Which do you prefer: Modern or Vintage guitars?

Discussion in 'Other Guitar Discussion' started by Aqueix, Oct 19, 2021.

What is better

  1. Contemporary

    22 vote(s)
    17.2%
  2. Classic

    31 vote(s)
    24.2%
  3. Don't care, tone and playability decides for me

    75 vote(s)
    58.6%
  1. Tidd

    Tidd Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    57
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    Trenton NJ


    I was always a vintage spec guy, till I picked up a mid 90's 'Strat Special' (I think that's what it's called). It's MIM but has vintage string spacing, HSS configuration, and has 'the neck'!! It's just the perfect size and shape for my hand. Larger frets and definitely not a 7.5" radius, but I don't know the specs. I liked it so much I picked up another neck of the same vintage (this one is labeled 'California Series') that feels exactly the same, and put together another. A great mix of vintage and modern that I really like.
     
  2. pn8830

    pn8830 Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    353
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    Jun 2, 2021
    Location:
    NJ
    I like well beaten up modern guitars and fixing them to players. Get the best of both worlds. Playability is a must.
    On the other hand I've never owned/played vintage guitars, maybe there is something in them.
     
  3. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
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    Athens Ga
    We remanufacture old department store guitars into new real relic world class professional grade instruments while keeping the old relic’d patina. We recycle the old wood which allows to make the greenest tech new guitar being made. Check out baxendaleconversions on Instagram to see the kind of instruments we rebuild. These guitars live in some of the best studios in the world and guitar racks of some of the biggest touring acts. Wilco, REM, Drive-By Truckers, Luther Dickinson, Jimmy Herring, Buddy Miller, My Morning Jacket, Lera Lynn, are just a few of the professional artists using our stuff.

    In the late 70’s while working at Gruhn Guitars, in Nashville, I figured out why the mid 30’s Martin guitars sounded so much better than they did in any era after that and I have perfected that internal design and have applied it to the remanufacturing of these old department store guitars. In essence it’s like putting a V-8 in a Volkswagen turning an old silvertone acoustic guitar into a new guitar that sounds better than any other new guitar on the market. The pics show a few examples of the new remanufactured guitars. These are “new” old guitars which is the exact opposite process 9E6D850C-ABF3-4B47-B586-F2B5D3542ECB.jpeg 8EC40540-0FBE-480D-93FE-82290A1698F7.jpeg C69CE39B-4827-4D2A-A8B4-E06952A464F1.jpeg AEF2F90F-35C9-42A2-9FBB-21D566B52E7A.jpeg D63E167B-C281-43A2-8559-8AD3B3910F7F.jpeg BE33523C-AB90-43F1-AFFF-6D063B295B2E.jpeg of the faux relics the big factories are now making.
     
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  4. ibdrkn1

    ibdrkn1 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
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    Ontario
    I had one of those Strat Specials. The necks were a thing of beauty. Those are the MIM that were rumored to have had necks made in the U.S. plant.

    Though the truss rod didn't take the same Allen key as the American Standard it did require an Imperial key. I'd suspected the Strat Special neck and the California Series necks were the same.

    Nice to hear from someone who has one of each.

    Pretty sure they were a 9.5" radius.
     
    Tidd likes this.
  5. lazloryder

    lazloryder Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    119
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    Dec 6, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles CA
    I like both, but I think I play the modern strats more than my vintage spec models. I just played them for so long before I could afford a good vintage one, I got used to the modern ones.

    With that said, my 52 Tele AVRI is da bomb!
     
  6. Slartybartfast

    Slartybartfast Strat-Talker

    Age:
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    Ca.
    I like "modified vintage", like the ones I build. Or the MIM '60s Classic player - I wish they still made those. My partscasters are based on '50s, '60s and '70s strats and teles but with 12 or 14 inch radius, big frets, maybe a louder bridge pickup, American Standard string trees or custom bridge. Or all of the above. I also use the Oak-Grigsby super switch to do cool stuff without pull pots or mini-switches. I've got one in progress based on my Dad's actual '56 Strat with a V to C neck, 12" radius and jumbo SS frets as well as some other tricks.
     
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  7. Willie D

    Willie D Pentatonic Hack Silver Member

    Messages:
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    Dec 15, 2006
    Location:
    Reading over yer shoulder
    I had the opportunity to play a (Harmony) Biltmore that had been Baxendaled by one of your former students (Sam) when he was working as Seattle Guitar Repair. It was stunning, sounded a lot like a good old Gibson. He did a great setup on my Gretsch electric. Anyway, I wish I could have afforded to walk out with it at the time. I love what you do!
     
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  8. robertkoa

    robertkoa Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    64
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    Location:
    Florida
    I like modern flatter fingerboards. About 13.5 to 14 " radius , 12 is OK.

    Modern Jescar Nickel Silver or EVO Gold frets .047 x 104
    or similar .

    I like locking tuners with a fixed bridge , when possible springs attached to the fixed bridge for sympathetic vibration without the instability of a trem ( lol - I know 17.476% of you have a problem with this ).

    I like clean vintage sounds with natural fatness and warmth but MODERN pickups to achieve 10 to 20 tones with toggles etc from 1 Guitar .

    So cover vintage but go beyond tonewise.

    And use modern slick precision fretwork to make the guitar easier to play so I can be much more effective .

    I want to use my chops to cruise not to struggle with weenie frets not glued in etc etc etc .
     
  9. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

    Age:
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    Athens Ga
    Thanks much! Sam is an amazing record producer and overall good guy!
     
  10. revtime

    revtime Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    484
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    kansas
    I like em all but cant stand the "If its old its gold" they are old, busted (not all the time), and obsolete.
    Yeah I said it.
    Give me the new hotness anyday. Now I like relic guitars but it must have modern specs and just look old.
    Like a 69 Camaro with 2021 Camaro drivetrain and suspension.
     
  11. CAR63

    CAR63 Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    361
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2012
    Location:
    central calif.
    I gigged with my vintage guitars for 25 years , then I got the partscaster itch and found out I could assemble a great playing guitar that I could fairly easily replace if I got ripped off . Unlike one of my classics . I'm not gigging anymore so the classics occasionally go to jams , but more often my partscasters go . I like both !!
     
  12. the dark sailor

    the dark sailor Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,291
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    Dec 18, 2008
    Location:
    south jersey
    I define myself as a new vintage spec kinda guy. 7.25 with a big V, 6 point bridge, small frets, nitro, LP's with fat necks. But, last year I acquired a 19' american pro Tele with 9.5 rad and poly that is becoming the my main player.
     
  13. Straticus

    Straticus Strat-Talker

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    158
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    Apr 20, 2021
    Location:
    Saint Paul, MN USA
    I have no idea. My Strat is an EJ signature model. My Gretsch is a Setzer Signature ‘59 Smoke. There’s things about both that are supposedly vintage. I’m guessing I don’t care. Don’t have enough experience with other guitars to know.
     
  14. Dain Bramage

    Dain Bramage Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    156
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Location:
    Earth
    Yes. sorry for the silly, but whatever tool is called for.
     
  15. Glyderslead

    Glyderslead Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    148
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2017
    Location:
    Outside to the left
    Do I like old or modern?

    Well, I like the guitar that has as many of the features that I like as possible- old or new. Such as:-

    -I like sparkly new looking or used but not abused well looked after old guitars.
    -Well set up with frets properly levelled
    -Medium jumbo frets high enough so there is no need to do that silly scolloping thing.
    -Locking machines if possible
    -Well cut nut whatever the material
    -My choice of pick up is Fender Fat 50's on a Strat .
    -6 screw tremolo on a Strat or a Dusenberg Les trem on a Les Paul
    -7 way selector on a Strat or with Coil Tap on a Les Paul
    -Daphnie Blue on a Strat - Wine red on a Les Paul
    ............and there could be more!!!

    Would I pay loads of money for a old guitar just because its old - even if it is a dog? NO.
     
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