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stobro

Gear too precious to use?

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If I wasn't so lazy, I'd probably have sold off a lot of my gear by now. Up until a couple of years ago I played bass in a blues-ish band, but that fell apart. I could pare down my "collection" to a few pieces that I have a sentimental attachment to and off-load the rest. I need to find a decent shop that will take some pieces on consignment. I'd gladly forfeit some cash in order to not have to deal with flakey buyers and/or packing and shipping.

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Nothing I own is confined to my half acre.

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"Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." 

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They were built to be played. Nothing I own does not get played. Even my one off TLE/Duotone gets gigged.

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I took nice condition basses out to be played.  There were never any problems.  They stayed in nice shape, too.  There have been beaters ready to go into unknown settings, but after learning the atmosphere of some clubs or jams the nice stuff went out with me. 

That was a lifetime ago.

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Nothing I have is too precious to use. I would hesitate taking my Talladega out just because it is special to me and they don’t make any more of them. But I play it all the time at home. 

I would have no problem buying a big ticket guitar and hanging it on the wall or keeping it as an investment. It’s my money and I’ll use my guitar however I choose & not worry about what others think. No difference in my mind between different forms of wall art, be it a guitar, an antique clock or a painting. 

Now, that being said: I have moved plenty of players because they were phenomenal guitars that needed to be played. They just weren’t getting played by me. 

I have bought used for he past 20 years, no regrets on that one bit. Condition doesn’t matter to me if I’m buying a player. Scratches, nicks and dings usually mean it was a good enough guitar to earn those scars. I’m more hesitant to buy a guitar that’s mint/unused if I’m going to play it. 

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Speaking of which......

A cop walking his beat notices two guys fighting fiercely in an alley behind a club. He decides to investigate the problem. It turns out that they're two band members playing the club and are on break.
"What's the problem?" says the cop.
1st guy: "We were coming off the bandstand and this guy bumped my guitar so hard he knocked one of my strings out of tune!"
Cop: "Well, I understand that instruments are expensive and fragile, but is this something to get into such a fight about?"
1st guy: "Yes! the jerk won't tell me which one."

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I own more than 25 guitars, which is definitively too much. From all those, there are two which I won’t take out, never ever.

Firstly, there’s Kev’s 4-digit “Standard from HELL”. It was his first Hamer and it got played on HELL’s second album, as well as on their DVD. I “inherited” it from Kev, but I still feel she’s Kev’s baby; so there’s no question I will expose her to any danger out there. Yet, it’s a player’s guitar, with absolutely killer sound and playability. I have a friend who loves that guitar and visits me from time to time, so I allow him to play it. I also give her some love now and then. But she stays home, no matter what.

The other one is the 81 camo Vector which it’s said was exhibited at the Hamer booth at NAMM that year. I was told there’s a picture of it in the Guitar Player mag covering the event —still have to go to the library and confirm so. I don’t play it often, but my wife wants our son to inherit that guitar, as she loves it... and that’s a rare case of the lady deciding a particular guitar is not going anywhere, so... 🙂

Pics of both below:

AB13EC4C-255F-4055-AE08-8CD7BA48FC33.jpeg

4B1D355B-ACB2-4872-8F75-5FCC83F5787B.jpeg

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I was banging my most expensive guitar around Friday night. Tom Anderson Classic. It's just stuff. Tools.

 

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I play all mine hard. I take them all out. Mine are made to be played by me....and that means the clumsy ding, scratch, whatever. I do try hard to take really good care of each, but stuff happens.

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Everyone one of my guitars has had the pleasure of being drenched in my highly acidic sweat at a gig. I don't think there is any gold plating left on my Korina Vector except on the V plate where the strings pass thru. They are meant to be played.

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On 3/23/2019 at 12:28 PM, stobro said:

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.

stobro,

You're inside my head. GET OUT! Seriously, I have pretty much the same feelings. I'll go so far as only practice with my least valuable guitar; fret wear, ya know. I have one Hamer that I'll never play out with and only my most trusted musician friends will ever play. I should just sell it. I only feel this way about my guitars and my truck. I have always thought of my guitars as assets to be liquidated when the time(s) arrives; I'm just a caretaker. Mrs. rugby1970 agrees and that's why we get along so well....big eye roll here......

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Aside from the two mentioned above, I have giged with my most expensive gear... or would.

For example, during my time with AFLC I used my vintage Hoyer as my main guitar and the Mayday V as a backup. They are above 1K Euros each, and both are irreplaceable. The Hoyer is from 1977 and it’s unlikely to find one in the same condition, and the Scheithauer Mayday V is a custom order replicating Brian May’s Red Special’s features on a Vee, which has no equivalent so far —pics below:

F83C81E8-AAB8-4BD3-A56E-17C931100FD5.jpeg

61C22915-3AEA-4FD6-9FF8-E332B5D1493F.jpeg

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I would also gig with my Gibson Primavera V and my Hamer Schenker Custom Vector. The later is one of the very few 67 Vees Hamer ever built (I only know of just another one). Sadly, I haven’t had the chance to gig with them so far, as I hanged my gloves in 2014.

8FC3E471-690D-493F-9BF3-9FAD5275240A.jpeg

1F356A79-69E2-4ECB-812A-E962138E5831.jpeg

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Yes I own 1 guitar I do not play, this Anderson Pro Am.  Dan Lawrence painted the graphic. The plan was to replace the pickups and rings but Dan's airbrush work painted the rings into the top. Fattest neck I've ever seen on a shredder - the 62 throwback. 

URPz6r2.jpg

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If I won't gig it, I won't keep it.  

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This one always made me a little nervous. I DID end up selling it. 

pIlKhK8.jpg

 

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Look what the cat dragged in!

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21 minutes ago, LucSulla said:

If I won't gig it, I won't keep it.  

Same here.

The only time my guitars ever see the inside of a case is if I'm taking them somewhere to play.

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On 3/23/2019 at 9:16 PM, diablo175 said:

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.

 

High-end or not... I buy guitars to play them, and nothing is more frustrating than missing out on a sale, then years later see the purchaser selling it saying something like "Man, I bought this and never even played it."

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I play everything in my gear room, but I am unapologetically selective about where I play certain instruments. There are dive bars in the local circuit in which I'd not hesitate to take a MIM Tele or PRS SE, but given the setting, I'm not taking a higher-end USA Hamer. Think of it as choosing to drive your all-original '68 Shelby Mustang GT500KR on the PCH early on a Sunday morning versus driving the same car in LA on the 5 during rush hour.  Each entails some degree of risk, but the former provides enjoyment at minimal risk, while the latter entails imminent risk of damage with minimal enjoyment. 

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2 hours ago, pirateflynn said:

This one always made me a little nervous. I DID end up selling it. 

pIlKhK8.jpg

 

WOW!!

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2 hours ago, pirateflynn said:

This one always made me a little nervous. I DID end up selling it. 

pIlKhK8.jpg

 

Awesome... What is that top?

As for the "more money than talent" angle... I don't know too many people with the talent to play more than one guitar at a time, so I'd say most of us qualify!

A friend just went through this with his SG... After any number of fret levelings, the frets were worn down to the point that it was unplayable. He left it in the case for a couple of years not wanting to take the hit on value. He recently got fed up and had it refretted and is much happier for it. It isn't like he needed another playable guitar, though I think he's down from his high point of around 50.

They have to earn their keep, one way or another. Even if it's beautiful enough to qualify as art, would a guitar like the one pictured above have any real value if it weren't playable?

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1 hour ago, Biz Prof said:

I play everything in my gear room, but I am unapologetically selective about where I play certain instruments. There are dive bars in the local circuit in which I'd not hesitate to take a MIM Tele or PRS SE, but given the setting, I'm not taking a higher-end USA Hamer. Think of it as choosing to drive your all-original '68 Shelby Mustang GT500KR on the PCH early on a Sunday morning versus driving the same car in LA on the 5 during rush hour.  Each entails some degree of risk, but the former provides enjoyment at minimal risk, while the latter entails imminent risk of damage with minimal enjoyment. 

I’d be willing to bet my Shishkov has seen more shithole bars than any other Shishkov in existence. 😂

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9 minutes ago, Marvelicious said:

Awesome... What is that top?

As for the "more money than talent" angle... I don't know too many people with the talent to play more than one guitar at a time, so I'd say most of us qualify!

I think the whole point of cool guitars is that they inspire you to play more.  The notion that you have to be X good to deserve Y guitar is completely missing the point (and one I know you aren’t making but just commenting on as well).  

Plus, if you’re gigging, guitars with character are part of the show.  Whether it’s a 10k custom shop guitar, a beat up MIJ strat that clearly has stories to tell, or a guitar shaped like the Miller logo, it’s all part of the show too.  

I didn’t spend what I spent on custom guitars because I felt like I was good enough to deserve them or that I really even needed them.  I spent it because I get excited playing them and think they look rad on stage, and subsequently, I feel rad playing them.  That’s the only reason anyone needs. 

 

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