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A universal problem...


Old King Log
Staff member
For those who think that Gear Acquisition Syndrome is a wind problem alone, here is a bit about a guy named Dave Navarro, some sort of guitarist:

Equipment of choice

During the first few years of Jane's Addiction, Dave played a black Gibson Les Paul. Around the time of the band's major label debut Nothing's Shocking in 1988, he played Ibanez RG series guitars, including one custom painted with the album cover art. He is seen in the film "Gift" and the "Stop" video playing a blue Ibanez RG, which suggests it was used in the recording of the album Ritual de lo Habitual. During the 1990 Ritual tour, he primarily played a custom-shaped single cutaway gold Ibanez.

Dave began using PRS Guitars on the Lollapalooza tour in 1991. His signature model white PRS is now his number one stage guitar. He has several models in his regular stage and studio rig.

He used a Parker Fly Deluxe for the Chili Peppers days during the live versions of "My Friends". He used it for its super clean tones and its piezoelectric pickup that sounds similar to an acoustic guitar. Dave also openly admits that "It's one of the ugliest guitars I've ever seen", as quoted from the Dave Navarro instructional DVD.

During this era, Dave went with a more treble based guitar in the Fender Stratocaster. He had several in his possession. All of them were a 3 single coil pattern but he also had a Modulus Stratocaster-like guitar made.

Dave has also been seen playing Kramer (Van Halen Signature) Guitars, Fender Telecasters, Takamine Acoustic 12 strings, and even a Squier Hello Kitty Stratocaster given to him by Carmen.

Since late 2008, Dave's been seen using live and in studio a custom white Ibanez RG, with a humbucker/single/single pickup layout, gold hardware, and a vintage style tremolo.

Dave previously used a vintage Marshall JCM800, but now plays through 2 Marshall JCM900 amplifiers which are dubbed Tanjerine and Peach. For large gigs he will also use a Marshall Mode 4 for clean tones. In the studio he is also commonly known to use a Vox AC30 for cleans and a Bogner Uberschall for dirty tones.

With effects, Dave prefers BOSS. He uses a BOSS Octave Pedal, 2 BOSS DD3 Digital Delays, a BOSS Turbo distortion for extra volume during soloing, a Dunlop Cry Baby Wah Pedal and several others.

Epiphone Guitars (a subsidiary of Gibson) released its Dave Navarro Artist Acoustic in July 2010. According to an interview with Navarro on Gibson.com, the new guitar is based upon the classic Gibson (and Epiphone) "Hummingbird" design, and has already been played by the guitarist in the studio while recording with Jane's Addiction.[9] Named "Jane", the new guitar is black in color (as opposed to Navarro's usual white guitars), and sports a dead tree and crows on the pickguard, rather than the traditional Hummingbird and foliage images.
There are several bands that tour with a guitar tech who must take care of a dozen or so guitars.

Also, I've seen guys like Ted Nugent, whose amp rack (at least back in the 90s) has a dozen or so different guitar amps. They were mounted on a custom steel rig, and it all came off the truck ready to be pushed (by four guys) onto the stage.


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
According to Wikipedia, the term "GAS" standing for "Gear Acquisition Syndrome" first appeared in guitar forums (the page has been deleted, tho. I posted some edits to the page, in the past).

I tend to believe guitarists had this phrase first, tho. There are an awful lot of guitar thingies you can get and they do tend to obsess over them, even more than saxophone players, and the thing is, their doohickies CAN change their sound an awful lot.

EDIT: Google "Gear Acquisition Syndrome" and you'll see that the top links are all guitar-related. See also the Urban Dictionary definition (NOTE: this particular 'site really isn't safe for work, in general, but this definition is): "Guitar acquisition Syndrome, or rather 'GAS' is when you check out an awesome new guitar that you just HAVE to own, no matter what the cost. You lose sleep. You can't eat. It drives you mad!"
A picture of a small piece of my collection. I have suffered from GAS since I was a teen. Parents, you might want to teach the kiddies to say no to gas. lol


These are just my most recent projects. I love taking an inexpensive guitar, with good wood(absolute necessity), and change out the electronics and hardware to make it sound and play as well, and often better than a much more expensive instrument. Fun hobby.
I tend to believe guitarists had this phrase first, tho. There are an awful lot of guitar thingies you can get and they do tend to obsess over them, even more than saxophone players, and the thing is, their doohickies CAN change their sound an awful lot.

For me all the "Thingies" are secondary. Especially nowadays that digital modeling is actually quite good. Pedals and rack additions can be modeled with a computer, and then programmed into a good modeling amp(Fender G-DEC, Mustang, Bronco 40 and Line 6(eww!)). The instruments themselves though, each have a soul of their own. Wood is organic, and therefor individual in every instrument.


Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
I recently saw/read/watched (can't remember) an article/documentary (can't remember either) about people being either "have-ers" or "be-ers".

I don't mean to go into a discussion what's better, but what tickled my mind was the idea that there's a distinctive border between these two groups.

A "be-er" would probably just have one instrument of choice, of indeterminate condition (think of Linus' blanket, or Gould's chair) that provides the "safe spot" while "have-ers" must "own" a vast numbers of, uhm, "things" and partly define themselves via them.

This leads to the inevitable question: which one (and only one) for the lone island?
Well, I guess I could say that I like to "Be" a collector and luthier. That would be being, rather than having. A big part of the enjoyment for me is the work I do on the instrument, rather than any monetary, statuary or historical significance it may have. *Shrug* I get just as much(or more) enjoyment from a bass I paid $120 for, as opposed to one I have spent alot of money on.
There are some great musicians who have/had only a few great instruments throughout most of their career. I am certainly not as talented as them, and play and repair instruments and write music simply for my own enjoyment.
I guess what you are saying makes sense, if the the "Hav-ed" items are only status symbols or tangable assets. Maybe there are also "Do-ers", who actually do what they do(well) regardless of the quality or desirability of their axe. Interesting philosophic discussion.


Distinguished Member
Distinguished Member
..as said, I didn't mean to value one thing over the other.

Upon further pondering (and imbibing some plonk, I admit) I reduced it to "I can, because I am [something]" vs. "I can, because I have [something]" (and the opposite, of course)
I frankly admit this is a gross generalization.

Just for kicks, what is your excuse? Ain't or Haven't?

Despite being a hoarder of sorts, I'd chicken out with "I ain't".


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
If the Omega tenor is like my wife's alto, you'll really like it -- especially as you've got that Mark VII.

I was listening to an interview with one of my favorite musicians, Andrew Bird. He happens to use the same violin he got in high school as a gift from his parents. It's broken several times and he could afford a much higher quality instrument, but he's comfortable with it and he still sounds rather awesome on it.

My GAS, as far as the saxophone world is concerned is that I just want to see the shiny and that's good enough for me. When I was in high school and decided to make a career out of music, I sold my collection of horns that people mainly gave me and got a Yamaha YBS-52 bari sax. I could have gotten the 62 or a Selmer Super 80, but the 52 really felt good enough and it also left me enough cash to buy an alto, too. Besides, I am of the opinion that 85% or more of how the instrument sounds is due to you -- all other things being equal (e.g. no mechanical problems or something like that).

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