“The Pearl of Great Price”

Mr Da Vinci

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In Matthew 13: 45-46, Jesus tells the parable known as the Pearl of Great Price; in it, a collector finds a pearl of surpassing beauty and perfection, and sells all his others in order to possess it. I’ve been looking at my small, but not inexpensive, guitar collection and wondering whether I shouldn’t seek out one magnificent guitar - maybe a 70s LP, or a fantastic old Tele - and sell all the ones I have to get it. Has anyone on here ever done it? If so, what was it you chose?
And before I too quickly take the obvious line of least resistance and say “I could never get rid of this one, or that one, or own only one guitar”, I remember Tolkien‘s observation in The Two Towers, when Aragorn is discussing Pippin dropping the elven-brooch to leave a trail for his friends to follow: ‘One who cannot cast away a treasure at need is in fetters’ (p.203).
I do already have more guitars than I need; do you think a perfect one could be worth all the others, should it ever come your way?
 
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Duane_the_tub

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Only you know the answer to what is going to make you truly happy. I don't believe there is such thing as a perfect guitar, in part because they're all so different. Just the two you mentioned - a Norlin LP and a Tele - are going to be very different in how they feel, play and sound. Unless you are a firm believer in the concept of the ideal, I think you could be setting yourself up for disappointment and regret.
 

Who

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I am guilty of having several similar things that were “good deals”, but in the end, their total cost surpass one “great thing”. I’ve done this in many hobbies. Bicycles, guitars, guns, archery, etc.

I often think of this topic you brought up…. Get rid of them all and do something else with the money.


In the end, I keep what I have, telling myself it is too much work to sell. Plus, I think I might like “owning stuff” as much as I like “using stuff”. Probably some sort of mental defect.
 

redcoats1976

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i did this to some extent last year.sold 4 pretty good guitars and bought a 50s trad HP LP,highly flamed.its a little heavy at 9.5 pounds but is an amazing guitar,and i had always wanted a highly flamed gloss LP.luckily i still also have a strat,tele,tribute 60s GT and a few others around the house...
 

Nick-O

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You need to do whatever inspires you to play more and enjoy your time with it.

I've taken various trips like you are talking about, only to find I had the pearl all along.
 

Tollie

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I am guilty of having several similar things that were “good deals”, but in the end, their total cost surpass one “great thing”. I’ve done this in many hobbies. Bicycles, guitars, guns, archery, etc.

I often think of this topic you brought up…. Get rid of them all and do something else with the money.


In the end, I keep what I have, telling myself it is too much work to sell. Plus, I think I might like “owning stuff” as much as I like “using stuff”. Probably some sort of mental defect.
I have the same mental illness but I take it one step further. I love (or maybe I am addicted to) the thrill of the chase and scheming how I will find a way to be able to buy a new guitar. I do not need another guitar, yet I always seem to be looking for one.

I bought the last one on credit with Affirm financing and no trade in. I usually sell one and chip in some extra money to get a new one so I have no problem telling my wife. But I keep the new irresponsibly purchased one in the case and only play it when she’s not around. See, I told you I was worse than you!
 

Peter M

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Well, if you are (or want to be) a gigging musician, just "one pearl" won't cut it. You need a few guitars.

But if you're just into strumming at home, do whatever makes you happy.
 
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jbash

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My brother is the type of person who likes to have a variety of mid to low priced guitars. He went down the expensive guitar road when he was young and just does not feel his talents are worth sinking the $ into "fine" instruments.

I love variety, but when it comes to guitars I am the opposite- I only need one amazing/keeper guitar.

So yeah, I would do it. But it's not my wallet or collection, it's yours.
 

Jeremiah

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I would change the inexpensive to expensive to consolidate a bunch of lower quality similar instruments into one higher quality. I've got a Thunderbird and three Les Pauls. No two guitars in my collection have the same pickups. I wouldn't even say I adhered to the above adage, mine are just three Norlins, all different colors. I like them and would never get rid of them, I've changed out all hardware and electronics. I wouldn't say they are higher quality than any other Les Pauls I've played, they're just the only Gibson guitars I'll ever buy.

The rest of my collection is similar, no duplicate pickups aside from a Charvel that is a sort of duplicate to my Mexi 70's Strat. It has an HS configuration and a top loaded Floyd 1000, so only the S part is a duplicate to the strat and the H is a duplicate of one of my '76 Les Pauls.

That was a lot of rambling to tell you to just do what makes sense to you.
 

golfnut

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Myself, I've finally managed to acquire a fantastic 52 custom shop tele and a custom shop strat. Both lifers for a strat and tele. I also have my 2 Acoustics, a Martin authentic series D-28 and D-18. The D-28 is untouchable. I would never sell that unless I won a lottery and could afford the prewar vintage equivalent. Recently I thought about selling the strat and tele as well as my standard 50 les paul to get the ultimate R9. I decided to wait and just buy the R9 cash sometime next year. I don't want to do anything I'll regret as at this point there isn't anything I really want to sell. I still gig so I like having all the variety of electrics. I'm about 5-6 years from retirement from my day job and maybe 8 years from retiring from band gigs. At some point I am going to want to reduce my collection. In the short term I can see getting rid of my D-18, brad paisley tele and les paul standard 50. Maybe in the long term get rid of the custom shop strat and tele. This might happen if I down size my house. But I'm hoping that I will have that one ultimate pearl being the R9 already as well as my D-28 authentic. I could be happy with just that 2. But for now I want em all.
 

Thundermtn

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One guitar sound.

No thank you!

At this point whatever unobtainium guitar that's out there will be ultra high on the diminishing returns list as my R8 is profoundly great. I'm not sure I could find one better, it would be an amazing guitar but in a different way, not better.

Only way I would do it would be if I had unlimited $, and for something one of my guitar heroes recorded with, and that list is tiny. Slash's Appetite, Page's #1, Iommi's Monkey, Billy's Pearly Gates, West's Jr., or Greenie.
 

1allspub

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As others have said, only you can be the judge of what will make you happy. That said, you should be aware that should you sell off a bunch of inexpensive guitars to buy “the One”... that that will likely not be the end of it. IOW, after you get “the One“, you’ll likely end up looking for “another“ as well (whether it’s another pricey one, or a cheaper one to have as a plan B, expect to want more than just one... eventually... it’s just human nature). ;)
 

moreles

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do you think a perfect one could be worth all the others
This is not a good question. This is just a useless abstraction, not reality. There are only individual, real guitars -- not some divine "perfect" one. And there are only human beings who do not, and I think cannot, know in advance what will prove best for them. There is no answer to this question other than "well, what guitars are you selling, and what's the one you intend to buy?" As a general practice, my experience has been that it is always better financially and in terms of use and performance to buy one guitar at a time, never on impulse and always with patience, and to enjoy always checking out what's out there of interest. Doing this, I have always made money when I turn something over, and with these gains can fund even better purchases to the point that I now own fewer but way, way better guitars than I ever expected. In that time, I learned more, my wants and needs changed, etc. What I considered great once is not what I consider great now.
 

mjross

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Well, if you are (or want to be) a gigging musician, just "one pearl" won't cut it. You need a few guitars.

But it you're just into strumming at home, do whatever makes you happy.
Hear that, but I remember gigging for MANY year 6 nights a week with just one guitar, and worse than that, one amp. Scary to think about it these days! You need an assortment of tools in your arsenal, pretty much like any other craft!
 

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