Cheapest way into a vintage offset?

Discussion of vintage Jazzmasters, Jaguars, Bass VIs, Electric XIIs and any other offset-waist instruments.
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adamrobertt
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Cheapest way into a vintage offset?

Post by adamrobertt » Tue Feb 09, 2021 9:22 am

I've never owned a vintage guitar and I want to try to get my hands on a vintage Fender before it becomes 100% out of reach for me. Right now, even refinned Jags and Jazzmasters are $4000 or $5000, which is out of my reach.

I've seen that Mustangs tend to be $2500 to $3500 depending on year, color, and condition. Are Coronados worth looking into? They might be affordable...

Basically I'm looking for a cool vintage Fender offset or related (basically not a strat or tele) for hopefully $3000 or less. Anyone have any pointers?

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Re: Cheapest way into a vintage offset?

Post by Dr Tony Balls » Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:18 am

Vintage meaning what years? Or what is the most recent year that's acceptable?
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Re: Cheapest way into a vintage offset?

Post by rbrcbr » Tue Feb 09, 2021 10:28 am

Well, easiest thing would be to find something with a completely botched refin job/not 100% original. I scored a refin'd '66 jag a couple years back for $1900, wish i'd been able to keep that thing as finding anything else for that price just isn't happening anymore. Had to sell it to pay rent while unemployed, to someone who fell in love with it and thankfully is putting it to good use.

It's wild, prices are completely through the roof. I can't wait for the vintage bubble to bust and guitars to become reasonably priced again...if that ever happens. Even reissues are selling used for asking price or more, most of the time.

Guitar Center and Sam Ash often price used stuff reasonably, so keep an eye out there.

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Re: Cheapest way into a vintage offset?

Post by FrankRay » Tue Feb 09, 2021 11:37 am

You should still be able to get a CBS sunburst jag for that. There's one in the UK at the moment for £2550; the trick is to offer the seller 10 or 20% off, and move on if they don't budge. A lot of sunbursts are wildly over priced, so it should be quite easy to get a seller down. Just don't go too low.

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Re: Cheapest way into a vintage offset?

Post by jvin248 » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:27 pm

.

.... so you are chasing discounted vintage instruments to try out.
The act of a guitar being cheap is because there is something major wrong with them. Might just be a refin, but could be worn out fretwork, just a vintage neck on a modern body ... You are chasing poor examples of what you want to own.

What is it about vintage guitars you like? Cool oldness? Then get a Teisco/Kay/etc. Teisco Tulips are around for $200-ish; I have one made in 1963 with Jazzmaster style pickups in it (they later switched to Strat style). I have a 1970 MIJ Global brand Ibanez LP copy pre-lawsuit.

If chasing old guitars because you've heard they are 'Great Players': Most of the vintage guitars got to be Great Players only because as their value went up their owners took them to the best guitar techs. It's those guitar techs, think Custom Shop+ builders with high prices, who made them play like Custom Shop+ guitars. Those old guitars never left the factory in as good of playing condition as they play now.

So the secret is find those guitar techs and then take any guitar, even a modern Squier, to them to make it play the best.

Here is an interesting listing if you are close to Detroit ... 1966 Mustang $1650, probably a refin, and some soldering over-heating on the control plate, but I didn't look too close.
https://detroit.craigslist.org/okl/msg/ ... 71206.html
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Re: Cheapest way into a vintage offset?

Post by Highnumbers » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:45 pm

I don't subscribe to anything in the post above ^^

There are plenty of reasons to want a vintage offset Fender, and you shouldn't settle for some other brand/model of guitar entirely (Teisco? Kay?) purely because prices are rising on offsets. And you can't assume that anything in that price range isn't going to be a good player, that's nonsense.

Hone in on exactly which model you want, and from which years (since those are major variable) and be patient. And be ready.

If you have $3K cash, the best possible thing would be figuring out exactly what you want, and then constantly checking all the usual places online to find a used guitar. A lot of stuff sells on Reverb quickly, so get there first. Don't necessarily take Reverb asking prices as the gospel on actual selling prices/values, lately sellers have turned this into some kind of absurd gold rush, but that doesn't mean people are paying those prices.

Even in this market, $3,000 should still be able to get you a refinished 60s Jazzmaster, or potentially even an original sunburst Jaguar possibly with minor issues or changed parts. Or a very nice refinished Jaguar. I've seen plenty of examples of these sell, not just in the past year, but in the past few months.

I'm a big fan of Custom Shop models, in this price range (sub-$K) but it just isn't the same thing as a vintage Fender, even a refinished one.

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Re: Cheapest way into a vintage offset?

Post by adamrobertt » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:46 pm

To answer some Qs:

I'm specifically looking to own a 60s or early 70s Fender - mostly because I've just never owned one before and I want to spend some time with one to a) see what the fuss is about and b) get a chance to own a piece of history - a "real" Jazzmaster or Jaguar, so to speak. I understand that there's no magic, I don't believe in "mojo," and I know that modern guitars are great, probably even better than vintage ones. But, I have a bunch of nice modern guitars, so I have that base covered.

I'm not worried about the need to get it set up properly, because I am a guitar tech - I got that covered too.

I guess, is that a good enough reason to want an expensive vintage instrument? I'm not sure. But that's where I'm at.
Last edited by adamrobertt on Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Cheapest way into a vintage offset?

Post by Highnumbers » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:47 pm

Also, since you mentioned Mustang.

I see a LOT of great Mustangs that are well under $3K. Both early slab body types and even Competition Mustangs. Should be no problem getting an all original one in great shape with OHSC with a $3,000 budget. Keep looking...

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Re: Cheapest way into a vintage offset?

Post by adamrobertt » Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:52 pm

Highnumbers wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:47 pm
Also, since you mentioned Mustang.

I see a LOT of great Mustangs that are well under $3K. Both early slab body types and even Competition Mustangs. Should be no problem getting an all original one in great shape with OHSC with a $3,000 budget. Keep looking...
Maybe my timing has just been off. I kind of want a white one, because I like them the best, but also because I already have a blue and a red guitar... but every one I've seen on Reverb, regardless of condition, has been $3k PLUS. I've seen some listed for closer to 4 grand. The blue and red ones seem to be cheaper, for some reason. Must be more common?

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Re: Cheapest way into a vintage offset?

Post by marqueemoon » Tue Feb 09, 2021 1:11 pm

Mustang is probably your best bet cost-wise if they actually appeal to you.

I think overall identifying what attracts you to owning a vintage offset and figuring out what compromises you can live with is a good first step. Then you can look at what you have to spend and start looking.

I have a mix of vintage and newer, and for me the feel of an old instrument is the toughest to replicate.
Does it matter that much? Not really.

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Re: Cheapest way into a vintage offset?

Post by Highnumbers » Tue Feb 09, 2021 2:10 pm

adamrobertt wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:52 pm
Highnumbers wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:47 pm
Also, since you mentioned Mustang.

I see a LOT of great Mustangs that are well under $3K. Both early slab body types and even Competition Mustangs. Should be no problem getting an all original one in great shape with OHSC with a $3,000 budget. Keep looking...
Maybe my timing has just been off. I kind of want a white one, because I like them the best, but also because I already have a blue and a red guitar... but every one I've seen on Reverb, regardless of condition, has been $3k PLUS. I've seen some listed for closer to 4 grand. The blue and red ones seem to be cheaper, for some reason. Must be more common?
Maybe, I see mostly red ones. My personal favorite is the Daphne Blue (or just "Blue") slab mustang, followed by the white/tort version.

Just set up the alerts, and be ready when something comes along at the right price. It definitely will.

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Re: Cheapest way into a vintage offset?

Post by Gavanti » Tue Feb 09, 2021 2:23 pm

adamrobertt wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:52 pm
Highnumbers wrote:
Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:47 pm
Also, since you mentioned Mustang.

I see a LOT of great Mustangs that are well under $3K. Both early slab body types and even Competition Mustangs. Should be no problem getting an all original one in great shape with OHSC with a $3,000 budget. Keep looking...
Maybe my timing has just been off. I kind of want a white one, because I like them the best, but also because I already have a blue and a red guitar... but every one I've seen on Reverb, regardless of condition, has been $3k PLUS. I've seen some listed for closer to 4 grand. The blue and red ones seem to be cheaper, for some reason. Must be more common?
Yeah, a white Mustang with a faded guard is really nice. It's a tough time to be in the market for a vintage Fender. I was thinking about picking up a player's Jag and just haven't been seeing much that I felt like I could justify, and I've been surprised at the Mustang prices too, especially some of the 70s ones. Tele Deluxes and Customs don't seem to have had quite the same bump.

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Re: Cheapest way into a vintage offset?

Post by bterry » Tue Feb 09, 2021 2:29 pm

Gotta try for a Sunburst Jag at below $4k. You can still find them, go for a late '64 or early '65 model at that price point.

Student guitars are cool too but I'd try for the Jag first if it were me.

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Re: Cheapest way into a vintage offset?

Post by FrankRay » Tue Feb 09, 2021 2:46 pm

I love my vintage jags. The first one i bought was only just over £1000, the second was sold as a refin under £3000 but it very obviously is a genuine IGM, and the third was sold as a LPB but is (almost certainly) OTM. The third cost less than £4500. Which is, admittedly, a lot of money but it's theoretically worth over £7000, so, you know, no regrets.

So, admittedly I'm an ambulance chaser, but deals are out there, and if you want to buy a vintage offset, you won't regret getting one.
The only other advice I'd say is don't get a refin. Just not the same.

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Re: Cheapest way into a vintage offset?

Post by i love sharin foo » Tue Feb 09, 2021 3:15 pm

I just sold a really clean, 100% original sunburst '64 Jaguar with the original case for $3400.
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