Why vintage?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 0scar, Mar 19, 2005.

  1. 0scar


    Jul 11, 2003
    I have a pretty random question...why do you all like/want vintage basses or amps so much? I mean, yeah, it's probably pretty cool to own a piece of history but why are you all willing to pay so much for an old instrument? I'm in no way bashing or looking down upon people for liking vintage things, but I'm just curious to see what drives you all to spend 3k on an old bass.
  2. 0scar


    Jul 11, 2003
    Err sorry, not 3k...try like 12k
  3. 11Bravo

    11Bravo In That Pocket

    Feb 4, 2005
    Man,its all about the sound!!!!!They have a complete diff sound,go play a new jazz,then pick up a 65 jazz.You can feel and hear the diff.
  4. 0scar


    Jul 11, 2003
    Understandable, but can't the same sound be achieved with a re-issue?
  5. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I love my '78 because they felt different back then, and they were built differently. Sure, the difference is only between an instrument valued at $1500 vs. one that's about $850 new, but it's been through a lot and has proven its worth. The amount of wear is sometimes directly proportional to the tone, proving that it sounds so good, it was ALWAYS played. That's my belief anyway.

    Would I take a vintage over a new gem? No. Would I take an old gem over a new one? Of course!
  6. Against Will

    Against Will Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2003
    Big Sound Central
    Re-issues are different from vintages, I feel. A re-issue, a vintage and new stock are all different sounding; re-issues, I think, are kind of faking it and feel like they're only 'there' halfway tone-wise (not new and bright, not old and deep). But I guess some people like the idea of owning an old instrument without needing to worry about past wear and tear (a reasonable concern).

    For me, vintage means used, used means dirt, and the dirt's where the funk is, to paraphrase Jameson.
  7. sargebaker

    sargebaker Commercial User

    May 2, 2004
    Montreal QC CA
    owner/builder, ISLAND Instrument Mfg.
    I believe the word "mojo" can sum it all up.
  8. I don't have any vintage basses, except for a '68 Vox Bill Wyman, but it needs to be gone through before I could actually use it regularly. Anyway, I wouldn't call myself a 'vintage' guy(I am old, however), though I would be if I could afford a good one. The closest thing I have to a playable vintage ax is a MIJ 60's P reissue. Knowing it's from the 80's, I have very little respect for it.
    Oh, & to answer the quoted question, I think it's more than just the sound(generally speaking), but certainly not just the 'vibe'. A bit of both?
  9. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    I know for me the reason is:

    A) Wood ages as gets older--even a difference of a couple of decades can result in a significant change. Some double bass luthiers pre-age the wood, and I've heard rumors that Gibson is sitting on a pile of 100 yr old wood for its acoustics. I don't think EB manufacturers ever did this, so vintage is worth a look.

    B) With the exception of Fender and Gibson's new line of reissues, like the Bassman and Jaco's bass, etc, the electronics available today are different from the ones available in the 50's.

    C) Any instrument that is still intact after 20, 30, or 40 years has probably been played consistently, or at least maintained because the owner knows it is a quality axe. The lesser quality instruments don't seem to survive, because they suck and no one cares after a while.

    That, at least, is why I'm interested in vintage basses. I like vintage amps for the same reason I like older cars, too. They're much easier to pop open and fix/modify/ rebuild than a modern computer-designed surface mount amp.

    Mojo is a big factor, too, though.
  10. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Not all of us care about vintage basses and amps. I sure don't. I don't believe in some mystical mojo of old basses, at least not for my purposes. There doesn't exist a vintage bass that I would pay big bucks for. Actually, I believe that the golden age of bass making is happening RIGHT NOW.
  11. dangjalopy


    Nov 8, 2004
    I personally have nothing else better to do ;) but seriously, its nice to have that vintage sound from a vintage bass. i play a lot of surf/beach music and the new guitars are just too clean to me. i do play an Ibanez a lot but only for original songs. i use the old ones for the covers. i personally wouldn't pay 3K or 12K for that matter for a bass. i own a '78 ric i paid 600 bux for. put another 100 in electronics and its still got that great Ric sound. Can't beat it!!!

  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I don't want any.
  13. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    You don't say. It seems the same danged thing is happening to me. Could these be related phenomena?
  14. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    H E double Hockey sticks YEAH!!!

    Myself, I love the "style and feel" of old things... but I demand modern construction and playability. I think my gear shows that. I was lucky enough to cross paths with one of the many current talents changing and perfecting the instruments we play... I've got the basses that will be my vintage basses in 20-30 years.

    :cool: Oozing with the my own mojo :cool:
  15. WalterBush


    Feb 27, 2005
    Yuma, Az
    You know, I think age must be happening to my brain as well :confused: --I meant wood changes in tone as it ages, and starts to sound more, well, woody. At least to me. :)
  16. As said before, if a bass or amp can last over 30 years, that says a lot about the craftsmanship. A number of things people buy today aren't built to last that long. Most of my vintage stuff is passed down from my dad to me(a bass and amps), but I cherish them. I guess they can be sentimental to some people, but they are some great unique axes as well.
  17. 0scar


    Jul 11, 2003
    Hmm...well there's a Kubicki Ex-Factor made circa 1987 sitting in my room for me, I just need to repair it. Should I bring this beast back again? :bassist:
  18. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    My search for a pre CBS Jazz ended when I found a used Lakland USA JO. Would I like to have an old Fender? Sure, but I'd wind up paying a lot of $$$ just for a refin which may or may not soon need a refret, pickups rewound, etc. The Lakland is very well built (graphite reinforced neck) and sounds so much like an old Fender I don't think you could tell the difference blindfolded.
  19. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Bring back the beast 0scar!

    OTOH, there's just something about certain basses that give me a certain vibe when I play. I guess I believe somewhat in the supernatural in the fact that certain basses actually "speak" to me.

    No, I'm not nuts, they just feel different. Better.
  20. 0scar


    Jul 11, 2003
    Hmm, it's kind of weird though...I am used to 5 string, going to the Factor might be sort of weird. I definately would not want to sell it, it is/was my fathers, so ya know, the sentimental value in it and what not. Or, if I do start playing it and getting used to it, I might abandon my 5 stringers :(

    Or maybe I'm completely wrong and I can alternate? Someone answer please.