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Dec 14, 2019 - 5:14:19 AM
4603 posts since 3/22/2008

I'm reading a book "Classic Guitars U.S.A." by Willie G. Moseley copyright 1992.
One section discusses use of the descriptive terms "Vintage vs. Used" when applied to buying and selling guitars and says (in 1992) most in the trade ascribed to a 25 years old benchmark to distinguish use of the terms "Vintage" from "Used". Well, about 28 years has passed since publication of this book and got me thinking about what is a "Vintage" banjo today? For example, can there be a "Vintage" Stelling? Or are older Stellings "Used" or "Pre-Owned" or some other appellation for other than new. Is a pre-owned mid-1970's Great Lakes banjo "Vintage" or "Used"?
As time passes in the 21st century shouldn't we cap the use of the term "Vintage" banjos to those made prior to a certain time frame? Or does "Vintage" move up one year each Happy New Year? To me (an old guy) banjos made in the 1950's are "Vintage". When you get to banjos made in the 1960's they don't seem to amount to "Vintage" to me. They're just "Used" 1960's banjos. But maybe you feel, for example, a 1969 Kalamazo Epiphone is still vintage but a 1971 Asian import Epiphone is just "Used". The overseas imported banjos beginning in the late 1960's (I think that's the right time frame) seem to further muddy the "Vintage vs. Used" question.
So, what's a "Vintage" banjo?

Dec 14, 2019 - 5:46:39 AM
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KCJones

USA

595 posts since 8/30/2012

I think original quality of the instrument is part of the deciding factor. A cheap Rogue from Amazon will never be vintage no matter how old it is.

A Yates banjo made today will be vintage in 75 years, and inevitably there will be another big war eventually so we'll even be able to call them pre-war.

Dec 14, 2019 - 6:34:37 AM

2019 posts since 12/31/2005

As an adjective, vintage means both high quality and aged. One component is subjective and the other is not.

Dec 14, 2019 - 7:06:45 AM
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560 posts since 8/10/2009

I believe the term “golden era” is more useful than “vintage.”

“Vintage” implies a certain accumulated age, without specifying any information concerning quality. The term comes to us from the wine industry and then crossed over into the world of antiques and then over into musical instruments.

On the other hand, “Golden Era” implies a specific period of time and a high quality. A “golden era” can be recent or significantly aged. In my opinion it is a much more useful and accurate term, whether we are talking about wine, furniture, art or instruments.

Joe Spann

Dec 14, 2019 - 7:07:03 AM

1020 posts since 12/2/2013

I think the term "vintage" comes from the wine society, referring to particular types that are exceptional in taste/flavor etc. For our purposes it could refer to quality of construction, sound and a continuing, predictable rise in value and appeal.

Dec 14, 2019 - 7:07:56 AM
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10757 posts since 4/23/2004

Its a matter of perspective: "Vintage" if you're a seller. "Used" if you're a buyer.

I suppose that 25 yrs is fairly common but for me it must come with some form of noteriety. That is, it may be 25 yrs old but if there is nothing special about that particular year for that thing..."vintage" becomes just a sellers marketing term.

Dec 14, 2019 - 7:14:44 AM
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6560 posts since 8/28/2013

Why even debate this? People are people and will use whatever term they want to in order to garner interest in what they have for sale. It's up to the buyer to determine a banjo's true value in his own eyes.

Dec 14, 2019 - 7:28:02 AM
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10757 posts since 4/23/2004

quote:
Originally posted by G Edward Porgie

Why even debate this? 


Because we enjoy beating ex-equines.

Dec 14, 2019 - 7:50:14 AM
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6560 posts since 8/28/2013

quote:
Originally posted by trapdoor2
quote:
Originally posted by G Edward Porgie

Why even debate this? 


Because we enjoy beating ex-equines.


If you're going to use five dollar words such as "equines," you should have completed the job: "Due to the rapturous emotions we experience when brutally  flagellating deceased equines."

Dec 14, 2019 - 8:05:09 AM
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10757 posts since 4/23/2004

quote:
Originally posted by G Edward Porgie
quote:
Originally posted by trapdoor2
quote:
Originally posted by G Edward Porgie

Why even debate this? 


Because we enjoy beating ex-equines.


If you're going to use five dollar words such as "equines," you should have completed the job: "Due to the rapturous emotions we experience when brutally  flagellating deceased equines."


Sorry, I was more interested in the cup of coffee I had at hand. I'll do better next time!

Dec 14, 2019 - 8:05:24 AM
Players Union Member

KCJones

USA

595 posts since 8/30/2012

You can get a Vintage banjo from Huber that was made this year. How about that?

Dec 14, 2019 - 8:07:12 AM

53239 posts since 12/14/2005

quote:
Originally posted by flyingsquirrelinlay

I think the term "vintage" comes from the wine society, referring to particular types that are exceptional in taste/flavor etc. For our purposes it could refer to quality of construction, sound and a continuing, predictable rise in value and appeal.


You think correctly.

Starting with the Latin "Vinum" for "wine".

And eventually developing into  an almost meaningless adjective, often included in advertisements for various objects.

Dec 14, 2019 - 8:14:07 AM

213 posts since 2/26/2012
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So.... "vintage" is a quailty banjo with 50 years for example, and just "old" an asian banjo with 50 years...

And what about in 50 years, when the quality banjos that are new today and are made in china become vintage....?

The quality factor is important, i am agree, but not the place where a banjo or another thing is made,. For example Apple,  makes its products in China and with very good quality control.

Also, bad quality items can be interesting in the future, they are part of the history too. For example gun colt 2000 all american, a very bad quality gun, made of polymer that was reason that Colt fell down in bankrupt. It is a classic and is becoming a collection item for that reason.

Bad quality items are thrown away easily and became scarce in the future...

It is more difficult that it seems.

Edited by - Aitor Eneko on 12/14/2019 08:22:07

Dec 14, 2019 - 8:28:40 AM

2328 posts since 4/29/2012

It's a more or less meaningless term except in specialist markets where it has been given a meaning (like cars, where veteran, vintage and classic have specific agreed meanings). In my opinion. If you had 2 banjos of the same quality, sound,playability design and price but one was brand new and the other used and you chose the used one over the new one then it's probably, in your opinion, vintage because you are valuing its age as a positive not a negative. This becomes pretty clear with things like electric guitars where the same companies have been making the same models for decades. You can buy a pretty accurate Fender copy f a 1950's Strat for under $2000. A genuine 50's Strat, which probably has playability issues and repairs, will cost you many times more.

Dec 14, 2019 - 8:50:08 AM

459 posts since 8/14/2018

It is vintage if it is older than I am.

(Though in some contexts, vintage means ‘things I remember from childhood’).

Dec 14, 2019 - 9:26:12 AM

carlb

USA

2034 posts since 12/16/2007

How about:
Vintage=Prior to WWII

Dec 14, 2019 - 9:42:15 AM

4603 posts since 3/22/2008

Interesting that we thinks "Vintage" connotes not only age but also a certain level of quality.
I was thinking "Vintage" only referred to age.
So attached are two 1950's Kay banjos.
One is a budget, entry level, student banjo that I've been informed here on BHO is a 1954.
The Kay Silva Pro is 1956 and was a pretty robust banjo.
I'd have said they were both "Vintage" because of the age factor.
What do you say about "Vintage"? Both? One but not the other? Neither?
(I feel sure neither are going to be considered "Golden Age".)


Dec 14, 2019 - 9:43:38 AM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

22721 posts since 6/25/2005

“Vintage” is anything older than you are. So it varies. “Antique” generally is at least 100 years old, so that’s a base to go on. I don’t care about terms of age; they’re too flexible. I want to know the approximate year of construction. “Vintage is meaningless. If you follow the wine approach, my new RK is “vintage,” — vintage 2019.

Dec 14, 2019 - 10:20:43 AM

majesty

Canada

278 posts since 3/20/2011

I like this definition of VINTAGE best, from the Cambridge Dictionary:

Of high quality and lasting value, or showing the best and most typical characteristics of a particular type of thing, especially from the past.

Dec 14, 2019 - 10:35:35 AM
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286 posts since 5/29/2015

John's Kay conundrum suggests an implicit meaning of vintage as 1) out-of-production 2) has a certain "older" look and 3) can be at least made functional/useful if not intriguing in its performance in some way. Both Kay banjos are vintage.

Anything that you can still buy new is not vintage. All vintage instruments are either used or NOS.
The way the instrument was designed and made is different than what is typical today.
The instrument gets some of its value either in intrigue from how it sounds or how it looks.

Dec 14, 2019 - 12:07 PM
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6560 posts since 8/28/2013

quote:
Originally posted by mike gregory
quote:
Originally posted by flyingsquirrelinlay

I think the term "vintage" comes from the wine society, referring to particular types that are exceptional in taste/flavor etc. For our purposes it could refer to quality of construction, sound and a continuing, predictable rise in value and appeal.


You think correctly.

Starting with the Latin "Vinum" for "wine".

And eventually developing into  an almost meaningless adjective, often included in advertisements for various objects.

 


Wow! That's one angry Teddy bear!

Dec 14, 2019 - 12:23:21 PM

213 posts since 2/26/2012
Online Now

Perhaps because I am Spanish I do not understand the joke of a “bear” hitting a dead horse....

Help !!

Dec 14, 2019 - 1:19:29 PM
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566 posts since 5/31/2004

"Beating a dead horse" is an idiomatic expression for wasting effort on something that has already been settled or completed.

Dec 14, 2019 - 1:46:50 PM
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53239 posts since 12/14/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Aitor Eneko

Perhaps because I am Spanish I do not understand the joke of a “bear” hitting a dead horse....

Help !!


Quizas un hombre?

Attempting to move a dead horse, by beating it so severely, that IT GETS UP AND WALKS AGAIN, is a waste of time and effort.

In like manner, discussing a topic  upon which no clear consensus  or acceptable compromise will ever be found, is ALSO a waste of time and effort.

There were several animated pictures available from AOL IMAGES, of a dead horse being beaten.

I chose the bear picture  because I thought it was the strangest, and so, to MY warped mind, the funniest.

Edited by - mike gregory on 12/14/2019 13:50:05

Dec 14, 2019 - 5:14:22 PM
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6560 posts since 8/28/2013

Questions:

Which came first, the beating or the dead horse?

If the horse is an Old Gray Mare, would she be considered a "vintage" horse, or would she just be "used?"

By the same token, if the implement used in the beating is old, is it considered "Vintage?" or just "used?"

And what about the Teddy bear? Some of those, at least the quality ones, according to Antiques Roadshow, can be quite valuable. Does that make him "vintage?"

Is a series of lousy jokes and thread hijacking an old practice that could also be debated as being "used," or "vintage?"

Dec 14, 2019 - 7:24:45 PM

917 posts since 3/1/2012

At least on ebay, 'antique' banjos are older than 'vintage' banjos.
Not 100% accurate, but as a general rule of thumb.
Of course, it depends on both the honesty and the knowledge of the seller. I see a lot of 'rare' banjos that just aren't.

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