April 29, 2007

Vintage?

by Chris Randall
 

Okay, I'll admit that I'm getting on in my years. I'm 38, which makes me too old for pop music, just right for jazz, and not old enough for blues. But I wouldn't refer to myself as "vintage." That said, the word "vintage" is sort of like "fuck" inasmuch as it is a word entirely empty of meaning without context, and even then, it is suspect.


For instance, look at this auction on the 'bay. Maybe I'm crazy, but when I use the term in a music gear context, I use it kind of like one refers to better wines. An '01 Laffitte is vintage, while an '01 Gallo is turpentine. I mean, there's nothing wrong with an LXP1, really, but it is to effects as Gallo is to wine; it'll get you drunk, but you'd really rather be drinking something better.


In that light, I submit that there is no hard, fast "vintage event horizon," a specific date, and if a piece of gear is manufactured before that date, it is vintage. Vintage is rather a descriptor, and means the same as "desirable," I think. Or "has a certain something" or "peer reviewed and approved." And that's the difference between something vintage and something that's just plain old.

 
 
 

16 comments:

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May.01.2007 @ 1:35 AM
inasilentway
Is this vintage?

link [cgi.ebay.com]">link [cgi.ebay.com]

I think Chris would say yes.

 
 

 
May.01.2007 @ 7:09 AM
noisegeek
Rapfreak: It's 25 years in Ohio and Michigan. My guess is that it's similar in most states. Honestly, as far as gear is concerned, 25 years seems like a good break point for "classic". To me, "vintage" generally implies pre-1968 (-ish). I don't have any particular reasoning for this, but the term always makes me think of Sun Studios.
 
 

 
May.01.2007 @ 8:50 AM
characterstudios
The worst thing to me is that someone's willing to pay at least $175 for that LXP-1...
 
 

 
May.01.2007 @ 2:23 PM
Chris Randall
Interesting that a 1982 Chevy Caprice could get vintage plates now. That's the first thing in this thread that made me feel really fucking old. On the flip side, it makes me want to go get an '82 Caprice (bone stock, 3.8L) and get vintage plates for it and go to car shows.

But in my experience, ironic humor is something that doesn't really work with people that are in to cars.

-CR

 
 

 
May.01.2007 @ 4:00 PM
itdoesntsuck
I think the thing we're all overlooking (although Chris alluded to it) is that in general conversation, the perception of "vintage" depends on how old you are. To an 18 year old, an '82 Caprice is "totally vintage" since it was made before he was born. To my Grandfather a '68 VW bus would still likely be a "piece of junk" ;-)

Of course, for a slimeball sales droid, the word "vintage" is analogous to the cheap wallpaper he's using to cover crumbling walls in a burned out "mega-rare" shack that he's trying to rent.

Rather than "vintage" I prefer the phrase "full of techno".

 
 

 
May.19.2007 @ 11:12 AM
vitruvius
I'm actually sick of this particular use of the word "vintage" as it has stripped the word of all effective meaning. Let's remember where the word comes from. "Vintage" refers to a specific harvest or crop of wine. To say on a wine bottle something is vintage 2001 means all (or most -- depends on the country) the grapes used in that wine came from the 2001 harvest (similarly, to say a wine is a specific appelation indicates all/most of the grapes used came from a specifc vineyard). It had nothing to do with the desirability or state-of-being-old of a product, but instead was just a term indicating the specific year of a wine. Of course, then the marketing wonks got ahold of the word and all hell broke loose.
 
 

 
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