Welcome to GuitarGear.org!
So… Who really is GoofyDawg? Well, let’s take apart the name, shall we?
Goofy – ridiculous; silly; wacky; irreverent
Dawg – an affectation for being flamboyant, ballsy, bold – but not arrogant (or at least I try very hard not to be)
Seriously, GoofyDawg is just a name I made up a long time ago to use as a handle and maintain my anonymity at the time, and it stuck because of my irreverent and mischievous manner. My real name is Brendan Delumpa. By day, I’m a professional web user interface architect. My nights and weekends are spent composing and playing music.
I started GuitarGear.org because I wanted to share my passion for my favorite instrument and because I love to experiment with all sorts of different gear related to guitar: Be it effect boxes, recording equipment, what have you. I also wanted to share a bit of my personal philosophy of music in general.
Like others, I’m on a journey with music in my life – especially as that music pertains to playing guitar. I’m sharing that journey in the hopes that you’ll in turn, share your own. Rock on!!!!
I’ve mentioned several times that one of my regular “gigs” is playing at church. I’m not embarrassed by saying that I’m a Christian, nor even that I’m a Catholic Christian. And even though I will mention this from time to time, and even share the music I write for service, what you won’t see me do is discuss my religious or spiritual convictions. And though I have certain strong convictions about the faith and spirituality, this isn’t the place for it. But I will mention playing and praising within the context of gear, which is what this gear is about!
It’s all about tone…
I’ve been playing guitar for over 40 years, and while I don’t even hope to be a virtuoso at improvisation, I do know tone, and to shape your tone, you need gear, hence the name of this site. Over the years, I’ve waffled between having lots of gear to playing pretty bare-bones (frankly, it has been mostly bare-bones). But no matter what equipment I had been playing, it always has boiled down to getting the tone that pleases me the most for a particular time in my life. Like many, I’ve gone through several phases in my musical tastes, and the tones I wanted to produce have changed as well. All in all though, I’ve gained a lot of experience and insight into shaping my tone, and I put this blog together to discuss my experiences and insights, plus share reviews of equipment and places I’ve been.
GuitarGear.org: The History of This Blog
Before computers gained prominence for personal usage, I kept journals – that I still have to this day – where I’d make commentaries on various things in my life. My most prolific writing was about programming issues and discussing cool software designs or methodologies that I’d use during the course of my work. In the late ’80’s when CompuServe was all the rage, I started moving my “thoughts” online, then in the mid-’90’s when the web evolved from a DARPA project to a publicly-available informational tool, I created one of the first web sites devoted to the Delphi Programming Language, called the Delphi Corner. Amazingly enough, this site is still around! I transferred ownership to Chris Bray, a fellow Delphi developer who was a regular contributor to the site in 1999, and he has maintained it faithfully to this day! If you think about it, the Delphi Corner has to be one of the oldest web sites on the Internet today. Okay, enough of my sentimental ruminations…
The point is that I’ve been “blogging” long before there was there was even the term “blog.” With respect to GuitarGear.org, as I mentioned above, I started it to share my thoughts about the gear I come across in my never-ending search for tone and my incurable case of GAS. Even wrote a song about GAS. Check it out:
Back in 2007, I never imagined how popular the blog would get. Hey! I’m just a regular guy who has an incredible passion for gear. But GuitarGear.org has exceeded and blown away all my expectations. The site’s nothing without readers, and I’m very grateful to all who stop by!
About the Gear I Review
I spend hours each week poring over the Internet and reading rags looking for all sorts of gear. I don’t consider it work because this kind of searching has become somewhat of a hobby for me. Now you’ll notice that most of the gear that I review is rarely “mainstream” gear. But by the same token, it’s not necessarily “boutique” gear either; at least from the standpoint of “boutique” meaning high-priced. Really what I’m after in guitar gear is stuff that I, as a regular joe-shmoe guitarist, can reasonably afford. You’ll sometimes see some high-end items like Reason Amps, but those are more exceptions rather than the rule, and at least in the case of Reason Amps, they are relatively unknown; which explains why you don’t see brands like Carr, Buddha, and BadCat here.
It’s funny, but I originally started GuitarGear.org on the premise of evaluating and reviewing nothing but affordable gear. But I quickly found that impractical because I’ve run across and evaluated a lot of affordable gear that was simply crap; and as I don’t give bad reviews, I found the prospect of going through all that too much time than I wanted to devote. So what I focus on is simply this: Gear that I personally think plays and sounds great. For the most part though, it’s gear that’s within the reach of most guitarists because it’s gear that I’d add to my own rig, and the Lord knows I don’t have that much disposable cash. In rare cases, something may be really high-priced, but it sounds so good that I just have to write about it.
In a word, NONE. I’ve been accused of that on some forums where I share a review or announcement of some new gear. Some people automatically assume that if I share information, I must somehow be affiliated with the manufacturer whose gear I’m sharing. I admit that if I’m really excited about a product, I share that excitement in my posts, and it could possibly be misconstrued as some form of advertisement from an affiliate. But know this: GuitarGear.org is completely independent, and though some people have approached me about creating a business alliance of sorts, the plain fact of the matter is that I don’t ever want GuitarGear.org to be beholden to another organization. Doing that would be the death of this blog because it would place limitations on the content I want to share. I write GuitarGear.org in my own free time.
As I mentioned above, I pore over the Internet and trade rags to get topics to write about, and I subscribe to news feeds and press releases to keep up to date with new gear. Occasionally, manufacturers or their PR companies do contact me directly to announce their stuff, and if I like what they’ve got or I see the potential for my own use, I’ll publish an announcement. But this is purely personal, and it is completely up to my discretion to post something. I have no obligations – other than my own desire to keep this blog fresh – to any third party.
How I Rate Gear
People have asked what my criteria is for rating gear. While I use general qualities such as fit and finish, versatility, tone, build quality and the like, gear that gets high marks usually moves me in some way emotionally. After all, this is a personal blog, based upon my opinion that is further based upon my personal experience with the gear. I never set out to do reviews like the big magazines. I always wanted to add a personal touch – reviewing gear based upon how I’d use it, and gear that fits in well with the classic rock and bluesy styles of music that I write and play.
But all that said, on this site, you’ll rarely, if ever see a rating that is below 4 Tone Bones on my rating scale. There are a couple of reasons for this:
- First, I evaluate A LOT of gear, whether it’s sent to my home, or I go to a shop to try it out, and since I also work a full time job, plus regularly gig, I don’t have a lot of time to write.
- Secondly, since my time is limited, I only spend the time I do have to write about gear that I really like; gear that I would readily use in my rig.
I have to be practical here, but I also don’t want to write a scathing review about gear that I think doesn’t measure up to my personal standards. After all, my views are, for all intents and purposes, subjective. I’m not an industry insider and really don’t have to play nice, but I choose to play nice because to me, it’s the right thing to do. So the gear I do review is typically the best or near the best in class.
Advertising on GuitarGear.org
Recently, I’ve gotten several inquiries from various folks who would like to put up a banner on my site, or do some sort of site partnership. I’m very careful about this because I want to avoid commercializing GuitarGear.org. But in answer to people’s questions about the banners that I do put up, I only put up banners because I’ve either established a personal relationship with those folks, and I want to help them out, or I dig their gear so much, that I want to give them prominence. I may put up more on a special page on the site, but that remains to be seen.
In any case, for the gear makers that want to advertise on GuitarGear, all I normally require is that you send me some gear to evaluate. That opens the door to doing a banner. And to be fair, I really have to love what you’ve got. As I mentioned, I don’t write articles about gear that have a rating of less than a 4 because I want to stick to a “best in class” mentality with my reviews.
Going forward, I plan to start charging for ad space. But it isn’t money that’s the driver here. I really have to like your product or service; well enough to rate it at least a 4.5 Tone Bones score to be even considered. Again, it’s maintaining he “best in class” mentality; not only with gear, but with vendors as well. If you’re interested in putting up a banner ad, please contact me at “goofydawg at guitargear.org.”
And since I’m not expecting to be paid any kickbacks, creating a relationship with a gear maker is really important to me.
To contact me directly, send mail to:
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