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For Amercian gear, I'd agree with the 1950-60s definition. Take Epiphone for example, you have the Before Gibson and the Kalamazoo era Epiphones. From 1970 on, they were made in Japan, then sometime after 1985, they were made in Korea. The pre Gibson and Kalamzoo Epis are Vintage. The Japanese are not, unless you throw them in with other Japanese makers like Tokai, Greco, Burny, etc. Anything made before 1985 is considered vintage in terms of Japanese guitars, the law suit guitars for example.

I have a 70s Epi Riviera. Definitely not vintage by Amercian definition, but is it by the Japanese one?? Just a thought.

Fender Amps is another example. Anything built before the CBS era, But then they did continue to build the black face amps until 1967 unchanged. So anything from the 1968 silver face era on is not vintage in my eyes. Though I've heard that the Rivera era amps are killers (82-86?), but that's another topic.
 
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I would say vintage covers all nations. After all, the most sought after stringed instruments are actually European and are hundreds of years old, and they actually get played. This is different from the guitar market where alot of them sit in a display case. Also the American guitar market has given us alot of crap over the years in the golden era. Harmony, Kay, Silvertone, Danelectro, etc. I cringe when I see some of these things. Even more than when I see 70s Gibsons like the Corvus, RD, and Maurauder among others...............
 

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1959burst said:
let me rephrase that, golden age of quality american instruments gibson,fender,martin,ric,etc etc etc
But Ric isn't an American instrument, is it?? Neither is Vox or Marshall. :confused:
 

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Ric's are American. Always have been, still are.

I think vintage is generally 20 or so years old. That's the general rule for autos as well.

As for bass - 70's seems to be the magical "vintage" decade right now. Fenders up to 1973 or so. Early CBS Fenders were of excellent quality, some say better than the last few years of American Fender. Rics from the 70's, and any other decent brand name from the 60's to late 70's.
There are some sought after Ibanez basses as well, considered vintage. 1970's lawsuit basses, while not fetching a fortune, are sought after. As well, early to mid 80's Ibanez Musician basses are just phenomal basses, probably the best they've ever built.
 

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I still think the best Ibanez bass ever was the Roadster series from the late 70s..........
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Would my guitar be considered Vintage???

Epiphone Riviera, MIJ, circa 1978. It still has the sticker inside - Epiphone, Division of Gibson Inc. Kalamazoo, Michigan.

http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=3613454

I know that Gibson had these guitars made in Japan, where they later made the Orvilles and Orville by Gibson for the Japanese Market and the the current Elitist line.
 

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At 30 years do these qualify?





For myself, age is only a factor when the instrument can no longer be played, then it becomes a collectible made entirely of "unobtainium":zzz:
 

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I don't think that you can apply a straight age number for vintage to instruments. It is really a period of manufacture, whatever the time. PRS guitars when they were still handmade by Smith are now considered vintage by many. Just because it has obtained a certain age doesn't mean anything. I have a 23 year old Les Paul Studio that wouldn't be considered vintage. It is not indicative of anything special or desirable about Gibson from that time.

However if your selling on E-bay then the vintage tag is applied whenever you want way more than the instrument is worth. :)
 

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GuitarsCanada said:
I think you have summed it up pretty well here. I would agree with what you are saying. As time goes on "vintage" will change. I am also a fan of the early MIJ guitars. Love them.

I love the early MIJ strats, they approach custom shop quality...
 

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Robert1950 said:
For Amercian gear, I'd agree with the 1950-60s definition. Take Epiphone for example, you have the Before Gibson and the Kalamazoo era Epiphones. From 1970 on, they were made in Japan, then sometime after 1985, they were made in Korea. The pre Gibson and Kalamzoo Epis are Vintage. The Japanese are not, unless you throw them in with other Japanese makers like Tokai, Greco, Burny, etc. Anything made before 1985 is considered vintage in terms of Japanese guitars, the law suit guitars for example.

I have a 70s Epi Riviera. Definitely not vintage by Amercian definition, but is it by the Japanese one?? Just a thought.

Fender Amps is another example. Anything built before the CBS era, But then they did continue to build the black face amps until 1967 unchanged. So anything from the 1968 silver face era on is not vintage in my eyes. Though I've heard that the Rivera era amps are killers (82-86?), but that's another topic.
The first few years under CBS the amps didn't change drastically. The first silverfaces were just a change basically in grille cloth. After the stock ran down the changes started to come on. Same with there guitars until the early seventies other than logos not much change, woods the same.
 

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I think the term vintage as applied to guitars tends more to apply to changes in the line.
Re the Epi Riviera, being a MIJ Epi makes it more desireable, therefore vintage probably applies. If they were still MIJ, '78 probably wouldn't be.

Gibson seems a bit easier to figure out, based on LPs.
52-60 LPs (before the body change), vintage
68-69 original body comes back, but before the Norlin changes, more desireable
Other Gibson stuff: PAF pickup models, pre-65 Brazilian fretboard models
Also, Kalamazoo manufacturing may some day become important.
Even though 70's LP aren't considered vintage, my '74 LP Custom is the first year of white, made in Kalamazoo, and the last year of mahogany necks (in that era). 32 years old, but not "vintage".

I think there are many factors that determine a vintage guitar.
 

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dwagar said:
Gibson seems a bit easier to figure out, based on LPs.
52-60 LPs (before the body change), vintage
68-69 original body comes back, but before the Norlin changes, more desireable
Other Gibson stuff: PAF pickup models, pre-65 Brazilian fretboard models
Also, Kalamazoo manufacturing may some day become important.
Even though 70's LP aren't considered vintage, my '74 LP Custom is the first year of white, made in Kalamazoo, and the last year of mahogany necks (in that era). 32 years old, but not "vintage".

I think there are many factors that determine a vintage guitar.
In the case of the '69 Les Paul Deluxe, they are not vintage, or at least they were'nt until the '69 Deluxe was reissued in 2001. Especially since the reissue is not entirely accurate to the '69 specs. Many people now consider the pre-maple neck Deluxes and Customs as a second vintage.
 

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yeah, the 68s went through the roof, and the 69s are following one step behind.
 

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Vintage MIJ

I own a few guitars that I consider to be vintage Japanese; a 1974 Greco Goldtop Les Paul copy with the correct "lawsuit" headstock in near mint condition. It is a bolt neck and is a very smooth player. It is very well made, the only non-original part are the Spretzel tuners. I agree with the person that commented on the Ibanez Roadster series. I have a 1979 Roadster guitar, 3 single coils, hardtail, flamed maple on mahogany, all maple neck with Ibanez design locking tuners, fun guitar to play. Also, I have an Onyx neck thru guitar, maple and ? neck with ash sides in see through black. Stock with coil splitters, brass nut and saddles, near mint condition. It was made at the Matsumoko plant and is similar to the Ibanez Musician and top line Westbury. If anyone has info on this guitar please share it. All of the guitars have the original cases. Someday I hope to add a Burny, Greco or Orville SG. Trades anyone? Regards..
 
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