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Old 04-10-2013, 08:59 PM   #1
MissingSomethin
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Help me find my first collectible investment guitar! (advice, 4sale, etc)

I am thinking about expanding into buying some "serious" investment grade guitars. To get my feet wet, as a first purchase, I am thinking anything from $3000-$25,000. This is money I can afford to tie up and even lose. I don't need to make an immediate return. I might even just play the thing and gig with it. Life is short.

I am not looking to discover tomorrow's winner. I want to collect the elite vintage guitars today (and gig the crap out of it while I own it) But, I prefer to research deeply before I bite. When I buy, I know I have captured value. I want iconic and recognizable. Dumble amp is too niche.

Anyone have any entry level reading I can do? (Dos, don'ts, etc.) Some good guitar investing guides or articles? Or forum links? Any general or specific information would be appreciated.

If we have some collectors here, as an ongoing topic, and a learning exercise, maybe we can post specific guitars for sale and discuss them. This will help to understand what a savvy buyer looks for.

As for general conversation, how has the collector guitar market fared since the 2008 recession? Is this a good time to get into the game? Or a bad one? Have certain models dropped in value? Have others gone even higher? Are there certain segments you'd focus on? Good deals these days? Or priced too high, since everyone's getting in on the action? Supply vs. demand? Which one wins these days?

PART 2:

How has the collector guitar market fared since the 2008 recession? I have seen a few posts saying the market is soft. But how soft? In your opinion, what are the best deals out there due to the soft market? Stuff at prices you thought you'd never see again. What prices still crazy? Have certain models dropped in value more than others?

Anyone have any specific examples? Like, can anyone give an idea of the price action in vintage guitars over the last 20 years? Like a 1960 Strat. What did they go for in 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, and today? I wish I had a stock graph, just to see how it's bounced around in the last decade
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:05 PM   #2
Tom 1.0
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I wouldnt bother.

For a "real" investment with any realistic return you are looking at +$50k and even then, chances are you will only ever break even 5 or 10 years down the line.

You dont just stumble upon 52-60 Les Pauls for a few thousand any more.

Personally I think the value of any of the big money guitars is incredible/ridiculous.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:06 PM   #3
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I really would not suggest collecting guitars for financial gain. You will wait a long time to get a good return on your investment.

Now if you can get some good deals on a guitar and think you can flip it quickly for a profit, I say give it a try. But this is different than collecting guitars for profit in the future.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:10 PM   #4
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It's not purely for investment. Maybe another way to think of it is this: I have $3000-$10000 that I feel like blowing on a nice present to myself. Are there any great deals on certain guitars due to the recession? I love a great deal. I don't mind tying up a small amount in a guitar, and if I can get most of my money back in the future, that's fine.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:11 PM   #5
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You'd be better off putting those Federal Reserve Notes in physically held gold. America is the modern day Wiemar Republic. The so-called 'dollar' (not really though) is devalued on a daily basis. The parasites are sucking the last of the wealth from America. When the SHTF and the economy finally collapses that gold with be worth more than wheelbarrows full of FRNs. You might even be able to buy a large ranch in a safe part of the country with that $10,000 in gold at some point in the future.

Or you might consider 'junk silver.' Research it if you don't know what I'm talking about.

Regardless, always hold precious metals. Never ever let it be held in trust by some third party.

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Old 04-10-2013, 09:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissingSomethin
It's not purely for investment. Maybe another way to think of it is this: I have $3000-$10000 that I feel like blowing on a nice present to myself. Are there any great deals on certain guitars due to the recession? I love a great deal. I don't mind tying up a small amount in a guitar, and if I can get most of my money back in the future, that's fine.


Have a look at the CC# Gibson Custom Historic runs then.

Or a Kossof 59 Reissue.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:15 PM   #7
MissingSomethin
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I already have 20% of my portfolio in gold. Part of why I want to buy a guitar is what you talk about. Transition into hard assets. I also like that I can gig with my investment. (Yes, I will use it, not store it. It's a guitar, not a vase) I would eventually like to have $50,000 in collectible instruments. So, any ideas for starter guitar investments? I need value.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:17 PM   #8
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I think if money suddenly devalues that badly... a 59 Les Paul will be worth less than a bottle of radiation free water.


in all seriousness:

your check list should be the following:

Gibson Custom Shop Historic Re-issue.
Brazilian Rosewood.
Tom Murphy Aging/Relic job.
Limited Run.
Pre 60 Les Paul or 68/69 Les Paul.

If it ticks more than 3 of those, it should hold value pretty well if not appreciate very slightly.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:18 PM   #9
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You can do just fine no matter what ANYONE says here by investing in guitars. I do it quite often and as long as you buy right, you can MOST DEFINITELY consider them to be good investments.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:19 PM   #10
MissingSomethin
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Inflation, not deflation. I don't need portfolio advice, but can we focus on ideas on how to start collecting guitars, and links to guitars for sale?

Engage, I agree that it's ALL about buying right. That's why I said I want value, without resorting to 4th tier junk that will crash first during a bubble consolidation. I'd like to hear more on this subject. Do you have any links or resources? Where do I start if I want to explore the $3k-$10k market?
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engage757
You can do just fine no matter what ANYONE says here by investing in guitars. I do it quite often and as long as you buy right, you can MOST DEFINITELY consider them to be good investments.



buying them and selling them 3 weeks later for 20% more is hardly "investing" in the traditional sense and your $20k Black Machine sale hardly went well did it?
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:20 PM   #12
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Look for certain rare Ibanez guitars, 70's Norlin-era Les Pauls are down right now, but they will come back soon, they always do. $5-6 grand will buy you a LOT of Fender right now, but you may have a hard time finding anything pre-CBS, which is where the real money is.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:21 PM   #13
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The only guitars that I can think of off hand would be the PRS Private Stock, PRS Dragon, EBMM Ball Reserve. But even with those unless you can find a good deal used, you will be very hard pressed to make a lot of profit in 10-20 yrs.

The guitars that are worth a lot of money now were just the run of the mill guitars back then. No one was thinking about saving 1959 LP standard for profit in 2013. They just happened to be worth money now
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom 1.0
buying them and selling them 3 weeks later for 20% is hardly "investing" in the traditional sense and your $20k Black Machine sale hardly went well did it?



You really don't know anything about the ones I keep. At all. I keep First year J. Customs, Gold J Customs and Paint J. Customs. 20th Anniversary JEM. 79 Silverburst LPC. VIntage Ric and fender basses.

But thanks. And for the record, I got exactly what I wanted out of that BM, and drove the market value up MUCH higher. so, if you are a BM owner, you're welcome.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:25 PM   #15
MissingSomethin
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Rob, correct, it's hard to forecast what 2013 guitars will be collectible in the future. I'm not playing that game at all. I am looking to invest in established vintage guitars, not new custom shop guitars for $3k-$10k.

Are there better vintage deals to be had in the $15k to $25k market? More established iconic vintage standards that are not going away anytime soon?

What is the single best investment segment under $50k ?
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbgnarly
The only guitars that I can think of off hand would be the PRS Private Stock, PRS Dragon, EBMM Ball Reserve. But even with those unless you can find a good deal used, you will be very hard pressed to make a lot of profit in 10-20 yrs.

The guitars that are worth a lot of money now were just the run of the mill guitars back then. No one was thinking about saving 1959 LP standard for profit in 2013. They just happened to be worth money now



I would stay away from ALL of those. PS are hard to sell and there are a ton of them. BFR's CONSTANTLY drop in price. My buddy ROb owns 1 of the first 2 PRS Dragons ever made and it held it's value so far, but hasn't gone up much.

OLD school PRSi seem to hold their value much better. pre-factory 80's PRSi seems to do well.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:29 PM   #17
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I'm the only person on SS who had played a load and doesnt like them

Dragons are worth a shout, but I know of a store who owned a double necked one, paid 17.5k at trade... Its retail is 33k. It probably wont ever be worth over 75k and thats looking at seriously long term...

Though I am sure every body who does want one or builds copies really appreciates your efforts.

I wish I had kept my first run J Custom, but it bought me a car, so no loss there I guess.

I think the only issue with the "investment" market now is there are about 10-20 guitars specifically that will only ever continue to appreciate in the collectors market ( note collectors arent always players ) and they are now priced insanely high so you need to pay alot of money to get in with that crowd.

Stuff like BMs and J Customs are already silly money now and I really dont think in 15-20 years they will compete with the "classics" for decent residual values, they will still be pricey, but not in the hundreds of thousands.

I mean for a good 59 burst they seem to be at the 300k mark now. They arent ever going to come much below 200 unless they find a shit load of them in a container some where... which wont happen.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissingSomethin
Rob, correct, it's hard to forecast what 2013 guitars will be collectible in the future. I'm not playing that game at all. I am looking to invest in established vintage guitars, not new custom shop guitars for $3k-$10k.

Are there better vintage deals to be had in the $15k to $25k market? More established iconic vintage standards that are not going away anytime soon?

What is the single best investment segment under $50k ?



under 50k? DAMN. 50's all original Fender stratocaster. No if, ands, or buts. Can be had for under 15k easily. I know where some are online right now actually.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:30 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by MissingSomethin
Inflation, not deflation. I don't need portfolio advice, but can we focus on ideas on how to start collecting guitars, and links to guitars for sale?
I would scour Craigslist and similar sites coast to coast for those infrequent, but real gems, that are offered occasionally on such forums. Also look into estate sales where there are guitars listed in the estate. Check out your local paper and other media for ads on estate sales in your area.

Don't think you're going to find any real values or jewels in mainline retail stores or the usual outlets. You are going to have to get creative in finding them. Unless you want to pay retail and hope they appreciate in value. Maybe that's what you're asking?

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Old 04-10-2013, 09:31 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Tom 1.0
Stuff like BMs and J Customs are already silly money now and I really dont think in 15-20 years they will compete with the "classics" for decent residual values, they will still be pricey, but not in the hundreds of thousands.

I mean for a good 59 burst they seem to be at the 300k mark now. They arent ever going to come much below 200 unless they find a shit load of them in a container some where... which wont happen.



they are asking that money, but no one is buying really. :/

I do agree though. BMs are NOT going to be worth stupid money in ten years in my opinion. J. Customs on the other hand, special Ibbys will. Solid market and a good following. Ibby isn't disappearing anytime soon.
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