The Wish List: What Gear Do You Want?


For reasons I can’t really explain, I spend countless hours online and in various guitar shops looking at the many different “toys.” I don’t really have the dough to buy anything, yet I still hit up the stores, and browse the web.

It’s not like I’m dreaming of owning an incredibly expensive guitar or amp, or anything like that. In fact, I am kind of the opposite. I usually look at the less expensive gear, because it’s the stuff I’d actually buy if I came into the money. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve also looked at the high-end gear that many of us long for. But for me, I only check out the expensive stuff once in a while. Even when I check out the higher end gear, I’m still looking at the lower-end models, because it’s more realistic for me.


I was in a guitar store near Seattle several years ago just browsing. Sat down for a few minutes to play a nice Les Paul that ran about $1,900 bucks. One of the sales reps walked up and handed me this beautiful black cherry colored guitar. Man was this thing nice! Smooth…. so smooth in fact, that it almost played itself. I was blown away by the feel of this thing. The sound? Incredible! Man, that thing was so sweet. After playing it for just a few minutes with the rep hovering over me, he asks, “What do you think? Nice huh?” “It’s awesome!” I replied. “That has got to be the nicest guitar I have ever played. How much?” I asked.

He responded with,”It’s on special this weekend for only $8,888 plus tax.” I almost fell over! I actually started getting nervous holding the damn thing now. I was afraid I was going to somehow hurt this beautiful work of art. I sat there for a minute, considering whether to continue to strum it a few more times or hand it back. Nervously, I handed it back to the sales rep. Now IF, I were a working musician, I might consider a guitar like that. But only if I were making the money to support having that kind of gear. For me, and the budget I operate on, we’re going to need to drop one of those digits! Don’t get me wrong, I would love to own a really nice (expensive) guitar some day. It’s something I think I would really treasure. But in reality, I can’t justify spending that much money on a guitar, or an amp. Even if I had the money, I would more likely go and buy a bunch of different things rather than one or two high priced items.


I’m a Les Paul guy. I’d like to have another. Alright, I gotta be honest…. I want (at least) two more Les Paul’s. But not the real expensive ones. The one I play now was $500 and I love it! I’d also like to get something with a Floyd Rose on it. A nice acoustic perhaps to add to my collection. Of course I’d also like to get a nice tube amp. Not a great big earth-shaking high powered stack or anything, although that would be nice! I would likely go for a smaller but still great sounding amp. I have also recently checked out several custom guitar and amp builders. Many of which can be found here on SMG. Maybe a guitar built just for me! Or an amp! That would be cool! Maybe I would add a few effects pedals and accessories and I am done.


How much do you spend? It would be easy to create a list like this based on winning the lottery or something. Just give me two of everything please! Just because I can! But let’s stay in the realm of what some would or could call reality. Some people scrimp and save all they can to acquire their precious gear. Others may find their gear essential to earning a living, so their budget may be different for the gear they require. I have a couple of friends who recently received nice tax returns and went out and got some new gear. How much is enough? How much is too much? Easily a different answer for everyone. Still I ponder…. what would I get if I had, say $3,000 and could spend it all on guitars and gear? Not enough for you? Give yourself more, $5,000 or $10,000? Is your realistic budget much less? Is $1,500 more realistic for you? What “toys” would you get? How much are you willing to spend on a guitar and other gear? If you had a big lump-sum of cash, would you run down and get that one “Holy Grail” guitar you that you dream about at your local shop? Or would you get it’s knock off cousin? Or would you get some different stuff? Things you wouldn’t normally shop for. Like maybe a steel guitar, or maybe some studio equipment. Do you have a wish list? Do you dream big, or realistically? What gear do you want?

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