Gear Acquisition Syndrome GAS

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Gear Acquisition Syndrome GAS

Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Back In the Guitar Shop

guitar pickup display caseI have it, you have it, and a million other guitar players have it. GAS or “gear acquisition syndrome”.  It creeps into your life without warning and sinks its hooks into your flesh and makes you a slave to it. You think about it constantly like a junkie looking for a score only worse. And we’re powerless to stop it. All the guitars, pedals, pickups, amps, tubes, tuners, cabinets, straps, cables and a million other gizmos and gadgets can’t fill the need. So we surrender to it because we’re weak. Of course this is all an exaggeration (mostly) but it’s not to far from the truth. I’ve been lost to it for a long time, and all I can say is “thank God for Craigslist”. Without it I’d still have everything I’ve bought and would not have been able to sell a lot of it. Of course I always put the money back into more gear (I told you it was a sickness). But damnit I love it!

seymour duncan antiquity humbucker boxA while back I bought a EarthQuaker Devices Crimson Drive and it actually satisfied my search for the perfect overdrive pedal. It was amazing! I no longer had an unyielding urge to look for new gear. I thought “Holy Shit! I’m FREE!” I was just playing and enjoying it more than ever. I felt it was safe to go into a guitar shop for strings and things without being in danger of seeing something that I couldn’t live without. So one day I headed out for strings and a couple of volume pots (legitimate need for those). Walked into the shop and while the guy was getting the pots I was looking around and in a glass case I spot a Duncan Antiquities Humbucker. I had at one time been in the market for one of these but opted for a 57 Classic+ because the Antiquity was nowhere to be found locally and I hate to wait*. But now I felt my pulse jump up a few beats then told myself “it’s probably for the neck position anyway”. That’s when I made a fatal error in judgement: I bent down for a closer look at the label on the box and there it was. A check mark next to “Bridge – Nickel”. At this point the guy was there with my pots and he asked if I needed anything else. Without missing a beat I said “yes, I’ll take the Antiquity Humbucker in the case”. So much for being safe. You can tell a true GAS victim when they don’t even ask “how much is it?”

The thing is I do not regret it. Hell, I don’t regret ANYTHING I’ve ever bought or traded for or whatever. What’s important is the fact that I GOT it! And it sounds awesome. Oh yeah, I also bought some new power tubes that I didn’t need at all but they were just sitting there begging to go home with me.

more GAS money

Is there something to take away from all of this? Yes, I have now quit trying to quit GAS. The irony is that it’s now safer than ever to go into a guitar shop because I’m walking in with the intention of finding something to satisfy my GAS which means finding that “something” made the trip a success. And you can’t feel bad about that, right?

*note: I always shied away from ordering online because as I said, I hate to wait. That has now changed since I discovered Amazon has lots of stuff with free next day shipping. Occasionally “same day” shipping. So they’ve seen a lot of orders from me in the last 6 months. Just wait till they start their “drone delivery” service with 15 to 30 minute delivery times. Holy Shit I see an Antiquity for the neck position in my future!

How’s your GAS? Tell us about it in the comments below.


Dean Leslie West Peace Sign Signature Soltero, Dean Leslie West Flame Maple Tobacco Burst Signature Soltero, Gibson Les Paul Studio, Hamer Studio,, Epiphone Les Paul (Korean), Ovation Celebrity, Laney Cub 12R, Blackstar, HT-1R, Jet City JCA20H, Jet City JCA22H, Orange OR15, and a lot of dirt pedals, some store bought some DIY.

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