How To Find Budget-Friendly Vintage Guitars | Save This Search

Get past the big names and ultra-collectable models, and you'll find there's plenty of great vintage guitars to play at every price point. You just need to know where to look.

Follow these tips to not only find vintage players, but to set up Reverb to work for you through our new Favorites hub. Save the searches we describe below, and freshly listed guitars that match your interests will automatically appear in your Favorites and Feed.

So let Earth's 1,500 lucky souls play the Bursts; there's a wide vintage world to explore.

The Basics: Searching for Budget Vintage Guitars

This may be obvious to many of you, but these are the basic steps one can take to find a budget-friendly vintage guitar using Reverb's search filters.

  1. Start your search with a broad query like electric guitars, acoustic guitars, or whatever smaller category most interests you.
  2. Select filters for the maximum year and maximum price you're willing to pay.
  3. Start browsing your search, refining the filters further as necessary to find what you want.

Let's look at a couple examples and see what we can find.

Electric Guitars: Max Year 1983, Max Price $1,200

Starting with a broad, category-level search will allow you to find brands you didn't even know about—like the under-the-radar Fandel and Welson guitars that appear in our gallery here.

At the time of writing, the filtered search we're using here—electric guitars with a max year 1983 and max price of $1,200—is returning several thousand results. You can narrow the search by tightening the filters, or by selected subcategories of electrics, such as solidbodies only, semi-hollowbodies, or another type.

Pro tip: Set the maximum price of your search a little higher than you want to spend—and then make an offer on the vintage gear that you want. Be civil when negotiating, of course, but it's very possible to get a vintage guitar for less than the original listed price.

Acoustic Guitars: Max Year 1979, Max Price $2,000

When it comes to vintage acoustics, you can find plenty of affordable options from even the big name brands. '70s Martins and Gibsons are not nearly as prized by collectors as earlier eras, so you can find plenty in the sub-$2,000 range.

Longstanding favorite budget finds also include Yamaha FG series guitars and Alvarez acoustics made under masterbuilder Kazuo Yairi's tenure. (On listings, many sellers will call out "Yairi" right in the title.)

Players have loved these guitars for years, as they were impeccably built but available for affordable prices. The secret's been out (even before Reverb's time), but these are still great acoustics you can find consistently in the high hundreds and low thousands of dollars.

Budget-Friendly Vintage Brands To Know

Watch this video we made a few years back to hear how some of these budget vintage electrics sound.

While you can browse the whole spread of vintage guitars within certain categories by following our advice above, you can also get more exacting in your search by looking at specific brands active in that era.

We'll assume you know Fender, Gibson, Epiphone, and other household names (among most guitarists at least). But if you're in the vintage market but don't want to break the bank, click these links and save searches for these specific brands and eras.

Save These Searches

Click any of the links below to add these brand searches to your personal Reverb Favorites and Feed, or to act as a jumping-off point for searches of your own.

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