when does a few guitars become a collection


Zombie Three, DFZ
Apr 26, 2012
GTA or wandering aimlessly
I've tried to stubbornly refuse to have a collection of anything. With guitars I try to have the discipline to only buy one if it will do something for me and get played. Now I think I might have accidentally collected red guitars.
The first guitar I bought was red.
The first PRS I bought was red.
The first hollow body I bought was red, even though I thought I wanted Lucille.
And when I thought it was time to upgrade my acoustic, it was red. Where do you even find a red acoustic?

Just the red guitars should probably be enough for most players, so maybe it wouldn't be a collection if it wasn't for the black, brown and blue ones. I have no idea where the line is, but I think I slipped over it and I'm afraid there is no going back.

Here is the story of the reds: http://mrpetesays.com/music/TheReds.html
RED TEAM! Although I have a mild fascination with Goldtops and white guitars, red ones seem to be the only ones that stick around.
Great looking guitars, thanks for sharing.
If you're talking about things that are used for something else, any sort of tool, it's only a collection if it's hanging around not being used for its intended purpose. A guitar is a work of art but it's not meant to be hung on a wall and gazed at like a painting or sculpture. So, if you're buying guitars, hanging them on a wall and not playing them (or only playing a couple and gazing at the rest) then you have a collection. If you have a small set of four or five and you play them all and they all do different things for you, it's not a collection.

And I'm firmly on TEAM BLACK!!
I didn't have a collection until a few months after I was invited to join BaM by Rick "BluesRanger" Reed. That took my love for PRS guitars and turned it into an obsession. Before long, I was seeking out "the essentials" of a well-rounded PRS collection. I was flipping PRS guitars and using the profits to step-up to a harder-to-find, more expensive PRS models. It was just like pouring GAS on a fire. I think I hit a fever pitch this last October. I told myself that this rate of acquisition has to stop. Time will tell if I am able to curb the habit.

There are still a few models I'd like to have in the pile. I just sold my restored '89 Sig to cover part of the Violin McCarty I nabbed on my birthday so that will eventually get replaced with an 80's Sig in Vintage Yellow. If I ever find a clean, fairly priced, '86 in Fire Red with birds and a dark fretboard, I'll grab it. A double-neck dragon in Whale Blue is likely. A NAMM 20 or pre-factory model would be nice but affording one is not likely.
You Sir.......................................... are completely out of control :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:

Not completely. I haven't had to buy a new house to keep them in yet.
But my wife has noted a red quilt is in order, but if declare it her guitar I think it is in control.
At times like these, it's useful to refer to the good ol' dictionary. And mine says a collection is:

"2 a group of things or people: a rambling collection of houses.
• an assembly of items such as works of art, pieces of writing, or natural objects, esp. one systematically ordered: paintings from the permanent collection | a record collection.
• (collections) an art museum's holdings organized by medium, such as sculpture, painting, or photography.
• a book or recording containing various texts, poems, songs, etc.: a collection of essays.
• a range of new clothes produced by a fashion house: a preview of their autumn collection."

So it seems that by definition, if you have a group of things, you have a collection. Especially if you're systemically ordering the group of things.

So what's a group? In this case:

"a number of...things that are located close together or are considered or classed together: these bodies fall into four distinct groups"

If we accept these definitions, then anyone who has a group of things that are classed together (such as guitars) has what may be loosely termed a collection, and more specifically, if it's a group of things that are put into some order for a systemic purpose, like someone who's acquiring certain models of guitars to have, say, the range of hollow bodies a maker produces, etc., it's more formally a collection.

I have a couple, three guitars. Loosely speaking, that's a collection of guitars. But they're not systemically organized or ordered for any reason, so strictly speaking it's not a *collection* collection (as in the old joke, "So doctor, what kind of doctor are you; a phd doctor, or a *doctor* doctor?").

Until now, I'd say I have no guitar collection. But evidently I have a collection, but it isn't a *collection* collection. ;)
I collect lots of guitars...all colors...90% PRSi....I also play them all.
I collect signed first editions...I also read them.....carefully, when I don't have a spare, unsigned copy.

I collect lots of crap. I mean, who else has all their vinyl albums from the '60's to the '80's arranged alphabetically? My wife, Ginger, and I, collect Ginger Jars of various themes and makers. We collect art work (oils, lithographs, seriographs, animation cels, etc, etc.) we collect art glass. We collect so much stuff that we can never move. The vey thought of packing up the house sends us both into tremors. The kids know that when we kick the bucket, they have a treasure trove of garbage that they will sift through. I made an excel spreadsheet of the best stuff we collect, to prevent "rare signed first editions" from being donated to the local library when we're gone.
Viola....a collection! Just a reminder to all of you who denied ever collecting anything.

In the case of the albums, I didn't collect them. I bought them to listen to attentively.
They only became a collection when I kept them when I was done. I did transfer them all to digital format and still listen to them that way.
Know what, on further reflection, I think it isn't about whether a few guitars becomes a "collection"; it's more about the intent of the person acquiring the guitars, and the "why" of the acquisitions. Returning to the dictionary for a moment, here's the appropriate definition:

"collector |kəˈlektər|
1. a person who collects things of a specified type, professionally or as a hobby: an art collector."

A museum curator would be an example of a professional collector. Bennett would be an example of a hobby collector. In either endeavor, the intent and purpose is to build a collection of things.

Here's an example: A person buys several screwdrivers in different sizes. He/she got them intending to fix things around the house. Is that person a tool collector? In the same way as someone who collects screwdrivers that were, say, used by race car pit crews in NASCAR races? Obviously there is a vast difference in intent and purpose.

I think we're talking a blurry line here. And because that line is blurry, to me it's best to look to the intent of the person who buys something. What's the purpose? If one's purpose is to build a collection, that's really different from a person who has a few guitars to serve different musical needs.

In any event, merely looking at the number of objects isn't really going to distinguish between a "collection" in the sense of the word that most of us think of it, and just having a few such objects around for any number of other reasons.
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