My thinking has changed.
For a long time, even though my guitars all had personalities of their own, I regarded them as somewhat fungible items. Buy them, or sell them, according to my professional needs of the moment - nothing was irreplaceable. If something arose that made me feel the need for a different one, I didn't feel much emotion about selling one I had. It was all part of "the cause."
I no longer feel that way. My PRS gear is now 100% "keepers."
In part, this is a result of economics post-2008; it's just smarter not to lose a chunk of money selling a perfectly good instrument.
But to a greater degree, it's about recent PRS instruments and amps that I have a stronger connection with. They are so good that I feel far more attached to them now. The reason I bring this up is the recent acquisition of a Sig. Ltd., and my thinking process about this.
I took a chance on the Signature. Of course, I researched them online, but hadn't spent any time with one. I had the recommendations of friends like Twinfan, and that was about it. But I had a need for one for a business project (that by the way went very well) and thought I'd get it right. I also had, in the back of my mind, the idea that I could always sell one of the guitars if I felt badly about the investment, or sell the Sig if I didn't think it was for me.
Turns out that the Sig was a fantastic choice. So now the question became, should I, or could I, part with one of the other two PRS in my studio? A while back, the answer would have surely been, "yes." Now it was a definite, "No." Not only can't I part with one of the others, I would feel an empty spot sonically, artistically and emotionally were I to do so. I finally realized -- I have keepers!
I also thought back to the last electric guitar I sold, my Stripped 58. I miss it. It should have been a keeper. The money I got for it went to fund some studio bills, but if I'd been a little more resourceful, I'd have kept the guitar. Selling it was a huge mistake, it was a great one. Do I want to feel that regret again? Hell, no.
My HX/DA? Only the best amp (for me) that I have ever played. I'd be a darn fool to ever part with it.
Going back to the 2010-11 PRS models with the V12, and the pickups and other improvements, I have never, ever been so completely satisfied with any guitars. These models have a tone and a depth and a feel that I seem to instantly bond with. I love my instruments as never before. They are more useful to me professionally than ever before. They feel like more a part of who I am musically.
It's not that PRS is simply making great guitars; it's that they made MY great guitars.
Yes. They are keepers.
And lest I appear to be too much of a "homer," there are PRS models and instruments I don't especially bond with.
I understand that some players are on a constant tone experiment (though to some degree I think this is mere rationalization), but for me, the merry-go-round thing is way over. Et tu, Brute?