My first guitar was a Columbus Les Paul copy a lot like the one on the left. Having managed to buy back my 80s Ibanez Destroyer recently I've been looking at Columbus guitars on eBay as I fancy another nostalgia fix.
There is no way I could ever get my original one back, unlike the Destroyer I wouldn't recognise it anyway.
What I have noticed though is that if in good condition these 70s/80s Japanese copies are actually worth more than I expected. Not 'real' money, but a tidy one seems to easily make £150, perhaps climbing to £200.
Ten years ago they were probably considered little better than firewood. Much like 90s Washburns are now. I picked up my first KC90 for under £100 and that's a very nice guitar, up there with the well regarded early 90s Japanese made Jacksons that have become collectible. It was made on the same production line after all.
Thing is, I seem to remember my first Columbus actually being rather poorly made with nasty brittle plastic parts, crummy electrics and second rate hardware. You're not getting some forgotten Japanese gem.
So have these rather lowly cheap copies transcended just simply being old and become 'vintage'?