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Discussion Starter #1
There seems to be a broadly-dispersed misperception on Kijiji that anything not made within the last 6 months or debuted at the most recent NAMM is somehow "vintage"

Proper use of the term "vintage" alludes to wine from a particular crop of grapes of noticeably high quality or uniqueness, as in "that was a particularly good vintage". One does not apply the term "vintage" to any old wine sitting around in the basement or back of the store for the last 10 years or more.

If there was an amp or guitar or pickup or pedal or even software plug-in, that was made during a particular period by a particular manufacturer, and is either of high quality that has been hard to replicate, or has unique qualities that have not since appeared commerically, then it is legitimate to label it as vintage. But a 20W solid-state Fender Sidekick amp that is older than the teenage kid you originally bought it for is NOT "vintage". It's just old, and perhaps in better condition than you'd think for its age.

It is sufficient to say that a given guitar is from this or that period, or this or that model. Those who are in search of whatever might be unique about it (and that could even be colour or post-manufacture modifications) will be pleased to know those details. But calling something "vintage" that isn't does a disservice to those products that really were head and shoulders above their contemporaries for good reason.
 

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Vintage is just market-speak now. Used by people who want to trade on the perceived value assigned to something that is actually vintage. As you say, the overuse / misuse of the term has made it all but useless now, IMO.

Kinda like the term 'virtually' in advertising. If people knew what 'virtually' actually meant, they really wouldn't want 'virtually spot free dishes' or 'virtually glare-free glasses'.
 

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Well, no doubt "Vintage" is badly used. I have not a clear definition for it. In my mind it refers to an old thing clearly referring to a particular period. Gibson LG-0 built from 1955 to 1967 without any modification would qualify as Vintage as Martin D28 1965 to say something. In my mind, it could apply to real hand made fine Gibsons, Martin and even Guild acoustics built before the seventies industrialization, provided it was not modified in any way except customized at the shop. And finally, vintage could stand besides collector's, but again, in my mind, collector's would be mint or near mint while vintage could be a player, still playable.
Does it sound honest or correct ?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I prefer the term "rare".
That's a legitimate term to use in ads. Although it assumes that the person using it has some reasonable knowledge of the actual rarity. The fact that one hasn't personally seen many similar items does not necessarily make it rare. It can be the case that many thousands of a particular item were produced, but there was no local distributor in your region. One could say "Hard to find around here", but the item is not rare in the sense of, say, a late 1950's Gibson Explorer or Trainwreck amplifier.
 

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That's a legitimate term to use in ads. Although it assumes that the person using it has some reasonable knowledge of the actual rarity. The fact that one hasn't personally seen many similar items does not necessarily make it rare. It can be the case that many thousands of a particular item were produced, but there was no local distributor in your region. One could say "Hard to find around here", but the item is not rare in the sense of, say, a late 1950's Gibson Explorer or Trainwreck amplifier.
Sorry. I should have used the appropriate smiley thingy to show I was being sarcastic but I was being lazy and couldn't be bothered. For the record (and in the spirit of your original post) I couldn't agree more. I was wrongfully motivated by the plethora of Kijji'ers that don't have a clue what either term really means. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I agree. If they had been popular they would have made more. Although that wouldn't necessarily apply to Prewar Martins.
Yes and no. For instance, Rickenbacker is known for coming down hard with cease-and-desist orders on any attempts at unlicensed cloning/repros. Some Asian companies have issued fake Ricks in past, and Rickenbacker put the kybosh on them quickly. As such, even though those manufacturers were hoping to produce lots and lots of copies, piggybacking on the normally high price and good reputation of Rickenbackers, there ended up not being very many copies in actual circulation. Again, we're not talking Trainwreck, Dumble, or White Penguin numbers, but much harder to find than Samick or Yamaha superstrats or Epiphone Les Pauls, because dealers were prohibitted from carrying them. As such, I would consider it fair for someone advertising a Jay Turser Rick 4001 bass copy to call it "rare". And if Rickenbacker wouldn't have sicked their legal team on Turser, there would have been plenty of them sold.

Sometimes, things are rare despite there being ample market, ready and willing to pony up. Another case in point would be any of the boutique pedalmakers who reproduce a long-out-of-production pedal with NOS components that haven't been made in 40+ years and have to be obtained a small handful at a time from here or there. In those instances, the bottleneck is not lawyers or a willing market, but inventory. Again, I have no quarrel with those sorts of things being described as "rare". I'm sure Gibson had plenty of supplies in stock to make the original RD Artist or Marauder or S1, but not enough people wanted them, so they stopped production. That's different than wanting to produce but not having any parts left in the parts bin.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
try explaining the improper use of any of those terms to someone with them in their ad, and see how it goes.
Obviously, it wouldn't go well. Which is why one hopes to prevent such abuses of language before they fester, by complaining about it here.
 
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