Posts Tagged ‘cheap’

Let Me Say This One More Time…

More expensive doesn’t mean better.

I was having a conversation with a fellow guitarist and gear slut who shared a story of how he first bought an Epiphone Les Paul then later purchased a Gibson Les Paul. He said to me that the difference in sound was like night and day. “I agree,” I replied, “But not for the reason you might think.”

I went on to explain that I’ve played a number of Epiphone Les Pauls over the years that were actually really killer. But even though they were named “Les Paul,” at least to me, they had a different sound than a Gibson Les Paul which, frankly, is the standard. But different, at least in this case, doesn’t mean bad. I went on to say that I’ve known several players who actually prefer an Epiphone Les Paul over a Gibson Les Paul and not because of price. They actually prefer the sound.

He chided me in owning a Custom Shop Les Paul and played devil’s advocate with me suggesting that I might think it sounds better because I paid so much for it. ­čÖé But I said I didn’t pay full market value for it at the time, and I wanted the standard Les Paul sound.

Then recently, someone I know said he suggested to another that he check out the BOSS Katana 50. But that person said that he’d rather get a tube amp because the Katana was so cheap and it couldn’t be that high of quality. Of course, I laughed at that statement and immediately reminded me of a scene from Men in Black when Will Smith puts on the “last suit he’ll ever need.”

An experienced player can make anything sound decent; that is unless that thing really does suck and no one could ever hope to salvage a good tone out of it.

But here’s the thing: The Katana simply ROCKS! I’m continually blown away by the sound this amp produces. Sure, it’s an inexpensive amp. But it’s not cheap-sounding. I just used it this morning at an annual event that I play at a local high school. I used my acoustic through it, and just adored the sound!

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ve been extolling the Katana’s virtues for quite a while, but it is the epitome of “quality rules.” With any gear, the sound that it produces trumps the price every time. And quality can be had at ANY price; so can shite… I’ve played amps that cost thousands of dollars and have come away scratching my head after giving them a thorough – and fair – rundown, asking myself, Why┬áthe┬áhell┬ádoes┬áthis┬ácost┬áso┬ámuch?

On the flip side, I’ve paid LOTS for some gear that I think is much better than everything else to which I compared it. Case in point, my hand-wired Mad Professor Deep Blue Delay. I paid $325 for it at the time, and it has never left my board. People have suggested lots of different analog delays and I’ve tried many. But I haven’t found anything to date that floats my boat like that pedal does.

So the point to all this is to get the gear that inspires you. Sometimes you might pay a lot for it; sometimes, you may not. And if you think I’m full of it, here’s my attitude (from Forgetting Sarah Marshall):

So… Les Paul, Stratocaster, Flying V, Explorer, Telecaster, Mustang, huma-huma nuka-nuka a’poo’a’a – Ye-a Bitch!

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