A Glimpse Into Guitar Lust Madness

  • by Gitabushi

I wrote a long email to a friend this morning, focused on talking through trying to sell guitars.

See, I have a guitar fund, and as I buy/sell guitars, money flows into and out of the fund.  When I sell more guitars, that money sits there, mocking me and burning holes in my brain that allow new guitars to fall in. So I buy them, and end up with too many guitars to play regularly, and I get the urge to purge and simplify.

So here is a glimpse into my thought process regarding these guitars.  Don’t worry, we’ll eventually cover all these guitars in future installments of the Guitar Lust series.

When I’m hesitating to sell, it is because I think, “what if I want to play it later?!?”
I’ve been pondering that, and it seems like I have still have the stupid fantasy I might somehow become a famous guitarist.  I think of playing a guitar in a video, which is why I want the various variations on black pickguard/black hardware/dark fretboard guitars. Or I think of needing a guitar for that virtuoso section of the recording I’m still working on, so I need the Gary Kramer Guitars Delta Wing or the Yamaha RGX Standard.

Except that I’m not going to become famous.

I’ll be lucky if I ever get invited to play a concert for free. Scratch that, I should consider myself lucky if I can even get selected to be a guitarist for a band that doesn’t have any gigs.

So when will I ever play the Delta Wing?
I don’t play it because: 1) its weird shape keeps me from being able to leave it out on a stand/rack, so it stays in the case on a shelf.  If it rotates to the bottom of a stack, I’ll rarely play it.  In fact, I haven’t even played it enough to know what it’s strong points are that should make me want to play it. and 2) I’ve played it enough to know it sounds kinda bleh.

But I got excited when I bought it and most likely overpaid. It’s hard to tell with them, they appear on eBay so rarely, but I paid $1300 to have mine shipped, and one sold on eBay for about $800 or $900 6 months ago.  And a 7-string version is on eBay right now, not selling, for $1100.

So I can sell it, and realize a significant loss. Seems a shame to lose money just because it sounds crappy, because I could get a set of great sounding pickups for $200 and transform it.
Then again, if I’m already in the hole $400, it seems a shame to sink another $200 since it probably still say in the case because it doesn’t have a place to stay outside its case.
So I guess I’ve decided to sell it.

I also decided to go ahead and sell the Brownsville Choir Boy.  I should be able to make $20. Yay.
Better than losing money.  Which is why I pulled the trigger: little/no risk.
It just looks so cool.
But it really doesn’t sound all that good, and swapping out the pickups would significantly lower the coolness of its appearance.
By “not good”, it just doesn’t play with the Millennium (modeling guitar amp) as well as it did the Peavey Bandit 112 (solid state amp), I guess. Although even with the Peavey, it sounded Meh. It just had some twang, and I was willing to crank it to get some volume. But on the Millennium, cranking it doesn’t really work.  Unlike the candy tangerine Warmoth, I can’t get a strong sound out of it no matter what I do with the gain.
I need to reduce, it looks cool, but it has drawbacks.  Not sure I’d gig with it anymore, and that ruins the reason for having it.

I’m perplexed about the Yamaha RGX Standard (the transparent-fuschia one I had the HFCer in Chicago help me get for really cheap).  It’s beautiful, it really sounds like a professional guitar, it has really low action without buzzing, and it is in pretty much mint condition. Meaning, I think it is mint, but it probably has some buckle rash or other ding I didn’t notice cuz I’m not looking for.
But for all its awesomeness, I never play it.  One reason is it has a dedicated case, so that makes it easier to keep it in its case rather than out. Another reason is that because it is double-locking, the monthly or bimonthly “tune it up again from scratch” process is a hassle. It’s why I want to shed all my double-locking guitars.
But if I get that recording contract, I *need* a top-notch guitar to make sure I can nail all the tones and all the licks, right?  Right?
It’s the same reason I can’t sell the Yamaha PAC 921 and Yamaha PAC 1221 so far.
The PAC 1221, especially: such a thin neck, but stable due to 2 carbon truss rods.  What professional guitarist that wants to play fast wouldn’t have that guitar in their stable?  So I should.
And the PAC 921: it has the professional tone, just like the Yamaha RGX Standard, by which I mean it has a fullness and projection that other guitars don’t have, even if they sound as good or better.
But if I want to play a guitar, I’m going to reach for a better sounding and better playing one that I can switch to Drop D or even switch to Eb more easily, like any one of the non-locking guitars (of which I will have 11 after the Godin and Washburn arrive), or even a fixed bridge, of which I have 9, if you include the Fischer carbon fiber, the Switch Burst, and the Hamer Miller Genuine Draft (all of which I’m strongly considering selling).

So why keep the PAC 921, PAC 1221, and RGX Standard?

At this point, because I doubt I’d be able to find another for the price that they would probably sell for.

If I’m going to play a double-locking trem guitar, it’s going to be the Kramer Crusader.

So I should just sell the 3 Yamahas.

Then there’s the 2 cheap ones I got.  Both are double-locking. I got them because they were too cheap to pass up. I got them to be beater jam guitars.

But I have several I’m willing to jam with, including the PAC 312ii. Do I really need more than one?  Plus, these are double-locking.  I can leave them unlocked for easier retuning at a jam session/performance, but then I can’t use the trems. Seems like I’m going to sell them. I could kick myself for buying them, except they’ll be easy to sell on Craigslist for what I paid for them.

Right now, the ones I’ve decided to sell are:
One of the Diablos
Brownsville Choir Boy
Fernandes (with sustainer)
Guild Aviator
Yamaha SE 700

Probably going to sell:
Yamaha SE 312
Yamaha SE 620
Gary Kramer Guitars Delta Wing

Might sell:
Fischer carbon fiber guitar
Vibracell Switch Burst
Hamer USA Miller Genuine Draft guitar
the other Diablo
Yamaha PAC 921
Yamaha PAC 1221
Yamaha RGX Standard

That’s a lot of guitars to list, which means a lot of stress.

But it would get me down to 19, which is actually a doable amount.
I’d like to sell the Carvin and the PAC 604w, but they are extremely playable non-locking trem guitars. Their pickups are just a little more meh than the others, but not so meh I won’t play them like the Choir Boy.
The Carvin also has ebony fretboard and ss frets. The PAC 604w also has a push-push coil split, which the candy tangerine Warmoth, PAC 812w, and PAC 712 all lack.  Why is it important for me to have a coil split in the bridge?  I don’t know. So I can play Jesse’s Girl?

Speaking of single coils in the bridge, I can’t decide whether to sell the Squier or not.  It is cool looking. It is cool sounding. But will the stupid Fender trem that goes out of tune when you look at it keep me from playing it?  It has so far.

The Fischer is also an interesting dilemma.  It is first in a series.  It is carbon fiber, so resonant and durable.  It is rare. Then again, it is so rare no one has heard of it, so should I feel any satisfaction in having it?
If I sell it, I’ll never see one again my whole life.
This seems like a guitar that I could keep in a case for another 40 years, tho.  Unlike the Delta Wing or RGX Standard that I feel I should play.

I think I’m going to shoot for 19.  Except that if I get close, I’ll find another cool guitar (like the GJ2 for $1300. Gotta figure out how to stop looking before I try for $1300, maybe).
If I sell all but the “Might Sells”, that still gets me down to 27.  And who knows? Maybe I can find it in me to sell a Jon Kammerer, the Godin, the Washburn, or the Squier and end up somewhere between 16 and 27 when all is said and done.

Playing more has changed my perspective.  I expect auditioning for and actually joining a band will change it more.
I’m not bringing the Squier to a gig. I’m not going to use it on a recording if I can’t replicate that tone and feel in a performance.
So although I don’t plan on selling it now, that may change the more I play.

Also, here is a video of a Yamaha SE 312 (not the one I have, mine is red) to give you an idea of the different sounds it can make. It’s an awesome guitar…I just have 30+ awesome guitars, and can’t really enjoy so many.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s