Buying Guitar Gear - Think Big!


In this article i want to discuss buying guitar gear. Why not INVEST in quality gear - guitar, amp or effects - instead of just spending money? Think big!


UPDATE 31 march 2011: After some reactions to this article i have to put things into perspective a bit:

This article assumes that you have some years of playing experience and that you can discern the basic differences in quality between various guitars, amps or fx units.

I'm not saying that you can only buy quality gear at a high price, there are many great deals to be had if you shop smart. And yes, there are also great tube amps available for around 500 bucks...

If you are a beginner, my advice is to take someone who also plays guitar to the shop, try out different guitars together (or amps or effects) and get their opinion. Buying second-hand can also be a good option, provided you're able to get a second opinion.

Thanks for all your reactions!


(The original article:)


We all have a craving to buy a new piece of equipment once in a while. The problem is that there is so much on the market that it can seem impossible to choose. Also the price ranges are huge. Electric guitars, for instance, can be bought anywhere from 100 up to 10,000 dollars or more. So, there are a lot of choices to be made when you buy a new piece of gear. And money can only be spent once. Why not think big and change your gear-buying philosophy?


Buy better gear than you need at this point!

Think about this. Let's say you have money to buy a lower price range (200-500 dollar) guitar or amp right now.


If you buy it today, will you still be using that guitar or amp in 5 years from now? Chances are, you won't. Because in 5 years, you'll be a better and more demanding player than now! You will want a high-quality guitar or amp with great tone, playability, construction and value.


This is why you should think big and plan to buy something REALLY good, even if you don't have that cash right now...


How much money should you spend on your next guitar?

If you want to get a new Strat-type electric guitar and you have 250 dollar in your pocket, you could see that as money for getting, let's say, a Squier strat right away. But you could also think of that 250 dollar as half of the 500 bucks that will get you a Fender Made in Mexico strat! Save money for a year or so and get a better guitar!


Likewise, if you have 1000 dollar now, you could get a Fender American Standard Strat right away. But, save 1000 dollars more and you can get with the big boys! 2000 bucks will buy you a top-quality Suhr, Anderson or Tyler strat-type guitar.


Of course, this is assuming you can put aside some money every month. It might well be worth the wait.

buying gear amp choices


Invest in a classic amp Right, maybe you have 500 in cash right now and you want an amp.


With that, you could get a beginner-range hybrid modeling amp with tons of effects right now. But, save 500 more and you'll be in the market for a new 1000-dollar tube amp. No effects built in, just a good speaker, tubes and a great tone! Something you can take on stage.


Wait, instead of getting a 1000-dollar-ish new tube amp, you can get a Fender, Marshall or Mesa-Boogie tube amp second-hand. A second-hand amp that was sold new for around 2000 dollars! Now we're talking. You can happily play that amp for 5 years, and then sell it and even make a little profit! They're reliable and most often they only need new power tubes once in a while.


Multi-effect Unit vs. single effect pedal Stomp Box

Another scenario. You have 300 saved up and want to get some guitar effects. With that 300, you can get either a programmable multi-effects unit with 50 built-in effects, by Boss or Zoom or Vox or whatever. Or, with the same 300, you could get a boutique, hand-built, top-quality pedal that does only one effect really good. Think Fulltone, Xotic, Keeley, Z-vex.


Will you still be using that relatively cheap multi-fx unit in 5 years from now? No, the sounds will not meet your demands anymore or it will be broken. But that boutique pedal will probably still sound great to your ears and might even have become a collector's item!


That's it. Think big! Save just a bit more dough and get the good stuff!


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