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Thread: How has your gear budget changed over the years?

  1. #1
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
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    Question How has your gear budget changed over the years?

    I got to thinking lately about how much I've spent on gear. I was fortunate enough to catch the guitar bug at 14, so I started buying gear as soon as I got my first job at 16. At first, gear was probably 90% of my budget. I lived rent-free with my parents until I was 22, and aside from buying/selling a few cars, the vast majority of my income was for guitar stuff.

    Now, for the past 11 years as a "grown up" in the world, it seems like I spend less and less on gear. Other priorities keep popping up (house, wife, kid). This year, I took up cycling and spent more than all of my guitar budget on bikes and cycling gear. Cycling is a great passion to have, but it still pains me a little that I spent that money on something other than a new PRS.

    So that's where I am on my journey. How has the way you buy guitar gear changed over the years? What has led you to buy more/less gear?
    --Garrett--

  2. #2
    Happy Egads's Avatar
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    I can completely relate. House, wife, kid, bikes. Repeat as needed. I'm still finding ways to (justify) buy new/used gear, and the quality of the gear goes up. I just have to be aware of priorities (like cleaning out yesterday's flooded basement--no gear was permanently harmed!).

    One way I'm fighting the good fight is by building a new cab. I've wanted a pretty hardwood cab ever since I saw my first custom Mesa cab. Now, with all the trimmed-out PRS heads and cabs, the bug struck hard. Instead of shelling out, I decided to take on a project, with the oversight of a friend that is actually good at building stuff. I'm to the finishing stage and am very happy so far. I'll post pics when it's finished.

  3. #3
    Senior Member veinbuster's Avatar
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    When I first needed gear, I saved to by a used instrument and an underspeced amp. I built my own cabinet because I couldn't afford to buy one. That was fun though and the sucker lasted for years.

    While my kids were little, they came first. There was a short spell in there where I did well enough that I bought a couple more things, but when they were ready for university, they came first again. Lately I've had a bit of money to spend foolishly, and it seems I'm quite skilled at that.

  4. #4
    Member Boogeyman's Avatar
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    I've never really been able to afford the things i wanted without having to sacrifice something else. I've lost a TON of money trading up or selling to buy something else. In the last few years, as I've gotten older (and wiser maybe) it's been easier to buy better quality gear. I prefer to buy used when possible.

  5. #5
    Senior Member veinbuster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogeyman View Post
    I've never really been able to afford the things i wanted without having to sacrifice something else. I've lost a TON of money trading up or selling to buy something else. In the last few years, as I've gotten older (and wiser maybe) it's been easier to buy better quality gear. I prefer to buy used when possible.
    I've always hated the extra cost of trading up, so I try to wait patiently until I can get something I will be happy to keep.

  6. #6
    Bobble Head Moderator JMintzer's Avatar
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    What's a gear budget? My youngest is starting college next year, and wants to be a Veterinarian. I'm looking at 8 years of tuition...


    Jamie
    ---Jamie---

    My Gear

  7. #7
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogeyman View Post
    I've never really been able to afford the things i wanted without having to sacrifice something else. I've lost a TON of money trading up or selling to buy something else. In the last few years, as I've gotten older (and wiser maybe) it's been easier to buy better quality gear. I prefer to buy used when possible.
    Same here.

    When I was younger and new to playing I bought new guitars without selling one first, but they where cheap ones. Past few years if I wanted a better guitar (Such as the Bernie) I had to sell one first. Not a massive loss financially as I well and truly got my moneys worth out of what I sold. It's just that i'd rather have kept them.

    The SE C24 2012 I just got for Xmas is the first one in a few years i've got without having to offload another. But it's still a combination of savings through the year and Xmas / Birthday money.

    The big financial killer right now is saving for a deposit for a decent house whilst paying sky high rent.

    So... probably no new gear (Except for the odd pedal or two) for the next couple of years whilst I save the deposit. Not prepared to sell any more gear unless there are solid reasons.

    Hopefully, two or three years from now i'll be in a better position and I can save for a US PRS.

    Having said that... Between my new SE C24 2012, The modded Bernie and my modded Strat i've got everything I need.
    Modified SE Bernie Marsden, Fender Strat
    Laney Lionheart L5T-112, Fender Mustang 1
    Wishing for a Blue Bernie!
    Click here for SE Bernie Marsden demo!
    Lessons, covers, backing tracks, etc...www.youtube.com/mikegarveyblues

  8. #8
    My guitar gear budget is part of an overall studio budget. So it always depends on what I need for the studio to stay up to date.

  9. #9
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    It used to be out of control for guitar stuff in my youth, mutated into vintage keyboards, and then detonated into a mushroom cloud of fiscal irresponsibility over recording studio pieces, and finally had a much needed purge, which is where I'm at now.



    I think I have may have maybe one or two premeditated guitar purchases left in my lifetime, but nothing crazy expensive. Believe it or not, my time spent on guitar forums helps me in my ability to curb my spending, so please keep buying new stuff!

  10. #10
    Recovering Bass Player ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! 's Avatar
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    My gear budget works like this:

    "OH MY GOD! I HAVE TO HAVE IT!"

    Then I spend a week or two scheming to find a way to pay for it. Then I get freaked out that someone is going to buy it before I do so I pull the trigger with my AmEx card. Then I go begging to the spousal unit for forgiveness. Then I sell a PRS that I dearly love to pay for the new one that I just had to have.

    [Several weeks or months later]

    "OH MY GOD! I HAVE TO HAVE IT!"

    Then I spend a week or two scheming to find a way to pay for it. Then I get freaked out that someone is going to buy it before I do so I pull the trigger with my AmEx card. Then I go begging to the spousal unit for forgiveness. Then I sell a PRS that I dearly love to pay for the new one that I just had to have.

    [Several weeks or months later]

    "OH MY GOD! I HAVE TO HAVE IT!"
    One Life

  11. #11
    Senior Member andy474x's Avatar
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    During my undergrad years I scraped together enough money to buy my first PRS - a used SE Custom. It was the only major purchase I made for quite a while. Now I'm in grad school, and a lot of my classmates spend a LOT of money on renting fancy apartments - I rent a fixer upper place and spend a bit of that extra money on gear. Bought a few guitars and amps in the last 3 years. All SE stuff as far as PRS gear goes, I guess they call the "Student Editions" for a reason. Though they're awesome guitars that I doubt I'll ever sell. When they day comes that I go into practice and actually start making money instead of paying it for school, someone at the guitar shop is gonna make some easy sales.
    -I'm no expert, but it seems to work and I haven't electrocuted myself yet. Which is pretty much the standard I live by.

    S2 Custom 22 Semi-Hollow - SE Akesson+57/08's - SE Custom 24 25th Anniversary - SE 30 Head/Cab

  12. #12
    Recovering Bass Player ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! 's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy474x View Post
    During my undergrad years I scraped together enough money to buy my first PRS - a used SE Custom. It was the only major purchase I made for quite a while. Now I'm in grad school, and a lot of my classmates spend a LOT of money on renting fancy apartments - I rent a fixer upper place and spend a bit of that extra money on gear. Bought a few guitars and amps in the last 3 years. All SE stuff as far as PRS gear goes, I guess they call the "Student Editions" for a reason. Though they're awesome guitars that I doubt I'll ever sell. When they day comes that I go into practice and actually start making money instead of paying it for school, someone at the guitar shop is gonna make some easy sales.
    Contrary to popular belief, Paul insists that SE doesn't stand for Student Edition. That said, he didn't clarify what SE does stand for.
    One Life

  13. #13
    Sparty On hoofarted's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ]-[ @ n $ 0 |v| a T ! View Post
    My gear budget works like this:

    "OH MY GOD! I HAVE TO HAVE IT!"

    Then I spend a week or two scheming to find a way to pay for it. Then I get freaked out that someone is going to buy it before I do so I pull the trigger with my AmEx card. Then I go begging to the spousal unit for forgiveness. Then I sell a PRS that I dearly love to pay for the new one that I just had to have.

    [Several weeks or months later]

    "OH MY GOD! I HAVE TO HAVE IT!"

    Then I spend a week or two scheming to find a way to pay for it. Then I get freaked out that someone is going to buy it before I do so I pull the trigger with my AmEx card. Then I go begging to the spousal unit for forgiveness. Then I sell a PRS that I dearly love to pay for the new one that I just had to have.

    [Several weeks or months later]

    "OH MY GOD! I HAVE TO HAVE IT!"
    THIS

  14. #14
    Member DRM_777's Avatar
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    Despite being a single 32 year old with no dependants, I've never really had a gear budget as such although it is very common for when I have a significant amount of extra cash for what ever reason, that I usually utilise it to buy new gear of some kind.

    The last real blow out I had was a couple of years ago and I got a modest and completely unexpected, but significant amount of money after my Father past away and the bulk of that money went on buying my Cu24 SE 25 Anniv. edition, a Line 6 Pod HD 500 and a Line 6 Variax Acoustic 700.

    From there I've really just been living life and getting by and working on building up my teaching business which generally means I don't have as much spare cash as I would like to spend on gear.

    However, I'm about to complete the sale on my late Fathers house (after over 2 years on the market and one terrible situation of having a buyer back out from the sale at the very last minute last year) and this means that I am going to have more money at one time than I've ever had in the past and given to past tradition, guess what I'm going to spend a fair bit of money on? Yep, some new gear! Namely a Line 6 Stagescape PA system with their new Digital Mixing desk and proprietary speaker system, a PRS SE Cu 24-7 in February when they are available and hopefully I will also be able to budget in an American Cu 24, but since I'm investing in the PA in order to start a new small Live sound business I can only pull the trigger on the Cu24 once I have everything else in place.

    I'll also be putting around about half of my share into several savings accounts for the future.

    While it would be great to have a lot of spare expendable cash all the time, the benefit from being in my situation is that you often plan and budget out for new gear ahead of time which mean impulse purchases rarely happen and I am able to research ahead of time to make sure the new gear I am buying is actually what I need and is going to do what I need it to do.
    Laugh, Love, Live, Learn - Devin Townsend

  15. #15
    408 Sig Club President Twinfan's Avatar
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    While still at school I saved up for my first electric - an '83 JV series Squier Strat, which I still have.

    When I started working, I wasn't playing guitar all that much so I had a car budget. I bought and sold several, as you do, and lost plenty of cash. Then I had a house buying budget, closely followed by a motorcycle budget then a wedding budget...

    After getting married I joined a band as I was getting back into the guitar again, and I went through "The Hans Cycle" for several years. It's a killer.

    Now, several years and mucho gear later, I've got hold of a select collection of guitars and a couple of great amps and my gear buying days are over. It's time to move the 'budget' onto something else for a change, which at the moment is debt reduction and vacations...

  16. #16
    Senior Member 11top's Avatar
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    Sh*tter's full

  17. #17
    And people wonder why Americans have such high dept! lol

    kidding of course.

    But, unless I got the cash saved up, I don't buy anything. There's no "paying it off" with me. No "credit cards dept" no loans with obvious exeptions like house/car. I save for something, I buy it, I enjoy it guilt free. Occasionally crap happens, like my appliances just died and you can't be without them of course but if you have emergency funds put aside, that shouldn't be an issue either unless your snow blower dies and car needs reapirs all at the same time....which oddly enough seems to happen to me.

  18. #18
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMintzer View Post
    What's a gear budget? My youngest is starting college next year, and wants to be a Veterinarian. I'm looking at 8 years of tuition...

    Jamie
    Shame you don't have any nice guitars to play. But the hook is set deep, it must be like cutting off a junkie.

    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    My guitar gear budget is part of an overall studio budget. So it always depends on what I need for the studio to stay up to date.
    Ahh, see that adds an interesting wrinkle, since you actually depend on your gear for a living.

    Quote Originally Posted by newfmp3 View Post
    And people wonder why Americans have such high dept! lol

    kidding of course.

    But, unless I got the cash saved up, I don't buy anything. There's no "paying it off" with me. No "credit cards dept" no loans with obvious exeptions like house/car. I save for something, I buy it, I enjoy it guilt free. Occasionally crap happens, like my appliances just died and you can't be without them of course but if you have emergency funds put aside, that shouldn't be an issue either unless your snow blower dies and car needs reapirs all at the same time....which oddly enough seems to happen to me.
    It's an easy trap to fall into, since credit comes so easily. All my big gear purchases are calculated, and so I don't sell much of what I buy. But for me it's more a function of my nature than money. I always want the details to be just right and I commit to the piece of gear. I hate taking on debt, but I took on a little to get my cycling going this year. But at least, like guitars, it's a long term investment. Plus cycling has done wonders for my health. Sometimes the short-term financial pain is justified to me. Key there is *short-term*.
    --Garrett--

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by garrett View Post
    Ahh, see that adds an interesting wrinkle, since you actually depend on your gear for a living.
    Yup. Studio gear and guitar gear are always doing battle for the available funds.

  20. #20
    That Video Guy crgtr's Avatar
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    I buy, I sell, I buy again. Sometimes I over my head & other times I'm less over my head. Right now I'm in purge mode. The PTC thang I'm working with Shawn on is actually something the boys at my school will own. Some of the experiment will come out of my pocket, but most should come from the "Guitar Club".
    If the experiment goes well.....(i think it will) then a Private Stock will be happening!
    Chris Reynolds...Nashvegas TN
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    More guitars than I can afford!
    #1 fan of Doug "DA MAN" Sewell!!

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