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  #16  
Old 09-29-2023, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by jacf View Post
I tend to gig my good guitars when possible (and will continue to do so when I can), so I've never had to make that choice or compromise before but I'm wondering if some of you folks have opted to take cheaper guitars for gigging and if you have been happy or unhappy with the outcome? Is there a downside I'm missing?
The downsides depend on the player. In the past I've had lesser instruments in the house with the idea that I'd take them on certain gigs to lessen worry. At the end of the day, I invariably wished I had my preferred instrument and just made peace with the fact that my instruments are for gigging, and if a gig is safe for me, it would be safe for my instrument.

The only caveat to that is if I'm in a situation where I'd have people sitting in and playing my instrument. In that case I'm frankly not going to do that with my main basses or guitars. That said, I really don't take those gigs any more (mostly were being backline for jazz jams on bass) so it is less of an issue.

The only other caveat is if you're playing someplace with hostile weather conditions. But I'm back to the cardinal rule of if it is ok for my body, it is ok for the instrument.

Totally ymmv and I get why folks want a "beater" (relatively speaking) for certain gigs or for a tour. But I've ended up with the instruments I have for good reason, so they're going to the gig.
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  #17  
Old 09-29-2023, 12:46 PM
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I think for some, playing a cheap guitar makes them feel like a cheap guitar player and that feeling is reflected in their music. Others not so much so.
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  #18  
Old 09-29-2023, 01:13 PM
leew3 leew3 is offline
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All of my guitars are 'good' in terms of their cost. I gig with the four that have pickups but to be honest, I play them out because I enjoy playing them. Only the very few guitar geeks that see us notice as the majority of your audience doesn't. Play what makes you feel best playing.
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  #19  
Old 09-29-2023, 01:19 PM
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There's been lots of good comments already, so I'll echo some of the ones that hit home for me.

-You have to like playing it and it's comfortable.
-it has to sound good to your ears, makes you play better.
-once it's plugged in, the playing field is leveled if you have a decent pickup.
-truth is, most people don't care what you are playing if you are sounding good.
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  #20  
Old 09-29-2023, 01:32 PM
jacf jacf is offline
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Originally Posted by warfrat73 View Post
Honestly, I feel like if you're gigging your way across Europe, you're probably perfectly qualified to answer this question yourself.
I spent 40 years just playing electric guitars in a band setting, so playing solo acoustic gigs is still pretty new for me. Having a few decent electric guitars to trade is why I managed to get some nice guitars from the outset, so Iíve always been able to gig with nice guitars too. I think it would have to be a decent guitar just so that I felt comfortable with it, and setup is crucial, I agree. A M20 would be ideal, and yes, I can spend the money, but gigging, recording and releasing your own music in your 60s isnít a hugely profitable business (hahahahaha!), so I donít look to spend money I donít need to when that money could be wasted making CDs or something. .

Anyway, this is all great info and hopefully useful to other people too. Thanks everyone, really appreciating your collective wisdom.
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  #21  
Old 09-29-2023, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jricc View Post
There's been lots of good comments already, so I'll echo some of the ones that hit home for me.

-You have to like playing it and it's comfortable.
-it has to sound good to your ears, makes you play better.
-once it's plugged in, the playing field is leveled if you have a decent pickup.
-truth is, most people don't care what you are playing if you are sounding good.
I think this is a fine summary.
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  #22  
Old 09-29-2023, 02:10 PM
CharlieBman CharlieBman is offline
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If a guitar doesn't sound and feel good, I don't play it. Period. Doesn't have to be expensive, but it should make me smile when I play it. Otherwise it's just a distraction that challenges inspiration. If you don't enjoy the guitar you're performing with, the audience will feel that too. That's my nickel's worth.
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  #23  
Old 09-29-2023, 02:52 PM
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I'd make my first stop the Emerald Guitars shop for one of their smaller carbon fiber guitars with a pickup. Travel worry free.

A Blackbird Savoy is a more organic looking instrument. I played one and was very impressed. Both these instruments are not cheap. Both would survive, sound great, and serve a useful purpose when you return.
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  #24  
Old 09-29-2023, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Br1ck View Post
I'd make my first stop the Emerald Guitars shop for one of their smaller carbon fiber guitars with a pickup. Travel worry free.

A Blackbird Savoy is a more organic looking instrument. I played one and was very impressed. Both these instruments are not cheap. Both would survive, sound great, and serve a useful purpose when you return.
Nah. Iíve given it a lot of thought and Iím pretty settled on either the Guild M20 or the M120. An all hog feels like a guitar I can also use in the studio too, on occasion.
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  #25  
Old 09-29-2023, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jacf View Post
I tend to gig my good guitars when possible (and will continue to do so when I can), so I've never had to make that choice or compromise before but I'm wondering if some of you folks have opted to take cheaper guitars for gigging and if you have been happy or unhappy with the outcome? Is there a downside I'm missing?
I tried that approach and bought myself a well-used Larrivee L-03 on eBay.

It plays nice enough, and sounds nice enough, but the response and tone is not very inspiring to me.

I used it on one tour and a conference. That was enough for me to decide that I needed better. (I still own it and in fact took it to Maui last winter.)

I realized that - for me - if I didn't have the confidence, comfort and excitement that comes from a very good/great instrument, that I could not perform at the level I desired.

So, the choice of which guitar comes down to MY desires, not my audiences needs. It's all about me.
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  #26  
Old 09-29-2023, 10:00 PM
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Smile Good enough

It needs to be good enough to inspire you.

If not your gig will be less than optimal

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  #27  
Old 09-29-2023, 10:32 PM
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I agree with the post above - it's got to inspire you.

I did something similar a few years back - got myself a Epiphone acoustic with a pickup. I was forever tinkering with it to get the action and sound that I wanted. In the end I gave it away and I have a couple of good ones I gig with now.
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  #28  
Old 09-30-2023, 03:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon Currie View Post

I realized that - for me - if I didn't have the confidence, comfort and excitement that comes from a very good/great instrument, that I could not perform at the level I desired.

So, the choice of which guitar comes down to MY desires, not my audiences needs. It's all about me.
This is the airline oxygen mask approach. You have to take care yourself first.
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  #29  
Old 09-30-2023, 04:14 AM
Robin, Wales Robin, Wales is offline
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I like playing guitars that have a bit of "character" - that's what gives me the buzz. And, to be honest, you can find guitars like that at any price range.

Your Guild Westerly 120m with a sound hole p/u seems like a great idea. Go and play one - and if you like it, buy it.

BTW - I don't agree that you get a better playing guitar by spending more cash. Many cheap guitars have very good geometry and stability these days - and so will set-up just as perfectly as an expensive guitar. The guitar that's most spoiled princess like when it comes to set-up is my D-18 (but I can forgive it!). My $350 guitars, once set-up, have stayed that way come rain or shine.
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  #30  
Old 09-30-2023, 04:29 AM
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Most people I know who play out choose the guitar they feel most comfortable playing, usually cheaper guitars. When you play through a pickup and primarily on smaller and cheaper PAs, sound becomes less important.
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