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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:18 am 
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T-Max wrote:
But, corsair, do you know what year that catalog is? Did I miss it? And what's your guitar's serial number, if you care to share?


Mate, I got it when I bought the guitar in Melbourne, Australia brand new in 1980 as a new model and I assume - always dangerous! -that the catalogue was new then as well..
The guitar's stacked away in the woolshed at the moment, but I'll drag it out later and let you know; I DO know it starts with '0'.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 12:12 pm 
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leia wrote:
yup... sure does... i thought i had a binding contract for an item i bought, but when the seller didn't want to send it the way he advertised, he just refunded my money... and it was like the transaction never happened.... i didn't have a leg to stand on :x

And so I rest my case. Here's a Lectrolab head I had on my watch list that had a little over a day to go when it suddenly got canceled a bit earlier this afternoon for the reason (as can plainly be seen): "The seller ended this listing early because the item is no longer available for sale."

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... :IT&ih=001

WTF?!!!

There's no reservation in the auction which would allow a seller to simply "call the whole thing off." Although I hadn't bid on the thing, another ebayer had, and the bid was $66.00 the last time I looked earlier today. Which, I'm sure, is why the seller pulled the item. It wasn't performing up to expectations and she didn't want to let it go on da cheap.

Basic contract law is this: If there's an offer and an acceptance (of the offer) then there's a binding contract. Ya can't withdraw your offer in the middle of the auction (especially after somebody's bid) UNLESS the terms of the sale allow it.

It's like going to a garage sale and handing the guy the dollar he was asking for that coffee cup and having him then tell you it's now two dollars. Then when you give him the two, he raises it again to three.

I'd have to read ebay's entire policy provisions to know whether or not we poor dumb bidders are at the mercy of the seller in the event the seller decides to cancel the auction prior to it's end (I wouldn't be surprised if that's the case); but in your case, the auction had ended.

If you had sued the seller, you would have prevailed.

UNLESS there's an "out" for the seller in ebay's basic terms of agreement. Which wouldn't surprise me since ebay is very highly "seller friendly."

The other big beef I have with ebay is their feedback policy. Basically, they don't get involved in feedback disputes. So if some no good bum leaves you an unwarranted bad feedback just cuz he's a jerk, and lies all over the place in the process, you truly "don't have a leg to stand on."

Ebay LIVES off the feedback system. It's how it survives. THAT'S why they have it!!!!! So that people will feel confident enough to actually send some complete stranger their hard-earned money based on nothing more than that stranger's promise.

Yet ebay does absolutely nothing to police it's feedback system.

If I had nothing better to do, I'd sue ebay and put an end to that freaking travesty. Cuz there's no way ebay would be allowed to do business like that if somebody actually called 'em on it.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 1:01 pm 
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corsair wrote:
...Mate, I got it when I bought the guitar in Melbourne, Australia brand new in 1980 as a new model and I assume - always dangerous! -that the catalogue was new then as well..
The guitar's stacked away in the woolshed at the moment, but I'll drag it out later and let you know; I DO know it starts with '0'.

Thanks much, Mate. Looking forward to learning your serial number. If it starts with a "0," it would seem to be a 1980 guitar. Not to mention you bought it new in 1980. I'm betting it's a 6-digit serial number like my '80 and '81 VP795s. It's looking to me like earlier years (the '70's) had 5-digit numbers, while the later years had 6-digit or 7-digit numbers.

So the generally-accepted-serial-number-dating-system is looking good.

BTW, I like seeing my '80 walnut VP795 in your catalog! :D

So 'twould seem that the VA800 isn't in the 1980 catalog (whereas the VA900 is). If your catalog is indeed a 1980 catalog (there's no date on it at all?) then that makes the "Early 80's" catalog at the site most probably a 1981 catalog. It does have the VA-800, but only as a 22-fret guitar. And note it's now the "VA-800" (with the dash in the designation). Your (older?) catalog doesn't use the dash (for the VA900 or any of the other "V" guitars). Also note that the site's 1981 catalog (if that's what it is) does not have the VA900 (I guess it would be "VA-900"). Nor does that guitar show up in the site's 1982 catalog or the site's 1983 specs sheets.

Of course, there's the possibility that the US catalogs differed from the ones you mates were getting. :roll:

And if you got it late in '80, it could be a new 1981 catalog. Or it could be an older catalog, like a '79 catalog (most likely). But if it's an '81 catalog and there were no difference in US and Aussie catalogs, it should look like the site's '81 catalog (assuming that's what it is), which it doesn't.

So assuming yours is a 1980 catalog, which it most probably is, it looks to me like the last production year for the VA900 was 1980. And the last production year for the 24-fret VA800 was either 1979 or 1978. Looks like they brought back the VA800 as the 22-fret "VA-800" (with the dash) in 1981, dropping the 24-fret VA900 that year.

After 1981, looks like they never again made the VA800, VA900, or VA-800 (with the dash).

That's all guesswork on my part, but it seems to fit. At least to me it does.

And I like seeing the generally-accepted-serial-number-dating-system holding up.
---

Post script update (as if this post wasn't long enough already): One obvious thing I should have noticed sooner is that the site's catalogs and spec sheets ALL use the dash in the model designations. Your catalog does not use the dash. So it makes sense (at least to me) that your catalog is an older catalog, and probably either an '80 or a '79. I doubt they'd have given you a catalog older than '79. Actually, I doubt they'd have given you anything other than a 1980 catalog since you were a valued customer who bought an expensive and beautiful guitar from them!! :D

So this little bit of insight is going to give me a whole new view on any catalog pics I find at the Vantage site, of which there are quite a few, or anywhere else. If there are dashes in the model designations, I'm assuming those are pics from a 1981 catalog or newer. If no dash, then it's 1980 or prior.

:lol:

Consistent with this view, I'll also note that both my VP795s, which bear serial numbers consistent with them being circa 1980 and 1981, have truss rod covers inscribed with the model designation "VP795" (no dash). Whereas my Entertainer, which bears a (7-digit) serial number consistent with it being circa 1983, has "VE-550" (with the dash) inscribed on it. And so if you take a look at the site's 1982 catalog pics, you can see some truss rod covers bearing the dash.

So it looks for sure that "dash" is definitely newer, and "no dash" is definitely older.

Also (probably), 5-digit s/n's are older and 7-digit s/n's are newer. Six-digit numbers are newer than 5-digits but older than 7-digits. That seems to be the pattern.

See how easy this all is? :o


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 1:38 pm 
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Heya, bud - the number is 010086, so how does that tie in? Over at Matt, there seems to ,be a consensus that Vantage were the most erratic when it came to s/ns and specification changes, so you may well be onto something!

I'm afraid I cannot remember for the life of me how much I paid for it, but a '58 telecaster and a rather substantial wad of cash were involved!! :D
IIRC, I think I got it in May 1980, but my memory is at best, hazy on that
and I had to get loud and obnoxious to get that catalogue!!

It was, and is, the nicest guitar I've ever played and has accompanied me around NZ and Australia over the years - it doesn't get the thrashings it used to when I was a lot younger and thankfully I resisted the urge to modify it!

All that notwithstanding, I SO want an Electra but they're as rare as rocking-horse poo down here; I have Westone Spectrums but want a Phoenix, either a X185, or, and this is my Holy Grail!, an X195! The shipping costs and risks tend to temper my desires a touch as well!!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:01 pm 
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I believe I have jsut the thing for you Corsair. Be patient with me, but it'll get there.

I don't know about the serial number patterns with Vantage, but with Electra, the 6 or 7 digit serials depended on production numbers that month. For instance, in a quiet month like may with few guitars made, a serial might look like 305001. (may 83) In a more busy month like december, extra digits were added, like this: 3120001.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 3:24 pm 
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corsair wrote:
Heya, bud - the number is 010086, so how does that tie in? Over at Matt, there seems to ,be a consensus that Vantage were the most erratic when it came to s/ns and specification changes, so you may well be onto something! ...

Thanks much for that info. That ties in nicely with my walnut VP795's s/n which is 009xxx, indicating it's a 1980 guitar. And it would seem that it is since it's shown in your catalog!!

I wouldn't have guessed that a wad of cash was required when part of the deal was a '58 Tele. Unless you GOT the Tele rather than giving it.

Electras are certainly very nice guitars, and I own a few too many; but from my experience the Vantages are every bit as nice. Stands to reason since they were all most likely made by the same folks.

And speaking of the "VA800" that started this thread, there's one up now on ebay (and about ready to end) -

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... :IT&ih=016

I asked him what the s/n is, but who knows if I'll get an answer.

X189player, your comment puts a damper on my 6-digit vs. 7-digit theory. But maybe not on the 5-digit theory since I'm guessing those are older guitars and they would likely have been making fewer guitars in the early years. Then again, my VA800's s/n is 81460, as I've already said, so 1978 isn't exactly an "early year." Still, it's a bit odd that all three known examples of this guitar have 5-digit serial numbers beginning with "8"

The mystery continues, but I think this "dash" thing is something that helps with the dating somewhat.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:28 pm 
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T-Max wrote:
...I asked him what the s/n is, but who knows if I'll get an answer.


Well, he did answer me. He said he was away from home and was therefore going by what he saw on "the picture" (apparently not the auction picture since neither of them shows the serial number), and from the picture: "...I can make out the first three numbers which are 8177. I think the last number is a seven as well."

I think he meant he could make out the first four numbers, thus making it a 5-digit serial number. In any event, it appears his guitar ALSO starts with an 8 and also (it appears) is a 5-digit s/n.

Which means that all four of these guitars that I know about have 5-digit serial numbers beginning with an 8. That would seem to make them all circa 1978 guitars.

Interesting, huh?

And by the way, not one of these four guitars had any identification on it (as to what model it was). I suppose that's not all that unusual with Vantages since it looks like many of them came with plain truss covers, the only place I've ever seen a model designation put.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 1:17 am 
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Interestingly the eBay Vantage mentioned above just finished for almost exactly (dollars for pounds) what mine went for (the one at the top of this thread). In preparation for selling mine on I monitored Vantage price trends on eBay for months. It appears that they're creeping up in value. A couple of years ago you couldn't give 'em away in the UK. I've had a similar experience with my '74ish Sound City 50 plus head. Worth nothing in the UK ten years ago (I know, I tried to sell it for £40 !) and they're now going for £300-£400 a time. Quite right too. They kick, erm, bottom, as the young people say. Anyway, I'm keeping the amp.....

Gratuitous plug: If you want to hear the Vantage that started this thread in action go to www.myspace.com/penguinpartyband

Also featured are my '67 Guild Starfire IV, Tanglewood Tele Custom Prototype, MG-510 midi guitar (in guitar mode), 76(?) Hayman 4040 Bass and '64ish Eko 995 violin Bass, among others.

Free CD copy of the album to whoever can spot which track or tracks the Vantage is on!

: )


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:12 pm 
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That very friendly and helpful seller on that ebay guitar just sent me a message and said "The serial number is 81777."

So there ya go.

Which means, as I already said above, "...all four of these guitars that I know about have 5-digit serial numbers beginning with an 8. That would seem to make them all circa 1978 guitars."

So if we ever find a 1978 Vantage catalog, maybe we'll see the VA800 in there. :D

The four serial numbers are:

Arcodave: 81640 (or 81840)
Mine: 81460
Mike Taylor: 81242
superdupermason: 81777

In ascending order, they'd be:

81242
81460
81640 (unless it's 81840)
81777

Now, looking at the numbers I wonder if it's at all possible that the "81" could mean 1981. But we've been thru that since I decided (guessed) that the "Early 80's" catalog at the site is a 1981 catalog, and this guitar isn't in there. So I'm thinking these guitars are 1978 guitars.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 2:07 am 
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Just to save your typing fingers, my guitar was (and presumably still is) 81640. Except it's no longer my guitar......


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:11 pm 
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arcodave wrote:
Just to save your typing fingers, my guitar was (and presumably still is) 81640. Except it's no longer my guitar......

Thanks for that info, Arcodave. That means I had 'em in proper ascending order:

81242 (Mike Taylor)
81460 (Me)
81640 (Arcodave)
81777 (superdupermason)

Two of these guitars were in the UK (Mike Taylor and Arcodave) and two were in the USA (mine and superdupermason).

I'm thinking that the next time we see one of these VA800 guitars (assuming that's what they are) its serial number will be 81xxx. Maybe someday we'll see. Keep your eyes open for that 1978 Vantage catalog. :D


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 2:56 am 
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This has just been sold on eBay UK for$280/£139

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 3DWatching

Thought it was "one of ours", but closer inspection shows 22 frets, set neck rather than thru, and chrome hardware.

Serial number 72240


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 11:14 am 
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[quote="
I wouldn't have guessed that a wad of cash was required when part of the deal was a '58 Tele. Unless you GOT the Tele rather than giving it.
[/quote]

...down this way in 1980, you couldn't GIVE the darn things away, and besides it was a little modified so I was happy enough! Besides, when I left Melbourne 4 months later it was still in the window, so it wasn't gonna shift easily. :D :D

I've NEVER regretted letting that, or an LP, or an Ibanez LP, of late 70's vintage go at all; once I'd found Uncle Matt, I was a convert - still am!! In fact these days I tend to lean towards Tom Presley's offerings in Westone; hence the deep interest in Electras - thanks X; no rush!!! :) :up:[/quote]


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 7:44 pm 
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arcodave wrote:
This has just been sold on eBay UK for$280/£139

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 3DWatching

Thought it was "one of ours", but closer inspection shows 22 frets, set neck rather than thru, and chrome hardware.

Serial number 72240

Ya, I had that one on my watch list. I forget what I had decided it was. Or if I never decided what it was. I was thinking Mystic, but I think it's not that. Hey, maybe since it seems to have a '77 serial number it's an early 22-fret set neck VA800? Then the next year they went to neck thru and 24 frets? Could that be what this one is? Because other than the 22-frets and the set neck, it sure looks like our VA800 guitars (which I believe are all '78's). And, of course, the VA-800 eventually did have 22-frets in that "Early 80's" catalog.

Which brings me back to that old "Early 80's" catalog at the site. I think I had said I decided it had to be an '81 catalog. I'll have to read back to see why I rejected it as a 1980 catalog, but now I'm thinking that might well be what it is (rather than '81). Maybe it was corsair's catalog that made me think the "Early 80's" catalog couldn't be a 1980 catalog -- I just can't recall right now.

BUT, there's at least two things that make me think it could well be a 1980 catalog. Firstly, it has the Ghost in it and I've been told that the Ghost was made only in 1980. Secondly, see this 22-fret VA-800 that just ended -

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Vantage-VA-800-Ph ... p1638.m122

That one is in the "Early 80's" catalog and this one's serial number is indeed a 1980 serial number. So both the Ghost and this guitar would tend to indicate that the "Early 80's" catalog at the site is a 1980 catalog.

So confusing.

Note also that this VA-800 has no identifying model designation on the truss rod cover (or anywhere else, I suppose). It's very curious why they didn't put the "VA-800" designation on any of these (or so it seems).
---
Update: Well, luckily I can still edit my post. Here's ANOTHER 22-fret VA-800 that mucks everything up because it looks like it came right out of the 1980 catalog (or at least the "Early 80's" catalog if that one ain't a 1980 catalog) but it has what looks like a '78 serial number (only 5-digits, no less) -

http://cgi.ebay.com/Matsumoko-Vantage-V ... dZViewItem

So just forget everything I said -- and pretty much everything I say from now on as well.

Click on his link "for higher resolution pictures" to see the serial number shot -

http://pages.slu.edu/student/filerwg/vantage.html


Last edited by T-Max on Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:05 pm 
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...my VA doesn't have any nomenclature on it anywhere apart from the "Vantage" in script on the headstock!


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