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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2 Comments

Filed under guitar, Guitar Lust, Me

2 responses to “The Madness Behind My Guitar Acquisition Methods: My GAS, Explained

  1. My collection has been a hap-hazard process of discovery and gifting.

    I started with a Christmas gift from my wife (she kiddingly “regrets” this day) of some kind of classical guitar, which I took back to the store and exchanged for what I thought was a proper acoustic, an import Ovation acoustic/electric. Shows how little I knew.

    Lessons, a developing internet, and a bit of nostalgia for my teen years in the height of glam metal led me to inexpensive Korean Kramer re-issues from MusicYo (!)

    Gift cycle came around again: I helped a sales rep win a HUGE business deal and he gifted me a truly proper acoustic, a Taylor 514CE, my only acoustic today.

    I discovered Harmony Central, got gas, and bought one of everything inexpensive and imported- A Nelsonic LP clone (VERY good, esp. for $150), Xavieres, Import Hamers, Ibanez Roadstar 2s, etc. Basically one of every fundamental style to understand what those styles were about and could offer.

    More gifting from my wife. A Peavey EVH Wolfgang Special (hot pups!), a vintage Gretsch Rambler (23″ scale starter guitar from ’58). Real guitars as opposed to my cheapies.

    The Import Hamers stuck with me, though, being a life-long Cheap Trick fan and knowing the brand. Their imports were a cut above, some were unique (Stellar 1). But I’ve always been a little different in my possessions, e.g. a Rabbit GTI; a Subaru SVX; Snell Acoustics speakers…

    Enter a Hamer USA Studio and the realization of what a real solidbody guitar was like. Some have it, some don’t. Three minutes of playing it and five cheap guitars went up for sale on eBay to finance more Hamer USAs. The cheapies *were* toys. The Hamers were instruments.

    I’m now simply filling voids of interest. I’ve pretty much satisfied my Tele desires with an import G&L ASAT Special (P90ish pups) which is astonishing in quality, and I will probably close out the strat world with the real McCoy. Why not? Hamers meet all my humbucker or hollow/ semi-hollow reqts (an Artist is in my future), and I’m just not a whammy bar kind of guy.

    As Feynman recently stated on HFC, in commenting on a Prince solo, more proof that… “all you really need is a tele.”

  2. My collection has been a hap-hazard process of discovery and gifting.

    I started with a Christmas gift from my wife (she kiddingly “regrets” this day) of some kind of classical guitar, which I took back to the store and exchanged for what I thought was a proper acoustic, an import Ovation acoustic/electric. Shows how little I knew.

    Lessons, a developing internet, and a bit of nostalgia for my teen years in the height of glam metal led me to inexpensive Korean Kramer re-issues from MusicYo (!)

    Gift cycle came around again: I helped a sales rep win a HUGE business deal and he gifted me a truly proper acoustic, a Taylor 514CE, my only acoustic today.

    I discovered Harmony Central, got gas, and bought one of everything inexpensive and imported- A Nelsonic LP clone (VERY good, esp. for $150), Xavieres, Import Hamers, Ibanez Roadstar 2s, etc. Basically one of every fundamental style to understand what those styles were about and could offer.

    More gifting from my wife. A Peavey EVH Wolfgang Special (hot pups!), a vintage Gretsch Rambler (23″ scale starter guitar from ’58). Real guitars as opposed to my cheapies.

    The Import Hamers stuck with me, though, being a life-long Cheap Trick fan and knowing the brand. Their imports were a cut above, some were unique (Stellar 1). But I’ve always been a little different in my possessions, e.g. a Rabbit GTI; a Subaru SVX; Snell Acoustics speakers…

    Enter a Hamer USA Studio and the realization of what a real solidbody guitar was like. Some have it, some don’t. Three minutes of playing it and five cheap guitars went up for sale on eBay to finance more Hamer USAs. The cheapies *were* toys. The Hamers were instruments.

    I’m now simply filling voids of interest. I’ve pretty much satisfied my Tele desires with an import G&L ASAT Special (P90ish pups) which is astonishing in quality, and I will probably close out the strat world with the real McCoy. Why not? Hamers meet all my humbucker or hollow/ semi-hollow reqts (an Artist is in my future), and I’m just not a whammy bar kind of guy.

    As Feynman recently stated on HFC, in commenting on a Prince solo, more proof that… “all you really need is a tele.”

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