An old guy giving a young guy advise about "GAS"...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by standard24, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. standard24

    standard24 Member

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    I'm the old guy... (of course).

    A younger friend of mine is deeply afflicted by GAS. I think he's bought 6-7 guitars, plus amplifiers, multi FX, pedals, modeler, microphones, monitors, etc. in the last 12 months.

    I've tried to explain that while collecting guitars is fun, what you end up with is a bunch of guitars that you don't play very often. Most of his guitars are in the below $1000 price range. Plus he's had basic guitars upgraded at a high cost.

    I've gently suggested that a small number of really fine guitars purchased used, would be better than a whole room full of ordinary ones. And that if he owned a Suhr, PRS, or Anderson, the budget stuff would reveal itself as the marginal gear it really is. I've pointed out several used PRS guitars at $700- $900 that would have been a huge step up in quality, but he hasn't bitten on any of them.

    If someone had given me this same advise when I was his age, I don't know that I would have listened either. GAS is something you just have to go through.
     
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  2. ZiggyStarrdust

    ZiggyStarrdust Member

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    should really just apply this to all of life... don't by disposable crap that you'll need to upgrade.
    Kitchen supplies, furniture etc... You don't have to buy it all at once, buy it as needed and make sure you buy quality items.

    As far as GAS goes... my GAS is bad... and all my stuff is higher end at this point. I buy a mix of new and used and generally by new gear at or below used prices, so i never really lose out and have made a tidy profit on some of my collection i've moved along. If you can afford it, it's a fun little hobby. But if you're buying 6, 7, 12 guitars that are mid tier, most would probably be happier with 2 really freaking nice ones.
     
  3. Magnets And Melodies

    Magnets And Melodies Member

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    I think this is the key point really. I went through 2 years of GAS, where I started off just acquiring a ton of pedals... up 40 at one point.. I ended up selling more than half of them after 6 months of realizing that not only do I not NEED that many pedals (always knew it was more want than need) but that finding my 10 really best, favorite sounding pedals was going to have a much bigger effect on me than having shelves full of different pedals that barely get used.

    Thing is, I don't think I would've learnt that unless I went through with it. Nor would I have found those pedals that I really really bonded with.

    Than I went onto guitars... and though I never did the "buy a ton of generic instead of a few good ones", I did buy about 10 great ones in a year... again for me it wasn't so much of "I need this and that" more as, "these are good enough that I wouldn't lose too much on resale value if they didn't work out, and this is the only way I'm gonna find that perfect guitar for me.

    After a few flips I ended up keeping 10 still... but they're 10 equally loved, awesome guitars.

    Here's the thing....

    If I could start all over again, this is what I'd do.... I'd buy an R8 LP, an ES-335, an AV Tele, and a Tone King + Vox style amp and call it a day. Pricey ticket items yes, but actually.... in the long run I'd have saved a ton of money had I done that instead of acquiring the way I did.
     
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  4. sedawkgrep

    sedawkgrep Supporting Member

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    This is exactly what's happened to me over the past 6 years or so. I am now in the process of whittling my collection down to 4-6 truly great guitars.
     
  5. ToneDeVille

    ToneDeVille Member

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    I bought a boat about 35 years ago. Wanting a bigger boat than I was prepared to operate at the time, I remember the sales guy told me to buy the boat I think I would eventually want and learn to operate it.
    Yes, it cost more. But by the time I would have it paid for I'd also have the boat I really wanted to begin with without having to trade in, trade up, start new loans, lose equity, etc. I bought the little boat.
    And he was right. 4 Boats later I had the one I really wanted to begin with.

    Gas ... it's a bitch.
     
  6. redgold

    redgold Supporting Member

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    My advice would be: figure out what types of speakers and pickups you like, then go from there. Also, if you have gear you haven't touched in 3-4 months, move it along.
     
  7. Gotham City Blues

    Gotham City Blues Member

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    That’s the key right there. I mean, practice is the best cure for GAS but who’s listening? :dunno
     
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  8. standard24

    standard24 Member

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    Excellent point! I think most guys buy a ton of different (or similar) guitars, thinking it will change the way they play or sound. ("Gee, if I only had a Rickenbacker 12 string electric, I could sound just like the Byrds!")

    But when you see the "American Idol" band, the guitar player plays the whole show on just one guitar.

    I know buying and collecting gear can be fun for a while, but a new chorus pedal or a deluxe tweed guitar case isn't going to change anything. When I was buying any bargain guitar I came across, I didn't realize that they would someday own me...
     
  9. Jarick

    Jarick Supporting Member

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    I would definitely agree, and that's a lesson I have started to learn now in my mid 30's.

    Some high level GAS thoughts:

    A lot of it stems from impatience...I am guilty of wanting something, settling for (or talking myself into) a cheaper version, and a lot of times putting it on a credit card. So I end up not attaching much value to it, and when I get bored of it (quickly), I will flip it at a loss for the next "quick fix". My wife does the same thing too.

    I think saving up for something we truly want is more rewarding and gives us more attachment to that item. If I save up $2,000 over six months for a guitar, I'm going to scrutinize the hell out of that purchase. I'll play all the guitars in a store, go to another one, really find something that speaks to me, and that might take weeks. But if I throw it on a credit card and worry about paying for it later, I'd be a lot more impulsive.

    Right now with so many instruments on the market, it makes a lot more sense to buy used. Let someone else take the up to 50% depreciation hit. I mean, this past year I bought a 2016 G&L ASAT that sold new for nearly $1700 in absolute mint condition with a case and all the tags for $800. I also bought a 2014 PRS S2 Mira that had over $500 worth of upgrades (Mannmade stoptail and Lollar Imperials) for $800.

    As far as upgrades go, it's a great way to customize a guitar, but it doesn't add a ton of value to the instrument. Again, the Mira I bought should probably go for around $800 without upgrades. It's better to hold on to the original parts when you sell off the guitar. Also, think about how it all adds up and consider looking for a higher model that might have a lot of that done already.

    Lastly, GAS seems to be most prominent in the idle. When you're busy, when you're actively involved in a project, or creating something, you don't tend to want to buy all kinds of things. I rarely think about purchases when I'm playing. It's when I'm at the office (like right now). Hell, I spent a couple hours this morning looking at cell phones. I shouldn't get a new one. Just need a new battery. But look at all the HD videos of shiny new phones with huge screens...easy to talk yourself into it.
     
  10. Alchemist XP

    Alchemist XP Supporting Member

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    Why give him advice? Let him learn on his own ... that's half the fun.

    Maybe just get together, jam, let him play your guitars and have fun playing music instead of figuring out a gear strategy?

    Most of what GAS is about is thinking a new shiny object will wake the muse and get one excited about playing instead of thinking about gear .... as in ... it sounds so good I can't stop playing it!

    That's the real illusion.
     
  11. standard24

    standard24 Member

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    Yep! I try to withhold my advise, mainly because he's already bought the new axe he's telling me about. But jamming together, I'm usually using the same guitar and he's trying to wring sounds out of something new. I sometimes think having just one guitar would force a player to find it's best tone rather than jump to something new.
     
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  12. MmcGrouty

    MmcGrouty Silver Supporting Member

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    The journey is half the fun. Don’t ruin that for him.
     
  13. stevieboy

    stevieboy Clouds yell at me Gold Supporting Member

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    Might as well try to tell him what kind of women to stay away from, for the good it will do. :dunno

    I realized the pitfalls of GAS a long long time ago. That didn’t stop me, though, at most maybe slowed me down a little.
     
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  14. standard24

    standard24 Member

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    Forget the guitars... I want to hear about the women you should have stayed away from!
     
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  15. Alchemist XP

    Alchemist XP Supporting Member

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    This entire site is populated with people that have not been able to do what you're suggesting ...

    In my opinion, at least 75% (but not all) of GAS is a search for motivation that can be purchased.
     
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  16. Mpcoluv

    Mpcoluv Supporting Member

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    I think this GAS stage is where a player learns what instruments he likes and how to operate them. Later he will see the wisdom of your advice.
     
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  17. YellerJacket

    YellerJacket Supporting Member

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    Yep. Nothing like buying an R9 or PRS wide/fat to figure out you really prefer a smaller necked guitar. You live and you learn. The best advice I could give someone with GAS is to buy used. You'll save some money.
     
  18. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    To get to the point of wisdom requires training at the School of Hard Knocks.
    Attendance is mandatory and tuition is expensive.
    One pays one's dues.
     
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  19. Tony Done

    Tony Done Member

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    While I agree that accumulating that much stuff in that short a time is not a good idea, I don't agree with the idea that "more" is "better" when referring to price. My favourite electric cost Oz$65 plus mods, and my favourite acoustic is all-laminate. I would be pushing the principle of trusting one's ears, not the price tag or the name on the headtsock, good setup and good amp. The main justification I can see for spending big $ is if it makes you try harder.
     
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  20. samarshll

    samarshll Member

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    Let the GAS be with you.
     
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