Sometimes Vintage Gear Just Sucked

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by sergiodeblanc, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Get in, loser, we’re going shopping.

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    Inspired by another thread where @Rusty Chos and I briefly discussed throwing vintage gear away, I just wanna say... some of that sh!t deserved it.

    People get $200 for those green Sovtek Small Stones now, and IMO they’re trash. How did I come to such an unpopular conclusion? I actually owned two of them back in the day.

    I guess if you were fine with your uneffected guitar (or in my case Clavinet and MiniMoog) tone sucking, and you needed a 6db drop in volume when you turned that [email protected] on.... they’re great. Otherwise if you were say, going from the clean rhythm in “Who’s that Lady?” to wrapping your head in a bandana and getting all Ernie Isley for the ripping phased out solos: kill me.

    Same goes for those green Big Muffs, and I’ll forever scratch my head over the fact that people actually pay money for those plastic Arion chorus pedals. In their stock form, they broke, and it’s no wonder peeps need to modify them in order for them to be useful.

    Digitech Space Station pedals sides would fall off and their photocell’s would get dusty leaving you with a treadle that only worked for like, 50% of the pedal’s throw, and now they’re collectors items? I mean, the same algorithms and effects are available in 90% of 90’s Digitech rack gear, plus a ton more effects and more control over parameters for $50-75.

    I would say in my experience there is some sought after gear that I would quite frankly rather have a Biyang or Joyo budget piece over for functionality purposes.

    Now this isn’t to say that some folks who are over the moon happy with their vintage pieces are incorrect, it’s just my opinion.

    So, what are some pieces of gear that are now highly thought of that you ditched or replaced? And do you regret it at all besides from maybe some lost revenue?

    Bonus points for stories about throwing gear out or lighting it on fire.
     
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  2. TRJC24PRS

    TRJC24PRS Possibly A New Member

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    See I never had thrown any of my gear out or anything like that, its mostly about me regretting these things right after. Its kind of a pain in the a-- because theres gear I do want to throw out but when I think about it, I always tell myself "Man your gonna regret this, you spent money on this you wont get back" typa stuff yknow.
     
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  3. ieso

    ieso New Member

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    I bought a TS808 back in the day when nobody cared about them and was happy to sell it to a collector in Japan for $500 years ago. I don't think hype on collector stuff lives up to reality. In a double-blind listening test aficionados of guitar gear would fare about as well as wine snobs who cannot tell the difference between cheap box wine and the "good stuff" relying only on their taste.
     
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  4. veinbuster

    veinbuster Freeze zone

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    I tossed 4 amps in the dust bin in the 70s. I doubt if anyone ever cared, but I wouldn’t know because once I ditch something I ignore it’s existence - that way I can’t ever have any regrets.
     
  5. John Beef

    John Beef Opaque

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    I have a Japanese CE-2 Chorus that I bought for like $40 in 1995. It's actually pretty good; my wife's been borrowing it for like 15 years.

    Yeah, those old Big Muffs, she used to tear through those things. I think we have the carcasses of several of them in the garage. Any time a pedal manufacturer uses plastic 1/4" jacks you know you're in for unplanned outages.
     
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  6. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Get in, loser, we’re going shopping.

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    Thank goodness, chorus is really only cool on bass. ;)
     
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  7. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I threw a 1967 Vox wah away. Its metal treadle had cracked sometime around 1970, so I duck-taped a sawed-off fraternity paddle to the treadle to be able to use it. At some point the whole thing fell apart, and it hit the dustbin of Les history.

    Add to that a Maestro fuzz from 1966 that I threw away because it was all banged up, and its captive audio cable was kinda shorting out; who knew it’d be a ‘thing’ later on down the road? This was around 1980 or so.

    But my favorite story is when my best buddy for many years, who’s now an ophthalmologist, left his white 1965 Fender Jaguar with a tortoise shell pick guard, in near-mint condition, that he bought new, next to the trash pickup bin about 15 years ago because he wasn’t playing it any more, and thought thought the case had kind of picked up a funky smell.

    He said that someone walked away with it before the trash even got picked up. When I told him what it was worth, he said, “Well, someone got a really good freebie, then.” He wasn’t the slightest bit upset.

    It’s good to be an ophthalmologist!

    Oh, he also threw out a 1966 Fender Twin on a different day.
     
    #7 LSchefman, Jan 18, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
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  8. Rusty Chos

    Rusty Chos Don’t mean a thang if it don’t twang

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    I once told a student his cheap acoustic guitar would make a better wall clock.

    He bought some cheap battery powered works and it now hangs on his dining room wall, keeping time.
    Kinda win-win actually.

    He eventually bought one of those cheap “Applause” Ovation knock-offs with the one-piece aluminum neck and frets. At least you could tune it up. He loved it and took it camping for years. I told him he could always paddle his canoe with it in a pinch. But by then he was sorta onto me...
     
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  9. Parralax view

    Parralax view New Member

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    ;-) everyone raves about old silver-tone amps. I guess they were alright, I had one of their head and cab sets from sears that my dad bought me instead of a Fender.. One Texas thunderstorm, a limb of a three through the garage roof and the pile of pressed cardboard it became let me know it wasn't so....
     
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  10. Geo408

    Geo408 New Member

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    I’m almost embarrassed to tell this one, but here goes...In 1969, ( I was 14 ) my Mom brought home an “old” electric guitar that she was given, by one of her clients. (She cleaned houses in an exclusive neighborhood on Long Island.) I had been playing for almost a year, and when I saw it I was ecstatic, even though I didn’t know anything about Gibson guitars..it had one pickup, and a cracked sunburst finish. The action was terrible, and it smelled like smoke..ugh, right? Anyway, I had a friend who knew way more about guitars than I did, who adjusted the action, and cleaned it up for me. I was in heaven!
    A few months later, we moved from Long Island, to way upstate NY...farm country. During the move, the chipboard case opened, and the guitar bounced around the back of the uhaul truck...for about 4 hours...yeah, broken headstock, and it snapped the neck clean off, just for good measure. Needless to say, I was heartbroken. My Mom told me to put it in the garbage. Well, even at 14 I figured I could use the parts for something, so I took off the pickup up, the controls and the tuners...then put the rest in the garbage. It was 5 years before I knew that I had thrown away a 1957 Les Paul jr....which could’ve been repaired. Oh well, I didn’t know any better at the time!
     
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  11. Ovibos

    Ovibos Unsure why all necks aren't rosewood

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    I used to have guardianship of my uncle's 1965 Jazzmaster. Those trems are stupid and I can't believe they're making them again.
     
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  12. django49

    django49 New Member

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    Speaking of KEEPING things......Pretty sure I still have my original Sunn Buzz.....A fuzz box that mounted on the guitar, made by the Sunn amp folks. Who knows? MAYBE it is worth repairing......
     
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  13. Coop

    Coop That one guy

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    I had one of the old green bug muffs. It was awesome for bass. Not so much for guitar. I sold it like ten years ago for like $180. I almost felt bad, but now I see they’re fetching more. I think I traded an envelope filter I paid $50 for initially. Decent ROI.
     
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  14. Rusty Chos

    Rusty Chos Don’t mean a thang if it don’t twang

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    Once upon a time I was working in Richland Washington, and was leaving town on my motorcycle for Boulder Colorado.
    I traded my Gibson SG for a Maestro Ring Modulator, which I figured was easier to carry on a bike.

    I wasn’t in love with the SG anyway.

    When I got to Boulder I checked out the Ring Modulator and figured it was broken from the vibration, since it sounded like intergalactic puking, so threw it out.

    Turns out it was SUPPOSED to sound like that!
     
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  15. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    “Les, your playing sounds like intergalactic puking, man.”

    “Yeah. It’s awesome, right?”
     
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  16. Boogie

    Boogie SuperD

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    The second pedal I ever bought was an original EH Small Stone. Probably 1980 or 81. It was a trés cool effect and used it for several years, but it wasn’t resilient to regular road wear and the + battery wire broke off at the board. It was almost impossible to locate the original pad to resolder it. So I handed it to my co-guitarist, who is an electrical engineer, to put it on his bench and fix it. Six months later, I asked if he was done and if I could get it back. He said he couldn’t find the proper solder point so he threw it away. :eek: I could have killed him.

    The Sovtek EH stuff was literally laughed at. Russian??!! Seriously? What crap, we thought, with our best snobbery in high gear. But by that point I was into studio effects instead of crappy pedals, so I never bought any. On the flip side, I used a rack mount Digitech delay unit for 15 continuous years of crappy bar and corporate gigs without a single failure. After a malfunction during practice in 2002, I sent it back to Digitech for repair and they couldn’t replicate the error, though they were really happy to see such an old unit still kicking. Even though the glitch reappears sporadically, it still works beautifully proving the old digital effects were well made.
     
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  17. Shawn@PRS

    Staff Member Moderator

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    During the 1970's, the quality of electrics guitars had gone downhill compared to days of yore. At some point, people started to seek out guitars from the 1950's and early 1960's, simply because those guitars were better made, easier to play and had better tone. Now that prices on the truly vintage guitars is out of reach for the average Joe, people are starting to pay silly money for the poorly built guitars from the 1970's. That's a head scratcher for me.
     
  18. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    Ditto. 70’s gear being labeled “vintage” and sold for 75-80% of what 60’s gear goes for... pass. I’ll take a new one, thanks. Yeah I guess it’s mathematically vintage, but that doesn’t make it good, unless it was one of those happy accidents.
     
  19. Clashcityrocker

    Clashcityrocker RedPilled

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    I had an old wah that I forget what brand it was. It would always drain the battery even when it was unplugged. When I opened it up I saw a flashlight bulb wired to the circuit. I broke the bulb and never had a problem with it after that.
     
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  20. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    In the 70s and 80s, when the vintage market got started, the older guitars from the 50s and 60s truly were better. It wasn’t a myth. They sounded better and played better than the 70s stuff (and I would argue, much of the 80s stuff, except for a few builders like PRS). Same with amps, by the way.

    Later, a different, untrue myth developed: The idea that “older” = “better.” This happened among folks who didn’t know why the whole vintage market got going, which was to get AWAY from the 70s guitars; all they were after was being able to say the guitar was “vintage.”

    Throw in the fact that most players haven’t ever even played a 50s or 60s guitar, only reissues. There’s no basis for comparison. The whole thing is an ignorance-fest of major proportions.

    Thus the 70s junk got hot for those who didn’t get in on the 50s and 60s stuff before the prices went out of reach, on the myth that older is better, and to that you can add the folks who want an early pedal, a low serial number, and all that other nonsense.

    Fact is, most folks don’t know the difference between a great guitar and a mediocre or poorly made one. Most folks don’t have any experience at all with a truly great vintage amp. And predictably, Fender has started to reissue Silverface amps (that of course don’t even meet that standard), because people don’t know that the blackface amps were in fact more desirable.

    I’ll throw in another fact: not all 50s and 60s guitars were great. There were plenty of clunkers. A few people understand and can hear the difference, but many just want to be able to say or feel good about having “a ‘65.”

    I’ve played some “vintage” jazz boxes from the 40s and 50s that their owners paid a pretty penny for, and some of them were utterly lifeless and sour sounding. But to have a “vintage” D’Aquisto Or D’Angelico from the 40s or 50s, or some such in your possession? Big status, even if it sounds like a turd, cracked nitro finish notwithstanding!

    The world is full of suckers. So what else is new?
     
    #20 LSchefman, Jan 19, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2019

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