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  • Are We in a State of Deconstruction?

    I think I'm using the word correctly (I'm not a philosopher by any stretch)

    But I seem to notice a lot of threads and comments about things like:

    - vintage guitars aren't all that great; new guitars are better, really

    - lower-end import guitars (specifically Chinese-made guitars) are really just as good as those expensive MIA and MIJ ones we have; all the perks we hear from our expensive guitars are just our imaginations justifying purchases

    - guitars are just tools for music anyway; there's no need to mod the hell out of your guitar

    - collecting and tinkering are hobbies; playing and practicing is musicianship; these things are implied to be mutually exclusive by some

    Anyone else noticing this sort of thing? 

    Anyone agree with this stuff?

    Anyone care?

    <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>Guitars:</b> 3 Fender Strats, Fender Jazzmaster, Squier Bullet, 2 Gibson Les Pauls, Gibson ES-339, Gibson Les Paul Jr. Special, Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone Dot, Epiphone SG, PRS SE Custom 24, Ibanez AS73, Hamer Duotone, Larrivee D-03R, Takamine EG5013S, 1951 Epiphone Devon, Ibanez SR305 (bass)<br><br><br><br><b>Pedal Chain:</b> BBE Green Screamer -&gt; MXR Distortion III -&gt; Boss CE-5 -&gt; EH Stereo Pulsar -&gt; Boss DD-20 -&gt; BBE Boosta Grande<br><br><br><br><b>Amps:</b> Vox AC4, AC15, AC30, Pathfinder 10, DA5<br><br><br><br><a target="_blank" href="http://soundcloud.com/andrewalderman">SoundCloud</a></div>

  • #2

    It's not 'deconstruction' as much as it is 'enlightenment'.


    So we don't tickle the sensitivities of the remaining 'believers', consider all the other asinine superstitions and irrational beliefs that have existed down through the centuries. Catholics running around digging up the bones of dead saints because they believed the 'relics' had magical powers, or the Puritains were burning girls who knew how to add and subtract on the basis of being a witch.As recently as the 2000's, network television has given TV shows to 'psychic mediums'. If you ever want to see some truly horrifying ****, examine Pre 19th Century western medicine.


    People are not inherently rational. It's probably Darwinian in nature, that we have hard-wired tenancies to follow along with the tribe and repeat what we see others doing since it wouldn't make much sense to go eat those red berries right after the last guy who did dropped dead, but we're no longer cavemen. We live in an spectacularly complicated era where relatively small groups of incredibly shrewd and creative people are paid to basically swindle the entire mass of humanity on behalf of their client. Everyone from George Carlin to Doug Adams has acknowledged this phenomenon in comedic terms.

    How does it relate to guitars?

    Because if there is any industry that defines how marketing and 'branding' can totally decouple peoples perceptions of the actual functionality of the product itself, it's musical instruemnts. They are a case-study in the phenominon.

    They're agglomerations of wood and parts, however peoples irrational understanding of how they really work causes them to be treated as talismans and fetish objects... and, of course, everyone selling one has an agenda about why theirs is 'special' from the rest. If you're selling the old ones? Well, those are the ones from the GOOD OLD DAYS! If you're selling a new one? It's the one with the latest 'upgrades and improvements'.

    Leo Fender himself has said that the Pre CBS factory turned out plenty of clunkers, but the market is utterly oblivious- or, it just doesn't care- about that. Ya see, to them, they're not buying a guitar. They're buying a status symbol, or, their own little part in an irrational belief system that's existed for quite some time. Just like all stupid beliefs- a great one would be the notion that the Japs cannot make a good car. Most of you are too young to remember that, but I do- eventually, people can only remain stupid for so long before the truth starts to settle in. In the year 2013, with what we have available to us via imports, that 'truth' is you just don't need to spend a lot of money on an instrument to get a guitar that plays or sounds as well as anything the US manufacturers ever cranked out.

    Ahh, but here, we enter the greatest intellectual hazard of them all.

    Corksniffery; the internally smug delusion that your refined powers of perception set you apart from the rabble. Naturally, there are all sorts of accommodating manufactures who are perfectly willing to make comically overpriced **** and provide you with all the emotional support you need.... now, just be sure to make that check out to...

    This has been going on since people started believing that 17th Century Cremonese violins were so superior to anything being made elsewhere that it became a symbol of musical status to own one; that you were 'serious' and by proxy, must be talented. Pay no mind to the fact that the entire notion cannot beat a .10 cent blindfold. Believers gonna believe.

     

    As you can see, rationalism is a topic I am very passionate about. As live gones on, I've come to the conclusion that there is no involuntarily persuading irrational people to the rational. Its something that must come naturally. You cannot debate them, show them where they've gone wrong, even demonstrate how they're incredibly stupid and expect them to do anything other than dig their heels even deeper into the delusion.

    Whole lotta **** words to address what could really, be summarized in a few sentences.

    The Asians can make guitars as well as we can, for a lot less money. They finally started proving it but people with emotional investment in the guitars they already own, in the way 'things used to be' will place a premium on that. As the new generations rise and old ones fade away, the new seeks the truth while the old takes their bull**************** with them.

    Comment


    • gardo
      gardo commented
      Editing a comment

      @ Gitter

      You make some good points

      What is a guitar really? A tool to make music ? A status symbol? An investment?  Art? A symbol of sexuality?  

      Yes and more.

      A guitar is a lot of different things to different people and we do not all have the same value system. 

       


    • Danhedonia
      Danhedonia commented
      Editing a comment

      Time passes, cultures change.


    • thom
      thom commented
      Editing a comment

      Gitter wrote:

      It's not 'deconstruction' as much as it is 'enlightenment'.


      So we don't tickle the sensitivities of the remaining 'believers', consider all the other asinine superstitions and irrational beliefs that have existed down through the centuries. Catholics running around digging up the bones of dead saints because they believed the 'relics' had magical powers, or the Puritains were burning girls who knew how to add and subtract on the basis of being a witch.As recently as the 2000's, network television has given TV shows to 'psychic mediums'. If you ever want to see some truly horrifying ****, examine Pre 19th Century western medicine.


      People are not inherently rational. It's probably Darwinian in nature, that we have hard-wired tenancies to follow along with the tribe and repeat what we see others doing since it wouldn't make much sense to go eat those red berries right after the last guy who did dropped dead, but we're no longer cavemen. We live in an spectacularly complicated era where relatively small groups of incredibly shrewd and creative people are paid to basically swindle the entire mass of humanity on behalf of their client. Everyone from George Carlin to Doug Adams has acknowledged this phenomenon in comedic terms.

      How does it relate to guitars?

      Because if there is any industry that defines how marketing and 'branding' can totally decouple peoples perceptions of the actual functionality of the product itself, it's musical instruemnts. They are a case-study in the phenominon.

      They're agglomerations of wood and parts, however peoples irrational understanding of how they really work causes them to be treated as talismans and fetish objects... and, of course, everyone selling one has an agenda about why theirs is 'special' from the rest. If you're selling the old ones? Well, those are the ones from the GOOD OLD DAYS! If you're selling a new one? It's the one with the latest 'upgrades and improvements'.

      Leo Fender himself has said that the Pre CBS factory turned out plenty of clunkers, but the market is utterly oblivious- or, it just doesn't care- about that. Ya see, to them, they're not buying a guitar. They're buying a status symbol, or, their own little part in an irrational belief system that's existed for quite some time. Just like all stupid beliefs- a great one would be the notion that the Japs cannot make a good car. Most of you are too young to remember that, but I do- eventually, people can only remain stupid for so long before the truth starts to settle in. In the year 2013, with what we have available to us via imports, that 'truth' is you just don't need to spend a lot of money on an instrument to get a guitar that plays or sounds as well as anything the US manufacturers ever cranked out.

      Ahh, but here, we enter the greatest intellectual hazard of them all.

      Corksniffery; the internally smug delusion that your refined powers of perception set you apart from the rabble. Naturally, there are all sorts of accommodating manufactures who are perfectly willing to make comically overpriced **** and provide you with all the emotional support you need.... now, just be sure to make that check out to...

      This has been going on since people started believing that 17th Century Cremonese violins were so superior to anything being made elsewhere that it became a symbol of musical status to own one; that you were 'serious' and by proxy, must be talented. Pay no mind to the fact that the entire notion cannot beat a .10 cent blindfold. Believers gonna believe.

       

      As you can see, rationalism is a topic I am very passionate about. As live gones on, I've come to the conclusion that there is no involuntarily persuading irrational people to the rational. Its something that must come naturally. You cannot debate them, show them where they've gone wrong, even demonstrate how they're incredibly stupid and expect them to do anything other than dig their heels even deeper into the delusion.

      Whole lotta **** words to address what could really, be summarized in a few sentences.

      The Asians can make guitars as well as we can, for a lot less money. They finally started proving it but people with emotional investment in the guitars they already own, in the way 'things used to be' will place a premium on that. As the new generations rise and old ones fade away, the new seeks the truth while the old takes their bull**************** with them.


      Pretty much what I wanted to say. Only more...articulate


  • #3

    "Are We in a State of Deconstruction?"

     

    After 2012, I could see where many people could be convinced that a Chinese guitar could be better than an American made Gibson, that costs 5 to 10 times as much.

    While Gibson seems to be regaining ground in quality perception, they might have shot themselves in the foot for a good decade with last year's rosewood and ebony fiasco.

    If you buy a good guitar, there is no reason to modify it. I find that people who constantly tinker, tend to put in considerably less time practicing. Same with amps. Good amps don't need clowns tinkering with their insides, clowns with no engineering backround.  Clowns likely to ruin an amp, or  at  least its resale value.

     

     

    Having said that, most MIM Fenders have weak pickups. I'd  get rid of them. Bought a cheap amp to modify, be my guest.

    Chinese Epiphones, on the other hand, that I've seen, seem to come with decent hardware, pickups, pots, bridges etc. I  see no need for modification.

    If you can afford a few American guitars, go for it. If not, many Asian imports are fine guitars. You'd be surprized in this day and age.

    Same with amplifiers, there are  some good ones for Asia, be they "Marshall" or Ceriatone, you'd  be surprized.

    Comment


    • kayd_mon
      kayd_mon commented
      Editing a comment
      @VagueSubscription

      You could be right about Gibson's fiasco. For me, I didn't care. I for one like the baked maple. It's solid and looks good (some nice grain patterns in maple that aren't in rosewood). I can't tell that it makes any difference in sound.

      @Gitter

      I agree with a lot of what you say, though I don't think I'm as hardcore about it. I readily admit that I like collecting a bit, and I enjoy the variety I've got, but I play more than I collect or tinker. The tinkering I've learned was by necessity, so that way I wouldn't have to shell out $40-60 to a tech to do a setups and things that are easy to do myself.

    • lz4005
      lz4005 commented
      Editing a comment

      VagueSubscription wrote:

      If you buy a good guitar, there is no reason to modify it. I find that people who constantly tinker, tend to put in considerably less time practicing.

      One piece of this puzzle that hasn't been brought up yet (that I've seen) is that more people are modifying inexpensive guitars because they're buying them online without playing them first.

      Back in the day I would play a half dozen of the same guitar or bass in a store before picking the one that sounded best. Much harder to do that today. People end up buying for the look of an instrument, or what they can devine from a spec sheet about what it should probably sound like, then think they can tweak it to be better by switching out the pickups.


  • #4

    Are we in a state of deconstruction?  Almost certainly yes (*note - there is no certainty unless you are a positivist).  There are just far too many subjectivities (although not anywhere near as many as there used to be) to be taken into account.

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    Comment


    • gardo
      gardo commented
      Editing a comment

      If we all agreed there would be nothing left to talk about


  • #5
    There are fewer of all these groups because the forum blows now.

    Nothing like it used to be.

    BLOWS.

    "You´╗┐ people keep on raining. I'll still be the parade." - Diamond Dave.



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    Comment


    • phaeton
      phaeton commented
      Editing a comment

      DaveAronow wrote:
      There are fewer of all these groups because the forum blows now.

      Nothing like it used to be.

      BLOWS.

      I disagree.  A lot of people have left but I feel that what has happened is more of a quality vs. quantity thing.  There are a lot more threads here (like this one) that I feel are really worth reading and having an intelligent discussion about, and far less of the same old people hashing out all the same old stuff that's been done a billion times, doesn't matter, or both.


    • dcindc
      dcindc commented
      Editing a comment
      Manual quote for the dumbass forum software >>There are fewer of all these groups because the forum blows now. Nothing like it used to be. BLOWS. << Hey Dave! :wave: What kind of dumbass forum software doesn't time stamp the posts? HIYA Peeps!

  • #6
    ^^ I think you've hit that the wrong way around. Beliefs can only ever be subjective. And your certainties about 'fact' are no less problematic than those that pick out their jazz instruments of choice
    <div class="signaturecontainer">My band:<br />
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    Comment


    • billybilly
      billybilly commented
      Editing a comment

      If we are, I'm reconstructing it through de-identifying what others have sought to please themselves, finding only what I like to play, coddle and admire within the means I have chosen.


    • Gitter
      Gitter commented
      Editing a comment

      Willyguitar wrote:
      ^^ I think you've hit that the wrong way around. Beliefs can only ever be subjective. And your certainties about 'fact' are no less problematic than those that pick out their jazz instruments of choice

      The point I was making is that the logical basis for belief is almost always derived from purely objective tenets. The reason you believe that placing your hand on a hot iron will burn is because of the objective understanding of the process involved and the most likely, expected outcome.

      You'll find that the more intelligent a person is, the more objective and rational their beliefs will be The less intelligent they are, they less objective and rational their beliefs will be, more prone to believing in superstitions, arriving at **** conclusions, etc.

      People who are quick to argue the relativity of 'facts' are usually doing so in service to an agenda, not in service to objective reasoning.

      As mentioned, I've noticed an amusingly exploitable 'gap' in the intellect of people who are otherwise bright enough to prosper in this life but for some reason- usually based on an underlying superiority complex where they feel the constant drive to demonstrate themselves special- they really invest a lot of irrational belief in their ability to 'perceive' things that others cannot. If you're willing to offer a nicely made, overpriced baubleand tell them that owning it will set them ahead of everyone else, they will absolutely buy it.

      They will then defend their purchase on the basis of their magic powers of 'perception', or, the fact that they could afford to spend $12,000 on a guitar and you're just bitter because you're too poor.

      The losers are their bank accounts and logic. The winners are whoever sold them that $17,000 watch or asininely priced guitar.


  • #7

    i've never been one to follow trends

    i have a love for inexpensive guitars... expensive guitars... old guitars... new guitars etc etc

    i just dig cool guitars... that will never change

    Comment


    • steve_man
      steve_man commented
      Editing a comment

      I know that my gear has been going away slowly over the past 3 years.  Some of that is due to a move, and change of playing venues.  The other part is the money.  With the economy going crazy, our bills here have been outrageous.  Having several thousand dollars tied up in extra gear laying around just doesn't make sense to me.  So, I'm in the down-sizing mode right now.  Sold one guitar last month, about to put my Strat on Craigslist.  I'll be down to my Tele, a small practice amp, and my HD500.  That pretty much covers everything I want to do, anyways.


  • #8

     No

    Comment


    • #9
      @gp2112

      The analogy with Apple computers is good. I use a Macbook Pro, because that's the computer that my job gave me. I like it, but the only perk is the nifty track pad. Not anything that can't be done on any other machine, really.

      I like the simple interface of the Mac OS, but since they cost what, 3x what a comparable PC costs, I wouldn't buy one with my own money. If they were the same price, then I'd probably get one.

      That's just about the same as a guy buying, say, a PRS SE instead of a USA one - you basically get the same functionality and performance for 1/3 of the price.

      Not that there's anything wrong with USA PRS owners, or Mac owners, either, but I think you make a good point.

      That said, if my work miraculously gave me a USA PRS to use, I would enjoy playing a guitar with that fancy, flamey carved top.
      <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>Guitars:</b> 3 Fender Strats, Fender Jazzmaster, Squier Bullet, 2 Gibson Les Pauls, Gibson ES-339, Gibson Les Paul Jr. Special, Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone Dot, Epiphone SG, PRS SE Custom 24, Ibanez AS73, Hamer Duotone, Larrivee D-03R, Takamine EG5013S, 1951 Epiphone Devon, Ibanez SR305 (bass)<br><br><br><br><b>Pedal Chain:</b> BBE Green Screamer -&gt; MXR Distortion III -&gt; Boss CE-5 -&gt; EH Stereo Pulsar -&gt; Boss DD-20 -&gt; BBE Boosta Grande<br><br><br><br><b>Amps:</b> Vox AC4, AC15, AC30, Pathfinder 10, DA5<br><br><br><br><a target="_blank" href="http://soundcloud.com/andrewalderman">SoundCloud</a></div>

      Comment


      • #10
        @kayd
        I have a 20th anniversary PRS Std 24 all mahogany with nitro finish. There is not a PRS SE that sounds anywhere close.
        I agree with the rest though.
        Don't pick a fight with an old man,
        If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.


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        Comment


        • Bucksstudent
          Bucksstudent commented
          Editing a comment
          Knotty, I have played many guitars; owned around thirty in all. My newer 245 SE is one of the best I've owned/played. I recently played some "higher end" models in the same price range, like the Epiphone Custom LP, and was not impressed.

          I've never gotten to play an American PRS. Most of them are out of my price range, and no local place carries them. I don't know anyone who has the money who would buy a PRS over a Fender or Gibson, honestly. If there are guitars that put my 245 SE to shame, I'd love to try one.

      • #11
        I prefer my PRS to a Gibson LP. I have a Blade delta 'tele' that is so superior in quality, sound and value to a Fender USA that it is laughable.
        I think the SE line are fantastic. I was just making the point that if you want a guitar as resonant as mine you have to pay for the single mahogany block and construction and not deaden it with poly. When I strum my PRS every part resonates and feels alive. No Gibbon has ever done that for me.
        You pays your money and you make your choice.
        Don't pick a fight with an old man,
        If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.


        '' Who, me Officer?''

        Comment


        • Bucksstudent
          Bucksstudent commented
          Editing a comment

          knotty wrote:
          I prefer my PRS to a Gibson LP. I have a Blade delta 'tele' that is so superior in quality, sound and value to a Fender USA that it is laughable.


          I agree on both parts.


      • #12
        As an SE owner myself, I can vouch for them being pretty great. I love picking them up at shops, because they always sound good.

        Maybe USA PRS is worlds better. It's been a while since I've played on a Custom 24. The most recent one I played was a Mira.

        One thing I found interesting was that Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth played his SE sig for most of the last show I saw, and his other guitar was a sweet USA one. From an audience member's standpoint, it had basically the same functionality. His USA one might br nicer, but I couldn't tell in the audience, and he seemed to like his SE better. To each his/her own.

        For me, I'd certainly like a USA PRS, but I'm happy with my SE.
        <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>Guitars:</b> 3 Fender Strats, Fender Jazzmaster, Squier Bullet, 2 Gibson Les Pauls, Gibson ES-339, Gibson Les Paul Jr. Special, Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone Dot, Epiphone SG, PRS SE Custom 24, Ibanez AS73, Hamer Duotone, Larrivee D-03R, Takamine EG5013S, 1951 Epiphone Devon, Ibanez SR305 (bass)<br><br><br><br><b>Pedal Chain:</b> BBE Green Screamer -&gt; MXR Distortion III -&gt; Boss CE-5 -&gt; EH Stereo Pulsar -&gt; Boss DD-20 -&gt; BBE Boosta Grande<br><br><br><br><b>Amps:</b> Vox AC4, AC15, AC30, Pathfinder 10, DA5<br><br><br><br><a target="_blank" href="http://soundcloud.com/andrewalderman">SoundCloud</a></div>

        Comment


        • wankdeplank
          wankdeplank commented
          Editing a comment

          kayd_mon wrote:
          As an SE owner myself, I can vouch for them being pretty great. I love picking them up at shops, because they always sound good.

          Maybe USA PRS is worlds better. It's been a while since I've played on a Custom 24. The most recent one I played was a Mira.

          One thing I found interesting was that Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth played his SE sig for most of the last show I saw, and his other guitar was a sweet USA one. From an audience member's standpoint, it had basically the same functionality. His USA one might br nicer, but I couldn't tell in the audience, and he seemed to like his SE better. To each his/her own.

          For me, I'd certainly like a USA PRS, but I'm happy with my SE.

          What makes you think that just because Akerfeldt was playing an SE Sig that it was the same shelf model that you or I could buy?  It's pretty standard practice for guys with sponsorship deals to get custom shop models of the guitars they endorse.

          PS  To Knotty: Never played a Blade but I have played Andersons and the like that didn't stand up to a good Fender in my mind.  See at least I qualified my position. 

          The only Blade endorser I've ever seen live was Bernard Allison.  I notice that endorsing Blade didn't make him get rid of his Fenders though.   http://www.bernardallison.com/html/6,0,0,0,0_en.html


      • #13
        I used to have a white pre court case tremonti se. I changed the pups for a Pearly gates and a jb. Wish I still had it.
        Don't pick a fight with an old man,
        If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.


        '' Who, me Officer?''

        Comment


        • #14
          Of course. The tone is in the logo.
          Don't pick a fight with an old man,
          If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.


          '' Who, me Officer?''

          Comment


          • #15
            Akerfeldt's guitar still said SE on the headstock, so I assumed it was the import. But I really don't think it was a custom shop - USA PRS have more impressive tops, and his sig didn't have the same level of top figuring as his other guitar. I do know that some guys do that, but I didn't think it was the case here.

            I saw them in a small club, so I did have a good look at their gear the whole night.

            <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>Guitars:</b> 3 Fender Strats, Fender Jazzmaster, Squier Bullet, 2 Gibson Les Pauls, Gibson ES-339, Gibson Les Paul Jr. Special, Epiphone Les Paul, Epiphone Dot, Epiphone SG, PRS SE Custom 24, Ibanez AS73, Hamer Duotone, Larrivee D-03R, Takamine EG5013S, 1951 Epiphone Devon, Ibanez SR305 (bass)<br><br><br><br><b>Pedal Chain:</b> BBE Green Screamer -&gt; MXR Distortion III -&gt; Boss CE-5 -&gt; EH Stereo Pulsar -&gt; Boss DD-20 -&gt; BBE Boosta Grande<br><br><br><br><b>Amps:</b> Vox AC4, AC15, AC30, Pathfinder 10, DA5<br><br><br><br><a target="_blank" href="http://soundcloud.com/andrewalderman">SoundCloud</a></div>

            Comment


            • wankdeplank
              wankdeplank commented
              Editing a comment

              kayd_mon wrote:
              Akerfeldt's guitar still said SE on the headstock, so I assumed it was the import. But I really don't think it was a custom shop - USA PRS have more impressive tops, and his sig didn't have the same level of top figuring as his other guitar. I do know that some guys do that, but I didn't think it was the case here.

              I saw them in a small club, so I did have a good look at their gear the whole night.


              OK, I guess seeing is believing.  I guess the Sig guitars Clapton uses are the same ones we can get off the shelf, etc., etc.  The point is that Akerfeldt's Sig model is an SE, otherwise I'm 100% sure that he wouldn't be using it.

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