Hey there! My name is Joe Dampt And I love old music and old guitars!

I fell in love with the guitar as a youngster while listening to old music from the 50s and 60s. From then on, music has been my life, and I’ve sacrificed and worked hard to make music and musical instruments my livelihood. I love old guitars and musical instruments, but I love the MUSIC even more. I believe that guitars don’t do us any good if they just sit in a case. These beauties are meant to be played!

I’ve performed in many local bands and my favorite styles to play are classic country/western music, swing & dance music, and classic rock & roll.

Aside from music. I enjoy outdoor activities such as fishing and exploring the back country wilderness of the west.

Background & Experience


While my bachelor’s in Business Entrepreneurship from Arizona State University laid the foundation, true learning came from managing my guitar business, financing my education through its revenue and earnings from local gigs. I’m eternally grateful for industry mentors who guided me when my skills and knowledge were lacking. Experience remains paramount in this field, shaping my commitment to offering guidance and support to others navigating the world of guitar collecting and entrepreneurship.

Influential Figures

The guitar legends who profoundly influenced and continue to inspire my musical journey include Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, Oscar Moore, Hank Garland, Scotty Moore, Roy Lanham, and numerous others. Their innovative styles and groundbreaking contributions serve as constant sources of inspiration, propelling me to explore new realms of creativity and expression. Their timeless music resonates deeply within me, shaping my identity as a guitarist and fueling my passion for the instrument.

Musical Background

My musical journey began with brass instruments and piano during elementary and junior high school. However, upon discovering the guitar, my focus shifted entirely. I’d spend hours in my room lost in music, particularly drawn to classic Rock and Roll from the 50s and 60s, alongside traditional Country & Western, Jazz, and Swing. I’ve played in local Rock and Roll and Country bands, continually striving to hone my skills and become the best guitarist I can be.

Favorite Eras Or Brands

I hold a deep appreciation for vintage guitars from various iconic brands and eras. Specifically, I am drawn to Gibson guitars crafted from the 1930s to the late 1950s, Martin guitars spanning the 1930s to the mid-1960s, vintage Gretsch guitars from the 1930s, exquisite D’Angelico guitars originating in the 1950s, and select Washburn flat top guitars produced during the 1930s and 1940s. These instruments epitomize craftsmanship, tone, and historical significance in the world of guitar collecting and appreciation.

Work Experience

During the early days of Joe’s Vintage Guitars, my primary focus was instrument repair rather than acquisition. This experience provided invaluable insights into collectible guitars, their intricacies, and repair techniques. I also served periodically as a guitar and musical instrument expert and appraiser for a traveling antique show. Together, we traversed the United States, evaluating and purchasing antiques. This diverse experience laid a solid foundation for the later growth and success of the business.

Community Involvement

Joe’s Vintage Guitars is dedicated to supporting music education in our community. We’ve donated musical instruments to local programs that provide access to aspiring young musicians who may lack the means to acquire their own guitars. Additionally, we contribute to a local initiative that teaches children how to repair and customize broken or disassembled guitars, empowering them to develop valuable skills while fostering a deeper connection to music and craftsmanship.

Collection Highlights

Within my collection, value isn’t solely determined by price or rarity, but rather by the instruments that bring me the most joy when played. If I were to select just five highlights, they would undoubtedly include the soulful 1936 Gibson L-50, the iconic 1957 Les Paul Special, the timeless 1930 Washburn 00, and the classic 1966 Epiphone Casino. Each holds a special place in my heart and resonates with me deeply during musical endeavors.

Collecting Philosophy

My philosophy is to collect what I enjoy playing! In my own collection, there are Korean Epiphone and Chinese Squier guitars that get more play time than vintage some American Gibson guitars. One of my favorite guitars in my collection is a Harmony Bobcat that I paid $100 for many years ago. It is by any account, a kids guitar that is low quality and cheap, but I enjoy playing it immensely.

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About Joe Dampt

What Inspired You To Start Collecting Vintage Guitars?

The more vintage instruments I tried throughout my years of playing, the more I gained an appreciation for the variety and quality of these instruments. My passion for collecting stemmed from trying to find instruments that spoke to me and that truly inspired me to play.

Joe Dampt, Owner of Joe's Vintage Guitar

Could You Share Some Of Your Most Memorable Experiences Or Moments Related To Your Vintage Guitar Collection?

The best memories I have related to my collection are definitely hearing the stories from people who played with the musicians that I idolize. Over the years I have purchased guitars from people who have played with some of my favorite country stars like Hank Williams, The Everly Brothers, Hank Thompson, Loretta Lynn, Little Jimmy Dickens, Ferlin Husky and many more!

What Led You To Specialize In Certain Types Of Vintage Guitars Or Specific Eras?

Over the years, I have gravitated towards focusing on instruments that I personally think are special.That being said, there is no accounting for taste and I try to see the value in every guitar that someone else might appreciate and play. Overall, while I do gravitate towards what I like, I try to get every instrument I can into the hands of a loving player who will cherish it for years to come.

What Tips Do You Have For New Vintage Guitar Collectors?

Always focus on the vintage guitars that you enjoy playing and collecting. You don’t need to like what everybody else likes. The best guitars are the ones that inspire you to play them! Spend less time searching online for what specs you should like, and spend more time playing and figuring out what inspires you!

Can You Describe The Characteristics Of Your Ideal Vintage Guitar Find Or Acquisition?

My ideal guitar acquision is one in which I get to hear tons of awesome history surrounding the guitar. Additionally, my ideal guitar acquisition includes photos of the original owner, accessories, music recordings and other interesting items that add historical significance to the guitar.

Our Clients’ Testimonials

5-Star Rated Vintage Guitar Buyer & Appraisal Expert Near You

Joe came to my home and helped me with an appraisal. Instead of just giving me a number, he helped me understand why my guitar had the value that it had. Super helpful. Thanks!

Marge T. ★★★★★

Joe was very kind to me and made sure I understood everything about my brother’s guitar collection. He paid me more than 4 other guitar shops offered. He surprised us by singing one of my brother’s favorite old songs while playing his old guitar.

Nancy W. ★★★★★

Friendly, responded quickly, prices seem to be best around. Best of all a set up means you get a setup, not just a big box guitar retail shop raising your action and saying the buzz is gone. Solved an immediate problem I had with a LP kit build where one PUP and the middle did not work. Solved on spot in 15 mins. Completed set up in two days. Now I have the weekend to play with my new creation. Will definitely be back again!!

Chirs T. ★★★★★

Joe's Vintage Guitars

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Mesa, AZ 85203


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