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What' your approach to gear buying?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Marc Morfei, May 2, 2021.

What's your approach to gear buying?

Poll closed May 9, 2021.
  1. You don't need to spend a fortune. Squires and Epiphones are great!

    39.3%
  2. Buy something top-notch and be done with it.

    60.7%
  1. CharlieO

    CharlieO Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I buy what I want, not what I need. I wanted two Rickenbackers, so I paid the price. I wanted a Les Paul, but I didn't want a $2500 Les Paul. I bought a brand new Epiphone and have no regrets. I wanted a Martin, but didn't need a new Martin. My used Martin has served me well for 52 years. My Mexican Telecaster is just as "top notch" as my US one, in my opinion. I have a dozen guitars and two amps sitting in my office right now, and I don't need or want any more. My current approach to gear buying is "I don't."
     
  2. OmegaWoods

    OmegaWoods Tele-Meister

    Age:
    53
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    East TN, USA
    I voted for the good stuff but most of what I actually have is fairly inexpensive since I've only recently started playing again.

    The first batch of "stuff" I bought was all pretty cheap. I bought a REALLY cheap guitar just to make sure I wanted to start again. Then, I bought my MIM Tele (pictured at left). And some other stuff, like cheap pedals and a modeling amp.

    Then, I stopped buying (mostly) and started enjoying what I have. I know that the gear I have will make great music in the right hands. Once those hands belong to me, I'll feel justified in buying top end stuff which I will do thoughtfully. Then I'll mod the cheap stuff I have to keep it fun!
     
    Oxidao likes this.
  3. straightlbues

    straightlbues TDPRI Member

    Posts:
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    Jan 26, 2006
    I have owned over 200 guitars. I am always looking for bargains and buy a lot of broken stuff to fix.

    But the one thing I have learned, if you find a "special" "magic" guitar, pay whatever it cost to own it. They don't come around very often, but you will know it when you find one. I have paid up to double the market value when I find one. I have been doing this for 30 years, and in that time I have only found about 5.
     
    tele12 and Tiago like this.
  4. oldunc

    oldunc Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    190
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    Jan 31, 2014
    Location:
    California
    I generally smoke a bunch of dope and go on the internet. Can't really recommend this, but it does get a lot of spending done if that's your aim.
     
  5. Tiago

    Tiago TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
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    Freiburg, Germany
    This. I don’t bond often with instruments/amps. But when I do, I’ll gladly pay the cost of admission, assuming I can. Sometimes that comes cheap, sometimes it doesn’t. But there are a few things in my man cave that just make me smile whenever I pick them up. Maybe it was meant to be so...
     
  6. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Moncton, NB Canada
    My approach has been way too much "I see it; I like it; I want it; I got it" (if anyone on here gets that reference, I'm as embarrassed for you as I am for myself ;) )

    But seriously, I have some decent gear and am trying real hard to just be happy with what I have.
     
  7. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Yeah - this makes sense to me too. I have two really special ones. One's a Korean Fender and the other is a Chinese Squier. I have other Squiers and Fenders, including MIA, and the MIA is good, but those two are really special. Especially the Chinese Squier - and I got it on a whim with out playing it first because it was brand new and on a Black Friday sale for about 50% off. I don't think I have ever bought another guitar sight unseen, but man I lucked out with that one.

    EDIT: BTW, it's the one in my avatar - it came as an HH with an aged white guard, but I can't leave anything stock (its got BootStrap Oatmeal Stouts in it now).
     
  8. Tiago

    Tiago TDPRI Member

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    I’ve partially worn out the finish in the neck of my Chinese CV50 tele. It has gone through multiple electronic iterations, but it ended up having a real relic job in the neck. The body has a tougher coat than my car, so slim chance of that happening there.
    But guess what? It gets more amp time (and up to 2020, stage time) than my 3rd hand CS Nocaster. Price tag means nothing.
     
    mkdaws32 likes this.
  9. Grandy

    Grandy Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    565
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    Sep 18, 2010
    Location:
    Finland
    I go for cheap stuff. A 4000€ isn't usually ten times better than the 400€ guitar. On the other hand if money was no object, I'd probably have a big house full of all kinds of stuff. Not necessarily top tier gear but I might pay extra for something unique or special.

    Things have changed though over the years. When I was young, I got the the best I could afford and that usually meant the most expensive I could afford, but that wasn't custom shop stuff. Back then I didn't know what good was or what my preferences were. Now I know. Besides the cheap things are better now than they were 30 years ago. Now that I've learnt what what's good and what I like, I've realized I don't need to spend a lot to find things I like.
     
  10. spawnofthesith

    spawnofthesith TDPRI Member

    Age:
    28
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    Mar 3, 2020
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    Denver
    Kind of depends. I'm more in favor of having nicer things. I'd rather have one really high end instrument than 3 just ok ones.

    I have high end fender and a high end Gibson. That said I do also have an Epiphone Sheraton semi hollow that is a great player. I still want to round out my collection with a strat, I'm probably gonna get a vintera, which I guess would be middle of the road
     
  11. Gunny

    Gunny Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    619
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    Jan 13, 2008
    Location:
    Newcastle, Ontario Canada, near Toronto
    Buy high/sell low. I only wish that were not the case, but often it is.
    For the survey, the closest answer for me is buy quality and be done with it - but I'm never done with it. It is slowing down in my advancing years. I check buy/sell listings daily and goodness knows I don't NEED anything else. It's fun to acquire.
     
  12. Ron C

    Ron C Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    625
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    Sep 12, 2006
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    I'm for Jack Pearson's approach: he plays what he likes. You'll see videos of Jack performing with anything from a Squier Bullet Strat to a Collings acoustic.
     
  13. cyclopean

    cyclopean Poster Extraordinaire

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    innsmouth, MA


    This is a reasonable example of grindcore. And I’m pretty sure it was played on a telecaster, albeit one with humbuckers.

    Once you start getting out of hard rock and into heavier punk and metal, having a guitar dedicated to playing that kind of music makes sense. Especially because if you want to start tuning lower, heavier string gauges are more stable, and that can involve opening up the nut slots and adjusted the truss rod and sometimes bridge to get it acting right. If you jump up enough string gauges you’re also going to have to adjust the intonation.





    Here are a few other examples of music styles I’d make a point of setting a guitar up for specifically and not using the same guitar that I’d use to play, like, surf and country and garage rock on.
     
  14. cyclopean

    cyclopean Poster Extraordinaire

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    I really like old sixties import student model guitars, but i don’t think they’re worth the prices people are asking for them now. I should have bought up some silvertones and harmonys and things like that a decade ago when you could easily find them for a few hundred dollars.
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  15. Cali Dude

    Cali Dude Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    58
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    1,370
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    May 20, 2020
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    California
    I'm kind of in-between. I have never purchased a squire nor a mim Fender, not there is anything wrong with them. My electric guitars are all mid level american made guitars(nothing over $2,000). The only thing missing in my guitar stable is a Gibson J-45.
     
  16. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Somewhere out on that horizon
    I've got a bunch of both, although until about 3 years ago I didn't have many of what you'd call high-end instruments.

    It was then I decided to sell off a big chunk of what I had, and use the money to go for quality over quantity. I'd sell 3 or 4 guitars for between $300 - $500, and go find something useful in the $1200 - $1500 price point. By selling off 16 of them I was able to get four pretty good guitars. And I also splurged on some boutique stuff, but that was outside of the money I got from selling stuff off.

    I've also bought a couple of lower-cost guitars, just because I like the aesthetics of them. Sometimes even cheap guitars have a killer look, and I can't resist a sharp-looking guitar. :)

    - D
     
    Marc Morfei likes this.
  17. Cosmic Cowboy

    Cosmic Cowboy Tele-Meister

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    New Mexico
    If I see something I like, I buy it, If I need some money...I'll sell something.
     
    Marc Morfei likes this.
  18. Torren61

    Torren61 Poster Extraordinaire Gold Supporter

    Posts:
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    Humboldt County, CA
    My approach for buying gear is buy everything and let God sort them out.


    My gear purchases habits have been circular. I started out buying cheap gear because it was all I could afford. Then, when I got some money, I bought some nice contemporary pieces. Then, I realized I wanted to try more different gear and I couldn't keep buying all high end stuff and selling it to try different high end stuff so I bought more cheap stuff.

    The I started building/assembling stuff like guitars, amps and cabs. Then I went back to buying slightly higher end but reasonably priced. Then I bought boutique gear.

    Now, I'm not selling much. I'm buying more vintage but I still have a lot of all the things i just talked about. My "cheapest" guitar would be the PRS SE Soapbar. That's a REALLY nice cheap guitar. I have an Epiphone John Lennon acoustic which is also a really nice cheap guitar. Level up to the guitars I have built/assembled and I must mention my Brian May Red Special Tribute Tele and my Strat with the two '60s single coils and the T-top Gibson humbucker in the bridge. There are a lot more of mine I don't need to mention. Level up to the US Strat and the Greco Tele. Level up to the 2010 PRS McCarty and the 1999 Taylor 814CE. Level up to the '70 ES-335 and the '87 Martin OOO-18.

    I've done the same thing with amps with more of a focus on vintage. I'd rather have more amps than guitars.

    The point and theme of my "collection" is to try to cover as much territory as I can. I have a few small holes in my spread such as an SG, a Gretsch and a 12-string. My one and only bass is a 1973 Precision so I guess I could add a Jazz and a Rickenbacker. For amps, maybe a Mesa and some high gain monster like a Soldano but I think I've covered everything reasonably well.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2021
    StrangerNY likes this.
  19. Chester P Squier

    Chester P Squier Tele-Holic

    Age:
    72
    Posts:
    573
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    Jan 16, 2021
    Location:
    Covington, LA
    Not in a band. Bedroom player.

    I actually like my Squier Affinity Strat. It plays well, sounds good, and stays in tune. I play it through a Vox AD15VT modeling amp, which has a 12AX7 tube in the preamp section.

    I also like my Gretsch Electromatic 5120. It plays well also, and sounds good an stays in tune.

    My wife does not like my MIM Fender Precision Bass. I was considering offering my services somewhere, but I got busy doing other stuff.

    But, as I have posted before, I am looking at a G & L ASAT in butterscotch blonde, but I don't think any are available at the present time. But then, there are a lot of shortages.
     
  20. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
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    Yeah OK I know about that stuff in the first two and the third one had the rehearsal space next to mine in the early 90s.
    (Not them actually, they were called Codeine)

    I sounded way scarier than them at the time though, they were cool and came over to jam regularly.
    Happily, I do not need guitars tailored to massive grinding bottom rumble!
    Any more...
     
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