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Re: Vintage Gear, E-bait etc

Buying musical instruments as an investment...now that's a notion that has 
always intrigued me.  Not my 20 oz cup of chai tea with two shots of 
espresso, as I consider myself a player and not a collector, and I think 
instruments are meant to be played and not accrued for financial gain, but 
that is a subjective thing, I know and admit.  I know some doctors, 
and dentists here locally that have rooms full of mint condition amps and 
guitars....it makes me sick.  They don't play them. They just sit there so 
that they can impress their friends and musician guests.

I don't think there is a market index calculated to demonstrate the growth 
investment potential of fretted instruments versus a stock portfolio, or a 
diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, hybrid 
life-insurance/investment funds, etc.  I suppose if my father had bought 
1952 Gibson Super 400 Ns for $1000 (I think they sold for $400 in the 
and don't ask where he would have got the money), worth about $10K before 
passed away, that would be a be a decent return of $900K, but isn't 
enough to retire on. But if he had did this with five other models, he 
have had a decent nest egg whose interest might have kept him going 

I don't know what a new Super 400 will be worth when I'm 55 years old, so 
can't run an analysis to see how many I'd need to buy to help me retire. 
is much easier to have a diverse investment portfolio of stocks, bonds, 
mutual funds, etc, for me at least.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: Richard Sales
To: Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com
Sent: Sunday, December 17, 2006 11:14 AM
Subject: Vintage Gear, E-bait etc

Well... I also knew (back in the pre Ebay day) antique dealers who would 
to yard sales, live auctions, estate sales and buy stuff and pay peanuts 
it and sell it for a fortune. So in a way Ebay has been good for those 
who in the past would have sold their dead soldier brothers' 55 Tele for 
$200. Of course, it's absurd what folks pay in auctions. This is true in 
live auctions too. You get into a frenzy and lose your mind. I went to ONE 
and will never go again. It's like Las Vegas on acid.

But if any of you ever decide to sell your 1940 Ford or early 60s gold top 
Les Paul for half of what it sold for new, please let me know.

Now... I wrote this email that follows this morning and wasn't going to 
it because it's long winded. But because the thread is still alive here we 

Well... I think you're incredibly right on pricing of vintage gear. On the 
other hand, it's like property in Marin California or Portland Oregon! 
They're just not making any more of it. Fender amps have gone though the 
ceiling. Some amps I sold like five years ago I could get double for now. 
And I sold them for very high prices. Some of the new boutique amps cost 
about as much as a tweed Fender Twin or Deluxe! So I reckon for some folks 
it's an investment - like buying a Martin D 45 and storing it for three 
years or a PRS Dragon and waiting a year or two and selling it for more. 
it's a roll of the dice. Who can say when the bottom falls out? It 
but then it might NOT! Soon enough China will be like Japan - buying North 
American history. So this could mean the prices will continue to rise. 
a well known fact that folks are buying vintage guitars for investment. 
who aren't musicians! So in a way some of this is out of our hands and 
irrelevant to the working musician.

We are on outer edge of a booming antique business.

A good friend of mine is a treasure trove of cultural information. He 
follows the culture very closely and, being bound in a wheelchair, watches 
LOTS of television, reads lots of magazines, ponders the nature and fate 
the universe a lot... etc. He's predicted music trends better than any 
magazine pundit I've read - dead on years in advance. He says that in the 
future hand made stuff from 20th century North American culture will be 
priceless. For those of us old enough, we know we lived through a MAJOR 
cultural revolution and historical event. For the remainder of human 
history, that stuff from those times touched by those fingers who SAW The 
Beatles or Hendrix or Dylan will be valuable. Just as antique Shaker 
furniture is now. But... just how valuable I don't know.

I know I love playing my 1934 National thinking of the hands that have 
it, wondering what they played, where they lived. It's fascinating. I 
wouldn't pay what it's worth now... but I do enjoy the vicarious mysteries 
that ooze out of its resonator and fret board. If you've ever experienced 
it, you know what I mean.

Just to confuse things, I DO play my brand new (2006) little Ron Phillips 
parlor resonator guitar more than any other piece I own.

And truth is, some old amps just sound amazingly good. Sometimes the 
differences are subtle compared to newer ones, or so people say, but when 
you're out there on the edge of a solo hanging on by a twig, every little 
bit helps! Or that's my experience. Is it worth twice or three times a 
Not if it costs too much of your TIME. And, to me, therein lies the rub. 
you're wealthy and can afford vintage gear and you still have PLENTY time 
practice, then Hari Bol! But if not, buy a decent amp and guitar, have it 
set up well and go to town and ignore the Ebay Weird Hall of Mirrors.

Great music will rise regardless. And, I can't remember who said it but I 
love the quote, "No one's ever heard someone walking down the street and 
whistling the sound of vintage Pultec EQ!"

There's so much to learn. So many songs to write, scales to learn, gear to 

And families to feed

richard sales
glassWing farm and studio
vancouver island, b.c.
On 17-Dec-06, at 8:55 AM, Krispen Hartung wrote:

what's also amazing is the change in yard/estate sale tactics. Years ago, 
before eBay, you could wander your neighborhood and find some good deals 
things at yard sales.....I used to see musical instruments and old gear 
decent prices. Now, with folks going to yard sales, buying junk, and 
it for profit on eBay, people are catching on and are asking more for 
They get on line and do the research to see what they can ask. Gone are 
days of someone going to some old lady's yard sale and finding a mint and 
vintage Fender in a case in the attic, from her son who went to the war 
never came back, and getting a stellar deal on it. This is an extreme, I 

I used to think that 50% of new price was a fair deal on used gear. 15 
ago I used this rule and it worked fine. Now, as you mention below, you 
find used gear sometimes going for 70% of the new price....it's crazy. 
I bought Behringer FCB controller several years ago, new from a music 
and some idiot bought it for more than what I paid for it on eBay....if he 
had done the research he could have got it new for less. It's like people 
to eBay and lose their minds.


----- Original Message ----- From: "Paul" <paulrichard10@adelphia.net>
To: <Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com>
Sent: Sunday, December 17, 2006 8:40 AM
Subject: Re: Compact guitar amp...

There's a lot of money out there. A roof-top classic apartment (or floor 
actually with a ballroom) is currently going in NYC for 70 million 
That's a lot of fazules! And Bently Automobiles has been advertising more 
the periodicals.

My own impression (gleaned from shopping eBay, pawn shops, etc.) is that 
used music gear seems to be priced higher than ever. I know, I know, 
always the good buy that someone got but I noticed that every single item 
bid on eBay turns into a bidding war and drives the price up. No good 
bargains there. Pawnshops used to have good stuff (I picked up a Minimoog 
synthesizer a few years back for $120). Now (at least the ones I've 
the last few years) have cheap junk. And music stores that have used gear 
(like Johnny B Goods in Pittsburgh) have all the stuff priced way too high 
(is anyone paying those prices for, say, an old Yamaha midi sequencer?).

Then, there's these corporate collectors like Hard Rock cafe and 
collectors with deep pockets that seem to scour every guitar/synth/effect 
pedal/etc. like a purse seine trawling for tuna. Guys with very deep 
like Paul Allen from Microsoft.

Gibson prices seem inordinately high to me. Maybe I'm wrong. I bought a 
Les Paul Deluxe in, oh, 1970's for $500.00 so maybe that equates to the 
current asking price. Some newer Fenders seem to be priced right but both 
brands seem pricy to me for the moderately good stuff. Personally, I can 
only afford guitars in the $500-1000 price point range. And I usually 
to lower/mid end PRS/Godin or Ephiphone brands. I doubt I'd ever spend 
than that unless I won the lottery.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Todd Howell" <ransacker@earthlink.net>
To: <Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com>
Sent: Sunday, December 17, 2006 12:06 AM
Subject: Re: Compact guitar amp...

Rare is it that I chime in on such matters. But I am in agreement with Mr. 
Hartung here.
The whole idea of the dream tone is so subjective that it's to the point 
being moot in many cases.
As for the idea of paying 40K for anything that I can't sleep in is 
I am sure that these Gibson Jazz Boxes are supremely well crafted and play 
and sound wonderful. I have no doubt about this. However. I can't imagine 
most people, even the pornographically wealthy, being able to justify the 
price tag.

I find that most mid range priced gear usually suits my purposes just 
I play a Godin LGXT that I got at GC for less than 800.00 used, a Vox AC30 
(CC1) and a bunch of pedals from Boss and Digitech, and a Gibson Echoplex. 
These all serve me very well in the current context that I play. Even if I 
could afford a bunch of seriously boutique-ish gear, why? I know that alot 
of it probably sound grand, but for most of us, the idea of doing things 
like paying the mortgage, feeding our kids (or in my case Border Collie 
Tabbies) and most of all not winding up getting kicked the curb or at 
wind up sleeping on the couch alot of nights. All of this to make sure 
we sound transcendent as opposed to good. Most of John Q. Public is 
too busy picking the tomatoes off of their nachos or trying to making 
connection with carnal possibility to really notice your tone. I guess I 
don't worry too much about playing for other musicians when I do. I hope 
they appreciate it.

Forty-Thousand Dollars for a guitar? Five thousand dollars for an 
Chime in and show me where this is a great idea.

I could be well wrong here...........


-----Original Message-----

From: Krispen Hartung <khartung@cableone.net>
Sent: Dec 16, 2006 11:42 PM
To: Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com
Subject: Re: Compact guitar amp...

From: "Zoe Keating" <cello@zoekeating.com>

I tried a very small Schertler amp a few months ago and was pretty
impressed....but that was with a cello.

Was it the David? I tried one here in Boise...very nice sounding....though
they were mainly for acoustic vs. electric mondern jazz...but really nice
amps, nonetheless...built like tanks (Swiss, of course, I think). I can see
how they would sound great for cello.

It's funny how my taste has changed in amps over the years. I used to think
boutique amps, $1000 and higher, were the only way to go...and I've owned a
few of them over the years (power, pre, combo). These days I find that a
$200-$300 amp suits me just fine, and that the "alleged dream tone" really
isn't dramatically different than a mid-range amp. This is only my personal
experience and opinion here, of course. I can generally get a tone I like
out of a lower cost amp. I put most of my investment in my guitars and my
playing technique.

I'm also finding that there is a trend going on today with guitars and 
Many foreign manufacturers are starting to produce some very affordable 
that plays really good and consistently. A local music store here has some
hollow body jazz guitars that are made in Taiwan that play just amazing, 
are a fraction of the price of the boutique jazz axes. I know some guys who
have paid $40,000 for their Gibson L5s, Super 400 or Wes Montgomery
model.s....freakin' insane. I think Gibson's guitar are grossly
overpriced...you can get a not-well-known luthier to make something for a
fraction of the price. I wouldn't even feel comfortable taking a guitar
like that (the high end Gibson's) out of the case at a gig.

I've read on MANY jazz guitar discussion forums that the Roland Cube 60
($300 +) is a great pick for diverse tone and portability. It keeps popping
up as a great pick....pretty amazing and quite appealing for a bunch of old
guys with gray hair whose backs are too bad to lift those Fender Twins and
JC-120s. Purism in amps is starting to lose grip a bit with all the latest
greatest DSP technology. Interesting phenomeon going on with music


----- Original Message ----- 

On Dec 16, 2006, at 1:20 PM, Andrew Koenig wrote:

Anyone have any ideas for a small,

compact guitar amp for
jazz, with a lot of bells and whistles, effects,

How compact? What price range? If you want something to drool over,
out www.acousticimg.com and look for the Corus model.