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23 minutes ago, Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame said:

Why do I care so much about figured wood on guitars only up until the moment they arrive at my house?

Because you don’t spend enough time playing, THAT’S why!

Edited by RobB
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Because you buy into the marketing. 

If I recall, Jeff Healey payed Strats and sounded great...

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7 hours ago, Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame said:

Why do I care so much about figured wood on guitars only up until the moment they arrive at my house?

That was the beginning of the end for me...

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1 hour ago, Steve Haynie said:

We all love good looking guitars.  Nice wood is nice wood. 

When playing, however, the look of the guitar becomes irrelevant. 

I think this is correct. Where the rubber meets the road is how it sounds and feels. Feeling like you look cool while playing, or that people will like how your guitar looks, is pretty far down the list.


But they still sure do look nice hanging on the wall.

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9 hours ago, Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame said:

Why do I care so much about figured wood on guitars only up until the moment they arrive at my house?

For the same reason I care so much about reversed headstocks and retina-searing graphics until they get to my house: I'm a visual-oriented type and love the aesthetics but if they don't have the playing/sonic mojo, out they go.

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4 hours ago, Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame said:

But they still sure do look nice hanging on the wall.

I got a lot of mileage out of that one.  Eventually the tank went empty.  

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I love the look but all things considered I am utilitarian with my guitars and almost everything. Good quality wood guitars can look good but it has to function for me.

I want a great looking standard but not enough to pay the price.

I love a great looking car but I’m not going to spend too much time modifying it to make it look better/different. I may spend time making it more functional.

But I have always been constrained by money.  Maybe even cheap.  Even now when I finally have some extra.

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I had several "Pretty" guitars, many where Hamers. I couldn't gig them. So they sat in their cases and drew dust.. Now it's just working guitars, no binding, no pretty tops. I'd still go freak if one got broke, just cuz they all play so nice and stay in tune.

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Pretty tops are like pretty women. The looks are the first and last thing. It gets your attention first,  but after that, it's really the least important thing. But it's still nice. : )

That said, I've never been afraid to gig the fancy guitars. I take care of my stuff, but it definitely gets used. 

I actually have a bigger problem gigging vintage guitars than the fancy-topped new stuff. The vintage guitars are harder to replace. I sold off my vintage BC Riches and Deans because I wasn't gigging them anymore. 

Oddly, I have no problem gigging the old Calis I have.  I guess if I had something new that covered that space, that might change as well?

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Several thoughts cross my mind the times I have acquired a really nice guitar. You just need to decide if it is for playing or collecting.

1. I'm afraid to play it out because I will damage it.

2. What if it doesn't play and sound as nice as it looks?

3. My favorite axe will be jealous. 

4. Maybe I will be perceived a snob (OK, doesn't apply to some)

5. I'm not worthy or other guitarists will think I don't play well enough to have such a nice guitar.

When I got my Studio Custom, I was looking for a plain mahogany Studio, used, as a player. I got a wonderfully figured top in mint condition  I do take it out sometimes but not to places where the venue is crowded. It needs to be played more!

 

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I know a few auto mechanics who call fancy plated engine parts 'chrome go-fasters', partly because they're supposed to make the car look like it can 'go faster' than it actually can.  They look purty, but often don't do much performance-wise, if at all.  In the guitar universe, we call that 'eye candy'.

All of my guitars were bought second-hand.  I'm fine with letting someone else have the privilege of buying 'new'. especially since all guitars end up being second-hand eventually.

About 1/4 of my guitars are partscasters that someone else put together.  Partscasters can be tough to shop around for, as initial looks and high-powered hyperbole can be very misleading.  But when I find a good one within my budget that fits my needs and requirements, I hang on to it.  For instance, I recently bought a parts Strat that was well put together with new Fender MIM parts as well as a  Callaham Vintage-style Strat trem assembly and CS pickups, for about the same price as a stock used Fender MIM 'Vintera' Strat.  I used to hate Strats, as I never could get them to sound like what I thought they should sound like.  This one, I really like, it does the hollow tubey lower gain sounds (think Hendrix and SRV) I could never get from a mid-level stock Strat without extra help, and it sounds great at any volume or level.  Problem is, if I want another one with the same features and components and try to duplicate the results, I'm gonna have to get the parts and have it put together myself.

My 'Gibson'-scale electrics are Godins.  The general build quality is very good, pretty much on par with anything I see coming out of Asia, and doesn't seem to vary much at all quality-wise between the 'higher end' Godin models and the 'mid level' Godin models.  Often, the stock pickups on mid-to-higher end models are Seymour Duncans or better, and I especially like the straight-grained Mahogany (which is probably African Mahogany/Khaya) that Godin uses.  It would be nice to get Honduran Mahogany like Hamer used to get, but those days are long gone unless you pay through the nose for a guitar like a solid-body Collings.  And yeah, resale values for Godins generally suck, but it doesn't matter that much to me since I'm buying used in the first place, and especially considering the current economic climate.  Funny thing is, I prefer the satin finish Godin uses on their less expensive guitars, instead of the glossy finish they use on their higher-end guitars, the satin finish just feels 'friendlier' and more inviting to me.

I used to have several Hamers, but nowadays I only have an '85 Cruisebass and a Korean-made Hamer Slammer bass.  Unfortunately, I can't hang on to everything forever!

Just my $0.02, and as always, YMMV.

Edited by crunchee
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I have a Shishkov that is developing buckle rash. 
 

If they ain’t gig worthy, they don’t hang on the wall very long around here. I take care of my stuff, but I’ve realized over the years I buy stuff, even pretty and rare stuff, to play. 

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23 hours ago, BoogieMKIIA said:

5. I'm not worthy or other guitarists will think I don't play well enough to have such a nice guitar.

Playing a Hamer one night, a guy comes up after the set and says "You're good enough to play a Gibson." I did one of those drink-out-the-nose laughs and didn't have the heart to explain it to him. .....Now that I'm thinking about that, it may have been one of the best digs I've ever gotten and it completely went over my head. Shit....

 

Nate, I'm with Bubba on this one: You do you. Be comfortable in your own skin. Be happy with whatever choices you make. Some people will love it. Some people will hate it. As long as it's good for YOU, nothing else matters. Embrace the weird. It's OK.

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On 9/25/2022 at 1:34 AM, Dave Scepter said:

I like my bodies painted but prefer my necks to be highly figured, oiled and with a skunk stripe

"I like my guitar necks like I like my women..."

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5 hours ago, Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame said:

"I like my guitar necks like I like my women..."

Scalloped with broken screws stuck in her holes? 🤣

 

But seriously, how's the scallops going?

Edited by Dave Scepter
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2 hours ago, Dave Scepter said:

Scalloped with broken screws stuck in there holes? 🤣

 

But seriously, how's the scallops going?

I haven't gotten the screw out of the neck yet, but that wasn't intended to be a long-term neck for that guitar.

I haven't scalloped any other necks myself yet. I got two scalloped necks from Warmoth, and they are great, but I'm slowly figuring out how to work all the variables of bridge height, saddle height, string tension, and truss rod to get the action as low as possible. But then, Warmoth says they DON'T do fret leveling, so I've also spent a bunch of time studying fret leveling on YouTube, and the tools are on the way.
And since that's halfway (or more) to doing refrets, I think I'm going to refret a few of the cheap guitars I have with stainless steel frets.  If that turns out well, I'll scallop 'em. If that turns out well, I'll move on to more valuable guitars.


So I'm in this for the long haul, but I also have some professional Warmoth-necked guitars that will probably be my main players.  Since all I do is practice and write/record, "main player" is a very ambiguous term.


But it's a hobby, I have fun with it, and learning new stuff is always cool.

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12 minutes ago, Nathan of Brainfertilizer Fame said:

I've also spent a bunch of time studying fret leveling

So I'm in this for the long haul

But it's a hobby, I have fun with it, and learning new stuff is always cool.

That's great 👍 good for you... I'm also thinking about learning re-fretting and in the process of finding out which tools I'll need... 

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9 hours ago, Dave Scepter said:

That's great 👍 good for you... I'm also thinking about learning re-fretting and in the process of finding out which tools I'll need... 

fret puller

fret cutter

fret end bevel file

fret rocker 

notched straight edge

fret leveling file...lots of options here: can get a straight up metal file by itself, or one attached to a piece of wood, or an aluminum bar that you stick sandpaper on. You can get 6" or up to 12" in length.

fret hammer

fret slot cleaner, and/or fret slot saw

fret crowning file

fret polishing erasers or cloths

I'd say fretboard protectors are optional.

 

This gets you quite a ways towards a full kit:

https://www.amazon.com/SOUJOY-Including-Crowning-Fingerboard-Spreaders/dp/B097ZRLJMM/ref=sr_1_5?crid=318RR17KQ6RXI&keywords=fret+kit&qid=1664276942&qu=eyJxc2MiOiI0LjM1IiwicXNhIjoiNC4zMSIsInFzcCI6IjMuNTYifQ%3D%3D&sprefix=fret+kit%2Caps%2C113&sr=8-5

Or so does this, but more expensive:

https://reverb.com/item/38820259-essential-fretting-tool-set-efts

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