What's your budget?

Bob Womack

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I typically save for anything I want, but on occasion, like when we are on vacation, I'll drop by a guitar shop and try out a guitar or two I've been thinking about with my wife in tow. I have to be careful, though. The last time I did it she listened to the Martin I was playing and said, "I like this guitar. How can we make it happen?" Whoa.

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Bob
 

loopfinding

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It depends on the item, and how much disposable income or gear I can sell for it I have. I usually aim for the lowest I can get it (based on recent sales or “priced to move”/“don’t know what they have” listings that are posted), and give myself about an additional twenty percent. I make a mental note and just wait for a deal, otherwise I hold on to my money. I don’t need it instantly if there are no opportunities around the low range.
 
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SlimGrady

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I decide what the piece of gear is that I want and decide how much is feasible to spend on it. I save until I can afford it at that point. I don't shape my gear around price because I have found that I wont actually be satisfied until I have the real thing I have been wanting. I am bucket list buying currently.
 

rdjones

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I really try not to allow "budget" concerns to dictate my gear.
However, the current situation of the most recent few years, has tightened things up quite a bit.

If it's a piece I absolutely decide on, I'll do whatever it takes (within legal limits).
I will scrimp, save, sell, barter, save, trade, wheel and deal and save.
Sometimes it takes too long to scrape together the funds, at which point I may decide something is out of reach.
I do not do debt.

I only rarely do impulse buys.
If I don't feel totally committed to an item I pass.
I don't enjoy the feeling I get when I lower my standards.

Lately I've been saving for some Leica glass, not cheap.
The only alternatives are also costly or even more so.
 
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telemnemonics

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I really try not to allow "budget" concerns to dictate my gear.

If it's a piece I absolutely decide on, I'll do whatever it takes (within legal limits).
I will scrimp, save, sell, barter, save, trade, wheel and deal and save.
Sometimes it takes too long to scrape together the funds, at which point I may decide something is out of reach.
I do not do debt.

I only rarely do impulse buys.
If I don't feel totally committed to an item I pass.
I don't enjoy the feeling I get when I lower my standards.

Lately I've been saving for some Leica glass, not cheap.
The only alternatives are also costly or even more so.
I have the (vintage) glass in spades but only film bodies.
Could probably sell some M4&M6 bodies for enough to buy a digital body but I really dislike selling gear.
Plus I like the old film bodies even though I never use them any more.
My darkroom is now a guitar workbench.
 

String Tree

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In the past it's been impulsive. Not so much these days.

My wife and I have a "rule" we're both good with - Any money I've already spent is considered "music money". So for example, if I sell a Les Paul for $2000, I can then spend that $2000 on more music gear. It's like a pot.

As for new purchases outside of this, I can make purchases as long as it's not taking money away from more pressing things we need such as car repairs, house stuff, etc.
Simply put, my Gear has to pull it's own Financial Weight.
If I really need something and, I have enough Paying gigs ahead of me, I take the plunge.
 

teletail

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Hmm, I'm kinda the opposite. I like having expensive guitars that I play the crap out of and never put them back in their cases.
Yup. I’d rather have fewer really nice guitars than a ton of cheap ones. I picked up a Tom Anderson Tele a few weeks back and it’s an amazing guitar.

There was some guy on TalkBass that used to show photos of his SX basses; I think ten or more. I always thought that for what he had in them, he could have had a couple of really nice basses. But I’m old school.
 

tfarny

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I would love to say I make rational, need-based and prudent purchasing decisions, but the last NGD purchase was made on a trip to buy strings, and it was a decent amount of money. So, yeah.
 

jvin248

Doctor of Teleocity
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Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
.

Battered, abused, and neglected guitars ... for cheap.
Then fix them up so they play like Custom Shop guitars ... for cheap.
Used guitars for half of new prices.

.
 

burntfrijoles

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Before I retired I didn't have a budget. If I really wanted something I'd buy it. Of course, none of that was on credit. If you don't have the money to pay cash, don't buy it was (and is) my rule.

After I retired I looked at things differently. I am more cautious. I have been even more cautious recently for obvious reasons. I really have to justify the purchase. That said, I've not really been in acquisition mode recently but, generally, I make a list of potential purchases with estimated costs, less any sale/trade value that I might have for older gear. I prioritize the list and see how fits in my budget versus other priorities capital priorities (AC, appliances, home repairs, etc).
Many of friends who are retired go by the "you can't take it with you" philosophy. There is some argument in favor of that approach but really it's just a juicy justification for indulging yourself.

My current list of maybes is as follows:
New studio monitors
Am Pro Bass (upgrade to my Players Bass)
Dedicated Thunderbolt External SSD for my music projects.
Software: EZ Drummer 3 (although this is less priority since I've gotten familiar with Logic Drummer)
Tone Master Deluxe Reverb to replace my SE PRRI.
CS Thinline or Suhr Alt-T or ES-335

A new guitar is highly doubtful. It's hard to justify.
Software is iffy at best
I'm on the fence about the bass as I'm not a bassist.
The Thunderbolt SSD and the Tone Master or the only likely purchases and I'm in no rush.
 

hnryclay

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At this point every guitar I own is nice, some very nice vintage pieces. I am of the age that my job is stable, and our bills our small vs our income. So I can purchase guitars without worry. However I really don't like clutter, and I like having all my guitars in one location in my basement practice area/studio. I am holding out for a nice vintage 335 which would probably be the last guitar I buy unless I stumble upon some amazing deal on a vintage piece, in other words I am not shopping for guitars but waiting for the right 335. I don't have a "budget" per say for this item but I would not spend more than $5000.00. I will wait as long as I have to in order to meet this requirement.
 

FuzzWatt

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Yup. I’d rather have fewer really nice guitars than a ton of cheap ones. I picked up a Tom Anderson Tele a few weeks back and it’s an amazing guitar.

Anderson's are fantastic instruments. I wouldn't mind owning one some day. Fano's too, they're awesome.

There was some guy on TalkBass that used to show photos of his SX basses; I think ten or more. I always thought that for what he had in them, he could have had a couple of really nice basses. But I’m old school.

I know what you mean. A guy I know has about 11 Squiers and says they're just as good as any US made Fender. I always think, for all that money he could have three really nice US models.
 

burntfrijoles

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I wonder how many folks ignore their budget because of all of the "no interest" 12-24 month programs are offered.

Oh yeah, @Dave Skowron, seeing your name immediately took me back to my childhood and watching "Moose Skowron" playing 1st base for the Yankees. Such sweet memories.
 

Dismalhead

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I don't make much money nowadays, but I don't have any debt either. If I have an equipment need, I'll research what is out there with the specs I want (usually over a period of months) and then figure out a way to come up with the cash once I've decided what I want - usually a process of putting aside a hundred bucks a month for a while or figuring out what I can sell or trade that I'm willing to give up. I try to get used or B-stock if I can find it.

I have never spent more than $900 on any single piece of equipment though. Haven't come across anything I want that bad that requires me to go higher than that. I've got some pretty nice stuff too.
 

11 Gauge

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I grew up sort of on the poor side, and it's shaped my gear purchasing habits for the long haul.

Actually, this was also the bigger impetus for me to modify stock (affordable) gear, or to build guitars from parts, going back to well before it was a common thing (well, at least compared to like it is now).

Then I lost my job during the great recession back in '08, and I reverted back to my frugal ways from when I was younger, and all of my gear purchases during this time were once again anything I could find for cheap, and then modify to suit my needs.

...And I guess it's kind of screwed me up for the long haul. I'm now making good money with a stable job, and my house is paid off. The most I can bring myself to spend on a guitar is like $600, but the last two were less than that. I actually built another parts Tele with a genuine Fender neck and body, and kept the cost really low (well, I already had the neck from another Tele). The most I've ever spent on an amp was ~$1K, for a 5E3 clone that I bought back in '18. Since that purchase, all subsequent amps bought were just a fraction of that cost.

I even have a second job where most of the money from it can go to buying gear, but it mostly just accumulates, for reasons that I've detailed above. I guess it's like a blessing in disguise.
 

telemnemonics

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IDK whats up with shopping these days?
Guitars really havent changed much in 50 years unless you play Steinberger (sorry thats old too) or fanned fret headless guitars.

I play every day and dont even get a new guitar every year.
So my budget is what?
Strings & tubes?

I admit I do fall for gear chat promoting some idea that I could be missing out!
But FOMO and GAS are mental health problems!

Even the idea that I read sometimes about needing different guitars to play different styles of music is just a myth.
Unless you join a reenactment tribute band and need stage props?
Or dont yet have the basics?

Hell Ive been playing for 42-44 years and have no Gretsch, no Rickenbacker, not even any repro 52 Tele in BSB!

You dont need to make playing guitar into bucket list shopping or stupid deal of the day devotion!
Of course its better than smoking crack but at some point "just one more" is not healthy.
I sure do understand how hard it is to resist when checking out all the gear for sale and the deals or models or new awesome tone makers that pop up IF I KEEP SHOPPING.
The only solution that works for me is not shoping unless I have a genuine need.
If I dont see all the enticing girls, sorry gear, I dont have to buy just one more in hope I will then be happy.

Budget?
I dont need no steenking guitar budget!
 

aFewGoodTaters

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I guess it depends on a few factors. The most I've ever spent on a piece of gear was $2800 (used Custom Shop Strat and a used ES-335, about 6 months apart). My wife and I have joint accounts and don't hide purchases from each other. It works out well. She knows I like gear and supports my interests as long as their isn't an abuse of trust.

My gear purchases have slowed down quite a bit. I'm fortunate that I have nice stuff that I'm happy with. Like most of us, I get GAS when I see an awesome Tele or Les Paul or whatever....but these days I try to spend more time playing what I have than obsessing over what I don't have.
 




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