Carter Vintage Guitars is one of the premier Nashville vintage guitar dealers. The famous shop has an extensive collection of high-quality instruments, including rare models and those once owned by famous musicians.
The History Behind Carter Vintage Guitars
Carter Vintage Guitars was founded by Christie and Walter Carter in 2012. Both have more than 25 years of experience in the vintage guitar business.
Christie sold high-end guitars and developed a reputation for being honest, transparent and knowledgeable. Walter spent 10 years working as an in-house historian for Gibson and 12 years working at a vintage guitar dealer. He has also written several books about vintage guitars and the companies that make them.
The 8,000 square foot store is located on Eighth Avenue South in Nashville. Carter Vintage Guitars also buys and consigns instruments if you’re interested in selling instruments from your own collection. All instruments that are purchased come with a 48-hour approval period.
Walter Carter also provides written appraisals for an additional fee.
Over the years, Carter Vintage Guitars has had many celebrity guests stop by, including:
- Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top
- James Bay
- Vince Gill
- Sheryl Crow
- Brian Setzer
- Dierks Bentley
- Keith Urban
- John Osborne
Why Buy from Carter Vintage Guitars?
If you’re in the market for a vintage guitar or a high-quality instrument, it’s important to make sure you’re working with a dealer who knows guitars. Transparency and honesty are crucial in this business, but it’s equally important to choose a dealer with the knowledge to answer your questions and help you find the right guitar for your needs and budget.
Here’s why serious collectors, professional musicians and celebrities choose Carter Vintage Guitars:
- 50+ years combined experience: Christie and Walter have more than 50 years of combined experience in the vintage guitar business. Plus, they have a knowledgeable staff who will be happy to answer your questions.
- Lots of options: Carter Vintage has a wide range of instruments available, from acoustic and electric guitars to basses, banjos, mandolins, drums, ukuleles, amps and accessories.
- Other services: If you’re thinking about selling an instrument, the shop buys and consigns. They also offer appraisals if you need to verify your instrument’s value.
People trust Carter Vintage because they know that Christie and Walter have extensive knowledge about guitars. The shop has many videos on their website and social media that cover the history of guitars in their collection. Walter is incredibly knowledgeable, and it shows in their educational videos.
Their shop has an expansive collection of instruments for every budget and experience level. But Carter Vintage is also well-known for their rare guitars.
Vintage Stratocasters and Other Electric Guitars
Carter Vintage Guitars has an impressive collection of vintage Stratocasters and other electric guitars. Whether you’re looking for a Gibson, Fender, Gretsch, Triggs or something in between, there’s a good chance that Carter Vintage has it.
Some of the electric guitars in the shop’s collection were once owned by accomplished musicians, but you’ll also find many one-offs and custom-made guitars.
Two guitars that stand out in their collection are the Sweet Home Alabama guitar and a 1960 Les Paul Standard.
1973 Fender “Sweet Home Alabama” Stratocaster
The guitar behind the famous “Sweet Home Alabama” riffs. Ed King used this very guitar during the recording session of Lynard Skynyrd’s most famous song. After being on display at the Rock ‘n’ roll Hall of Fame for some years, this guitar has made its way into Carter Vintage Guitar’s collection.
1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard
Another iconic vintage guitar – the 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard. This guitar has been played at many a smokey venues. A thick layer of nicotine has transformed its original finish to a deep, rich red. Carter Vintage rewound the guitar’s three black coils, which couldn’t survive the smoke and grime.
With its mahogany body and neck and Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, this guitar is a true work of art.
You can also find other vintage and rare electric guitars at Carter Vintage, like a 1954 Fender Stratocaster and Ro-Pat-In Electric Spanish from 1932.
Gibson is now known for its electric guitars, but in 1900, Orville Gibson of Kalamazoo, Michigan started his career manufacturing mandolins (as well as banjos and acoustic guitars).
Carter Vintage has an excellent collection of vintage Gibson mandolins for sale, including:
- K-2 Mandocello (1914, 1917 and 1919)
Additionally, the shop has several F-5s for sale that are signed by Lloyd Lear himself.
Archtop acoustics have a floating bridge, carved top and a separate tailpiece. Combined, these features offer excellent projection and distinctive punchiness. Its soundboard is made from a single piece of wood, usually spruce. These guitars have flat backs made of maple, mahogany or walnut.
The archtop design is inspired by the violin and is a favorite among swing and jazz guitarists. While the archtop is most commonly associated with Gibson, variations were made by Kay, Gilchrist, Epiphone and other guitar makers.
Carter Vintage has a great collection of archtops, including a recently sold guitar owned by Hank Williams.
Vintage Fender Amps
If you’re looking for a vintage amp, Carter Vintage has Fender amps ranging from the 1950s through the 1960s and even the early 2000s.
Carter Vintage Guitars is one of the best in the business. While you can visit their shop in Nashville, they also sell their guitars online. Simply contact them for more information and details on how to make your purchase.
Visit CarterVintage.com for current inventory.