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