#1
For the first 9 years I really believed that I needed to buy brand new guitars that were like my favorite artists played (or endorsed) in order to sound like them. I spent several thousand on new guitars. Even took out loans to buy them. Since I was gigging, I made enough to afford them.

Then, one day, a buddy showed up with a guitar he had gotten in a trade from Jeff Beck. It was a white Les Paul but it was like no LP I had ever played. It was like Spinal Tap: "can you hear the sustain?" It was truly unbelievable. I guess that was the first time I realized that there are some REALLY special guitars out there.

About a year later I found a '54 Strat and bought it on the spot. When I played that guitar I instantly heard things I didn't know I could play. It was an awakening. I found out that "I had a sound". "My music" had a soul. I really can't describe it in words.

Since then, I have only bought guitars that have that really special magic, that have the special sauce that when I pick it up I go "oh wow, Oh Wow, OH WOW!. If it doesn't do that it goes back on the stand. I've played tons of guitars that have been really nice, just not that special. You only know it when you find it.

I've been lucky to have this happen 5-6 times in the last 40 years.

I found a '73 Hernandis Grade 1, a '74 Martin D35 (that I didn't buy and regret that to this day), a 2002 Blueridge BR160, and even a couple cheap Fender DG-60's that make me sound really good. Oh, and a '67 Country Gentleman. It's not that I go looking to buy a guitar, but I might happen on one either at store or an estate sale, or a musician trying to raise cash... places like that.

For the record, I do have a cheap $40 laminate acoustic and a cheap laminate classical, but those are for beer parties and everyone should have one of these <grin>. These are setup like the nice guitars, and though they are very nice guitars, they're not spectacular in the same way as the ones above.

The interesting thing is that I have never had ANY intentions on buying any of these guitars but I've learned that if you stumble on an incredible instrument, you just buy it. Now, in the mean time I did get rid of all of my "bought new" expensive guitars that I got in my early years that weren't right for me. I got my money out of all of them, so no loss there.

I'm pretty good at setting up guitars and have worked on several hundred over the years. So, before selling, these I did try to setup / configure / mod these expensive pieces of junk, but to no end. They included Fenders of various models and Gibson Les Pauls, customs and standards, all circa 1963-1972.

Hopefully they will be great for someone else, but I doubt it. For me they were just expensive pieces of wood and metal. I "could" play them but it was like forcing the music out of them. Technically, the sound is there, but there's just something missing. It's like a different dimension isn't there.

So, in short, with the exception of the 2 DG's that are knock arounds, my best buys have been in guitars that range in age between 12 and 61 years with an average purchase price of about $250.

That's my vintage lesson. Got one to share?
Last edited by billy_kidd at Jan 22, 2015,
#2
cool story bro.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#3
Quote by billy_kidd
one day, a buddy showed up with a guitar he had gotten in a trade from Jeff Beck.


how about some back story on this part? is your buddy good friends with jeff?
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#4
Quote by billy_kidd
For the first 9 years I really believed that I needed to buy brand new guitars that were like my favorite artists played (or endorsed) in order to sound like them. I spent several thousand on new guitars. Even took out loans to buy them. Since I was gigging, I made enough to afford them.

Then, one day, a buddy showed up with a guitar he had gotten in a trade from Jeff Beck. It was a white Les Paul but it was like no LP I had ever played. It was like Spinal Tap: "can you hear the sustain?" It was truly unbelievable. I guess that was the first time I realized that there are some REALLY special guitars out there.

About a year later I found a '54 Strat and bought it on the spot. When I played that guitar I instantly heard things I didn't know I could play. It was an awakening. I found out that "I had a sound". "My music" had a soul. I really can't describe it in words.

Since then, I have only bought guitars that have that really special magic, that have the special sauce that when I pick it up I go "oh wow, Oh Wow, OH WOW!. If it doesn't do that it goes back on the stand. I've played tons of guitars that have been really nice, just not that special. You only know it when you find it.

I've been lucky to have this happen 5-6 times in the last 40 years.

I found a '73 Hernandis Grade 1, a '74 Martin D35 (that I didn't buy and regret that to this day), a 2002 Blueridge BR160, and even a couple cheap Fender DG-60's that make me sound really good. Oh, and a '67 Country Gentleman. It's not that I go looking to buy a guitar, but I might happen on one either at store or an estate sale, or a musician trying to raise cash... places like that.

For the record, I do have a cheap $40 laminate acoustic and a cheap laminate classical, but those are for beer parties and everyone should have one of these <grin>. These are setup like the nice guitars, and though they are very nice guitars, they're not spectacular in the same way as the ones above.

The interesting thing is that I have never had ANY intentions on buying any of these guitars but I've learned that if you stumble on an incredible instrument, you just buy it. Now, in the mean time I did get rid of all of my "bought new" expensive guitars that I got in my early years that weren't right for me. I got my money out of all of them, so no loss there.

I'm pretty good at setting up guitars and have worked on several hundred over the years. So, before selling, these I did try to setup / configure / mod these expensive pieces of junk, but to no end. They included Fenders of various models and Gibson Les Pauls, customs and standards, all circa 1963-1972.

Hopefully they will be great for someone else, but I doubt it. For me they were just expensive pieces of wood and metal. I "could" play them but it was like forcing the music out of them. Technically, the sound is there, but there's just something missing. It's like a different dimension isn't there.

So, in short, with the exception of the 2 DG's that are knock arounds, my best buys have been in guitars that range in age between 12 and 61 years with an average purchase price of about $250.

That's my vintage lesson. Got one to share?


When I bought my Music Man Silhouette Special new like 15 years ago, it sounded a little stale and a bit artificial at first ....it didn't sound as musical as a strat and it really annoyed me for several years. Well, today it smokes every other guitar I play, including strats- unplugged and plugged - it sounds much better than it did when I first got it. I think there's something that happens when you play a good instrument a lot for many years that affects the tone. Either that or I'm imagining things.. I'd be curious to know if others have ever had this happen?
#5
My vintage lesson:
Bought a Teisco Del Ray cause it looked cool. But it played like ass. Sounded like ass too. Traded it to some sucker for a Boss DS-1.

Tldr: Vintage Teisco ass DS1.
Fender Mustang/Derfenstein DST> Boss Power Wah> Pedal Monsters Klone> Bogner Uberschall> Walrus Audio Janus> Randall RM20> Line 6 M9> Randall RM20
#6
LOL, I just saw a Del Ray,at Guitar Center with the huge metal striped pick plate with 4 pickups and like 8 switches or something they want $349!

Quote by lucky1978
My vintage lesson:
Bought a Teisco Del Ray cause it looked cool. But it played like ass. Sounded like ass too. Traded it to some sucker for a Boss DS-1.

Tldr: Vintage Teisco ass DS1.


I do have a funky old mint condition Silvertone that I'm pretty sure was made by Teisco with a big butter knife whammy bar, it rocks for playing surf guitar the pickups are single coils but sound nice and fat and are fairly quiet.
"A well-wound coil is a well-wound coil regardless if it's wound with professional equipment, or if somebody's great-grandmother winds it to an old French recipe with Napoleon's modified coffee grinder and chops off the wire after a mile with an antique guillotine!"
- Bill Lawrence

Come and be with me
Live my twisted dream
Pro devoted pledge
Time for primal concrete sledge

Last edited by Evilnine at Jan 23, 2015,
#7
Since then, I have only bought guitars that have that really special magic, that have the special sauce that when I pick it up I go "oh wow, Oh Wow, OH WOW!. If it doesn't do that it goes back on the stand.


I really don't have that issue. I just bought a used guitar, a relatively cheap guitar, and had it shipped from Vancouver to El Lay. Out of the box it was dirty, the strings had rusticles, the frets were scratchy, the neck had WAY too much relief and it didn't sound that great.

If you'd picked up that guitar, you would have put it right back down.

I went to work on it, tweaking and polishing. Turns out it has a really superb set of handwound P90's, and once properly set up and tweaked, it's a magnificent player and it sounds gorgeous.

When I worked in a music store in the Midwest long ago, we'd pick out the guitar we wanted to move most. I'd go to work on it. When I was satisfied, we put the guitar back out on the rack, and quietly hand it to guys like you. I'd whisper, "You can't have this one; this is my demo guitar, but try it anyway." Every time it sold within a week. One guy snuck into the store when I was out to lunch, bought it and scampered away before I came back.

Special Sauce indeed.

These days, I hand most guitars that are new to me to Gary Brawer in San Francisco, the Special Sauce guy. He superglues the frets (most guitars don't have glued frets, but hand-built customs often do), filling the tang cavities with thin superglue, solidifying their bond to the fretboard, eliminating flyer/dead frets and making a difference in the overall tone. Then he feeds the guitar to the PLEK machine, tweaks it for my action preference and finishes the whole thing off with a fret polish (he usually uses a thick piece of rough leather) and some final adjustments. In at least one case, the whole process cost more than the guitar cost me, but that guitar has become one of my staples, one of the infamous bar guitar duo.

It's a lot easier to end up with a guitar with the Special Sauce when you've got the recipe.
#8
In my 40 years of playing I chased other people's sounds by buying whatever my then current favorite player was using. In the early 70's I saw Carlos Santana play at Madison Square Garden just after the Woodstock movie came out and I immediately had to have an Gibson SG Standard. I worked overtime for months to afford it and finally got it. Strangely I never sounded like Carlos. I didn't understand why. A few years later I traded the SG for a 73 Les Paul after hearing Jeff Beck's tone on "Freeway Jam". Amazingly, I didn't sound like Jeff Beck. What's up with dat? Every few years someone would come along that I admired and I continued to chase those tones through the years. I bought and traded some pretty nice and often expensive guitars and amps chasing someone elses tones but I never acheived my goal of reproducing those sounds (gee I wonder why). The breakthrough came in the late 70's when I joined a band that was doing a lot of traveling and road gigs. I got to work with one of, no, definately the finest lead player I have ever personally worked with. He was playing an inexpensive Ibanez LP copy through an Orange amp (using a gutted pre-CBS Bandmaster head as a pre-amp into his Orange amp head) and 4X12 cabinet. This guy could sound like most all of my favorite players using that single set up. It wasn't due to his equipment but was acheived through talent and technique. This guy would sound good on a Bullet Strat and K-Mart guitar amp. It was an expensive but thankfully important lesson for me. To quote the over used but very true saying, "The tone is in your hands". It has kept me from spending money I don't have on expensive guitars that won't make me sound dramatically better than I sound with the gear I already have. There is certain Zen to accepting that.
Last edited by Rickholly74 at Jan 23, 2015,