Is a vintage Hardtail a bad investment?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Parksie, Oct 13, 2021.

  1. slowesthand

    slowesthand Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,266
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2011
    Location:
    NY
    Considering most new Mexican Fender models sell for 1K+ new the days of under 2K early 70s Strats are long gone.
     
  2. dreamingstrat

    dreamingstrat Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    488
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I think 70’s have been more consistent pricing than earlier year models. This is just what Ive noticed. Of course there’s been a recent price increase year after year, but they stayed within 2-3k range more or less.

    i was eyeing a 74 Tele for around 3.5k Aud back 2017 and ive seen teles in same era for not much more nowadays.

    the 74 tele I was looking at was heavier than a boat anchor though. Ahahahah
     
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  3. ido1957

    ido1957 Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,994
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2014
    Location:
    Canada
    My 78 is heavy as heck. Sounds like the early 70's were a lot lighter.
     
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  4. Parksie

    Parksie Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    426
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2020
    Location:
    Sydney
    Agree - very sharp!
     
    Erik_C and abnormaltoy like this.
  5. Parksie

    Parksie Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    426
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2020
    Location:
    Sydney

    I’ll check the weight and try and post more pics
     
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  6. archetype

    archetype Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

    Messages:
    3,348
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2016
    Location:
    Western NY, USA
    - Those hardtails are not light by default. It's the same highly-variable wood as any Strat. My ash '76 hardtail was an anvil.
    - They don't sound like a Strat and Tele combined. They sound like a Strat.
    - Guitars are not investments.
    - Hardtails can be a slower sell. I dig them. Many players just see them as a Strat that's broken.
    - If you like it, buy it, but be sure to give it a good in-person playing, first. That, or rely on a liberal return policy.
    - People occasionally get a good '70s Strat, but my '76 hardtail was the worst guitar I've owned. Really.
     
  7. wjsb316

    wjsb316 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    36
    Messages:
    305
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2019
    Location:
    Indiana
    I mean, it's bad In the sense that the guitar is probably shifty

    But vintage instruments are vintage instruments. Someone will likely pay a ton for it in the simi distant future

    Just wait til 90s strats become hot tickets...
     
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  8. PCollen

    PCollen Senior Stratmaster Silver Member

    Messages:
    3,125
    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    "Ive heard the hardtails are light and sound like a strat and a tele combined." Can't bank on either of those claims. The lack of the trem and springs weight is probably balanced out by not having wood removed for the trem cavity . It has STRAT pickups, not Tele, and you can't get the neck and bridge combo, so how can it sound like a strat and tele combined ? And hard to sell ? You could sell that in a minute if it's priced right so be careful what YOU pay for it. But if you are already worried about selling it, maybe you shouldn't buy it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
  9. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    121
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Location:
    RI
    This^

    I had a 74 Strat that was such a POS I gave it away. Bought it new kept it till about 79. Neck wobbled in pocket, nut and tuners were junk pickups were dead. Gave it to a co workers son who was just learning to play along with my Silvertone tube head /cabinet. Coupled with the awful QC from Fender CBS and my meager at the time set up skills it was a disaster.

    The 76 is fabulous.

    They are truly hit or miss, no way I buy a CBS era Fender without a extensive test drive. My set up skills now could probably make that 74 stable and playable but it was truly junk.
     
    abnormaltoy and Parksie like this.
  10. Censport

    Censport Strat-Talker Platinum Supporting Member

    Age:
    54
    Messages:
    157
    Joined:
    May 4, 2020
    Location:
    Nashville/東京
    Mmmm... I've always liked the candy apple red & rosewood combination. Only had one in that scheme though, a second-generation Malmsteen.

    Anyway, back when 70s Strat were $500 all day long, I had a bunch of them. From '72 (avatar pic) to '79. All were tremolo guitars, as hardtails rarely popped up in my area. As others have noted, build quality was wildly inconsistent. So were neck shapes. Thick U, thin C, even had one with a distinct 50s V profile. Don't have any of them now, but would like to have the '72 back for sentimental reasons.

    Finally have a hardtail, a Robert Cray with a Warmoth neck. Playing it right now, in fact. Love it.

    The main advantages to hardtails over floating tremolos are ease of setup and tuning stability. I thought they would consistently have better sustain, but now I suspect that may depend on the body wood.

    Even though most players don't use their tremolos much anymore, hardtails are only desired by a minority of players. So unless an influential player makes 70s hardtails popular, your potential buyer pool will be significantly smaller. Personally, I like them now, and my future Strat builds will be hardtails.

    But the main thing affecting prices of individual 70s Strats is build quality. A hardtail that is well built and a great player should be more valuable than a sloppy tremolo guitar.

    If it's a good one, buy it and play it. You won't have any regrets.
     
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  11. Parksie

    Parksie Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    426
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2020
    Location:
    Sydney
    Looooonnnnngggggggone.........!!!

    :D
     
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  12. Parksie

    Parksie Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    426
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2020
    Location:
    Sydney
    The asking price is around 6K USD.

    What do you think?
     
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  13. abnormaltoy

    abnormaltoy Mouth draggin' knuckle breather

    Messages:
    21,661
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2013
    Location:
    Tucson
    I suggest that if you don't know whether or not something is a good investment or not...don't invest in it.

    If you like the guitar, buy it as a guitar...then if you ever sell it, you've enjoyed it, which is priceless.
     
    Stratbats, dirocyn, hrstrat57 and 2 others like this.
  14. Neil.C

    Neil.C Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,837
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    Location:
    Surrey, England
    Wise words.
     
    abnormaltoy likes this.
  15. slowesthand

    slowesthand Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,266
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2011
    Location:
    NY
    I may not be current, but even with the way prices have risen I would think that is a bit high for a hardtail.
     
    Doug B likes this.
  16. tubedude

    tubedude Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    277
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2015
    Location:
    Golfcity, Ga
    True, but it's not a '60's Strat, and it's missing the trem. It might not increase in value like more desirable Strats.
     
  17. Riderock

    Riderock Strat-Talk Member

    Messages:
    76
    Joined:
    May 27, 2020
    Location:
    Ontario
    For $6000 I would rather spend it on a very nice Custom Shop Strat that has the specs I prefer . Or maybe better yet , a used Custom Shop would surely at least hold it's value.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021 at 9:46 AM
  18. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985

    Age:
    55
    Messages:
    22,486
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    Location:
    Alabama
    I don't know what the Australian market is like, but that is very high (like 100-150% above average) for the US market.
     
  19. dirocyn

    dirocyn Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,292
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2018
    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    Guitars make lousy investments. It's a gamble on the market rising faster than inflation. It might; it has for the pre-CBS ones. But it's just like buying any other collectible--baseball cards, comic books, etc. You really don't know what the future prices will be, and you have to keep it in good shape to be able to sell it for a profit.

    I don't buy guitars that I intend to sell.
     
  20. stratocarlster

    stratocarlster Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,812
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Location:
    Telephone Road
    You don't want to know...
     
    Parksie and Ebidis like this.