Ponderings on expensive guitars

Utkarsh

A Les Paul guy who loves PRSs
Joined
Apr 13, 2017
Messages
404
Location
Singapore
So today I was thinking about cryptocurrency (as most of us cannot avoid doing), looking at all the new bazillionaires, and wondering what would have been, if I had put all the money that I put into guitars, into this latest Tulip craze.

I will not lie. I did feel a pang of regret. But it also led me to open up the cases of the two most expensive guitars I have ever bought, just to kind of see what it was all for.

There is a beautiful smell when you unbox a cased nitro guitar that's been in there for some time (in my case two months since I had been travelling). Some say it improves your mood 10 percentage points (50 index if you are a guitarist). The feelings of regret started receding replaced perhaps by an epicurean view which reminded me that money had no utility in it of itself. A heavy bank account is little cure for the life not lived to the fullest.

I wish that I could take you into the jam room with me. Instead, please see below, in their full glory, my beloved Graveyard II (gotten from Korea after a year of trying to find one. Story on a post somewhere else on the forum) and my 24 fret Modern Eagle V, the craziest impulse purchase of my life (story on a different post)

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What do you think? Is there any point in owning expensive guitars or should we all just play $500 utilitarian instruments (let's be clear a used Korean SE can probably do everything one needs) and invest the rest trying to get rich. I know which camp I am on. Forget Bitcoin. I need me a Burst :)
 

Bowtiefanatc

Confirmed Bird Snob
Joined
Mar 29, 2014
Messages
3,126
Location
Denver, CO
We should own whatever ones we feel like. Yes I get it that a $500 guitar functions the same. But it certainly doesn’t feel the same. Doesn’t necessarily inspire the same way. And doesn’t sound the same in your head.

Play many guitars and keep the special ones.
 

veinbuster

Zombie Three, DFZ
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
13,947
Location
GTA or wandering aimlessly
I generally saved before I spent and that has worked well for me. When investing, I have never gone for the crazy speculative stuff. I just don’t have the stomach for losing half (or more) of the value faster than you can get rid of the stuff.

Disposable money, I would rather spend on something I will enjoy. I don’t care if my guitar loses half it’s value, because I spend what it’s value is to me at the time. I can’t look at a bitcoin lovingly. I can’t make it express my feelings. I can’t even take it out to dinner.
 

markd21

New Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2015
Messages
2,077
Location
St. Petersburg
Personally, I still love PRS and have heart pains for the collection I had to sell when my ex-wife pulled her disappearing act. Being in a lower income bracket now, I'm still thrilled with the 2 PRS' I do have (Modern Eagle V and a T40E). However, as I begin getting "new" guitars, I'm going back to getting what used to provide me with cool, different tones for recording.

A lot of those were imports. I LOVE the Gretsch Electromatic Pro Jet with their "crappy" mini humbuckers. I also LOVE the Gretsch 5420TG. They are on the short list.

I've been getting into some of what Eastwood offers. And while not exactly "cheap" I do have my eyes on a Rivolta. Probably an Airline, too.

I was always very happy with the Ibanez AR320 I used to have. The Tri-Sound switches combined with a 4 knob layout offers a lot of cool tones.

I'm not foregoing PRS but, reflecting on the hearty collection I had, there was a lot of redundancy. That was cool when I was playing live. I looked at my guitars like a woman looks at shoes - they were an accessory to what I was wearing, the bill we were on, and the venue we were playing.

I get a lot of mileage out of the MEV. But, I miss janglier tones, and sounds that only certain other guitars - like Gretsch - can deliver.
 

tiboy

New Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
800
Location
New Jersey
If I spent as much time playing as I do staring lovingly at my crypto, I’d be a better player and probably a happier person. Of course I jest. I’d still be a lousy player and just as miserable.
 

Tonart

Tone of the Art......or is that backwards?
Joined
Jan 4, 2018
Messages
2,600
Truly great guitars are a form of wealth in themselves. That guitar that has great inherent tone, and at the same time has got some truly special perfect figuring, and plays well, almost never appears. It’s a subset of a subset of a subset we’re talking about! They are so rare that I’d be mad not to scramble for them when they appear.

I only live once. I just have to be sure it’s a really special guitar, and that it’s not beyond my means.

Buying indiscriminately without first knowing what you really want, is what you want to avoid. Take the time for your tastes to mature and stabilise, then go for what you really want.
 

RickP

Established 1960, Still Not Dead
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
5,069
Location
Gulf Coast of Texas
Most of the music stuff I have came from gigging money, so it’s a bit of making music multiplying into other guitars, amps, drums, etc. Just sitting in the room with a dozen guitars on the wall, and all the other gear circling the whole space feels musical and positive. I enjoy that, and enjoy that it’s tangible evidence and holds memories of thousands of stage hours, spent with good friends making many, many thousands of people happy for a little while across decades gone by. I count myself fortunate to have had two careers simultaneously, and to have known success in both. On the guitarist side of that equation, my collection (modest though it is in comparison to others here) is both a daily enjoyment and a touchstone to a part of who I am and have been.

And, yes, I’ve certainly thought about what I could buy if I had every one of those dollars back. It would be a lot! But for every investment success, there are a zillion failures and I’d have just as likely been the latter. I wish I’d bought Apple stock instead of a Les Paul back when. Amazon instead of that Boogie. I’d have more money, unquestionably. But the LP and the Boogie paid off. And I think some others even benefitted from them, which is a good thought.

This would be a great explanation of why I’m now in the “fixed income senior citizen” category, and not a wealthy investor. :) But you’ll never truly know what would have happened, you just know what did happen. And, looking back, I wouldn’t jeopardize any piece of my life today for the opportunity to roll the dice on what might have been.

That's a win.

Enjoy your guitars, my friend.
 
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