Baby steps to better gear

The other day I was with my daughter and we had some time to kill, so we headed over to the local music store.  She’s a good sport about it as long as she gets to play at least one ukulele.  I like to look at the guitars that I could get and look for a guitar that will satisfy all my needs.  I’ve noticed this really nice looking Fender Special Edition Custom Telecaster Spalted Maple HH before, but I finally picked it up.

It was great.  I’ve been wanting to add a tele to my collection (along with a Vox Virage, tobacco sunburst fender strat, Rickenbacker 480, Epiphone Crestwood with a tuneomatic bridge, etc.).  I just want to have a little bit of everything.  Well, this isn’t a tele.  It is a Les Paul/SG stuck in a supped up set neck, contoured body tele with the name Fender on the headstock.  It plays great and has coil taped humbuckers that get a good strat sound without the middle pick up that my pick can’t seem to avoid when I play Wolverine or any other strat.  I like it.  Thus, the scheming began.

I tried to figure out if I could talk the store down to $500 (this guitar has been there a while).  I then thought about which guitars I currently have that I would be willing to part with to get this one.  Financially, we can’t afford to put any new money into guitars, but I could sell some so it has a net zero affect on the family budget.  The most likely way to do that is to sell all three SG style guitars.  I won’t sell Wolverine.  I won’t sell my Epiphone Crestwood because I love the neck and won’t find another with that neck.  I won’t sell my bass.  The Squire strat I have isn’t mine, it’s being stored here for a friend’s kid’s birthday.

Why do I have my SG’s?  Because I love the look.  My Epiphone G-400 Korina was my wife’s graduation gift to me upon finishing grad school and it is gorgeous. But the headstock is so heavy that it always falls down.  It is not balanced at all and it annoys me.  Plus the neck isn’t as thin as I would like it.  My “1965” Epiphone G-400 Maestro was so cheap I feel bad.  I love it.  It looks awesome.  The neck is still a bit thick, but it doesn’t have the balance problems of the Korina.  My Kasuga SG isn’t anything special, but it’s the guitar I have tuned to open A and want to learn how to play slide on.  Plus the parts are worth more than what I’ll get if I sell it.  So I want to keep them all.  And if I sold all of them, I wouldn’t have an SG in my “collection.”

I also thought about taking the $100 in Amazon gift certificates I got for my birthday, use those to buy Christmas presents, and then take $100 out of the Christmas budget toward my guitar.

Per usual, I did not move on anything.  I just let it stew.  Then I thought, if I love my Maestro so much, why not just get the coil splitting and put it into the Maestro.  So I priced the humbuckers the tele has and some push/pull pots.  The pots are between $12 and $15, but the humbuckers (a Seymour Duncan SHPGP-1B Pearly Gates Plus in the Bridge and a Seymour Duncan SH-1N RP ‘59 Reverse Polarity in the Neck) are $95 and $90 respectively.  And that doesn’t include a silver cover for the Pearly Gates).  That’s over $200 before tax.  And don’t forget locking tuners.  I’d have to sell a guitar.  And while I’m updating the Maestro, why not get string savers for the bridge.  That’s only another $35.  And don’t forget a graphite nut.  That’s $??.  If I’m going to do all this to Maestro, why not do everything I want to Wolverine?  Locking Sperzel tuners, LSR roller nut, Gotoh/Wilkinson Tremolo.  Then there’s new pick ups for Wolverine.  I would like to put a Pearly Gates (with silver cover) in the bridge position.  That would require a new pick guard.  The list and ideas just keep coming.

The moral to the story: I spent two days thinking about this instead of two days playing the guitars I’ve got.


2 thoughts on “Baby steps to better gear

  1. Pingback: Angus Young on a budget « Confessions of a Wanna Be Guitar Player

  2. Pingback: Quick Fix « Confessions of a Wanna Be Guitar Player

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