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Buying a pre-CBS

Discussion in 'Pre-CBS Strats (before 1966)' started by johnso52, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. stratman323

    stratman323 Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 21, 2010
    London, UK
    I don't see it that way. I think I have been convinced to give up on a delusion. I agree with you about the "magic" that some guitars have, but I get that with the old AVRIs & the best of the old Tokais. My No. 1 AVRI comes very very close to the two early 60s Strats I've played - so close that I doubt if I could tell the difference in a blind test.

    The other problem is that so many people apparently get fooled into buying stuff that ends up being nowhere near as "original" as it was claimed to be. I know a bit about old Fenders, but I don't believe that I know enough to guarantee that I won't get conned. I've even heard of people buying guitars from what I thought were respected UK vintage dealers only to find that they turn out to be fakes, or partscasters.

    Too risky for me.
    dogletnoir likes this.

  2. slowesthand

    slowesthand Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 23, 2011
    Buy a pre-CBS Jazzmaster, an early CBS Strat, yes CBS, in spite of what you read on the internet there are good ones available at a good price, and a used current production model. You will have money left from your 13k and 3 great guitars of which you have a good chance of at least 1 or 2 appreciating.
    slowerhand likes this.

  3. StoogeSurfer

    StoogeSurfer Strat-O-Master

    Jan 13, 2010
    I think there are some really special pre-CBS Strats out there. But they are not common, and the only way to know is to play and hear them. Some pre-CBS guitars are frankly only equal to (or worse) a CS or a good AVRI (I had a recent '62 AVRI that was a great guitar, though the pickups were not the best to my ears). So, if the equation is based on playability or overall instrument quality, I don't see an argument for paying 10 times as much for the vintage guitar - unless it's for the desire to own a historic guitar. But that's a real thing too.

  4. Miotch

    Miotch Senior Stratmaster

    Jun 28, 2011
    Good luck. If I had someone else's money to spend, I'd do it, but not my own.

    Lots of good advice here. The value of a guitar is exactly what someone is willing to pay. Now, in the past, or in the future.

    If you are buying it to play, look for magical. If you are buying it for investment, I'd take my sweet time and would probably never pull the trigger.

    Unless it is simply a steal or there is something I can do to increase the value (i.e. working on a house/car to make it right and flip it), I'd stay away. My advice to anyone is to treat it like going to Vegas: Be willing to lose whatever you carry in to the casino.

  5. Nate D

    Nate D Senior Stratmaster

    Apr 2, 2016
    I’m just going to provide some solid advice I was given in terms of investing...

    If you’re going to invest in something, be prepared to hold that investment for 20years.

    For me, I actually think there’s a bubble as the baby boomer generation that pushes guitar to the forefront and who have disposable cash to purchase guitars they played as kids are no longer able to play or own their instruments there’s going to be a surplus of guitars on the market that another generation doesn’t assign the same value to these vintage instruments.

    That’s just my speculation/wishful thinking as I’ll gladly buy two or four vintage guitars at a very discounted price ;)

  6. Mr Dunlop

    Mr Dunlop Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 30, 2014
    Here is what works for me as a gear junkie.

    I always look at guitars as investments but on the quick flip.

    Buy in the here and now not expecting your item to increase in value further down the road. I don’t buy guitars that cannot be sold for a profit in present day. I just simple don’t.
    Nate D likes this.

  7. fezz parka

    fezz parka Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 21, 2011
    I bought my '65 for a good price before the madness and the bubble. It was something I "dreamt" about owning. But my '83 JV Squier is a better guitar. Did everything I could to love the '65, but it always came in second or third.

    So, moral of the story is this:

    Find a guitar you love to play, and play it. Quit dreaming, and just play. :)
    Thrup'ny Bit, Ebidis, Nate D and 2 others like this.

  8. vid1900

    vid1900 Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 25, 2016
    There are less and less of us old farts around lusting for old guitars.

    New guitar sales are down 50%, and acoustics are outselling electrics.

    So in 20 years, adjusted for inflation, your probably going to lose money on that guitar (let alone all the amazing fakes coming out of Vietnam right now, that are fooling everybody).

    Get a Harley Stratocaster in honor of your bike, and invest the rest in Bitcoin.


  9. Bazz Jass

    Bazz Jass Chairman of the Fingerboard Strat-Talk Supporter

    Nov 19, 2014
    Up a lazy river
    Another perspective - I have "classical" friends with violins, cellos who scoff that I ONLY paid $10,000 for my guitar (and that it's ONLY 55 years old) lol!
    Mipstoo and simoncroft like this.

  10. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Beer me up Scotty Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 11, 2015
    Terra Incognito
    Did we perhaps scare OP off?:eek: would love to hear from him as to what he thinks.:)
    simoncroft likes this.

  11. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    That is indeed solid advice.

    I had a financial windfall in 2015 and decided to buy the 335 I couldn't have justified otherwise. I prefer 50's spec necks, (I have 50's spec hands...) so I ended up with a Rusty Anderson 58/59 spec Gibson ES 335. It's number RA 201 out of maybe 350 made, tops. Only 80 were shipped to Europe.

    I paid the equivalent of US $3,900, which is probably about what it's worth today. The reason I bought it was because I wanted to play it! The fact that it will probably hold its value over the years is a considerable bonus, but wasn't my prime motivation. If you wanted to buy it from me today, you'd either have to plead your case with passion, or offer me a guitar I wanted even more. (I no longer have a guitar 'lust list', so good luck with that...)

    But you're right: we don't even know how popular guitar music will be in 20 years time, still less what state the global economy will be in, or how much guitarists of 2038 will value instruments that may have scant relevance to their needs as musicians. ("Yes, but without an Xarbo Port, how am I supposed to interface it to the rest of my Cloud rig...?")

    If I continue to play the guitars I have until I am no longer able, I will consider them to be money well spent, even if they have no real value by then. Should they turn out to have astronomical value by then, well, it will help to pay for a better nursing home. :cool:

    closeup.jpg back.jpg
    Yves, Nate D, crashbelt and 2 others like this.

  12. Mike Stone

    Mike Stone Strat-Talk Member

    Jun 5, 2017
    Lots of wise words here. I'd say get a guitar you love. If you get leftover cash, surprise your wife with an awesome vacation!

    I really recommend the AV '54 Strat if you're interested in fender's vintage reissues. I've had mine for a year and I totally love it. I haven't played any pre-CBS fenders but it's equal to the many custom shop strats I've played.

  13. Nate D

    Nate D Senior Stratmaster

    Apr 2, 2016
    I think you’re exactly spot on here. The guitars and gear I’ve got are the stuff that I love. Tons of people make money doing tons of stuff, but in terms of investments I view that for anything- not just guitars; it could be stock or whatever.

    That being said, I’ll continue to buy the gear I love because it inspires me to play more. If that’s a ‘57 Strat or a ‘59 Les Paul and you’ve got the means then do it- you’ll love it.

    And as @fezz parka said, just play. :)
    simoncroft likes this.

  14. Nate D

    Nate D Senior Stratmaster

    Apr 2, 2016
    I forgot to say how much I love that -335!!! Great guitar. I love ES-335’s!!!

  15. crashbelt

    crashbelt Strat-Talker

    Feb 27, 2012
    Here's the craziest things I got in the recent past - no regrets even if the market tanks again. It's a joy and privilege to have custody of these while I'm around and I'm fortunate enough to be able to take the financial risk.

    And they get gigged - but not in rough pubs:eek:. 20170917_113406.jpg
    Yves and jofish like this.

  16. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985 Strat-Talk Supporter

    Nov 14, 2013
    Not in the rough pubs? You pansy! :p:p:p

    Seriously, beautiful guitars. :thumb:

  17. crashbelt

    crashbelt Strat-Talker

    Feb 27, 2012
    Thanks - guess that was just asking for the pansy jibe:p
    Ebidis likes this.

  18. winemaker

    winemaker Strat-Talker

    Jan 13, 2014
    Tired of the stock market? Yeah, those 20+% returns last year were exhausting!

  19. johnso52

    johnso52 New Member!

    Jan 2, 2018
    Awesome replies. I guess I was thinking the vintage strat market was a little better.

    Someone in the thread asked if I was a skilled guitarist. I recall a post I saw one time on a YouTube video comparing a $3500 CS and a $300 Squier. The question was does the $300 guitar sound just as good as the $3500? One guy said, "Well I know one thing, I can make that $3500 guitar sound just like the $300 one!". So skilled? Meh. Love to play? My heart bleeds for it.

    So I think it's best I play a lot of different ones, find one I love, if it becomes an investment great, if not then I have a great guitar for me. Hearing a lot about the Eric Johnson CS, going to do some research on that one.

    I have a 2006 Standard 3 tone Sunburst (60th Fender Anniversary), its a player, love it. Just wanting to find something to invest in and get my money back if I need to. Sounds like CS or Reissue is the place to start.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
    dogletnoir likes this.

  20. Greg

    Greg Strat-Talker

    Apr 25, 2017
    Atlanta area
    Buy 1 or 2 LP Juniors.......from the 50's.