Agonizing Decision -- sell good axes?

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by bek, Jun 28, 2006.


  1. bek

    bek Member

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    This is driving me nuts. I'm a lousy player with no good excuse to buy a custom-made guitar, but I am thinking about it. I have a couple real good instruments which I am actually considering selling in order to finance the purchase. I have a beautiful Hamer Archtop Studio which is great but which will probably benefit from a pickup change I am about to make. I have an Industrial "LP" clone which is a real distinctive, specialized guitar, too. If I sold them both I could probably afford a SoulMate guitar which is very similar to the Hamer but I could have the exact neck, frets and pickups I want, with the added benefit of having the spalted top I just love. I have no way to play a SoulMate and have not talked to anyone who has played one. Here's photos and a link to the SoulMate which is similar to the one I would have built for me. Tell me what you think. Has anyone any knowledge of SoulMate? I know I'm crazy; start with a different comment. The GAS attack is killing me.

    [​IMG]
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    http://www.soulmateguitars.com/04_Spalt_Top.htm
     
  2. KennyM

    KennyM Supporting Member

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    I got my first guitar about 40+ years ago. The policy I have adopted is this - never, ever sell a guitar you really like.

    I really wish I now had 99% of the guitars I parted ways with. Can't say the same about amps.

    Kenny M.
     
  3. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    THINK before you trade "real good instruments" for an untried fantasy.
     
  4. bek

    bek Member

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    I know, I know. That's why I came here. Isn't this the local chapter of GASoholics? Stop me before I sell the Hamer!
     
  5. cnardone

    cnardone Supporting Member

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    I've sold a few guitars but never one that was in heavy rotation. Only ones that I do not play. If you play it and like it, I'd think very hard about parting with it.

    cmn
     
  6. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    I less want to stop you than get you to find a way to play a SoulMate or two before you pull the trigger (as it's perfectly rational to sell two good axes to fund one great one ... if it's truly great!).

    :RoCkIn
     
  7. lhallam

    lhallam Member

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    Not exactly, we are enablers however I think most will have mercy.

    Another option is to save your pennies until you can afford a 3rd gtr. In the meantime, you can enjoy the gtrs you've got and do some further research into getting the exact specs you want for a custom job.
     
  8. portsider

    portsider Supporting Member

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    I have really only regretted selling one guitar* and I have sold a lot. Even that one, if I had it, would currently be spending most of the time cased. For me part of the fun is stratigizing how to get the gear I want. And it is silly because I could afford to have fifty guitars, I (with my wife's help) just invent limits on my funds to keep it challenging.
    My point is if it keeps guitaring fun... why not?
    *1960's guild F4-12
     
  9. bek

    bek Member

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    I already have more than two guitars. I think I'm hoping, in part, that venting some of the GAS pressure here will allow me to calm down a bit and reconsider. I am going to move a couple sets of handmade humbuckers around and get familiar with their sound in different guitars. My general idea is to end up with an LP-type guitar (like a Hamer or LP or SoulMate), one Strat-type (my Lindert is doing that job right now), probably one Tele-type (my Washburn is filling that slot reasonably well), and two sliders (already taken care of, too). Right now I have seven guitars and I think I would use them more and perhaps be more satisfied if I went down to the above-described five. I don't know.
     
  10. fretnot

    fretnot Gold Supporting Member

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    I say do it. You'll always wonder "what if" if you don't. The only problem with ordering custom guitars is that once you start, you can't stop. Serious addiction.
     
  11. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    Seller's remorse is a real and lasting pain.

    Selling off a guitar you like for a guitar you have never played is GAS gone mad, imo.
     
  12. bek

    bek Member

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    I know; I can't believe I'm even thinking of it. This thread is a good thing for me. Now I'm thinking of perhaps selling the Industrial (it's kind of heavy for my aging shoulder and the neck is a bit thin for me) and my Epiphone Bigsby-equipped gold sparkle-top LP (not really my thing with the Bigsby and sparkle-top) and maybe my Washburn Laredo (US-made Tele clone which I've never quite been able to get the tone to please me) and use the proceeds either to assemble a Strat or Tele with a local builder or just take a flier on the Soulmate (if my emails are satifactorily answered -- he's been very prompt and polite with preliminary inquiries) or just hold the money and wait for some great deal here on the Gear Page or over at TDPRI. This keeps my two current favorites -- the Hamer and Lindert -- and my two dedicated slide guitars. Somewhere to start thinking, anyway, and talking about it here is good for me. I do have a bit of portsider's thing going -- I just like planning and arranging for a new guitar. It's a beautiful madness.
     
  13. bluesking89

    bluesking89 Supporting Member

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    I'll pay you top dollar for the Hamer right now!

    Let me know...........................................
     
  14. bek

    bek Member

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    Thanks but I'm trying to quit! I'll make a note to myself about you -- if I decide to sell it I'll tell you. I'm going to put a Manlius bridge pickup in and a Plummer neck pickup and maybe it will be better for me. It sounds incredible through my opened-up Marshall combo (everything does) but it's hard to get things to sound right at lower volumes. I'm going to change the pickups and see, then show my tech. Maybe it's just not for me. The local top player tells me NEVER to sell it.
     
  15. slowburn

    slowburn Supporting Member

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  16. suhr_rodney

    suhr_rodney Supporting Member

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    I'm probably the wrong person to ask... but I'm with the majority here.... keep it!
     
  17. Luke

    Luke Senior Member

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    How about doing something to improve your playing first? If your playing is as bad as you say it is, will you be able to properly define your perfect instrument to a luthier? I think of custom guitars for players who are willing to pay for that 2% difference in the most minute of details. When your playing improves, you will be better able to describe what it is you want, I'd wait a while.
     
  18. r9player

    r9player Silver Supporting Member

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    I have had a Soulmate guitar and .. they are really awesome, Doug makes some of the nicest necks a well. Sorry to tip you the other way. But yeah if you really like a guitar it'll be hard to match that with anything new especially unplayed untried.
     
  19. johnnyqb

    johnnyqb Supporting Member

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    I have another perspective. I have bought and sold about 10 guitars in the last year, always with the goal of ending up with two. I have recently ended up with the two, both of which are Rice Custom Guitars
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    [​IMG]

    I had enough capital built up in the form of a few nice telecasters (indluding a '52) and a couple G&Ls, that I bought these two guitars by selling the other ones. I think your post and the replies raise some key issues. Yes, if you love a guitar, it seems silly to sell it. But I found that I did not really know what it was to love a guitar until I got these Rice guitars. They are so far superior (to my tastes and needs) than all the other guitars I owned, that I am ecstatic that I took the chance on a small custom shop to part with my Fenders. There are a couple key qualifiers, though. I live near the Rices, and so I visited their house to try their guitars before buying them. I don't think I would have "risked" making all these big buying/selling moves if I had not had the chance to do this. I was lucky to be able to play them, because then it was apparent that this was a lifetime opportunity for me. I also was lucky that these Rice Custom Guitars are priced to sell! Since I have these guitars that I love, it is apparent to me that some of the things that slightly irritated me about my previous guitars were issues that I shouldn't have to put up with. I thought I liked regular "U" necks like on my '52 tele, but had always felt like the fretboard was too narrow on that and my other guitars. The neck on my one Rice is extra wide and the Blackguard one has a really thick C prfofile that effectively widens the neck for playing purposes. So now I realize, there is no reason to put with necks that I do not really love. In sum, getting a couple custom guitars (at great prices) was the best thing that has happened to me guitar-wise. But the factors that made this so great for me may not apply in your circumstance. I have not regretted for an instant selling any of my guitars, because every step of the way I was getting guitars that I liked more than the previous ones. If I really love a guitar, I will not sell it. But if I just "like" it, I am selling myself short, as there are guitars out there I can love. Also, I would put absolutely ZERO stock in your statement that you are not a good enough player to have a custom. The question is solely how committed you are to improving, not how good you are. A better guitar inspires me to play better and practice harder.
     
  20. tonedaddy

    tonedaddy Member

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    I am here as you are here as you are me and we are
    These 2 statements sum it up completely for me.

    bek, in your statement you allude to some specs on a guitar that you don't like. I have no idea where you're are at in knowing exactly what specs you want/need in a guitar (neck profile and width, scale length, fret size, body and neck woods, etc), but read johnnyqb's statements I've quoted and understand how much he knew about what his exact needs/wants were when he went looking for another guitar.

    IME, I have had absolutely NO regrets ever selling a guitar once I knew what specs I needed in a guitar for it to meet my needs. If a guitar's specs won't work for me, it's gone, no regrets ever. And if a guitar is getting the greatest reviews in the world on TGP, but I can't get it in my specs, I won't even consider it (avoiding lots of GAS I used to have).

    Once I found my specs, looking for great guitars has been SO much easier. The universe of possible choices is so much smaller, and I can focus on things that distinguish a guitar for me (like neck and body resonance), and things I can do to maximize the potential of a guitar (like pickup choices, neck/fret/bridge setups, etc).

    I suggest you spend some time focusing on identifying exactly what you want and need in a guitar. Use that information to understand if your existing guitars can deliver for you, as well as evaluate other possible choices in new guitars you're looking at buying.
     

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