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Which model of Les Paul would you Invest in?

OdgeUK

Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2005
Messages
64
Having seen all my savings perform miserably (tied up in shares that have effectively only broken-even over several years of holding) I wondered the other day if putting that money into a Collectible Guitar wouldn't be a better investment? It would be a way to save money but also enjoy the guitar too. It's not big bucks, so Vintage guitars out of scope.

I'm curious as to what models people would speculate might offer any return on investment, and what that has looked like historically. How much appreciation have we seen on the Collectors Choice guitars? Do the R8s and R9s appreciate? Or always remain below original RRP? What about the Murphy Labs guitars? Or any regular Custom Shop Les Pauls? How have the Slash Sigs performed?

Post mainly for discussion. My gut feeling is there isn't any significant appreciation on this stuff without very long term investment.
 

jb_abides

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Apr 6, 2005
Messages
4,196
Under normal circumstances, only pristine vintage truly appreciate, although most great examples of Custom/Historic keep pace with inflation within limits. We are approaching those limits.

Oh, and 'vintage' is being re-defined, as we see late 60s and 70s guitars become desirable. So they are rising, and will continue to rise in line with demographic desires... assuming we don't experience dire circumstances, which looks probable. Then, we will hit a decline as those collectors who truly desire them based upon firsthand exposure die off. So, likelihood is we've seen the high water mark, or will do so in the next decade.

I don't believe any of the current price levels will hold if things which are making equities decline really take hold: catastrophic economic and monetary crisis will see the values of collectibles 'object d'art' even functional ones collapse until the next age, which may be beyond your holding term!
 

OdgeUK

Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2005
Messages
64
So, looking around for examples, I see a Gibson Custom Shop Collector's Choice #17 that was selling new in the UK at about £4,400 on release (same price as a Les Paul '59 VOS) and now listing on Reverb from £7,500. That's a 2014 Guitar, so an 8yr investment for a £3k return. Obviously they may never sell close to that price in reality.
 

OdgeUK

Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2005
Messages
64
I don't purchase guitars/musical instruments as investment vehicles; I purchase them as tools.

The market for guitars as some general investment IMO has been over saturated for decades and I don't see where there is the potential for any appreciable return worth the effort.

YMMV
Umm, well I have guitars as tools too. But it's nice that you have strong principles you stand by. This is about putting cash into something that might offer a return, and that thing maybe being something you can use and enjoy while it appreciates, unlike Shares or Savings accounts.
 

charliechitlins

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Joined
Nov 16, 2021
Messages
613
Umm, well I have guitars as tools too. But it's nice that you have strong principles you stand by. This is about putting cash into something that might offer a return, and that thing maybe being something you can use and enjoy while it appreciates, unlike Shares or Savings accounts.
I agree.
I buy plenty of guitars I really like and often flip them; virtually always at a profit.
I wish I would have held onto late model Firebirds. Guitars from circa '13-'17 that were going around for 950-1200 5 or 6 years ago, seem to be 2x that.
The key for me isn't specific models, but specific guitars.
Be patient, look for a deal and be ready with cash and car keys in hand to be the first to grab it.
Watch out for the rich hobby guys.
It's worth it for a lot of guys to buy new, play for awhile and sell for a loss so they don't pile up too much.
If you buy a guitar from one of these guys, keep his number.
 

golfnut

Active member
Joined
Apr 18, 2016
Messages
189
I invest in expensive guitars. My return is the pleasure I get from playing them and using them in my band. To expect anything more is a bad investment.
If you had bought a 50's, 60's Fender, Gibson or a 30's, 40's, 50's Martin back in the 70's, 80's and sold them in the present then your investment was fantastic. Buying these same vintage instruments today and expecting that kind of return 20-30 years from now, highly unlikely. I wouldn't bet on it.
 

ADP

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Joined
Jul 16, 2015
Messages
397
Artist Aged/Signed seem to keep going up. Murphy Aged Collector's Choice or special run Les Paul's with his "TM" signature in the aging. Black Beauty Customs. Anything with Brazilian rosewood. These are what I'm thinking will be worth the most investment wise.

"Pearly Gates", Duane's '59, "Beano", Bloomfield burst. Those will be the one's to have in my opinion.

More than just guitar players would buy something that is tied to a name like Eric Clapton or Jimmy Page. You have a larger market.
 

Old dude 70

Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2021
Messages
31
I don’t buy guitars as an investment, it is a nefarious hobby

i generally buy used so any loss is generally minimal but I hardly ever sell gear

i buy what I hope pleases me. If I don’t need it or am replacing it I try to give someone a decent deal
 

bursty

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
223
Umm, well I have guitars as tools too. But it's nice that you have strong principles you stand by. This is about putting cash into something that might offer a return, and that thing maybe being something you can use and enjoy while it appreciates, unlike Shares or Savings accounts.

I believe a big portion of what I mentioned in my post (#3) @golfnut alluded to in his post (#8) starting at his fourth sentence.

I think we were both on the same track as far as the concept so to speak but we just worded our respective responses differently.
 

rialcnis

Active member
Joined
Jul 5, 2019
Messages
169
I would buy the actual Jeff Beck's Yardbirds Esquire--but no one has that much money.

I would settle for one of the official replicas from 2006. I have a French antique I'd trade for it.

Otherwise, I'd like an actual Les Paul from 1952 that was played by Les Paul
 
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pqs

Member
Joined
May 31, 2019
Messages
97
If you are only breaking even with your shares, there is likely something wrong with how you’re applying your money. You might fave one of those specialist governed funds, or you’re taking too much risk in hopes of higher return or both, or both, or maybe something else entirely.

As for using guitars as investments, I really think we might be in a very slow inflating bubble. As we see guitar manufacturers improve the reissue of ‘50s guitars and as people, like ourselves who have this thing for Les Pauls, die, we could see a burst of this possible bubble (no pun intended).

We can see particular models get hyped up here and there, but that’s just how things work. Prices don’t move synchronized with inflation. Inflation is measure in the aggregate. Some things will have price move faster than inflation at times, while others move slower. That’s just the nature of how inflation is measure.

As for ‘70s guitar, I don’t see why they should have a huge vintage markup. I’m not saying ‘70s bad, no, there were some great guitars built in the ‘70s. It’s simply a matter of opportunity cost. To put simply, from a demand side, what’s available now versus what was made in the ‘70s. I think some of the hype ‘70s guitars got were somewhat artificial driven by some sort of vintage appeal. And possibly with the help of some dude on YouTube arbitraging/flipping these ‘70s guitars.

Even if it’s not a bubble, I think it’s a very risky approach. The thing with risky financial undertakings is that so many people take it that it is unlikely all of them will flop. We end up hearing about the, I don’t know, maybe 5% that were successful, but forget about the 95% that flopped. With everything it’s extremely unlikely that we’ll see 100% failure rate, unless it’s a pretty extreme idiotic endeavor. So what I’m saying is that some of the success stories we observe can be attributed sometimes partially, sometimes entires to luck or chance.
 

brandtkronholm

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2006
Messages
2,471
Having seen all my savings perform miserably (tied up in shares that have effectively only broken-even over several years of holding) I wondered the other day if putting that money into a Collectible Guitar wouldn't be a better investment? It would be a way to save money but also enjoy the guitar too. It's not big bucks, so Vintage guitars out of scope.

I'm curious as to what models people would speculate might offer any return on investment, and what that has looked like historically. How much appreciation have we seen on the Collectors Choice guitars? Do the R8s and R9s appreciate? Or always remain below original RRP? What about the Murphy Labs guitars? Or any regular Custom Shop Les Pauls? How have the Slash Sigs performed?

Post mainly for discussion. My gut feeling is there isn't any significant appreciation on this stuff without very long term investment.
"Investing" in guitars is a horrible financial idea.
Don't do it.
 

jb_abides

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
4,196
If you are only breaking even with your shares, there is likely something wrong with how you’re applying your money. You might fave one of those specialist governed funds, or you’re taking too much risk in hopes of higher return or both, or both, or maybe something else entirely.

As for using guitars as investments, I really think we might be in a very slow inflating bubble. As we see guitar manufacturers improve the reissue of ‘50s guitars and as people, like ourselves who have this thing for Les Pauls, die, we could see a burst of this possible bubble (no pun intended).

I think some of the hype ‘70s guitars got were somewhat artificial driven by some sort of vintage appeal.

Yes. Anyone who lost anything invested after the GFC is just getting plain ol' DOINKed and robbed, somehow or another [true thru the market high of January 2022 only]. The recent precipitous drop is a Whole 'Nuther Matter with QE shifted to QT after decades of easy money juicing things. Further, your "something else" might be attributable to 'hidden' fee ratios in funds, brokerage fees, or just bad picking.

Yes. And those holding dear on them for profit not love ought to fade the rally before the burst. Puns intended.

and Yes. Although appeal also has increased with the demographic shift from 'born in the 50s' coveting Golden-era vintage to those born later who have a yen for 70s models, played by a wider range of 'heroes' in post-60s/70s eras and genres... consider: we are seeing rebirth of Kramer, Charvel, Jackson for a reason, even if they are cheaper recreations than the Historic Reissues.
 
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Bryansamui

Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2022
Messages
89
Investing is guitar's,? No..Blue ribbon Stocks/Shares are far better.

A guitar line that is currently undervalued ?..A 70s Les Paul Deluxe.Approching 50 yrs old,they're still affordable for the minute and they were 'limited editions' without having that 'limited edition' moniker slapped on it.
 

Big Al

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
14,411
Umm, well I have guitars as tools too. But it's nice that you have strong principles you stand by. This is about putting cash into something that might offer a return, and that thing maybe being something you can use and enjoy while it appreciates, unlike Shares or Savings accounts.
No, it is pandering to the recent notion of new guitars as some kind of Franklin Mint collectable commodities investment. That thinking is ruining musical instruments and the market. If you think you can predict high return investment grade guitars, and a lot of them do not show big or meaningful increases, just check the market, good luck.

Those that do are often presold to heavyweight investors way before regular folks even know they are to be made. If you did, forget gigging or playing it, it's an investment and even mild wear, insignificant little micro blemish can make you loose big money.
Buy gold coins,.
 

ourmaninthenorth

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Joined
Mar 28, 2009
Messages
6,965
The way things are going in England, having a hot shower and a slice of toast represents serious fiscal investment.

The basics are now luxury items, if I had the pot I'd have a piss in it....

I've just told the Wife to turn the heating off, I need a new set of strings...I only caught the second bit of her reply, which was ".... off " .
 

pqs

Member
Joined
May 31, 2019
Messages
97
The way things are going in England, having a hot shower and a slice of toast represents serious fiscal investment.

The basics are now luxury items, if I had the pot I'd have a piss in it....

I've just told the Wife to turn the heating off, I need a new set of strings...I only caught the second bit of her reply, which was ".... off " .

What’s the secret? You just told her that you needed the heating off and she replies to let you know she turned it off! So sweet.
 

jb_abides

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Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
4,196
Europe is destroying ancient forests for energy. Wood now labeled as 'green-friendly' biofuel. Ha... some carbon energy sources are 'smarter' than others, apparently. [ Hmmm, just as novel viral transmissions behave 'smarter' than others... ]

Better make sure your guitars aren't mistaken for energy sources!
 
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