May 19, 2016

Guitaronomics

Reverb.com is an eBay for musical instruments. They sell some inexpensive commodity items in their own brand and have a great social media presence with pictures of cool guitars, jokes, and some independant journalism on the company blog.

Peter Schu posts an exceptional piece on guitar pricing. He takes four popular models and tracks their cost in inflation-adjusted dollars. It's quite a smart piece of research.

His conclusions mirror mine (toldja he was smart) but he backs his assertions with data. I inflation-adjusted my new Epiphone Gold Top. He goes broader and further;

In 1960, one of the most popular and affordable entry-level, two-pickup solid-body electric guitars was the Silvertone Stratotone, aka the Harmony H-46. At the time, it cost $54.95 brand new without a case. In 2016 buying power, determined using the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' online inflation calculator, that would be $442.07, more than double what some entry-level electric guitars cost today.

Granted, it was made in the United States. At the time, China was in the midst of Mao's so-called Great Leap Forward. It would be decades before modern Plek machines would help Chinese workers crank out low-cost guitar bodies and necks.


The trends of constant dollar pricing for the Gibson Les Paul and ES-355, Fender Telecaster and Stratocaster and reasons for their diversion are worth the click.

Economics and Markets Posted by John Kranz at May 19, 2016 12:37 PM
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