- Apr 2, 2020
As a decades-long participant in #3 [community of player/collectors], I don't need some bullshit "Fender" imprimatur to help me make decisions. There's no evidence that they know anymore about these guitars than anyone else.
Group #3 is evolving, either expanding with new members, or contracting due to old guys dying. The amount of fakery among sellers is very annoying. Parts substitution is quite high. You are also right about the small number of vintage dealers who can be trusted to "honestly" describe the condition and authenticity of an instrument. I was sold a player grade Fender guitar by a dealer who failed to mention there was bashing damage to the lower bout (a la Pete Townshend), and stinky mold in the case. The worst part was that he rated the condition as VG+.
Due to the inherent dishonesty and lack of trust in the Fender vintage market, it is no wonder some people would prefer to buy a curated instrument. The prices for both curated and unvetted guitars are outrageous, and more expensive than a new automobile. And yet the guitars are sold with less documentation than an auto that can be inspected by a mechanic for $125. I am sure that Group #3 has many members who have been burned at least once in their purchases.