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Tony Raven
#1 Posted : Friday, September 01, 2017 1:37:22 AM(UTC)
Tony Raven
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I'm certain I used to have a thread on this, but now I can't find it. Apologies for any redundancy. Though I'm overdue for sleep, I wanted to jot some notes to getthis going, so I wouldn't firget yet again. Shhh
________________

I used to be a "watcher," an investor with a knack for spotting shifts in sticks or commodities. Never made a significant profit, but I could always impress my friends with predictions. (Missed my chance to buy platinum at $460/ounce...d'oh!)

But the instincts are still there when it comes to guitars.
________________

The market is mixed. I'm surprised, as -- given the political climate in the United States -- I'd have expected either abject gloom (great bargains, no takers) or irrational exuberance (asking & getting top-end prices).

A few years ago, I bought a '90s Standard Precision for like $186 -- from a shop, yet. There was simply no demand, especially up here, for a good used MIM bass. Beginners went to Affinity or maybe Dean; serious amateurs got USA Fender.

Today, no matter what year you look up on Reverb.com's Price Guide pages, a Standard Precision is worth $275-$450. (I stand to make a little profit, right?)

But when I go to the actual sales pages, the cheapest listing is $425 ($360 + $65).

Yet there's 1,400 listings for Standard Strats. Even paring away the usual sneaky insertion of Squiers, that's still a LOT of Strats, which to me normally suggests liquidating excess assets (i.e., getting rid of the dust-collectors). The cheapest actual Fender is an s-s-s, black (boring), with mirror pickguard (non-original, of course), asking $290 all-in. A couple dozen for ~$300.

So much easier to make a P-bass (less routing, very litle hardware, half the assembly time), & there's like a hundred wannabee guitarists for every bassist. Maybe it's just now dawning on the market that guitars like the Strat have been oversold & now litter the landscape, where those that were made in smaller numbers are therefore rarer -- an Affinity Tele is a MUCH hotter auction item than ANY Affinity Strat.

Hmm... looking at Standard Teles, I note that the least-expensive 30 (!!) have maple fretboards, all <$500. Makes me wonder whether hopeful players figured maple is what they should want, only to find that it might be an acquired taste (took me 35 years!).

Oh, heck, there's more ruminations there, but it's getting late... more over the weekend maybe.
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Axeman69 on 9/2/2017(UTC)
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Tony Raven
#2 Posted : Friday, September 08, 2017 2:55:10 AM(UTC)
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A sound piece of investment advice: Avoid LTD.

Maybe they're good guitars. I don't care; there's just far too many used ones, & they're pretty much all overpriced.

Scanning a few online forums, it seems like almost all LTD owners have no first clue that they are not ESP. I likewise doubt any of them would appreciate being told so. They really seem to believe that their beloved shiny black toy, properly cared for (no playing, regular polishing), will increase in value & see them happily to early retirement.

Yep, I said black. Far more than half of the under-$800 LTDs are gloss black. Dozens of wildly different models. Reverb is flooded with hem; maybe this weekend I'll see whatthe actual eBay sales figures look like.

If you're going to buy new, realize that market value probably dropped 75% the moment you made payment, & that's likely where it will remain other than currency inflation. That's assuming you can ever find a buyer at all.

If you're in the market for a guitar in the $350-$800 range, skip right on over to Washburn. Some careful shopping can get you a Custom Shop (USA) guitar, definitely under $650... AND it will maintain value, even if you play it regularly. Even the imports hold value, as most of the better models had a single run of 200 units. Apparently LTD doesn't stand for "limited."

One of the advantages of a "legend" brand like Fender is that the name keeps value up. People remember it, even if they don't themselves play. They will happily pay above Blue Book value because they think it's going to be worth more. And so long as so many believe that, it will be true.

LTD has its fanatics, but if most of 'em have too many guitars, which is why they're selling one or two (perhaps to buy a new one). With THEM out of the market, who is going to pay 80% of a new LTD's street price to get a used one?

If you own a store, don't even go so high as 40% of book, ~25% maximum, unless you have a crying need for a student/rental guitar.

Edited by user Saturday, September 09, 2017 10:01:56 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Axeman69 on 9/9/2017(UTC)
Axeman69
#3 Posted : Saturday, September 09, 2017 7:13:56 AM(UTC)
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LOL! LTD: The POOR head banger's SQUIER! Blink Flapper LOL
stoney
#4 Posted : Saturday, September 09, 2017 8:01:19 AM(UTC)
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I was told that LTD was a lower cost version of ESP but then I never had any interest in either one.
I did a search on ebay for LTD guitar and using "best match" with the results being with quite a few listing as ESP LTD
Here is one that even has an ESP imprinted on the head stock and pick-up cover plate and sticker on the back cover plate and it is not black.
The link below is made in China. How many multiple brand names are made in the same factory in China? I would not even know how to start looking for that information.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/...1652a:g:IC8AAOSwy69ZqYHR

It comes down to LTD having over supplied demand yet the prices does not fall on new. They must be drowning in inventory.

I do like the carved back on this lp wannabe, perhaps my rotund physique would fit with this design ;)


Originally Posted by: Tony Raven Go to Quoted Post
A sound piece of investment advice: Avoid LTD.

Maybe they're good guitars. I don't care; there's just far too many used ones, & they're pretty much all overpriced.

Scanning a few online forums, it seems like almost all LTD owners have no first clue that they are not ESP. I likewise doubt any of them would appreciate being told so. They really seem to believe that their beloved shiny black toy, properly cared for (no playing, regular polishing), will increase in value & see them happily to early retirement.

Yep, I said black. Far more than half of the under-$800 LTDs are gloss black. Dozens of wildly different models. Reverb is flooded with hem; maybe this weekend I'll see whatthe actual eBay sales figures look like.

If you're going to buy new, realize that market value probably dropped 75% the moment you made payment, & that's likely where it will remain other than currency inflation. That's assuming you can ever find a buyer at all.

If you're in the market for a guitar in the $350-$800 range, skip right on over to Washburn. Some careful shopping can get you a Custom Shop (USA) guitar, definitely under $650... AND it will maintain value, even if you play it regularly. Even the imports hold value, as most of the better models had a single run of 200 units. Apparently LTD doesn't stand for "limited."

One of the advantages of a "legend" brand like Fender is that the name keeps value up. People remember it, even if they don't themselves play. They will happily pay above Blue Book value because they think it's going to be worth more. And so long as so many believe that, it will be true.

LTD has its fanatics, but if most of 'em have too many guitars, who is going to pay 80% of a new LTD's street price to get a used one?

If you own a store, don't even go so high as 40% of book, ~25% maximum, unless you have a crying need for a student/rental guitar.


"actions speak louder
than words
it's not what was said
but what was heard"

by stoney rohde
Axeman69
#5 Posted : Saturday, September 09, 2017 8:17:37 AM(UTC)
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That's quite a nice axe. ESP/LTD are for the musically illiterate! LOL
Tony Raven
#6 Posted : Saturday, September 09, 2017 11:32:08 AM(UTC)
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To the list of "overpriced & oversupplied" I must sadly add Gretsch.

The actual "collectible" guitars are pretty much off the market or asking (rightfully) $2,000+.

There's some awfully nice Gretsch out there, & the used prices are being dragged down by the market oversupply. The reissues can be a little iffy -- play before you buy!! -- but are generally good enough that you can get for hundreds what would otherwise cost you thousands.

I'm dropping out of a minor bidwar over a VERY nice jazzbox, because the truth is it's a little unusual but NOT difficult to locate with some patience, & I have bigger needs for cash at the moment. If you go on Reverb.com, there's a sweet 5120 Electromatic for $400 + $30... or what the original would've cost me (used) back around 1980. Blink
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Tony Raven
#7 Posted : Tuesday, September 12, 2017 12:09:01 AM(UTC)
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Okay, here's an oddity that I have been seeing recently.

For some reason, used Squier Classic Vibe instruments are going out for a few bucks more than their Fender Standard MIM counterparts.

Confused

In part this surprises me because I have read nothing but Great Stuff about the Ensenada plant (Instrumentos Musicales Fender S.A. de C.V.) & its workers, who seem to have quite a few guitar fanatics amongst them. Overseas... well, nothing.

In a previous thread, I dug into the separation between bottom-rung Fender (the Standard) & top-tier Squier (the CV).
http://forum.frugalguitarist.co...Squier-Fender-tiers.aspx
Back in 2009, the divide (MSRP) was $690 vs. $550. Right now, the street price on a Standard is $600 -- really, Fender got rid of the MSRP thing in part to disguise their across-the-board price increase. The CV's street? $400. Yet looking at Reverb.com, a decent little selection of used Standards can be found at $300, which oly seven CVs can beat.

They both are supposedly alder-bodied, with similar quality of hardware. Sure, Mexico had some teething pains, but that was back like 1996-1998, & the same problems beset manufacture in Korea & China & even (back in The Day) Japan. (Yet, of course, those instruments are now fetching dollars as "vintage." RollEyes)

IMNSHO, neither series is particularly worth "collecting," so don't get crazy. Wink However, not so long ago the "Fender" decal was a guarantee of value maintenance. Now, if I had a bit of money to spend on increasing the herd, & had a choice between a CV & an MIM that were pretty much comparable in playability, but the CV was markedly cheaper, I'd have to go with that one as the better investment -- just as good a guitar, a few more bucks in my pocket, & higher likelihood I'll make a profit when I move along.
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