Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Madness Behind My Guitar Acquisition Methods: My GAS, Explained

There are multiple reasons why I have the guitars I have, multiple motivations that stimulate GAS.

One of my motivations is collecting. I want valuable guitars that will retain or increase in value. Or I want cool, iconic guitars that existed at a specific moment, or capture a specific moment of guitar history. One of the thoughts that strikes me when I think of these guitars is, “They aren’t making 30 year old guitars anymore”. Maybe at some point a company will have a re-issue but it isn’t the same. My Peavey Vandenberg or my Hamer USA shredders are good examples of that:

Hamer USA Californian: extremely rare maple fretboard, and signed by Ted Nugent
Hamer USA Chaparral 12-string: very rare (even if no one cares how rare it is)
Peavey Vandenberg: very awesome, very under-rated guitar; maybe the ultimate 80s axe

Some guitars I have acquired just by buying and selling guitars, and I decided I liked them enough to keep. These are usually quality guitars, acquired at a “what the heck” price and retained because the quality is as good as guitars twice (or more) the price. This includes my Cort KX-5 (best action of all my guitars), and my Vantage X-77 (amazing tone).

Some guitars I keep because I love the appearance. This includes my Hamer import Stellar 1 (the only production guitar I know of w/ lacy oak top); my Hamer import SATF amber-burst with AAA 3D flamed maple top; I love the vibe of my Ibanez JTK1, too. Although these guitars also have excellent tone, excellent playability, and were all acquired for under $200…but I wouldn’t hesitate to gig with any of them.

Some guitars are a deliberate attempt to collect a brand…maybe with the hope of them someday becoming well-known as very collectible and skyrocketing in price/value, but good enough that they make me happy to play even if they don’t ever become truly collectible. These include Jon Kammerer, Vantage, and Westone.
– Jon Kammerer: strat style (heavy/thick), hollow body (potato-shaped), walnut small body electric, maple small body electric chambered, maple small body electric 3SC, maple small body electric desert deployment (nostalgia).
– Vantage: X-77 (awesome tone), trans red AV-325, trans blue AV-325, silver AV-325, AV-3xx (1x HB, pickguard = unknown model), FV-575 (flying V…awesome tone)
– Westone: ’87 Genesis I (XA1530), ’87 Corsair (XA1420; active pups, flame top), ’88 transition Corsair/Spectrum (XA1430 + rvrs headstock & 24-frets), ’89 Challenger, ’90 Villain Graphite
– Epiphone 935i shredder and Pro-2 shredder

And then there are some just because they are excellent guitars for the price. This includes my Parker Niteflies (’87 and ’88), an Aria Pro II I got for $100, a Cort Matthias Jabs Garage2; Yamaha PAC402s tele, Hamer Slammer Series strat.

Of course, some guitars are a combination of motivations. The Yamaha PAC402s has a beautiful quilt under a rich trans green color. The Jon Kammerer walnut small body electric might be the best guitar in my stable for tone and playability. If not, then my best overall guitar might be the Hamer USA Centaura Deluxe (w/ active EMGs and ebony fretboard), or the Hamer USA Centaura standard (w/ maple fretboard), or the Westone Challenger (acquired for just $200), or the Vandenberg. I love the appearance of the blueburst on the Hamer USA Centaura Deluxe. I love the figuring on my Jon Kammerer strat style (cherry wood w/ strong figuring and an asymmetric blonde flash).

Anyway, this was just an excuse to talk about my guitars. I love talking about guitars…

So why do you have the guitars you have? What guitars are on your wish-list, and why?

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