Guitar Acquisition Syndrome

Some people have it bad. Really bad.

Take Keith Richards for example. He has over 3,000 guitars. As he put it: “I’ve probably got too many.”

My collection is quite modest. I currently run only 4 electrics: an early 70s Les Paul Standard, an early 80s Ibanez AS-200, an early 90s PRS Custom 24 and a late 90s American Deluxe Fat Strat.

It has been ten years since I last picked up an electric. And now it is time to add another guitar to the stable. The Strat is my current first guitar for all my live work. I use the other guitars when I am tracking in the studio. I really enjoy playing the Strat and I am considering adding a 56 NOS from the Custom Shop or an Artist Series Eric Johnson. Two-tone sunburst. Maple.

There are now so many Strats that it is difficult to nail down a suitable candidate. This fellow even went on a quest for the perfect Strat. He really liked the Eric Johnson machine. I wonder if he also went for the tattoo?

But the Nash Timewarp S-50 gets a lot of positive views. A bit battered for a new guitar but I guess I wouldn’t worry about nicking the instrument.

There are also some interesting choices with Suhr and Tom Anderson.

I’ll be making a run into Toronto over the next few days hunting for a new instrument. I’ll let you know what happens.

7 replies
  1. Rob
    Rob says:

    Hi, Richard, I bet you knew I would chime in”¦.

    I have been experiencing GAS for at least 30 years. However, I have a solution – my wife – she is more important to me than acquiring additional instruments and as quoted by Keith Richards, you can only play one at a time. I think Keith got that quote from Sue.

    So, leads me to a question – are you solely inclined to a maple fingerboard? I have 1991 Strat Ultra with an ebony fingerboard on a maple neck and love it. It is of course personal preference but I have never been drawn to maple fingerboards for some reason, likely the lacquer; I find the rosewood my favourite, then ebony. Only my Telecaster has a maple fingerboard, but it is rarely played. The twang sounds nice on maple, though.

    Just curious….hope all is well and good luck guitar shopping.

    p.s. Bring nose plugs – it is getting rather ripe downtown as the garbage continues to pile up. I am not kidding here – I ate lunch on a patio yesterday and when the wind shifted it was disgusting….every corner container is overflowing onto the streets”¦

    Tourists beware.


  2. Rob
    Rob says:

    Ah, so the picture of you in the “tough day at the office” picture is that of your cherry red late 90s American Deluxe Fat Strat? I did not know the Fat Strat’s came with an ebony fingerboard. Nice.

    The EJ model does look great – I have always admired him as a player. Great tone! Fingers at play vs. toys. A Fender guitar out of Fender amps.

    Please keep us informed of your acquisition. It’s fun buying new guitars.

    Of my 30 or so I have owned over the years, I think only about 3 have been brand new. As you know, I am a bit of a vintage nut.

  3. Stephen Meyer
    Stephen Meyer says:

    I can still hear that PRS Custom in my dreams, and I’m upset that you didn’t list it as your favourite 🙁
    Of the Four, it’s my fav by far!

    …but new guitars are always fun, hehe.


  4. Doug
    Doug says:

    I can definitely relate with the Syndrome… I’m currently playing a 78 LP Standard, an 85 customized strat – Japanese, but with a thinline neck and a Dimarzio humbucker at each end (split, of course). Then there’s a Larrive 05, and for travelling, a shallow body Ovation. My son has a Tele, and an Aria Pro LP copy. Both of us are into home recording, but not on the scale you seem to be. I sometimes think of the T-shirt I saw at a Steve’s Music store. On the front, it said, “My wife said she’d leave me if I bought one more guitar…” And on the back it said, “Sure gonna miss that girl…” Oddly enough, my 85 strat, though it’s a Japanese one, and I only paid $350 for it, it plays like a dream and I don’t think I’ve ever played any guitar I would trade it for. With the Dimarzios and the split switches, I can get pretty much anything I want out of it. Recently picked up a Digitech RP2000 pedal, though if I had to do it all over again, I’d definitely go for the stomp box approach. More flexibility.


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