Diving down the vintage rabbit hole!

Discussion of vintage Jazzmasters, Jaguars, Bass VIs, Electric XIIs and any other offset-waist instruments.
User avatar
JT96
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:22 am

Diving down the vintage rabbit hole!

Post by JT96 » Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:44 am

Hi all!

Hope you've all had a great Christmas and New Year! As you can probably tell from my post count I'm fairly new here and was wondering if you lovely lot could help me!

So, I'm looking at rearing my head down the deep deep rabbit hole of vintage fenders! I typically come from a strat and tele background, but the single coil sound just does it for me regardless for the most part! I was wondering if anyone could help me with how to get started in this vast vintage world of all things fender!

I'm based in the UK, and not necessarily looking to buy anything big in the immediate future (like next 3 months), but was wondering what would be the best way to go about obtaining something vintage on a modest/steady budget with what would work out to be the most cost efficient all in all. I'm mainly attracted to the idea of offsets as they seem much more reasonably priced than most strats and teles.

I'm okay with a cobbled together parts guitar, as this may be more attainable for me over a period of time. My long term aim is ideally something pre 1965, as it's been a dream to own a pre CBS guitar and its something I believe I'd hold on to for life. My main goal as of right now is to have a body and neck that are vintage. I say that because I'd be happy having aftermarket pups or an unoriginal bridge and tuners for the short term as it's something I can upgrade along the way if I want, but I'd just like a solid foundation in a vintage neck and body.

I mention I'm based in the UK as from what I can see the selection of vintage fenders seems to be massively less than the states, and that it's also hard to get a neck due to BRW being imported.

What sort of advice could you give a vintage noobie like me? Any tips or tricks apart from the usual ebay/reverb? Seems like most prices are massively inflated due to my region. Any help or advice would be appreciated, I'm okay with playing the long game!

User avatar
Surfysonic
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 471
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:22 pm
Location: Walkersville, MD
Contact:

Re: Diving down the vintage rabbit hole!

Post by Surfysonic » Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:12 pm

Welcome and here's my two cents:

If you want to start out on the "reasonably" affordable side, look for vintage Mustangs or Duo-Sonics. They seem to be the least expensive. Of course, the Mustang became available in '64. I have a '65 and '66. Duo-Sonics are older. Both are short scale (with the Duo-Sonics being 3/4 size for students -either 22.5" or 24" versions are out there - the 24" inch option (according to Wiki) became available in '64. Please note that both the Mustang and Duo-Sonic guitars have been climbing in value from what I've seen on Reverb.com.

The only way I was able to swing my '63 Jaguar and '63 Jazzmasters was due to them being refinished (professionally), so it knocked the price down from your non-refin'd guitars by about $1k. I have no plans to sell them in the near future, but I imagine their value would go up in the general market over time, because they are still wonderful vintage guitars in every other regard. Refin'd Strats and Teles are less than non-refins, however, you would still need to take out a small loan to acquire these. :derp:

Also, research, research, research. Online sellers I would seriously consider provide gut shots, neck stamps, etc.
The doofus formerly known as Snorre...

User avatar
bterry
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1299
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:53 am

Re: Diving down the vintage rabbit hole!

Post by bterry » Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:26 pm

Hey, welcome :)

So, based on your post here are a few suggestions...

You need to go play some (a lot of) vintage guitars so you can get your hands on them and see/hear/smell, etc. what they are like. You’ll find that, in the long run, no checklist will be sufficient compared to your gut experience.

That takes time, so, in the meantime use the search function here and learn as much as you can about features, years, parts ID, etc. Things can be faked but at least you’ll know if something is obviously incorrect like seeing a certain part on a year in which it wasn’t used.

Word of warning, you said you are not opposed to ‘parts’ guitars but this presumes you know what all the parts are to begin with. It can actually be much riskier to buy a parts guitar as the chances of it being messed with are substantially greater. Just give it some thought before you buy something if you’re not 100% certain what you’re looking at.

Something else to keep in mind is that there are A LOT of overpriced parts guitars or less-than-original vintage guitars out there. Just remember that the real value of vintage lies in 4 things - desirability, rarity, originality and condition :) You can easily overspend because almost everyone selling is trying to get more than what it’s worth just because it's ‘vintage’.

I love the idea above about getting started on Mustangs or Duo-Sonics...solid advice and less risky.

Lastly, the UK is quite a viper’s nest of fake vintage Fender guitars. It’s notorious, actually. Do you know anyone who has vintage instruments you could spend time with or learn from?

User avatar
mbene085
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 5668
Joined: Tue May 24, 2016 5:07 am

Re: Diving down the vintage rabbit hole!

Post by mbene085 » Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:10 pm

My gateway drug was a '65 Mustang and I agree that Mustangs/Duosonics are in the sweet spot of value. Stick to the 24" scale ones if you want something more familiar feeling than the older 22.5" duosonics.

They were built to the same quality as other guitars of the era, just with simpler body shapes (no contours) and fewer, simpler finish options, etc.

They're great guitars and although I've bought some jags since then (mostly refins and parts guitars, to keep costs down), that all-original Mustang is a lifer for me.

User avatar
Jazzmastervsjaguar
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 732
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 7:37 am
Location: Silver Spring, MD (Burbs of DC)
Contact:

Re: Diving down the vintage rabbit hole!

Post by Jazzmastervsjaguar » Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:48 am

One more vote on getting a Mustang/Duosonic/Musicmaster. They can still be had for around $1,000 and that to me is the sweet spot when it comes to vintage Fenders. It's a good investment but not a ton of money when it comes to a vintage guitar.

I think vintage is a good investment as long as you aren't overextending and understand the market. I'm like most guitar players I know in that I switch gear all the time. With vintage I have rarely lost money on a guitar. I often come out a bit ahead or break even and that has not been the case with buying non vintage. So something to think about when getting into vintage gear.

User avatar
mgeek
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1317
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:03 pm

Re: Diving down the vintage rabbit hole!

Post by mgeek » Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:10 am

.
Last edited by mgeek on Thu Jan 09, 2020 1:47 am, edited 5 times in total.

User avatar
Surfysonic
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 471
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:22 pm
Location: Walkersville, MD
Contact:

Re: Diving down the vintage rabbit hole!

Post by Surfysonic » Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:37 am

Here's an invaluable tool when it comes to product dating for Fender guitars and amps.

https://support.fender.com/hc/en-us/sec ... uct-Dating
The doofus formerly known as Snorre...

User avatar
Wil_66
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:47 pm

Re: Diving down the vintage rabbit hole!

Post by Wil_66 » Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:23 pm

A word if warning on parts guitars... you might get the itch to make it as original as possible, as I did with my '66 Duo Sonic and end up spending more money on building it than it would have cost to just buy an original guitar. :fp:

User avatar
timtam
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1712
Joined: Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:42 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Diving down the vintage rabbit hole!

Post by timtam » Tue Jan 07, 2020 6:05 pm

Get used to looking at external and internal pics and knowing what they should look like. I'm no expert, but on this refin there's at least one other thing I don't think is original. And once there's one thing that isn't mentioned, you suspect there might be more ....
https://echotone.com.au/collections/new ... drefinohsc
(price in AUD$ BTW)

User avatar
boss302bass
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 639
Joined: Mon Apr 13, 2009 5:25 am
Location: UK

Re: Diving down the vintage rabbit hole!

Post by boss302bass » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:27 am

I’m the U.K. if you ever need to chat about anything you see that you might like, or even have questions about. I’ve built a few JM’s from parts, a lot of P, J and T Basses and I’ve owned quite a few all originals from the Fender line.
I’ve also been rolled more than once over vintage gear so I can provide good experience-based advice.
I’m from Australia originally so know very well about those who prey on those of us who dig the vintage Fenders.
I’ve just bought a beautiful original 66 JM and found that on fleabay in the US - sniped at the last second and scored a pretty good bargain - for example, it came in under that Fiesta Pink refin JM mentioned above by a good AU$1000 (£500). M.
So my advice to start with - keep your eyes peeled on ALL the platforms - both parts and whole guitars turn up in both the obvious spots like Reverb and eBay as well as Craigslist US and gumtree in U.K. and Oz. And it’s always good to remember that the actual player forums classified sections are great, because us guys and girls are always (nearly always) gonna sell at better prices than the online traders, dealers and sharks. I’ve bought and sold quite a few things thru OSG and ALWAYS had a pleasant buying and selling experience. The honesty, co-operation and knowledge-sharing amongst the OSG family is second to none.
Drew

User avatar
UlricvonCatalyst
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 6321
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:05 am
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Re: Diving down the vintage rabbit hole!

Post by UlricvonCatalyst » Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:38 am

bterry wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:26 pm
Lastly, the UK is quite a viper’s nest of fake vintage Fender guitars. It’s notorious, actually. Do you know anyone who has vintage instruments you could spend time with or learn from?
This is news to me. What is this claim based on?

OP - as a happy Partstang owner I can confirm this is indeed the way to go. I got exceptionally lucky with a '66 Mustang body for a mere $100; I think those days are firmly in the rear-view mirror. Also $1000 Mustangs/Duo-Sonics may be a thing in the USA, but over here it'd be more like £1000+ if you can find a vintage one for sale.

User avatar
stevemac100
PAT PEND
PAT PEND
Posts: 30
Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:37 pm

Re: Diving down the vintage rabbit hole!

Post by stevemac100 » Fri Jan 10, 2020 9:13 am

Just in case you haven't seen this Mustang on Reverb for sale in Maidstone already.

https://reverb.com/uk/item/30624455-fen ... -apple-red

User avatar
bterry
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1299
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:53 am

Re: Diving down the vintage rabbit hole!

Post by bterry » Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:27 pm

UlricvonCatalyst wrote:
Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:38 am
bterry wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:26 pm
Lastly, the UK is quite a viper’s nest of fake vintage Fender guitars. It’s notorious, actually. Do you know anyone who has vintage instruments you could spend time with or learn from?
This is news to me. What is this claim based on?

OP - as a happy Partstang owner I can confirm this is indeed the way to go. I got exceptionally lucky with a '66 Mustang body for a mere $100; I think those days are firmly in the rear-view mirror. Also $1000 Mustangs/Duo-Sonics may be a thing in the USA, but over here it'd be more like £1000+ if you can find a vintage one for sale.
Really? Almost every serious vintage guitar collector I know has the same opinion. At least half or more the custom color guitars I see coming out of the UK are fake. Denmark Street was notorious as well, lots of faked guitars came out of there for years. A certain London-based vintage shop is notorious as well, I've personally seen 5-6 guitars that came from that shop that were obviously refinished but sold as original in the past few years.

User avatar
eggwheat
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 4909
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:30 am

Re: Diving down the vintage rabbit hole!

Post by eggwheat » Fri Jan 10, 2020 1:49 pm

You are probably talking about music ground. Justin and Rick Harrison a family of crooks. They made hundred of fake guitars and amps. Just search their names. I’d go so far to say that Justin is evil. .

User avatar
bterry
PAT. # 2.972.923
PAT. # 2.972.923
Posts: 1299
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:53 am

Re: Diving down the vintage rabbit hole!

Post by bterry » Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:15 pm

yes, absolutely- and, there are currently 2 well-known London dealers who have sold many non-original custom color Fenders as original - I’ve seen 5 or 6 in person.

Post Reply