So I write this today to tell my story of a gear addiction over the past three years. Some of my opinions may offend you, but that is not my intention. I hope that young guitarists who are considering spending allot of time and money on equipment will heed my warnings and not make the same mistakes that I have. My first real guitars were a fender mim strat, a classic player fender jaguar and a ibanez RG, all of which, were very nice and affordable. At a certain point in life I had the money to buy a PRS custom 24 and I sold all three to help fund the investment. That was the first time I recall obsessing over gear. I wanted that guitar so bad it was all I could think about. I had the very unreal expectation that if I could just get this guitar, that my playing ability and my musical standing would greatly improve. I got the guitar ($3000 later) and was thrilled.Was it the nicest guitar I had ever played? No, but it was the nicest guitar I have ever owned. Problems started occurring... I became scared to even play the thing. It cost more than my car at the time! I was so worried about dropping it or scratching it that I would often prefer not play it. Then I started worrying about people stealing it, so I got a insurance policy on it. I really missed my cheaper guitars because I could beat them up and leave them laying around the house and not worry about it. It only got worse from there. Over those three years I owned at least 4 amps, over 25 pedals and 5 guitars. I invested enough money into gear to put a down payment on a house. The more stuff I got the more I wanted and the more I searched for the next best thing. I found myself spending more time watching gear demos on youtube, than actually playing music. I don't even want to know how much time I wasted of my life in front of the computer screen. I made the decision recently to sell most of my expensive music stuff and am refining my taste to appreciate lower cost equipment again. I've really come to realize how the guitar market is just like all the other corporate bull ****. It's all about branding. The name and the names association with success. These companies try to make you believe that if you don't own their product you aren't professional. Like your a lesser musician because you don't have their $300 wah pedal. They match their products image to a well know endorser who raves about the product "this $1000 tube tape delay is the staple of my lead guitar sound" its all just a big scam to make you cough up hundreds of dollars to try to reach the sound of your idols. I've really come to notice that the average (Non-musician)listener, cant tell the difference between a $200 guitar and a $2000 guitar. So why buy the more expensive product? I mean there is no doubt in certain situations the $2000 product is allot higher quality, but are we as musicians really willing to pay $1800 more for maybe only a slight difference. Maybe that extra quality will help you approach your playing differently, but again is it a $1800 difference? I really think that a Mim strat is just as nice as an american made custom shop and its a HELL of a allot cheaper. Its like owning a honda or a BMW. Both will get you from A to B, but the BMW says more about you in terms of social status. There is allot of cases that if you were blind folded and A/B a product, you probably couldn't tell which one was which. I know for me that is the case. I guess to wrap all this rambling up I think musicians right not should be focusing their efforts toward playing. When you finally get out of the basement (or garage) and are making some cash then invest in some LUXURY products. Until that day comes for me I'm more than happy with my MIM fenders. Spend your money on something else and don't give into this rampant surge of corporate monsters.