The 'Vintage Correct' Obsession

Discussion of newer designs, copies and reissue offset-waist instruments.
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Sauerkraut
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Re: The 'Vintage Correct' Obsession

Post by Sauerkraut » Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:49 am

Larsongs wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:31 am
The same is true with the early Jazzmasters & Jaguars.
Except that everyone knows the original bridge is ****ed.

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Re: The 'Vintage Correct' Obsession

Post by Powdered Toast Man » Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:08 am

I was watching a video with Tim Pierce on youtube and he talked about how "guitars peaked in the 80's". What he's referring to is the technology going into mainstream guitars. They progressed in design all the way through the 50's, 60's, 70's and then after the 80's he said it's like everyone rejected all of it and wanted to go back to the more primitive designs (higher radius fretboards, vintage bridges, pickups, etc). I mean, obviously this depends on the individual player, but I get the point he was trying to make. Up to the 80's you had things like new vibrato systems, flatter fretboards, larger frets, noiseless pickups, active electronics, roller and locking nuts, etc. But after that many guitarists threw that all away and wanted vintage style guitars and even amps.

It's funny because if you go over to the bass side of things, bassists WANT all the latest tech and innovations. Active preamps? Yes. Digital amps? Yes. Modeling DI? Absolutely. High power more efficient speakers? Yes. Lighter neo-magnet speakers? Yes please. I used to play with a bassist that was a 30+ year pro and he sold off all his vintage style amps and cabinets. Then he bought a 600W digital head that was small enough to fit in the pocket of his gig bag and a ultra light 1x12 cabinet with a neo speaker in it. He could walk into a gig with his entire rig in one trip.
Last edited by Powdered Toast Man on Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:12 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The 'Vintage Correct' Obsession

Post by Larry Mal » Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:10 am

Well, to me, in the age of shred they changed a bunch of stuff on the guitars to make them more "modern" and forgot what made the guitars so great in the first place.

So vintage correct on Fenders to me means a 7.25" radius, vintage frets and feel, and I still think those are the best that Fender has ever offered. It seems that they began to doubt that, though.

And then on top of it they started winding the pickups hotter, and like has been mentioned they just overall reduced the quality. On my American Standard Telecaster, for instance, the bridge pickup didn't have the copper plate on the bottom of it that adds to the Telecaster sound. It's also routed for hum buckers and shit under there. Great guitar, though.

The six saddle bridge really sucks on a Telecaster, by the way. So my point is that most of Fender's changes to certain guitars just made them worse than if they had made them the way they always had, so you have to buy the vintage reissues.
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Re: The 'Vintage Correct' Obsession

Post by Larry Mal » Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:16 am

Powdered Toast Man wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:08 am
Up to the 80's you had things like new vibrato systems, flatter fretboards, larger frets, noiseless pickups, active electronics, roller and locking nuts, etc. But after that many guitarists threw that all away and wanted vintage style guitars and even amps.
I guess that's what I'm saying. I don't view flatter fingerboards as better, in some ways they are considerably worse. Larger frets don't always thrill me, either, and all the rest of that stuff is basically the Floyd Rose type tremolo and all the stuff needed to make that thing work. And if you don't actually play the kind of music that a Floyd Rose excels at, it's a drawback in some ways, especially the locking nut. So all of this stuff, to me, wasn't a net benefit.

Although I had been duly playing on that stuff, and then one day I got a Jazzmaster that had been made in Japan with vintage Fender specs. I sold all the rest of that shit. It took me years to figure out why I connected with that guitar in a way that I hadn't with any other up until that point.

Now I'm much more versatile, still, the vintage spec Fender guitars are a thing of wonder.
Back in those days, everyone knew that if you were talking about Destiny's Child, you were talking about Beyonce, LaTavia, LeToya, and Larry.

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Re: The 'Vintage Correct' Obsession

Post by Powdered Toast Man » Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:28 am

Larry Mal wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:16 am
Powdered Toast Man wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:08 am
Up to the 80's you had things like new vibrato systems, flatter fretboards, larger frets, noiseless pickups, active electronics, roller and locking nuts, etc. But after that many guitarists threw that all away and wanted vintage style guitars and even amps.
I guess that's what I'm saying. I don't view flatter fingerboards as better, in some ways they are considerably worse. Larger frets don't always thrill me, either, and all the rest of that stuff is basically the Floyd Rose type tremolo and all the stuff needed to make that thing work. And if you don't actually play the kind of music that a Floyd Rose excels at, it's a drawback in some ways, especially the locking nut. So all of this stuff, to me, wasn't a net benefit.

Although I had been duly playing on that stuff, and then one day I got a Jazzmaster that had been made in Japan with vintage Fender specs. I sold all the rest of that shit. It took me years to figure out why I connected with that guitar in a way that I hadn't with any other up until that point.

Now I'm much more versatile, still, the vintage spec Fender guitars are a thing of wonder.
I totally get you man. I agree. Although probably because I came of age in the 90's and learned on 9.5" boards that's now what feels most natural to me. But yeah, the FR trem system and the like just seems weirdly complicated to me. Plus I never really was into any of the music where dive bombing a trem was needed.

I kind of wonder if maybe it was partly due to the shift in music that occurred in the early 90's. All those higher tech guitars were very much associated with power rock and hair metal and then you had all of the bands that came after reject that and they were all playing the instruments that the rock heros of the 60's and 70's were playing. You had Cobain playing Jags and Mustangs, Corgan playing Strats, Frusciante playing Jags and Strats, etc.

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Re: The 'Vintage Correct' Obsession

Post by Larry Mal » Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:58 am

In other ways, though, I'm totally against the "vintage correct" thing. I've been pulling pickups from my guitars and replacing them with noiseless pickups, I no longer have any tolerance for 60 cycle hum.

Now, if I had a real, unmolested vintage guitar I might not do this, but my guitars aren't those particularly, so I feel no compulsion about pulling my vintage accurate pickups out and putting in something that actually records well.

And I also feel that I have been part of the problem all these years, because like has been mentioned, there was a steady progression of technological change with guitars, then it all stopped- I've been calling it the "mass extinction event" in guitar technology.

Granted, I didn't like all the changes, but shit, I sure don't like this world where it's a competition to see who can most accurately recreate the technology of the 50's either.
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Re: The 'Vintage Correct' Obsession

Post by beninma » Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:09 pm

Having owned a Telecaster I'd say Tele owners are way worse than Offset owners in terms of having the fetish for keeping things Vintage.

If this place was TDPRI 99% of the forum would have vintage correct bridges that constantly went out of tune and everyone would dogpile and banish the occasional guy who came on and talked about how he had modded his bridge to fix an issue or got a Mastery.

And no one would buy the Fender offset models that differed from vintage, or if they did they would quickly try to mod them to be more vintage.

For my part I have no desire to have a vintage correct bridge on a Tele or a Jazzmaster.

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Re: The 'Vintage Correct' Obsession

Post by Beyer160 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:08 pm

Sauerkraut wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:49 am
Larsongs wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:31 am
The same is true with the early Jazzmasters & Jaguars.
Except that everyone knows the original bridge is ****ed.
Really? Shit, nobody told me- I've been playing my Jazzmasters and Jaguars with stock bridges for years with no problems.

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Re: The 'Vintage Correct' Obsession

Post by Sauerkraut » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:19 pm

Beyer160 wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:08 pm
Sauerkraut wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:49 am
Larsongs wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:31 am
The same is true with the early Jazzmasters & Jaguars.
Except that everyone knows the original bridge is ****ed.
Really? Shit, nobody told me- I've been playing my Jazzmasters and Jaguars with stock bridges for years with no problems.
Fine. I’ll put it less bluntly:
“Except that for many of us the original bridge is less than satisfactory.”

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Re: The 'Vintage Correct' Obsession

Post by HarlowTheFish » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:21 pm

beninma wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 12:09 pm
Having owned a Telecaster I'd say Tele owners are way worse than Offset owners in terms of having the fetish for keeping things Vintage.

If this place was TDPRI 99% of the forum would have vintage correct bridges that constantly went out of tune and everyone would dogpile and banish the occasional guy who came on and talked about how he had modded his bridge to fix an issue or got a Mastery.

And no one would buy the Fender offset models that differed from vintage, or if they did they would quickly try to mod them to be more vintage.

For my part I have no desire to have a vintage correct bridge on a Tele or a Jazzmaster.
For real though -- I was reading over there about neck finishes and whatnot and saw an argument devolve into insults into deleted posts into both people getting banned over how using shellac as a sealer for a nitro finish was apparently objectively worse and would make your guitar, life, and wife miserable and unfulfilling.

Can we just like, agree that vintage and modern specs all have their place, that sometimes we want the blunt-instrument approach of the former and sometimes we want the precise-scalpel of the latter, and that this stuff's all personal preference and who the fuck cares if it's somebody else's gear anyway?

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Re: The 'Vintage Correct' Obsession

Post by Sauerkraut » Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:43 pm

HarlowTheFish wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:21 pm
Can we just like, agree that vintage and modern specs all have their place, that sometimes we want the blunt-instrument approach of the former and sometimes we want the precise-scalpel of the latter, and that this stuff's all personal preference and who the fuck cares if it's somebody else's gear anyway?
Sure.


...

I mean, I think pretty much everyone here agrees.

So...

What’s the weather like over there?

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Re: The 'Vintage Correct' Obsession

Post by tribi9 » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:10 pm

The vintage correct crowd, the anti vintage correct crowd, the crowd that feels superior due to their musical taste and their equivalent rival, should all battle and kill each other off.

Then the world would instantly become like that scene from the Simpsons where Lionel Hutz imagines a world without lawyers..

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Re: The 'Vintage Correct' Obsession

Post by blunderbuss » Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:04 pm

This feels like as good of a time as any to say I’m planning to build my first guitar this year for funsies in lockdown.

I think I’m going with an Transparent Purple Offset Telecaster with red guard and roasted maple fretboard.

I’ll use a three saddle telecaster bridge. 😹😹😹
Ryan

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Re: The 'Vintage Correct' Obsession

Post by blunderbuss » Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:19 pm

Another thing I’ve been thinking.

In my work I have to think a lot about “design intent,” what was the actual intent and purpose of a piece of design by the creator? Knowing that I have to create something new from it in other mediums. I’m usually guessing at the intent but always try to stay true to the vision. However I will absolutely change something if I see room for improvement.

Vintage correct is a way of saying that the base design meets the expectations of the player. Sometimes when the expectation changes people can be disappointed. For example, I’ve been looking quite a bit at Nashville mods for teles. It’s a fairly popular mod such they they make that style now. It’s not vintage correct, but it’s a design update that resonates with people. Folks with Nashville mods get a more flexible instrument at the expense of pickup matching and the classic neck+bridge telecaster sound. If I brought that Tele home and I wasn’t aware it’s not meant to sound classic, I might be unhappy to miss out on that sound.

I think there’s beauty in appreciating classic designs but I don’t think we ought to avoid changing things. Guitars are working tools that belong to people.
Ryan

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Re: The 'Vintage Correct' Obsession

Post by blunderbuss » Mon Jan 11, 2021 6:21 pm

Lastly I do think it’s a lot of fun seeing what other manufacturers do with telecaster designs when they’re freed from the restraint of calling something a telecaster. Reverend’s T style family always seems like a good times.
Ryan

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