5 Rare Guitars Every Collector Dreams Of

Guitar collecting has emerged as more than just a hobby; it is a passionate pursuit that transcends boundaries and captivates the hearts of enthusiasts worldwide. The allure of rare guitars, steeped in history and imbued with exceptional craftsmanship, beckons collectors to embark on a journey of discovery, intrigue, and admiration.

These coveted instruments possess an irresistible charm that resonates with both musicians and non-musicians alike, evoking a sense of wonderment and appreciation for the artistry involved.

Brief overview of guitar collecting as a hobby

Guitar collecting has blossomed into an intricate art form where enthusiasts meticulously seek out unique instruments to add to their prized collections. It goes beyond mere ownership; it becomes about preserving history, honoring craftsmanship, and cultivating an intimate connection with these musical treasures.

An avid collector may devote countless hours researching vintage models’ authenticity, provenance, and aesthetic appeal before making a purchase. The scope of guitar collecting is vast, encompassing various genres such as electric guitars from iconic manufacturers like Gibson and Fender or acoustic masterpieces crafted by revered luthiers like Martin or Taylor.

Collectors often specialize in particular eras or styles that resonate with their personal tastes or align with historical significance. Whether pursuing pre-war acoustic gems or chasing after legendary electric models from the golden age of rock ‘n’ roll, collectors become curators of history through their meticulously curated instrument collections.

Explanation of the allure of rare guitars for collectors

Rare guitars hold an undeniable magnetism that ignites the imagination and passion in collectors. Their scarcity evokes a sense of exclusivity—owning one feels like unlocking a portal to another time or possessing a piece of music history itself. Beyond their rarity value lies the undeniable beauty encapsulated within each instrument’s design—every curve, contour, or intricate detail telling its own story.

For collectors, rare guitars embody an amalgamation of artistry and functionality. These instruments are not just mere commodities; they are tangible artifacts that have shaped the course of music, witnessed iconic performances, and left indelible marks on countless songs.

Owning a rare guitar offers a profound connection to the past—the ability to hold in one’s hands an instrument that may have been strummed by a beloved musician or featured on a legendary album. In addition to the historical significance and captivating aesthetics, rare guitars possess exceptional tonal qualities that often set them apart from their more common counterparts.

The aging of wood, unique construction techniques, and sometimes unconventional materials used during specific eras contribute to distinct tonal characteristics that resonate with discerning ears. The pursuit of these elusive sonic gems drives collectors to tirelessly hunt for rare instruments and invest their resources in acquiring these irreplaceable pieces.

The allure of rare guitars goes beyond their material worth; it is about fostering connection—between generations, between musicians and fans, between individuals united by a shared passion for both music and artistry. These extraordinary instruments transcend their physical presence to become vessels carrying stories from the past into the future—a testament to human creativity and ingenuity.

Les Paul electric guitars

The 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard “Burst”

Unveiling the Masterpiece of Guitar History

The 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard “Burst” stands as a legendary icon in the realm of guitar collecting. Its historical significance and rarity contribute to its status as one of the most coveted instruments among collectors worldwide.

Crafted during a pivotal era for electric guitars, this model represents an inflection point where innovation and craftsmanship converged to create a true masterpiece. With only around 650 original “Bursts” produced by Gibson between 1958 and 1960, it is no wonder that acquiring one is akin to unearthing a hidden treasure.

The scarcity of these guitars drives up their value exponentially, making them highly sought-after by collectors and enthusiasts alike. The limited production numbers were largely due to financial struggles faced by Gibson at the time, but this unfortunate circumstance has inadvertently elevated the desirability of these instruments.

Exquisite Craftsmanship and Distinctive Features

What makes the 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard “Burst” truly exceptional are its unique features that set it apart from other guitars ever produced. Atop its mahogany body lies a breathtaking flame maple top, meticulously hand-carved with utmost precision.

This intricate detail not only adds visual appeal but also contributes to the guitar’s tonal character. Another distinguishing element of this masterpiece lies within its pickups.

The “Burst” model is equipped with PAF (Patent Applied For) humbuckers – an innovation introduced by Gibson in the late ’50s. These pickups revolutionized electric guitar sound by offering a warmer tone with reduced noise interference compared to single-coil pickups commonly used at that time.

A Storied Past: Notable Examples Owned by Famous Musicians

The allure of these rare guitars is further heightened by their association with legendary musicians. Numerous iconic artists have wielded the 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard “Burst,” cementing its place in musical history.

One such example is the famous “Burst” owned by Jimmy Page, the virtuosic guitarist of Led Zeppelin. Page’s instrument, known as Number One or The Beast, became his weapon of choice throughout his career and played a pivotal role in creating timeless rock anthems.

Another noteworthy musician who embraced this extraordinary guitar was none other than Eric Clapton. His prized possession, known as The Creamburst, was used during his tenure with Cream and on seminal recordings such as “Layla” and “Sunshine of Your Love.” These iconic examples not only serve as testaments to the instrument’s impeccable craftsmanship but also add layers of mystique and history to an already fabled guitar.

The 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard “Burst” holds an esteemed place within guitar collecting circles due to its historical significance, rarity, unique features like the flame maple top and PAF pickups, and association with renowned musicians. Owning one of these legendary instruments not only reveals a deep appreciation for fine craftsmanship but also grants access to a piece of music history that resonates with enthusiasts worldwide.

Stratocaster guitar

The Fender Stratocaster “Blackie”

The Legend of Blackie: A Guitar Made from Vintage Parts

The Fender Stratocaster “Blackie” holds a special place in the annals of guitar collecting history. This iconic instrument, often hailed as one of Eric Clapton’s most cherished guitars, is unique because it was assembled from different vintage Stratocaster parts. In search of the perfect sound and playability, Clapton meticulously crafted this extraordinary guitar by combining components from several different 1950s Stratocasters he had acquired over the years.

In the early 1970s, Clapton found himself on a quest for his ideal instrument. Dissatisfied with the tonal characteristics of his current guitars, he decided to create a custom hybrid that could embody his vision.

He sought input from various experts and experimented with numerous vintage Fender Stratocasters until he found the perfect combination of features that resonated with him. Ultimately, this resulted in the birth of Blackie.

Distinctive Sound and Playability: A Guitarist’s Dream

One cannot discuss Blackie without acknowledging its remarkable sound and playability. This legendary guitar boasts an unmistakable tone that has become synonymous with Eric Clapton’s signature blues-rock sound. The amalgamation of select vintage parts lends itself to a rich tonal palette, blending warmth and sustain with crispness and clarity.

Blackie’s select ash body provides a solid foundation for its exceptional resonance. The three vintage single-coil pickups contribute to its characteristic twangy yet versatile sound.

With each pickup position offering distinct tonal qualities, Blackie allows musicians to explore an array of sonic possibilities. Beyond its breathtaking tone, Blackie offers an unmatched playing experience.

The well-worn neck provides smooth navigation across its carefully aged fretboard—a testament to years of passionate performance and dedication. Its comfortable contouring, combined with the responsiveness of its vintage hardware, makes Blackie a guitar that effortlessly becomes an extension of the player’s musical expression.

The Creation and Connection: Stories Woven into Blackie’s Fabric

Blackie’s creation is not merely a tale of craftsmanship; it embodies personal stories that intertwine with Clapton’s musical journey. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Clapton frequented guitar stores, scouring for neglected vintage Strats.

His desire to revive these neglected instruments and create something extraordinary was fueled by his love for blues music—a genre deeply rooted in history and tradition. As Clapton embarked on his quest for the perfect instrument, he meticulously stripped down various Stratocasters to their bare essentials.

He handpicked each component based on its individual tonal qualities and combined them to create Blackie—a guitar that reflected both his passion for music and respect for the instrument’s heritage. Blackie became more than just a tool for Clapton; it became an irreplaceable companion throughout his illustrious career.

The journey undertaken to assemble this legendary piece allowed him to forge a deep connection with the instrument—one that echoes through every note he plays. Today, Blackie stands as a testament to Clapton’s devotion to his craft and serves as an inspiration for collectors who value not only rare artifacts but also the stories behind them.

The 1968 Gibson Flying V Korina

A Brief History of the Flying V

The Gibson Flying V is undoubtedly one of the most distinctive and futuristic electric guitar designs ever created. Its unique, angular shape was ahead of its time, which made it initially unpopular when it was introduced in 1958.

As a result, production was limited during the late ’50s and early ’60s, making these guitars highly sought after by collectors today. The Flying V’s sleek design and radical departure from traditional guitar shapes have made it an iconic symbol of rock ‘n’ roll rebellion.

The Allure of Korina Wood

Within the limited production run of the Flying V, an even rarer version exists: the Korina wood model. Korina is a type of African wood known for its stunning aesthetics and tonal properties.

Its light weight contributes to better resonance and sustain, while its beautiful grain patterns deliver an eye-catching appearance that sets these guitars apart. The combination of the striking Flying V design with the allure of Korina wood makes this particular iteration a true collector’s gem.

Legendary Players and Their Flying Vs

Albert King and Jimi Hendrix are two legendary guitarists who embraced the distinctive sound and look of the Gibson Flying V Korina. Known for his soulful blues style, Albert King often wielded his beloved “Lucy,” a 1958 Korina Flying V that he named after his daughter.

This guitar became synonymous with his legendary tone and contributed to shaping his musical legacy. Jimi Hendrix’s connection to this iconic instrument traces back to his performance at Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 where he played a white left-handed ’67 Gibson Flying V. This electrifying performance catapulted him to superstardom, solidifying both his legendary status as a guitarist and forever associating his name with the Flying V.

The 1968 Gibson Flying V Korina stands as a rare gem within the limited production history of the Flying V model. With its futuristic design and the allure of Korina wood, it has become a coveted item among collectors.

The guitar’s association with legendary players like Albert King and Jimi Hendrix further adds to its desirability and historical significance. For any serious collector, owning a Gibson Flying V Korina represents not only an investment but also a connection to the rich heritage of rock ‘n’ roll.

The Martin D-45S Authentic 1936 Acoustic Guitar

Background on Martin D-45S guitars being

When it comes to rare and highly sought-after acoustic guitars, the Martin D-45S Authentic 1936 stands out as a true gem cherished by collectors worldwide. The Martin Guitar Company has a rich history of crafting exceptional instruments, and the D-45S model is no exception. Production of the D-45 began in 1933, with only a handful made each year due to its intricate design and meticulous craftsmanship.

However, it was in 1936 when this guitar truly reached its pinnacle with the introduction of the “Authentic” model. The Authentic series from Martin represents an unparalleled commitment to recreating vintage masterpieces with utmost precision.

Each guitar undergoes an intensive research process to replicate every detail from the original instruments. The Martin D-45S Authentic 1936 is meticulously handcrafted using Adirondack spruce for its top and Brazilian rosewood for its back and sides – materials that were standard during the ’30s but have since become exceedingly rare.

An Acoustic Masterpiece: Unveiling the Beauty

The visual allure of the Martin D-45S Authentic 1936 is hard to resist. Its exquisite craftsmanship showcases intricate mother-of-pearl inlays adorning every inch of its solid black ebony fingerboard, soundhole rosette, headstock, and around the edges.

This ornate design is complemented by delicate herringbone purfling along the top’s border and a striking abalone border surrounding it. But it’s not just about aesthetics; this guitar also delivers an exceptional tone that resonates with warmth and clarity.

Its large dreadnought body shape allows for powerful projection while maintaining balanced articulation across all registers. The combination of premium tonewoods, detailed bracing, and masterful construction results in a sonic masterpiece that captivates even the most discerning ears.

FAQ: Rare Guitars Every Collector Dreams Of

1. What has made guitar collecting more than just a hobby?

  • Guitar collecting has evolved into a passionate pursuit that captivates enthusiasts worldwide due to the allure of rare guitars with exceptional craftsmanship and historical significance.

2. What is the significance of rare guitars to collectors?

  • Rare guitars offer a sense of exclusivity, historical significance, captivating aesthetics, and exceptional tonal qualities. They are tangible artifacts that have shaped music history and witnessed iconic performances.

3. What is the 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard “Burst” known for?

  • The 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard “Burst” is an iconic guitar known for its historical significance, rarity, unique features like the flame maple top and PAF pickups, and its association with legendary musicians like Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton.

4. What makes the Fender Stratocaster “Blackie” special?

  • The “Blackie” is unique because it was assembled from different vintage Stratocaster parts by Eric Clapton. It is renowned for its distinctive sound, playability, and the personal stories associated with its creation.

5. What is the significance of the 1968 Gibson Flying V Korina?

  • The Gibson Flying V Korina is a rare version of the Flying V model, known for its futuristic design and the use of Korina wood. It’s associated with legendary players like Albert King and Jimi Hendrix.

6. What sets the Martin D-45S Authentic 1936 Acoustic Guitar apart?

  • The Martin D-45S Authentic 1936 is a meticulously handcrafted guitar that replicates vintage masterpieces. It uses rare materials like Adirondack spruce and Brazilian rosewood and showcases intricate mother-of-pearl inlays.

7. How do these rare guitars connect us to history?

  • These guitars offer a connection to a bygone era, allowing us to appreciate their rarity and the rich history they carry. They serve as vessels carrying stories from the past into the future, representing human creativity and ingenuity.

8. Why do collectors specialize in particular eras or styles of guitars?

  • Collectors often specialize to align with their personal tastes or historical significance. This specialization allows them to become curators of history through their meticulously curated instrument collections.

9. How does the aging of wood affect the tonal qualities of rare guitars?

  • The aging of wood, unique construction techniques, and sometimes unconventional materials used during specific eras contribute to distinct tonal characteristics that resonate with discerning ears.

10. What is the allure of the Korina wood used in the Gibson Flying V?

  • Korina is a type of African wood known for its stunning aesthetics and tonal properties. Its light weight contributes to better resonance and sustain, making it highly sought after in guitar crafting.


As we conclude this exploration of rare guitars every collector dreams of, we’re left in awe of the craftsmanship and artistry that goes into creating these musical treasures. From the iconic 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard “Burst” to Eric Clapton’s legendary Fender Stratocaster “Blackie,” and the rare Gibson Flying V Korina, these instruments hold a special place in the hearts of passionate collectors. The Martin D-45S Authentic 1936 Acoustic Guitar serves as a testament to Martin’s commitment to preserving musical heritage by recreating vintage classics with utmost authenticity.

These guitars connect us to a bygone era, allowing us to appreciate not only their rarity but also the rich history they carry with them. So, whether you’re an avid collector or simply an admirer of fine craftsmanship, these rare guitars offer a glimpse into a world where instrument meets artistry in perfect harmony.

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