Suppose you had the chance to own a very nice "vintage" guitar from the supposed "Golden Age" of guitar making ... rather than talking specific brand, let's just say "pre-war" and leave it at that.
Would you take that guitar instead of a brand new one?
Most of us would probably say yes!!, without a doubt!
But read this scientific article before you make your final decision. It may surprise you.
BTW ... It's not about guitars, but another stringed instrument with a lot more history and a lot more vintage snob appeal than we guitarists can even imagine!
Click, read and discuss.
Depending on the shape its in I would rather have the vintage insturment. I have a Yamaha I bought in 1974 and it sounds way better now than it did brand new. My Martin is four years old and the sound is definately improving. The problem is price, collecters and rock stars have run the prices way up. I read that Stephan Stills bought a prewar D-45 for $8000 in 1968 just to keep it out of the hands of someone who wanted to take it apart to find out why it sounded so good.
Alan ... I agree on the inflated prices being a big factor regarding vintage vs new. I guess I'm not even sure exactly what the term "vintage" really means. With most items, once they're not new any more, they are simple "used" or "second hand" or any number of other terms implying that they are now less desirable and thus less costly.
Still, all you have to do is watch an few episodes of "American Pickers" to see that at some point most items go from being "used/second hand" to becoming "vintage" ... it happens with cars, toys, signs, heck it even seems to happen with clothes!
The nice thing about acoustic guitars is that unlike cars and clothes, they do in fact seem to become better as they age.
But, exactly when guitars go from being just "used" to becoming "vintage" I suppose is a matter of opinion.
Electrics like the strats seem to make that jump when they get around 25 years old.
They suddenly become classic "vintage" instruments and the price skyrockets.
Oddly when we get up there in age we don't get called classic or vintage and become valued more.
Terms more like old and fart seem to get used more 8-)
I'm still far too in love with the Seagull Maritime SWS HG I got a couple of years ago to think about another guitar... although I've always owned and played guitars for nearly 40 years I've never had as many different instruments as many of the rest of you all. Maybe I'll be interested in one with electronics one day, but you sure don't want to do something like that to a vintage guitar. And I'd also have to consider that I couldn't have a guitar without playing it, and if I play it the guitar will end up getting played hard at times.... I'll stick with my 'new' Seagull for now
Sorry, I replied previously without reading the article. I know this won't be popular in many quarters, but you can never underestimate the power of legend. Generally speaking we love legend too much to ever decide against it, each of us in our own way. For my part, I love my Seagull too much to defer to legend at this time. Of course, I'm an inexperienced cheapskate when it comes to such matters, so my opinion is next to worthless.