Well, as I said before, I finally got my USA-made shredder guitar. At the time of that post, I’d merely won the auction and it hadn’t arrived yet. It arrived last Friday. No pictures yet because I’m lazy.
I’d been wanting a Hamer USA-made shredder, if you recall. And as I said at the time, it is a little silly, since I’m not a shred-type player. I do aspire to be one, so maybe that’s it.
I do know that just like one important component of a car is how you feel when you drive it (not just how the car feels/performs), so it is with a guitar: how I feel playing it seems to be nearly as important as how it sounds/feels. So even though I’m not a tone-hound (snob) who will settle only for the most expensive boutique pickups installed on the finest tonewoods played through the most vintage tube amp, I still feel like I need lots of guitars. Way too many guitars for my ability and accomplishments, I can freely admit.
This guitar rocks, though. It does have an awesome sound, thanks to the upgraded Seymour Duncan George Lynch Screamin’ Demon bridge pickup…although I hear the original pickups (designed by Vandenberg himself) are not bad at all. There is debate on the web about the body wood, but it seems to be Poplar, with Alder being the wood on the Peavey V-type re-issue of this guitar. Some people like the sound an ebony neck brings…well, this guitar has an ebony neck, and I can’t tell if it has an effect or not. But I do like the feel, I’m now convinced that ebony necks are significantly faster than Rosewood necks, and perhaps slightly faster than maple necks.
I’m surprised by how solid the guitar feels. I don’t know how to explain it, because that isn’t weight, and it isn’t necessarily better workmanship than my Hamer’s. It just feels like this is a guitar that will remain a great playing guitar for decades, if not more than a century. I’m not letting it go, that’s for sure.
In fact, it is affecting my plans for my guitar stable. Now I’m seriously considering selling off some of my other guitars, like the Centaura I was considering keeping, and the Fernandes Revolver Pro that I felt stuck with (because due to inadvertant damage, it is no longer in the new condition I paid $300 for). I’m definitely selling the Ibanez now, even though I considered keeping it for its neck and upgrading the pickups: nope, no need now. I’ve even considered selling the Carvin and the Hamer import Stellar 1, because this guitar kinda makes those redundant. But I have emotional connections to those two, so I can wait a year or two to decide whether to sell or not.
But on the other hand, this has fueled my thirst for excellent/beautiful shredder guitars. I’ve tried to pick up another Peavey Vandenberg, when I thought I could get one for cheaper. I probably could have gotten it if I’d bid up to $500, but after paying $600 for this one, I couldn’t justify going over $375 for a spare. I was just barely outbid. I also am thinking of trying to pickup a Hamer import Californian. I already have one that is well worth the $300 I paid for it, but it is a Hamer Slammer Series, and this one is a straight Hamer (nothing else on the headstock logo, meaning it was made in Korea around the year 2000); plus it is a deluxe with boomerang fingerboard inlays instead of the plain dots I have on all my other guitars. Do I need another import Cali? No. Would this one be worth having? Sure, it is probably slightly better quality than the one I already have…but I would waste time, effort, and risk wasting money to buy the new one and sell the old one. My wife promised I could get 3 guitars for Valentine’s Day, and I only got one, so I might just get this one, and make a slow decision over whether to keep both, or which one to sell….much like I’m doing with the Carvin and the Hamer Stellar 1. Oh, and I have a line on a USA-made Chaparral that I should be able to get for $500: a steal I won’t be able to pass up.
The thing is, regardless of what decision I make to sell or acquire more guitars, I am far closer to my final stable than I was before I got the Peavey Vandenberg. It really reduces my painful urge for a shredder guitar, but doesn’t resolve or end it. It does refine my Guitar Acquisition Syndrome slightly, and lets me be a little bit more patient to wait for the really good deals.