Bursts…I don’t get it

Discussion in 'Other Cool Guitars' started by Robbie, Aug 4, 2021.

  1. Chet Harrison

    Chet Harrison Gretschie

    Apr 27, 2020
    How many times do I have to take the test? If just once, I stand a 50% chance of guessing correctly! :D
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  2. salvatore

    salvatore Gretschie

    Nov 29, 2017
    Durham, NC
    Perhaps the value of the 58’-60’ bursts are partially determined by the low production numbers, and the number of bone stock bursts that are extant today.

    I have a 1966 Telecaster that sounds ( and plays) measurably different that my 1999 American Deluxe Telecaster. It is easy for me to hear the difference in tone, but maybe that’s because I have - and play regularly- had both guitars for 15 years.
  3. j.s.c

    j.s.c Country Gent

    Aug 19, 2008
    I don't know, everytime these precious gems are demonstrated on youtube, it's with a heavy crunch or overdrived amp tone... Thus, I heard about the amp but not really the guitar.

    I know humbucker used to love overdrive but then to me they all LPish whatever is the age, SG, 335 all sound approx the same which is "Marshall overdrive".

    Then to me you have to compare guitars with a clean tone, and yes I heard differences between all single coils guitars, and low impedance pickups (<=7) like filtertrons, minihumbuckers but I'm not sure with any big humbuckers.
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  4. amp360

    amp360 Synchromatic

    Oct 21, 2012
    I'm not offended, I just think making a post about something you don't like but have never even heard outside of a YouTube clip is moronic. Let me guess, you don't like Dumble amps either?

    I paid less for my first Burst than some of the Gibson Historic models go for. It's a killer guitar that I've used on a bunch of records and still use it live now and again (I'm using it tonight actually).

    If the prices that get forums collective panties in a bunch are to believed my investment was smart, I've gotten calls for records because people knew I had the guitar and I bought it when I was 22 with a publishing advance. Not a bad investment if I were ever going to sell it, but I doubt that would happen.

    For me, a big part of why I play old guitars is because when I was a kid that's what was around and what I could afford. I'm pretty sure I posted my LP TV Yellow collection here, none of those cost very much when I got them. I'm the first one to say Gibson makes some amazing guitars right now (I have a bunch of them).

    That being said, they're different than the old ones. Different doesn't mean worse, it just means different. I don't know if it's the wood, pickups, age of everthing being bolted together, etc... but there is a difference. Hey, some people may prefer the new one. I have new ones I like and old ones I like but they're not the same.

    I do a lot of recording for a lot of different people. When I pick up my old Les Paul (or 6120 or Brazilian Martin or Broadcaster or whatever) they feel and sound very different from what's being made today. They just sound like the records I grew up liking.

    I think some modern guitars are awesome (Gibson, Rickenbacker, GMP, Ed Roman, etc...) and a lot aren't.

    Out of curiosity, what guitars do you "get"? I have some time and could check them out on YouTube.
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  5. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    I don't make any judgements on anything based only youtube videos :D
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  6. SAguitar

    SAguitar Synchromatic

    Jan 17, 2020
    Jack Plate, Oregon
    Although I would love to, I have never touched one of the fabled 'bursts, but I have played some very nice Les Pauls. I currently own 8 of them, and two of those are Gibson Custom Shop guitars that I bought used. Some of my other LPs are great axes in their own right, but the Custom Shop LPs are just a step above those, if you can get in the right environment to hear the difference. For me, that is in a relatively quiet room, through a fairly clean tube amp. Not by any means in a band situation on a noisy stage. In those conditions, any of my Les Pauls can deliver the goods with a great playing experience.
    All that to say, that if some great players rave about some great guitars, I believe them. They know what they are talking about.
    j.s.c, NJDevil and Robbie like this.
  7. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Well I think that was part of the point of the OP. LOTS of people rave about them but few have ever played them, and if they had played one is it truly representative of all? Presumably some of the people wanting work with your burst hadn't played it either. It works both ways.

    Imo the wisdom of an investment is determined when the investment was made, not when any return is realized. Otherwise it would be wise to "invest" in lottery tickets since someone in the past made millions or billions on them.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2021
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  8. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    There’s one other factor as well; survivor bias. The lousy examples of any famous vintage model have long since hit the landfill.
  9. amp360

    amp360 Synchromatic

    Oct 21, 2012
    seeing as how “vintage” means about 2012 these days I doubt that’s true
  10. dlew919

    dlew919 Country Gent

    Jul 18, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    I will tell you I don’t like sunburst finishes .
    Then, should you happen to see my small collection, will see I have a 5420t Gretsch in sunburst, a solid body mandolin in sunburst, an epiphone mandolin in sunburst and a banjo resonator in sunburst.

    if you really don’t want your 59 Les Paul burst, I suppose I could grow to tolerate it.
  11. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    That certainly wasn’t the intent of my comment.

    Gove it a moment’s thought; not every guitar made in the ‘50s and ‘60s was great. What happens to guitars as the years go by. My old classical, from 1968, still exists and is still playable, but it is an outlier. It did have a major repair, some decades back, and still exists in great part because it was a good guitar and because I loved the instrument. But there are plenty of guitars that don’t survive, and I suspect that the cream rises to the top, while the less desirable instruments end up being passed along to youngsters in the family that want to try the guitar, or perhaps lie forgotten in some attic, eventually succumbing to the ravages of temperature and humidity changes.

    There’s no doubt in my mind that the ‘59 Bursts included some wonderful instruments. Going back the the CMI era, at Gibson, there were guitars that were astounding. I’ve played old orange-label ES 335s that were incredible. Likewise for ES-175s that were as sweet sounding as anything I’ve ever played. I don’t have any specific memories of playing a ‘59 Burst, but considering the fact that I taught at a store which traded heavily in vintage axes, it wouldn’t surprise me a bit; I got to play an amazing array of guitars in my years there.

    I don’t have any problem with the price of an item being based upon supply and demand. Some of these vintage instruments draw a big price, and that’s fine by me. In the final analysis, supply and demand always wins out. However,in the next breath I have to say that there are some great instruments being produced today, and for a very reasonable, price, it’s possible to get a wonderful guitar made in the recent past.
  12. mr coffee

    mr coffee Country Gent

    Oct 7, 2009
    Doesn't really feel like so many years ago now that TV Yellows were cheap and easy come by because they weren't nearly as collectible as they are ugly.

  13. Waxhead

    Waxhead Country Gent

    Aug 30, 2014
    Are we talking about Gibson Burstbucker pups or sunburst colour finishes or vintage Gibson burst LP models :D

    If we're talking about 1958-60 vintage LPs .... well they're just another over-priced Gibson imo :eek:
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2021
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  14. new6659

    new6659 Country Gent

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  15. NJDevil

    NJDevil Synchromatic

    Jul 9, 2014
    Commack, NY
    "I will never buy a Les Paul!"....I said many times over many years ago. Spoken like a true idiot as one of my biggest influences was/is Dickey Betts. I also thought Telecasters were too "tinny/shrill" sounding many years ago.(own one now also:cool:)

    In the early 2000s I played friends' LPs and hated that they quickly grew on me. Then I took a leap and bought an '05 (I think that is the year) Tokai LS-135 which many have said are the same specs as an R8. I've played 3 different '58 Les Pauls and loved them.....played clean.....majority just the neck pickup. The Tokai is a great guitar and love with the PAF goodness it produces. I like it every bit as much as any R8 I have played but the .58 LPs were really a treat. They equally all felt awesome and the quality of my playing seemed to be better....probably all in my head I know but still.....

    On par with any of the '58 LPs I have played is my '14 LP Traditional with the '59 reissue pickups and is an exceptionally versatile guitar..... with the right amp and settings, they can even pull off P90 goodness better than many P90s (think "Another Brick In The Wall" solo tone). My Edwards LP-92 is quite good also with upgrades that include Lollar P90s. But the '14 Traditional? Blindfolded and then handed it to play for 5 minutes and then play one of the '58s, I'd have to say "I love them both". The difference is the '14 LP Trad. has a thicker neck profile..... .90" thick at 1st fret and 1.00" thick at the 12th. I'm in love with that neck so that may be difference if ever given the blindfolded challenge.

    The funny thing though is I'm not crazy about the Tobacco Burst color.....Honey Burst like my Tokai is much better. Favorite? Those AAA flamed Lemon maple tops on some of the R8s I've seen.

    My Point? None really other than to share my experience with an LP and 2 Japanese clones I now own and love that I swore I'd never get......and the fact I was fortunate enough to play 3 different '58 LPs that really were quite awesome.
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  16. afire

    afire Country Gent

    That's what I say when people here start pooh-poohing vintage Gretsches and say that the new ones are "better". Like them, don't like them, but the new ones are not the same.
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  17. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Firenze, Italy
    I tend to agree with this. They have a completely different feeling. I partially changed my view on relics too for that reason, as some relic work could really give you some of that feeling back (although it’s inducted, not natural). I almost exclusively play my ‘67 Rally in these days for everything because of that feeling..
    Said that, in a Gretsch world where a ‘59 6120 may cost, maybe, 2x a new 6120, this could apply easier than in a Gibson or Fender world where the percentage between vintage and new may be well up to 50x / 100x. I don’t like Les Pauls (besides Juniors) anyway so I can’t tell about Bursts but… yes, they’re sure completely different instruments. But having to pay something 50x to have “that feeling”… I don’t get that either. To me, 90% of the sound it’s still in the fingers and having the vintage counterpart of my 6120 that would cost me, let’ say, 50.000 wouldn’t change my tone so dramatically. Would it feel different? Absolutely. Would it worth the price? To me, hardly.
    Anyway, if you can buy a Burst and you’re happy with it, it’s fine by me and I’m happy with you. I’ve been tempted many times to sell my ‘64 SG Special (that I payed 650 dollars cash + 550 dollars in instrument value in 1999) to buy a vintage Jet that would suit me better in these days. The reason I never did it it’s not for the feeling or the tone but because I wouldn’t never ever be able to buy it back again. And that has a lot to do with the fact that I don’t get it.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2021
  18. amp360

    amp360 Synchromatic

    Oct 21, 2012
    A lot of times when I compare vintage prices I'll look at what a new handmade one will cost vs the old one and go from there. I was looking for an ES-355 a few months ago (I made a thread about it).

    I ended up flying to Texas on points and getting a hotel room, renting a car and buying a fairly rare factory Bigsby/Mono with an old repaired headstock for less than what a new one with a Richlite fretboard hanging in the GC on LBJ Drive down there was selling for. I have a late 60s LPC, again, headstock repair and some changed parts I paid $1800 for two years ago.

    For me, if you can find the old one and can deal with a refinish, repair, etc... a lot of times you end up with something that (IMHO) is a much better guitar, will hold its value much better and costs the same/less than a new one.

    The other thing I do is look for old guitars in unconventional places. I bought my dead mint '57 6120 in an antique shop that sells furniture and paintings. I go to all kinds of places like that and have found tons of cool stuff. I still paid a lot of money for the guitar but it was about 1/2 of what dealers sell them for and it came with the amp, cowboy case, strap, tags, etc....

    Having a new mass produced oversees made budget instrument just doesn't appeal to me. I've gone down the rabbit hole of upgrades and changing parts and all of that and I understand why people enjoy doing that stuff but at the end of the day I always end up selling that stuff and wishing I spent all that time just playing.
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  19. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Country Gent

    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    IMO it's like anything, it is more to do with memories and feelings/emotions then actual parts itself that drive prices of anything vintage up, I don't care what anyone says to that because at the end of the day if there was none of what I said then regardless of how good something was if it wasn't popular at that time then it's worth nothing now regardless of how good the product itself was, popularity doesn't mean the product was actually good either on that note just popular.

    Let's use cars here for an example, is a 1969 Camaro better then a 2021 model? No, it's not and I don't care who wants to argue that with me because as much as I like old cars they are exactly that, old and out dated, but top examples of the 69 sell for more then a new one, why? because it's not about how good it is compared to the new model it's about the person shelling out the sometimes ridiculously huge price tag emotional attachment to that item.

    There are two cars that mean a lot to me, a 1977 Holden Torana hatch back which was my first car and a 1984 Toyota AE86 Corolla which was the car I 'really' learnt to drive in, both cars cost me less then $5000.00 when I owned them back in the day, the Torana's now go for anywhere between $25 000.00 for a rusty complete shell to $750 000.00 for a very rare one that sold at auction recently and the AE86 Corolla now go for anywhere between $25 000.00 to $35 000.00, are they worth that, no not at all but if I had the money I wouldn't hesitate to spend it because the connection I have with those cars make it worth it too me..... not to my wife though as she would be leaving me as soon as she knew I spent that much on cars that she hated when we were first dating lol.

    Gibsons and Les Pauls are not my thing, so 58/59' burst's have no appeal to me to I wouldn't shell out the money for one, I'd buy a less expensive new modern series one if I had to have a LP.
  20. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Firenze, Italy
    Well, I believe that this is what every one of us vintage lovers do every day :). Or, at least it’s what I do. I’m a player, not a collector. I may not know if a guitar is overpriced or not but I sure know how much I could spend for it. I’ve had repaired, refinished, even butchered vintage guitars just because they costed less than a new one in the past, or traded the heck of anything to make a purchase work, so I know what you’re talking about (of course, living in Europe I had much, much less access to bargain deals than i the US, as most of the vintage quality stuff comes from there, besides England), but that’s another story. The reality is that vintage stuff prices skyrocketed in the last two decades (I payed 100 bucks my Custom Kraft that now sell for at list 6 times on the Market, if you can find one… man, there’s ‘60s Supros and Danos that sell for over a thousand today that people begged you to buy for 200 in early ‘90s…) and as long as you don’t have a huge lot of money in your pocket you won’t be able to buy what you’re looking for. In 1999 an old friend who played with me in a Texas blues trio had the chance to buy a ‘65 Strat Sunburst for 3500 dollars from his only owner (an old guitar trader that probably needed money) He missed on it as the sound of his ‘93 JV Sunburst was better to his ears. There’s no way in the world you could find a deal like that in these days, in any place for any instrument, even with all the things that could devalue it. So even if I’d have the money for such a deal today, I’d have to rely on something much, much less expensive.
    This to say that right now the vintage market it’s all based on money. You have it, you buy it. You don’t, you’d have to find another way. And that’s the reason why to me, in these days, is pointless to buy a five, six figure guitar. That money would sure buy me a great guitar but it wouldn’t buy me better skills. :)
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