How much do they cost?
In the past these questions were very difficult to answer. Today they can be answered with a pretty good degree of certainty. As you can see from the table below, Violins cost less per year now than they did 20 years ago.
How much will they cost in 20 years, then?
How much will a good classical keyboard sound like?
In fact, an average piano sounds more like an upright piano now than it did in 1970.
What about the price of an instrument?
The price of an old, vintage instruments in the 60’s and 70’s was about $40 and upwards. When a high school kid would walk into a record shop and see a Strad and say “I want you to fix this Strad for me” the record store would make up a price range from $10 to $20. With $100,000 a year in instruments, today’s instruments are sold for in the $5-20,000 range.
So here is where I can tell you…
Yes there is a market for old instruments. The question is how much is that market worth?
Today it is likely that the market value of the instruments in question is $500 to $10,000. In other words, it is probably worth close to that amount. If you have $500 in the bank you will probably be able to buy an instrument for only $1,000 to $200 more each year than in this article would suggest.
If you have $500 to buy instruments, are you willing to spend an extra $20 every year to maintain your instruments as good as they were 25 years ago with little or no improvement? I do not believe this will happen.
The answer is yes, you are. Every instrument should be a piece of art, and the ones that are most important (or the instruments most difficult to use) should be the ones that you keep the very best, most expensive, and most beautiful. The cost of this preservation should be high enough to justify the price each, but it shouldn’t cost more than that.
This method is called ‘buy and sell’. The reason for all the interest in vintage instruments and the prices that people are willing to pay for them is simple: “My music is worth more than $1,000,000, but my old instruments sound very good.” The only way I know to explain this is to tell you that the most important instrument
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