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Thinning the herd process? (a little long)

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by ddhr, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. ddhr

    ddhr Tele-Holic

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    Hi everyone,

    Over the past 20+ years, I have been fortunate enough to amass quite a collection of gear. I have several electric guitars and amps. I’ve read several threads (both here and on other forums) where people talk about getting down to a handful of guitars. My aim is not to get to just one or two (at least not right now), but to maybe five. I have all of the usual suspects now: Teles, Strats, Semi hollow, P-90, etc.

    The reason for my post is not for advice on which guitars to keep. I’d like to know the process you’ve used to determine which you keep and which you sell. I have a couple that I really don’t play that often and would not miss. I have a couple that I know I am going to keep. Those are easy. What about the others? Currently, I have one guitar in my music room. I plan to play only that guitar for about two weeks so that I have a chance to play a bunch of different types of styles. I am noting what I like and dislike about the guitar so that I can compare it to the others. My plan is to go head to head with similar guitars once I have been through them all to narrow it down.

    What have you done?

    Thanks for any suggestions!

    Doug
     
  2. A.B.Negative

    A.B.Negative Friend of Leo's

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    When my guitars move from the wall hangers to the floor stands and end up in cases or gig bags under the bed then it's time to sell.
     
  3. TeleBrew

    TeleBrew Doctor of Teleocity

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    Hi Doug. Nice avatar, BTW. Did you go to the show at Red Rocks last summer? They're always a blast.

    I've never owned more than five guitars at once, but my process of knowing what to keep and what to sell has been through years of trial and error. If I like something as well as my favorite guitar, or nearly as well anyway, it's a keeper. Since I've never had a stable of guitars to cover every style, I generally gravitate towards versatile guitars, augmented by a modest array of pedals.

    I've got one Tele, one Strat, and one Jazzmaster, and an acoustic. With the right combination of pedals I can cover a lot of sonic territory, and all three of my electrics are a joy to play in their own right. It's gotten to the point where I have trouble picturing another guitar fitting in with my current lineup, and I also can't picture giving up any of the three.
     
  4. Bones

    Bones Telefied Ad Free Member

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    $11,000.00 in vet bills last year made the process real easy for me. Sold everything except an MIM Nashville and a Crate V8.

    If that were not the case, I guess if I was needing to clear stuff out, I would pick the stuff that was mst likely to get the most return on. Dumping cheap playable gear doesn't get you much money for the effort.
     
  5. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think sometimes it's easier to decide what you can't/won't sell. It was a gift? Keeper. Do you play the same things on this guitar that you do on that one over there that you like better? Lose it. Of course, all this is hypothetical, 'cuz I have rarely let go of gear. As Bones sez, the cheap stuff doesn't get you much money, so why bother with the effort? And almost all my stuff is cheap stuff.
     
  6. Jammin'John

    Jammin'John Friend of Leo's

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    Play

    I have 5 Tele's.
    I alternate between them so they stay fresh to me.
    I also have 5 amps and try to do the same thing.

    JJ
     
  7. Jeru

    Jeru Tele-Holic

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    For a while I made this process harder for myself than it needed to be.

    A.B. Neg has it right. Which ones do you play, and/or which ones do you really need? All else goes.

    OR,

    OK -- keeping five. Four guitars ought to cover your main bases re: body styles, pickups, trem/vibrato, etc. and then you can also keep one that has sentimental value, great monetary/investment value, etc.
     
  8. flatout9

    flatout9 Tele-Holic

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    That's tough but I would be inclined to slowly eliminate stuff you just aren't using. Then see how ya feel about it. Then repeat process.
     
  9. LennyEdwards

    LennyEdwards Tele-Meister

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    quite simply, I ask myself is it 'the one'. If not, then it's for sale....

    I'm almost in the same position, I went through a buying splurge a while back and ended up with quite a few that fall into that 'middle' territory where they are good guitars but not great guitars, so I'm looking at shifting a couple of MiM's and some other bits n bobs.

    I'm trying to offload the 'budget' gear, knowing that the return is not the greatest but my thinking is that by having those it stops me searching out more, good in a way but I have passed up on a couple of really great CS models that would have fitted into 'the one' category, so I sometime think offloading these would be a real boost to me in the end.

    As I don't need to worry about doing any 180 date world tours or anything, I will say my multiples are purely selfish and because I liked some aspect of it, finish, feel etc... I have no real needs recording-wise for more than 3 guitars and a couple of acoustics and my piano, but..... tell that to me when I'm at the sales desk with a glint in my eye...

    I say keep only the stuff that would totally break your heart if it were gone. It's not an easy mindset to achieve but it's the one your most likely to be satisfied with the outcome. Be strict and maybe use some of the funds to get yourself something compensatory for your efforts.

    all the best.
     
  10. Jammin'John

    Jammin'John Friend of Leo's

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    Case

    I find that if I leave a guitar in the case for a few weeks that when I get it out any GAS I might have been experiencing fades away.
    Same thing with amps.

    JJ
     
  11. TG

    TG Doctor of Teleocity

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    I was gigging steadily for the past 10 or 12 years and I slowly amassed a working 'collection'. At the start I had to sell a guitar to buy a guitar, and I didn't entertain the idea unless I was going to make some money with it. But as I made more money I got my head around the idea of having a guitar 'just because'.
    I now have 2 acoustics, a bass, a tele, an esquire, a les paul, a 335, a strat and an LP junior. 3 smallish amps.

    And the gigs have nearly dried up...

    So right now I'm thinking the following:

    We have space for the guitars I have.
    We aren't rich but we aren't in debt or under any major financial pressure.
    I still gig occasionally and things may pick up in the future.
    I like and often play each of the guitars I own. They're on a sort of 'rotation'.

    I don't plan on getting any more guitars (unless I come across a stupidly lucky deal) since it would be an unnecessary luxury at the moment, but I'm going to keep the ones I have.

    If I did have to sell a few I'd try to keep the most all-round versatile ones (tele, LP and 335 probably). I would then try to judge which ones I most often use in practice and let go the ones that spend the most time in their cases.
     
  12. Targ

    Targ Tele-Meister

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    You do not mention a need to get rid of them, so the only ones I would dump are the ones you say "I have a couple that I really don’t play that often and would not miss"

    All others I would keep if you have no financial need to cash out, you never know when you will regret not having it anymore.
     
  13. ddhr

    ddhr Tele-Holic

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    There is no financial need to sell these guitars, but they should be played. There are some that have sentimental value and they are staying. The rest are just tools. I don’t mind losing a little money on any of them, most were purchased at pretty good prices. I am not in a hurry to get rid of them, but I’d really like to get down to the ‘good ones’ and try not to sell something that I’ll regret. I won’t blow them out just to make space.

    Thanks for all the responses, keep them coming.

    Doug
     
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