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Modern Gibson investments?


Flight959
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I read all the time both here and MLP about how people buy a Gibson guitar as an investment. I would have thought that the days of investment in guitars have gone. Isnt Gibson producing more guitars over a period of months what used to take a year? I have been very fortunate to get my two custom shop Gibson's at a very reasonable price but I would be silly to think they would be worth more in ten years time. I am of the opinion that if the guitar has been looked after and she's a player then the day you come to sell her, she will have achieved nothing more than to have held her value...

 

What do you guys think?

 

Regards

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its always difficult to predict what will increase in value.

if something is mass produced then it is less likely to become a valuable collectible.

just my guess, but of the current product line i would imagine the Custom shop Historics/Reissues and some of the artist signature limited editions (Page, Beck, Slash, Bloomfield etc) might increase in value over time.

mostly because those guitars are made in smaller quanitities and still have a lot of hand made craftsmanship involved. in some cases, the Reissues are better made than the original 50's LPs.

of course if something catastrophic happened, like Gibson went bankrupt or moved all their production to China then the recent crop of Reissues might have a price spike.

but i don't expect any of my guitars to increase in value significantly in the near future.

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I didn't purchase may Traditional with the expectation of it increasing in value, but rather that it will maintain its value much better than other guitars like my Strat. Like six-string has posted, something could happen to change my expectation to include snapping the head piece off the neck. (knock on wood).

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I have been very fortunate to get my two custom shop Gibson's at a very reasonable price 8-[ but I would be silly to think they would be worth more in ten years time.

I think you won't loose a dime if you sell them in 10 years time. Sell them before that and you will, after that, I think worst case scenario, you'll break even. The cost of new ones will go up and used prices will follow.

 

Unless I am mistaken, a brand new R9 was around $3,500 around the year 2000. Now that's a good price on a used one. Today, those older R9s are worth what they cost brand new simply because new R9s have skyrocketed in price. I'm sure prices will continue to go up over the years (if Gibson is still around) and as new prices continue to go up, so will used.

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I didn't purchase may Traditional with the expectation of it increasing in value' date=' but rather that it will maintain its value much better than other guitars like my Strat. [/quote']

I'd say it's the complete opposite.

American Standard Strats seem to hold their value MUCH better than a Les Paul Standard (essentially, what your Trad is). I bought my Strat new and paid $1,000 for it. I look at Craigslist and used American Strats go for $1,000 - $1,200. I never see a used LP Standard for more than $2,000. Usually, $1,600 - $1,800. Canadian prices.

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You may keep one ten years and sell it for the dollar amount you purchased it for.

 

But that same dolla' won't be worth as much.

 

So no, the run of the mill custom shop won't yield any investment.

 

Simply because of the sheer numbers they are produced in.

 

These aren't your Grandads Gibsons.

 

And NO USA model will.

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I'd say it's the complete opposite.

American Standard Strats seem to hold their value MUCH better than a Les Paul Standard (essentially' date=' what your Trad is). I bought my Strat new and paid $1,000 for it. I look at Craigslist and used American Strats go for $1,000 - $1,200. I never see a used LP Standard for more than $2,000. Usually, $1,600 - $1,800. Canadian prices.[/quote']

 

+1

Fender Strats are a different breed when talking about investments. Why? Who knows? Not because of quality thats for sure!

But for some reason only a few Gibson LP's are in that collector's catagory and they all seem to be from the 50's, and some from the 60's.

The 70's and up you can get a really good price!

 

Pick any Strat from 1982 and under and its going up in value! I have a rare swamp ash blonde strat form the Late 70's

and its worth 3k, or it was a couple of years ago before the market slumped. But in 10 years it could be worth 10k.

 

My Les Paul I hope will be worth more someday and only because it's a Tobacco Standard Faded w/60's neck and they only made them for a couple of years.

But I didn't get my LP as an investment, I got it to ROCK-!!

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  • 4 weeks later...

I remember when the JPC Black Beauties went on sale and I thought ok investment!! I got four including one that has the serial number of 002. I sold two to buy that one. Another #86 I played alot and it got rather worn looking but was still a beauty. I really loved it but traded it for a Full Dress Harley that is also a black beauty but worth much more than my original 6000 paid for the page. Now the 002 is going to NYC to spend on display time untill it is sold for 150k. I took a lot of noise from the nay sayers but here We go again. Even with the saturation going on I can't find many better things to invest in. Although I might get some bullion to put under the mattress next I will also keep with Gibsons as investments. Even a les paul standard left in the box for my grandkids to open in 15 years is better than sending them stocks or bonds to sit on while they grow up listening to grandpa slam out old Zeppelin rifs.

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The whole thing of buying LPs as investments started in the '80s, when vintage/well made LPs were becoming very scarce. The fact of the matter is, the LPs built today lack the quality/craftsmanship of the ones built in the late '50s-early '60s (the ones that are the most valuable). Compared to the '54-'60s LPs, ALL (even the CS Pauls) of the LPs produced within the last 20+ years, are run of the mill and probably won't EVER come close to being worth what the older ones are worth after 50+ years. It's actually kind of sad, if you think about it.

 

Another reason that vintage LPs are so valuable is because, at one time, it was thought that production of the original line would be discontinued indefinitely (with the arrival of the SG).

 

I'll tell you this though, it kind of pisses me off that the majority of people who made these so-called "investments", don't even play the guitar. They basically treat them like pieces of furniture/art...well they ARE works of art IMHO, but that's beside the point. I mean, it's like buying a fancy sportscar and just letting it sit in the garage for 50 years.

 

I think Tony Bacon said it best: "Who wants to squeeze bitter-sweet blues from their strings, when they could be stuffed in a climate controlled bank vault until the year 2060?" *sarcasm*

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If you mean "investment" as in increasing value, like the original '58-'60 LP's have done. No way! Things are much more

mass produced, in much larger quantities, nowadays. Those prices, reflect their originality, and rarity, more than anything.

As has been stated, the CS or Endorsed (very limited editions) which were made for "collectors," anyway...and certainly not

for your run of the mill working musicians, will (most likely) increase substantially, in price, once the edition is over/sold out.

So, those...are probably a good investment, that way. But, a great guitar...mass produced or not, is a great investment

in pleasure, and it's ability to help generate some good music. That alone (to me, anyway) is investment enough.

 

CB

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+1

Fender Strats are a different breed when talking about investments. Why? Who knows? Not because of quality thats for sure!

But for some reason only a few Gibson LP's are in that collector's catagory and they all seem to be from the 50's' date=' and some from the 60's.

The 70's and up you can get a really good price!

 

Pick any Strat from 1982 and under and its going up in value! I have a rare swamp ash blonde strat form the Late 70's

and its worth 3k, or it was a couple of years ago before the market slumped. But in 10 years it could be worth 10k.

 

My Les Paul I hope will be worth more someday and only because it's a Tobacco Standard Faded w/60's neck and they only made them for a couple of years.

But I didn't get my LP as an investment, I got it to ROCK-!!

[/quote']

 

I don't know what Craigslist you guys have been to, but if you want to sell an American Strat, you better only ask $500 or it ain't leaving your house.

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I believe that any quality instrument is a good investment. Will you make a lot of money from that investment' date=' who knows. How many made a lot of money in the previous year with their cash investments? I would have preferred to have had the money I lost invested in guns and guitars.[/quote']

 

I really agree - I just sold several guns to get cash to buy guitars. I am now less 3 guns I haven't used for several years, and I have a Gibson Les Paul Special and a 1973 US made Harmony 12 string acoustic, with the case, in very good condition - a very similar guitar to the old Stellas played by the bluesmen of the '30's. I also bought a capo and 13 sets of strings with the money. I'm very happy with this deal, and I can spend my retirement playing my guitars instead of weeping about the money I lost in the stiock market ( I took it all out in '07). Even if you lose money, it won't be much, and you will have enjoyed a great guitar for some time.

Sorry to be so windy - I just bought the 12 string last night and I'm still in extacy.

 

mark

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I'm really not sure about this one at all. For example, let's look at my 'flavour of the week'....Juniors. Who would have thought that 50+ years after being sold for $49 that some would be reaching $7000. Now someone putting 49 bucks in the bank in 1955 and went every couple of day to the bank and asked to look at it, and play around with it for a while, would be sitting on a little more than 49 bucks today. However, would it be as much as 7000....I don't do sums like that, but I'm thinking the cash would lose out on the junior. Also you would have more fun playing and looking at the guitar then you would taking the twice weekly walk to the bank.

Investments are never easy, well good ones aren't. you would have to pay your money and take your chance. Stating 10 years is a little unrealistic for an average guitar, but 25+ might show a better pay back. So 25 years of joy (and sometimes pain) of guitar playing could be seen as priceless.

Buy what you want, play it when you want and wait to see what happens.

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A musical instrument is NOT an investment. Period.

I'll buy a guitar because it's limited edition(300 made, like the hot rod LP), but I refuse to buy a guitar, let it sit in the case for 50 years, and then sell it. THAT, is an investment, and a waste of a beautiful instrument.

As long as you play that good old Hot Rod, I guess you can buy it. :-$

 

I have no problem with Limited Edition guitars, but people need to play them. You gotta give it at least a few "battle scars".

when people buy them just 'cause they'll be worth $400,000 someday... Sigh...Tsk Tsk, what'a waste.

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I think everyone's been gobsmacked by the increase in value in '58-60 Les Paul Standards. Remember two things: one, Gibson made only around 1700 of them, then stopped. Two, they became valuable not because COLLECTORS were buying them, but because well known MUSICIANS were.

 

Collectibility seems to be contagious: look at Cabbage Patch dolls, Dutch tulips, '57 Chevrolets. Every one these fads has a common outcome: a lot of people spent a lot of money which could not be recouped once the market collapsed. And, I'll bet, every one of the collectors was sure that the market would forever go up. You could add dotcoms and credit default swaps to the list -- the capacity for greed and self-deception is inherent in us.

 

So the LP Standards increased in value. Many horse traders took note, and started promoting "old" guitars as "vintage." Currently it's the conventional wisdom that something old is something valuable, but that is not the case*. A guitar has an intrinsic value, which may be defined as what it is worth to the owner, or conversely what it would be cost to replace.

 

There will never be more than roughly 1700 Les Paul Standards from the late fifties-early sixties. No doubt, many have been altered, butchered, mutilated, destroyed or otherwise taken out of circulation permanently. If you are a dealer, what do you do? All the bursts are spoken for, essentially, and you know it's highly unlikely you'll ever find another; so you do the sensible thing (sensible, that is, for a dealer) and start flogging the crap. This explains why LP Jrs are going up in value: they (and various other inexpensive models) are what's left. This promotion then becomes the accepted norm, and pretty soon junk that no one in his right mind would have bought when they were new is being bid to high figures on eBay.

 

I saw a Norlin Les Paul Deluxe not too long ago listed for $9K. I bought my '70 for $750. There are two responses to those two facts: one is to say, damn! I'm gonna put my up on eBay and get rich! The other, which is my own, is to say, "that's nuts." Or, more accurately, wishful thinking. Someone once said that vintage guitars are priced according to the "biggest fool" theory: what would the biggest fool pay for this thing? Sometimes that strategy works, but sooner or later one finds that oneself has been the biggest fool.

 

Owners of modern Les Pauls, certain that lightning is going to strike in precisely the same place once again, think they are making investments. Does anyone know how many LPs have been churned out in the last 24 years, when Henry J took over? I venture to say, more than 1700. Another forum that I frequent had people list their Les Pauls, with a running total. The last I looked, it was going on 4000 -- and those are only the ones in the hands of that relatively small group. Would a '57 Chevrolet Bel Air be more valuable if GM started manufacturing reproductions (OK, I know that can't happen)? And what about the value of the repros -- how many old guys (the only ones who really care about the '57s, these days) would buy one? The guys in the right age bracket who want one either have the real thing, or they are dead. Before long, Les Pauls will once again be old fashioned, which is one of the reasons they were dropped by Gibson in 1960.

 

So buy a guitar that you love to play, and forget about "investment." You may never cash out; but if you buy to play, you'll get satisfaction every time you pick it up.

_______

* Here's a short anecdote: a guy I knew years ago grew up in the thirties, and had become one of the serious post-WWII hot rodders. When I knew him, he was running a '29-A roadster on '32 rails with a small block Chevy at the drag races. One day, someone came into the garage with a meticulously restored 1925 Model T. Naturally, everyone made a big fuss over it. My friend snorted and said, "Damn things were no good when they were new."

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Isnt Gibson producing more guitars over a period of months what used to take a year?

Interesting... never thought of that

 

i just buy em to play em... but thats just me

 

Interesting point flight

 

If the tone of these modern day Gibsons wil be cherished in the future then we might be on a slippery slope.....

 

Many of us think that tonal qualities in guitars has gone down.....

 

If they keep going were all gonna be playin bakup music for rap with EMGs

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One thing for sure the 1959 burst phenomenon will never happen again... As kids and computers take over the music scene guitar legends are fading away... There is a better chance that your guitar will go up in value because of a shortage of wood rather than because the Rock Stars of the future are using them...

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