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Gear Confessional - a/k/a yes, I'm a Bleeping Idiot

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by MilwMark, Feb 25, 2021.

  1. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I have a few gear confessional threads strewn about. My OD search/journey. Various "I'm a [insert guitar type/brand here] guy?" threads. Amp of the week club membership.

    Yet here I am. FINALLY (I think?) ready to admit: it's really not about the gear. Cycling gear for a perceived 2% difference, or due to boredom, or the endorphine rush triggered by watching a new review or a new release is and expensive way to move sideways at best.

    I have definitely slowed down. But still, I'll cycle something in, try it out at rehearsal, and even invested in the process and expenditure, realize - meh more often than not.

    Here I am, back to having two SGs. (@theprofessor, are you listening?) One ebony with Phat Cats and one red with Antiquities and a Maestro. Just where I was (and very happy) 4 years ago. Except the black one had the Maestro then. And spent, what, 4x the price of those SGs if I had just stuck with them? Best case?

    Amps. Don't get me started. I've owned the Marshall Origin 50 I think 5x now? (My same unit 4x, I kept trading it back and forth.). Same with Tonemaster DRs. And DRRI's ('68 and '65). And PRRIs ('65 and '68). But, I like reverb in an amp. And a mid knob. And a MV. So why the **** do I keep trying to force it with amps that don't have all 3? They never work for me (cool as they may be).

    And when I plug back into my trusty JC40, that is the sound in my head, the sound that works best for me. Followed closely by my HRD IV.

    Pedals. I keep flipping back and forth between digital all-in-ones and my trusty modest pedalboard. I think I finally, finally realized that I just can't beat the simplicity of my simple board with 4 pedals that just work.

    I don't really have much point. Half cautionary tale. Half confessional. Half a laugh at my own expense. And half holding myself accountable some small way. Yeah, I realize that adds up to more than 1. I'm a bundle of contradictions, ok? And it's in keeping with paying at least 4x for everything that did work for me when you factor in all the transaction/cycling costs. At least. And only that low because I'm frugal, rely on trades, used and timing to hold things and move them when they have more value.

    Except when I get impatient and don't. Dammit.
     
  2. Steerforth

    Steerforth Friend of Leo's

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    My early life is replete with instances of gear stupidity.

    In more recent years, my only big regret was selling a Guild F512 to fund some untempered whim.
     
  3. _MementoMori_

    _MementoMori_ Tele-Holic

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    Dumbest thing I ever did was sell a US phenolic top Reverend with a serial number somewhere in the #200s. Teardrop case, case candy, and all. I paid $900 and sold for $1900, but I'd give anything to have it back.
     
  4. Dan German

    Dan German Doctor of Teleocity

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    I like to think that I have gotten better, but it’s still a struggle. My current attempt to streamline my pedal board has mostly gone well, and I’ve sold more than I’ve bought. But I have bought (although one was with a gift card, so I should probably be thankful I didn’t just see it as $100 off a new guitar or amp...)
     
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  5. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    GAS can be a real b*tch, but also fun.

    I’ve rebought a number of guitars, amps, and pedals over the years. A few times the actual exact one I had before. Only to then sell it again.

    At some point, you just realize what works for you and try to stick with it, ignoring your GAS instincts to keep searching, keep hitting refresh on Reverb, keep looking for the next thing.

    Or maybe not...we’ll see.
     
  6. Dan German

    Dan German Doctor of Teleocity

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    I like to think that GAS, combined with what I learn here on TDPRI, is refining my gear. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself when a particularly large credit card bill comes in.
     
  7. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Afflicted

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    I've cycled through a lot of gear too, but the JC40 is the only piece I wish I could have kept. It didn't really work in our band, but it is one of those amps that is both a great value and sounds great.
     
  8. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

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    Forums ruined me, pure and simple.

    I had bought two guitars from the time I started playing in bands in my teens to my mid 20s when I joined this and other guitar forums. Then I really started experiencing GAS. Not as crazy as some, but it’s definitely been a constant stream of guitars for the last 10-12 years. It has refined my tastes and got me to stuff I really like, but also instilled bad buying habits.

    Genuinely trying to put an end to it.
     
  9. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    This is coming from a guy who keeps shelving his JC40 for months even though it's ultimately his favorite amp. So no judgement. I am curious how one could "not work" in a setting, given that you think it sounds great?

    It's very, very loud. Easily comparable to my HRD. Has wonderful cleans, great onboard dirt, useable reverb, and with mid knob makes it a bit of a sonic chameleon.
     
  10. Dan German

    Dan German Doctor of Teleocity

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    I just want to know that I clicked “like” after reading the first sentence you posted.
     
  11. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    If I walked into a room and all the gear I've ever owned was there.... I wonder what I'd walk out with (given like one tele, one gretsch, one acoustic and 3 amps, 12 pedals and one wild card...)
     
  12. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    I'm older and wiser now. I have one amp that I've mastered, a Mesa Boogie Express 5:25, which I use with a BOSS EQ-200 for tone shaping. I have 5 electric guitars, one of which is redundant. My #1 is an FCS '69 Stratocaster. The redundancy is an American Standard with VN pickups. My Tele, Annie, and Gibson SG all give me what I need from them. I have a Simon and Patrick Showcase Rosewood acoustic. And no GAS. My "idiot" days are over. No more pickup "upgrades". What I have works for me so I don't need tuners or bridges or one of a kind pickguards. I'd consider trading my American Standard Strat for a Jazzmaster but I'm not actively looking. It's actually a good feeling to be content and I'm not such an idiot that I believe I'll play or even sound better with different gear. I'll still sound like me. There was a thread a while back about buying new gear and then making all your guitars sound the same. I did that. Now I let them all sing in their own voice. There's contentment in that too. Just sayin".
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  13. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    i snubbed both synth gas and guitar gas somewhat by getting into DIY. everyone always asks about DIY amps, but honestly i think it's harder to build and perfect an amp than a pedal. i think it's totally doable to get into pedal DIY for the layperson. if you don't want to go down the whole rabbit hole, you just need to learn a few basic things about the circuits you're making (what happens when i change this resistor? this cap?). it's like building lego sets and then changing the pieces.

    two benefits: 1) you can always buy a pro shop version of what you've built if you've done a bad job, now you know exactly what you want; 2) easier to try stuff out and stuff won't look like such a mystery anymore - you'll know not to bother with certain types of pedal circuits in the first place and be smart enough to not fall for marketing stuff ("yeah but this TS really is different!").
     
  14. Ron C

    Ron C Tele-Holic

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    Your whole post was really thoughtful - you summarized what I bet a lot of us feel. Maybe the sentence above is the highlight but it's filled with great ones.

    I'm not into collecting gear or anything else, but I certainly don't hold anything against those who do (it's really just a different hobby than playing or modding). My gear is now down to the relatively few specific pieces I enjoy after about 20 years of buying, selling, modding, building. In some ways I feel like I had to try all that stuff to know what I liked best. If you can say the same, then don't beat yourself up over it too much!

    But I also believe that I chased gear for, as you put it, the endorphin rush. Thankfully I found that I got an even bigger rush from selling it but the chase and the sales definitely took me away from a long list of things that would have been a better use of my time and money.
     
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  15. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Totally me. Totally. Whatever gear I get, or whatever backline I use, I automatically dial it to sound like "me". I don't change things on guitars anymore to make them all sound the same. But darn it (or yay?) they all sound pretty similar when I play them.
     
  16. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I've owned 7 guitars total; I still have three of them. The other four? I don't miss 'em. Their replacements were upgrades.

    I have owned 3 amps total; I only have the third. The other two? I don't miss 'em.

    Pedals? I've had three total. I now have the last two. The first is long gone and not missed.

    This is over the course of over 40 years. I think I am OK with gear purchases.
     
  17. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    And to be fair, I could see tracking down an old JC77 - ironically, the first amp I was truly happy with.
     
  18. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    That's fair. But of course would keep my cycling things. I think what I have to admit is the cycling isn't getting me there.

    To be sure, and to some extent, some cycling allows comparison and therefore confirmation. But that's largely rationalization on my part.
     
  19. unixfish

    unixfish Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Sometimes I think I would have liked to bought and sold more. But that also means spending money, which I don't like to do. I am not better or worse than others, though - just different. Some of you would collapse under the weight of analysis paralysis I go though making decisions. Even my wife tells me "Just buy it - why are you worrying so much?"
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  20. loopfinding

    loopfinding Friend of Leo's

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    i think there's nothing wrong with being preoccupied with designing or optimizing the system you're working in, that's an aspect of electronic music that's so fun that was only "recently" introduced to the guitar in its full extent with pedals (and lo and behold, people here seem to love it too). but unfortunately the danger is that it often leaks into idle consumerism, we're all guilty of it. i think there's a healthy balance though.
     
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