The trap of too many guitars

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Colamander, Sep 11, 2019.

  1. stratzrus

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

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    For me the issue is maintenance, much of it routine: setups, string changes, cleaning and polishing, fretboard lubrication, humidipak changes for hollowbodies, etc. It doesn't sound like much but the more guitars you have the more of an issue it becomes.

    There's never a moment when several guitars don't need work.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
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  2. muzishun

    muzishun Member

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    Careful now.
     
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  3. muzishun

    muzishun Member

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    :facepalm
     
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  4. Jayyj

    Jayyj Supporting Member

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    Complaining about someone that asked the weight of a guitar I listed on Reverb is so 2018, this year all the coolest kids are complaining about people that have more then one guitar. Like, do they even play, bro?
     
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  5. Jaguar

    Jaguar Member

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    I play one guitar for 2 or 3 months or longer. Then I play another for a few months. Just to keep things fresh and interesting. So I swap b'tween my 4 guitars. One S/S 24" shortscale (jaguar), one 25.5" P90/P90 (jazzmaster), one 24.75" H/H (revstar), one 25.5" H/S/S offset strat. I like how they all sound different. I'm a 'slow swapper'! I don't know maybe I need 5 guitars!? .. ;-)

    If (too) many guitars is a trap I guess it must be a sweet trap
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
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  6. RicOkc

    RicOkc Member

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    Same here.
     
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  7. jujube

    jujube Member

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    I don't see it as a problem.

    Playing types of different guitars makes me enjoy the instrument more although my main type is now Strats.
     
  8. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    I don't have a problem going from one guitar to the other. The only time I did was when I used a Strat as #1. I had an SG as a backup, and if I broke a string, I was no longer able to put myself on auto pilot. Knobs in different places, SG had no whammy, but I didn't have to put much effort into "dialing in" anything. Maybe boost the treble slightly when I had to use the SG. Solution was to get another Strat for a backup. :D
    I have always had my amp tone controls between 5-7. The only thing I ever had to mess with was MV for each venue. I had a small selection of pedals that only got changed for certain songs. I haven't ran any of my amps in a few years, now. If I cranked one up, I'd probably not fiddle with it much at all.
     
  9. GreatDaneRock

    GreatDaneRock Member

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    I have 4 electric, 2 HH, an HSS strat, and a Tele with a DiMarzio Chopper T humbucker in bridge. So long story short, in an effort to achieve a bit of consistency across the board and because I like how it sounds, all my guitars have humbuckers in the bridge position . The HH are mahogany body and neck, much like a Les Paul, and they rule the dirt tones but have coil tap, neck humbucker is almost always used in split coil mode for the softer stuff.

    Now the Strat and Tele shine for clean tones and can still deliver for dirt with the bridge humbucker, and strat also has coil tap so I can quack in position 2.

    If all my guitars were radically different sounding in the bridge position there would to have be adjustments with pedals and amps, which I don't do much (except at times for dirt pedals). I like that all my guitars have their own unique character yet there is some consistency to how they sound through the rig. I play originals and the songs have very unique demands in terms of effects, especially time-based and modulation.

    GDR
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
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  10. lowyaw

    lowyaw Member

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    Are you one of those lucky players, who have a use for every specific tone your guitars have?
    I am not being sarcastic here. Some people are just lucky enough to have an opportunity to utilize all the flavours. In my case, it always boils down to a single special instrument, that can convincingly produce as many colours as possible. That could also work for you too - like a scenario where you mention a bunch of HSS strats.
     
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  11. Dickie Fredericks

    Dickie Fredericks Supporting Member

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    LOL Too many guitars. Blasphemy I tell ya.
    You can never have enough.
     
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  12. ProfRhino

    ProfRhino Member

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    Keef, a wise man (regardless of what you might think about his lifestyle), once said, every new guitar comes with a new song in it, some even with more than one.
    translate that into vibe, attitude or inspiration, and I can relate 100%. :aok

    one important thing I learned over the years is that a truly great amp will sound fantastic, no matter what guitar you plug in (within reason), but will really bring out the best and the individual character of each instrument.
    so if you need an unholy amount of fiddling, maybe you should re-evaluate the rest of your setup, not necessarily blame the guitars ?
    classic case of dont shoot the messenger, lol ...:D
    ymmv,
    Rhino
     
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  13. ProfRhino

    ProfRhino Member

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    there are both kinds.
    on stage, I typically only ever carried one single, versatile and reliable guitar, and we're talking 5 - 10 hrs gigs with a huge variety of styles.
    low budget, working pro league.
    now I'm retired (for health reasons), I can finally play catch-up with my true childhood / youth fascination, which is studio guitar.
    a little at least, strictly for personal enjoyment and education.
    so, you might have guessed it - my attention has shifted towards stellar one trick ponies, versatility is a bonus, but more of an afterthought.
    horses for courses ...
    ymmv,
    Rhino
     
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  14. Ejay

    Ejay Member

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    I symphasize with the OP. Not that dailing in is a hassle...but when it comes to solid bodies..owning a bunch is a path of diminished returns..or maybe even negative returns at a certain point.

    I had set course on owning every flavour solidbody on the planet...which i changed as soon as I listened back to recordings...and didnt have a clue what I used for it. Scale length and pick up type are significant differences..the rest...so little that id rather play the one that plays best then get 2% different sound....which can also be had by a twist of a knob.

    So...im down to a prs 513 and a blade strat with prails in it...covers all I can think of for solid bodies.
    With elixer strings...cause Im no fan of restringing either...last me 6 months...with a lot of playtime.
     
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  15. Craig Walker

    Craig Walker "Anger, fear, aggression. The Bark Side are they" Gold Supporting Member

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    I downsized from like 8-9 to 3 electrics. Since I bought the Charvel Jake E Lee, it's all I've played. I really could own just 2: It and one trem guitar.
     
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  16. runningman

    runningman Member

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    Variax FTW

    Edit: actually, I posted that to be snarky but upon a moment or two of further reflection, I realized that I don't have the OPs problem even though I have several guitars.

    The reason I don't share his issues is that I use a Helix. I optimize patches for each guitar.

    Technology is your friend. :aok
     
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  17. David Garner

    David Garner Supporting Member

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    So here's my best advice to the OP and people who have the same problem. There was a time when I had a clean base amp and a bunch of pedals, then a Mesa Express amp with even more pedals, and I eventually scaled all of that down when I got a Les Paul and a Marshall-ish amp. You can learn from my experience.

    The first thing I learned was there is a reason "that sound" you hear from a Strat or an LP or a Tele or whatever is "that sound." It's what the guitar sounds like. I had a Strat and a Tele, a Deluxe Reverb and a bunch of dirt boxes and I couldn't figure out why I couldn't get the LP into a Plexi tone. Tried a ton of pedals looking for that tone. Then I got the LP and the Marshall clone, and all of a sudden it was right there. So first, don't try to approximate tones from one guitar onto another. It doesn't work, at least not well. Get what you're after the first time (to the extent you even know what you're after -- I did not).

    The second thing I learned is just as each guitar has its own personality, each amp does as well. They sound like what they are. A Vox is a beautiful amp. It's not a Marshall. A Deluxe Reverb is also a beautiful amp. It's not a Vox or Marshall. If you let it be what it is, you will be much happier.

    The third thing I learned basically contradicts the second, but with a caveat. It is that you can get a good MIAB pedal that is designed to work with your Fender amp or Vox amp and sound like a Marshall. BUT, you have to treat it like a Marshall amp, not a Fender or Vox. If you want cleans, you don't kick off the pedal, you turn the volume on the guitar down. Because if you turn off the pedal the entire character of the amp and pedal chain changes, and what was nice and full and fat now becomes thin or harsh or dull or whatever (depending on how you set it up). So if you get a good MIAB pedal, and treat it as if it were a Marshall amp, you can get very good results. This is where I am today. Be sure to get one that has good volume knob cleanup, because that's how the amp would behave if you could stand in the same room with a hundred watt Plexi.

    The one common feature of all of these lessons is you have to set a good base tone that works well with different instruments, then let the instruments shine through it. If you have too much fairy dust on the tone, you're basically killing the character of all your instruments. What happens then is you have a Les Paul set up to be fat and full and whatever, and you switch to a Strat and it's weak or tinny or shrill, or maybe muddy and dull. But if you pare things down a bit, get a good base tone (NO MORE than 1 main OD and 1 boost -- I use a DLS and a Sunface), and get all the crap out of the way of your tone, any guitar you plug in will sound excellent. You can add (tastefully, one at a time) other effects to that mix as you will -- delay, flange, chorus, vibe, whatever. But you can't start with every pedal on the board stacked in and expect to have a good base tone that will work with every guitar. If you shape the tone too much at the amp/pedal level, you've basically shaped it to one instrument, and others will suffer. Just like building a house, build a solid foundation first, then decorate it once that is done.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  18. David Garner

    David Garner Supporting Member

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    To illustrate the point of that last paragraph, I have an EJ Strat with BKP Apaches in it, wired normal (meaning, no tone control on the bridge). Through my rig, I can switch from an LP on the bridge to the Strat on the bridge and it sounds fantastic. Not too bright. Not too shrill. Just like you'd want a great Strat bridge pickup to sound. Most people would hate that guitar set up the way I have it set up. But that's how the Strats all our heroes used were setup, and if you run the amp the way they did, you'll get the consistently excellent tone they did too.
     
  19. Don A

    Don A Silver Supporting Member

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    I don't really change my settings much when I change from guitar to guitar. Maybe raise the gain and mids a tad for a Strat, but not much else.
     
  20. mangoman

    mangoman Silver Supporting Member

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    I now have an answer to my wife’s argument. My life is complete.
     

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