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Vintage Fender basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassfart, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. bassfart


    May 5, 2008
    What do you think the market will be like in 10 years from now on vintage Fender basses? I have an all original Olympic white '73 P bass, and an all original '78 Jazz bass, should I keep them around for a while, or should I sell them both and get something super boutique. I know it's hard to predict the future, I'm just looking for some opinions.
  2. PaulRR


    Jan 4, 2011
    Soundslike you have some pretty cool basses there. If it were me I would hang on to them. Look how much money some of these vintage basses are going for today. I may be wrong, but I just dont see them losing their value. You should post some pics
    JMacBass65 likes this.
  3. Gord_oh

    Gord_oh Supporting Member

    Oct 4, 2008
    IME the early 70s market is beginning to level out, while late 70s and early 80s seem to be going up steadily.

    i have a '73 p bass that was not all original, i got it for a steal and im know i could get more than i paid for it. but its not going anywhere.
  4. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    If you sell them and don't need the money, you won't have them to sell if you DO need the money. Besides, they won't make any more real '73 or '78 basses, so anything after this will be a reissue. Your basses already depreciated and appreciated- you'll take a hit as soon as you buy a boutique instrument and its future value isn't a certainty. It may never appreciate, so you would have lost, not gained.
    trothwell likes this.
  5. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
    If you buy any brand new bass (super boutique or not) it is EXTREMELY unlikely (in my opinion) to be worth as much, in 10 years, as what you pay for it today. Do some surfing of the Classifieds and other places and check the current prices of 10 year old basses.

    OTOH, I'd bet money you'll be able to sell your Fenders for more in 10 years than you could sell them for today.
  6. I also feel the prices for the early 70's, 60's has started to level off. They will increase in value but but not at a rate we have seen in recent years. I may be wrong on this one though. But I think the late 70's to early, early 80's will keep a faster pace in increase value. It to will level off. But the bottom line of getting the most out of any collectable, is keeping it in A1 shape. JMO of course. :)
  7. SamanthaCay

    SamanthaCay Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Denver, CO.
    It seems that in the last decade or so the pre cbs era basses have become a lot less obtainable and as a result has driven the price up on (from a collectors standpoint) the next best thing being the mid 60's to early 70's basses.
    So I would assume that despite the QC issues of the mid 70's to early eighties basses that in the coming years that they will follow suit.
    It's important to also note that a lot of the fuel in todays vintage guitar market doesn't just come from the players like it did say 20 or so years ago and that it is mostly people buying as a reason for investment and collection memorabilia.
  8. CDweller

    CDweller Supporting Member

    Oct 24, 2009
    Clearwater, FL
    Prices of all vintage instruments will go up when we get out of the recession we've been experiencing for the last 4 years or so. I'm holding on to my '65 Jazz because it will be worth more if and when things turn around.
  9. SamanthaCay

    SamanthaCay Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Denver, CO.
    I think a lot of the currant leveling off that we see is probably due mostly to the recent economic crash. Guitars for most people are luxury items and as a result are something people are investing less in during our current economy.
  10. SamanthaCay

    SamanthaCay Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Denver, CO.
    All this talk sure makes me wish I had more money to invest in vintage gear it's probably better then investing in most parts of our stock market IMO.
  11. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    IMO, with today's economy, it's a pretty bad time to be selling a vintage instrument (or almost any instrument for that matter). i think that the early 70's (lightweight) ones are very desirable (and actually collectible) basses, and the late 70's (especially the heavy ones), not so much so.
  12. sailri


    Nov 16, 2007
    Rhode Island
    If you had bought Netflix on Monday you'd be up 25% today. If you had bought penny stock "Metal Storm" yesterday at lunch you'd be up 50% today.

    But could buy something good, used at Guitar Center and probably make that same 25% in a quick flip. It all depends on how hard you want to work your money. If you're really looking for investments - 25% profit is the same regardless of what you sold to make it - what matters is how much of a risk you took to make it and how sure you are at evaluating what you are buying and what the market is paying.

    If you think that late 70's Fenders is where its at, the Vintage section of Guitar Center's site has one at $1149 and one with no picture at something like $699. Gamble away - probably a nice profit opportunity for both of them.
  13. king_biscuit

    king_biscuit Supporting Member

    May 21, 2006
    That may or may not be true, but on what are you basing you opinion? There are more players today than ever, and thus the potential player market for vintage instruments has to be bigger. It's interesting to note that several years ago every other thread on TB was about extended range basses and exotic single cuts. It seems we are back to mostly discussing traditional Fender style basses and even older Fenders. I can say with some certainty -- based on market trends over the last two decades -- that vintage instrument prices are likely to continue to climb. As a side note, Ace Freely's accountant advised him to unload all of his old bursts in the late 70s because the market was on the downside (which I have heard he did). I wonder if that was good advice?
  14. I would hold onto them. I would certainly doubt they'd go DOWN in value in a decade, whereas anything you buy new, boutique or not, is a crapshoot.

    My only personal experience is with a '77 p-bass I bought in absolute mint condition for $400 in 1994. Nothing special, but it's been my main player ever since and looks like it, but I'm sure I could still double my money if I sold it, not that I ever would.

    However, there's no reason not to own the bass you want, regardless of future value. If there's something on your radar you'd rather be playing, unload these and get it!
  15. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    Buy a brand new Anerican Deluxe P, Natural finish, Maple neck, play the heck out of it, and in 100 years you'll be able to sell it for at least what you paid, if not more, and you wil have been able to use it all that time. It's like gettin' a free guitar!l
  16. P Town

    P Town

    Dec 7, 2011
    Oh, I forgot, that was why I bought mine. I'm 56, now, and I may need the cash when I'm old.
  17. smcd


    Jun 28, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Selling vintage gear to purchase a high end boutique is the worst thing you could do. You'll be selling gear that will hold it's current value to buy something that - if you buy it new - will lose 50% of it's value the second you give them your credit card number.
  18. JonahTheAmazing


    Dec 19, 2010
    I like this logic.

    I don't really see the vintage market getting worse, but at this time, I'd wait it out.
  19. bassclef112

    bassclef112 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2003
    New York City, NY
    My take on anything vintage is this - if it's a great bass, regardless of year, then hang on forever. It seems that the fact that you're even considering putting these on the block means they're not in this category.

    If you want an investment, then you need an investment grade instrument - this translates into "closet classic" or "rare as hell". I had a bit of experience when buying my '66 Jazz. I was able to A/B it directly with 2 pre -CBS and 2 other 60's vintage instruments. For me the bottom line was which was the best bass and this one won it hands down.

    Clearly the more desirable were the pre-CBS's; the others ('67 & '69) were much cleaner. Since my idea of an investment was getting the best bass for my money my criteria applied strictly to feel and sound, not how much I'd get for it later.

    You won't retire on those instruments. You certainly won't need them when you're 65. I will keep my '66 until I can't play anymore because I truly believe I found one with "it". (BTW I traded a '62 Jazz all original refin to buy into it because that one didn't have "it" for me. Not one regret.).

    If you don't think these basses have that (and you'll know when you find one that does), don't worry about what they'd be worth in 30 years. Get something you really want now and play the bejesus out of it.
  20. Are you suggesting buying a used piece of gear at Guitar Center and making a profit by flipping it? If so, it's just not feasible. GC has already marked it up, you'd have a hard time getting another 25% on top of that.

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