When does 'old' become 'vintage'?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by snakestretcher, Feb 9, 2020.

  1. snakestretcher

    snakestretcher Gretschie

    Sep 7, 2009
    I was just mulling this over and concluded that the cut-off for what collectors and aficionados consider as vintage seems to be around the '50s and early-mid '60s for both Gibson and Fender (although some Fenders from the '70s are selling for silly money now). Any thoughts regarding Gretsch?
  2. larryb

    larryb Gretschified

    Oct 29, 2012
    Greenville, SC
    I think...once you have grandkids.....thankfully, I am still just "old":p
    drmilktruck likes this.
  3. Stefan

    Stefan Country Gent

    Jan 20, 2016
    I guess from 30-40 years on. A 30 years old guitar sounds vintage to me.
  4. jarrodtaylor

    jarrodtaylor Gretschie

    Mar 14, 2019
    Delray Beach, FL
    When the prices start going back up.
    j.s.c, Henry and DennisC like this.
  5. Lockupyourfatdog

    Lockupyourfatdog Synchromatic

    Aug 8, 2016
    Everett wa
    I always thought it was 20 years.
  6. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    I think that on collector’s circles is considered vintage everything before 1980.
  7. Anacharsis

    Anacharsis Electromatic

    Aug 16, 2019
    United States
    When someone wants to sell its alleged mojo. ;)

    IMO, vintage only matters if there was something demonstrably good about guitars built during a certain time period. A crappy guitar doesn't become desirable if it sits unplayed for 20, 30, or 40 years.
  8. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    To me pre '70 for most guitars, and bikes. There are a few exceptions though, some things like Tele's really didn't change too much in the '70s.
  9. bluenote23

    bluenote23 Country Gent

    Oct 17, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    Well my '68 Tele deserves to be vintage.

    I think my '73 Stratocaster is just an old guitar but I could sell it at a premium because it is old.

    I would think that pre-Baldwin Gretschs would all have some 'vintage' premium added or subtracted (subtracted because the binding is rotting and the guitars are becoming structurally unsound).
    stiv likes this.
  10. salvatore

    salvatore Electromatic

    Nov 29, 2017
    Durham, NC
    Vintage guitars , say 20 years ago , came out of the Golden Era : 1950’s- 1960’s. That was it. That was understood.

    It seems that as time rolls on merchants have systematically begun to expand that definition, assigning the word vintage to a guitar once a guitar is deemed “old enough”, without regard to what they were manufactured with and how they were manufactured.

    There is a significant difference between Fender, Gibson, and Gretsch guitars made in the 1960’s from those made in the 1970’s in terms of components, finishes, neck carves, widths, and fretboards. There is also a difference in tool and dye machining, neck shaping techniques, and pickup winding materials and windings.

    This difference is still reflected in the value of guitars from the Golden Era. They cost more than today’s ostensibly vintage guitars from the 70’s and 80’s.

    All Golden Era guitars are not necessarily superior to 70’s and 80’s guitars.

    I think it’s time to clarify what vintage means, be it a certain era with beginning and ending years - say, 1951-1968 - or a minimum number of years old (40? ).

    And then you’d have to further define it by brand: Fender ends in 1964, Gibson, 1969, Gretsch, 1967, or 1971, as all three of these corporations underwent new management/owner changes, or and/ or relocated their plants, and hence produced new model guitars that are different from the previous guitars.
  11. JC higgy

    JC higgy Friend of Fred

    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    Anything older than me, i call vintage.
  12. hcsterg

    hcsterg Country Gent

    Feb 13, 2012
    Yes. 30-year-old is considered entering Vintage category here in France.

  13. Wayne Gretschzky

    Wayne Gretschzky Country Gent

    Aug 27, 2008
    East Coast
    For Gretsch guitars... we typically think in terms of the era, not the age. A guitar made prior the 1981 sabbatical of the brand, is now considered "vintage". Anything made after the re-introduction of the brand in 1989, are "modern reissues". So by that logic, a 1995 Jet isn't a vintage Gretsch guitar, and never will be. The other differentiator with Gretsch guitars is that the "vintage" examples are USA made, and the "modern reissues" are Asian made.
  14. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    I wish it could be like that man... but look at the price of many battered 60s Kays/Harmonys/OldCraftsmans/Silvertones out there. From a collector standpoint they're legit vintage gear.
  15. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    This. There is no other definition that fits the real world. I can call my almost 30 year old Epiphone Les Paul vintage, but . . .
    new6659 likes this.
  16. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    I'm still saying to understand the term " boutique " let alone " aficionados "
    5120mantis likes this.
  17. snakestretcher

    snakestretcher Gretschie

    Sep 7, 2009
    Thanks, that more or less echoes my thoughts.
  18. snakestretcher

    snakestretcher Gretschie

    Sep 7, 2009
    Ah, well the first is a French shop, and the second a Latino street gang.;)
  19. jarrodtaylor

    jarrodtaylor Gretschie

    Mar 14, 2019
    Delray Beach, FL
    Boutique: doesn’t have a website.

    Aficionado: doesn’t get paid.
    Likeabrave and thunder58 like this.
  20. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I remember oldies stations in the mid 70's playing big band and on up to 50's stoop music. I put on an oldies station now and its 60's rock on up to 90's rock. Anyone have any good oldies stations to share as in 20's - 50's music?
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