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When is a bass "vintage"?


thabottomend

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The analogy with cars is interesting. When I was in high school in the 80s, old 60s Mustangs were highly desirable & sought after. They were at most 20 years old at that time. It's now 20 years since then, but it seems the Mustangs people want to collect are...still the same ones people wanted in the 80s, not the ones that are now 20 years old.

 

If "vintage" has to do with age, then its connection with collectibility is pretty loose. The Buick Grand National was a collectible almost immediately. (Sort of like an anniversary StingRay bass.) No one wants a Fairmont of the same "vintage," even in immaculate condition. (Sort of like the old "Cameo" bass I started on.)

 

That said, I'm not exactly sure what the relation between vintage & collectible is supposed to be. But it does seem that that when someone calls something "vintage" when it really isn't collectible, it sounds like an honorific, or maybe just a parody.

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Originally posted by wraub:

According to ebay, vintage is pre-1980.

That's interesting. It tells us where eBay draws the line. But it doesn't tell us when an instrument really is vintage. Ebay has to decide when an item can be listed in the "vintage" category, so they need to draw a sharp cut-off point. But "vintage" is the kind of thing that doesn't have any sharp cut-off point of its own, even if we can come up with one when we have to.

 

All that to say...it's still not clear when an instrument is vintage! :D More than that, it cannot ever become more than just so clear, anyway. The question "When is a bass 'vintage'?" is, in this way, exactly like the question "When is a man bald?" or "When is a man tall?"

 

Funny thing is, color terms are like this, too. That means there is no clear answer to the question "When is a bass red?" And since a red bass is a fast bass, there is no clear answer to the question "When is a bass fast?" Now that just ain't right!

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When a bass is adverised for sale as "Vintage", the seller wants to raise it above the value of an "Old" bass. The term Vintage really has no boundries and can be used to discribe anything of any age. The term "Antique" used to describe cars when the were approximately 30 years old. The same word for furniture might be used when something is much older. I think we overuse the word "Vintage" when associated with Guitars. Not only should it describe the age but also the disirablity and the collectability which in turn increases it's value dramatically. IMHO

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

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Originally posted by jeremy c:

If an instrument that I bought new when I was 22 years old (my '71 Jazz) is considered vintage, what the heck am I?

Younger than me, kid... :cry:

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for all the input, guys. I'm probably gonna take the neck off the next time I change strings. Then I can give us an exact date and we can debate whether or not that makes it vintage.

 

You can learn so much in here.

Do not be deceived by, nor take lightly, this particular bit of musicianship one simply describes as "bass". - Lowell George

 

"The music moves me, it just moves me ugly." William H. Macy in "Wild Hogs"

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  • 2 weeks later...

Date update:

 

I pulled the neck today to check the date. Turns out my memory isn't what it used to be (ya turn 40 and these things start to happen, I'm told). I thought I had owned this bass for 25 years. According to the date stamped on the neck, that would be impossible. 23 to 24 is more like it.

 

By the way, Joyeux was born (by the neck date) June 11, 1982. I know, that's probably not the actual date of manufacture, but December 25 isn't really Christ's birthday either. What's important (in both cases) is that we celebrate the event. :love: Time flies when you're having fun.

 

Thanny, keep your pyro self away from my bass. No burns for her. No stickers either. :D

Do not be deceived by, nor take lightly, this particular bit of musicianship one simply describes as "bass". - Lowell George

 

"The music moves me, it just moves me ugly." William H. Macy in "Wild Hogs"

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Anyone know what a '76 Fender Jazz Bass goes for these days?

 

Slightly modded -- Badass II bridge, custom brass nut, chrome knobs, tortoise-shell pickguard.

 

Whoa Nelly, I just checked -- someone is asking almost $2G for one! Someone else is asking $700 just for the neck!

 

Amazing, I paid $450 for it new in 1978, including the hardshell case and tax!

"Tours widely in the southwestern tip of Kentucky"
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Originally posted by jeremy c:

A bass is vintage when I say it is.

Wow! I want to say something really clever here, but JC has left me speechless.

 

I'll just agree with him.

 

WORD!

My whole trick is to keep the tune well out in front. If I play Tchaikovsky, I play his melodies and skip his spiritual struggle. ~Liberace
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I am 67 and no one has referred to me a vintage. I think your bass has a little way to go. Or you could just ask Jeremy to declare it for you. That would save a lot of time. I don't know if he charges for that, you need to ask him.

:cool::P

Rocky

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."

Benjamin Franklin

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So how about it, Jeremy? Could you please just this once declare my bass to be vintage? I'm not trying to sell it, but it would help my poor little self-esteem if I could say that my bass bears the Official Jeremy C Declaration of Vintigality Seal.

 

Pretty please? :(

Do not be deceived by, nor take lightly, this particular bit of musicianship one simply describes as "bass". - Lowell George

 

"The music moves me, it just moves me ugly." William H. Macy in "Wild Hogs"

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Originally posted by thabottomend:

...but it would help my poor little self-esteem if I could say that my bass bears the Official Jeremy C Declaration of Vintigality Seal.

 

Pretty please? :(

So if Jeremy puts a sticker on our bass, thereby making it vintage, its value actually increases!?
My whole trick is to keep the tune well out in front. If I play Tchaikovsky, I play his melodies and skip his spiritual struggle. ~Liberace
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Has anyone thought whether in like a hundred years time there will still be some 1960's basses around? And being played?

I once saw on tv a really really really really old cello or double bass, in a shop being fixed, but still being played.

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Sorry about the large size of the photo in this post.

 

I've mentioned in past threads that I know someone who has a viola da to gamba made in 1706.(The viola da gamba is an instrument which was a precursor to the cello and the double bass and is a six string fretted bass instrument).

 

She also owns a cello which was built in 1696.

 

She performs regularly using these instruments.

 

Below is a picture of Susie Napper with her viola da gamba. Susie is on the right.

 

http://www.lesvoixhumaines.org/photos/larges/SM_happy.jpg

 

Susie\'s Webpage, if you\'re interested.

 

Shall we continue our discussion of 40 year old vintage instruments now?

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Those are beautiful!!!

 

When I first started playing upright, I accidently stumbled across a couple of da gamba players that rehearsed in a stairwell at Brown University. I started rehearsing with them (at my apartment) and they really helped me get my bowing together. I'm forever in their debt.

 

I don't get the whole vintage thing. There was plenty-o-crap made in the '50, 60's and 70's. I'll continue to take my chances with the Tobias' and Sadowskys of the world.

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Hello everyone:wave:

 

The orchestra that I work part time for "the Orchestra of the age of Enlightenment" is a period orchestra so many of the string instruments are originals from 1600-1800's and Chi-chi Nwanoku MBE, OAE Principal Bass plays an bass that was made by Nicolas Amati in 1631, in Cremona, so it's definately pre-CBS :D

 

My '68 Jazz is considered vintage but is not quite in the same league :freak:

 

peace,

Lisa

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