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Thread: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

  1. #1
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    Default Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    Back in 1965, I was a 14 year old, who had taught myself to play guitar, using a very cheap crappy axe bought for maybe less than $15.... I spent that summer cutting lawns, and saving my money, until I could buy a 'good' guitar, which was a 1965 Epiphone Cortez model FT-45. I cost me all of $85, which was all I had earned that summer.

    I still have that guitar... and rarely ever pick it up... because when I do, I realize just how bad I can now play. If you don't use it, as the saying goes, you lose it.

    Just this morning, I guess it was idle curiosity to take a look and see what FT-45's of that vintage (Kalamazoo-built) go for, on the used guitar market....

    ...so I was pretty shocked to see prices ranging from $1,000, to more than $2500... and that's for well worn examples in worse shape than mine! The one in the picture is not mine.... mine has a natural top.

    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  2. #2
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    I'm curious - where did you look for used gittar pricing?
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    A stroll through Elderly Instruments' catalog is always interesting.

    What are you doing about it?




  4. #4
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Orca View Post
    A stroll through Elderly Instruments' catalog is always interesting.
    Thanks.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    Quote Originally Posted by David G View Post
    I'm curious - where did you look for used gittar pricing?
    I just googled 'Epiphone FT45 Cortez', and Google spat out a number of sites with prices.

    Another example: in 1968, I bought an Epiphone Casino, cherry red, and I recall that I paid $285 for it.... it was like the one in this photo, except without the whammy bar. The one in the photo is being offered for $4900!

    Of course, it may not actually sell for that price... but it does give you an idea of how much the value of these Kalamazoo Epiphones have appreciated.

    Incidentally, I bought it BEFORE I was aware that the Beatles were especially fond of the Casino model.


    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  6. #6
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    I bought a '58 Strat sunburst/maple neck new for $270.

    This one is currently $24,995.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    Quote Originally Posted by ron ll View Post
    I bought a '58 Strat sunburst/maple neck new for $270.
    I can't even.

    I played Strat #14 once.

    What are you doing about it?




  8. #8
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    I have two USA Fenders, a Strat and a Telecaster, both recent models made in 2015. The Strat is a special edition 'Blackout' model with an ebony fingerboard (unusual for Fender, usually maple or rosewood), and Custom Shop Fat 50 pickups. The Tele is a blonde model with rosewood fingerboard which also has Custom Shop pickups. I recently offered them to two shops to try and get a part-exchange deal and was offered 500 for each. I have to admit I was disappointed, I thought they would hold their value better than that. Needless to say I still have them.
    Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race. H. G. Wells

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Orca View Post
    I can't even.

    I played Strat #14 once.
    I don't still have it you understand. It was stolen years ago. But had it not, I probably would have sold it for beer or weed as soon as it hit $300.

    ronstrat.jpg

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    They were a shock to my sweetie. I had asked for a dobro for xmas, and the prices, and lack of enough knowledge to pick one, kept her from getting one. <sigh> So I guess I'll just keep an eye out for a good deal one one.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock


    What are you doing about it?




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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    One of my wifes aunts offered her a really nice dobro a couple of years ago- it had stood in a cupboard for years. My wife said oh I couldn't possibly- and found out shortly after that her aunt donated it to a charity shop as no one in the family seemed to want it!
    I was looking for a hard case on line for my new mandolin and found that I can buy a new mandolin in a hard case cheaper than I can buy a case. Seems bigly screwed up to me. Anyhoo, I bought half a cow hide instead- I'll make one. JayInOz

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Orca View Post
    Great info. Thanks!
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  14. #14

    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    When I was the house guy at Merrill auditorium I was amazed at the number of big names that can through and put it in there contract a trip to this small shop local to me evidently there is the main shop but also an upstairs available to people in the know, Gram Nash came back with a couple of guitars upon his visit and Cosby was sorry he passed on the trip out there, John is a very nice guy.

    https://www.friendlyrivermusic.com

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    I started actively buying and selling guitars in 2,005, buying low, selling higher and kind of leap-frogging that way to eventually arrive at what I really wanted. While doing so, I've had a chance to try out some others that I was interested in, knowing that I could, at a minimum, get my money back out of them at any time, or do even better. My current gut feeling is that the seller's market was a good deal better back maybe eight years ago. There is still a market for good stuff, but things seem a bit more reserved and conservative than they were back then.

    ...and don't make investments in amps unless it is something very rare and noteworthy. Resale value is usually awful on them, and when you combine that with the hassle of packing and shipping them, they just aren't worth it.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    Thankfully I can buy my favorite keyboard (Yamaha s80) if I need one for about 400 bucks.

    Some of the classic guitar price hysteria is understandable, but much of it seems rather silly.

    Jeff C

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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    Does anyone recognize this brand? The seller has no answers and I was wondering if the bilge did.



    Nosce te ipsum

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    Does anyone recognize this brand? The seller has no answers and I was wondering if the bilge did.
    Over 600 different guitar head stocks on this list. I did a quick scan, but came up empty for you. You might find yours if you go through it methodically.

    https://www.pinterest.com/b25976y/gu...stock/?lp=true


    Screen Shot 2019-01-08 at 7.39.16 PM.jpgScreen Shot 2019-01-08 at 7.39.27 PM.jpgScreen Shot 2019-01-08 at 7.39.37 PM.jpg

    David--try Reverb as another source for used.

    https://reverb.com/marketplace?query=dobro

    Kevin


    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Dryfoot View Post
    Does anyone recognize this brand? The seller has no answers and I was wondering if the bilge did.



    Washburn? Just a guess...

    Jeff C

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    Over 600 different guitar head stocks on this list. I did a quick scan, but came up empty for you. You might find yours if you go through it methodically.

    https://www.pinterest.com/b25976y/gu...stock/?lp=true


    Screen Shot 2019-01-08 at 7.39.16 PM.jpgScreen Shot 2019-01-08 at 7.39.27 PM.jpgScreen Shot 2019-01-08 at 7.39.37 PM.jpg

    David--try Reverb as another source for used.

    https://reverb.com/marketplace?query=dobro

    Kevin


    Kevin
    Thanks!
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    Quote Originally Posted by leikec View Post
    Some of the classic guitar price hysteria is understandable, but much of it seems rather silly.
    I agree, with respect to classic guitars like Fenders, some Gibsons (especially Les Paul models) and some others. The cognoscenti can tell the difference between legacy versions and more contemporary ones, but it seems to me that the extraordinary prices aren't rationally justified. Really, $25,000 for a Strat? Is it so much better, so historic, or so rare, as to justify that kind of money?

    Even my own Epiphone Cortez (FT-45), which I paid $85 for, in 1965..... why is it worth $1200 or more? I've tried out flat-top steel string acoustics selling for less than $200 which, in my view, are not only every bit as good, but even a lot better, than my 53 year old Epiphone.

    On the other hand, I can see high prices for guitars that are works of art... for the sake of their beauty. Example: Todd Bradshaw's rosewood Telecaster, built of a very rare wood, and beautifully finished.
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  22. #22
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    Quote Originally Posted by leikec View Post
    Washburn? Just a guess...

    Jeff C
    My first thought too, but I can't confirm or rule it out yet.

    I found this site which is a brand name logo DB of sorts, but it hasn't proven useful so far.
    https://www.guitar-list.com/logos
    Last edited by Old Dryfoot; 01-08-2019 at 07:59 PM. Reason: forgot he link
    Nosce te ipsum

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    Over 600 different guitar head stocks on this list. I did a quick scan, but came up empty for you. You might find yours if you go through it methodically.

    https://www.pinterest.com/b25976y/gu...stock/?lp=true


    Screen Shot 2019-01-08 at 7.39.16 PM.jpgScreen Shot 2019-01-08 at 7.39.27 PM.jpgScreen Shot 2019-01-08 at 7.39.37 PM.jpg

    David--try Reverb as another source for used.

    https://reverb.com/marketplace?query=dobro

    Kevin


    Kevin
    It might take me a while, those are some nice looking photos.
    Nosce te ipsum

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    The thing which really gets me is "relic-ing". Take a brand new guitar like a Strat and beat it up at the factory to try to simulate one that some hard rocker has been touring with for 20 years - and then charge an extra bundle for the service. I suppose the folks playing them are also wearing those blue jeans which were all torn up at the factory to look used, and a T-shirt where the silk screened ACDC logo was purposely faded and aged to look like it's really old.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    ^ Agreed. It's all rolled into the "Vintage" craze. Heck, I want my used crap to look new.

    Like this. These look interesting, at the right price. Sadly, this one is not right.

    Nosce te ipsum

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    Yeah. I don't want dinged-up guitars, but if they're going to have dings, they damned well better be MY dings, chomsayen?

    What are you doing about it?




  27. #27
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    I guess I'm a caveman, but the only utility a guitar, a piano, or a flugelhorn has for me is the music I can get out of it.

    Jeff C

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    Too bad our sailboats have not held value like that . .

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    I like mine clean even if they're old and I have never seen any romance in instruments which look abused. My oldest good guitar is my Hagstrom eight string bass. They only made them during 1968 and 1969 and only made 250 of them. The serial number on mine isn't too far from that of the one that Jimi Hendrix and Noel Redding had. Despite its age, mine is near mint and doesn't have a mark on it. It is in better condition than some which are in museums. It would probably command a pretty decent price on the collector market, but isn't likely to be super valuable because it's a rather obscure commodity. Sounds good though.

    005a.jpg

    sound sample: This track was a single guitar and voice demo, written, performed and sent out by Jim Barton from our band back when we were looking for new tunes to record. I just dubbed a quickie bass track on top of it to see how it would sound. Considering that the eight string was basically developed for powerful rock and roll music, it can also sometimes do a pretty interesting job on more delicate stuff as well.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/tceembsqed...tairs.mp3?dl=0

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    I bought a damaged Martin D-18 (made in 1970) with my income tax
    refund when I was in grad school in Colorado - price, $200

    I gave it to one of my kids.

    It now appears to be worth quite a bit.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    1970 Martins (I owned one) may be worth $2-3K, depending, but the condition of the top (especially bellying or cracking around the pickguard), bridge, and neck angle will have some impact on pricing. Also, some Martins of that era had the bridge misplaced by about 1/4", causing significant intonation problems.

    What are you doing about it?




  32. #32
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    Quote Originally Posted by Flying Orca View Post
    1970 Martins (I owned one) may be worth $2-3K, depending, but the condition of the top (especially bellying or cracking around the pickguard), bridge, and neck angle will have some impact on pricing. Also, some Martins of that era had the bridge misplaced by about 1/4", causing significant intonation problems.
    They also didn’t have adjustable truss rods. If for some reason they develop a kink in the wrong direction, it’s very difficult to repair.
    Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. John Fn Kennedy. (D)

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Bradshaw View Post
    The thing which really gets me is "relic-ing". Take a brand new guitar like a Strat and beat it up at the factory to try to simulate one that some hard rocker has been touring with for 20 years - and then charge an extra bundle for the service. I suppose the folks playing them are also wearing those blue jeans which were all torn up at the factory to look used, and a T-shirt where the silk screened ACDC logo was purposely faded and aged to look like it's really old.
    I hate that, and I really can't see the point. They call it 'Road-worn', Yuk!

    Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race. H. G. Wells

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    Quote Originally Posted by Norman Bernstein View Post
    I just googled 'Epiphone FT45 Cortez', and Google spat out a number of sites with prices.

    Another example: in 1968, I bought an Epiphone Casino, cherry red, and I recall that I paid $285 for it.... it was like the one in this photo, except without the whammy bar. The one in the photo is being offered for $4900!

    Of course, it may not actually sell for that price... but it does give you an idea of how much the value of these Kalamazoo Epiphones have appreciated.

    Incidentally, I bought it BEFORE I was aware that the Beatles were especially fond of the Casino model.
    The casino has been particularly good at holding value - they were rare - they mak a good indoor lounge/bedroom level player and as noted were a favourite of the Beatles (and Oasis).

    But you'd be wise to factor in the inflation across the same period.

    1968 a Mars bar cost 2.5p - today 60p that's a factor of 24 - That same multiplier takes the $285 to $6,840'

    In the UK Beer would have a similar multiplier.

    What continues to stun me is how good even quite cheap guitars are today - and how capable modelling amps are .
    Creationists aren't mad - they're possessed of demons.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Used guitar prices can be quite a shock

    Quote Originally Posted by P.I. Stazzer-Newt View Post

    What continues to stun me is how good even quite cheap guitars are today - and how capable modelling amps are .
    "They're made in China" is still a phrase used to indicate low quality in many products, but the Chinese craftsmanship is usually of the highest standard, and when an overseas parent company is providing materials and equipment, the results are first class. This video is about Stentor, who make huge numbers of "student" violins, violas and cellos. It really is worth watching. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SvfNhMlnBE And keep in mind that Yamaha have a lot of their guitars made in China now.

    And I know this is about guitars, but here's a pic of my new mando anyway-Barnes and Mullins Salvino model- English. Setup is perfect. Great sound. Sustain goes on forever JayInOz
    Last edited by JayInOz; 01-09-2019 at 11:19 PM.

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