Want to learn jazz?

Have you seen my latest Blues Course - Slow 60 Blues?

Author Topic: Input Time!  (Read 9999 times)

zagatron1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1522
    • View Profile
Input Time!
« on: January 13, 2014, 12:06:38 PM »
Hello all! I happened across a thought provoking question (not mine) while surfing the web (as I often do) and found this, so I wanted to share it with y'all. It starts with the main question -

 "Why are guitars from the 50's and 60's treated as though they were forged by the gods themselves?"  Read on my friends.........

"I was watching an interview with Joe Bonamassa and he was playing a re-issue Gibson were doing for a 1960 Les Paul (I don't remember exactly what it was but it was something like that). He said something along the lines of "With technology today it's really amazing how close you can get to the originals".
It got me thinking about how guitars from the 50s and 60s seem to be treated like they were crafted atop mount Olympus by the gods and were thrust down from the heavens for us mortals to enjoy. I could understand it if it were just because of the fact that they're antiques and rare, but it also seems that they sound infinitely better than any guitar today and the sound will never be able to be replicated.
Come on, really? I would think that we'd be able to make better guitars with todays technology than we could 50 years ago, but for whatever reason, people tell me we reached a peak that will never again be reached. Can someone please explain this to me? Is it because I've never played a vintage guitar so I don't understand?"

There it is! What's your take?

robert

  • Guitar Guy
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1387
    • View Profile
Re: Input Time!
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2014, 03:12:20 PM »
It's called Nostalgia.

Many makers make guitars today that are better than they ever did.

So I call it BS most of the time. There are of course exceptions, but isn't that always the case in life?

NicolasA

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 74
  • New Dolphinstreet Member!
    • View Profile
Re: Input Time!
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2014, 03:33:51 PM »
Handwork vs Industrial Business.

Quality, Durability, Profit : you can have two. (I you think you want all three, then what you really want is profit)

"Back in the days", guitars were supposed to be amorously hand-made by dedicated artisans, while they are now industrially processed by soul-less enslaved ghouls...or something like that. So goes the legend, anyway...

VikingBlues

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 230
  • New Dolphinstreet Member!
    • View Profile
Re: Input Time!
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2014, 02:33:23 AM »
Also another factor maybe.

Combine :-

1) a raw material with supply issues and restrictions on supply - ie wood
2) a huge increase in the number of guitars made - for example 2008 has 3 times as many units made as 1999 according to Music Trades Online and  1999 was double 1992. Keep going with that sort of increase in figures back to the last 50s.

Poorer quality raw materials = poorer quality finished product. Garbage in, garbage out. Cuts of wood that would be better suited to making a park bench.

johannes.maas

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 203
  • New Dolphinstreet Member!
    • View Profile
Re: Input Time!
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2014, 09:12:27 AM »
IMO the Japanese at FGN for example built better Guitars than Gibson ever did.

Is a 59 Gibson Les Paul better than a Custom Shop of these days? I honestly dont think so.
Maybe they had better tone wood in the 50s and 60s and maybe this wood aged during the last 65 years and
maybe some kind of oxidizing happened to the pus...

I would bet any money that no expert (!) would be able to hear this in a blind test.

I think I read something about a blindtest they did on violins a while ago.

They did a sound comparison on a high end new violin, a stradivari and a plastic one.

The so called experts failed to identify the old violin...

QUOTE
"(...) of the 17 players who were asked to choose which were old Italians, "Seven said they couldn't, seven got it wrong, and only three got it right."
UNQUOTE

here is the source:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2012/01/02/144482863/double-blind-violin-test-can-you-pick-the-strad

Its all Mojo....

BTW I just was able to play a 57 Custom Shop Goldtop from Gibson (2012 Modell) - I think it is priced arround 2.500 new. Compared to my FGN NEO CLASSIC LS 10 from Japan (1.350 New) it lacks tone and craftmanship. The FGN is crafted way better.
here is the source:



zagatron1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1522
    • View Profile
Re: Input Time!
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2014, 12:17:29 PM »
Well folks.......my turn. As I stated earlier, I found that paragraph while surfing the web and figured I'd see what kind of input I'd get from you guys (Hince the title I often use here called "Input time") . As I stated, I found it to be quite interesting and thought provoking, however to me the whole thing is full of interesting "factoids" among other things that really do not make as much of an impact as people think. But you cannot really tell some folks (the ones that know everything) anything because it doesn't matter what YOU say. Unfortunately, that's the world we now live in. No turning back I guess. During my return to guitar playing (I put it down for 12 yrs.), I learned a great wealth of information about the instrument I love so much. At the same time I learned more about ego trips, swelled heads, purists, know it alls, primodonnas, haters and then some. All that stuff is good to know (I guess), but what's most important to me is enjoying this instrument I play, playing well and sounding good (to my ears at least). If you play in a band and gig, tour or whatever, Joe and Jane crowd member don't care about the following: what name is on your headstock, how much you paid for it, where the wood came from, the country of origin, the factory it came from, the serial number, the pickups and or pickup resistance, bridge saddles you use, the composition of your nut, the tuning machines you use, the strings you use, boxers or briefs, etc. etc.!!!! It's all relative I guess. These are some of the kind of things I've seen (and read) in forums. Forums! I "used" to think they where a cool way of  getting away from the regular BS of life and getting with folk that shared a common passion. NOT!!!! It's mostly for braggin' rights! However, this forum is different! Level headed folk here. That's a good thing. Dolphinstreet is okay with me! Life is too short for the bullshit!!!

Have Fun and Play On!!!!
« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 12:43:45 PM by zagatron1 »

zagatron1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1522
    • View Profile
Re: Input Time!
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2014, 12:35:50 PM »
........and the guitar player on stage yells to the crowd "I've got Lollar High Wind Humbucker Pickups in this Gibson R9 Les Paul I'm playin' on!!!!! Guy in the crowd says R9 what? Dude next to him says that's that flu virus I think!?

Vladan

  • http://vladanmovies.blogspot.com
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 687
  • High on own Supply
    • View Profile
Re: Input Time!
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2014, 05:44:41 PM »
... At the same time I learned more about ego trips, swelled heads, purists, know it alls, primodonnas, haters and then some...

Guess that's why this forum is rather low on traffic. I think this is the only place where I haven't met/ did not find a single case of above mentioned. OK, maybe some ego tripping, but that would boil down to my self. Everywhere else, there must be at least couple of "cases".

creekster52

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 675
    • View Profile
Re: Input Time!
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2014, 05:45:28 PM »
You guys nailed it. It's mostly about nostalgia, hype and snobbery.

"Back in the day" when you went to buy a guitar, there was a very good reason for trying several guitars of the same type. Because they were all hand crafted, quality varied quite a bit from instrument to another. Also there weren't many good guitar techs around, so it was important to find a guitar that played well right off the rack. Hell, I didn't even know what a routine setup was back in the '60s!!

I would venture to say that consistency is much better these days, and the potential for personal modification is exponentially better.

zagatron1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1522
    • View Profile
Re: Input Time!
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2014, 12:05:18 PM »
You guys nailed it. It's mostly about nostalgia, hype and snobbery.

"Back in the day" when you went to buy a guitar, there was a very good reason for trying several guitars of the same type. Because they were all hand crafted, quality varied quite a bit from instrument to another. Also there weren't many good guitar techs around, so it was important to find a guitar that played well right off the rack. Hell, I didn't even know what a routine setup was back in the '60s!!

I would venture to say that consistency is much better these days, and the potential for personal modification is exponentially better.

"Back in the day"! Got a nice ring to it. Yeah creek I remember them well. You mention guitar tech.......I was scared of them because if there was a problem, I was SOL! It was all I could do to PAY for the damn guitar itself much less PAY someone to repair it for me. It was a genuine interest (and a mechanical aptitude helps too!) that got me into guitar and eventually amp repair. The same method that got into an automotive career.

robert

  • Guitar Guy
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1387
    • View Profile
Re: Input Time!
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2014, 02:06:20 PM »
I wonder if there was a "vintage guitar hype" back in the 60's and 70's? I mean, Hendrix played brand new Strats, and I doubt there were people saying that he would sound better on an old guitar! :)

This vintage hype must have started in the 1980's I am guessing?

It is funny to see 1980's pointy guitars being sold on eBay as "vintage guitars"... but age is just a number isn't it.

zagatron1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1522
    • View Profile
Re: Input Time!
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2014, 04:44:57 PM »
There might have been a "vintage hype" back in the day Robert. I can't say for sure since "back in the day" was a tad closer to the electric guitars' inception for some of us ::). If there was (any hype), I didn't notice it. It wasn't until I decided to pick up a guitar again that I noticed all kinds of hype, prejudice, hatred, disrespect, purism and the list goes on.
I would agree with you Robert.....the part about vintage hype starting around the 1980's. When I started playing again around 2002, the guitar (music) world was definitely an eye opener. Folks analyzing, reverse engineering, aging, relic-ing, trying to get that vintage vibe clicking. I got to the point where I just go with some of the popular sayings like "different strokes for different folks" or "whatever floats yer boat", just to name a few. ;)

creekster52

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 675
    • View Profile
Re: Input Time!
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2014, 02:02:30 PM »
 There was no hype about vintage guitars in the '60s and '70s, other than with Bluegrass players who coveted the old Martins and Gibsons. The "vintage" guitars were found in the pawn shops, and were called second-hand, not vintage.

I grew up in Waco, Texas which is located on what is now Interstate 35. Players would pass through town on their way south to Austin and Houston, or on their way back to Memphis, Chicago or Nashville. If they were  short on money to reach the next gig, or just to get back home...the pawn shop, or a pick-up gig was about the only resource. In Waco, there weren't many options for a pick-up gig. Only a few beer joints along the highway, on the edge of town.

I frequented the pawn shops and remember quite a few guitars and amps that would be considered collectible today, but back then they were just used guitars.

hillbilly-joe

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 711
    • View Profile
Re: Input Time!
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2014, 04:34:32 PM »
I remember back in the early 80's in the pawn shop, my friend owned one. Fenders and Gibsons still were not hot items. You could buy them at a reasonable cost used. The amps were all available and would sit on the floor for years before being sold. Now I guess the moment they get a collectable, its on the net being auctioned off. Not sure how it all works. Over here I get to see many collectable (they are not called that) junk guitars of the 60's and 70's that are offered still between $100  to $200.  Those are acoustics. The electrics of Japanese makes mostly all under $100. I want to take some pictures for you guys but right now I have computer problems so I can't upload them. They are in the recycle store with the guitars and amps. I like going there because every week something new always shows up. Especially them classical guitars, some very good small time makers of the 60's that no one knows the value, so they just price them around $60 and up.

zagatron1

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1522
    • View Profile
Re: Input Time!
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2014, 06:39:34 PM »
Good point creek! Never thought of the guys like you said sellin' their stuff to do whatever they had to (or get to). Hey HJ, that's what they call them types of places over there, "Recycle Stores"?

That's one place I've never bought anything musical......a pawn shop. I wasn't well versed on the possible treasures that could be found in one. Not to mention back then I didn't know one if it bit me. Most of the time I was tryin' to sell something 'cause I was low ($$$$-wise). I'd see guitars hangin' up on the walls , but I was on a $$$ mission. I was born and raised in NC, but grew up in Md and now I'm in DC. If you see anything of exceptional value in the Pawn shops in this area, it wasn't for long. Now that was like you guys said, in the 60's and 70's. These days now that I know what to look for, all you see now is undesirables. Of course the internet puts a whole new twist on things as well.