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'Vintage' instruments on eBay

Will Fly 06 Jan 12 - 06:50 AM
Howard Jones 06 Jan 12 - 07:22 AM
nickp 06 Jan 12 - 08:59 AM
EBarnacle 06 Jan 12 - 09:23 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 06 Jan 12 - 09:57 AM
Crowhugger 06 Jan 12 - 04:47 PM
GUEST,SteveG 06 Jan 12 - 05:14 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 06 Jan 12 - 07:10 PM
LadyJean 07 Jan 12 - 12:18 AM
Richard Bridge 07 Jan 12 - 04:31 AM
giles earle 07 Jan 12 - 05:04 AM
GUEST 08 Jan 12 - 09:55 AM
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Subject: 'Vintage' instruments on eBay
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 06:50 AM

Mindful of the current thread about PayPal and the destroyed violin, I wonder what people think of the use of the word 'vintage' to describe musical instruments (and other goods) on eBay?

It seems to be used as a way of implying that any piece of tat has a value by virtue of age - but, to me, the word seems degraded by its usage on the website. A 'vintage' wine is a good wine from a good year - but a 'vintage' guitar (according to Wiki) is a guitar out of production, not necessarily one with any indication of quality.


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Subject: RE: 'Vintage' instruments on eBay
From: Howard Jones
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 07:22 AM

I think the trouble is that the word is used differently in different contexts - in some cases it simply means "old", in others (eg vintage cars) it refers to a specific date range.

It is often used to imply quality but I don't think it has ever really held that meaning. However it may carry other meanings according to context. I don't know whether Wikipedia is correct regarding guitars. With concertinas, "vintage" refers to an instrument made by the old makers such as Wheatstone, Lachenal and Jeffries, most of whom ceased production many decades ago. It doesn't necessarily imply quality but does indicate that certain methods of construction were used. Modern makers (including Wheatstone as revived by Steve Dickenson) may use these "traditional" construction methods, or may make "hybrid" instruments using accordion reeds.

I agree it is overused on ebay but is anyone fooled?


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Subject: RE: 'Vintage' instruments on eBay
From: nickp
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 08:59 AM

Not helped by there being a brand name of "Vintage" for mandolins etc. And 'vintage' they most certainly are not.


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Subject: RE: 'Vintage' instruments on eBay
From: EBarnacle
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 09:23 AM

I have seen objects which I know to be relatively new, such as fakeshaw, described as vintage on eBay. Caveat emptor!


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Subject: RE: 'Vintage' instruments on eBay
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 09:57 AM

I think it's probably a good idea to link these two threads since they share so much common ground. The Paypal thread is:

Paypal orders violin to be destroyed

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=142494&messages=30


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Subject: RE: 'Vintage' instruments on eBay
From: Crowhugger
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 04:47 PM

To me vintage refers to wine of a certain year, or more generally a thing of a certain age, but that age isn't implied, it has to be specified. There's no implication of quality. A vintage (=aged to some unknown extent) violin with a cardboard top isn't going to sound very good. A 1,000-year-old book's pages will, barring miraculous preservation, disintegrate the first time I try to turn them. But it's totally fair to call it a vintage book.

I wonder if the assumption that age=quality spills over from the assumption that the only good red wine is old red wine. This assumption is probably rooted in the fact that white wines don't generally age as well. Which has what to do with instruments? But yes probably people make assumptions when they hear the word "vintage" as they do when they hear of "lite" food and "diet" drinks. There is no useful meaning in those words, that's why they are used.

I think the problem of implied quality borne of age is a matter of functional illiteracy--a lot of people know what the individual words on the screen mean but do not know what the whole sentence or paragraph or document means. Those people are necessarily unable to think critically, to read between the lines and make an educated guess what may be deliberately excluded or duplicitously included. At the same time, I'm not sure everyone who writes the ads has enough functional literacy to know that they may be misleading the public; I'm sure some do but I expect many don't and simply use words they've heard others use without ever bothering to check what they actually mean.


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Subject: RE: 'Vintage' instruments on eBay
From: GUEST,SteveG
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 05:14 PM

Surely most adjectives don't have clearly marked out boundaries/definitions and this is simply another example. If I go into a vintage clothing shop I don't expect to see brand new items or suits of armour, but I have a rough idea that most of the stuff in there is going to be from the recent past. Vintage has a vague age connotation and any reference to quality is purely accidental.


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Subject: RE: 'Vintage' instruments on eBay
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 07:10 PM

I consider an instrument to be worthy of the "vintage" tag when its inflation-adjusted market value begins to appreciate with age instead of depreciate. That point varies depending on the quality of and demand for any specific instrument. A Martin D-28 will reach it much faster than a Mexican-made Fender Stratocaster.


* I say "inflation-adjusted" because the market value of all instruments, new and used, seems to be rising every year. That's not real appreciation. It's simply inflation.


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Subject: RE: 'Vintage' instruments on eBay
From: LadyJean
Date: 07 Jan 12 - 12:18 AM

Last summer, Paypal sent some fake fur I ordered, and needed right away, to my old address. I haven't lived there since 2004, but somehow they hadn't gotten word. I didn't get it until a couple of months later. I am NOT dealing with Paypal as a result. I reccomend everyone else do likewise.


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Subject: RE: 'Vintage' instruments on eBay
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 07 Jan 12 - 04:31 AM

As pointed out above "Vintage" has a very definite and precise meaning in relation to cars.


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Subject: RE: 'Vintage' instruments on eBay
From: giles earle
Date: 07 Jan 12 - 05:04 AM

There's a convention for some things:

- antique = 100 or more years old;
- vintage = either between 25 and 100 years old or between 50 and 100 years old, depending on who you're talking to

Wikipedia asserts something rather different for old clothes, however:

- antique = pre-1920s
- vintage = 1920s to 1960s

As noted above, the accepted convention for dates relevant to 'vintage' cars is different again.

Take your pick… how long was that piece of string, again? Anyway, as far as eBay listings are concerned, 'vintage' seems to mean second-hand (any age): nothing to do with inherent quality, although sometimes a euphemism for old and tatty.


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Subject: RE: 'Vintage' instruments on eBay
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Jan 12 - 09:55 AM

Well, in motorcycles, Vintage is taken as 25yo or more.


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