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  #61  
Old 04-15-2021, 02:08 PM
Br1ck Br1ck is offline
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Check out Chris Stapelton's Tiny Desk concert. Someone asked him about his old Gibson LG2 with the worn to wood patches. He said he had a lot of guitars, but just came back to this one, and he didn't cause the finish wear. He just found the sound that worked.

There is a lot of paid promotion going on too. I mean, is playing a Taylor on tour going to ruin your sound? Probably not. I would not pass up the free money at that point if I were in that position.
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  #62  
Old 04-15-2021, 02:50 PM
Kyle215 Kyle215 is offline
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Just to add to the list of expensive instruments...

I was listening to Billy Strings’ podcast - he was talking about how he played someone else’s Collings OM (pretty sure it was a Collings, anyway) and liked it so much that he got Preston Thompson to spec one just like it for him.

That’s separate and apart from his stage guitar, which Thompson did a limited run of for $8.5k. Theres a pretty cool video out there on YouTube too, of him giving the same model to his dad.

http://pktguitars.com/acoustic-guita...mited-edition/

Last edited by Kyle215; 04-15-2021 at 03:37 PM.
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  #63  
Old 04-15-2021, 03:18 PM
phavriluk phavriluk is offline
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I admit to reading but a few postings in this thread. My opinion is that wealthy guitarists (figuring that the guitars played a hand in the generation of wealth) learned that owning fancy guitars were less important than knowing what to do with them...

And their aspirations of luxury don't extend to what for them is the chump change associated with boutique guitars.
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  #64  
Old 04-15-2021, 03:38 PM
lowrider lowrider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phavriluk View Post
I admit to reading but a few postings in this thread. My opinion is that wealthy guitarists (figuring that the guitars played a hand in the generation of wealth) learned that owning fancy guitars were less important than knowing what to do with them...

And their aspirations of luxury don't extend to what for them is the chump change associated with boutique guitars.
Now that is the best reply in the thread!
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  #65  
Old 04-15-2021, 03:58 PM
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raysachs raysachs is offline
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A while ago, I was even more into bicycles than Iím currently into guitars. It was the same dynamic. Professional bike racers rode what they were paid to ride. The very top racers had a say in the designs of what they were paid to ride. And years ago, some of the top racers rode custom made bikes that were finished to look like the bikes made by the team sponsor with the brand stickers covering the actual brand of the custom bikes they rode.

The other thing is when youíre racing, riding as hard as you can, you are NOT thinking about the bike. At all. Youíre thinking about your body and how to manage your output to get to the finish in the fastest time, to maintain enough energy to chase down attacks, maybe launch a few yourself, etc. I was a recreational rider who did just enough racing to understand the different sensations. When I was on a recreational ride, staying well within myself, I really appreciated a bike that rode just exactly perfect - I had time to enjoy and appreciate the quality of the ride, the subtlety of the balance and handling, etc. In a race, itís just a tool - it has to be reliable and adjusted to fit you such that you could get power into the pedals efficiently. Beyond that, it didnít matter, you werenít appreciating the subtleties of the bike - you were too busy managing your performance...

I think the same thing largely applies to musical instruments. When I played out a lot in my youth, I had a strat and a D28. I liked them both, but when I was playing with and/or for other people, I wasnít thinking about the qualities of the instruments - I was trying to make sure I was playing what I was supposed to be playing, was listening to the other musicians more than myself, so I could respond to what they were playing. As long as the gear was something I was familiar with and reliable, that was what mattered most.

Today Iím a home player and could take the time to really appreciate the tonal subtleties of a high end guitar. Iím not a great player by a long shot, Iím very happy with my strat and CEO-7. Iím sure Iíd enjoy a really high end acoustic, Iíd be inspired by the sound of it, but I wouldnít make any better music on a Lowden or Olsen or Collings or Pre-War or whatever than I do on my Martin.

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  #66  
Old 04-15-2021, 04:18 PM
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This is a fun thread, and I'd love to offer myself as a reporter and interview 100 famous musicians to get to the bottom of it!
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  #67  
Old 04-15-2021, 04:35 PM
Keith G50 Keith G50 is offline
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I think guitars, and instruments in general, are tools for most musicians. A nice Martin, Gibson, etc. is plenty guitar to get the job done. Itís people on forums that get all geeked out on $10K custom guitars. 😆 If you can get the job done with a $2K tool just as well as a $10K tool, well I see an extra $8K in my bank account.
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  #68  
Old 04-15-2021, 05:02 PM
tadol tadol is offline
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I know that a number of our luthiers have made wonderful guitars for some very famous musicians - but they aren't taking those on stage. In fact, they may rarely leave the house, but that doesn't mean they don't really like them. They tend to take guitars that are much more easily replaced, and are set-up for the amplified, stage demands, that their custom acoustics simply weren't built for. Bruce Sexauer delivered custom ordered guitars to 3 members of Imagine Dragons backstage before they played a show locally. And he's even built one of them a couple of violins. Those are just the most recent. But when these master luthiers work with these famous musicians, its not that they are famous - they are working for very qualified and talented musicians who know what they want and can afford to have it built - not to show off, but for their personal enjoyment. They do not get special deals, or freebies, like a number of artists do from the big factories. When you see someone playing a Santa Cruz guitar - whether its Tony Rice or Brad Paisley or Eric Clapton or whoever - they ordered and bought that guitar, pretty much like you or I would -
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  #69  
Old 04-15-2021, 05:22 PM
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I would also like to point out that when most musicians start out, they start from humble beginnings. Like many of us, they saved up and bought that first "real" guitar, whether it be a Martin, Taylor, Gibson, etc. Perhaps there's a certain loyalty and nostalgia that goes with that. Plus it just so happens that they fall into this realm...

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They tend to take guitars that are much more easily replaced, and are set-up for the amplified, stage demands, that their custom acoustics simply weren't built for.
There are a few exceptions to the rule, and I would guess that we will see more and more musicians with custom luthier or small shop guitars as their popularity and population grows (by this I mean the popularity and population of custom/boutique guitars). Ben Harper seems to show up every now and then with a nice Monteleone or something else unique. Dave Matthews now primarily plays Rockbridge as does Warren Haynes and Jimmie Herring (Widespread Panic). On the electric side, I guess you can say that more and more players are using Paul Reed Smith (think Santana), and probably the most exclusive one off club would be Trey Anastasio (Phish) and his 35+ year relationship with Paul Languedoc. By the way, get me on Languedoc's build list, and I'll be your Phriend!
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  #70  
Old 04-15-2021, 05:40 PM
dhockenbury dhockenbury is offline
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I have wondered how many record with the brands they play onstage.
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  #71  
Old 04-15-2021, 05:50 PM
jaymarsch jaymarsch is offline
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A lot of them do own boutique, handmade guitars, they just donít go on the road with them. Many known performers have much bigger guitar collections than the general public may ever know about.
Best,
Jayne
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  #72  
Old 04-15-2021, 06:01 PM
wguitar wguitar is offline
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They're already got fame and fortune, so most don't need an expensive, high-end guitar to show off. Their guitar(s) is the tool of their trade, just like carpenters often use the same hammer they have owned for years, or a golfer uses that trusty OLD putter. So they use the guitar(s) that they bond with best and are perhaps "one with" on stage (and maybe for practice), and one that gives them the sound/effect they're seeking to musically achieve. Each performer is different, as each of us are. Some might collect expensive cars instead of guitars. Who knows? Not to mention there is a point of diminishing returns on guitars, and price does not always directly correlate to "better" (which is subjective and in the eye/ear of the beholder). Whatever they play or own, I'm thankful for all the great music they've created and shared with us all these years!

Cheers!
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  #73  
Old 04-15-2021, 06:50 PM
Denny B Denny B is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
Check out Chris Stapelton's Tiny Desk concert. Someone asked him about his old Gibson LG2 with the worn to wood patches. He said he had a lot of guitars, but just came back to this one, and he didn't cause the finish wear. He just found the sound that worked.
I heard Stapleton say one time that he was pretty sure that old LG2 still had some mud inside from being used to paddle up a well known creek...
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  #74  
Old 04-15-2021, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaymarsch View Post
A lot of them do own boutique, handmade guitars, they just donít go on the road with them. Many known performers have much bigger guitar collections than the general public may ever know about.
Best,
Jayne
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Yes, this!! Who knew that Tommy Emmanuel had a guitar made by David Taylor? Or Jackson Browne and David Crosby with their McAlister?

Also, there are not a few stories about stage guitars being damaged in transit from one venue to another. The solution? Pick up another exact or close copy of their guitar locally (Martin, Gibson, Taylor, etc.) that can be set up by their techs.
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  #75  
Old 04-15-2021, 08:16 PM
Mandobart Mandobart is offline
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My non-scientific opinions:

1. As mentioned several times, most musicians I've known aren't really into gear. Quite a few of us fall into the "stuff" trap - if I had more/better stuff I would play and sound better and enjoy music more. A professional musician, especially one supporting their family by playing music, doubly especially one financially well off solely from being a musician? They don't have to improve anymore. They've arrived. Usual disclaimers like Jackson Browne apply.

2. Sponsorships. AKA giving expensive gear to those who can easily afford to buy it vs a new poor kid starting out....

3. Reality of playing live with sound reinforcement. Amplification is the great equalizer. We all know there is a constant diminishing returns as we go up the guitar food chain. You spend an awful lot for tone no one in the house you play in can hear.

4. Their own ears have suffered as an occupational hazard. Hard to convince a successful player that boutique brand X is markedly better when they all kinda sound the same to old, worn, tinnitus-ridden ears.
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