern improvements that enhance the sound and playability. From a manufacturing standpoint, I think this is absolutely the best time to be a guitar player and collector. The only caveat would be if you want the mojo that comes with a vintage instrument. If that is what you're after, pull out your wallet and enjoy![/quote']

 

 

Totally agree.. yer took the words right out o' my mouth!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think theres a song there somewhere!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMO, most of the Bozeman guitars today, and even in the beginning, are superior to most of the Gibsons of the 60s, 70s and 80s. But Gibsons of the prewar and wartime vintage were, in enough instances to be intriguing and compelling, in an entirely different universe. When you come across one and play it, you will understand immediately what most of the modern recreations are missing----and it's not just age. Likewise for Martin. Some of those old featherweights are astonishing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMO, most of the Bozeman guitars today, and even in the beginning, are superior to most of the Gibsons of the 60s, 70s and 80s. But Gibsons of the prewar and wartime vintage were, in enough instances to be intriguing and compelling, in an entirely different universe. When you come across one and play it, you will understand immediately what most of the modern recreations are missing----and it's not just age. Likewise for Martin. Some of those old featherweights are astonishing.

 

We collect and play primarily old guitars. I have talk a lot about this over the years -- here an old quote from the Martin forum. That sums it up.

 

"Old instruments, in my experience, can exhibit a clarity of tone that I have never heard in a new instrument. This is not a subtle effect. On all other dimensions (loudness, balance, etc.), they can be equaled or beaten by modern instruments. This lack of clarity in new instruments is called sounding "green," and it attenuates with playing. If you like the sound of a green instrument, don't waste your money on vintage."

 

For the most part, sound is subjective and humans can learn to love all kinds of sounds. In my experience, SOME old instruments are functionally much better for SOME types of music. For example, old 30's D-28s are noticeably more audible in a heavy BG jam than newer guitars of any type. In general, old Gibsons don't stand up as well in such situations. The one exception in my experience is our '36 AJ, which is clearly in the same class (but different) as our '35, '39' and '44 D-28s.

 

Beyond this one function example, the rest is just a beauty contest. This varies with taste, of course, but it is also true that taste evolves with experience. For whatever reason, we love the sound of these old guitars.

 

You can't really capture this (IMO) on a recording, but fools rush in, and we have being trying. Here are examples of small old Gibsons and Martins, and D/J Martins and Gibsons. This is high def video and audio, so it is best experienced in a full up home theater. At a bare minimum, use a high quality audio system or very good headphones before you form any opinions.

 

Comments are welcome.

 

Small body guitars

 

Large body guitars

 

Best,

 

-Tom

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

We collect and play primarily old guitars. I have talk a lot about this over the years -- here an old quote from the Martin forum. That sums it up.

 

"Old instruments' date=' in my experience, can exhibit a clarity of tone that I have never heard in a new instrument. This is not a subtle effect. On all other dimensions (loudness, balance, etc.), they can be equaled or beaten by modern instruments. This lack of clarity in new instruments is called sounding "green," and it attenuates with playing. If you like the sound of a green instrument, don't waste your money on vintage."

 

For the most part, sound is subjective and humans can learn to love all kinds of sounds. In my experience, SOME old instruments are functionally much better for SOME types of music. For example, old 30's D-28s are noticeably more audible in a heavy BG jam than newer guitars of any type. In general, old Gibsons don't stand up as well in such situations. The one exception in my experience is our '36 AJ, which is clearly in the same class (but different) as our '35, '39' and '44 D-28s.

 

Beyond this one function example, the rest is just a beauty contest. This varies with taste, of course, but it is also true that taste evolves with experience. For whatever reason, we love the sound of these old guitars.

 

You can't really capture this (IMO) on a recording, but fools rush in, and we have being trying. Here are examples of small old Gibsons and Martins, and D/J Martins and Gibsons. This is high def video and audio, so it is best experienced in a full up home theater. At a bare minimum, use a high quality audio system or very good headphones before you form any opinions.

 

Comments are welcome.

 

Small body guitars

 

Large body guitars

 

Best,

 

-Tom

 

 

Hey Tom, if I had access to the instruments you show in your videos I wouldn't like new ones either. =P~/ Seriously, those are some beauties. My teacher has a 1943 J45, and I must say that yours sounds better. His has also been through many repairs, I'm wondering how much of the magic was lost with re-glued bracing, etc. That AJ sounds tremendous; the Roy Smeck not as impressive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...