Thoughts on Gear and GAS

SemiCullen

Still haven't got the hang of Thursdays
#22
Hmmm been thinking about this one.
I reckon if you won the Lottery (like silly money) you'd probably have a blow out at some point and spend £100,000 on stuff, but after that you'd quickly get bored and there would be 1 or 2 goto guitar/ amps you always default to - just because they have that thing going on.

Back in the real world though,
The Helix really did calm my amp gas - I still find myself looking at Two Rocks and Mesa Lonestars but I really don't see myself getting one. Guitars are a different story altogther though and because its a very tactile thing (for me) I don't see any cure coming my way any time soon - It's a hobby, I enjoy it and that's all I need tbh.
Given your hypothetical situation, I think 100K is a very conservative figure -- dollars, pounds, Euros, etc. I do believe I'd have quite the "look, don't touch" (except for me, of course) collection of 50s-era Les Pauls.
 

Chu

Well-Known Member
#23
I think it's very easy to blame digital gear for option paralysis but if you were to be given a three channel amp, wah, chorus, Flanger, delay and reverb pedals, a couple of drives and distortions all in one go, you'd be just as overwhelmed. I consider that the modular build and gradual acquirement of an amp and pedals means you're not so bogged down at once.

If I had 100k for music gear, I reckon I don't reckon I'd even spend £10k on guitars. I just don't want for stuff so much. I would want to spend a fair bit on a music room that can accommodate a full band for practices and recording though.

Having gear that I don't need actually causes me anxiety. To own a really nice guitar that I rarely play makes no sense to me.
 

Wade Garrett

I am the projectionist.
#24
Putting aside the "what's the point" thing from my last post, I do gas every now and then for a reliced Telecaster but the fact I don't have any free spaces in the guitar stands helps me squash that. Except for the obvious LP Junior it's the only other guitar that actually makes me think of parting with cash. The fact it's been an expensive year also helps with not spending!

No real amp gas, amps are dull in terms of gas. If I had to choose one I'd have a Mesa 5:25 but more realistically I'd have a Kemper, might as well have all the amps!

No pedal gas either except for a phaser because I've got the space for it on my board and for some reason I've decided I want one, not sure why.

I know the second I'll stand in my studio tonight the gas will be gone because I'll be surrounded with all that gear but when I'm at work and I have an Ebay tab open it starts to feel like a different story. :rolleyes:
 
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Strigidae

I like owls.
#25
I don't really have this problem since the amps and guitars I want at this point are too expensive and I have little to no interest in pedals, however, I have problem with g.a.s. in other interests (mainly photography). Two thoughts on the subject:

1. Differentiate between "need" g.a.s. and "want" g.a.s. The first being something you want to buy because you can't achieve what it does by any other means and you know you're going to use it enough to make a purchase worthwhile. The other being something you really want but don't actually need or have any clear use for. If you buy something only to not use it and look at other products instead, chances are you didn't really need or have a clear use for it at the point of purchase.

2. At the end of the day you don't lose anything on buying something you want but end up not using provided you handle your money responsibly. Look at your economy, consider how a certain purchase will affect it long term and decide if it's worth it. In most cases your economy won't stand or fall with the purchase of a pedal (regardless if you use it or not). Amps are worse when it comes to cost but are also way easier to sort out in terms of "want" and "need".

Just my 2¢.
 

mirage2101

Well-Known Member
#26
Is it a true BBQ or a GAS grill....:D see what I did there?

I don't even know if it is really GAS because I don't know what I want. I know the sound I want, but I don't know how to get it. Perhaps it would be easier if I take my own advice that I gave you once. I should get in my car and drive to Germany to Music Store or Musik Produktiv and just try as much gear as I can to see if that helps with the problem.
A gas grill? Heresy!! You shall burn on coals!

Yes you should. I spend an afternoon at a store in amersfoort trying a lot of really expensive amps and none really worked out for me. The best way to get cured from wanting a mesa mark 5:25 was trying to dial it in at none ear shattering volumes.
What works on paper isn't always what you need.


As for digital gear and option paralysis:
The pod500 did that to me.. Or not actually paralysis.. I kept on tweaking never being truly happy. Somehow an amp with a couple of pedals forces me to be more realistic.
clean, eq on the amp done
crunch, pedal with some eq
lead, boost.
one maybe two delay functions or a shimmer..
And then you're done.
With digital gear I can go from fender clean to marshall lead so I keep going back to trying EVERYTHING in ALL combinations.
Not saying that digital is bad or doesn't have it's place. I love the katana but I can be very happy without connecting it to my pc and getting all the advanced options.
 

bad alice

Easily distracted and...OHLOOKAGUITAR!!!
#27
Great chat here guys - this is a terrific thread!
Thanks for starting it @Tankman
My sitch is this:
The Helix has been HUGE for me in terms of (almost - c’mon! The Ibanez WH10 is TOTALLY justified:D) eliminating amp and pedal GAS.
I say almost, because as gigging with my band gets closer, the realisation that my Cornell might thave to be sacrificed to fund something with more output has been crossing my mind. If we’re getting into the nuts and bolts of it, that is definitely in the *need* GAS bracket rather than the *want* - I fecking love the Cornell but cash limitations (real life is suuuuuuch a drag;)) means that I’d probably have to sell it to fund its replacement.
Guitars are a different story!
I go through a lot of guitars and you know what? I LOVE that! I love that having the opportunity to try out guitars for extended periods at home with (usually) zero cash loss. This means I get to try and take a chance on types of guitars that I wasn’t that sure I’d like - NEVER expected to like a Casino/whaddya know, I LOVE them! - and for me this is miles better than a furtive;) couple of hours in a shop test running a tempting axe.
The *problem*:D I’m facing now is that I currently own five guitars that I can’t envisage parting with - Joker, Rogue, Max, Wade and Hyde - and that means, as you can see on my current for sale thread, that I only have one *spot* left where I feel I can have some movement! I really enjoy buying/selling/trading and a big part of that has been meeting some great folk and, as a consequence, making some great new friends along the way. :) Foxy’s heading off to be replaced by...you’ll see;) but yeah, as I’m at my max in terms of space, my concern is more that this avenue of my life will close down a good deal.:(
In terms of GAS I have a few self imposed rules. The MAIN one being that if my head isn’t in a good place I immediately halt any thoughts of buying/selling/trading. In the same way that I’ve learned that poor mental health means making any kind of decision that involves significant change- and yes, a sale, trade or a purchase of a guitar constitutes exactly that in my head too - is a BAD IDEA. Mistakes can, and have, been made so learning from those is a form of “self protective common sense”.
Also, I’m not and never will be a professional musician!
Yes, my gear is a tool I use to express my emotions and an outlet for my creativity but really? It’s way more than that.
It’s a hobby, a passion, something that’s always there for me and never walks away, judges or offfers me any negative shit. Enjoyment is key. And I’m lucky in that I feel my GAS plays it’s own joyous and (importantly) healthy role in that.
If you find your GAS is causing you anxiety then my suggestion would be to take a break from looking at gear. Take a break from thinking about gear. Take a big deep slooooooow breath in...and then out. Slow everything down and...stop. For a day. For a week. For a month. For as long as it takes to dampen down the cycle of need. Our brains give us a dopamine boost when we buy new stuff. And that boost can become a habit (in the worst sense) that results in a type of nagging anxiety when our brains aren’t getting it. Don’t beat yourself up; this happens to everyone in some shape or form from time to time. Just recognise it, step away and, as daft as it might sound, give yourself PERMISSION not to buy the next guitar you like the look of. Or the next pedal. Or any of it.
If you feel even a little bit of relief?
You’re on the right path...
:hug:
:)
 

Chu

Well-Known Member
#28
I know the second I'll stand in my studio tonight the gas will be gone because I'll be surrounded with all that gear but when I'm at work and I have an Ebay tab open it starts to feel like a different story. :rolleyes:
I think this is a massive part of my GAS. I don't play a guitar through my amp and wish for anything but when I haven't played for a day or two, I start to obsess about weakness in my collection.

I'm currently mulling over a PRS SE7 7-string guitar with Evertune bridge so I can play everything in my band on one guitar. As the last gig we played was last year; why is this so important to me?
 

Tankman

Well-Known Member
#29
Great chat here guys - this is a terrific thread!
Thanks for starting it @Tankman
You are very welcome, @bad alice .

I do think I'm kind of in the same boat as you. When I worked in a guitar store it was so easy to get amazing deals on exclusive models etc. At one point I had 2 of the exact same flying V's, just in different colors, just because I could. I had two amp heads, just because it was a deal I couldn't pass. I didn't need any of them. I think at my highest point (and I know it's nothing compared to some guitar collections on here) I had 14 guitars, 3 or 4 amps and a giant pedalboard. It might not sound like much to some, but I was living in a small apartment at the time. It was too much and I had just quit my band so I didn't need any of it. I was just noodling around at home. I decided to break down the board and sell anything that I didn't use. I also sold all the amps and switched to a simple lunchbox head and cabinet setup for home use. I got my guitar collection down 4 electrics and 1 acoustic at the moment that are actually used, a Pedaltrain Metro 24 that's filled to the max and my Hot Rod.

Currently I have the rule that I don't invest extra money in gear, mostly because I have a wife who is also pregnant at the moment. The money needs to go to more important things. So if I want to buy something new, something old has to go to fund it. I also check Reverb more than I do shops nowadays. Why buy new if you can get it good as new for a fraction of the price. I've also started trading stuff with friends. I traded a cheap guitar for a Vintage 30 speaker, an octafuzz for an octaver and so on.

My anxiety with not being able to find a suitable amp has currently calmed down. I have decided, if there is nothing better for me, let's try to make what I have work. I'm going to try and get the weight of the amp down. As for my pedals, I do feel the need for more delay flavors than I currently have, so I might shuffle some stuff around there.

I think the most important thing for me to learn is to not be impulsive like with my last amp. I played it for almost 2 years and always loved. One night, it was just sounding like crap so impulsive me sold it. Even after plugging it in one more time before packing it and thinking 'damn, this sounds good'. The hard part is that I can only really test if gear works with my band, and we don't play every week. The impatience also gets to me.
 

Tankman

Well-Known Member
#30
I currently have an unjustified want for more tonal options when it comes to my pedalboard, but as discussed in other threads, if I buy something like an HX Effects I know I will in the end program 2 or 3 effects I like and never use the rest. It's that or my band tells me that they prefer that one sound over the 500 other options I have.

Perhaps my band is also not helping with my 'problem'. I love modulation effects and delay, but my band prefers it when I play straight clean or distorted. Whenever I step on an effect they say they prefer the dry sound. I don't overuse them. I try to put them in certain spots in songs where I feel it could make it more exciting.

I'm still thinking of shrinking down the contents of my pedalboard because of this.
 

Speedin Bob

Getcho Groovy Face ON!
#31
My GAS was out of MF control a few years ago. Like a new/new-to-me guitar once a month for about eight months. :eek:

The problem is/was not consumerism. It was ME; all the life-long crap I held onto, made excuses for, manipulated to my advantage, and, quite frankly, was leading quickly me to a whirlpool of chaos and hell of my own making.

The chase for the deal and ultimately getting it was only a temporary gratification. Trying to fill a bottomless void in ME with things (guitars/gear, food, clothes, festive libations, < insert whatever / >) instead of identifying the root of the problem within me and dealing with it head on.

What happened? 12 steps, rinse, repeat.

Sold nine guitars in one year and don't miss them. Pedals are a bit of a GAS thing currently yet it is kept in check.

Life is so much better now.
 

doctorpaul

Negative, Ghost Rider, the pattern is full.
Staff member
#32
I can comfortably say that I'm a reformed addict.
My GAS was strong for a while to begin with, and I brought in what gear I could.
Generally guitars and Marshalls. I ended up with a satisfying haul which I loved dearly. I wanted more but spent what I could afford.
Then I changed jobs (one of the best things I ever did), and overnight there was a fuck-tonne of disposable dosh.
For a LONG time, when I saw something I wanted, I got it. Why not.
It finally struck me what a bell-end I was being when I literally ran out of room to put guitars.
Home was full, my office attic was full ... it was absolutely out of control.
I worked out how much it all "owed" me, and it was twice my previous annual salary (and not a bad salary at all).
I figured it was quite silly.
So, as I've said before, I started selling, and using (most) of the cash to buy my 'dream gear'.
I'm down to about 1/3 of what I had, and am focussing down to a couple of dozen guitars that make me absolutely tingle.
I know I've said this before, but I currently have no desire for anything else.
Like ... nothing.
Who knows what will happen, but I'm happy to be happy.
Doc out.
 
#33
Long ramble incoming...feel free to skip it! :)

I had one year when I bought six guitars, but then two things happened in the same week that arrested my guitar purchasing. First, I bought my PRS Custom 24 which is so good that there is no way to buy a "better" guitar - it feels perfect to play, sounds great and looks beautiful. I pretty much have to force myself to play any other guitar.

Secondly, in the following week I did my first guitar-building course at Crimson Guitars. Even though that guitar sadly didn't work out (irreparable cock-up in the neck), it started my guitar-building hobby, and now I'm working on my 9th and 10th builds. These two, happily, will be winging their way over to people in England and so they won't stay with me, but there are six more that I've made and kept, so now I think I'm up to 22 guitars at home. This is far too many - in reality, five or six (including a couple of basses) would be plenty. Moreover, the next build will probably be a regular bass for me, although once that's finished I intend to sell my Yamaha starter bass (which is a perfectly fine instrument, but assuming that bass will be OK, that and my Chapman MLB-1 will be enough).

I really need to sell a few of my guitars but it's not easy to do that over here, and I don't want to put things on ebay and risk dodgy buyers. We'll see - perhaps in the run up to Christmas I can try again.

Returning to the GAS topic, these days I am still tempted by some nice-looking guitars (a PRS Hollowbody is a long-term goal) but I'm trying to be reasonable. It helps that we've recently spent a load of money on house maintenance, and we're also looking at replacing our kitchen next year, so some spare cash that was potentially available for the Hollowbody has disappeared, and I dropped my plans to reduce my working days in the last quarter of this year. Recently, though, my GAS has mostly turned into WAS - Wood Acquisition Syndrome - since I've been hunting around for really nice woods for building guitars (see this post in my "I've Got Wood" thread for the latest acquisitions). This can be just as expensive (the two new tops cost me £318), and I hate to think how much money I've poured into attending courses, converting my garage, buying tools and supplies, and buying nice woods. I got a bit keen on acquiring nice fretboards, and now I have about thirty fretboards at home, all quite different - I don't know if I'll ever actually make that many guitars!

Amps - I have three, don't use them very much since I still mostly play Rocksmith. Pedals - I have a nice pedalboard that I don't use very much for the same reason, and also because my latest amp is a Katana which has built-in effects which are much easier to use than dragging out my pedalboard. There's still the odd pedal that I don't have, like a fuzz &/or octave pedal, but I don't need them.

My bigger obsession these days is PAS - Pension Acquisition Syndrome. I really don't want to work until I'm 67, so I'm trying hard to build up some investments to allow me to retire early (and possibly make guitars semi-professionally to earn a small amount of money, but we'll see how viable that will be).
 

Wade Garrett

I am the projectionist.
#34
My bigger obsession these days is PAS - Pension Acquisition Syndrome. I really don't want to work until I'm 67, so I'm trying hard to build up some investments to allow me to retire early (and possibly make guitars semi-professionally to earn a small amount of money, but we'll see how viable that will be).
That's a great plan man, I really hope it works out for you.
 

Chu

Well-Known Member
#35
I currently have an unjustified want for more tonal options when it comes to my pedalboard, but as discussed in other threads, if I buy something like an HX Effects I know I will in the end program 2 or 3 effects I like and never use the rest. It's that or my band tells me that they prefer that one sound over the 500 other options I have.

Perhaps my band is also not helping with my 'problem'. I love modulation effects and delay, but my band prefers it when I play straight clean or distorted. Whenever I step on an effect they say they prefer the dry sound. I don't overuse them. I try to put them in certain spots in songs where I feel it could make it more exciting.

I'm still thinking of shrinking down the contents of my pedalboard because of this.
I have a silly relationship with effects. It's fair to say that I know i achieve better clarity and cut in my band best when I bin the effects. I try to keep it straight forward and only use modulation if the modulation is integral to the sound and the sound is integral to that part of the song. So I do have tones that have heaps of effects, for when there're no vocals and my playing is sparse and the effects fill out the sound for example but I try to keep it simple the rest of the time. Since losing the other guitarist, I always have a delay active and more effects have crept in and I'm starting to worry that it's actually worse like that but as our stuff has grown in complexity, I rarely get time to simply play and listen. I'm actually thinking of booking the rehearsal room for just me, playing our recordings of just the drums and bass through the PA and really listening to my tones whilst I play at high volume......
 
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Tankman

Well-Known Member
#36
I'm still thinking of shrinking down the contents of my pedalboard because of this.
I shrunk down the contents of my pedalboard. I'm currently down to a Wah, tuner, distortion and delay. I am about to pull the trigger on an HX Effects anyway. Despite me thinking it's unjustified, it might be the smart thing to do. Yes, I will probably program a handful of effects and never really use the rest, but if the mood strikes that I want to try something else, I can. I don't have to search all over Reverb or Ebay to find a deal on an effect that MIGHT satisfy my need and usually doesn't and gets sold within a month. I can just program something, try it, see if it works and decide what to do with it.

I've come to realise that to me pedal GAS comes form wanting every singl effects possible while having the smallest pedalboard possible. The HX should help me achieve that. I never really GAS for a specific pedal, but for a specific effect. If I have all the effects, I should have no GAS.
 

Remy

Middle Aged Newb
#38
I shrunk down the contents of my pedalboard. I'm currently down to a Wah, tuner, distortion and delay. I am about to pull the trigger on an HX Effects anyway. Despite me thinking it's unjustified, it might be the smart thing to do. Yes, I will probably program a handful of effects and never really use the rest, but if the mood strikes that I want to try something else, I can. I don't have to search all over Reverb or Ebay to find a deal on an effect that MIGHT satisfy my need and usually doesn't and gets sold within a month. I can just program something, try it, see if it works and decide what to do with it.

I've come to realise that to me pedal GAS comes form wanting every singl effects possible while having the smallest pedalboard possible. The HX should help me achieve that. I never really GAS for a specific pedal, but for a specific effect. If I have all the effects, I should have no GAS.
I think this is the biggest value to the HX Effects, and Line 6 was sneaky about how they trimmed the I/O on the Stomp so you basically HAVE to go with the HX if you want to use it primarily as a pedal board and not as the whole setup. Sure, there are some scenarios where you can avoid it, but basically if your goal is to use a traditional amp setup and another pedal or two with the effects board you'll need the HX Effects to make the I/O work out. On the other hand, it's not much more than a couple good pedals, less depending on the pedals. I'm building a board now and specifically bought a board with enough space that I could put that in along with the traditional pedals I most care about. I'm just debating whether to buy any more of the pedals I'm interested in or just get the digital unit and be done with it.

*eta* grrr, just cost myself $600 by talking myself into this. My local shop just got them in and I've wanted to play around with the whole product line as it is. I'm not gonna swear I'll keep it, but I'm going to give it a solid try and if it avoids me having to buy the three other pedals on my "buy asap" list it'll have worked out cost wise. Like Tankman, I'll probably program in my basic stuff and leave it. Maybe have a few snapshots, but my goal is less to play around with a million options and more to avoid having $1000 or more in pedals and a board that's three times bigger. I really like my Sovereign and Ethereal, but even they might wind up gone if I can get the tone I want purely using the HX Effects. I was working with things last night and thinking I really wanted to add a basic overdrive to the board so I could keep the amp really clean but still have a boosted signal on tap without distortion.
 
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mirage2101

Well-Known Member
#39
I think this is the biggest value to the HX Effects, and Line 6 was sneaky about how they trimmed the I/O on the Stomp so you basically HAVE to go with the HX if you want to use it primarily as a pedal board and not as the whole setup. Sure, there are some scenarios where you can avoid it, but basically if your goal is to use a traditional amp setup and another pedal or two with the effects board you'll need the HX Effects to make the I/O work out. On the other hand, it's not much more than a couple good pedals, less depending on the pedals. I'm building a board now and specifically bought a board with enough space that I could put that in along with the traditional pedals I most care about. I'm just debating whether to buy any more of the pedals I'm interested in or just get the digital unit and be done with it.

*eta* grrr, just cost myself $600 by talking myself into this. My local shop just got them in and I've wanted to play around with the whole product line as it is. I'm not gonna swear I'll keep it, but I'm going to give it a solid try and if it avoids me having to buy the three other pedals on my "buy asap" list it'll have worked out cost wise. Like Tankman, I'll probably program in my basic stuff and leave it. Maybe have a few snapshots, but my goal is less to play around with a million options and more to avoid having $1000 or more in pedals and a board that's three times bigger. I really like my Sovereign and Ethereal, but even they might wind up gone if I can get the tone I want purely using the HX Effects. I was working with things last night and thinking I really wanted to add a basic overdrive to the board so I could keep the amp really clean but still have a boosted signal on tap without distortion.
I started out thinking I'd use pedals in combination with the hx effects. But within a couple of weeks everything dissapeared.. Just the HX now and I'm really happy with it.
 

Remy

Middle Aged Newb
#40
Yeah, that is what makes it so tempting. Even if I keep those two pedals, since they're pretty fundamental items, I'd probably keep them as alternate items for another setup, not on my regular board. I may literally just skip everything else and run the HX, but still with 4cs. I can just bundle three of the cables for most of their length. A few lengths of elastic cable shroud... Luckily I was just getting going with my board, even if I don't sell or return anything I'm not taking a big hit. I'll look silly with the two Wamplers on a Metro 20 though. lol

I use Bias all the time and while I can hear the difference, in terms of the effects I'm not sure I care. It's more the amp and speaker side.
 
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