Equipment, Vintage, Prices, Quality

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Recently when I visited the library I found a catalogue listing Ibanez Guitars, especially pricing information about old guitars, what the street value is today. That was interesting reading. My first Ibanez was a Flying V (clone of the famous Gibson version), it actually had a good sound but the tuning was hard to keep in place. And of course you could not really use it easily in studio sessions — but for stage presence it had it’s plus moments. I sold it long time ago. The catalogue told me that the current price is between $1500 and $1800. Ouch. 

My next Ibanez was a RoadStar II. Those were clones of the Stratocaster model. They were nice, light, but the tone was somewhat thin, but that’s what you get with Stratocasters, anyway. I still have it around. But I don’t think it’s a special guitar, exactly. The catalogue price was $500-800. Huh. 

My current Ibanez is an RG-750. I still think this is one of the best ever Ibanez models made, a high end system back in 1990-92. Custom made in Japan. Has the best tone and playability I’ve ever had. Still using it today. Catalogue price: $400-600. What?

Anyway, in case you have old Ibanez guitars in your attic, now is the time to sell them. As for current guitars, I do think that a large selection of today’s guitars, in the $400-800 range, are really good. You have to pay a lot of money to get the extra quality or tonality, and with effects and other parts it’s doubtful you could invest in that, unless you really know what you want. They are not vintage guitars — but frankly speaking I do think a lot of contemporary guitars today are really well made, compared with the old produces.

The reason is that a lot of today’s guitars are made with CNC manufacturing. The robots could cut out parts from wood that few craftsmen could do, 24 hours a day. The only bonus humans could achieve is in the really high end — think of the ‘samurai swords’ of guitars. Super-good, but you pay a lot for that. I would actually recommend to watch the factory tour video from Carvin that shows how guitars are carved out with CNC systems — quite fascinating. You could also get the videos via the free DVD. Anyway, I think it will open up your eyes why you could get really good quality guitars and other equipment from countries like Indonesia today. An sell your old vintage guitar, now is the time!