Has tulip mania happened with guitars?
You've probably never heard of this, but you most likely already know what it is.
I'll first describe what tulip mania actually is and where it originates from.
Tulip mania originally happened in the Netherlands circa early 1600s. What occurred is that the prices of tulip bulbs (yes I am referring to the flower) got higher... and higher... and higher. At one point, the price of tulip bulbs sold for several times greater than what people made for income in a year. But then the price peaked and crashed spectacularly afterward.
What made the price of tulip bulbs go so high? A combination of them being fashionable and from speculators grossly overvaluing them. Some experts on the subject say speculators had little to do with tulip mania, but I disagree with that and believe it absolutely did.
Put more simply, the modern way to describe tulip mania is bubble. More specifically, a bubble bursting. You've heard this term used before such as with "economic bubble bursting", "real estate bubble bursting", and so on.
The last time tulip mania happened was with boutique guitar effect pedals. At one point in time not-so long ago, it was quite fashionable to use effect pedals that were hand-built, hand-wired, and so on. Did any of them sound good? Not really. The point to owning one was the whole "hand crafted" shtick, and things got ridiculous enough to where some were charging over $500 for a single-effect pedal.
What killed boutique guitar pedals was market saturation. As soon as it became "cool" to build junky single-effect pedals and charge hundreds for them, everybody did it. There were probably at least several hundred crappy distortion pedals on the market to choose from at one point - all priced too high, all awful.
Okay, let's get back to guitars.