I have always had a fascination with vintage guitars, and of course, a lot of the guitars I was loving way back when they were new, are now vintage as well! There is no question that guitars were made in a different way in the old days, especially when folks didn’t need guitars at such an incredible pace like they do now! It’s all basically been since the Beatles boom, and there’s been no looking back since! I love the old patina, vibe and “mojo” that old instruments have, but there is no question that technology has brought the quality of manufacture up to incredible standards these days.
When I was shooting my first batch of Gibson.com lessons, I was really amazed and so happy to see what quality these new Gibsons have. Not only that, but the sheer consistency with which they are built is astonishing! Every Les Paul I played, each 335, every SG was completely consistent. When you think about this, it’s a truly incredible accomplishment, since we are still dealing with woods that naturally vary and shift, and the fact that they are still basically built by hand. I think that Gibson and many other makers these days have finally listened to what players and collectors out there were saying about “the old ones being made better”. Now, there is a wonderful quality built in to each guitar, and with these “limited edition” guitars always coming out, the collectability factor is always there as well.
Of course, with some of the old models, there are still guitars that have not been “reissued” yet, so therefore, you can only get them as vintage pieces, but we can only hope that eventually Gibson will get around to making some of these other classics “new” models once again. Like anything else, if you are shopping for a new Gibson or a vintage one, I certainly recommend that you play as many as possible before making your purchase decision, but I can say that the “new” ones will present much less variation in quality and playability! They are a joy to play, and the tone, balance and feel is every bit as good as the legendary “old” ones…..I’d love to get my hands on a few I can name right now! They are fantastic instruments, and in my opinion, represent a “renaissance” in present-day guitar making!