Vintage vs Classicc vs Modern


New Member
Apr 26, 2012
New Jersey
This is an open field thread. Define the term or give an example to help define the term. Example 59/09's = a modern tone. Name an artist or song that helps define a catagory. Name a guitar that fits a catagory. Anything goes. Just start with

Vintage= ......
Classic= ......
Modern= ....
It'll be interesting to see how different players define these terms.

For me, unless you go back a very long time, "vintage" and "classic" are fairly synonymous. And so much "modern" music has been made on old instruments, or old-style instruments, that I'm not even sure what that term means! A guy like Dave Grohl, who's playing some pretty meaty stuff, is playing a Trini Lopez model Gibson these days, that came out in 1964! And he also uses other old-style instruments. This is just an example, of course. But we can all think of dozens of modern players in this category.

I get that metal is different, and has a different instrumental/pickup/amp vocabulary than other genres, but it's been around a long time, too, in one form or another.

The active EMG pickup was introduced when, late 70s? I know Steinberger was using them in the early 80s, because I was interested in one at the time. But the thing is, that was over 30 years ago. Does that make it vintage, classic, or modern?

Last year, my son did a short tour with The Academy Is, a well known punk/emo band. He played a Tele and a 335. They weren't hot-rodded new models, they both dated from the 80s and had standard pickups. I have no idea what he played through, I've forgotten, but I'll guess a Mesa. So is that stuff vintage, classic, modern, what?

So I'm copping out. Can't answer the question. LOL
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To me, "vintage" describes a specific guitar, while "classic" and "modern" describe guitar designs.

I'd probably call any guitar made before 1980 a "vintage" guitar. I'd probably call any guitar designed before 1970 a "classic," and any guitar designed since would be "modern."

The Strat, Tele, LP, and 335 are all "classic" guitars to me. Ibanez guitars are usually "modern." The PRS double-cut designs are all "modern," though I'd argue they're destined to become classics in their own right, especially since they evoke the "classics" more than most modern designs.