Why Vintage gear is more valuable than new gear?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tomis17, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. Tomis17


    Jan 21, 2007
    One thing I have never really understood is why vintage gear are more valuable than new gear. Wouldn't it make sense to buy new gear over vintage gear? I mean, if you think about it technology nowadays is amazing! Shouldn't it make gear nowadays much better than gear made in the 60's & 70's. So why the craze over vintage gear? Is it just because of availability? Or are vintage gear really that much better than new gear? Just a curiosity.
  2. NachoFury

    NachoFury Guest

    May 28, 2007
    Montreal, QC
    I think it's because of the advancements in technology. The new instruments can't quite get that 'vintage sound' that most people who buy vintage look for. Just a guess, though.
  3. Tomis17


    Jan 21, 2007
    It just amazes me the amount of money people are willing to spend on vintage gear. Why can't you just rebuild what's been built already? Some vintage gear are all beat up and rusted but still get fought over more than a brand new item off the wall.
  4. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
  5. Double Agent

    Double Agent

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    Because you can't get them anymore???

    Don't misunderstand me, yes you can get a new Fender Jazz bass or Precision bass. But, you can't get a bass that was built by Fender before they got sold to CBS anymore. Whether this is advantageous to you or not is for each person to decide for themselves, but many feel that the quality of the pre-CBS basses was far superior to anything Fender has made since. Obviously, a company like Fender is not building basses the way they used to. That doesn't mean the new basses are junk though, they just aren't getting the hands-on attention they got in the old days.

    I have also played a few examples of vintage basses that were "beat up and rusted", one in pariticular was a P-bass that was badly beaten up. I asked the same question, why is this worth so much? So I played it and I haven't played a P-bass like it since. It was so much deeper and more resonant than any new P-bass I've ever played. So, there might be something to it. I would never buy one without playing it first though.
  6. Rob Lewis

    Rob Lewis

    Feb 23, 2006
    I can't follow this trend either. I noticed the other day that Sound City are being made again: in the UK they were for people on a budget and held in pretty low esteem by anyone serious. Also, a lot of new amps have modelling circuitry, so you'd think that they would offer far more versatility. I know that when I started out in the mid-70's if someone told me that 30 years on people would be paying top $$ for 30 year old gear and buying ready-battered guitars I would consider them out of their mind. Oh, for a crystal ball-I would be a rich man on some of the old junk I had!
  7. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    supply & demand and some of the stuff you just can't get exactly the same new, as the vintage stuff.

    Gibson Non Reverse
    Ovation Magnum
    Early BC Riches
    Gibson RD Artist

    Yeah, why would any one pay a $100,000 for a 60's Muscle car when a Suburu WRX or Honda can whip it's arse and you can drive it everyday and be a heck of a lot safer?

    Why do people pay all that money for fine wine when you can get a gallon of it at Walmart for $6.00?

    I don't get it either.
  8. Tomis17


    Jan 21, 2007
    OK, I get your point Barkless Dog.

    With the whole pre-CBS thing, why didn't Fender just build it like Leo used to? Wasn't anyone watching & learning from Leo when he was building his basses? By golly, if you're going to buy someone's business wouldn't you want to know everything about it's products before you buy it? Just common sense.
  9. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    Fender may not do it, but there are plenty of other companies who do ;)
  10. Fender Custom Shop.
  11. OrionManMatt


    Feb 17, 2004
    Because for some items, we apply a value to an item that is sometimes worth more or less than the sum of its parts. A bass is what is, right? What may be garbage to one, may be a feast for another.
  12. Trophy collectors and icon worshipers will buy into just about anything to gain peer recognition. Those old mass-produced-to-a-mass-market-price-point beaters have nothing over a well-built modern instrument, but image and make-believe "mojo" are irresistible lures to fashion-obsessed, validation-hungry collectors.
  13. Jimmyplaysabass

    Jimmyplaysabass Guest

    Aug 10, 2007
    supply and demand
    the way leo fender made them previous to cbs
    cbs making changes in both negative and positive ways
    the fact that they're just different instruments
    most new age stuff is rehashed crap
    it'll only be harder to find later and more expensive once found
    hand wound pickups

    the list is endless.......

    i suggest you play one, if you can find it. then decide for yourself

    new stuff is good too man, and not all vintage is exactly worth the money (in fact most of them charge you an extra grand or so simply because its been sitting around for 50 years in their garage :C), it simply depends on the same factors as would getting any bass

    playability, appeal, etc.

    unless your a collector, THATS a different story
  14. +1

    Vintage instruments are a piece of history to some people. Owning and playing one provides a link to the past. If you're young and have no experience with that part of history, or if you aren't interested in history, then the whole vintage instrument thing wouldn't make much sense. Imagine a violinist who owns and gets to play a violin that was made and used when Mozart was alive and composing his music. The same applies to art, automobiles, aircraft, etc.
  15. ibanezcollector

    ibanezcollector Yoyo's Hurt When You Crank It Into Your Face

    Feb 18, 2007
    Cleveland Ohio
    hahaha you seriously have a issue with vintage gear.. :ninja:

    Ok here is a list of possibilities as why one might consider a vintage bass

    1.) Feel, a neck that has been played for 40-50 years is going to feel a lot different then a new one with a thick poly finish

    2.) Tone, myths, hype, truths, it all depends on your opinion, but wood does change with age, and so do other variables magnet pulls affect on tone, woods age affect on tone, the whole vibrating theory etc.

    3.) Collectibility, like it or not these pieces will continue to become more and more rare.

    4.) Storytelling, some of these instruments could of been played at famous places that have closed, seen people who have died, played on some of the best music recorded, touched by some of the best musicians ever, etc. Documentation is key here.

    5.) The Look, to me nothing looks sexier then a well worn instrument if its Jacos Jazz, SRVs #1, Claptons Blackie, etc etc.

    6.) Market Value, These instruments will only increase more in value from year to year. Imagine if you will you buy a 59 Pbass for $16k in 50 years from now your investment would be thru the roof.

    Just a few examples.
  16. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    In a world of supply and demand, the supply of vintage instruments is comparatively low, while the demand is apparently high. This combination leads to high prices. No more vintage basses can be produced, unless you want to wait 30 years.

    I, on the other hand, have absolutely no demand for vintage instruments, so they have no value to me. I'd rather pop $3k or $4k for a superbly crafted bass with modern electronics and carbon truss rods. It's all in one's jones.
  17. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    It's actually not as simple as that. :rolleyes:
  18. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Excellent post.
  19. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    Nicely elaborated ;)
  20. You can ask the same question as to why do people spend upwards of 100k on an old restored muscle car when its loud,gets atrocious gas mileage, you can barely hear the radio because of all the road noise, and lets not forget the horrible comfort compared with todays cars... its just coooolll... and it sparks an emotion that goes back a long time.

    I personally love old fenders but I refuse to pay the ******** money that they draw. Thats why I go the American vintage reissue route. The reissues give the save vibe without breaking your wallet :hyper: Plus I'd rather have a shiny new bass than some 30 year old rusty paint cracking warping wood POS =) (joking fellaz)

    I know its popular with a lot of you TB/rs to "relic" your new basses to make em look old but I like to take care of my stuff, if I wanted them to look like s**t Im sure I can do that on my own lol

    Another reason why they are popular imo, is because you are holding something that to some, was made before you were born. It has history. You can stare at it and imagine how many smoky clubs it has been in throughout the years. There is something romantic about a old fender. it just makes you play different for some reason.