Wednesday, February 15

In with the new gear, out with the old.

I've been living the dream of selling off cheap stuff to fund expensive stuff. In the last few months I've been extremely happy with both my new amps (the Valve Jr. that I modded, and the Blues Jr. that I had BillM mod for me), and I've really settled on a pedalboard configuration that works pretty well for me. Not perfect, mind you, but well. For instance, I could see myself getting one of those Line 6 M9s to take the place of my DL4, tremolo and chorus pedal, while also giving me more mods and delays and pitch shifting and all sorts of fun sounds. Mostly because it's pretty rare that I use stuff like my chorus, and I feel like it's just eating up space, but I want to have access to it when I need it. But the biggest area where I've changed things out has been my guitars:

Two new members of the family, with three gone. Basically, I swapped my Gretsch out for a short-lived Strat (sounded okay, but it had noiseless pickups in it which weirds me out in a single-coil guitar) which then got traded for that Tele. It's a 1989 MIJ tele. I was average on it until I put it head-to-head against my Squire Classic Vibe 50's telecaster, wherein I discovered that this one sounds way, way better. Less brightness, better depth of tone, more usable. I'm still not in love with the colors, but it sounds great.

But then that gave me leave to sell off my Classic Vibe since I really, really don't need 2 teles. Then, I sold that along with a my Epiphone Les Paul, some pedals that have been sitting around, some guitar cases, and a lot of other random stuff that I'd been trying to sell for ages, and splurged on a Gibson ES-335. And I love it. And it was way easier to justify having sold over a grand worth of gear, specifically with an eye towards getting this guitar. And, of course, I got a good deal.

Not that I'm done, by any means. I'm just not very good at being "done" at buying gear. But I'm feeling myself starting to settle in, just like I did with my pedal board, just like I did with my amps. I've got parts on the way to push the ES-335 over the top: PAF pickups and 50's style electronics so that this thing will sound like an original 1959 ES-335, with all the bite and mojo and tone faeries and etc. And I can see myself taking a Fender American Special strat and replacing the electronics in that with the electronics in my current strat and then going from there. I know, I know. I said I'd keep it forever. But spending so much time with it, I love how it sounds, I just can start to see a lot of the flaws, all errors in terms of construction and materials. The pickups are incredible, just incredible. It just doesn't feel perfect yet. Besides, if I were going to have a "backup" electric, I think it would be a strat; my playing just seems to fit a Strat the best.

I am a lot closer to completing my gear journey than I was a month ago. At least, that's what I keep telling myself....