Vintage guitars were often better made, with superior materials, finer craftsmanship
and better construction than their modern equivalents, giving vintage guitars character and sound that's not available in
anything fresh off the assembly line.
The appeal of a Gibson, in particular, can be traced to the early 60's when Michael
Bloomfield came to England playing a Gibson Les Paul. The guitar greats who heard him (Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff
Beck, among others) fell in love with the sound, and started to favour the Les Paul. This increased the
demand for guitars that were produced in limited numbers, driving up the cost.
For collectors, there are two further factors that influence the vintage guitar market. One
is that the "Baby Boomer" generation can now afford to buy the guitars they watched their idols using in the past.
The other is the historical significance of the impact their music had on the 20th century. Like anything of historical
significance, vintage guitars are desirable because of the human desire to own a piece of history.
Hand made craftsmanship, rare materials, and design expertise combined with
limited production, results in a market for these instruments that can only continue to grow in value.
So, why vintage Gibson Basses?
Well, as one of the Baby Boomers, I had owned and played a copy Gibson EB3 bass as a teenager and have
always loved its style.
Now, given a choice of buying a Harley Davison motorbike (and killing myself!) or a real Gibson bass I chose
a Gibson bass, and intended to buy a handfull for personal pleasure-and for investment. That handfull grew into a substantial
collection - some of which is celebrated on this website, and others on its sister site "www.gibsonbassstore.com"!
The Vintage Guitar Investment Market
By definition, there is a finite supply of vintage guitars. As the supply cannot increase, and
demand is not likely to decrease, then like fine wine, or classic art, the value can only go up. So, even if you
collect solely for the pleasure of owning a beautiful instrument with character and history, you can confidently expect your
instrument to hold, and even increase, in value over the years.
The vintage guitar market has outperformed traditional markets ever
since it has been tracked by an index created by Vintage Guitar magazine in 1991. "The ‘42 Index’ has
demonstrated an average annual return of over 31% since it began 17 years ago," said Tommy Byrne, co-founder of ACP
and Chief Investment Officer of the Fund. "Historically, when the major markets have collapsed, this market has plateaued
until the traditional markets picked up again."