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Question for multiple guitar owners


Silver Supporting Member
I want to ask a sincere question for those of you that own more than, say, 3 guitars:

When you add guitars to your collection, do you try and get things that are widely different (cover the bases?)


Are you the guy that will own 6 Les Pauls and almost nothing else?

Why do you choose what you do?

I ask because in other groups I see guys with as many as 10 Epiphone Les Pauls that are basically almost the same guitar with slight differences such as color, and I wonder why someone does that? For me, I'm not critical, but if I had, say, 30 grand I'd be trying to have very different but specific models for particular visions in sound.

I can get the thing that someone just loves something so much they can't get enough of it (that is how I feel about my wife and kids) but I don't understand beyond that why someone repeats a choice more than twice. And yeah, I'm not ignoring subtle differences, but why do subtle differences warrant it?


Silver Supporting Member
I've slimmed down to 5 guitars and they're all different models (LP, LP Jr, Tele, Strat, Stingray) as I've been focusing more on getting quality examples of each rather than a bunch of iterations.

For me it's been great; no option paralysis (i.e. when I want to play a Les Paul, I grab my one fancy Les Paul rather than pick from 4 of them), and they all feel really dialed in for my personal preferences. I love all kinds of guitars and have a reasonably wide range in musical tastes, so this has been the best approach for me. Also, keeping the numbers lower while keeping the variety high has made me feel less like I need to play a few of 'em every time I sit down.
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Brian N

I try to cover as many bases as possible. I've got 6 electric guitars and they are all quite different, with the exception being 2 Les Paul guitars because they're my favorite and I got the newest one a few months ago and I'm still deciding on which one to sell.

I'm with you, I don't get when people have multiples of the same guitar. Just pick one to really bond with. I could probably pare down to just 3 electric guitars, as that's how many hangers I have in my music room.

But hey, for someone who has to means to take care of their family, provide for their own future, still has ample discretionary income, and doesn't go into debt doing so, why not own a bunch of the same guitar if they enjoy it? Those sorts of people stimulate the guitar market, making both new and used guitars cheaper for all of us, and providing an outlet to sell our own used gear.
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David Garner

Platinum Supporting Member
I generally want differences, though right now I have 2 LPs, 2 Strats and a Tele. I’d like a Telemaster with P90s and a Bigsby and a 335, too.

For now, one LP has unpotted PAF type pickups and the other has a Super Distortion/PAF combo. One Strat is a traditional SSS with a 6-screw trem and low wind late 60s pickups and the other is a Superstrat with a Floyd and HSS pickups (2 stacks and a Duncan Custom Custom trembucker). So I mix it up even between 2 similar guitars.


I don't TRY to add guitars to my collection; somehow ones sneak in!
I'll try to answer the questions, but I don't think I'm representative.
Yes, when I originally collected the majority of my instruments, I was looking for the greatest range to cover as many bases as possible.
Oh, it was just that question really. You're interested in why people have doubles of an instrument though.

I have two guitars that are the same body shape (Stratocaster). 2010 Am.Std. for modern tones. Squier CV50s for vintage. I'm certainly thinking I can do without one, but as I enjoy modding the CV, I keep both.
I don't feel keeping the US strat is warranted, given that it is used less. Every time I think of moving it on, however... other reasons come up. The need just isn't there.
The Classic Vibe is great, but part of that is because I can beat it up and mess with it, and know I still have a backup.

Dave Lemire

For me it would be about variety. I'm a bedroom player, with no history or plans for gigging. I currently own (electric):
  • 45 y.o. generic LP copy
  • Ibanez solid body (S S S/H)
  • Ibanez semi-hollow body
  • BMG Special
  • Gibson ES-335 12-string (early 70s)
I feel that I've got my bases covered, but I'd definitely be looking for variety were I to buy more instruments. I'm enjoying the Ibanez semi-hollow enough that I'd probably explore variations on that theme, like the PRS Vela semi-hollow. Or a Gretsch or Rickenbacker, for something completely different.


Platinum Supporting Member
I want variety. I do have one set of guitars that are duplicates (3 Ibanez PM20s), where it's just a color thing in general. Otherwise my guitars differ on purpose.

@arpegadream I would definitely move towards custom, especially if talking 30K and want to really get something unique that fits your vision.


Ok so..... Let me preface this by saying I'm @ around 60 right now, been well over 100 in the past and as low as probably the 40s-ish. But this is all over 45 years of playing, gigging, touring and often times, my primary income. (Not currently)

There are 3 groups for me.

The workhorses. These are really meant for gigging/playing/recording/etc. So they are a wide range of tonal coverages and at the same time, many are matched pairs truly meant as backups. Nearly identical besides probably color and other minor details. Sometimes just to have multiple tunings of the same guitar on hand.

The Wild Hairs. These are usually the "Impulse Buys", the " Just Wanted to Try Outs" and the rediculous "Just Cause I Coulds". These are also the widest ranges of cost. All my PRSi PSs are here, CSs as well as other customs in the same price range. But also the cheap testers. PRSi SEs, Low end RGs and other oddballs that I wasn'ts ure at the time that I want to spend any real money on. Another example: I picked up 3 RGs for $100 each that had the trem studs ripped out. These were brand new warranty returns, but not worth sending back. I fixed all 3, donated 2 and still have one cause it's light and plays REALLY well.

The Burry Me Withs These are either guitars I've had for decades and aren't going anywhere ever or guitars I've yearned for my hole life and finally tracked down. Guitars like 50's LPs that my Dad played, 60s Strats that I grew up with and more oddballs that just mean something to only me. Like my first ever full custom from a builder no one's ever heard of.

Nowadays, I'm pretty much over collecting either because I'm jaded from owning too many over the years ;) or there's just not alot of super new innovation that I want to buy. Not to say there's not alot innovated, cause there are some amazing things happing but not ticking my buy box.

I still look and shop often cause you never know but no, I do not "need" anything and probably haven't for a while yet you till never know.


I didn’t really have a plan when picking up guitars, I just buy ones I really liked when I have the opportunity to do so.
What usually happens is that I find a model that really impresses me, then a while later I’ll come across the same model with enough differences that make it worth while to grab. Usually I end up with two great guitars that feel familiar but sound and play different.


I have near 20 guitars. I won't buy a duplicate configuration - they all cover a different base. Includes acoustics, basses, electric solids and hollows , nylons, 12 strings, even a buzz bridge guitar to try and fake an electric sitar.


Gold Supporting Member
I have 5 different brands but also have a good amount of Les Pauls and Telecasters.
I mainly just buy what I like and those actually cover anything electric style wise.


Gold Supporting Member
My default is Gibson's with humbuckers, so I have a LP and and an ES-335 that have similar pickups so they are in the same general ballpark. Those are my main gigging guitars... which is #1 and which is #2 switch back and forth. From there it's covering bases for recording. I have a Jazzmaster (with a P-90ish bridge pickup and JM neck pickup), a stock Strat and a 90s Danelectro. Plus a P-Bass and a crap acoustic. I'm pretty well covered but I'm always looking for something different... currently jonesing for an ES-330. I've had Rickenbackers in this slot and LP Specials/Juniors, a Cabronita Tele...

The other category is the cheapo couch guitar for writing songs... currently a Goldtop Chinese Casino but that has about run its course.

I couldn't imagine just buying more Les Pauls... seems boring.
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5 electrics:
HH Pine tele with raunchy splittable Tonerider Birminghams
3-P90 alder offset
HH tele dlx with bigsby, splittable vintage output pickups
Traditional tele
HH mahogany dbl cut, set neck, high output pickups for rock/metal.

Something for every occasion.

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