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stobro

Gear too precious to use?

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Over the years I've acquired more gear- guitars, basses, amps, etc.- than a person of my limited talent should be allowed to have. Most of it is workaday stuff and not particularly valuable. Some of it is what I thought at the time was "Holy Grail" merchandise that I had coveted for years. The thing is, I don't use the fancy stuff because I don't want to damage it and potentially deflate its value. Plus there's the "I'm not worthy" mentality where I don't want to appear like a hack with more money than talent (even if that's what I am). I ended with with a lot of money tied up in merchandise that just collects dust.

I'm asking the collective mind of the HFC if they struggle with this sort of issue, or is it just me?

This also affects other aspects of my life- like cars, for instance. What good is a mid-life-crisis sports car if I can't relax when driving it for fear of breaking something or just getting it dirty? I might be better off with something less exotic and conspicuous. You know, in case I do something stupid with it.

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The only gear that will not leave the house is my Boogie Studio 22 because it is in pristine condition.  It was bought new in 1986. 

The guitars are still played.  Beaters are ready for jams. 

Think of your guitars like cars in that you will put wear on frets just like you will put wear on brakes.  It is OK.  You do not drive your Lamborghini off-road, so do not dig a ditch with your Hamer. 

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I got rid of all those guitars that were super clean, very expensive and sometimes uninspiring. I love what I have now and that is a good thing. Cars? I have a project that I started 11 years ago and after the kids came, there was no $ or $ that I could convince myself was OK to spend doing it. Only recently have I dove back into considering finishing it and I just might. 

You can't have EVERYTHING, but you should damn will enjoy and appreciate what you do have. Its yours and if you can withstand someone not liking it as much as you do, its worth having. 

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If it can't be used, gigged, played or rode hard and put away wet? Belongs in a  museum or wanna-be player's display case.  Next.

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Posted (edited)

... as a wanna-be player, I’m pleased to report my next batch of display cases are being delivered on Monday! ;)

Edited by Bennyboy-UK
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If The Edge, Bonamassa, Fogerty, etc. can bring uber-rare gear on tour and all over the world, there shouldn't be anything that we could acquire which couldn't make the occasional bar gig appearance.

My (used to be, anyway) '58 Esquire.

IMG_0306.JPG

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Just now, kizanski said:

If The Edge, Bonamassa, Fogerty, etc. can bring uber-rare gear on tour and all over the world, there shouldn't be anything that we could acquire which couldn't make the occasional bar gig appearance.

...but never loan anything to Quentin Tarantino!

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Posted (edited)

I sold my for-Japan-market-only Hamer USA Rick Nielsen 'Signature' Standard a few years back for pretty much the same reasons Stobro mentioned.  I bought it new in the mid-90's from Music Land KEY in Shibuya (Tokyo), back when I was stationed in Japan with the U.S. Navy.  It was a helluva souvenir of my time there, but I didn't enjoy playing it much (and I didn't play it much) as I was afraid of dinging it or having some other mishap happen to it.  So eventually away it went!

My current guitars are Tele-style Partscasters that I bought used, the attraction of those for me was the build quality as well as the type of wood and kind of pickups used.  Plus, somebody else spent the big money getting those put together in the first place, so I didn't have to.  They'll never be 'collectible' as far as I know, but that's not what I bought them for.  Thing is, whatever guitars I have now will probably outlive me; and since I'm not getting any younger, I'm gravitating towards instruments nowadays that I enjoy playing and using, rather than ones that I rarely even look at or that I'm afraid of 'hurting' in any way just by taking them out of the case.

 

Edited by crunchee
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7 minutes ago, killerteddybear said:

...but never loan anything to Quentin Tarantino!

...or Prince.

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I have owned guitars that never got touched because they where an investment and the value appreciated faster than a savings account and it was safer than the stock market. I don’t have any now, but I would’t be afraid to pluck 20k down on the right guitar and wait for the right time to sell it again. My players are just that, players...

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49 minutes ago, Bennyboy-UK said:

... as a wanna-be player, I’m pleased to report my next batch of display cases are being delivered on Monday! ;)

Shut up, Ben. You can play and you f-ing know it.

 

Notice I didn't say how well... 😆

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I play ‘em all.  If they are super clean I take extra special care of them.

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Just about every piece of gear I have was purchased used, and nothing is vintage to the point where it could be considered an appreciating asset. Someone else took the initial hit of depreciation. I think I'm less concerned about a loss of value than I am about defacing a "work of art" with a dent or scratch. My slightly battle-scarred USA Peaveys see much more playing time than my like-new Hamers, Lakland or Fender. In my case, these days "playing time" means in the living room, annoying my dog.

 

fullsizeoutput_2bb.jpeg

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I'm asking the collective mind of the HFC if they struggle with this sort of issue, or is it just me?

Trust me; it's just not you. I have the same problem. 

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Posted (edited)

Me, too. Sold a 25th LE and a 30th because I didn't want to leave a mark. Excellent guitars, both of them. And I'm sitting on a near-pristine original  '60 ES-330 that never leaves the case for the same reason. It looks and sounds spectacular, but I have never even changed to strings for fear of something bad happening. The family of the original owner will buy it back one day and it will be in exactly the same condition.

Yeah, I struggle with that issue. I'd MUCH rather play beaters.

Edited by hamerhead
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I don't have anything that would qualify, so, I can only conjecture.  But, for me,  these things are all tools,  cars, guitars, amps, skateboards, surfboards,  all of it. Use it, abuse it, if it is good it improves with age, it gets broken in.  Life is an experience, not a presentation.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, diablo175 said:

If it can't be used, gigged, played or rode hard and put away wet? Belongs in a  museum or wanna-be player's display case.  Next.

I'm fortunate that I played my friend's '80s red flame top Standard when I lived in Hayward, CA in the late '80s - early '90s, later found this website, and have had the opportunity to try out & play vintage guitars in person. I've come to appreciate good quality instruments. Some of the best guitars that I've seen up close & personal have been gigged, played hard, has nicks/dents, finish scraped or removed, but play with good projection & resonance. My '82 Cruisebass fits the player category. I'm lucky that I bought the current collection of Hamer guitars that I have, made efforts to care for them, are used onstage, and have acquired nicks/dents/scratch on the finish unfortunately. I like guitars that have seen stage time and sound/feel broken in. Why own a guitar/pedal/amp if it's too precious to not use it at a rehearsal/show? Jam nights are different. I wouldn't anyone to damage or steal a high quality or vintage instrument from me in that scenario.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Guitar George

Edited by Hamer95USA
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Not anymore.  I'm over it. If I got it, I'm playing it.

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For me, no point in owning 'em if I'm not playing 'em. I'm pretty good about dumping stuff that I'm not using - even a few that I had owned 25-30 years. The rare and/or "minty" ones (some now formerly minty lol) get out just as much as any other - maybe even more.

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I play everything...hard.  It's a tool, not a savings account.  And yes, I have guitars and amps worth more than 5k.

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11 minutes ago, edgar_allan_poe said:

I play everything...hard.  It's a tool, not a savings account.  And yes, I have guitars and amps worth more than 5k.

+1

My point exactly. Play it or sell it to someone who will... otherwise it's f-ing wall art, conversation pieces or bragging rights for posers.

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Tool schmool.  I'm probably what many would consider a "poser", though I don't pose for anyone other than myself.  I don't/won't play out but have a handful of very nice guitars and a couple hands full of less nice guitars.  I don't see them as an investment, I just like owning them.  Of course there's some nostalgia in it for me but they make me happy, so why not?

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Posted (edited)

If it is "too good to play", it is too bad.

I generally do buy used. Many of "the best" came from people that DID buy them as "investments". (People did a lot of silly things during the "Great Recession"). In some cases they admitted they never even changed the strings because.....You know.....

There is nothing I have that cannot be played, whether by me or friends coming to play. (I WILL cop to having had a twinge when my  jazz guitar buddy, a former touring pro, knocked over a heavy steel music stand dead on the top of what was then my most expensive guitar!)

Playing out? As someone said above, bring the one that will work best/sound best for what you are trying to do. Of course,  if I am playing at a jam that typically features 6 or 8 people on a stage large enough for 3, where volume will trump tone anyway, discretion is the better part of valor. Though I will usually default to Ol' Blue anyway in those cases.

I DO enjoy owning them and playing them with friends. None of them hang on a wall or reside in a display case. If they DO retain a fair amount of their original cost when I pass them along, that is cool.

Edited by django49
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I have guitars I take out and others I don't. It's like my mother's china, some dishes are to be used occasionally and carefully.  

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, cynic said:

Tool schmool.  I'm probably what many would consider a "poser", though I don't pose for anyone other than myself.  I don't/won't play out but have a handful of very nice guitars and a couple hands full of less nice guitars.  I don't see them as an investment, I just like owning them.  Of course there's some nostalgia in it for me but they make me happy, so why not?

I think it's helpful to clarify the over arching theme of the OP- too precious to use.  Not necessarily to be played out. The posers I refer to are the one's who own high end or noteworthy guitars and don't play them at all. Period. Whether it's out live in front of people or in their bedrooms/man caves.

 

Edited by diablo175
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