Should I trade a vintage Fender Coronado for modern Falcon?

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by SDB Guitars, Sep 15, 2020.

Trade vintage Coronado bass for modern Falcon?

  1. Keep the vintage Fender, save for a Falcon

  2. Ditch the Fender for the Falcon reissue

  1. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Electromatic

    Feb 24, 2016
    So, I have a ‘67 Ice Blue Metallic Fender Coronado Bass II that I never play. I’ve had it for a few years and never really bonded with it. But it’s an all original ‘60s Fender in great condition, original case, etc.

    A basically new (demo, ~1 hour of play time) G6136T-59GE Vintage Select 1959 Falcon reissue in vintage white came up for sale locally, and the guy is interested in doing a straight swap for the Coronado Bass.

    I’m torn because, on the one hand, the bass is a relatively rare (though also somewhat obscure) vintage instrument in an even more rare color, but on the other hand, I don’t play it, and initially only bought it with the intent to flip it. I have other basses that I *do* play regularly. I do already have a hollowbody guitar (Epiphone Emperor), but it’s definitely not a Gretsch, and falls *way* short of the quality of a Falcon.

    So, I’d like opinions. Should I make the trade, rare vintage instrument for a modern “very nice, but off-the-rack” Falcon? Or should I hold onto the vintage guitar, sell some other lesser items/save my pennies/etc. and buy a higher end Gretsch sometime down the road?

    Picture of the two guitars in question attached. Thanks in advance.

    Attached Files:

  2. stevo

    stevo Friend of Fred

    May 1, 2012
    Cool older bass, I'm not sure it's value. But for me, a Falcon is more desirable. The bass is cool, but for a bass that I would play, a MIM Fender Jazz or Precision would be my choice.
    SDB Guitars likes this.
  3. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    As much as I like vintage Coronados, it's a bass :) Jokes aside, I'd of traded by now..though you might want some cash on top.
    SDB Guitars likes this.
  4. SDB Guitars

    SDB Guitars Electromatic

    Feb 24, 2016
    Yeah, I picked up the Coronado for an amazingly good price (under $1000), looks like the resale value for these in the past couple of years ranges between $3300-$3800, depending on market fluctuations and overall condition. I have two other basses I use as needed, I'm indecisive mostly because this is a rare instrument, in an even more rare color.

    It looks like the G6136T-GE sells for ~$3800 new, and this one is a "new demo", still has the hang tags, case candy, etc. '67 Coronado Bass IIs tend to run between $3300 and $3800, with this rare color selling for more than, say, the red or sunburst ones. I've just never owned a vintage instrument of any value before, and the arguement my wife is making is that this Coronado is likely to increase in value, and the Falcon is likely to slowly drop off in value.
    BorderRadio and stevo like this.
  5. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Country Gent

    Mar 6, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    A demo model is not worth the price new, and you have a rare color, which is my reasoning for saying cash on top for your bass. If the guy really wants it, he would at least consider it.

    I think about it this way. Is a vintage guitar gonna be able to get played out? Will I always worry about it? If I damage it, will I be ok leaving it or will I spend money getting it repaired? If it becomes a pain and if it never gets played, to me it's a museum piece that someone else can enjoy. I guess I see the short term fun of it, but I also get it's value is stable if not growing over time. Kinda harder to say now....
    Tadhg likes this.
  6. j.s.c

    j.s.c Country Gent

    Aug 19, 2008
    this coronado is too cool to go for something you could find with a handful of bucks ! keep it !
  7. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Firenze, Italy
    An obscure, unwritten rule of the music instruments market says ‘never trade vintage for new’. I know that straight swap it’s easier, but I would hit the market with the Coronado and see what happens. You may be able to have many more options with cash in your hands.
    Unless that Falcon it’s exactly what you’re looking for, or something that you wanted all your life. In that case, I’d say who cares about rules... ;)
  8. JeffreyLeePierre

    JeffreyLeePierre Country Gent

    A bass you don't play.
    Did you play the Falcon? Did you bond with it? If yes, it should be easy to decide, unless you consider instruments as investment. If not, then go and try playing it. I would not buy a Falcon myself only because everybody here say it's a must have. I'd try it to make sure I like it. Or else it might end unplayed.
    BuddyHollywood and SDB Guitars like this.
  9. YouFellowRebels

    YouFellowRebels Gretschie

    Jun 17, 2020
    That’s hard. I’d either sell the bass outright or keep it. It’s a cool bass and being a more desirable rare color you could probably fetch more than average, and that is likely to go up since more of that color can’t magically be made. I think anything pre 1980 is really worth hanging onto at this point for build quality and quality of wood, especially if it’s in good shape.
    MotorCentaur and SDB Guitars like this.
  10. calebaaron666

    calebaaron666 Friend of Fred

    Aug 15, 2018
    Portland, Maine
    If I had something of value that I didn’t use I would consider it to be currency.
    Falcons are king.
    I would trade in a heartbeat. Especially for that particular Falcon.
  11. PDMan

    PDMan Electromatic

    Dec 26, 2016
    Nashville, TN
    Keep the Fender. It will hold it's value much better over time.
    SDB Guitars likes this.
  12. afire

    afire Country Gent

    There's an Olympic White '67 Coronado II on Reverb right now priced at $3195 and open to offers. And a private selling price is usually not likely to match a dealer's asking price. That said, maybe Ice Blue Metallic would be more valuable than Olympic White, but by how much? My sense (based on about five minutes of research) is that this trade offer is in the ballpark of fair. Trading with a dealer is never likely to be 100% even. They're in it to make money, so unless he wants it for his own use, he has to be expecting the trade to be at least a little favorable to him.

    The Coronado may (or may not) go up in value, but today's dollars are today's dollars. I guess my point is that the choice is really between holding on to the Coronado as a speculative investment versus cashing out now and putting the money towards something more utilitarian.

    The only way to be certain you're getting a fair deal and avoid the depreciation of buying new would be to try to sell the Coronado yourself and look for a used Falcon.

    Or take the simpler route and make the trade knowing that it's probably about right. And if you do, follow BorderRadio's advice and ask for cash. The worst that can happen is he declines.
    loudnlousy and SDB Guitars like this.
  13. JC higgy

    JC higgy Gretschified

    Jun 6, 2008
    Belfast Norn Iron
    If it's not being played ,trade it,or sell it,and get something you will play sir.
    Groutsch, new6659, Scott and 2 others like this.
  14. Lockupyourfatdog

    Lockupyourfatdog Synchromatic

    Aug 8, 2016
    Everett wa
    I reluctantly bought a falcon. Eventually I liked it so much I had to get another one. So yeah I’d say ditch the bass!
    JC higgy and calebaaron666 like this.
  15. Pine Apple Slim

    Pine Apple Slim Country Gent

    Dec 14, 2011
    North Alabama
    I have that model Falcon.
    Make the trade.
  16. G5422T

    G5422T Country Gent

    May 24, 2012
    You'll have a Falcon for less than $1k.

    Not a bad deal at all IMO.
    JC higgy, new6659, Stefan87 and 3 others like this.
  17. gtttrrr

    gtttrrr Country Gent

    Dec 7, 2011
    United States
    You may have come to the wrong place asking if you should trade a Fender for a Gretsch :) !
  18. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    Sandy Eggo
    My dad was in the finishing dept and set up dept in 67', probably had his hands on this very guitar. He built one for himself when we was there, its what I learned to play on and those deArmond pickups are special (The blacktops more so). You have a nice piece of Southern California Rock n Roll history that existed for a moment in time... the gretsch guitars like that are plentiful.
  19. BuddyHollywood

    BuddyHollywood Gretschie

    Sep 11, 2009
    Venice, CA
    If the Coronado were a guitar it would be a harder decision but it's a bass. While bass players seem to be more open minded overall with brands and designs the one thing I know to be true is that the best bass tones that people gravitate towards come from Fender Precisions, Fender Jazz basses and Rickenbacker 4001 or 4003s. While your wife may be right I see a trend that in the future vintage guitars will revert back to a niche market and your Coronado will have fewer people interested in buying it as time goes on, especially if they increase in value. From my perspective the main factor to consider is that right now you say you hardly ever play it. Maybe this bass will bring someone else immense joy. The Falcon may bring you immense joy. Who knows? From the tone of your post I say consider making the trade.
    Scott, YouFellowRebels and G5422T like this.
  20. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Country Gent

    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    If it was me I'd weigh a few things up, I tend to thing very salesmany with some things so my thoughts on the Bass is 'you got it for a great price, it's made some money now and could potentially go up more in the future being rare' so my thoughts would be that it'd be worth hanging on to for an investment.

    The modern white Falcon is not rare, can be bought anytime new or used, and if you have the capacity to just put some money aside over time and buy one in a year or so or what ever then I probably would hang on to the bass and save for a Falcon if your not in any mad rush for one.

    So that is what I would lean towards but if your financial position isn't where you could put money aside or where you couldn't justify money on a new guitar etc and the bass just sits there, then yeah I would make the trade as long as it's fair on both sides and your not loosing out, that's only if you have played the Falcon and like it because it would not be good if you made the trade and then didn't bond with the falcon because once your bass is gone it's gone and not coming back and there goes your possible investment opportunity.
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