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The word "Vintage" gets thrown around too much.. Or am I just getting old?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DanBass, Feb 11, 2014.

  1. DanBass


    Jan 27, 2003
    Gainesville, FL
    Scanning CL in my area this morning (still looking for a local case for my bass)... and I noticed ad after ad throwing the buzz word "vintage" out there..

    Now of course the word is subjective I guess, depending on your age.. The Oldies station in my area used to play 50's and 60's tunes when I was younger and now is reaching into the 80's for their daily playlist... sigh... :(

    Anyway, I see a 1998 bass - nice, but vintage?! A BC Rich guitar, 90-91 - vintage?? Eeek.

    The bass - http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/msg/4316655730.html

    Maybe it is my age (and those older or younger may have different interpretations) but I see "vintage" as the late 70's and back..

    Oh well, back to prepping for more snow. :help:
  2. M.R. Ogle

    M.R. Ogle Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 5, 2004
    Mount Vernon, Illinois
    Backstage Guitar Lab owner
    Everything is "vintage" something... meaning "of a specific time/year/era."

    I'm a vintage 1956 white guy. I drank a cup of vintage 2014 coffee this morning. I'm going to drive to work in a vintage 2002 minivan.

    It doesn't mean anything more, really.
  3. Personally, Vintage for me starts in the 80s. :p That said, the 90s started over 20 years ago. lol
  4. DanBass


    Jan 27, 2003
    Gainesville, FL
    Good point. This to me is vintage.. but for a guy born in the 30's, it's new-fangled, I guess. LOL
  5. DanBass


    Jan 27, 2003
    Gainesville, FL
    Eeeek. Don't remind me. :bawl:
  6. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    "Vintage" has lost all meaning -- as in, "vintage high-mass bridge."

    It's merely a puffing term nobody owns the rights to, so it gets worked hard.
  7. vbchaos


    Sep 5, 2011
    Groningen, The Netherlands
    Uncompensated endorsing user: fEARful
    vintage is quite over-stressed. But in the end it just points to a past period:
    - in: now
    - out: yesterday
    - old-school: 20 years ago
    - vintage: 30 years ago
    - retro: 40+ years ago
  8. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    Vintage = Cash money
  9. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    I believe the most common use of "vintage" (cars, clothing, auctions etc) is anything between 20 and 100 years old. So something from 1994 and 1914. Antique takes over at 100 years.
  10. FloridaTim


    May 29, 2013
    Kissimmee, FL
    I remember the first time I heard a song from my childhood on an "Oldies" station. It was One Tin Soldier, released in 1971. Bummed me out all day.
  11. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    Vintage and classic are two different concepts.

    Classic usually refers to a more continuing or long-standing period of time, creating a "class" of similar items. Most cars of the late 60s to late 70s were classic "muscle cars".

    Vintage generally refers to a limited time-period or year. "Vintage 70s bass" should evoke a mental image of a "class" of similar basses, constructed within the 70s. Otherwise the word vintage is useless. In my example it is useless because there were many very different styles of basses built during 70s - a highly transitional time. Better would be "vintage '77 Fender P bass". Now we know it is a Fender P, built in 77. Giving us a starting point on what it was/is. Unless the year is important like with wine it's just something to make a listing sound cool.:D

    Different industries treat classic, vintage and retro differently. For Antiques classic is generally older than 25 yrs., antique is over 50. Retro is over 20 years, best used with a year to indicate it is "retro-spective" of X time period. If the time period has a defined look. Most states and car clubs consider classic to be 25+.
  12. experimental bassist

    experimental bassist

    Mar 15, 2009
    Calling something "vintage" sounds better than just calling it "old".

  13. BawanaRik


    Mar 6, 2012
    New Jersey
    My 65 Jazz bass was vintage by 1980. Some things are just old.
  14. kcole4001


    Oct 7, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    Some things are indeed just old.

    What the term 'vintage' implies has been stretched beyond recognition IMO, and never was an accurate, proper use of the word.

    The term vintage is only ever used to attempt to inflate the perceived value of something.
    It does not automatically convey actual inherent value no matter what some people say.
  15. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    Incorrect use of vintage - you have a vintage 1965 bass. IT is now a classic 60s Jazz bass of 1965 vintage.:D Vintage is a reference to time of construction. But I'd agree with the comment that it sounds better than old. "Old 1965 JAzz bass" sounds like a beater.
  16. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    Dealing in retro, vintage items, circa 1972-1980 I'd agree, much old stuff is just that. Really comes down to whether someone else cares about the vintage of the item. People collect and value the most inane stuff, imo.
  17. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    Is the overuse of "vintage" any worse than being able to buy a bass that was made last year that is called a "60s Jazz" or a "'57 Precision"?
  18. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    The term "vintage" as it applies to guitars generally means "25 years or older". So anything made later than 1989 is not vintage.

    Many people can't handle this. Its usually old guys who can't accept that they themselves are antiques. I mean, it feels like just yesterday that they were hanging out at hair metal shows, right? So they refuse to accept that something made in the late 80's is vintage. Kinda funny.

    What's less funny are those who apply vinters terminology to the word "vintage". As if factory made guitars in the early 60's were made using special wood from magic trees and assembled carefully by pixies in Keebler kottages. These guys have even made up a bizarre faux-science, where they will tell you, with great conviction, that old wood sounds better because wood, unlike them, gets better with age. Then they'll tell you to listen to all the recordings from the 60's and hear how great those old guitars sounded back then. Though they seem not to realize that old music from the 60's were recorded using instruments that were only 4 months old. Crazy stuff.
  19. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    That is an egregious practice. We know what they mean: same specs, look as year X or as close as we could get". I'm brain dead now on pondering what would be a better way to put it.
  20. edpal

    edpal Banned

    Oct 3, 2007
    As an antique I totally represent this post :D
    You made good point on the old music recorded on young instruments. There is an actual slight connection between vintner and vintage: the vintner is responsible for the timing of everything at the winery and keeping track of the time (vintage) of the batches of wine. I'd agree that vintage wood is often just old wood. It's had more opportunities in time to be over-dried or humidified. Them Keebler elves get busy making cookies and loose track of time.