Are Vintage Guitars Worth It? (Pros & Cons)

While an antique is defined as an object that has been around for more than 100 years, there is no formal definition of what constitutes a vintage item. However, guitars that are at least 30 years old often fit under this category, and even younger instruments are sometimes branded as such by vendors.

Is A Vintage Guitar Worth Buying For You?

If you’re buying a vintage guitar because you think it’s better, it probably is not. Most new guitars are built better than almost any guitar that is 30 to 40 years old. As for buying a vintage guitar for the purpose of its value rising, that could be considered. there are still guitars out there that sell for more and more every year.

Why Are/Aren’t Vintage Guitars Worth It?

There are two answers to the question. Let’s start with the reasons why vintage guitars are worth it.

According to different users’ reviews. The sound and tone of a guitar improve with the passage of time. Besides this, a lot of the time the wood used in vintage guitars is more expensive than in new guitars, such as the renowned Brazilian Rosewood. It makes the guitar lighter and stiffer.

It is worth mentioning some vintage guitars that were made in the 1940s and ’50s, were famous for their specific sounds. Some guitars that were made even earlier like some pre-war Martin guitars still possess their value. Vintage guitars like a Guild Starfire or Fender Stratocasters also still retain their value.

But according to some different review websites, vintage guitars are worth nothing because they are outdated. Old vintage guitars are either homemade or manufactured in old workshops. While modern guitars are manufactured in modern factories equipped with up-to-date technology. Besides this, the hardware is fragile, less ideal, and prone to damage. Another issue with vintage guitars is that the parts are difficult to replace. As old parts are not available nowadays.

At What Age Is A Guitar Considered Vintage?

As mentioned earlier, there isn’t a specific definition of when something is “vintage” but any guitar that is 30+ years old could be considered that.

But when we take this definition: “the time that something of quality was produced.” we’ll get a different answer. Because of the rising popularity of the guitar in the early 1970s, a lot of guitar manufacturers started mass producing guitars using CNC routers, and machines. Before that, these guitars were handmade in small workshops. The 59 Les Paul which is made in the early ’60s is an example of a vintage guitar that can still be valuable because it was handmade.

After a while, in the 1980s the public realized that the quality of guitars being sold has declined a lot. So, eventually, people demanded better quality and weren’t buying mass-produced guitars anymore. Causing producers to improve processes and return to the original quality of guitars made before the 70s.

Pro’s of Vintage Guitars

  • Vintage Guitars are less in number, according to the law of demand it will give you more profit if you invest in vintage guitars. As the rates increase with time, its value will also increase. Vintage guitars are now considered collectibles.
  • Vintage guitars that are made before the 70s are simple, handmade but stylish. Fine craftsmanship & attention to detail is always a big property of these vintage guitars.
  • The sound and tone are unique.
  • Most of the vintage guitars are made of quality wood. Which is very expensive.
  • The aged tone of vintage guitars attracts everyone.

Con’s of Vintage Guitars

  • Buying a vintage guitar will cost you more as compared to buying a modern guitar.
  • Most original parts are not being manufactured anymore so its very hard to find spare parts and repair a guitar to its original state.
  • No modern tone or sound is available. Neither you can play a modern tone with it.
  • Due to dirt, dust, and oxidation, the sound, as well as the outer look is affected.
  • Vintage guitars are more prone to damage.

Are Vintage Guitars Going Up in Value?

If you have an understanding of the musical instrument market. A vintage guitar is really worth it. Due to limited availability, the prices are going higher and higher. Although more advanced and up-to-date guitars are available on the market, there is still a demand for vintage guitars and people are spending thousands of dollars buying them. That is the reason the price of vintage guitars will probably go up in the future also. The reasons behind the value increase are:

  • These guitars are not manufactured anymore
  • Best and aged sound quality
  • Expensive material used in the production like Brazilian Rosewood 
  • Different types of production methods are used such as handmade guitars etc.

Conclusion

Discussing vintage guitars took us seven decades back. The music industry is developed so far. Updated instruments are available everywhere at a low and affordable cost.

Still, people are interested in vintage guitars. Do you know, what the reason is behind this?  The main reason is that vintage guitars get more scarce every year as they are not getting manufactured anymore and some of these guitars are really unique and don’t compare to new guitars.

Also, people still want to hear the aged tone to remind their memories. Once they were kids and their parents or grandparents were playing guitars.

In short, vintage guitars are worth it. As people are still interested in vintage guitars and pay thousands of dollars to buy them.