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Thread: My Journey: The Caretaker vs The Owner

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! © View Post
    The original thread got off on this foot too. It was about me and my journey and, somehow, became something more - like I was judging those who wish to remain caretakers, which isn't the case.
    Well it became something more because it's included in the PRS Lexicon that you linked to this thread:

    "Owner - Someone who is not afraid to play, modify, or scratch/dent his/her guitar. An Owner is prepared to consume the full value of his/her guitar in his/her lifetime -- leaving only a worthless pile of sticks on his departure. An Owner makes each guitar "a tool" to accomplish a task. A beautiful tool, sure... but a tool nonetheless. An Owner regards his/her guitar as a diary of a life well-lived. An owner is the opposite of a Caretaker."

    Now, I realize that you took a certain poetic and creative license here. Nothing wrong with that.

    If you meant to apply it only to yourself, you should maybe call it "Hans' Lexicon" instead of the PRS Lexicon? Because nothing in that definition limits its applicability to only you. And if memory serves, you made this definition up, please correct me if I'm wrong.

    You're saying you're not "judging those who wish to remain caretakers." I suppose you can make up a definition of a word, and apply it to whoever you like, and not make a judgment about them, as in whether they're good or bad. But to define someone (even yourself) necessarily involves a judgment as to whether a person at the very least fits into that category.

    And by the same token, the people you'd define with your own special meaning don't have to accept your definition.

    As an Owner, I have no wish to consume an instrument and leave a worthless pile of sticks. I know of wonderful instruments treasured and used professionally by generations of their owners and players, that were built in the 17th and 18th Centuries. They're used to their very fullest potential to make music that people enjoy, most by professional orchestra players who play the full repertoire on them. What else would you have them do?

    Leave a pile of sticks on top of everything else?

    Of course not. I know you don't mean that. But they're hardly caretakers. They probably spend more time practicing and playing than most of the folks you'd define as "owners." Many practice - not just perform, practice - 8 hours a day. They play the crap out of these six and seven figure instruments.

    So part of my Ownership decision making is to keep the instruments in a condition I personally enjoy and demand for my own professional use, and part of my Ownership decision is to do the opposite of leaving a worthless pile of sticks.

    I think it's perfectly cool that you'll make your own ownership decisions for yourself. But that doesn't make this one an owner, and that one a caretaker.

    Meantime, you're a great guy, I like you a lot, and I have no quarrel. But I'd prefer to stick with the dictionary definition, "A person who owns something." I work hard and sweat blood to Own my instruments. That's what makes me want to keep them in great shape. And enjoy playing them all the more.

    Les

    PRS Owner.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 10-09-2012 at 06:41 PM.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Harker1440's Avatar
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    I am a PLAYER and according to SOME People here on the forum a FLIPPER

  3. #23
    Senior Member Dirty Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harker1440 View Post
    I am a PLAYER and according to SOME People here on the forum a FLIPPER
    Funny you don't look like a dolphin!
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  4. #24
    Recovering Bass Player ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! ©'s Avatar
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    Les,

    You make so many points it's hard to give a single answer. Let me try to give your post the response it deserves. Please excuse me for chopping up into consumable pieces.

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Well it became something more because it's included in the PRS Lexicon that you linked to this thread:

    "Owner - Someone who is not afraid to play, modify, or scratch/dent his/her guitar. An Owner is prepared to consume the full value of his/her guitar in his/her lifetime -- leaving only a worthless pile of sticks on his departure. An Owner makes each guitar "a tool" to accomplish a task. A beautiful tool, sure... but a tool nonetheless. An Owner regards his/her guitar as a diary of a life well-lived. An owner is the opposite of a Caretaker."

    Now, I realize that you took a certain poetic and creative license here. Nothing wrong with that.

    If you meant to apply it only to yourself, you should maybe call it "Hans' Lexicon" instead of the PRS Lexicon? Because nothing in that definition limits its applicability to only you. And if memory serves, you made this definition up, please correct me if I'm wrong.
    Good point. I deleted both words from the Lexicon thread. I also clarified this point in my opening post in the hopes than no one else gets the wrong idea. And finally, I've edited the title of the thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    You're saying you're not "judging those who wish to remain caretakers." I suppose you can make up a definition of a word, and apply it to whoever you like, and not make a judgment about them, as in whether they're good or bad. But to define someone (even yourself) necessarily involves a judgment as to whether a person at the very least fits into that category.

    And by the same token, the people you'd define with your own special meaning don't have to accept your definition.
    Exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    As an Owner, I have no wish to consume an instrument and leave a worthless pile of sticks.
    "Worthless pile of sticks" was just a fun way of making my point.

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    I know of wonderful instruments treasured and used professionally by generations of their owners and players, that were built in the 17th and 18th Centuries. They're used to their very fullest potential to make music that people enjoy, most by professional orchestra players who play the full repertoire on them. What else would you have them do?

    Leave a pile of sticks on top of everything else?

    Of course not. I know you don't mean that. But they're hardly caretakers. They probably spend more time practicing and playing than most of the folks you'd define as "owners." Many practice - not just perform, practice - 8 hours a day. They play the crap out of these six and seven figure instruments.
    So this goes back to the same problem with the 1st thread. Some people read the first post and interpreted it to read "go forth and deliberately beat up your guitar(s)." That, of course, is not what I meant at all. I don't know how else to explain so I just leave it at that.

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    So part of my Ownership decision making is to keep the instruments in a condition I personally enjoy and demand for my own professional use, and part of my Ownership decision is to do the opposite of leaving a worthless pile of sticks.
    Which feeds perfectly into the point... they're yours. Do what you want with them. If keeping them pristine for the next guy is what turns your crank, more power to you. I, on the other hand, would like to get past my fear of playing my Rosewood Limited (to choose one guitar as an example). It's a killer playing and sounding guitar. What value does it have if I never play it? Sure it brings me joy to "have" something so special but how does that serve me? The caretaker in me needs to shut the hell up and let the owner swap the pups and risk scratching it by actually playing it. But I still wouldn't play it with a big belt buckle.

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    I think it's perfectly cool that you'll make your own ownership decisions for yourself. But that doesn't make this one an owner, and that one a caretaker.
    I'm a pretty confident guy, Les. But I wouldn't be so bold as to try an force people into labels. The thread posed a simple question. If it doesn't apply to you, then blow it off. If the subject rings true for you and you've had a similar experience, jump in. But, really, I'm not trying to label anyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    Meantime, you're a great guy, I like you a lot, and I have no quarrel. But I'd prefer to stick with the dictionary definition, "A person who owns something." I work hard and sweat blood to Own my instruments. That's what makes me want to keep them in great shape. And enjoy playing them all the more.

    Les

    PRS Owner.
    Right on.

    ~Hans
    PRS Owner & Caretaker
    Last edited by ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! ©; 10-09-2012 at 09:36 PM.
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  5. #25
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    Man, I've thought about this too much over the past few years.

    At times, I've been too much of a caretaker and not enough of an owner. My PRSi reside in their cases, partly because they're in my basement and I don't want them to get damaged unnecessarily. But they all get played. I've had that sinking feeling when taking a guitar off only to pause in the midst of removal when the headstock hit a track lighting fixture. Followed by moments of self-recrimination for worrying about it.

    I don't gig. At times, I wish I did. But if I ever do again, I'll take some of my PRSi. That's why I have them.

    But "use" and "abuse", as has been pointed out, are not necessarily synonymous.

    As for the guys who throw them around, if one of us were to obtain a legendary guitarist's icon axe, throw it on the ground, stand on it and bend the neck in, beat on it mercilessly and then post a video of it, there wouldn't be enough kindling in the world to supply the flames that would be directed at us.

    Jump to 3:45.

    Alan

    "I watched approximately 45 seconds of 'Rock Of Ages'. It was like getting punched in the soul." - Abby Krizner

  6. #26
    Recovering Bass Player ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! ©'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harker1440 View Post
    I am a PLAYER and according to SOME People here on the forum a FLIPPER
    I thought flipping was just your schtick.

    But that's an entirely different thread... which also died with BaM. Not that I'm calling you a flipper...



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  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! © View Post
    I, on the other hand, would like to get past my fear of playing my Rosewood Limited. It's a killer playing and sounding guitar. The caretaker in me needs to shut the hell up and let the owner in me swap the pups and risk scratching it by playing it. But I still wouldn't play it with a big belt buckle.
    I'm laying it bare, Hans. Here's the full extent of my madness:

    I move my belt buckle to my side, away from the body of the guitar when I play. That plus wearing an untucked T-shirt (or other knit shirt) has been enough to prevent worming and scratches.

    I keep them cased when not being played. Dirt gets cleaned off the guitar body when needed with a damp microfiber cloth, and dried with a clean one. When the humidity drops below 35%, I turn on a humidifier in the room I keep them in.

    I change the strings when they lose their tone or start to feel crummy. If they need adjustment, I get them adjusted (but that hasn't happened in a long time because of the humidifier and case habit).

    Light scratches, I can polish out. If I got a dent that bothered me, I'd probably send the guitar to PTC for repair, and get a setup as well just for the sheer joy of it.

    In any case, while I'm careful to try not to bump the guitar into things, the existence of the PTC is a reassuring thing, since I have so much confidence that they'd do a great job with any repair.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 10-09-2012 at 08:20 PM.

  8. #28
    Senior Member clcwarlock's Avatar
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    I'm an owner, I play my PRSi as much as I can, I bought both new so that I was the only one with my hands on them. After I am gone my kids will be able to see the wear I put on them and if they play they can have a connection with the instrument that started out in our family new with me, Dad. I sent the warranty card in for my custom 24 and I'll be sending the warranty card in for my P24. I will take care of thee 2 beautiful instruments but I am not afraid to play them.

  9. #29
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    Unless i miss my guess, HANS is deep into his menopausal state. Peace be with you!

  10. #30
    Bobble Head Moderator JMintzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluefade View Post
    Unless i miss my guess, HANS is deep into his menopausal state. Peace be with you!
    If you have personal issues, please refrain from airing them on the forum. Thank you.
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  11. #31
    DEEPER STRIATIONS markie's Avatar
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    I put a nice gash in a CU24 at a Gig several years back..................... sold it the next week
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  12. #32
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    Interesting....never really thought about it much. Guitars seem pretty sturdy to me. I guess I don't jump off of amps or anything while gigging, but is stuff really getting banged up that much from "normal" playing and gigging? The debate seems more like an intellectual exercize rather than a practical thing. Sure, I could ding a headstock while gigging by bumping into something, but it seems just as likely that I'd do that at home. I suppose I could just leave guitars in their cases, and fine by me if someone gets a kick out of just knowing that they have a really cool guitar in a case in a closet, but that wouldn't work very well for me I think. I have a couple of vintage '54 LPs, and if I'm playing out with them, I put them back in their case between sets rather than leave them on a stand like I normally do.....but that's mainly because they've survived so long and are in such good shape that it seems like there is a history worth protecting. Even so, I wouldn't get a charge out of having them if I couldn't take them out and about. It just seems to me that if you watch belt buckles, and aren't going nuts on stage, the risk is pretty small. And if it isn't a vintage guitar where originality is important, if something gets banged up, it isn't that tough to fix it.

  13. #33
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    Ahh ok so maybe I do remember this thread now! Thanks Hans for bringing it back to life, it certainly makes for some interesting reflection and discussion.

    I'm probably about a 70/30 split between "owner" and "caretaker" (I play all my guitars but take care of them). One thing the EG build has shown me is how much I enjoy tinkering and modifying things, whether it be motorbikes or guitars, there's something that appeals to me about having something that is different, something I have worked on, so there's more investment than just $. I've invested time building it, and now I'm going to invest time playing it. If a scratch or ding comes along perhaps due to some over-enthusiastic behavior, I guess that's part of the investment, and the return is the memories of how it got there (which is echoing Hans' first post).

    Thinking about other ways to invest, it could be "the search", scouring dealers, on-line markets etc for "the one" ("the one" being whatever you have GAS for at the time...), walking into guitar shops and demo'ing a guitar, gelling instantly and creating a bond, and perhaps one of the more pertinent ones would be speccing a Private Stock... The investment of time/energy deciding on all the options, taking the risk that it'll work out how you think it will, the wait, the anxiety, the glory of opening the case for the first time, strumming it, plugging it in...

    Maybe one day I'll can afford (in $) to make the "investment" of a PS, I think that satisfaction of having something different, something I have worked on etc will be there.

  14. #34
    Senior Member aduayer's Avatar
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    I don't keep my guitars in their cases. all of them are in guitar stands and when I have to transport them, I use the gig bag. I do take care of them, but I don't mind if they have dings and or scratches. I don't like relic and fake age process, but I don't mind when the guitar isn't shinning and perfect looking.
    I like to think of myself of a owner or heavy user and not an abuser.

  15. #35
    Senior Member Jazzedout's Avatar
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    Well, I don't like it when my guitars get scars and bruises (which sometimes can't be avoided), but on the ohter hand I did a piezo install on my Cu24
    Last edited by Jazzedout; 10-10-2012 at 04:21 AM.
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  16. #36
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    Generally I look upon my guitars as the tools of my trade for the most part. I'm not giving any thought to passing them on or selling them. They're mine and there to be played by me. Like any tool I look after them as best I can so I can get the best out of them but I don't treat them with kid gloves...

    Actually, that's not strictly true. I do when I first get them but once I start seeing those first signs of wear and tear then I worry less. I'm generally not afraid to take them apart and modify them if they need it and I feel i'm up to the job, indeed with my cheapos such as my Yamaha Pacifica and Squier anything goes. Did my own fret dress on the Squier which turned out reasonably well but I wouldn't dream of doing that to my main Strat or Bernie, let alone a $2k+ guitar.

    I want them there ready to play and I want them all to play as well as can be and sound as good as they can. They all sit on a modified stand in a (locked) room which I monitor with a couple of Thermometer/hygrometers so it's fair to say i'm much more uptight about looking after my music equipment than perhaps anything else I own. It's an investment of sorts. Not with a view to sell on but I put all my hard earned cash into my equipment so I want to get the best out of it for as long as possible.

    I do feel I have to be honest here though...

    I don't own any expensive guitars and never have. I will once i've got on the housing ladder but for now I aim to get the best out of more modestly priced equipment. Would I treat a £2k+ PRS any differently from my current guitars? To start with certainly... It'd be like a scene from Spinal Tap, "Don't even look at it!" But i'd have to ask hard questions of myself if I was so worried about the guitar I feared playing it. I guess I won't really know until it happens.

    Same with collecting. Part of me thinks "Why collect guiars? They should be played", but that's possibly the view of someone who can't afford to collect. I have a niggling suspicion that if I could afford to collect I may well do.

    Ultimately, perhaps, the guitar would have to mean something to you in some way whether it gets played or not. I think if I had a lot of guitars but some rarely came out of a case then i'd offload them. Hopefully i'd be left with guitars I enjoy playing and guitars that have some kind of meaning or story to them.
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  17. #37
    Senior Member south89's Avatar
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    Well Hans yet another interesting thread that has brought out views of all kinds which is great. I would consider myself an owner that just likes fine guitars. I gig out regulary with my sig limited and it is getting alot of scars quickly ( mainly on the back ) but its not really bothering me because when I'm gigging its more about playing the best guitar I have and feeling the most comfortable with it. I don't own any PS or one offs but if I did , I'm guessing I would be playing out with those also but thats just who I am and not everybody is the same . That being said one of my first PRSi was a 94 McCarty and I gigged with it until I became a little more informed and realized that is one guitar that will probably never see a stage again . Just me putting my two cents in on the conversation.
    My name is Matt and I'm a guitarholic

    1994 McCarty; 2010 Charcoal Burst Modern Eagle Quatro; 2012 Fire Red Burst Signature Limited;2012 Charcoal Buster Siggy ( PTC Modified ); 2012 Vintage Burst Stripper; 2012 Charcoal 408 Standard w/ Crackwood; 2012 NOS ME1 Tiger Eye

  18. #38
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    I am one of those who became a bit "defensive" about the term "Caretaker" on the original BaM thread. Some of my defensiveness derived from the comments of some members who wrote about how "proud they were to deliberately make their first dink or dent on their otherwise pristine guitar" so that "they could now say that it was theirs". this, I thought, was just plain crazy. To deliberately mar a nice object, just to show "ownership"? Not in my repertoire of possible behaviors, and in my opinion a reckless disregard for the value an item represents.

    As far as this thread goes....I am a collector like Markie....but I care for my instruments in a similar fashion to both he and Les. I do not allow myself to play with belt buckles rubbing against the back, and I always try to remember my low ceilings in the basement when I decide to jump around while soloing. If I put a dink in a guitar...I typically obsess for days until I decide to have it repaired. and like bob above...I have had a guitar repaired by PTC and (due to my own carelessness) put it right back in the box for a new repair within days of getting it back for another spot repair.

    That being said...I have a couple of "players" that I am not that concerned about. Anyone who has seen my white '86 standard would know that this is a guitar you can play and not worry about damaging its appearance. However, the bulk of my collection are kept in the case, rotated regularly for play, and maintained as meticuloously as possible. And yes..I have been a frequent consumer of the PTC's ability to repair obvious damage.

    So...in the final analysis....I am a collector who plays....Which I guess makes me a "caretaker, through and through". I try to care for all my instruments in a manner to keep them as pristine as when I originally bought them....and, with the exception of a chosen few...I know that at some point in the future I will pare down the collection to the barest of essentials....2 electric guitars, 1 acoustic and maybe 2 amps. But...until then....guitars are one of the few places that I can see pumping funds into...enjoying for some time....keeping them in great condition...and then ultimately getting a return on your original investment that is reasonable despite having "consumed" the object for many years.

    PS....in my opinion...those who are professional musicians have no need to be "caretakers". but, as Les and Markie have said before....you don't have to rough house or otherwise abuse your guitar to be a great player. It's just that a professional musician probably only rotates between a couple of guitars, and the wear and tear put on those is designed to earn a living as opposed to sustain a collection.
    Last edited by docbennett; 10-10-2012 at 09:53 AM.

  19. #39
    A♥ hoards guitars ♥A rugerpc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alantig View Post

    Jump to 3:45.
    I'm sitting here and I just don't know what to write about this. SRV, Hendrix, Townsend, even Keith Moon and John Bonham got sounds (is it still music?) out of their instruments through means I could never use, even if I were independently wealthy.

    It just isn't in me.

    Les mentioned the care classical musicians have for their instruments. Think of a Stradivarius who's 'owner' decided it needed to be set on fire or thrown across the room... What makes it OK to flail a guitar or destroy a set of drums as part of a 'performance?'

    I hear you thinking that a $2k - $5K guitar is a different thing than a priceless Stradivarius and I say bull s**t! It is only different by degree.

    I reject totally that one has to be blasť about even a dent or nick to be an 'owner.' PRSh is adamant that the guitars he builds are to be used, to be played. But that doesn't mean that they are not works of art. They are 'working art.'

    When you own something it is yours to do with as you please. But what are we to think of someone who buys something and consumes it entirely when with care it could last for generations. I'm not thinking of the so many things in our society that are consumable and disposable from pencils to even what used to be considered 'durable goods' like washers and dryers. I'm talking about objects that we can use with out using them up in the process.

    I think guitars (musical instruments) fall into that category.
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  20. #40
    Recovering Bass Player ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! ©'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rugerpc View Post
    I reject totally that one has to be blasť about even a dent or nick to be an 'owner.'
    Concur. That was never an assertion.

    Consider, then, the guitar owner who loves his guitar, cares for it, and cringes when it gets a ding. He NEVER forgets where he was, what he was doing, maybe even the song being played when that ding occurred BECAUSE of his love for the guitar. How does that guitar not become a diary?

    I still struggle to understand why anyone thinks I'm suggesting that I want to be casual about damaging my guitars.
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