What’s your Holy Grail hit rate?

Your Holy Grail hit rate

  • 1%

    Votes: 6 13.6%
  • 5%

    Votes: 4 9.1%
  • 10%

    Votes: 4 9.1%
  • 20%

    Votes: 7 15.9%
  • 30%

    Votes: 6 13.6%
  • 40%

    Votes: 3 6.8%
  • 50%

    Votes: 3 6.8%
  • Above 50%

    Votes: 11 25.0%

  • Total voters
    44

Tonart

Tone of the Art......or is that backwards?
Joined
Jan 4, 2018
Messages
2,555
What percentage of your collection do you consider as personal holy grail guitars?

What has been your luck with finding those extraordinary heirloom guitars that you’ll never let go, short of a central bank handing you a check titled “Quantitative Easing”.

It could be the tone, the way it looks, or simply the whole package taking your breath away consistently each time, every time. You know the ones.

I’ve personally found these very very hard to come by. You could say that’s the way it should be by definition, but still....they are certainly very very hard to come by. You almost have to go through a haystack of ordinary to even great guitars, to find one such special guitar.

My hit rate has been 10% at best!
 

Black Plaid

Other Alan!
Joined
Apr 10, 2019
Messages
2,296
Location
Spokane, WA
It takes a lot for me to part with as much cash as these instruments cost, so when I do, I make sure I'm not going to lose money on it in the future by wanting to sell it.

That said, there are a couple that I never play anymore and would only be mildly regretful of selling.
 

Tony M.

New Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2019
Messages
1,577
Location
North Carolina
I have 11 guitars.

One of them is a semi grail.
I always wanted one and just didn't get it for a long time.
I finally stopped procrastinating and bought it.

One other is a full blown search for 52 years, try over a thousand of them, give up and then find it by accident Holy Grail guitar.

So my answer is 1.5 out of 11.
It's late and I'm too tired to do math.

Funny thing is, they are both very plain guitars.
No big deal at all.
 

Turkeyhead

New Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2018
Messages
111
I’m about 10%. I’ve tried a lot of guitars and have a few that to me are really special. I’ve let two go though. I had a McRosie that was amazing but it didn’t like the color and I traded it toward one my my current holy grails but I still miss that guitar. Same for a Singlecut trem. Traded it for something I wanted more and replaced it with a nicer SC Trem but there’s something missing with it. It’s still a wonderful guitar but there was just something about the one I let go. So I let go two holy grails also.
 

pjdude

New Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Messages
225
Location
Media, PA
I own 12 guitars. I play about 5-6 of them most of the time, but there are two I will not sell until I'm ready to totally drop out. I can foresee a sell-off f the ones I really don't play anymore. Might get a few bucks.
 

BrianC

more toys than talent
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
1,311
Location
Naperville IL
I have had numerous PRS over the years. I have transitioned from collector to "dude in an old man band" and I am now down to 4.

One (pictured) is my number 1 cold dead fingers kills all does everything guitar CU24

One is an SCT 20th Artist quilt - my beautiful PRS LP with a trem. A lifer based on tone and looks but not the same playability as a Custom.

Next is my P24 Wood Library - an unbelievable top and fret board. It is my go to for gigs as an electric and acoustic specialty guitar. Lifer.

Last is my Custom 24 5708. I lost sleep thinking about buying this one, I wanted it so bad. The top haunted me. It has a WT neck which I do not prefer but can get use to. I had gone through numerous sets of 5708s looking for the best ones. This one has the best bridge and second best neck (best neck pup is in #1). I think if I put a set of hotter pups like all my other guitar have this one would move up the list. Lifer!

So I guess to answer the threads question my hit rate is on the range of 15-20%. I do not keep them now if they do not have magic!
 

Stephen J.

New Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2020
Messages
359
I have 14 total. One acoustic (“98 Taylor 714-CE) is probably going to be with me forever. My mom helped me buy it as a graduation gift. Even though I have played better sounding guitars, it really is my favorite. Even though I buy and sell others, it will always be the one.
I have two electrics that I made and they are not worth selling, so I will keep them.
I have a hand-made classical that I bought in Paracho, Mexico. It is worth more to me than I would ever be able to sell it for. If you ever get a chance to go to Paracho, do it. The whole town makes guitars.
My Brent Mason Signature is my favorite electric. I keep looking for its replacement, but so far nothing I have tried tempts me to let it go.
Everything else is just waiting to be used as trade currency for when the time comes. I am waiting to hear the details of this Experience Modern Eagle V. I might be consolidating.
So the bulk of my keepers are not grail guitars. They just aren’t worth to others more than what they are worth to me. So I keep them. 0%.
 

Mirroredas

New Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
92
Looks + playability + tone + value?

I don't even know what that feels like. Granted, I played a few guitars but never owned a lot (you also need to spend some time with a guitar). Still, I'm confident that my first PRS will be either that or the closest I ever was to the concept.
 

bodia

Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved
Joined
Jan 21, 2015
Messages
28,880
Location
Suburban Chicago
I don't know that I have any "Holy Grail" guitars. Depends on what you're talking about. I did vote 20%, but that's based on my line of thinking. For example, my WL-509 is EXACTLY what I was looking for in a 509. So, for me, I'm not going to get a "better" 509. Therefore, I would consider this a "Holy Grail" in my tiny little mind. :D
 

RickP

Established 1960, Still Not Dead
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
4,369
Location
Gulf Coast of Texas
It's hard to say, really. I would consider a "Holy Grail" guitar something that there is only one of, and is what it is because of it's history. Gilmour's Black Strat, Page's Les Paul, Jeff Beck's Tele-Gib, Clapton's Fool SG, Jimi's Strats, EVH's Frankenstein 1, BB's Lucille, the Super 400 Elvis used on the 68 Special... and so on. Guitars that are mile markers in my personal memory. Unless I have as much money as Jim Ersay (the recent purchaser of said DG Strat), I will likely never even touch one of these.

I have several that are sentimental favorites. A Carvin DC200 that was the first thing my wife and I purchased together. A 72 SG that looks and plays just like the first pro level guitar I ever owned. A Les Paul my big brother took from a project body back to a fully functional player, then gave to me at my retirement. An old Sigma/Martin acoustic that I've had forever, and did some of my first studio work with. None of them are of great market value, but they are highly valuable to me.

Of the seven PRSi living here are a definite 4 that I wouldn't sell unless I needed to feed the family from the proceeds. I'm actually down to a place where all the guitars I have are here for a reason. I lacked a 12 string, but fixed that this week with a killer deal on another Carvin. Yes, I would have loved that to have been a PRS or Rickenbacker, but the price isn't in the budget these days, so there we are.

Sooooooooooo...

If the definition of personal holy grail guitars is "not selling them unless I have to for non-musical reasons" then I am way up there. Sentimental reasons? Down to maybe half. The last ones I would sell aren't the best playing ones. Your simple query becomes quite the complicated consideration once I actually thought about it. I'm going with >50%
 
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veinbuster

Zombie Three, DFZ
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
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GTA or wandering aimlessly
Maybe I’ll pick a number later, but I’ll just walk through qualifiers chronologically. My criteria is holy grail around the time of purchase.

Les Paul Custom - Black and gold. All I imagined every needing when I got it along with a Boogie Mark III to play through. Heaven

CU22 red flame with dragons: not a dragon, but all the same working bits. Perfect for me.

Early McCarty HB red flame: much better for me than the Lucille I thought I needed.

Millennium dragon: nothing more to say. I stopped even looking at guitars for 10 years.

SC245 in tiger eye with Brazilian board: all a Les Paul ever wanted to be.

Eywa: rosewood topped Santana Signature - a guitar that came to me in a dream

SC250 trem with tree of life inlay - beauty personified

Grit Laskin classical: I waited over 10 years for one and wasn’t disappointed

JuJu: you know the one, crazy top and the first cocobolo neck most here saw

Flo: Taylor with Englemann, Adirondack and rosewood with the sweetest ring

Lil: pernambuco Tonare

Viola: Paul called it a violin, but it has a huskier voice in the prototype

Grit Laskin Art Deco: best old growth Brazilian you can find

I think I’m doing ok. Patience helps.
 

Joesnewmatch

Semi-Special Guitarist
Joined
Apr 28, 2012
Messages
197
Location
South Florida
Wow, I don't know how to even approach that question.

I've owned tons of guitars since I started, but always trading up to better or ideal versions of the guitars, which has been a journey.

I have 8 electrics and one acoustic currently.

Of those, I have a perfect SG and Jazzmaster, both of which I have declared I would never sell.

The rest are certainly ideal, in that they are the best versions of the guitars I have had to date, but "Holy Grail," meaning I never sell them or upgrade them. Hmmm, I'm not sure about that--not because of the guitars, but because of my changing moods, styles, etc.
 

Bowtiefanatc

Confirmed Bird Snob
Joined
Mar 29, 2014
Messages
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Location
Denver, CO
Between my group and what I have found for my friend I would say that I've found a ton of guitars that are special in many ways. My Custom 24 is a personal grail, after chasing that model and color combo for so long I found a beautiful limited edition one.
 

shinksma

What? I get a title?
Joined
Mar 20, 2014
Messages
4,884
Like @bodia , I don't know if I have any "holy grail" guitars.

Everything I have could, in theory, be re-acquired / replaced with something almost identical. My first PRSi (10-top CU24 in Emerald Green with birds) was my Holy Grail - I wanted one for years, over a decade I wished I could afford and justify one - why would I ever want another guitar after that? Until I got it and found this forum, now it is just "my first".

The WL509 I have (same run as Bodia) is exactly what I wanted that 509 to be, but there might be other 509s that are just as interesting and just as desirable as a result.

@RickP sort of hits on it: a Holy Grail must be a one-off, or close to a one off, that I have desired for a long time (vs a fleeting "guitar-slut of the week").

Something that has meaning just beyond the technical specs. Otherwise, in theory, I could just have a PS built to those specs - high price doesn't equal Holy Grail status.

Maybe something with specs that aren't easily achievable any more for a variety of reasons: mammoth ivory headstock inlay on a brazzy board & pernie neck guitar with celtic knot inlays made of some other exotic and essentially discontinued material.

Every time I chase down a guitar with certain specs I feel satisfied that I got it, like my McRosie that arrived yesterday. But that wasn't a holy grail - there are dozens similar to it on Reverb right now, they just happen to be at (much) higher prices.

If someone offered me a dragon double neck, it would be cool and obviously rare, but to be honest, I don't really "want" that guitar - single neck guitars are heavy enough, and I'd hate to be holding that much "value" and just be thinking "dang this thing is heavy, get it off me!" all the time.

@sergiodeblanc 's White Westie is probably a true Holy Grail for him. Not sure I have something similar. Let me ponder. (uh oh, what if I decide I do have a Holy Grail?!)
 

veinbuster

Zombie Three, DFZ
Joined
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Messages
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GTA or wandering aimlessly
Like @bodia , I don't know if I have any "holy grail" guitars.

Everything I have could, in theory, be re-acquired / replaced with something almost identical. My first PRSi (10-top CU24 in Emerald Green with birds) was my Holy Grail - I wanted one for years, over a decade I wished I could afford and justify one - why would I ever want another guitar after that? Until I got it and found this forum, now it is just "my first".

The WL509 I have (same run as Bodia) is exactly what I wanted that 509 to be, but there might be other 509s that are just as interesting and just as desirable as a result.

@RickP sort of hits on it: a Holy Grail must be a one-off, or close to a one off, that I have desired for a long time (vs a fleeting "guitar-slut of the week").

Something that has meaning just beyond the technical specs. Otherwise, in theory, I could just have a PS built to those specs - high price doesn't equal Holy Grail status.

Maybe something with specs that aren't easily achievable any more for a variety of reasons: mammoth ivory headstock inlay on a brazzy board & pernie neck guitar with celtic knot inlays made of some other exotic and essentially discontinued material.

Every time I chase down a guitar with certain specs I feel satisfied that I got it, like my McRosie that arrived yesterday. But that wasn't a holy grail - there are dozens similar to it on Reverb right now, they just happen to be at (much) higher prices.

If someone offered me a dragon double neck, it would be cool and obviously rare, but to be honest, I don't really "want" that guitar - single neck guitars are heavy enough, and I'd hate to be holding that much "value" and just be thinking "dang this thing is heavy, get it off me!" all the time.

@sergiodeblanc 's White Westie is probably a true Holy Grail for him. Not sure I have something similar. Let me ponder. (uh oh, what if I decide I do have a Holy Grail?!)
I never felt it had to be unique. For me, it was just something I strived to have in the belief that if I found it, it would be a happy and joyful experience and for an extended period, I would have my needs satisfied. It didn’t matter much to me if nobody else had one, 49 had one or a few hundred had one.
 

shinksma

What? I get a title?
Joined
Mar 20, 2014
Messages
4,884
I never felt it had to be unique. For me, it was just something I strived to have in the belief that if I found it, it would be a happy and joyful experience and for an extended period, I would have my needs satisfied. It didn’t matter much to me if nobody else had one, 49 had one or a few hundred had one.
Well, I guess I'm taking the definition of Holy Grail a little too literally. (There is supposed to be only one, right?)

If we loosen it up to the target of a chase that seems to tick many or all current boxes, makes me happy for an extended time and I never desire to replace it, only complement it perhaps, and is unique amongst my collection, then I suppose I have several.

My first PRS was exactly that, as noted.

My third PRS, a Spruce HB with Piezo, was that. It ticked off boxes I didn't know I had.

My P24, and later the P245 SH acquired from Bodia, fit the bill.

My first seven stringer, a CU24-7. The SVN acquired later was an excellent complement due to its ebony board and longer scale, but wasn't as Holy Grail-ish.

My JA-15 was a nice diversion into jazz-oriented PRSi. I suppose an SC-J now fits that bill - it is on my radar.

I dunno, I tend to acquire PRSi for very specific purposes, to explore new materials or configurations, or to fill a sonic hole in my palette. Maybe most of them are Holy Grails, in that sense?
 

dmatthews

Dave's not here...
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
10,596
Location
Vancouver, B.C. Canada
I don't think I have anything that qualifies. I've always just bought what I thought would help me in the band and satisfied my "look and feel" requirements.

I suppose what comes the closest are my three rosewood neck guitars, and the Silver Sky because it is the best strat ever.

2017 WL 594 satin RW neck, Ziricote board, smoked chrome



2012 P22 RW neck, gold HW



2001 McRosie RW neck



2018 Silver Sky Onyx flamey neck



 
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