What gear you used when you started playing are you STILL using and how did you get there?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Blazer, Dec 31, 2019.

  1. dswo

    dswo Tele-Holic

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    I still have the first guitar I bought, in 1985. It's nothing special, but it sounds nice and Yamaha has since changed their headstock design to something I don't like as much. It's had the saddle lowered to compensate for years of strain on the top. I still use the same Fender picks, pictured here.

    My first electric, probably purchased in 1987, was also a Yamaha -- and it was junk. I don't miss it. My second electric, purchased about five years ago, was a Squier VM Strat: same price (adjusted for inflation), but much higher quality.

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    Last edited: Jan 1, 2020
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  2. Bones

    Bones Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I goofed around on guitar for a while in my late teens (15-17) had a Hondo II Les Paul Custom copy and a Pignose amp. When I was in my freshman year of college, my dear mother sold my rig in her yearly yard sale because it was just sitting around not being used, taking up space. We lived in a 2 story, 4 bedroom, 3 bath, 2 living room house with a massive 2 car garage and full basement, so you can imagine how tight for space she was with one of her kids in college and another in Europe and just one still living at home.

    When I was 19, I decided to get a bass because it was easier to get a spot in a garage band playing bass, so I bought an Aria Pro II SB-600 bass and a Roland Amp. This was my first really decent rig and I studied bass with a great teacher and got quite good at it and learned tons of theory. About 2 years later, I sold that rig to a co-worker to fund another gear purchase. So, I hadn't seen that stuff since 1995-96.

    Fast forward to a few months ago, I got in touch with the dude that bought my first rig and asked if he knew whatever happened to it and he said he still had (put it away over 30 years ago and never touched it again) and would happy to sell it back to me for what we agreed the original deal was, so her I am on New Years Day 2020 in my music room goofing around playing my 37 year old bass(the amp is down in the basement, it's really not up to the quality of my Fender Rumble), it's really a great quality instrument, even though it's not on the level of the famed SB-1000, it sounds and plays way better than almost any sub$1k bass you can find today.

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  3. Unionjack515

    Unionjack515 Tele-Holic

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    First guitar was a classical I found in my grandpa’s closet—asked him if I could try it (I had been taking piano lessons for 8 or 9 years by that time, so he knew I already had a vested interest). A Greco from the 1960s. Most certainly still have it:

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    And the first guitar I ever purchased is still the one I pick up first when trying to determine the right sound for a given tune. I just know it so well. I lucked out that these were being produced at the time I was ready to get my first electric. It’s been a workhorse for the last 25 years.

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    Strings have remained the same—Gibson Vintage Reissue .011s. Pure nickel. I probably started on .09s, stepped up periodically over a couple years and got to .012s but then settled back on .011s.

    Everything else has changed—used to play with Fender jazz picks and now I need a little more meat. Started with a 20W solid state Crate amp (had built-in chorus, reverb and distortion)—that crapped out probably 5 years after I had bought it. The old strap was cool and I still have it but don’t use it—I should though. Not sure what made me choose chili peppers??

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  4. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Same hands and fingers after 45 years of playing ...
     
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  5. Average_Joe

    Average_Joe Tele-Holic

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    Oldest piece of gear, but currently on loan to a nephew, 1980's tuner :

    arion tuner.jpg
     
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  6. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    Just these, from 46 years back:
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  7. rarebreed

    rarebreed Tele-Holic

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    Only thing I have left from the days when I first started playing is the first real good guitar I've ever had and I've mentioned this guitar several times here on this site. It is the 1967 Epiphone Casino my dad bought for me when he came home from Viet Nam in '67.
     
  8. Fendereedo

    Fendereedo Friend of Leo's

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    Nothing left, other than my fingers of course.
     
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  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I had bought a '65 Mustang in a pawn shop for $50, spray painted and rewired by a hack who damaged the windings in both pickups.
    I didn't like the trem or the body so I made that oak body from a scrap in the boat shop where I worked.
    Carved the edge rounding with a spoke shave which took quite a while, and loaded it with new Dimarzio Super Distortion and X2N HBs, installed in the traditional manner with trim rings in two pickup routs.
    I didn't really like the sound and also wasn't trying out popular expensive guitars out of my price range, but I liked the neck and the whole new guitar with the oak body so I ended up drilling out a bathtub rout, made that trim plate from a road sign, and installed three Strat and Mustang pickups, one '70s P-90 I bought for $50, and I can't remember what else.
    There was a Strat pickup in the neck position and the P-90 was next, then Strat in the middle and Strat at the bridge.
    This was pretty much experimental as I didn't know what I liked, plus there were few options for buying pickups in 1980.
    One of the Strat pickups was a Duncan vintage.
    There was one setting with the P-90 and a Strat pickup at the bridge that I liked and that was the sound I used from maybe 1981 to 1987 or so when I finally got an ESP Strat.

    Since I traded the nice Brazilian RW Mustang neck for a '60s Tele bridge pickup with no regrets, I'd have to find another Mustang neck to make it into a working guitar again.
    I've looked at some ebay auctions and just can't see putting money into it for nostalgia, as I found Strats and later the Tele it partially funded much better guitars to play.
    I really can't even remember how it sounded, but the P-90 alone was a bit too muddy and adding the Strat pickup in parallel made it clearer and brighter. On recordings it sometimes sounded kinda like a Yamaha SG2000 into a MKI Boogie. Sometimes...
    But at that time I was using the distortion channel on a Polytone Mini Brute!

    Maybe some day I'll find a Mustang neck at a yard sale and it will make sense to resurrect this old three legged dog of a guitar.
     
  10. gridlock

    gridlock Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    The first good guitar and amp that I bought (myself), in in my late teens, was a Gibson Les Paul and a Marshall half stack.

    Many, many, many guitars and amps later, it still has always been a Gibson Les Paul and a Marshall amp as my mainstay.

    Today’s gear.

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  11. braveheart

    braveheart Tele-Holic

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    is a Mustang neck not a Strat neck?
     
  12. braveheart

    braveheart Tele-Holic

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    yeah, my first real guitar was also a Yamaha FG 340...still have it
     
  13. INFANT

    INFANT Tele-Holic

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    Started playing back around 1970 on a cheap Kalamazoo electric and Sears catalogue amp. Bought a Japanese Raven SG copy a few years later which I kept till '75 when I started playing full time with a band. I the sold everything and bought a brand new telecaster and Peavey Classic (hybrid) amp. Still have the Tele after 45 years. Sold the peavey in 95 and got me a '79 SFDR. I won't be selling either of them. The '75 is in the middle in the pic below.


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  14. jackal

    jackal Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I still have a string winder from 63 or 64. It still works, no cracks. Good piece of plastic.
     
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  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Mustang is a 24 3/4" scale and has 22 frets on the neck, where Strats are 25 1/2" scale with 21 frets on the neck plus an optional 22nd on an overhang.
    I find the longer scale feels more roomy and the bottom sounds more clear, but the LP/ Mustang scale is usable too, just not my preference.
     
  16. westofthesun

    westofthesun TDPRI Member

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    My first stompbox was a Vintage RAT Reissue that my uncle bought for me as a Christmas gift when I was 12. When I bought my first Tele the following year, I discovered that I absolutely loved the RAT with my neck pickup. Years later I lost my original RAT when a rehearsal space flooded - I immediately went out and purchased a RAT 2 to replace it because I could no longer find the reissue although I still have the dead RAT box because of its sentimental value.
     
  17. Vibrolux59

    Vibrolux59 Tele-Meister

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    Most Gibsons are 23 3/4" but I believe Mustangs are 24" scale.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2020
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  18. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    As far as actual, individual pieces of gear I still have, the only one that was with me "from the start" that I still have is a Hohner nylon-string guitar my parents bought me from Costco. The only guitars I'd used before were the ones in my guitar class at school. After about a year and a half of that, my parents finally bought me my own. It was cheap, barely held its tuning and its action was higher than some power lines, and I was so damned excited.

    I don't use it much these days and mostly keep it out of sentimental reasons. I recently cannibalized its saddle for use in a Puerto Rican cuatro I recently scored from Goodwill. This may be an opportunity to get a new saddle and see if I can work out the action a bit.

    ...

    As far as gear I still use, my Boss DS-1 Distortion. Maybe two years into playing guitar my parents gave me my first electric for Christmas (more on that later). Nearly a year after that I was curious about some pedals, and I eventually went to Guitar Center and got a Boss CH-1 Super Chorus, a run-of-the-mill Crybaby wah, and the DS-1.

    I still have chorus and wah on my pedalboard, although they come from different pedals now (a BBE Mind Bender and a Dimebag Crybaby). I still have and use the DS-1, however. About 3 or 4 years into owning it I was starting to get tired of its sound (after diming the gain and running it into my Fender Frontman 15R. Weird, right?). I heard potential there, but I was getting what I wanted to hear. I did some research and learned how many DS-1 mods are out there. I wouldn't gather up the nerve to pick up a soldering iron for more than a decade, so I eventually sent my DS-1 off to Robert Keeley. I got it back, plugged it in and yes, this was what I wanted to hear. Even at the most extreme, inadvisable settings (and into the same amp) it sounded great, and other great sounds were there when I learned to tinker with the controls. I now have 3 different kinds of distortion on my board, and the DS-1 is one of them.

    ...

    Reading the prompt of this thread a little more loosely: Stratocasters.

    I mentioned before how my parents eventually gave me an electric guitar for Christmas. I'm forever grateful for that, but it didn't entirely come from them; I'd been asking for one for a while. I even had a specific one in mind: one of those starter packs that came with an amp, a cable, a strap, some picks and... a black Epiphone Les Paul.

    I wasn't into Strats at the time (not that I'd had any experience with electric guitars yet). They seemed way too common and cliche'd to me. I also knew that single-coil pickups were weak and never sounded good, that Strats were super-finnicky machines that never held their tuning, and that, with their tremolo bridges, had so many complex moving parts that some problem was always ready to crop up at the worst possible moment. You know, all those wrong things guitarists believe when they're young and impressionable. I was also way into Guns N' Roses at the time, so a Les Paul just seemed soooo obvious.

    So imagine my surprise that Christmas when I unwrapped my gift and saw a black Squier Strat starter pack.

    Now, I was still too excited to be disappointed I didn't get my Les Paul, but it's fair to say that I was confused. I had been very clear that I wanted a Les Paul. Showed my parents pictures of the guitar and the box it came i and everything. To this day I'm not clear on why they got the Strat, instead. Maybe they were out at the local Guitar Center. Maybe my mom didn't realize the difference when she bought it and simply hasn't copped to that. I'm way past caring, but the mystery does still remain.

    Anyway, I don't have the guitar I wanted, but I have a guitar and that's awesome. I'll save my embarrassing story of how I realized I had no idea how a whammy bar worked for later.

    The funny thing is, over time my tastes evolved to favor guitarists that used and music that featured Strats. I still dug GN'R and whatever "heavy" stuff I was listening to at the time. But I also got into the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Jimi Hendrix. Stevie Ray Vaughan.

    Now, it would be silly for me to claim that my having a Start had no influence on my listening to Strat-music. But I can safely say it's not the only reason, or the main one. I was mostly curious. The guitar magazines I read mentioned Stevie Ray Vaughan all over the place. Who is this guy? I've been aware of the name "Jimi Hendrix" all my life (at least, I can't pinpoint when I first became aware of it). Let's see what that's about. And I'd always liked a bunch a RHCP songs from the radio, it just took me a while (and a good friend in high school with a CD burner) to realize those were all RHCP songs.

    Anyway, fast forward a few years and I'm fully Strat-invested, and when it came time for me to buy a "grown-up" guitar I settled on an American Deluxe Strat that's still my #1 today. The black Squier is still in my closet (again, mostly for sentimental reasons), not entirely functional, waiting for some brilliant idea on my part for mods or something. Or perhaps I'll put it back together, exactly as it was, as a tribute to the guitar that put me on the road I'm still on now.

    Going back to the mystery of why my parents got me a Strat, the simplest (if not the most plausible) explanation is that my mom had some supernatural foresight that drew her to the Strat pack rather than the Les Paul one (it was a gift from my parents, but let's be honest, my mom was doing all the shopping). That's what I'm going with.
     
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  19. xland

    xland Tele-Meister

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    My first electric guitar, a 2014 Fender MIM Standard HSS...

    Sadie10-17-2014-1.jpg
     
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  20. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Tele-Afflicted

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    For an example of my early guitar playing mindset: when I got to the point that I could actually play a little bit, I was trying to play “Cult of Personality” on a butterscotch/black pickguard Lotus Tele copy with EMG pickups, with a DOD FX65 stereo Chorus, a Digitech PDS-8000 digital delay and a KMD GS130 solid state 2 x 12 combo.

    Kind of a confusing array, there.

    All gone now but the chorus, which I almost never use now and when I do, it’s to make faux-Leslie sounds (almost never).

    Since then I’ve been through a tube half stack phase, a rack-powered halfstack phase, a small tube combo phase, a arch top acoustic and acoustic amp altered tuning phase, and have been in a mostly clean solid state combo phase with few
    pedals, then no pedals.

    I’ve been in a mostly bass playing phase for several years now, and sometimes dig out a lap steel I’ve had for about 20 years and mess with it a bit.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2020
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