Originally Posted by polishbroadcast
I would argue that the quality of instruments is even higher than it was in "the good old days" (or recent old days, ie. the 90's) especially with Gretsch. A 5120 or any pro line could very easily serve as a professional instrument for anyone's lifetime (unless you are a vampire).
I'm with Synchro: there is no way the 5120 is going to become collectible. That doesn't make it a bad guitar, but it certainly isn't going to appreciate as an investment. The closest the Electromatic line comes to a collectible is the 512X series because they have US-made DeArmond pickups, and funky color finishes ... but even those are only just barely above half of what they sold for retail. When you account for inflation, unless you are talking a $100,000 Les Paul, no guitar is a good financial investment.
Yep. My Terada and Dyna Gakki Gretsch guitars are, IMHO, better quality instrument than my old made in the US Streamliner.
In that regard things have greatly improved. When I wanted my first arch top back in '72 a used ES 175 might fetch $400 in fairly good shape. There wasn't much in between the beginner's instruments and the 175, which was one of the lowest priced Gibson archtops at the time. Now, if you scale that $400 for inflation you can see that guitars are actually less expensive these days. Adjusted for inflation, a 5120 would probably have gone for under $100 in 1972 dollars. Back then, I would have mowed lawns, collected pop bottles or taken in ironing to raise the money to have bought such a guitar.
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