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What To Look for In a Vintage Van Halen Guitar

With the release of the new Fender/EVH Wolfgang guitars other vintage Van Halen guitars such as the Peavey Wolfgang, the Wolfgang Special, the Music Man and the Music Man Axis are becoming of interest to guitar collectors around the world.

But what makes some Wolfgang vintage guitars worth keeping while others are better off being sold to aspiring rock god who lives next door? This article will explore some the elements that make collecting vintage Van Halen guitars an enjoyable hobby.

What makes Wolfgang vintage guitars collectable?

Like coins, baseball cards and cereal boxes, the collecting as a hobby has certain elements that must be met in order to determine whether or not you should spend your hard earned money to purchase and amass a collection of vintage guitars.

The first element of buying any Wolfgang vintage guitars is the condition of the instrument. You can judge a vintage Van Halen guitar by the state of the body, neck and fretboard. Look for oil stains, dings, nicks, cracks and scratches and label accordingly. A vintage instrument in excellent condition is always worth more than one in fair to poor condition.

Another thing to consider when looking at a vintage guitar is the originality of the piece. The more parts and pieces that have been replaced, even if necessary to make the guitar functional lessens the value. So look for modifications, repaired parts or replacement. So a vintage guitar with worn but origin frets will be worth more than the same model that has had the frets redone.

Demand is another thing you must be aware of when buying or selling Wolfgang vintage guitars or any other vintage Van Halen guitar. What was popular when a guitar was first launched, it may or may not be what collectors are looking for now.

Demand is kind of like the “Ugly Duckling” story, where the not-so pretty baby “duck” was shunned by it’s fellows until it matured and turned out to be a beautiful and graceful swan. So as a collector you must keep your eyes open looking for the hidden swans.

Another element that people consider to be a great indicator of future value as a collectible is rarity. Oddly enough the rarity or a limited production run does not have give as much punch to the value to some Wolfgang vintage guitars as you would think. Rarity is always out-paced by demand. The more guitarists and collectors desire a particular vintage Van Halen model or family of guitar then the more valuable it will become rather there are only 400 of them or 4000.

For aspiring Wolfgang vintage guitar collectors, you need to beware of sellers offering “Mint” or “Mint for its age” guitars. Mint literally means “like new but opened”. This usually says that the guitar was bought and almost immediately stored away (typically in the original case) without being played often. This doesn’t mean that the teenage owner played with it for several years and then just tucked it away in the back of the closet.

And don’t except top dollar from a refinished vintage Van Halen guitar no matter how well done it is. A banged up and nicked finish has the original patina (the sheen or luster that develops on wood with age) and that can’t be replaced. And so is worth more to collectors.

Using the guidelinesPsychology Articles, above you should be able to start your own collection of Wolfgang vintage guitars without fear of being take in or fooled.

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Pieter West travels the world on a regular basis and have written about numerous subjects.  He has an extensive knowledge about, finances, DIY, parenting advice and many more subjects.  If you would like to read more articles by Peter West, please visit

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