Your Questions About Investing In Vintage Guitars

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Joseph asks…

Best Ibanez guitars for all around playing?

I’m trying to decide between these guitars Ibanez RG4EXQM1, Ibanez RG RG3EXFM1, Ibanez RG4EXFM1, or an Ibanez RG350DX. I play everything from alternative rock to metalcore. Please tell me which one is the best or if you have any other suggestions please tell them to me. Just try and keep them under $500

Justin answers:

Best thing to do is to buy the cheapest and crappiest guitar you can find. I know it sounds stupid but they tend to give off very crackly and rough edged tones, plus they don’t cost much.
You can easily turn them to any genre and get a vintage style vinyl tone. Don’t limit yourself to certain brands either, when you have a bit more money invest in some effects pedals too, they can massivly impact the tone in more ways then the guitar could.

George asks…

how do I find a buyer for a 12,000 dollar guitar?

I have a 1959 Les Paul Junior in very good shape. It’s been appraised at 12,000 thousand dollars plus value. I’ve tried to sell it on ebay and all I get are people trying to beat me up for a cheap antique so they can make a living off of me. So ebay is out of the question. I posted an ad on Craigslist and got nothing but sarcastic and angry emails? my copy in both ads were very neutral and respectful. I just want to sell my guitar to some one who can afford it. Where can I find an appropriate buyer? I live in seattle. Thanks for your help.

Justin answers:

I wish I could help you because I feel you sincerely invested a lot of time and energy in trying to find a buyer.

My son teaches guitar and owns a few prized guitars. None of his guitars are valued into the thousands of dollars.

Therein lies the problem.

Ebay is for fast buck, cheap items that sell for a few bucks, and most people only want to spend a few bucks today.

To find a buyer for this is extremely difficult because when you get into the thousands of dollars, then the market closes in on you, and what you need is supporting documentation that pertain to this item, to enhance it’s value…anything…like a famous signature on it, or who owned it…anything that would make it’s value well above the appraised value.

Appraisals don’t tell the whole story.

Houses today get appraised for multi bucks, but the bottom line is that there are fewer and fewer buyers willing to buy houses today like they did a few years ago, so the appraised value of houses is not a true picture.

I hope I shed some light on this that would be of some help to you. Any item like this guitar needs to be well preserved and maintained, and I wouldn’t want to own it in fear of losing it’s value…plus it would require insurance.

Unless you can prove it’s uniqueness, it’s just a pretty guitar of vintage importance looking for the one person in the world willing to shell out twelve grand…again, a very difficult feat to accomplish.

Donald asks…

Can I replace a power tube in a guitar amplifier without matching it to the existing power tubes?

I just bought a vintage amp and it has 3 Mullard EL34’s but is missing the fourth. I have read that if i get a fourth and don’t get it matched it will compete against the existing tubes. I eventually want to get a 4th matched tube and the other 3 tested but i want to turn the amp to make sure it is functioning properly as it is before investing in new tubes. Is it okay to play through it at low volumes with just the 3 tubes and/or can i get away with putting in a cheap EL34 in the empty slot to play for a little while before getting the 4th matched Mullard?

Justin answers:

Most high end audio products using tubes require matched tubes for two reasons:

1. Sound quality
2. Electronic reasons.

The best case scenario – the mismatched tube will be relatively close to the installed tubes, and you’ll have some distortion and poor sound quality.

Worst case scenario – the mismatched tube will be so far out of spec with the other tubes that it will lead to a lot of distortion, feedback, etc, and it will permanently damage some of the other electronic components in the amp.

Best advice – see if there is someone local who has a spare set of tubes that you can borrow to do your initial tests, then invest in a set of matched tubes afterwards.

If you really want to cheap out and not buy all four tubes, at least buy matched pair, and replace two of them. They are generally used in pairs – but you will need a schematic and someone with experience to tell you which two are paired with each other.

Charles asks…

Does anyone know about the history of the electric guitar?

I am doing a project for school on it

Justin answers:

Main points to cover:

1. Http://

2. Adolph Rickenbacker:

3. Les Paul:

4. Fender Stratocaster:

5. Jimi Hendrix:

“Such times would have been hard to foresee when Leo Fender introduced his solid-body electric Broadcaster guitar (soon renamed the Telecaster) in 1950, intending it as a durable tool that working musicians could afford. When Gibson followed suit two years later with its solid-body Les Paul model, the company was so dubious of its prospects that they considered leaving the Gibson name off the instrument.

The Les Paul was only a moderate success, and by the time Eric Clapton started playing one in 1966, it had been out of production for six years. Other players adopted the Les Paul — including Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Mike Bloomfield and Duane Allman — and suddenly everyone wanted one.

Fender nearly discontinued its now-legendary Stratocaster in the late 1960s, until Jimi Hendrix came along and created a new musical vocabulary on one. The Strat remained in production and Gibson reintroduced the Les Paul in 1968, but the demand for vintage guitars only increased through the 1970s.” –

Paul asks…

whitch is better epiphone goth explorer or epiphone 58 reissue exolorer?


Justin answers:

It depends on what you are looking for. But before I get into things my best advice is that if you are going to buy an epiphone, go into a guitar store and play it personally before you buy it. The quality can vary widely between two different guitars of the same model…that’s just how it is. You are paying for a cheaper brand made in Asia, and so the quality assurance is not always there, especially in lower cost ones. Anyway…when deciding between the two guitars you should decide what makes it “better” in your mind. The ’58 replica costs $100 more, but it also invests a lot into the look of the guitar. The body is made of korina (like the origianl xplorer) instead of mohagany like the Goth. It also comes with gold pickups and hardware. The goth’s is just all black. So for looks, I’d say the ’58 wins. In terms of sound, that’s a tougher one. Since no two guitars play the same, gibson or epiphone (especially epiphone though), there is no sure way to tell which will sound nicer. It also depends though, on what kind of sound you are looking for in your guitar, and there are some hints on what they will sound like from what they have on board. The ’58 has covered humbuckers, while the goth has open ones. Generally, covered pickups have a ‘darker’ tone, while open ones have a ‘brighter tone.’ Which one you prefer is your own opinion, which is another reason you should try it. Cosmetics also can affect choice, since some people like how the covers look. Finally. On the ’58, there is only 1 tone adjustment knob for both hums, while the goth has a knob for each. Just something else to think about when looking for what you want in your guitar. If it were just based on looks, I would get the ’58 replica, since I like that vintage look compared to the plain black. However, I really would need to try them out first, since sound is much more important in my mind than looks. Hope this helped.

Robert asks…

Beginners Bass Guitar on a budget?

I am looking to purchase a bass guitar. I am a college student so therefore I do not have much to spend. I am also a beginner. I really don’t know much about them. I am looking to play more of a rock style, if that helps. So any advice on playing, methods, and such would be greatly appreciated. Like I said before, I know nothing. I am mainly looking for good guitars to buy. Thanks ahead of time.

Justin answers:

You can always get more bang for the buck by buying a used instrument from Craigslist, but check it out first, or ideally have a friend who knows about guitars check it out – if you buy someone else’s problem, you can’t return it from a craigslist seller.

For buying a new bass, the cheapest you can get that’s still decent would be an SX from; you can get a starter pack for under $150 including shipping, including an amp. They’re not bad, but take it into a shop for good new strings and a setup, ought to run you another $30 or so. Squier and Ibanez and other companies offer starter packs, usually around $300 or so. I honestly have never heard that their starter packs are significant improvements on an SX. If you want to get the next level of quality, get a Squier Vintage Modified bass, which costs around $200-300 but you’ll need to buy an amp on top of that – plan on investing $400-500 before you’re done.

The best way to learn is with a human teacher – check at your local guitar store, will probably run you about $20 for each half-hour lesson. If you’re in college, the music department may offer lessons. If you can’t afford lessons, there’s a pretty good introduction to playing at There are also lots of teachers on Youtube, some good some bad. My favorite is dmanlamius, though he’s a bit talky.

Another resource you should check out is, the bass players’ internet forum. Lots and lots and LOTS of information there.

Michael asks…

How do I become famous?

I would like to become famous because it would make my life better and the money would help me take care of my family. PLEASE email me!

Justin answers:

I don’t know how old you are, but I’ll assume you’re a teenager.

Broaden your talents. Take up some computer programming classes. Maybe you’ll be the next Bill Gates. Learn about computers and technology and how it all works.
Learn a few instruments. Piano’s pretty easy to learn without lessons. Just get some learner’s books and sheet music online. After that, you should learn a few more, like guitar, drums, violin, trumpet, cello…there are many choices.
Take singing, acting, and dance classes/lessons. Get deep into the arts.
Audition for the musical at your school or a community center.

Aim REALLY hard to get into an arts college.

Set up a Youtube account. Invest in a good video camera.
Start a webshow by yourself or with a friend.
For inspiration, look at fluffeetalks, communitychannel, smosh, ilikeweylie, shane dawson, dave days, nigahiga, ray william johnson… But don’t copy anyone’s style. You’ll look like a poser.
Have little signature things you do in each video, like a catchphrase, handshake, or dance move.

Mix it up. Don’t just do one thing. Do a combination of comedy sketches, commenting on current events, or just funny situations that happen in life, makeup tutorials, Food-Network-style cooking shows, yourself singing or playing instruments. Get Garage Band or something and make covers of songs using your singing and musical abilities.
Be controversial! Everyone likes controversy. Look at the ratings Family Guy and South Park get. (But don’t go as far as they do.) Offend a few people, but maybe stay away from racism, that can get pretty touchy. Make dead baby jokes, blonde jokes, ginger jokes, woman-get-back-in-the-kitchen jokes. Etc etc etc.
But also show yourself as a good person. Do community service and charity-type work.

Start a Tumblr. Make it really interesting. Have a theme, like black-and-white, or vintage, or beauty, or tropical colors. Follow a LOT of people – most will usually follow you back.
Advertise your Youtube channel on facebook, tumblr, twitter, etc. Add a lot of people on facebook, if you don’t mind adding strangers. Beg your family and friends to show off your videos, haha.
Maybe put posters and cards up about your webshow on bulletin boards, street poles, store windows, school walls, workplaces…
If anyone comments on your videos, message them. Ask them what you could do better and ask them to show your videos to their friends.
Go on omegle and advertise your Youtube videos. Anyone on there probably has nothing better to do anyway.

Once you’re pretty famous on Youtube, sell merchandise online about your show.

If you get famous on youtube, audition for TV shows and movies. If Ian and Anthony from Smosh auditioned for a TV show, they’d probably get a role.
Or be a stunt double! That’s a good way to get a start.

And keep it up with the computer programming. Steve Jobs was successful until the day he died. But where is Aaron Carter now?

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