vintage guitars

Jared James Nichols’ 1952 Les Paul Standard.

The hype around vintage guitars has made them more expensive than ever before—but arguably, you can find all that you need in “cheaper” gear.

It’s official: We are living in the most expensive time ever. According to the United Texas Credit Union, “Since 1970, the Consumer Price Index saw a 500-percent-plus increase.” Even after adjusting for inflation, the numbers prove that 2023 dollars buy a whole lot less than they did 25 or 50 years ago.

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Team Fender: This Telecaster Custom and Pro-Amp both hail from the same year, although the Tele looks like it has considerably more mileage

A slab rosewood fretboard, binding, and a sunburst finish made the 1960 Custom model a classic alternative template for Leo’s senior solidbody.

In 1959, Alaska and Hawaii became the 49th and 50th states in the U.S. But guitar fans know ’59 as a legendary year for both Les Pauls and Telecasters—two favorite flavors among meat-and-potatoes 6-string aficionados. On the Fender side of the menu, that’s the year the Telecaster and Esquire Custom models debuted, at the NAMM show in June.

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This 1965/’66 Univox UC 12-string, with its angular body, mechanical-looking bridge, and funky 2-piece pickguard, looks sprung from a space-age fever dream.

H. Noble’s Univox guitars were funky and forward-thinking, and they remain so today.

I never seem to get rid of anything, including clothes. I have Vans from the ’80s that my son swears are worth a “ton of money,” and I have t-shirts dating way back. Since I never embraced fads, most of my old clothes are retro cool—according to my daughter, at least. The other day she was going through some aged t-shirts of mine and managed to claim a whole pile as her own. I looked through the shirts she liked, and among them I saw a Univox shirt, which I had totally forgotten about, but I quickly recalled that angular logo. (Man, the Univox Super-Fuzz is still my favorite all-time fuzz pedal.)

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