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Fender Vintage basses, is anyone here paying or selling for the prices being asked?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Eric Swaim, May 19, 2018.

  1. Yes, way over priced

    69 vote(s)
  2. No the are priced correctly

    29 vote(s)
  3. I don't care, I can't afford one

    29 vote(s)
  4. The basses today are made better, I would never buy one.

    37 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Eric Swaim

    Eric Swaim GOD, U.S. MIlitary, Country Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2004
    Murfreesboro, TN
    I have seen some super over priced vintage (1950's - 1970 for sake of conversation) Fender instruments. some asking $5000.00 - 12,000.00 and more for some of these instruments. I realize you can ask whatever price you want, but the wallet decides what will be paid.

    My Question, is anyone getting the money on a sell or even buying at these prices?

    The olded Fenders I have ever owned were a 1965 Fender Precision, 1964 Fender Jazz Bass, 1969 Fender Jazz Bass, but that was before the Vintage high pricing happened.
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
  2. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Yes, people have been known to pay those prices.
    Wulfensteiner and Linnin like this.
  3. Eric Swaim

    Eric Swaim GOD, U.S. MIlitary, Country Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2004
    Murfreesboro, TN
    I know that, but anyone here paying or getting the money? I have owned a load of basses, Alembic Fodera, Ken Smith, etc. but would not sink that much into a Factory production bass regardless what year it was made, but thats just my opinion.
  4. You feel it's justified to pay the big money for Alembic, Fodera, Ken Smith, etc......(insert custom boutique bass).....,but you feel the '50's -70's basses are worth it.

    I'd never pay the asking price for a 50's or 60's Fender bass myself, but If I hit the lottery,and money was never going to be a problem for me the rest of my life, then I'd most likely buy quite a few choice examples.

    IF playing guitar or bass is still a thing in 20+ years from now, and people still put value on the older basses in question, then they'll be WAY more valuable then all those boutique basses you put in high regard right now.

    I'm guessing that all those boutique basses will just be a footnote in the history of basses, while the vintage Fender basses will be looked upon as true treasures.

    That's just my thought on this. YMMV.
    lifer_ likes this.
  5. Eric Swaim

    Eric Swaim GOD, U.S. MIlitary, Country Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2004
    Murfreesboro, TN
    I do not play boutique basses anymore. I play Fender, Lakland and Musicman Stingray basses now. I think they are made better than any of the 1950's or 1960's Fender basses. Yeah Fender started it, but it doesn't mean it ends there. Would you rather drive a 1918 Ford or a 2018 Porche? I will take the Porche. But as time has passed, The Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor is my choice. It gets the job done.
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
    eJake, MattZilla, Robert B and 3 others like this.
  6. marmadaddy

    marmadaddy Supporting Member

    Oct 17, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    Most of them are good instruments, a very few are really good, but the asking prices are primarily driven by nostalgia. Objectively, they're overpriced. Subjectively, the market rules.

    I'm not interested in paying that kind of money for one. These are tools to me, their value lies in how they help me get the job done.
    wmmj, gungrog, SJan3 and 2 others like this.
  7. soulman969

    soulman969 Inactive

    Oct 6, 2011
    Englewood, Colorado
    Having owned a number of older Fender Basses including a '63 PBass and a "66 Jazz bass I really do prefer those I play today. There was nothing special or magical about '60s Fender Basses and by the mid to late '70s they were becoming atrocious. So bad that I gave up on them for a very long time.

    So no, I would not pay the prices asked by I surely wish I still had my old ones so I could sell them to those who will pay the price they go for.
    Robert B likes this.
  8. IPA


    May 5, 2010
    I think a lot of them are bought to be collected, and if that's the case, the price is set by what other collectors are willing to pay. It doesn't always make sense to think of the price being "worth it" if it's not being bought just as an instrument to be played.

    I buy to play and to tinker, so to me they are not worth the price tag.
    SJan3 likes this.
  9. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    I was always of the mind that the newer basses are better. Until I recently played a '65 Precision.

    65 precision.jpg

    They wanted $4 grand, which was too much. I would have paid 3k, it was worth that much.
  10. Eric Swaim

    Eric Swaim GOD, U.S. MIlitary, Country Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2004
    Murfreesboro, TN
    I owned a 1965 Precision from 1982-1991 and paid $500 for it. It was a great bass but today I would not pay over $1200 for it.

    Don't get me wrong on this thread, If you can get the money for an older one, more power to you. I just wanted to know who on here is actually paying or selling for the higher prices.
    theduke1 likes this.
  11. They still make new basses, but there are only so many old vintage basses. Supply and demand.
  12. 57pbass

    57pbass Supporting Member

    I have played 50’s and early 60’s Fenders. They are great instruments. I also have played new Fenders, Lakland and Nash basses, these are my main gigging basses.
    I can’t afford to buy vintage basses at today’s prices but if I hit lotto or came into some big money .. I would seek out a Vintage 3tsb P Bass and a vintage Jazz Bass.

    New basses all sound great .. but IMHO the vintage Fenders sound and feel better.
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
    Hillbillypolack likes this.
  13. baileyboy


    Aug 12, 2010
    A couple years ago I sold my '73 Jazz for $2,800. I paid $2,200 and change a few years before I sold it.
    davidprice likes this.
  14. Yes. Check out the Fender pre-CBS Club. Quite a few TB'ers who buy, sell and play them.
    Hillbillypolack and RichEagle78 like this.
  15. inanimate_carb


    Aug 11, 2016
    People can and do pay that kind of money for older vintage basses, and I’ve witnessed it first hand at cash registers and in Quickbooks for years.

    The instruments often don’t end up in the hands of gigging players, but they do command those prices. I think the prices these dealers want for some of these pieces are outrageous too, but I don’t have the type of bank account that the buyers that are fine with these prices do.

    Most of us have finite limitations on what we can spend on items like this. It has to be accepted that the people that don’t have these limits look at spending 5-6 figures on guitars in the same way that we look at spending $3 for a coffee at Starbucks.
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
  16. mpdd

    mpdd neoconceptualist

    Mar 24, 2010
    I'm most likely going to get an ibanez challenger, because the whole fender thing is getting outta hand with the higher prices and authenticity concerns. My 84 L2000 is a beast, but a comparable fender would be out of my price range.
  17. Badwater


    Jan 12, 2017
    High prices vintage instruments and amps are a state of mind kind of thing. Sure, they have history, and some do sound pretty good. And some were used by famous people. But in reality for the masses of players. It would be nice to have one, if you're willing to fork over the inflated cash value.

    Here's the thing, the high end vintage market driven by a few people with the greed of huge profit in mind. That is what drives the vintage market in just about any area. It's all about pumping up the masses to believe that the specific high end vintage instrument they sell is worth way more than it really is. And eventually, some sucker will fall for it, and pay tons of cash for that item.

    Here's the other part. If you're not in the marketing industry that profits off the vintage, you'll have a difficult time trying to sell very high end vintage gear because there's always a middle man who is going to profit off you. Ever see stuff like Pawn Stars, and other buy and sell for profit rackets/ They always low ball the seller because they are the media marketing middle men, who take a 40% cut off you and the buyer. Yet, they invest no effort or cash of their own. Their ability to obtain goods is supported by investors. So if they loose, the investor looses, and if they gain, they take the 40%.

    This is why, I would never consider any high priced vintage gear. Well, that and the fact that I'm a broke ass. Nevertheless, this is the way I see it. Your observations will be different.
    mpdd likes this.
  18. daveman

    daveman Supporting Member

    Jan 10, 2008
    I bought a '74 Precision in 1979. I can't remember what I paid for it - my guess is under $500. It had an okay neck and honest player's wear, but after many years I was ready for something else. I got between $900 - $1,000 in trade value for it from a local brick in mortar store in 2015. That store turned it for about $1,100 within a week. To me, that's reality - not the $2,500 price tags I see on similar basses online.
    RichEagle78 likes this.
  19. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    Lost Wages, Nevada
    P-Bass 1.JPG No, to both questions. I bought this A-necked lefty "78 P-Bass in 1988 - for $500. Which was probably too much, but... I imagine I could probably double my money if I sold it; however... I have no plans to do so. Would I pay the prices that some people are asking? You're asking the wrong person, really. I'm a lefty, so I don't by right handed basses - or guitars, or anything else with strings. Different rules apply when you're a lefty. Even if I buy new, many companies charge me a serious Lefty Surcharge. And, believe me, when you mix "vintage" with "left handed", things get very scarce, and very expensive, very, very quick. Pre-1960 Fender basses, for example, if they're lefties, are usually custom instruments; and the tiny handful that are around, are priced accordingly. And personally, I have no use for an instrument that costs as much as my new pickup truck... Are they worth that much? Well, somebody buys 'em; but I'm not going to, anytime soon...;)
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
    spatchthepunk likes this.
  20. Doctor Intrepid

    Doctor Intrepid

    Dec 27, 2017
    I don't have a vintage Fender, but I do have a vintage Honfer (68). I didn't pay much for it (1200 USD) and I wouldn't have paid much. I bought it because it was close to my age and a cheaper German made Hofner. So, in general, I would not be willing to pay a lot for a 60s bass - whatever the brand. Nonetheless, the bass sounds great and part of the appeal is that it has its own history. It has been around the Sun more times than me, and that's cool. So I'm really enjoying having a vintage bass and would never trade it for a new one.

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