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A little "Time Away" perspective...

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by Ben R, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. Ben R

    Ben R Member

    Dec 29, 2007
    North Kingstown, RI (U.S.A.)
    Hello. It's been quite a while since I've been a regular poster here. For that matter, I don't even lurk or read here much any more. I used to be on this forum religiously. I am an admitted Axe FI Ultra user. When the Axe FX II and Kemper came onto the scene, I was in a position financially where I wanted but couldn't afford the next generation of "latest & greatest". I read for quite a long time. But, was in no position to buy something else. Over time, the endless debating and arguing drive me away from this place.

    Fast forward... I got on with my life. In the interim, I have still been gigging and playing guitar. With time and perspective, it has dawned on me that my Ultra still does everything I need it to and then some. It's actually been liberating to realize this. I had spent quite a bit of time yearning to upgrade. My game plan used to be that I would be patient and eventually get something else. But, with enough time, my obsession with tone chasing gave way to more important needs in my life. In the process, I realized that I'm still fine with what I have.

    The point of this commentary is to reassure those of you who can't presently buy the flavor of the month that the less expensive alternatives can still work for you. To those of you fortunate enough to have the newer stuff... congrats. Seriously. But, everyone really only needs to find something that they can afford that works for what they need and to rock on. ULTIMATELY, making music, having fun, earning a living are all that matter. Keep improving your skills and playing the instrument you love. Peace.
  2. neoprimitive

    neoprimitive Member

    Nov 13, 2013
    San Die Go - Hellifornia
    Truth is spoken..:)
    I only play what I can afford.. I'd love to have an axe fx, but I can't afford that kind of money. By some peoples standards i'm using junk, but I still have fun and enjoy it..
    If we could time travel back to the sixties and present Hendrix with what we now consider to be a crappy low end ,modeler, he would be ecstatic and would make music that would blow our minds with it..
    It's all about the playing, the songs and thmusic overall. Nothing more nothing less..
  3. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Administrator and Co-Founder of TGP Staff Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    True that. True.

    Ultimately, it is not about the gear. It never has been, it never will be. Gear is fun. Gear is great. But it's the music and making music, performing music... those are what matters. The rest is just words on a screen.
  4. jrockbridge

    jrockbridge Member

    Sep 29, 2008
    Above Ground
    I agree.

    I was GASing heavily for a Kemper for awhile. If I really wanted to badly enough, I could have made the KPA happen for me. However, I came to the realization that I'm very happy with all my current gear (analog and digital). I have an 11R, MS100BT, MS50G, MS70CDR, GR5, A3, VAC Hayseed 15, Fender BD 410, a large collection of stomp boxes, etc and it all works great. Also, I think it's to my advantage to wait.

    The longer I wait, the more mature the KPA and Axe II become. They just keep getting better with time. Also, the more time that passes, the closer we get to next generation gear in the lower price ranges.

    I do want to upgrade eventually. I'm just not in a hurry anymore. If the KPA and Axe II become discontinued by the time I'm finally ready to upgrade, they will only be easier to afford at a lower price. Meanwhile, I'm still having a blast with my 11R, MS100BT, MS50G, MS70CDR, etc. I find new sounds all the time.
  5. MaxTwang

    MaxTwang Member

    Oct 15, 2007
    Running around these forums is fun and playing with new gear is always a blast; but when it stops being fun and/or detracts from making music, then it is time to take a step back, find YOUR sound and rediscover your style and inspiration.
  6. JPenn

    JPenn Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    Blytheville, AR
    would i love to have all the newest "cool" gear gear? yeah, but i don't really need it. i've got a zoom g3 that has been doing a great job for the past 6-8 months!
  7. stratzrus

    stratzrus Philadelphia Jazz, Funk, and R&B Silver Supporting Member

    May 16, 2006
    Philadelphia, PA
    Good post!

    Fortunately hanging out here has never produced that churning in the pit of your stomach "gotta have it" feeling that some seem to get.

    I'm happy enough with my gear that being on a waiting list doesn't bother me. There's something I want to get that I've been waiting to drop for a good while now but I think of it as something to look forward to, not a source of anxiety.

    The fact is that no matter how many people rave about something, you won't know if it's really right for you until you get your hands on it so why get so excited about something you read about just because it's the latest and greatest.

    I'm lucky enough to have some guitars and amps that I really love, and some great musicians I can play with. Anything else related to gear, even hanging out here, is just icing on the cake.
  8. lspaulsp

    lspaulsp Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 10, 2006
    The main reason I keep my Flextone III (112) I can't find anything to replace it and WHY, it sounds great. Yep, I use outboard dirt.
  9. eman22

    eman22 Member

    Feb 22, 2011
    Just went "back" to RP500.

    Could not be happier.
  10. hobbes1

    hobbes1 Member

    Aug 7, 2006
    i've been happy with my POD HD500 for several years now both for guitar and bass duties. adding the DT25 and JTV69 made it even better. last night i just plugged a guitar directly into the DT25/cab and just played for 45 minutes..no FX except a little reverb. it was great.
    I'd love to have an AXE-Fx II and MFC and a pair of CLR's but ultimately, at this point can't justify the cost for what I'd use them for. consequently, I think very little about them and just get on with using and enjoying what I have. Thanks, OP, for your post.
  11. eriwebnerr

    eriwebnerr Member

    Aug 3, 2008
    New York
    Excellent post - I have wanted to post a similar idea many times. I often find myself driven crazy by overdrive pedals. The little nuances they can bring which provide a new dimension to your existing setup. But at the end of the day, I still sound like me and I favor the tones I favor - so the perceived differences really aren't that great. So it ends up not as much being about what the new pedal brings to the table, but rather being inspired by another musicians playing and salesmanship.

    Can we imagine a group of chefs that were obsessed over their grills, utensils, bowls, and even ingredients to the extent that they lost sight of the fact that at the end of the day they are supposed to be making food that is enjoyable to eat?
    We are supposed to be just one ingredient (typically) in a musical recipe that moves people and is somehow emotionally accessible.

    There is a much deeper satisfaction out of using the gear you have to achieve something you only thought was possible with something new.
  12. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

    Apr 3, 2009
    East of the Rockies...
    This is a point that I've wondered about as well. Is there a cooking forum where full time cooks and folks who just cook at home intermingle and discuss the newest products and techniques? And what about artists? Do they discuss the merits of different paintbrushes?
  13. trabant

    trabant Member

    Jan 24, 2013
    Put into another context it's actually quite funny:

    F. Scott Fitzgerald: What are you using to type with these days Ernie?

    Hemingway: A Corona

    F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Corona? You have to be kidding me. Aren't those the same ones used for the girls typing classes in 9th grade?

    Hemingway: Oh STFU Fitz! What are you using to to type your drunken drivel?

    F. Scott Fitzgerald: An Underwood. A man's machine. The world just flow.

    Hemingway: You're joking right? You couldn't type your way out of a wet paper bag with that one. The keys are too small, made for delicate, almost feminine hands.

    F. Scott Fitzgerald: Bite me.

    Hemingway: I will.
  14. 2HBStrat

    2HBStrat Member

    Apr 3, 2009
    East of the Rockies...
    "Will I notice an improvement in my cooking if I upgrade to MIA Corningware?"
  15. QuantumFlux

    QuantumFlux Member

    Oct 30, 2009
    Great post, I feel the same way!
    Been enjoying playing my POD and Eleven Rack without worrying about keeping up with new gear.
  16. jb4674

    jb4674 Member

    May 29, 2011
    Beneath The Distance
    Tone is in the fingers ;)
  17. Dexter Holliday

    Dexter Holliday Member

    Jan 16, 2007
    Southern California
    I've been using a Standard since 2007. Still works great for me.
  18. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    5868 ft above sea level
    I don't know that you state universal truth. One thing I've come to realize in my years on TGP and the old PRS Forum is that different people are into different things. While many are into the making/performing of music, others are more jazzed by the thrill of the gear chase and the rush that comes along with whatever box the man in brown is dropping at your doorstep. I'm not about to say that there's necessarily anything wrong with either position.

    If I'm honest with myself, I didn't need to upgrade from the Ultra to the AxeFx II. I didn't need to replace my LF Jr. with an MFC. I was making cool music and had my headphones and USB audio all happening. The music I was making wasn't going to be any cooler (or more accurately: less uncool) if I was playing through a G2 modeler. Fact is that I enjoyed the Christmas morning excitement of installing new firmware (I upgraded the Ultra from 5 to 7/8/9/10/11) and had some gear I could liquidate to fund the purchase.

    First world problems we're solving here...
  19. bobmeredith

    bobmeredith Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    I'm of the same opinion as the OP. I've also been an "instruments as tools" type anyway.

    I made the decision a few weeks ago not to bother with the AXE-FXII and bought a second Ultra as a backup. This will now allow me to sell some of my unused valve gear and all of the ancillary bits of gear needed to make it all work under midi control

    A few boutique pedals can now go as well. In time I may even sell my Boogie combo.

    The Ultra and Matrix 800 really solved a few of problems for me;

    Power to weight
    Headroom V Distortion
    Crystal clear FX
    Easy editing.
    Plug straight into the desk with a good tone for duo gigs

    I'm now quite happy to use this rig for years, (unless it proves totally unreliable) even if it gets superseded by AXEII-III, Kemper etc.
    Why: becuase it does everything I need and then some. I don't care if the amp models are 100% accurate or not; and I don't care about whether it sounds and feels like a valve amp. It's good enough.

    So from my perspective the gear hunt ended when I found a tool that could fulfill all of my requirements. An AXEII would be nice but I couldn't be bothered with all the firmware updates and fiddling with patches.

    I haven't turned the Ultra on in 2 weeks, I just play my ES-175 unplugged.

    The real kicker: with all of this technology sitting in my music room music room at the moment; what gives me the most enjoyment?

    A ukulele :rotflmao I bought one a week ago and I've been playing it all week!!
  20. RocksOff

    RocksOff Member

    Jan 26, 2009
    This is brilliant.

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