What qualifies as vintage?

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by T Bone, May 26, 2019.

  1. T Bone

    T Bone Country Gent

    Specifically for guitars, how old does it generally need to be to qualify for the "vintage" descriptor? Is there a generally accepted standard, or does it vary?
    ishtar likes this.
  2. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck Gretschified

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    I think most people consider Gretsch guitars made through the 70s-early 80s as vintage. Guitars from the reinvention of the company in the 90s until now are just used.
  3. Wayne Gretschzky

    Wayne Gretschzky Country Gent

    Aug 27, 2008
    East Coast
    Agreed! Probably different rules of thumb for other brands.
  4. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    To me vintage is '50s or '60s. The 70s are getting close but not yet there yet.
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  5. T Bone

    T Bone Country Gent

    Ah I should have been more (and less) specific. Thinking guitars in general, and in this case specifically not Gretsch.

    Actually had another brand in mind, but won't mention it right now. For example, I have a Martin from 1992 (bought it new). I don't yet consider it vintage, but it is getting close.

    The guitar in question here is from 1975. Thinking 44 years old probably qualifies regardless of brand? But what about a generic rule of thumb. 30 years old?
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  6. speedicut

    speedicut Friend of Fred

    Jun 5, 2012
    To me, vintage is sort of like antique...hard to pin down an exact age.
    With guitars, i think 50s and 60s for the most part.
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  7. Wozob

    Wozob Country Gent

    Jul 6, 2014
    The Netherlands
    Overhyped and overpriced old crap.
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  8. T Bone

    T Bone Country Gent

    Well that's a bit harsh. So if you are answering my thread question, you're saying what qualifies as a vintage guitar is anything that is overhyped and overpriced old crap. Think we'll have to agree to disagree on that.
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  9. tartanphantom

    tartanphantom Country Gent

    Jul 30, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    “Used” becomes “Vintage” when demand outstrips supply.
  10. thunder58

    thunder58 I Bleed Orange

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    yup ... along with the word " boutique "
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  11. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    Vintage means "of a specific year", literally coming from the specific wine harvests, hence "vin".

    So whether something is vintage depends on what you're talking about, and is generally defined by consensus in the market rather than a specific formula like 30 to 50 years old.

    To put it simply, vintage is whatever someone will pay an inflated price for its year of manufacture, regardless of the actual quality of manufacturing.

  12. montereyjack66

    montereyjack66 Country Gent

    Feb 29, 2012
    I thought you just rest your wine glass on it.
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  13. Lee Erickson

    Lee Erickson Country Gent

    Apr 20, 2009
    Eagan, MN
    Anything older than me. For Gretsch guitars, I'd make an exception, anything before 1967, about 20 years younger than me.

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  14. T Bone

    T Bone Country Gent

    Seems a lot of you equate the word vintage with expensive. Not necessarily true though. Classic (another subjective term) gear can actually be bought right. You just have to shop (as with most other things) to find the deals.
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
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  15. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    In autos, vintage is 25 years, antique is 50.

    I passed that point 20 years ago.
  16. new6659

    new6659 Gretschie

    Dec 10, 2018
    Southwestern Ontario
    Vintage to me is from about 1950 - 1963 for Gibson, Fender, Martin, Gretsch and Guild. Before that they're antiques. But in the late 60's they weren't vintage, they were just "used". They were made before the manufacturers ramped up production to cash in on the guitar craze of the mid-60's when specifications often changed a bit to allow increased production numbers or to lower costs (I think). To me, stuff from the 70's, 80's and 90's is just getting old and is not vintage. But then again I'm getting older myself - maybe someone younger would think differently.
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  17. afire

    afire Country Gent

    Spoken like an ignorant reactionary with little or no experience.
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  18. Wozob

    Wozob Country Gent

    Jul 6, 2014
    The Netherlands
    Don't take it too serious.
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  19. stiv

    stiv Synchromatic

    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    I'm really into anything that's vintage. Not only guitars but clothes, cars, furniture. Anything.
    For what I see, there's a line drawed on 1980. Most of the things that come before that year are classified "vintage", and almost all that comes after it's just condidered "old" (in his more noble meaning).
    Maybe this line would move over the years, maybe in 50 years everything coming from the old century would be considered vintage. Especially if the market will see a demand increase.
    But I think, like someone has already said, that "vintage" apply to anything has a certain historic relevace on his category, regardless the year.
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  20. Rusty Silver

    Rusty Silver Gretschie

    Jun 25, 2017
    Italy (Rome and Genoa)
    Since the day I bought my Gretsch I've played her for around 2 or 3 hours every day. If I continue in this way, will my guitar become vintage earlier?     :):):)
    Hey I'm joking...
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