*When* is something rightfully called "vintage"?

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*When* is something rightfully called "vintage"?

Post by vvv » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:22 am

Is a 15 year old amp or guitar "vintage"?

Or 20?

25?

I ask as I may decide to sell some stuff; I know my 1959 M8 is "vintage", but is my 1987 Marshall?

Couldn't find anything thru google, BTW.
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Post by ubertar » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:42 am

Tough call on that. Why not just say "1987" instead of "vintage"? Then it's up to the reader to decide. A lot depends on what the category is. A violin made in the 1950s wouldn't be considered vintage, because relatively speaking, it's not. But an electric guitar from the same time would be. I see electric guitars listed as vintage that were made in the 80s, so with an amp, I guess that'd work, too. I think quality comes into play too. If something is old enough, it can be "vintage" regardless of whether it was top of the line or bottom, but something borderline, like an 80s guitar could be vintage or could just be old. An 80s MIJ Fender is "vintage", but an 80s (fill in the blank cheesy metal guitar) is "used". Is your Marshall tube or solid state? Is it a sought-after model, or something that was discontinued quickly b/c it sucked? I had a Marshall mosfet head from about that time that was too bright and thin sounding. I wouldn't call that vintage. But so long as you are honest about the details of what it is, it doesn't matter much what advertising buzzwords you use-- that's all "vintage" is, and most people understand that and don't give it too much clout. IOW, don't worry about it.
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Post by Corey Y » Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:11 am

When it's the age/version everyone wants.

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Post by A.David.MacKinnon » Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:22 am

As soon as someone is willing to pay more because it's old.

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Post by Ryan Silva » Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:27 am

When it is no longer produced new.
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Post by farview » Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:49 am

It probably has something to do with the desirability of the era that the piece comes from. In the early 80's, a late 60's or early 70's marshall was considered 'vintage' even though it was only 10 years old or so.

I would assume that if you have an early 80's jcm800, that would be vintage. If you have a late 80's jcm900, it wouldn't. If it isn't a jcm, it's not.

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Post by ??????? » Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:58 am

"Vintage" is a term that comes from wine. Sometimes wine from a particular year (vintage) is renowned for being particularly good. So people look for that year.

To me, "vintage" is over-used. In my opinion, something is not "vintage" just because it is "old." We have the word "old" for that.

Something is "vintage" to me if there is something that sets it apart, based upon the year or period of manufacture, from other eras.

A 1959 Les Paul is "vintage" because it has something that sets it apart from other, similar guitars from different eras.

A pre-CBS Fender is "vintage" because it is from a period known for being "good."

Is your 1987 Marshall a Jubilee, by any chance? Because some people like those and they only made them for a couple of years. Therefore, I would have no problem calling that "vintage" even though it's not that old. A garden-variety '87 JCM or something? To me, that's a used Marshall.

In summary, "vintage" is something that was made a certain way in a certain time that makes it more desirable than new. An '87 American Standard Stratocaster is probably not any better than a brand new one in the minds of most (unless they just want to believe it). A '57 Stratocaster on the other hand is much more desirable.

That's my thoughts, anyhow. Obviously I am probably in the minority because L@@K V1NTAG3! are the 2 most popular words on ebay and craigslist. :)

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Post by jgimbel » Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:57 am

What I was about to say is in line with the previous post. Something is vintage when it's older (I don't know what parameters would be for what's older, for me I always think pre-80s could be vintage but it's a stretch after that), but that there is something about it that makes it desirable. If the build quality was great, or build quality was shitty but it got a really awesome or strange sound, or the cosmetics of it perfectly fit the time it came from, whatever, that would qualify it more as vintage. All those cheap 60's japanese guitars with a million switches are often known for not being the best quality, but are very distinct and known to really have their own sound = vintage. If it's known for not being a great piece of gear that can't get a very distinct sound that can't be had from other pieces, maybe that'd make it just "old"/"used".

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Post by svbsound » Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:17 am

Corey Y wrote:When it's the age/version everyone wants.
+1! Calling something vintage just seems like a marketing gimmick unless it explicitly refers to something old that a large number of people agree is desirable, like an original 1073 or a 1960s B15.

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Post by Corey Y » Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:28 am

Mojo.

I can't count the number of guitars, basses, amps and pedals I've owned because they were cheap "old crap" that no one wanted. That was all I could afford, I didn't have a new piece of gear forever. Half of those would be "vintage" now.

5 years after digital synths were all over the place analog synths were dirt cheap. Before Cobain played a Mustang they were cheap old crap with bridges no one liked. Mosrites might as well have been made out of paper mache and now even their Univox copies are "vintage" and desirable, thanks to Johnny Ramone.

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Post by vvv » Tue Oct 27, 2009 11:53 am

Interesting takes, guys, thanx!

And yes, I have a cuppla '87 Silver Jubilees I'm thinking of selling, or just one, as well as a '81 Mark IIB Boogie ...
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Post by Brett Siler » Tue Oct 27, 2009 1:23 pm

I heard if it was 20 years old or more it can be called vintage

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Post by vvv » Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:29 pm

That makes me almost 1.5 times vintager than vintage. :twisted:
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Post by Z-Plane » Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:41 pm

The correct answer is smell.

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Post by ott0bot » Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:22 pm

These days it's usually when someone wants to sell something old and make more money off it because of it's age. I find the term is rarely used unless an item is trying to be sold or someone is trying to brag about their gear. Nothing wrong with a little bragging about finding some sweet piece of gear, but personally I'm more concerned with how it works. I tend to refer to dates regardless of whether it's considered vintage or not.

Also what point does something vintage become an "antique." Perhaps when it ceases to be of use and is more of a decorative item?

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