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Emotional buy?

J Dale

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May 8, 2021
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5
Howdy All,

Anybody ever buy for emotional reasons (besides just liking the guitar)?

Personally, I'm trying to decide what to do. My dad passed last year and I inherited a couple Fenders. His Gibsons went to my siblings who don't play guitar. My father had a beautiful 1974 Gibson Black Beauty Custom, a Fretless Wonder. I loved the sound but could NOT dig the low frets. Rather than hack the guitar up I encouraged my sister to take it.

At the present I have been GASsing hard for a Gibson. I miss the 24.75 scale, the flatter radius, and humbuckers of course. I've been wanting an ebony fretboard too.

So I have decided to buy a Gibson and am having a terrible time deciding which. I'm in France, which somewhat complicates things. I would love to pick up a newish black Custom, just like my dad's, but with bigger frets. It is emotionally tough (though not impossible), as well, to pay that much coin. Alternatively I could pick up a much cheaper older studio with an ebony board. There's a local white one with a lot of scars and a headstock repair. It's sort of the opposite of the guitar my dad had, which was amazing and very well kept and protected (it hardly had a scratch). The idea of picking up something that contrasts with my dad's guitar (in that it's white, beat-up, and cheaper), sounds cool, but so does having something very close to what my father had. Ultimately I hope to pick up a Gibson that I LOVE to play. That's the whole point in the end.

Anybody have any stories about emotional purchases? Any advice is welcome too.

J Dale
 
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J Dale

New member
Joined
May 8, 2021
Messages
5
people buy Historic Gibson guitars on emotion - then justify the purchase with logic
There are probably lots of reasons why people buy what they buy. I was just wondering if anyone has ever sought a certain guitar (or kind of guitar) based on human relationships they've had.
 

stumphead

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Dec 12, 2018
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399
There are probably lots of reasons why people buy what they buy. I was just wondering if anyone has ever sought a certain guitar (or kind of guitar) based on human relationships they've had.
no - that would be a bad way to pick a guitar
I would recommend one of these three reasons :

1) you love the tone
2) its a good deal and represents a good investment
3) both
 

J Dale

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May 8, 2021
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no - that would be a bad way to pick a guitar
I would recommend one of these three reasons :

1) you love the tone
2) its a good deal and represents a good investment
3) both
Thanks for your perspective.
 

zhivago

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Sep 29, 2004
Messages
1,322
Every vintage guitar I have ever purchased has been an emotional buy, so I held out until the exact one I wanted became available. The right model, year and colour. This has always ensured satisfaction...my advice would be to go with something that looks like your dad's guitar. Best of luck with your hunt. :cool:
 
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Apr 15, 2021
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Not exactly the same deep personal reason, but some people by "artist series" guitars because the have a real emotional attraction to how a famous artist plays or the tone they have. If you have the cash and are willing to track it down, why not? You might have both sentimental reasons and real tone/style reasons for buying. Maybe get something that works for you now, and then later add a more sentimental guitar.

Personally all my guitars and gear are things that work for me. More or less tools of the trade, but extremely valuable to me. But then none of my relatives played instruments. They had nice guns though:)
 

Shelkonnery

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Jan 28, 2021
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Aren't all guitar buys emotinal? :cool:
(Unless of course you are a touring/session musician that literally needs tools for labor).

Try both and see which ones speaks to you the most.
You'll know it when you grab it!

You can also flip a coin.
You'll instinctively hope for one side to land face up before you even check the result.
That's the one you truly desire.
 

Tim Plains

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Aug 1, 2013
Messages
712
First off, sorry for your loss.

Why do you have to play the same or similar guitar to what your dad played? For me, the connection would be simply the fact that you both enjoy(ed) electric guitar.

If you do decide to get a black Custom, why don't you approach your sister about buying his? Not sure what your situation or relationship is like but maybe you can give her a few payments instead of a lump sum so it doesn't feel like you're spending a ton of money on one guitar. I don't want this to come across in a bad way but it's "just a Norlin", plus refretting a guitar is not hacking it, and being a Norlin, it will alway fall into that camp of being valuable but not too valuable to use.

Don't get a junker Studio because your dad played a Custom.
 

J Dale

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May 8, 2021
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Thanks for the advice, questions, and of course, the condolences. All the posts here have given me some things to think about for sure. I actually have the studio getting delivered tomorrow, and I hope it plays nice. If not, I'll really take my time looking for the right guitar. I don't have a lot of opportunity to try things out first, but I always want to be prepared to walk away if it's not the right fit.

I agree, all guitars I've ever had have had an emotional resonance, some more, some less. It makes sense, as music is all about emotion in the first place. My dad's custom was always precious to him, and that's perhaps why there's something beautiful (to me) about the black beauty. It's interesting how an instrument, or car, or whatever, can inspire us, and make us feel connected.

Thanks again for sharing wisdom. J Dale
 

kuwahara80

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Nov 11, 2005
Messages
354
If i understand the situation correct. You got some fender guitars and your sister got the beloved Gibson black beauty? Can't you not just do a trade,when they don't play guitar at all? Have the Black Beaty refretted and play it. A refret is a normal thing to do and not a hack to a guitar.
 

El Gringo

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Apr 8, 2015
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4,547
I've never bought a guitar on emotion. Strictly rational decisions.

Not. :love:
Very Funny . This is half the fun as it is very emotional , and then the other half the fun is when we play our newly purchased instrument .
 

C-4

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Jan 5, 2005
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1,756
Condolences on your father's passing. My wife and I lost both of our parents within a month's time, so I understand.
Before you decide to take the beat up white LP, if you are still thinking about your father's guitar, here is another thing to consider besides the other good advice offered here.

You could save up at whatever speed is right for you towards buying a more recent custom shop black custom. Don't be in any rush, but think of it as a way to honor the memory of your father. Buy the exact guitar you feel you will keep, play, and enjoy which will remind you of your father whenever you pick it up. Do not settle, or compromise otherwise. Yes, it may take you a bit longer, but in the end, you will have the exact guitar you desire to honor the memory of your father, and it will mean more to you, and to his memory.
 
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