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ksdaddy

Keeping a particular guitar (or not)

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I have gone through phases over the years where I have amassed guitars for a while and then purged. Thinning the herd, as they say. Sometimes it's easy. If I had three Strats, it might be easy for me to pick one and get rid of the other two. Sometimes I hold onto guitars because they're good guitars. No other reason, other than I have no reason to get rid of them.

 

Now let me say why that's maddening.

 

Sometimes I'll pull out a guitar that I haven't played in a while. It comes out from under a bed somewhere or off the rack or whatever. Maybe it's even in perfect tune. Play this ditty, play that ditty, wow, this thing is really nice. Play another predictable ditty, a few flash licks, the same old ____ for the next 4 minutes, and then it goes back in the case.

 

Can't possibly get rid of THAT one, now can we?

 

See the frustration? I don't sit down and play it comfortably, even though it may be seemingly flawless and it does it's job perfectly. Then I pick up something else that happened to be leaning in the corner by the bed and I lose the next hour just making music.

 

All of this should be Guitar Ownership 101 but sometimes the simplest lessons are the most difficult to learn.

 

I went through the exact same thing with guns a few months back. Sold two armloads (literally) and don't miss them. I had a motivation however, I was saving for a new handgun and wanted to be able to walk in and not ask the price, just point to the one I wanted and say "I'll take it". Well, as it turns out I bought one for a lot less money that does exactly what I want it to do, so that purge was not financially needed, I have a small envelope of cash, and I seem to enjoy and appreciate the ones I kept.

 

I'd love to do the same thing with guitars. It goes beyond getting rid of redundant ones or ones I just flat dislike. We're past that. Now I am suspiciously eyeing the ones that have brought me some level of snob appeal satisfaction but give me absolutely no playing satisfaction.

 

Snob appeal is absolute BS anyway, as I don't play out, and nobody comes to the house, so I'm not sure if it's my Golden Retriever or my Jack Russell Terrier that is more impressed.

 

One that may go on the chopping block is one that I have owned for about 15 years...bought it knowing it was a pariah and defended it at every chance. Looking back over 15 years, I played it some. Most of the time it hung on the wall. It almost makes me mad thinking about it. Makes me more mad to think I may sell it for less than I paid for it in 2004.

 

Notice I purposely omitted any brand or model? Just didn't want to color my rant.

 

Tell me I need to make some tough choices.

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I've run this process out, somewhat, because the urge to buy a guitar can always rear it's pointed little head, but the urge is very quiet now. It was a process though, sculpting the collection for my budget. Happy for now. You can do it.

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the urge to buy a guitar can always rear it's pointed little head

I'm cool with that. A new adventure is fun. Old baggage is.....old baggage.

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I’ve managed to keep my collection under control, for the most part. I generally have around 6-8 guitars at one time. None of my guitars sit however. I play each one at some point throughout a given week so I never really feel like I need more, or less. My problem is I don’t have a diversified portfolio so to speak. I have two SG Classics for example. They sound almost identical but the necks are different thickness and one is the rare ebony color. So they both stay. I also have two Jazzmasters. One in standard tuning, the other tunes to D. Haha. They too sound the exact same otherwise. The others are guitars that I have had for years and will be with me until I’m too old to play, or dead. If I had any more, I’m sure they would sit as well. Gotta keep things realistic

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Tell me I need to make some tough choices.

 

 

You need to make some tough choices.

 

My parents lived through the great depression. That shaped them. One of the things they did was they saved everything. They weren't like pathological hoarders, but they kept everything just in case they may need it later. I came to hate that. If I don't use stuff, it goes.

 

I used to have a motto, never sell a gun. That was the one thing that I would keep, no matter what. Then I realized how silly that was. I got rid of all the guns I didn't shoot. It was one of the best decisions I've made. Do I miss some of them sometimes? Yeah, sure. But it's more like I miss the idea of them. When I think about it I just ask myself if I still had it now, would I use it? The answer is still no.

 

Same for guitars. I recently commented here that I wish I had kept a particular guitar. But, then I ask the same question, if I still had it would I actually play it over the ones that replaced it? The answer is still no.

 

EDIT: the above assumes that a particular item is not a high value collectible, but even then, maybe...

 

 

Edited by Black Dog

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I've managed to keep my collection under control, for the most part. I generally have around 6-8 guitars at one time.

 

Yeah, I'm down to 8, but I really only play 4 routinely. The Epiphone 12-string is a travel guitar that only comes out on trips. The Lennon signature EJ160 is more a "collector" guitar than a player, though it plays OK, and I put a Baggs Element in it. And the two Epiphone electrics very rarely come out. The Epiphones are not really worth that much, so why bother trying to sell them? Plus, I do like 'em. :) I've sold better, more expensive guitars, but to fund other acquisitions....

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One that may go on the chopping block is one that I have owned for about 15 years...bought it knowing it was a pariah and defended it at every chance. Looking back over 15 years, I played it some. Most of the time it hung on the wall. It almost makes me mad thinking about it. Makes me more mad to think I may sell it for less than I paid for it in 2004.

 

Notice I purposely omitted any brand or model? Just didn't want to color my rant.

 

Tell me I need to make some tough choices.

 

You said earlier that you don't play out and no one comes to your house, so I have to assume you've been defending it on forums and such? Is that any reason to justify hanging on to it? With almost any new guitar purchase, the resale will be less than you originally paid. Sounds to me that you might be relieved once you've finally sold it and accepted that it's gone.

 

Of course I can't rally relate to your situation since I've never had a collection of more than 5 guitars at the most. eusa_think.gif

 

 

 

 

 

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so I have to assume you've been defending it on forums and such?

 

Yeah pretty much. Not THIS forum. Think about Norlin Gibsons and CBS Fenders. It's kinda like that. No animosity, but nobody likes to be told their guitar is a piece of ____.

 

As to resale, well... it was marginally "vintage" at the time I bought it and is therefore "a little more vintage" now, and with the way most all older guitars have gone absolutely crazy in their pricing, I would hope to realize a little profit. Don't think that will happen with this one. Oh, people are ASKING stupid prices, but I make sure I take the time to see what they actually sell for.

 

Won't be a major hit. I think I paid $1100 for it so it couldn't have depreciated far.

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I've become a hoarder over the years ….. and it's become a problem. :rolleyes: Just too lazy to go through the sales drill.

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The Epiphones are not really worth that much, so why bother trying to sell them?

 

 

I've had this same dilemma. I finally came up with a what i think is a good solution.

 

In the past I have taken inexpensive guitars down to my local GC and dumped them for little money. Was hardly worth it considering the drive and hassle.

 

I have couple that I want to get rid of now and I've decided that I'm going to try to donate them to my local High School music dept., assuming they will want them. We'll see how that works out.

 

 

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...I don't play out, and nobody comes to the house, so I'm not sure if it's my Golden Retriever or my Jack Russell Terrier that is more impressed...

I laughed!......

 

In the 44 years since I bought my first guitar there have been only three guitars which I've bought that I've not liked / bonded with in the mid- to long-term. Two of those (a mid-'70s LP Custom and an all original maple-'board(!) Fiesta Red 1959 Strat) lasted less than a week. The third, a Music Man Sabre II, I kept for about 9 months. My only regret about ridding myself about any of the trio was that it took me fully 9 months to discard the Music Man.

 

When I played out I went through quite a few Strats which were always bought as a backup for my '64 Strat which was my main guitar for 24 years. As soon as I found a better 'spare' the previous one was traded-in as part-ex. for the newer one. Never regretted selling any of the others.

If I don't like a guitar I'll sell it. Absolutely no problems with selling stuff I don't really like. In fact these days, with the benefit of accumulated experience, if I don't really REALLY like a guitar I won't buy it in the first place. I now know exactly what to look for. I've not had anywhere near the number of guitars some forumites have owned but I've sold-off probably a dozen and a half over the years without any qualms with the sole exception of the '64 Strat which I do miss slightly.

 

Pip.

Edited by pippy

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I'm feeling ksdaddy's pain.

I've been up to 21 guitars in number (in the past five years), and I've been down to 13.

I'm at 16 right this minute, and I plan to stay there for awhile.

 

:(

Edited by sparquelito

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I generally own guitars to play them. If they don't get played they get traded for something that will. But that said I have 3 I probably won't part with even though they are rarely played.

 

One is a classical guitar I bought when I was 13 year old. It's been beat up and I don't really play classical at all, but I couldn't part with it.

 

The second is an ovation that was given to me by my significant other when she was in hospice. I could never sell it or trade it, but I may give it away if I find a suitable recipient.

 

The last is a Taylor solid body custom, and I do play it some. It is a really good well designed guitar and since they don't make them anymore I can't part with it. I've been tempted to trade it, but since they never got that popular and have little recognition it is not valued monetarily as it should be.

 

There have been many other that have come and gone: LPs, SG, Strats, Tele, Guild semi-hollow, a 175 and more, but if they aren't useful as players they hit the road.

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I just don't have the problem these days, but yeah...I know what you mean.

 

At the moment I have only 2 which I might sell.

 

The 80s MIJ Strat has seen more service than any of my other guitars and is quality, much modded but is in need of a refret now...I'm out of love, and it's just getting old; I can put it back to stock.

I still take it to gigs as the spare, or I take a Squier which I was given (did a thread on it) and brought back to life. It's ok but...pfftt.

I could get rid of either or both of those. One good cheapo Strat would do, but I like a 12" radius or flat board.

 

I have to say ksdaddy is one of the most classic GAS-infected guitaroholics ever.

It is awesome.

He is forever cursed to go through the process he describes over and over again.

No known cure.

 

How many Ovation Applauses was it?

Please can you re-post the vid you made of them?

Remember the ukelele you...ummm....shot?

 

[laugh]

Edited by jdgm

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I'd rather put the money together and buy one very fine guitar than own a lesser collection of many, so it's easy for me to deflate GAS. It took me 15 or so years to get these fine less than perfect condition 6. I tend to play them in twos, day by day, but I don't know why it happens that way. Somehow they get played fairly equally in rotation. That's how I gauge their chances of staying put.

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One guitar I will never sell for any amount of money is my Gibson 1960 ES 355.

Bought it new, and enjoyed playing it for many years.

I had it appraised for insurance reasons, and it is still rated 9 on a scale of 10.

I have been offered outrageous amounts of money for it, but it will never be sold.

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Wow! Yeah, that's a beautiful high dollar instrument.

 

Never say never. Hope you don't experience such dire economic circumstances that the issue comes up.

Edited by jedzep

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How many Ovation Applauses was it?

I was up to 65. I sold all but three. One is a black AA-12 which looks like a regular Applause but has a plastic top. Another is an Academy, which has a plastic top and a wide 12 fret neck. Both of them are, with no hesitation on my part to say, two of the best Ovation products I have ever heard in my life. They both have a huge hollow 55 gallon drum sound. Even though they survived the Great Applause Purge of 2017/18, they will go on the market tonight and I will be lucky to get $75-$100.

 

The final one is the 1000th Applause ever made, with papers glued inside the bowl with the date (August 15, 1976) and signatures of all the assembly line workers and Bill Kaman. I don't know if that should go away or not. It's not worth anything, but it's neat.

 

I only kept one 'real' Ovation, a prototype of the 1983 Collector's Edition (labeled as such). It's on ebay and Reverb at the moment with no bites.

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Seems to me you're either a player or a collector or both. Funny how we justify buying, keeping, and getting rid of guitars.

 

To me, my enjoyment comes mostly from playing, though I gotta admit, I've stayed motivated to play with new gear in the past... sometimes all it takes is a string change.

 

I'm at nine guitars, now, including one bass, one acoustic, and one electric that I keep for my daughter... seems to be a good number. I play them all, except for hers. In the last two years, I've bought three guitars and parted with three, and bought two amps and parted with one. I don't have GAS, but that's never stopped me when I've run across a guitar I like and the price is right.

 

The last guitar I bought was a used 2008 LP Standard in perfect condition. The last guitar I parted with was a Fender Modern Player Jaguar. I didn't really want to part with it, but I wasn't going to play it, and my brother-in-law was looking for a good deal on his first electric.

Edited by zigzag

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... The last guitar I parted with was a Fender Modern Player Jaguar. I didn't really want to part with it, but I wasn't going to play it, and my brother-in-law was looking for a good deal on his first electric.

That was nice!

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My criteria is simply whether or not I derive any pleasure from owning a particular guitar. If I do, it most likely stays. If the day came where I needed to sell a group of instruments for financial reasons, I think I could do it without an excruciating amount of struggle.

 

But until that day comes, I'll enjoy being surrounded by these fine objects that just make me feel good - either by playing them, working on them, or just looking at them.

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Seems to me you're either a player or a collector or both.

Excellent observation, and my quandary is a little more clear now. It seems like over the past couple years I've been moving away from collecting and more into playing. I see an unused guitar on the shelf and note that it used to mean something to me and no longer does. Sometimes I feel like the new boss that sees an employee standing around the water cooler....I stroll up and ask, "And what exactly do you DO around here?"

 

It would make it a little easier if anyone were BUYING anything. Ebay and Reverb are soooo dead. I see things for sale for months and months. I'm accustomed to putting something on ebay and knowing it would be sold in 7 days, and most times for more than I expected.

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I've almost always taken a little hit on resale, but I look at it as short term rental to bring a good guitar into my house via truck, sight unseen, if it turns out later sold. Better to get the cash to fund a step up. I'm too far from decent music stores and farther from vintage shops, so it works for me. In one way or another, isn't everything in life rented anyway?

 

Don't know which is worse...mentally unstable but not stupid, or the other way around, for guitar collecting anyway.

Edited by jedzep

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I am not a collector. I buy em to play em. At least at the time of purchase I did.

 

The most guitars I've ever held onto at one time was 22. I actually did feel bad that I had a lot of guitars I wasn't playing much. So the purge began, keeping came down to two categories. The ones I play frequently, or all the time, and the ones that are were discontinued models, and getting hard to come by.

 

The only one that I did sell that was a decision was the 2002 Chet Atkins Elitist. It was a gorgeous guitar, and TRY and find one.. However we never bonded. sold it for more than I paid for it and the new owner was thrilled to get a hold of it.

 

The rest just were sold with no regrets. Hopefully the guys who bought them PLAY them more than I did. That I wound up upgrading my nylon string acoustic I guess is an after shock, but, I felt I could do well with the upgrade, and the cash from the purge made it a pretty easy decision. The buyer was a guy who lived most of the year in Columbia but spent 3 months a yr in Florida helping his grand folks.

 

He emailed me about 6 times telling me how much he loved that guitar (a Manuel Rodriguez A-Cut classical) That was probably the better transaction to me of all of them, I can't imagine that getting decent guitars in a place like Columbia is cheap or easy.

 

So now, I am still at 16, (which is still a lot for the ppl who I know that don't play, or are casual players.)

 

For me, eBay a real PITA to deal with, and I'd rather poke my eye out than try criagslist again. Never used Reverb. So at the moment I don't feel the need to do much about the few that I probably could easily sell and probably not really miss

 

If push came to shove, I could get it down to 4 or 5. but I do believe I'd regret moving half of the ones I'd sell to get there.

 

I can't imagine having the collections that some ppl I see posting here have (+50~100 and up). I don't know where I'd put them for starters...

Edited by kidblast

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