Gear rules / preferences?

Wade Garrett

I am the projectionist.
#1
I was thinking about gear today while looking at my guitars and and started thinking about how my tastes have developed over the years. I used to have a few hard and fast rules like a guitar must have humbuckers, 24 frets, locking trem etc. By now I don't really have such thoughts but I think it's because I don't record and gig any more, the things I wanted in gear was what the music I was playing called for (in my eyes at least). I've never been very fussy when it comes to amps other that it sounded good for the genre I was playing, flexibility for instance wasn't on my radar. The effect I wanted most of the time was a wah, although I hardly touch that these days either.

Do you have any rules when it comes to your gear?

Actually, I have thought of one thing that would annoy me, the guitar must have at least 22 frets. 21 is awkward, I'd rather have that tone bend to E.
 

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#2
I definitely have rules.

Must be hardtail, preferably not TOM-style, but Fender style.
If it has to be a trem, like on my strat, then a vintage style trem that I can block off.
Must have a humbucker in the bridge position, with the exception being my strat again.
If I even do neck pickups, this is preferably a single coil. But if it's up to me, no neck pickup.
Fretboard has to be preferably maple. Otherwise Ebony.
Neck has to be maple.
Body has to be Alder or Mahogany. Don't care for exotic bodywoods. Perhaps the topwoods can be exotic.
Finish has to be flat.
Must have 22 frets, with again the exception being my strat with 21.

And the main rule is that the guitar has to make sense to me and not test my OCD. So pickups have to be 1 brand. I don't like mixing pickup brands in one guitar. Hardware colors have to match the body color. No odd shapes. Etc etc.

Having said that. I just desribed my cusotm made purple strat again. That one checks all the boxes for complying with the rules.
 

Sustainerplayer

On the edge of breakup
#3
Rules? I don't need no stinking rules! :D

Other than 25,5 scale, preferably strat-like-body, 6130 frets, NYXL strings, Pau Ferro, maple or ebony board, locking tuners, no tone pots, DiMarzio or Seymour Duncan pickups and any candy color you can imagine ... and my Fractal Audio Axe Fx III.

Those are the rules ... 'til I break them :p
 

metromusic

Negative, I am a meat popsicle
#4
I used to only play guitars with tuneomatic bridges as a steadfast rule. Now I have more guitars without them than with! My tastes have really changed and developed over the years, so many things that I used to think about guitars has mainly gone out of the window. As long as it plays good and sounds good, that's all fine for me!
 
#6
Just one rule these days - no more buying guitar gear. I have way more than I could ever need, and I'm accumulating guitars as I make them so I'm trying, if anything, to sell a few of them.

For the guitars that I make, the main rule is never to build something that can be bought in a shop - it always has to be something unique! :)
 

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#7
Rules? I don't need no stinking rules! :D

Other than 25,5 scale, preferably strat-like-body, 6130 frets, NYXL strings, Pau Ferro, maple or ebony board, locking tuners, no tone pots, DiMarzio or Seymour Duncan pickups and any candy color you can imagine ... and my Fractal Audio Axe Fx III.

Those are the rules ... 'til I break them :p
I forgot about scale.

Must be 25.5 inch scale, although I make exceptions for PRS's with 25 inch scales.
 

mirage2101

Well-Known Member
#8
I have to use what I have. As soon as I don't use it anymore it goes.
As harsh as it sounds.. If I haven't touched something for half a year, I hook it up and it doesn't inspire a month long playing spree. It's time has passed.
It's not that I don't have room I just don't like to clutter everything up.

For guitars, anything that plays well and sounds good is fair game. Same for amps as long as it can work on bedroom volume. I don't think I'll be buying pedals anymore. With hx effects / kemper stuff there's so much flexibility the specific sound of one pedal won't matter.
 

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#9
I don't think I'll be buying pedals anymore. With hx effects / kemper stuff there's so much flexibility the specific sound of one pedal won't matter.
I'm sort of the same with pedals. I have the HX. It has everything. For recording, our bass player / studio engineer has a decent collection of pedals we use. If I find a pedal that has a unique sound that I actually use on recordings that is not covered by the above mentioned, then i will consider getting it. The only pedals I own besided my HX now is the regular CryBaby, the Crybaby Mini, which lives on my pedalboard and the Dr No Mother Brain delay, because there is no other delay like it.
 

Felix

Addicted to Grunge
#10
The only rule(s) I have, is that just looking at the guitar, makes me want to pick it up and play and has to be able to beat my modded LP Custom.

I use to be a Fender only kinda guy as a teen, but got into Gibson's when I lusted after a '67 Flying V. 6 Les Paul's later I get my Custom and I've never had a guitar I just like as much as this. Even my uncle complimented how nice the neck was on it.
 

DrJazztap

Well-Known Member
#11
I started playing in 1993 (i feel old) I used to buy Guitarist every month. I read an interview with Yngwie, I've never been an Yngwie fan but figured he must know what he was on about. He mentioned that ideally a guitar shouldnt have a locking nut as it cuts off the vibration in the neck which was his secret for great tone. I've stuck to that, and SRV's thing for heavy strings.

I used to think that the best sounding guitar was one without a trem on, a hardtail. I'd never really found "my strat" a few have come close (custom shop heavy relic and the american vintage). I've generally prefered humbuckers, but for some reason I've always loved strats (must have been the early hendrix imprint). I never played one live, but I have to have one for...reasons???

I still think the SG is an incredibly versatile guitar, I can play pretty much anything on mine. And that's the lesson I think, the guitar is just a thing. I've had that SG for 21 years now (christ) and it's like an old pair of shoes. I still wouldnt mind a LP Custom with gold hardware on, but for what purpose?

For the longest time I really wanted a flamey guitar, I bought the Tokai and then the DGT and both are stunning. I ended up selling the Tokai, as much it was an incredible guitar the 335 shape wasnt comfortable for me. I still have the DGT and as lovely as it is, if i changed the machine heads on the SG that would be sufficient for me. I havent touched the DGT in nearly two months. I love the supreme build quality of the PRS, I'm just slightly ashamed of how blingy it is. If it was a standard with moons on then that would be lovely.

In terms of amps, I've kind of gone full circle massively complicated to straight forward with a huge pedal board. Now complicated amp again with a mildly complicated board.

My biggest learning curve has been pedals, ive pretty much stopped trying to develop the perfect board and have accepted that will never happen. Now I try and stick with what I've got. i still have a few bug bears to iron out, compressor and fat boost/distortion pedal. But my wah has been constant since 1994. I'm perfectly happy with my chorus, phasor, flanger and delay pedal. I dont go hunting for the next best thing. It's hard not to. But the Tom Morello thing about sticking with your gear and making that work is a valuable lesson.
 

SemiCullen

Still haven't got the hang of Thursdays
#12
I kind of have to force myself to play my entire guitar collection. I generally play bass one day, guitar the next, sometimes both in one day, and I generally try to go around the room from one guitar to the next, day-to-day. But I will fall into that one guitar that just makes me want to play it over and over. Recently that's been my cheap, Squier Tele. I've been playing that so much that I begin to question what the big deal is with my "favorite" Eastman '59 Les Paul copy and then I pick up the Eastman again and go, "Oh yeah."

So, my rule with guitars, as of right now, is that I can't buy anything unless it fulfills a role I don't currently have. For example, I don't currently own a Strat. I don't own a baritone.

For basses ... I think I'm done buying basses for a while. I have a pretty nice collection and have a really good tonal variety at my disposal.

Amps ... I still have pretty strong GAS for a Kemper, but I don't *need* one. Since I get most of my gain sounds and such from pedals, I really only need a good clean platform and I find myself using my Katana more than anything else.

Pedals ... no more than one every couple of months.
 

Tankman

Subtly not giving a F*ck
#13
I found another rule while playing with the band last friday. The volume pot must be easy to adjust on the fly. If it's stiff, I'm in trouble. I need to be able to quickly and accurately adjust it with my pinky. This is essential for medium to low gain sounds, as I only use the one high output humbucker.
 

ed lespaul

Well-Known Member
#14
For me, must be a super strat; Floyd rose, bridge humbucker, 22 fret. Not a big fan of 21 fret necks either, even though I have a Ritchie Blackmore strat with 21. Seems limiting, even though I might not play the high D, or bend to E much.
 
#16
I have a few rules and guidelines, some frequently broken, some easier to follow. Mainly I must ask myself if I'm about to buy something I'm going to use or if it's just something I want. The Miku pedal is a great example of this; I really wanted it because it seemed fun, then I thought about how I'd actually use it and figured that yeah, I'll laugh about it with friends once in a blue moon after the initial hour or so of experimenting but otherwise it would gather dust, so I skipped it. I've never regretted deciding against buying any of those products.

Another rule is to avoid far-eastern products, mainly guitars and amps. This one is frequently broken since it often comes down to "Either I get the far-eastern product or I won't get it at all". The only time I've regretted one of those purchases is when I've underestimated my economy and managed to get the non-far-eastern version (or a more high-end one) later on.

While these are more guidelines than rules I also have a few more concrete rules regarding guitars:
- No modern-C-necks on Fenders
- No satin necks
- No emg's (or emg-copies)
- No floyds
- No neck-dive

However, these are crucial for me to even be interested in or like a guitar so it's not like I'm actively trying to follow the list, the points just check themselves off when I manage to find a guitar.

But honestly, the mind is weird, if I see something I really like for whatever reason most of my rules and guidelines go out the window. Life is too short and miserable to fight against myself on things that really don't matter.
 

ten-foot-tryptych

half rock, half gas
#19
Preferences, not strict rules
Straps
Vegetable tanned leather
8cm wide
No metal parts (buckles, rivets etc)
No metal strap locks

Pickups
No high output / ceramic types

Necks
Maple boards on F type
Rosewood boards on G type (would like ebony but I've never had one)
No "U" shape or full on baseball bats
No vintage thin frets
No sticky, squeaky poly finish

Tuners
Vintage split post

Bodies
Nitro type (or satin) finish.
No cherry burst
Not black

Hardware
No trem
No gold
Button string trees

Pots
Super loose volume pot

Strings
Ernie Ball super slinky or Hybrid slinky

Brand name

Hmmmm, would rather have no name than Harley Benton. I wish they'd called them Thomman guitars or even No Frills guitars.
 
Last edited:

Wade Garrett

I am the projectionist.
#20
I don't have rules I have preferences.
Preferences, not strict rules
Straps
Vegetable tanned leather
8cm wide
No metal parts (buckles, rivets etc)
No metal strap locks

Pickups
No high output / ceramic types

Necks
Maple boards on F type
Rosewood boards on G type (would like ebony but I've never had one)
No "U" shape or full on baseball bats
No vintage thin frets
No sticky, squeaky poly finish

Tuners
Vintage split post

Bodies
Nitro type (or satin) finish.
No cherry burst
Not black

Hardware
No trem
No gold
Button string trees

Pots
Super loose volume pot

Strings
Ernie Ball super slinky or Hybrid slinky

Brand name
Hmmmm, would rather have no name than Harley Benton. I wish they'd called them Thomman guitars or even No Frills guitars.
Preferences is s better choice of word than rules.
 
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