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The Price of things.

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The Price of things. Empty The Price of things.

Post by godjira Tue Oct 13, 2020 4:34 am

I expect everyone has seen this, but the price of some Westones has shot up over the last 12-18  months. 

Asking prices on Thunder 1a's for instance are heading towards the £400 mark. Matsumoku parts and Maxon pickups are marked up to a premium level*. 

As a "for instance". There is a guy on a Facebook channel offering his Thunder 1 as a swap for a MiM Fender, so the value on that is about £300 -£350.  Is it worth that much? Five years ago you could have picked up any number of Thunders for about £60. Fender prices meanwhile have remained pretty stable. So why the change in perceived value? Well firstly, as we all know, Matsumoku made instruments are at least as well made as MiM Fenders. They have been undervalued for years because of the perceived "quality " of Japanese instruments dating back to the first  plywood Teiscos from the 60s. There is a nostalgia factor as well, these instruments are now about 40 years old. That's knocking on a bit for two pieces of wood bolted together. I think the two combined have finally brought the 80s Westones up to a price point that matches their worth.

So what's your point John? Well, I am glad you asked...

the price you pay is the price you pay, but the value of the instruments is now that they are extremely well made and getting old (like many of us). I do up guitars as a hobby, and one of the things I try to maintain in older instruments is their original parts. A guy I know did up a Thunder last year, painted over the natural wood finish, fitted Wilkinson hardware and some Chinese pickups. It's been on ebay for ages, you have probably seen it. For me, given the age and quality of the original instrument, that was The Wrong Thing To Do (disclaimer: it's his guitar he can do what he wants to it).  

Back to the price of parts, Maxon pickups are being priced at £80 each on ebay these days (priced at, not sold at). Vintage Gotoh tuners same sort of price. I can buy a hand wound boutique pickup for that price or a DiMArzio Super Distortion or modern Gotoh's for the tuners and I just think that's worth doing. Prices on old guitars rarely go down I like to think I am keeping the originality and being true to the quality of the instrument. I may come across like an elitist jerk, which may well be true, but with the prices going up, to match the actual value and quality of the instrument I feel I have a duty to protect them for the future.

Just looked on Reverb... That place is just fantasy island. Does anything sell there?
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Post by Barry Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:51 am

It's true that Mats guitars have been historically snubbed by the guitar snobs out there.

Those of us who have owned, collected, restored and played any of the Mats' labels, especially Westone, have known all along what gems they are.

And that has worked out well if you're buying. It's allowed me to have an outstanding collection of first rate Japanese instruments that I would not have otherwise.

Over the years on this Forum the general topic of price has come up several times as we bemoan the fact that our "secret was out" and that the prices were getting out of hand.

It is a belated validation of the quality and craftsmanship of the Matsumoku designers and builders, and a pity it came much too late to save the company.

If you have one or more Westones, treasure it. Our Forum members are fortunate to have taken a role in boosting the brand and keeping it alive.

Increased demand is a healthy by product which should ensure survival of the Westone/Matsumoku legacy

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Post by The Don Thu Oct 15, 2020 6:45 am

Compared to most people around here, I was very late to the party. 

I inherited a blueburst Spectrum GT from my late best friend over 10 years ago but it was only when I got back into playing in a band that I got another GT and an FX both in Silverstone and a black ST - all over a period of a year about 5-6 years ago. The ST was £50 and the other two were under £100.

All have been well used and carry more than a few battle scars but they are very playable guitars and are the only ones I use these days outside the house.

I'm so glad that I got them when I did. It's less a matter of cost (though naturally that's a major factor), but there are hardly any around these days. IIRC I'd regularly get 50-100 Westones on an eBay search.
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Post by Sollophonic Wed Jan 27, 2021 4:25 pm

I'm just glad I got my collection of Westones and other Mats when they were cheaper, and I'm not going to sell any of them now.

I did sell a couple of Spectrums a good few years ago, because I like the Westones with the smaller Thunder style body shape. I finally got hold of a rarer Spectrum with the smaller body.

When I consider what I paid for them, I'm definitely keeping them

Clipper 6 -£69
Thunder 1 - £70
Paduak 1 - £95
Spectrum - £90

I only paid £100 for my lovely 1981 Aria CS350. They are listed for daft money because of a tenuous Cobain connection.
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Post by Barry Wed Jan 27, 2021 4:40 pm

I hear ya Sollo, I often look at the herd and am thankful for picking up my Westies and Vantages when I did. Mind you, some needed cardiac paddles to jump start them back to life but they responded well to TLC.

Today, I couldn't afford to replace them all either.

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"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
The Price of things. Guitar10
GUITARS : https://legend.barryeames.com
MUSIC/PIX/VIDEOS: https://getback.barryeames.com (including Spectrum ST)
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