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Collector's Value


AeroG33k

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Hey guys, I've just been wondering what determines a guitar's collectible worth (once they are aged). Here are some more specific questions: I heard that original parts are very important, but what about custom shop models? Does it have to be a name brand guitar (Fender, Gibson) and American made? For example, I've been looking at a japanese made Fender special edition Aerodyne Telecaster and a Canadian/American made Godin Radiator (which is very unique and retro styled). Would the Fender accumulate more worth simply because it's a Fender? If I decided for the Godin, I'd probably want to change pickups. Bad idea in terms of collectors value?

Let it be said that I buy guitars for players value, but I eventually want a collection to be proud of and to pass on. So, any guidelines?

-Andy

 

 

"I know we all can't stay here forever so I want to write my words on the face of today...and they'll paint it"

 

-Shannon Hoon (Blind Melon)

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Neitherof those guitars are likely to become valuable any time soon.

 

But if you ever buy a guitar with the intension of having it become valuable later, know that anything that you do to the guitar will affect it's value.

 

Now, the fewer modifications you make, the better. And don't do ANYTHING that permanently alters anything about the instrument. You can change pickups, but keep the originals secure. Understand though, that IF YOU DO, you will put a question in the minds of some collectors, because there will be fresh solder joints where there should not be. Same with tuning machines.... keep the originals and try not to do too much damage with the replacements. Again, you may very well cause some question as to the authenticity ro originality of the guitar, because again there will be modificatiosn where there should be none. Most benign modifications that make a guitar more playable...machines, new nut,refrets, bridge saddles, strap locks, etc... are not going to hurt the value a great deal, but they will have an effect. Larger changes, like routing out for larger pickups or another pickup, new switch holes, refinishes, body changes, etc, is pretty much an assurance of the destruction of the value of the instrument. You may be able to add things to a guitar to make it suit you better, but there is nothing that you can add to a guitar t make it more valuabe than the stock instrument, straight as it comes from the factory.

 

If your goal is to buy a guitar for investement purposes, the very best thing that you can do it put it away and not touch it.

 

If your goal is to have a nice instrument to play for years to come, buy and modify to your hearts content. I am a fan of buying exactly ewhat I want in the condition that I want it, so if I was buying a new guitar today it would probably be made from Warmoth parts and need no modification when delivered.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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I'm always amazed by how quickly and how thoroughly you guys reply. Thanks a lot. Like I said, primarily I want a collection (far, far away from today) that a guitar PLAYER will love. But I'm young (college student) and I wouldn't mind owning a small treasure that stayed with me for 40 years later on. I am looking to get a custom shop Schecter when I get my degree, so how do completely custom built guitars accumulate value (Im actually not that interested in re-selling them as much as keeping them and maybe pass them on). What about special edition or anniversary models?

-Andy

 

 

"I know we all can't stay here forever so I want to write my words on the face of today...and they'll paint it"

 

-Shannon Hoon (Blind Melon)

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I bought a 1967 Gretsch 711 Songbird at a yard sale 20+ years ago for $5.00. It was in pieces with the pickups and switches hanging from the body. The body and neck and frets was in good shape with just minor scratches. I figured I would put it back together and have a nice guitar but never got around to it. It sat under our bed until a month ago collecting dust and I decided put it on e-bay...I got $1380 for the guitar! Turns out it was quite rare, go figure. I wish I could find a few more yard sale gems like that!
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The old standbuys will accumulate more value than any custom shop item. Schecters are great, but you'll never see them crowding old LPs and Strats out of major collections. I would opine that anniversary models are more significant during the year they commemorate.
Never a DUH! moment! Well, almost never. OK, OK! Sometimes never!
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"I am looking to get a custom shop Schecter when I get my degree, so how do completely custom built guitars accumulate value ..."

 

Pretty much, they don't.

 

The best bet in a collectable is a name brand, popular model vintage instrument. Gibson, Gretsch, Fender, in electrics. But only some models. For example, I own a 1962 Fender DuoSonic, ain't worth a shit. A 62 Strat? I could buy a new car with the proceeds. I have several rare instruments... RARE does not equate to VALUABLE. I've got a '66 Fender XII, a mid 60s Fender V, and mid 60s Fender VI... none worth much. I've got a Gibson Firebird XII.. they made around 275 of them, ever... not worth much. I've a transition mode Gibson ES 335-12... has the Norlin pickgard and the orage oval tag, pots dates are 1966, the instrument probably dates from '68... another realtively worthless instrument, on the scale of valuable vintage pieces.

 

So Collecting... with a big C, means something different to players than to Collectors. I have a bunch of cool instruments for players, not much of interest to collectors. Maybe the 25th Anniversary Strat, but even that is only going to pull in around $1500, and it is quite old and in great shape. You have to decise what your interests really are.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Originally posted by AeroGeek:

What about special edition or anniversary models?

Well, I'm out of my depth here, but I'd make an educated guess that the trick with buying special models as an investment is to work out whether the extra $$$ you pay for a guitar now will be reflected by its market value in 40 years time.

 

In other words, will people line up to buy that special Fred Bloggs signature edition or will they just see it as yet another vintage strat?

 

I'm sure people will have some ideas on this?

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Originally posted by Kramer Ferrington III.:

... will people line up to buy that special Fred Bloggs signature edition ...
I haven't looked in quite a while, but when I did, most signature editions did not pull in as much cash as a standard edition.

 

Obviously the first Eric Clapton Martin (not the recent one, the 461 model) is worth money, because it was a severely limited edition. And the John Lennon J-160e three guitar set from Gibson is probably worth some money. But an SRV strat? Hmmm.... I'd have to buy signature models very carefully.

 

My take on it? Right now, I'd still buy vintage if my goal was to start a valuable collection. Pick up some early 70s or 60s guitars... because if you think that they are expensive now, well, I don't see them going down soon. Modern guitars will be a lot harder to judge.

 

Gee, look what has happened to the gold top market in the last five years.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Another idea might be to specialise in a given thing... like all the Martin signature models. You have to be careful though.. I don't see the complete Zakk Wylde collection to be worth a ton in the future. But you never know.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Originally posted by Bill@Welcome Home Studios:

Another idea might be to specialise in a given thing... like all the Martin signature models. You have to be careful though.. I don't see the complete Zakk Wylde collection to be worth a ton in the future. But you never know.

 

Bill

Yeah. It's a shame that collecting has become the pasttime of so many non musicians. It's hard to second guess them and their preferences. Still, I'd guess that the only signatures worth buying are those with endorsers that are pretty mainstream and will be remembered in a few decades.
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What a shame. I definitely won't go out of my way to buy something for it's value if that means it's not necessarily what I love to play. I was under the impression that almost all guitars will accumulate some value once they move away from "used" to "vintage" (say, 40+ years).

-Andy

 

 

"I know we all can't stay here forever so I want to write my words on the face of today...and they'll paint it"

 

-Shannon Hoon (Blind Melon)

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