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"Official Vintage Guitar Price Guide" 2020: No Banjos!

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Oct 18, 2019 - 8:31:08 PM
424 posts since 10/21/2009

For everyone who has enjoyed buying this guide over the years and using it as a source for what various banjos are worth, or just browsing makers and seeing what models of banjos were made and when... DO NOT BUY the new 2020 version!

'Just picked mine up, they decided to drop the banjo category. I'm not aware of any announcement of this on their website... please advise if I missed something, otherwise we are just supposed to realize what is not listed in the ad for the Guide (banjos) compared to prior years I guess. Yea, right.

I suggest we email or voice our dissatisfaction to the publisher/editor(s).


Edited by - rockyjo on 10/18/2019 20:37:45

Oct 18, 2019 - 11:22:21 PM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)


22455 posts since 6/25/2005

I’ve never seen this book. What makes it “official” anyway? A lot of hooey if you ask me.

Oct 19, 2019 - 3:19:34 AM

1920 posts since 4/7/2010
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It is actually a decent reference. I have bought a new one every year for more than 20 years.

The publisher is Vintage Guitar Magazine, so the book is their "official" publication.

I will send a strongly worded letter to the publisher. The banjo section is probably smaller in content than the pages used for the Gibson Les Paul guitar variations, but I still find it very useful.

Bob Smakula

Oct 19, 2019 - 7:52:49 AM



2307 posts since 2/20/2016

I also find it useful as a reference. But I would say that the listings for electric instruments are probably a better reflection of current market values than the listings for acoustic instruments. I have never considered their banjo listings to be particularly accurate, though they have improved over the years.

I did not buy the 2020 edition. I do need to remember to get the 2021 edition when it comes out, but I don't expect to see a great amount of change in prices. The retail vintage market has been flat for years.

And no, the guide is not "hooey."  It is compiled every year from figures that are contributed by established retailers, although many items are extrapolated.  Bear in mind that ebay and reverb prices are not used to compile the listings.  It is only a reference, but it is an informed reference.

Edited by - rcc56 on 10/19/2019 07:57:12

Oct 25, 2019 - 1:45:40 PM



424 posts since 10/21/2009

Yea, thank you Bob Smakula for sending a letter.

Nov 3, 2019 - 11:22:01 AM



424 posts since 10/21/2009

I called the Guide offices and expressed my disappointment that there is no banjo section in the 2020 Guide, and the fact that there is no banjo section is not stated in a readily apparent way in the ad.

I received a call back from the owner. Apparently, the banjo section is on a 2-year cycle, so it will return in the 2021 issue.

And they refunded my money.

Hooray for the 2021 issue!


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