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Thread: Fender mandocaster - original, I'd like to hear your thoughts

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    Default Fender mandocaster - original, I'd like to hear your thoughts

    I've owned a 1964 Mandocaster for many years. And I have monitored selling prices over the last seven or eight years. For a while, it seemed like they were selling for around $2500 when in good shape. Then Fender came out with the reissue.

    I tried selling it on the Café a couple of times after the reissue, first for $2500, then for around $2200. No response.

    After that I saw one advertised on the Café for $1650. The add went away pretty quickly, so I am assuming that it sold.

    It appears to me that the reissue undercut the value of the originals. I am inclined just to wait it out, maybe the prices will come back up.

    So, I'd like to hear the forum's current thinking on older Mandocasters.

    Thanks,

    Tim Wilson

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    Default Re: Fender mandocaster - original, I'd like to hear your thoughts

    There is a small pool of collectors who wanted the mandocaster for its collectability , there was a larger group of players who wanted a mandocaster for its playability , style and shape and collectability . with the reissue and copycat mandocaster makers the only reason to pay a large sum for an old one is nostalgia, provenance or collecting . the truth is better emandos can be had for less even custom ones .

    As far as getting 2500 for one , that kind of sale did not happen quickly , I saw some listings that ran for over 2 yrs without a sale . I think 1800 or less was the price needed to move one in less than a month

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    Default Re: Fender mandocaster - original, I'd like to hear your thoughts

    Reissues combined modern "relicing" techniques and questionable sellers doesn't help either.
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    Default Re: Fender mandocaster - original, I'd like to hear your thoughts

    I think the reissues may be having some effect on the prices of the vintage ones, but I'm not sure how much. Seems to me they would be most attractive to people who always kind of wanted a Fender electric mando just because they're cool, but weren't that serious about playing a four-string electric.

    I met those criteria 15-20 years ago, and owned one from the mid-sixties for a while. But I was mostly into acoustic at the time, and traded it for a Rigel. Since then, I've come around to playing four-string electrics almost exclusively. I have four at the moment, but not a Fender -- thought I'd like to add a pre-CBS one at some point.

    I don't think it's fair to compare the current Mandocaster to the real thing. Sort of like comparing one of Fender's current import budget Strats of Teles to the vintage models. Those vintage guitars are highly prized, and not just because they're old. Players who are into them like them because they sound better. Serious players go on about the tonal differences between alder vs. ash, maple vs. rosewood, rosewood slab vs. rosewood cap fingerboards, 1963 vs, 1964, etc. the way F5 aficianados here go on about the difference between Loars and ferns and Virzis. Those vintage mandos were made out of the same woods as the vintage guitars, in the same production facility, by the same people. Whether or not there are better electric mandolins available for less is a matter of opinion and taste. A lot of players might say that a new, top-of-the-line Paul Reed Smith is a better guitar than a 1957 Stratocaster, but the market (and a lot of famous musicians) disagree.

    I think the reason that prices for the vintage Fender mandos never really took off is because no famous rock stars are associated with them, and they've never become a generally used instrument in a popular genre. When I was a teenager (in the mid-1960s), Stratocasters were not sought after. You could walk into one of the stores on 48th Street in NYC (and there were a bunch back then), and buy a mint pre-CBS Strat for less than a new one. It was only after the rise of Hendrix, and Clapton's conversion to the strat, that they got hot. But after that, the strat went on to become the main guitar of rock and pop....

    More generally, i think the overall market for -- and interest in -- four-string electric mandos is just really, really small. One measure of that is the low readership and activity in this part of the forum.

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    Default Re: Fender mandocaster - original, I'd like to hear your thoughts

    Seymour Duncan makes a new replica 4 pole pickup to modify your new Asian replica ones ..
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    Default Re: Fender mandocaster - original, I'd like to hear your thoughts

    Thanks for your comments.

    I guess $2500 was illusory. Not sure if I'll put it back on the market, those things are just so cool looking. As Ricomando said, I could probably sell for $1800 or so. I guess I'm not broke enough just yet.

    Best,

    Tim Wilson

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    Default Re: Fender mandocaster - original, I'd like to hear your thoughts

    I don't have any market data to prove it, but my belief is that the new ones cut into the market for the old ones, depressing prices a bit (as my economics training would suggest). Similar to what happened when the new National guitar company and others started reissuing Nationals, after not being available other than second-hand for many years.
    EdSherry

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    Default Re: Fender mandocaster - original, I'd like to hear your thoughts

    The economy in general may be another consideration , I have been selling my toys these last 2 years and have a list of about 10 items I would like to buy once I can swing the money on non essentials

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    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fender mandocaster - original, I'd like to hear your thoughts

    Had a look at blue book prices for these recently. '50s instruments are listed at $2500 to $3000 in excellent condition, and the '60s and '70s instruments are less. To paraphrase Chicago, 25 is too much for a 64.
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    Default Re: Fender mandocaster - original, I'd like to hear your thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Norton View Post
    I think the reissues may be having some effect on the prices of the vintage ones, but I'm not sure how much.
    I dunno...
    A nice old Mandocaster is gonna appeal to a certain segment of the vintage market, and they are the ones with a few bones to throw around...
    The new reissue appeals to those of us who always wanted to be in that position, and when the re-ish appeared for 230 bucks, said "what the hell"...
    (Now to turn it into a custom color '58 wannabee--not as easy of a task as I thought it would be...).

    But I think the lower prices for "oddball" vintage instruments--and probably the whole market in general--is just a sign of the times, and not the effect of the emergence of the reissue...

    Quote Originally Posted by Verne Andru View Post
    Reissues combined modern "relicing" techniques and questionable sellers doesn't help either.
    I don't think an antiqued modern Fender is gonna fool anyone...

    Quote Originally Posted by twilson View Post
    I guess $2500 was illusory.
    Well, there are Mandocasters and then there are are Mandocasters...
    The old blondes with the metal 'guards would sell at that price point pretty quickly, I think...
    Or custom colors...

  12. #11
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fender mandocaster - original, I'd like to hear your thoughts

    Bruce, you saw my '57 a few weeks ago. Thought I had it sold at $2500, but the dude backed out.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

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    Default Re: Fender mandocaster - original, I'd like to hear your thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    Bruce, you saw my '57 a few weeks ago. Thought I had it sold at $2500, but the dude backed out.
    I don't know if you've seen the re-issues, Martin, but now you can get one just like it for 180 bucks...

    Or, at least that's what the dude told me...

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