After a while , when you get down to it ....." gear is gear "

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by thunder58, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Only if its working ;) which is one reason I just go for the higher end stuff when I can afford it. I never want to have to deal with fixing things.
  2. LA Miles

    LA Miles Country Gent

    Dec 6, 2012
    ...well if gear is just gear, there are an awful lot of people on here wasting time and money upgrading Streamliners and Electromatics

    just my dos centavos
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  3. lp_bruce

    lp_bruce Gretschie

    Apr 28, 2019
    Metro Detroit
    I think you could argue that the cost/benefit often doesn't merit an upgrade in those kind of scenarios. I suspect it's sometimes yes, sometimes no.

    Anecdotally, I own an Epiphone Les Paul since 1994 with Classic 57s in it and I wouldn't trade it for a Gibson LP. The guy I mentioned above has had loads of QC kind of problems with his Gibson LP (and he's spent a lot of repairs) and I've had zero with my Epi. They both sound like Les Pauls. Considering what we paid, there is no way his guitar is worth the difference in terms of tone/reliability/functionality.

    In general, I think there is a lot of great gear out there right now and the quality tapers off considerably at a certain point. The difference between a $100 guitar and a $500 guitar is probably big. The difference between a $500 guitar and a $1000 guitar--is probably not. Same with amps. And there are some phenomenal inexpensive pedals out there.

    I think it's great that people like boutique pedals and custom built Teles that cost $4,000. And they should absolutely buy them if that works for them. But you certainly don't need them to make great music or sound great. You can do that for a pretty reasonable price. I've played on a lot of big stages and recorded/released a lot of music, but I only own one guitar that cost more that $1,000 (a Breedlove acoustic) and no amps north of that.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
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  4. Henry

    Henry I Bleed Orange

    Apr 9, 2014
    Just watched a 2013 video of Trey Anastasio of Phish. He has much of the same gear as he did in high school, 30 years before that. He pontificates, "It's better to know your gear really well, than to have the best gear."
  5. JeffreyLeePierre

    JeffreyLeePierre Country Gent

    You're missing something: it's fun!
    Are all these purchases and mods (and people even building their own instruments) we see here everyday only about the quest for sound improvement? Come on. That's also (mainly) for the fun of it or satisfaction to get sonething new.
  6. Armygirl

    Armygirl Country Gent

    Mar 14, 2014
    I have to say, I do like a good NGD post.. mine or anyone elses. But especially if its mine!

    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
  7. ruger9

    ruger9 Country Gent

    Nov 1, 2008
    I'll disagree. A pinto gets you from point A to point B just like a porche does.

    Beyond that, we are talking about subjective opinions. "Better"? Subjective. In the case of pinto vs porsche, better could equal "faster" (porsche), "more comfortably" (subjective), or "more affordably" (pinto.)

    Give Tommy Emmanuel a Dean and it'll sound fantastic. Give Brian Setzer an Ibanez hollowbody and it'll still sound great. Both instruments will provide, along with their players, great music.

    Now, I'm not saying everyone should just drive pintos and play Deans. What I am saying is, both get the same job done, how well is subjective. And if you subjectively like the idea of a porsche, more power to you. But it won't get you to guitar center any more aptly than a pinto will, except in your own ego.

    So... "patently false" is actually just your subjective opinion, man.

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  8. larryb

    larryb Gretschified

    Oct 29, 2012
    Greenville, SC
    Yes I do believe in goats....oh wait, wrong thread
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  9. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    A saying we have at work if we're not fond of someone ... He's a " GOAT " ....Greatest Of All Time
  10. T Bone

    T Bone Country Gent


    Funny thing about that saying. A word was dropped decades ago, and the meaning can be different if taken literally. "You only get what you pay for" was the original version, which conveys the intended meaning more clearly. Perhaps because semantics is a thing with me, I tend to change it in another way. As a reply I often say "well, you pay for what you get". There. I feel better now. :D
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  11. T Bone

    T Bone Country Gent

    Yes. And no. Both.

    Of course there are so many factors. An important one being "feel". Inspiration which can come from an instrument. A different or unique sound.

    Then again, I saw an interview with Carlos Santana where he said "I can pick up any guitar, and I still sound like me". And it is true. I've seen him play SGs (both P90 and Humbuckers). Stratocasters. A Les Paul. And of course for decades, the omnipresent PRS. Yet he always sounded like him.

    But gear (particularly the instrument, maybe even more so guitars) can impart a feel, nuances, and an appreciation that can and does come through in the playing of them. At least some of the time. Why do so many of us love Martin guitars? They are simply incredible. Might go with "if I have to explain it to you, then you wouldn't understand".

    So yes, gear is just gear. Except sometimes. When it's not.
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  12. markeebee

    markeebee Country Gent

    When I'm playing at a gig, the crowd don't care too much about the year my guitar was made, or whether my amp has EL34 or KT66 output valves, or whether my fuzz pedal is hand made by Tibetan monks. They just care about enjoying what's going on.

    The only people who care much about gear are the owners of the gear, and the only reason they care is because it's a way of making themselves feel better about themselves. I include myself in that. Not saying it's necessarily a bad thing either, but it's not an important thing.
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  13. larryb

    larryb Gretschified

    Oct 29, 2012
    Greenville, SC
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  14. shrews824

    shrews824 Country Gent

    Feb 22, 2016
    Hardinsburg, Kentucky
    As someone earlier stated. Considering that the gear is properly setup: action, pickups, solder joints on pedals, amps, etc. I found this little nugget to be rather funny.

    Chet Atkins was in a Nashville studio warming up for a session with his Gretsch. A young technician came into the studio and stood watching open-mouthed until Chet finished. ”Gee, Mr Atkins, that guitar sure sounds fabulous!” Chet placed the guitar on its stand, smiled at the tech and said, “Well, son, how does it sound now?”
  15. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    In as much as anything can be objectively measured, there are plethora of difference in those measurements between the hypothetical Pinto and Porsche, from acceleration, top speed, gas milage, track times, lateral acceleration, curb weight, drag coefficient, track width, etc, etc.

    To say they are some how equivalent is a much more subjective (and inaccurate) statement than to say that they are not.

    In my own assessment of driving dynamics, safety, and aesthetics I definitely beg to differ that the Porsche won't get me to Guitar Center "more aptly" in ways that have absolutely nothing to do w/ ego. You might have a differing opinion based on your priorities and proclivities that I have in no way implied that you aren't entitled to continue to hold onto, but that doesn't change the measurable observation that there are empirical differences between the cars.

    I kinda already said it was just like my opinion man in the earlier post, that's generally what "IMO" means ;) I did so to comply w/ my own view that nothing can be proven as "objective" even though my response was not directed at subjective differences but the measurable ones. My opinion just happens to be supported by many measurable data points, while the one that says they are the same has many less....

    There are tons of "objective" differences between musical gear as well. To say you can be happy w/, or play/sound exactly the same w/, or whatever any piece of gear would be you either not noticing the differences, actually finding the differences in what you perceive as the less desirable gear more to your liking, or actively ignoring the differences and making due w/ the shortcomings a piece of gear exhibits for you. That's a significantly more subjective approach than acknowledging that gear is actually different from other gear regardless of what its cost is.... IMO :p
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
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  16. lp_bruce

    lp_bruce Gretschie

    Apr 28, 2019
    Metro Detroit
    @ruger9 - I think the car analogy is kind of interesting, because in that case the best car (tool) is based on the needs and preferences of the driver. For example, I have no need or desire for a Porsche, Lambo, or any other sports car. I don't drive that fast and I'm pretty much a point A to point B kind of driver. What I need is a vehicle which can haul gear (so it needs some space) and can go off road when we do back country camping--so relatively high clearance and some form of four wheel drive. So I drive a small SUV which meets those specs. It isn't as fast as sports car and it doesn't raise any eyebrows. But I don't care--because I don't need/want those things.

    The same is true of guitars, but I think any guitar is a little more utilitarian. So if dive bombs are a big part of your playing, then a trem (ideally a Floyd Rose) will be a required feature for your guitar. But for many of us, most guitars can serve our purposes--again, presuming it is setup well, etc. I prefer a Tele to a Strat, but that is entirely about my personal preference and has nothing to do with their relative value.

    I do think gear matters. It's why I own more than one (or two or three) guitars and amps and pedals, etc. Because when I pick up my Gretsch it is different than my LP, and sometimes that takes my playing into different places. I tend to write different music on different instruments. On some I dig in more. On some I can't stop fingerpicking. Same with amps/effects.

    Last night I wrote a song after plugging into my HX Stomp--a relatively new device for me. And while fiddling around with the effects I landed on a really spongy and brightish tone (with some chorus and a touch of trem) that took me to playing a certain way and that turned into a song. Which is great (for me).

    That said, if you are looking to sound better, practice is more important than gear. Because if you're not a good player, you aren't going to sound very good no matter what you are playing through. If your playing is sloppy, timing is off, intonation is off (because you're pressing), playing a boutique guitar through a Dumble won't help.
  17. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    That's the ONLY free parking in NYC!
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  18. Scooter127

    Scooter127 Synchromatic

    Feb 25, 2019
    A friend of mine said that to me about an hour after the end of a "corporate chess game" where I got a 30.something% salary increase in 24 hours.

    No day of fishing has ever been that good!
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  19. T Bone

    T Bone Country Gent

    Two nights ago I was watching an Interview with David Crosby about guitars. He was talking about how good Martin's were, how we Americans should be so proud of them. About guitars, he said "and let me tell you why you want a great one. It will sound better, and make you want to play for hours. And that's how you get good".
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
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