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What Happens After You Get Your Dream Guitar?

Yamaha 350

You play it and enjoy it. I own 3 dream guitars. And I have about over 30 dream guitars I want but do not own. I play them or just look at them. I'm a collector to. I think owning one or many dream guitars give you a wonderful feeling. And inspires you to play. :D:p


Not sure that I've ever had a dream guitar as such, but I did get one from the Jackson Custom Shop once. It didn't work out that well for me, but it wasn't really the guitar's fault...

Ok here goes: the short version is that I sold it, even though at the time of ordering it was going to be my one and only forevermore. For the full sorry tale, read on...

In 2010 my girlfriend Nina was killed in a car accident. With part of the life insurance money I decided to get a guitar made as a tribute to her. I used to spend a lot of time on b3ta.com (as did Nina), and a fellow member made an image in tribute to her which I decided would be perfect, so I specced it up and placed the order.

Fast forward about 18 months, and two relevant things have happened:

1. A snow leopard at the Cat Survival Trust in Welwyn (catsurvivaltrust.org) has been named Nina, due to another friend from b3ta.com. If you saw the TV program 'Snow Leopards of Leafy London' you may have seen her.

2. I'm in a new relationship with someone I've known for years as a friend.

(More on both of these later)

The guitar is imminent (after a couple of delays), and everyone knows I'm very excited about receiving it. Finally it arrives; after a quick play in the shop I get it home to a) play it and b) take a shitload of photos for facebook. Here it is:

It plays like a dream, sounds great (under the paint is an EMG81/60 set) and I'm very happy with it. My new Mrs though, isn't: she feels intimidated by it, doesn't want to constantly be reminded of Nina, etc etc etc. Final comment on it is that she won't be coming to any gigs where I'm playing it... which I tell her will be all of them. It's all a bit tense, and never really gets resolved. After a while I decide that I'll have the guitar repainted in something less obvious, but still a tribute - I decide to get a picture of Nina the snow leopard on there instead, so I go and see a local airbrish artist. He does his thing, and this is what I end up with:

To be fair he did a great job of the artwork, but compared to the original finish it's **** - I posted a picture of it on another forum and someone commented that it looked like a design from a t-shirt that you'd find on a market stall.

So the end of this sad tale is that I'm not with that girl any more (the whole relationship was a terrible mistake, not just repainting the guitar), and I couldn't bear to look at the guitar because basically it reminded me what an idiot I'd been... my friend bought it off me; he's looking into having it repainted as it was from the factory and has promised me that if I ever decide I need it he'll sell it straight back to me. So I guess that's sort of a happy ending.., I don't feel like I want the guitar back though; even just thinking about it just makes me feel *really* stupid.
One way to look at it: it keeps luthiers and manufacturers in business. Not to mention, the vintage market, for all its crazy pricing and investment speculation, is at least a form of 'recycling' and keeping history alive. At the end of the day, these are all just tools for creative self-expression. Any tool that serves that purpose is justified.


Senior Member
I bought my dream electric in 2006 - an Alembic, and sold my previous dream guitar (a Les Paul standard) right after. It has kept me satisfied this whole time, though lately I'm looking for another electric to diversify a bit (e.g. something non-active).


Seems my experience is a bit different. I've owned a couple of expensive dream guitars only to discover that I was afraid to take them out of the house and was a bit paranoid of damaging them or doing any mods so I sold them. And except for the fact that they cost a lot they didn't play or sound better than my lower priced guitars that I've bought since then. So now my dream guitar is one that plays and sounds great but does not cost a fortune and I don't have to be nervous about modding or bumping.


Yep the dream always morphs as do tastes and perspectives of style. There are definitely pieces that were thought to be the "ultimate", then they get sold and there are some pieces that will stick and stay. I got a 63' custom shop strat abut 5 years ago, when I got it I thought it was good, but not amazing, it felt a bit stiff, but then when I started using it with our band I haven't found anything better since then, and I've tried many guitars- now I would never get rid of it, styles can change and tastes can change though to so its nice to have an assortment of guitars and amps. I bought a vintage 61 strat black refin a few months ago, and trying to get some bigger frets on there which isn't as simple as it may seem, but that guitar is a lot of fun, totally different feel than my 63' reissue.


Silver Supporting Member
I super lucked out getting my masterbuilt Tele by John Cruz. It was from a collector friend that I usually buy and inspect/setup guitars for up here. He has over 150 of them!

I have always wanted this guitar and he finally sold it to me a few years ago. He personally went down to Wild West many years ago to get it. At 10lbs, it is a bit weighty but there is nothing out there that sounds remotely close to it for me. It is an incredible feeling and looking guitar. John personally signed the back for me when I met him on a Fender Custom Shop tour up here. Very cool guy!


This Is Fine.
Gold Supporting Member
its all changed with age and income

at first it was just getting a 2nd guitar (mim strat, then mim tele)
then it was swapping pups (3 times)
then it was getting a gibson les paul (original dream guitar)
then it was getting a gibson les paul that didnt suck lol (traded fancy limited “dream” one for a cheaper mahogany studio one and i now love how that plays)
then it was getting a prs (vela)

now its getting a $$$ semi or fully hollow guitar but that will be several years away. ill keep busy by putting some pearly gates into my mahogany LP for now :)

D K Souther

Platinum Supporting Member
Well, I’m on the cusp of turning 40.
I’ve blown countless dollars on guitars. I’ve had a few dream guitars. The only one I wish I had back, is the 1988 Jem77fp. I loved that guitar but thought I needed a more conservative guitar.
Now I’ve got a nice tele, and a Premium series RG. I’m happy as a clam. I still play like me.
I have a new dream for 2020, the year I turn 40: to not spend a dime on anything that isn’t a need to my survival. I’m a huge materialist consumer. The “dream” items haven’t brought me the satisfaction that the marketing had me believe.


Gold Supporting Member
Since before I started playing guitar, I've dreamed of owning an R4 Les Paul Custom. I could realistically buy one in my lifetime, but I probably won't. I sometimes wonder what it would feel like after I actually bought one. Would I feel a sense of lasting satisfaction, or would I struggle with the loss of my dream and come up with a new guitar to dream about?

To those who have bought their dream guitar, how did you feel in the days, months, and years after?
I have had a dream guitar in my possession now since April this year. I waited over a year for it, and it was certainly worth the wait. Life really is short you know. If it means enough to you, get it.

freedom's door

Senior Member
Not sure that I've ever had a dream guitar as such, but I did get one from the Jackson Custom Shop once. It didn't work out that well for me, but it wasn't really the guitar's fault...

First, sorry for your loss- that is horrible.

I actually cringed when I read that you decided to repaint the guitar- it was a beautiful tribute to Nina.
I'm glad you have such a good friend who will return it to you if you decide you want it back.


It’s like an oasis in the desert, I’ve bought a few dream guitars but the dream was an illusion. I’m happy I reached that plateau, I’ve come to the conclusion that enjoying the journey and making the most of what you have is more satisfying.


Gold Supporting Member
If you stop visiting TGP after you get it, chances are you’ll be happier with it for way, way longer. Not dissing TGP, but that’s the reality for me at least.


It really feels like we are confusing “dream instrument that fulfills my sound and musical goals” with “guitar I daydream about”.

With the former a player gets that magical piece that connects the dots. In my case that was a Fender CS 69 Strat which was quite unexpected. Mine just gave back something that wasn’t like most strats yet it has these thin sounding pickups and twangy tone. It pairs with various pedals and amps to be everything from jazzy to dinosaur jr. It continues to shock me and everyone that knows me. Musical colleagues even ask me to bring it to sessions.

What happens when the “Excalibur dream” comes true is you have a sound in your head and it resembles your dream
axe. You can picture it down to feel. You also feel grounded because you know where you will go when you chase a song or sound. You write, record and perform in more exceptional ways and you get why May had Red Special and Clapton stuck with Blackie.

As a player you also start questioning all your other guitars and whether you need them. I’ve definitely stared at my Charvel and beloved Jazzmaster that way. All your other guitars become experiments in tone or better yet you finally start lining the herd up more like a team of specialized tools that are role players where Excalibur can’t necessarily deliver (in my case, LP or high power HB tones as well as scrappy, ugly pawnshop tones like my JM).

You stop chasing and have more fun exploring what’s out there always knowing you have a place called home to return towards. Oh, part of you might worry what you’ll do if you ever lose #1 so you might keep your eye out for a backup.

Guitars you daydream about based on a fantasy can either turn out to be Excalibur OR just as easily disappoint. That’s happened a number of times and the result is going back to endlessly chasing, swapping, honeymooning and wasting precious music making time.


Senior Member
Not sure that I've ever had a dream guitar as such, but I did get one from the Jackson Custom Shop once. It didn't work out that well for me, but it wasn't really the guitar's fault...
Sorry for your loss. It's hard to make a judgement regarding the guitar without having the whole picture and I don't suppose TGP would be the best place to do a full expose. But I do find it a shame that the original paint is gone; it was gorgeously done.


Platinum Supporting Member
Sometimes you get sidetracked along the way.

I've had a dream guitar in mind for decades. Too expensive for where I was at, financially.

So I've bought and sold some other guitars over the years, biding my time.

I picked up a used HSS Music Man Silo Special at a really nice price about seven years ago. Fit my hands and body so nicely. Over time I axed the Silent Circuit and installed some pickups that got the nicest, sweetest, nastiest tones for me...

I recently retired from my full time teaching gig. Had some money saved up and my wife told me to add some more and just buy that guitar of my dreams as a gift for so many years service.

I started to worry that a new guitar would take time away from my Silo.

Long story short: Even though I can, I haven't bought that dream guitar, yet. I might, though...but it's got to be a lightweight humbucker based one, which wasn't my original dream guitar. So it's more about what I need in a practical sense, now.

Point is that sometimes the dream guitar can be sitting right there on your lap and you don't even know it. You're just very into it and that's all that matters.
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