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  1. #1

    Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    Top-end of the burst market just pushed over 500k (AUD) with the bell sitting in the 400-450 range.

    This got me thinking, as prices for vintage guitars continue to go up, moving up towards pre-GFC prices, are we likely to see a, ahem, burst (ding) of the bubble anytime soon?

    I'm afraid my career won't out-run the price climb.

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member sonar's Avatar
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    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    The most desirable might plateau for a period of time, but I don't foresee some all-encompassing bubble burst. Player grade constantly fluctuates and is the most volatile.

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    It bursted on Bursts last night!

    I will offer 2K to anyone wishing to dump that old crap!

    Better move. This offer is only good for a short time!


  4. #4

    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    The vintage market bubble burst about ten years ago.

    The 'Burst market seems to be largely independent of the general vintage guitar market. In other words, the 'Burst market doesn't appear to be a bubble. Unfortunately the $18K 1958 Special purchased in 2006 is now worth about $9K.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    Quote Originally Posted by miczap View Post
    Top-end of the burst market just pushed over 500k (AUD) with the bell sitting in the 400-450 range.
    You can’t possibly know what $ amounts are being offered behind the scenes ..but feel free to speculate

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member sonar's Avatar
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    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    Quote Originally Posted by brandtkronholm View Post
    The vintage market bubble burst about ten years ago.

    The 'Burst market seems to be largely independent of the general vintage guitar market. In other words, the 'Burst market doesn't appear to be a bubble. Unfortunately the $18K 1958 Special purchased in 2006 is now worth about $9K.
    $18K for a Special?

    A fool and his money...

  7. #7

    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    Quote Originally Posted by sonar View Post
    $18K for a Special?

    A fool and his money...
    Specials and Jrs. were fetching stupid money around 2004-2007. I recall seeing a 1963 red 335 with a Bigsby in NYC that had a $50K price tag on it in 2006 or so. It was madness.

  8. #8

    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    Will the bubble burst? Sure. Someday your guitar may be just like uncle Arnie's clarinet in the attic.
    When?
    Well I thought when burst hit $15K it was topping out. and at $30k I thought it was nuts. I knew the bubble would burst . Well, it hasn't yet.
    I remember when Mercedes Gullwing 300SLs were $30k and a '56 Porsche speedster was $15k. They haven't stopped increasing in value yet either. There are certain hallmark items that it seems will have value always (barring a major depression or economic flat line. The fact is we can't know if it will end soon or in another 30 years. We are in a worldwide market and that gives some protection that someone will push the demand even if someone else weakens on demand. All I know is that I have been wrong in the past . We will have to wait and see.

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    Quote Originally Posted by brandtkronholm View Post
    The vintage market bubble burst about ten years ago.
    In early 09 I bought a near mind blonde dot for $70k, and it wasn't all the money back then. Today, for a comparable guitar, it's more than $125k (one, in lesser condition, sold in March).

    Not all guitars are down.
    The artist formerly known as "A-hole".



  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member Patek's Avatar
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    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    Quote Originally Posted by F-Hole View Post
    In early 09 I bought a near mind blonde dot for $70k, and it wasn't all the money back then. Today, for a comparable guitar, it's more than $125k (one, in lesser condition, sold in March).

    Not all guitars are down.
    2009 Is after the crash !!!

    maybe the guy you bought it off lost half his money... who knows.

  11. #11
    Formerly Lefty Elmo Steve Craw's Avatar
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    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    In 2008 I went to the Philly Shows. At the summer show I saw a nice 1958 burst in a dealers booth. I don't remember the exact asking , but I do remember the same dealer had the same guitar at Fall Philly, and the price was 40K less. Big drop in only four months.
    Last edited by Steve Craw; 04-09-19 at 05:31 PM.

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Co-Owner Tom Wittrock's Avatar
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    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Craw View Post
    In 2008 I went to the Philly Shows. I saw a nice 1958 burst in a dealers booth. I don't remember the exact asking price ten years later, but I do remember the same dealer had the same guitar at Fall Philly, and the price was 40K less.
    If he couldn't sell a Burst in 10 years, the prices were probably too high in the first place.
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  13. #13
    Les Paul Forum Member marshall1987's Avatar
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    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    I think we are already seeing a softening of prices of 2nd and 3rd tier vintage guitars. These are usually the budget models from the '50s and '60s. SGs are in a precarious market status presently. Personally, I wouldn't pay more than $5,000 for a vintage SG with PAFs. The damn things break too easily.

    Other examples include entry and mid-level Gibson guitars from the "Golden Era" (Juniors and Specials), and Gibson guitars from the mid to late '60s (especially guitars with the 1 9/16" nut).

    I would add to the list many of the CBS (post 1965) era Fenders.

    Vintage sunburst Gibson Les Pauls in excellent condition without issues, may never fall in price in our lifetimes.

    The level of interest with fickle guitar buyers 25-50 years from now will determine the market. The question is whether or not our children and grandchildren will attach the same value on these guitars as we do today. The kids may have different priorities and interests in 2040.
    "Scan not a friend under a microscopic glass; you know his faults so let his foibles pass".

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  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member jimmi's Avatar
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    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    Quote Originally Posted by marshall1987 View Post
    I think we are already seeing a softening of prices of 2nd and 3rd tier vintage guitars. These are usually the budget models from the '50s and '60s. SGs are in a precarious market status presently. Personally, I wouldn't pay more than $5,000 for a vintage SG with PAFs. The damn things break too easily.

    Other examples include entry and mid-level Gibson guitars from the "Golden Era" (Juniors and Specials), and Gibson guitars from the mid to late '60s (especially guitars with the 1 9/16" nut).

    I would add to the list many of the CBS (post 1965) era Fenders.

    Vintage sunburst Gibson Les Pauls in excellent condition without issues, may never fall in price in our lifetimes.

    The level of interest with fickle guitar buyers 25-50 years from now will determine the market. The question is whether or not our children and grandchildren will attach the same value on these guitars as we do today. The kids may have different priorities and interests in 2040.

    The PAFs and harness out of a 61-64 SG are worth more than $5000. What are people doing to break the necks anyway? I have a ‘61 that is pretty roadwork and never broken.


    Anyway, part of me doesn’t care if the market did crash. Then I could hoard up on vintage guitars like a cat lady at the city dump collecting cats. Sure lose money on some that I have but I don’t get that unless I sell anyway.

  15. #15

    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    Quote Originally Posted by F-Hole View Post
    In early 09 I bought a near mind blonde dot for $70k, and it wasn't all the money back then. Today, for a comparable guitar, it's more than $125k (one, in lesser condition, sold in March).

    Not all guitars are down.
    Indeed, the market for 'Bursts, blonde/red/black 335s & 345s ('59-'60), Vs, Explorers, Pre-War L5s and Super 400s (with upper fret access), and early flat tops will remain forever strong. So to will Pre-War rosewood Martins, especially those with 45 style appointments, the big Strombergs (Master 400s), D'Angelicos, Blackguard Teles, early Strats, certain Gretchs, etc. ...

    However, (echoing marshal1987's post #13) SGs, Specials, Jrs, Customs, P90 Goldtops, 330s and Gibson instruments produced after 1964/5 are just a funny bunch these days.

    For a good read of an expert opinion, check out http://guitarhq.com/. Guitars are given a "collectability" grade. For example, some Forum Members might be shocked to read that Gibson SGs are have the following Collectibility Rating: late 1960-1961: D+, 1962-1964: C, 1965-1971: D-. (I understand this opinion and agree with it by-and-large, though I would enjoy a nice '62 SG with PAFS!)
    Last edited by brandtkronholm; 04-10-19 at 11:11 AM.

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    Does anyone know why movie star Richard Gere only got $98k for his 59 at auction 3 or so years ago?

  17. #17
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    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    Quote Originally Posted by Patek View Post
    maybe the guy you bought it off lost half his money... who knows.
    No, it came from the original owner family, so they made bazillions.
    The artist formerly known as "A-hole".



  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member sws1's Avatar
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    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zentar View Post
    Does anyone know why movie star Richard Gere only got $98k for his 59 at auction 3 or so years ago?
    It was 8 years ago.

    Some missing plastic. PAFs may not have been real. Bigsby. Still somewhat cheap, but not as cheap as if this had sold 3 years ago.

    The guitar is fitted with two Humbuckers each bearing a later PATENT APPLIED FOR decal. Both pickups are with double black bobbins. There is a chip on the upper face of the headstock. The fingerboard has been refretted. The guitar was formally fitted with non-original tuners but has been restored back to single ring Klusons of the period. Resoldering is evident on the contacts. There are two changed screws on the mounting to the neck pickup surround, which is original. The bridge pickup surround is a later Gibson replacement. The Les Paul Model silkscreen logo normally on the headstock is worn and no longer visible. Originaly fit with a stud tailpiece the guitar is now mounted with a Bigsby and the original tailpiece mounts have been plugged with pearl eyes.

    The pickguard is from a pre-1958 Les Paul recut to accommodate Humbucking pickups. The pickguard bracket and toggle switch surround are not original. The case is not original and is an earlier "four latch" Gibson, Les Paul case.
    An original stud tailpiece and one mounting stud are sold with the guitar.

  19. #19

    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    As long as the economy is doing as well as it is right now vintage guitars will increase in value.
    Ten years ago the mood of the country in terms of consumer confidence was poor.
    It's been much better in the last 2 years.




    Quote Originally Posted by sws1 View Post
    It was 8 years ago.

    Some missing plastic. PAFs may not have been real. Bigsby. Still somewhat cheap, but not as cheap as if this had sold 3 years ago.

    The guitar is fitted with two Humbuckers each bearing a later PATENT APPLIED FOR decal. Both pickups are with double black bobbins. There is a chip on the upper face of the headstock. The fingerboard has been refretted. The guitar was formally fitted with non-original tuners but has been restored back to single ring Klusons of the period. Resoldering is evident on the contacts. There are two changed screws on the mounting to the neck pickup surround, which is original. The bridge pickup surround is a later Gibson replacement. The Les Paul Model silkscreen logo normally on the headstock is worn and no longer visible. Originaly fit with a stud tailpiece the guitar is now mounted with a Bigsby and the original tailpiece mounts have been plugged with pearl eyes.

    The pickguard is from a pre-1958 Les Paul recut to accommodate Humbucking pickups. The pickguard bracket and toggle switch surround are not original. The case is not original and is an earlier "four latch" Gibson, Les Paul case.
    An original stud tailpiece and one mounting stud are sold with the guitar.

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    Quote Originally Posted by sws1 View Post
    It was 8 years ago.

    Some missing plastic. PAFs may not have been real. Bigsby. Still somewhat cheap, but not as cheap as if this had sold 3 years ago.

    The guitar is fitted with two Humbuckers each bearing a later PATENT APPLIED FOR decal. Both pickups are with double black bobbins. There is a chip on the upper face of the headstock. The fingerboard has been refretted. The guitar was formally fitted with non-original tuners but has been restored back to single ring Klusons of the period. Resoldering is evident on the contacts. There are two changed screws on the mounting to the neck pickup surround, which is original. The bridge pickup surround is a later Gibson replacement. The Les Paul Model silkscreen logo normally on the headstock is worn and no longer visible. Originaly fit with a stud tailpiece the guitar is now mounted with a Bigsby and the original tailpiece mounts have been plugged with pearl eyes.

    The pickguard is from a pre-1958 Les Paul recut to accommodate Humbucking pickups. The pickguard bracket and toggle switch surround are not original. The case is not original and is an earlier "four latch" Gibson, Les Paul case.
    An original stud tailpiece and one mounting stud are sold with the guitar.
    Thanks for the detailed reply.
    I had wondered since it sold why it didn't sell for more. If Gere's 59 did not contain the stock pickups that would be very sad.
    I've owned two guitars made in the late 50s. One I bought in two pieces. The fact that a guitar still exists after 60 years is a miracle. Most old guitars get their parts cannibalized and used in newer guitars.
    Many guitars that get refretted never play well again and end up in attics.
    I restored my two 50s guitars at a loss just to protect craftmanship from a bygone era. I knew if I didn't restore these two old guitars they may have been thrown in the trash and lost forever.
    I personally don't believe 60yo guitars exist with all original parts.
    The worst thing that can happen to a guitar is the case gets lost and the guitar ends up in a garage. I remember back in the 60s and 70s that most guitars I saw did not have cases. Keeping cases with the guitar is a relatively new phenomenom
    Last edited by Zentar; 04-10-19 at 03:10 AM.

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    Johnny B Good did not have a case for his guitar. When he bought his guitar he had to store it in a gunny sack.

  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member Fried okra's Avatar
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    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    Last edited by Fried okra; Today at 00:00. Reason: No reason, just felt like making it look like I edited it.



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  23. #23
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    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    Quote Originally Posted by sonar View Post
    $18K for a Special?

    A fool and his money...
    i would just take my anger out on the guitar everytime i played it.

  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member D Anthony's Avatar
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    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zentar View Post
    Johnny B Good did not have a case for his guitar. When he bought his guitar he had to store it in a gunny sack.
    Wow! I always thought that line meant he kept it in a gun case lol

  25. #25

    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    As said earlier bursts, explorers etc are in a category of their own so who knows. With regards to p90 les Paul's and fenders I can't imagine them holding their value. There's an extraordinary amount hidden away in collections and the collectors are getting old. I imagine that over the next 20 years these guitars will be sold. Are there enough younger vintage guitar nuts out there to buy all of those guitars for current value? I have my doubts

  26. #26
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    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    Quote Originally Posted by D Anthony View Post
    Wow! I always thought that line meant he kept it in a gun case lol
    well joey B got his in a trash bag

  27. #27
    Les Paul Forum Member Base6's Avatar
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    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    Quote Originally Posted by zappa1777 View Post
    As said earlier bursts, explorers etc are in a category of their own so who knows. With regards to p90 les Paul's and fenders I can't imagine them holding their value. There's an extraordinary amount hidden away in collections and the collectors are getting old. I imagine that over the next 20 years these guitars will be sold. Are there enough younger vintage guitar nuts out there to buy all of those guitars for current value? I have my doubts
    I think that is wishful thinking, to be honest.
    Also, there are probably less TOM P90 LPs left than there are burst with all the conversions, canabalism and natural deterioration going on. Personally, I like P90s more than PAFs. With LED technologies, better shielding and more efficient electrical circuits, less magnetic interference causes less hum than 50-60 years ago, that triggered the humbuckers to be developed. Today, I never really had much trouble with hum that would be needed to buck.

    In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if there the prices in fact make another major leap. P90 LPs will become more sought after and scarce, especially with original TOMs. But, I am biased, I’ll admit. Yet, not wishful thinking as I’d like to be able to buy more.

    Bottom line, there will always be people with money who create demand for vintage stuff. Supply of old guitars isn’t growing, in fact, is getting increasingly more scarce.
    Suplly and demand will always balance out. How? Time will tell, but demand will be there for sure until the guitar goes out of fashion completely.

    For now; would you go vintage, if they were 10% more than modern build? Yes? How about, 20% more? Yes? .... well, there you have it.
    Last edited by Base6; 08-04-19 at 12:32 PM.

  28. #28

    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    All depends how many guitars come out of collections. There are thousands upon thousands upon thousands of vintage guitars in collections right now. Supply and demand set the price. If the supply increases then the price drops. You're probably right about goldtops to an extent but there are a lot more strats and teles out there than goldtops. I'm more of a wraparound type of guy and they made quite a few of those from what I understand. 😉

  29. #29
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Is the vintage market bubble likely to burst?

    folks talk about boomers dying and the market being flooded and reduced prices? how many fifties goldtops total were built? isnt there somthing like 100 and 80 gajilion people on the earth? if you added up all of the surviving original strats, teles, and les pauls 335.s pre 67 wouldnt it be way less than a million guitars?
    add gretsches ,martins. moserites etc etc. if people want real true awesome vintage guitars there wont ever be enough to go around.... unless the banjo comes back. country music is hot right now.. and yes they are wailing on guitars for all the future artists to admire.

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