I really miss all my guitars.
It’s not so much that I miss playing guitars, because I have a Ministar Rokstar along with me. It traveled very well, plays great, and is everything I need to satisfy my need for guitar on this deployment.
No, I miss my guitars.
The Rokstar is great, but a premium guitar it is not.
I miss the Tobacco Burst Centaura. It reeked of cigarette smoke when I got it, but it had great action, great sound, the trem stayed in tune…and it was beautiful. The first week after it arrived, I would often take a 2-minute break from whatever I was doing to just go look at it. It was that beautiful to me. And it is my only premium guitar with a maple neck, one of two overall. Which means it will probably stand alone after I sell most/all of the imports.
I miss the modified ’80 Special. It is so heavy, you know you’ve strapped on something solid when you pick it up. I thought I made a mistake when I got it, because I put in the minimum bid of $400 for it. It wasn’t worth any more than to me, but I figured I’d be quickly out-bid. Nope. So I worried that it was clearly not worth it to everyone else, that I was the only one stupid enough to bid. Maybe it was a risk…but I loved it when I played it. That is my first Kahler Pro trem, and it works great! It stays in tune, and the other strings don’t detune/slacken when you bend up a string. And you can rest the side of your picking hand on it without slicing yourself open. It has a great vibe when playing it, maybe because it is a short-scale guitar, making it more slinky felling? I don’t know, but I love the sound and feel. It is beat the heck up, but in this case, it just adds to the mojo. Having it keeps me from spending $600 on a fixed-bridge Special that would probably be a decade newer and not have the cachet of one of the first few hundred Specials ever made.
I miss the bl/wh speckle Centaura because it has a really, really nice tone. Maybe the best tone of all my guitars, but I haven’t played any of them enough to be 100% sure. Another trem guitar that stays in tune and has nice low action.
I miss the Chaparral beater because it has a set neck, unlike any of the Centauras. I also look forward to getting accustomed to playing on its scalloped fretboard. Some people say it makes for really fast playing, once you learn how to take advantage of it. It’s got mojo from being beat up, too.
I miss the Diablo because it is a really beautiful, smooth guitar. The body is a little smaller/lighter than the Centauras and Chapparal, I think, and the neck is pretty skinny. It just screams “shredder!”, which makes me think I can play faster just by picking it up. It is, in some ways, my replacement Californian. I can’t afford the $1500 it would take to get even a fair Californian, and the Diablo is really similar, actually. It has the slant neck pickup, although double coil instead of single, it has a tone control that the Californian lacks and that I never use, and it lacks the trademark Californian slant-edge fretboard (this one goes to 27!).
I miss my black Peavey Vandenberg because it has some special features: ebony fretboard, unique to the Vandenbergs in my collection. It has a George Lynch Screamin’ Demon pickup. It has the Kahler 2700 (2300? I never can keep them straight) trem that allows you to not have to cut the ball ends off and switches behind locked bridge and floating trem just by lifting the trem bar. It sounds awesome, and its ebony fretboard is extremely comfortable and makes me feel like I’m playing faster (and I might be). Unique shape/appearance, and I really feel like a rock star playing it.
To be honest, I don’t really miss the red Vandenberg or the black/yellow speckle Centaura. The red Vandy just has a Peavey-licensed trem, stock pickups and the signature of someone I’ve never heard of. It sounds fine, plays great, but I see no reason to have it when I already have the black one that has everything this one has and more. So I’ll probably sell it when I get back…but may just replace it with another Vandy that has the Kahler trem, just because they are fairly rare and getting rarer. Not missing the black/yellow Centaura might just be that I don’t miss it yet. Its appearance isn’t anything more special than the black/white one, and since I think they all have stock pickups, I’m not expecting a better sound. But maybe I’ll find its unique points and fall in love when I have more time to play it.