Snobbery!


Shadowborn
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Shadowborn
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04/15/2005 7:42 am
Never felt the urge to start a thread here in the "Open Discussion" forum before, but as I was browsing the other forums here tonight I came across a subject that was touched on briefly that I really wanted to comment on.
And that subject was music equipment snobbery.

Now, I realize that most of the time you get what you pay for. That being said, I also know for a fact that when you buy a "popular brand" piece of equipment; you are spending at least one quarter of the purchase price on name alone. In other words, if you get right down to brass tacks, part of the purchase is dedicated to "Bragging rights".

I've been playing guitar seriously now for around 17 years, and I've had countless opportunities to compare various brands of equipment with the many musicians I've jammed with. Now granted, I've not tried every brand out there, but I have been fortunate to hear many of the "Big" names.
And to be honest, most of the time, I was very unimpressed.

The equipment that always seemed to impress me the most was the companies that most people snubbed. Yet whenever these "Purists" would hear these items without knowing the brand-name, they would always remark on how good the item sounded. But let them see what it was, and then the degrading remarks and putdowns would soon start.

Me personally? I have tried out and played through many "Big name" pieces of equipment. But after years of comparing, I've settled happily on a set-up that actually sounds awesome and saved me thousands of dollars.

I guess what started me on this rant is that I've seen this type of snobbery in huge amounts right here in these forums. And the people that I have introduced this sight to have also commented on it.
What really amazes me is when someone writes in with something like:
"I'm looking to buy a good amp, but I'm on a tight budget! Any suggestions?"

Then this individual will get replies along the lines of: "Get a Marshall!", "Get a Mesa-Boogie!", "Get a Fender!", etc., etc..

???????????????????

Man!!!!! The word "budget" must have a completely different meaning outside of my area! Let me explain something to a select few of you out there. A LOT of us musicians out here in the real world are NOT rolling in the money. A LOT of us would love to be able to spend thousands of dollars on music equipment, but some of us have priorities that must come first, it's called a "family". ALL OF US down-to-earth musicians out there consider it really annoying when someone ridicules that equipment that was either chosen, or was the best that could be afforded.

Well, I've ranted enough. Just thought I would voice my opinion on this subject, and see what some of your opinions might be. So I'll go put my armor on now, and await the onslaught....... :cool:
If eyes are the mirror to the soul, you will see yourself as I see you
# 1
chucklivesoninmyheart
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chucklivesoninmyheart
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04/15/2005 10:59 am
I think how much you invest in equipment can quickly be related to how serious of an endeavor it is for you...not me personally,but many of these 'purists'.
Try once,fail twice...
# 2
PRSplaya
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PRSplaya
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04/15/2005 1:00 pm
Personally, I think that some, if not most, of the people who suggest Marshall, Mesa Boogie, etc... aren't very educated on, or experienced with the said brands. From what I see, they are usually young guitarist who haven't been playing very long, and/or really don't know any difference. I alway's try to get an approxamation of the persons budget, how the amp will be used, and what style's it needs to cover before suggesting anything. I usually suggest some sort of Peavey, but that's just me. I love Peavey, and think that they have some great equipment in the "budget" price.

All things aside, the person looking for an amp on a budget should let us know certain things before expecting a serious answere. Technically, budget doesn't mean cheap. A budget is the amount of money a person has to spend, which can be large or small. But, usuall, in this context, it does mean cheap. Also, what's cheap to me may be expensive to someone else, and vise versa.


BTW, I really like the quote in your signature... very thought provoking
[FONT=Palatino Linotype]Tonja Renee's personal instructor[/FONT]

>HERE'S WHERE I AM NOW<
# 3
Axl_Rose
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Axl_Rose
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04/15/2005 3:53 pm
I solely use Gibsons and Marshalls because my idols do.

Im sick of people telling me how they tried out both gibsons and epiphones and there was nothing between them. I also hate people who get offensive if you tell them you have quite a number of guitars, they always laugh and ask if you can play them all at once :rolleyes:

My point is, based on my equipment, I'll be seen as a snob. I dread telling people the guitars and amps I have because they often get jealous and label you.

Everything in life comes down to money, what you can and cant afford, and too often those who are lucky enough to be able to buy the things they want get condemned for it.
# 4
PRSplaya
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PRSplaya
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04/15/2005 4:17 pm
I agree with those points as well.
[FONT=Palatino Linotype]Tonja Renee's personal instructor[/FONT]

>HERE'S WHERE I AM NOW<
# 5
spiritinthesky2
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spiritinthesky2
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04/16/2005 1:18 am
I was always told to get the best that I could afford. So I do have a popular brand guitar and amp although not top of the line my setup serves me well. I do have friends who own top of the line equiptment and I would'nt call them "snobs" It's just that they can afford better stuff than I can. No shame in that.
[FONT=Arial]Champane taste and caviar dreams will leave you broke every time![/FONT] :cool:
# 6
Re2point0
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Re2point0
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04/16/2005 3:00 am
I'm on a tight budget too, and I try to give people advice I would like to hear. i belive i've suggested someone get a line 6 spyder two. those are nice amps and you can pick a 50-75 watter up for about 400 bucks, granted you want to get the foot switch to go along. It comes with about 7 effects I belive, not sure tho. But like if you pick up a marshall, you have to get all the stomp boxes just to get a sound you want.
# 7
guitarfreak141
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guitarfreak141
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04/16/2005 3:40 am
i got my crate FX series 120 watt amp for $400, it has quite a few effects and a channel switching pedal. And I think it sounds great.
If there's one thing I've learned, it's that life is one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead.

Rock stars ... is there anything they don't know?
# 8
guitarfreak141
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guitarfreak141
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04/16/2005 3:41 am
o ya and if i could get any amp I would get the B-52 stack which i think rocks.
If there's one thing I've learned, it's that life is one crushing defeat after another until you just wish Flanders was dead.

Rock stars ... is there anything they don't know?
# 9
ake
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ake
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04/16/2005 5:21 pm
When I was a kid I was truly impressed by what gear people played. Now that I'm a little more mature Iv'e got a little more perspective. In my band the rhythm player swears by Fender. The Lead guy plays a Silvertone made back in the 50s thru an amp that can't be identified. The drummers kit is pieced together form drums and cymbals he found at flea markets. I play a bass I made from plywood and a neck that looks like it was in a fire thru an amp that was originally for a church organ.
We play every weekend, the ladies love us, We play festivals in the summer, the ladies love us, we've got out three CDs, the ladies love us. I guess what I'm tryin to say is if you love the music, play it with style and feeling,
have a respect for the audience and PRACTICE; you will have fun, be respected by your peers and enjoy the benifets that playing rock and roll can bring. Don't worry that your gear isn't as nice as somebody elses'. REMEMBER it's not a competition it's ART. It's more important to develop your own style than worship some idol and rip off theirs. Peace my brothers!!
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power;we will know peace" J. Hendrix
# 10
chucklivesoninmyheart
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chucklivesoninmyheart
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04/16/2005 5:40 pm
It is safe to say that most of the 'ladies' don't know s**t about equipment most likely.(not saying your equipment sucks or sounds bad,but your average female fan isn't going to care if you use a squire or U.S Fat strat)
Try once,fail twice...
# 11
SPL
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SPL
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04/16/2005 9:15 pm
What I find most amusing are the people who have thousands of dollars worth in brand name gear but have no idea how to dial in a decent sound! :D
# 12
Axl_Rose
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Axl_Rose
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04/16/2005 10:02 pm
Originally Posted by: SPLWhat I find most amusing are the people who have thousands of dollars worth in brand name gear but have no idea how to dial in a decent sound! :D


Thats the attitude I hate. So what if they arent as good with their equipment as people with cheaper stuff. You treating them differently just because they have expensive stuff.

Reminds me of this guy I know who constantly looks for arguments with my about guitars and amps just because he feels inferior with his epi and combo.
# 13
Lordathestrings
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Lordathestrings
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04/17/2005 7:22 am
[font=trebuchet ms]Play whatever gear works for you!

If you dig around in the archives, you'll find some threads with exchanges between myself and James8831 explaining why I'm unlikely to ever own another Gibson.

I've owned several Gibsons and Fenders back in the day, but there is just no way to justify the prices, given the crappy quality control. At premium prices, you should not have to sort through a bunch of guitars to find a 'good one'. They're all supposed to be good ones!

I currently have 4 Yamahas, 5 Washburns, and a custom Odyssey. There's a particular vintage model of Gretsch I'd like to own, and an old Yamaha I'd like to find for sentimental reasons, but the closest I'm likely to come to buying another new guitar is an assembled-from-custom-parts Tele made to my own specs. And it will only remotely resemble anything comming off the Fender production line.

Same with amps. Idiots with more money than good sense have driven the price of old Marshall and Vox amps to obscene heights. And Fender amps are getting there too. Now, people are scouring the landscape looking for old Traynor amps, and doing 'plexi mods' to make them sound like Marshalls. So Traynor prices are starting to climb. Magnavox-era Ampegs are starting to gain some cork-sniffer cachet, putting them at risk of becoming ruinously over-priced. I expect that Garnet amps (another fine old Canadian line) will become uber-expensive in a few years. And have any of you looked at the prices for old-production EL34 tubes! :eek:

Then there's the effects snobbery/collecter's item/vintage-is-better BS. A member of another forum I spend some time on just sold his old Arbiter Fuzz-Face for almost $800US! And it wasn't even all original! The components to build one cost about $50, if you go top-of-the-line for the case and hardware.

My next tube amp will be one I design and build myself. The gear trip is starting to look more like a Hell-bound train, and I ain't ridin' no mo....[/font]
Lordathestrings
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www.GuitarTricks.com - Home of Online Guitar Lessons
# 14
SPL
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SPL
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04/17/2005 5:09 pm
Originally Posted by: Axl_RoseThats the attitude I hate. So what if they arent as good with their equipment as people with cheaper stuff. You treating them differently just because they have expensive stuff.


Eventhough I never wrote that I treat them differently (unless you see things I don't), you're absolutely right. I treat them differently in the way that I'd try and give them tips on how to get the best sound out of their gear. I'm a nice guy like that.

What's to hate about that attitude anyway? Wouldn't you kind of go "damn, what a waste of money!" if someone you knew bought a brand new BMW, but didn't have a license? I'm not saying people should not make pointless purchases like that. I think it's their right to waste their money in any way, shape or form they please, just like it is my right to find such behavior amusing. :)
Now, getting in someone's face about it, that's another thing; and says a whole lot about someone's insecurites.
# 15
kingdavid
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kingdavid
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04/17/2005 6:32 pm
Originally Posted by: PonyOne...Petrucci or Gatton on a $100 Squier will sound better than a Slipknot kid on an SG Supreme...

Petrucci will sound better staring at a picture of a US$100 Squier than a Slipknot kid playing an SG Supreme!! :D
# 16
kingdavid
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kingdavid
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04/17/2005 6:52 pm
Originally Posted by: Axl_RoseThats the attitude I hate. So what if they arent as good with their equipment as people with cheaper stuff...

The lesson I would take from that is that your technical level and knowledge of your instrument is one level more important than the quality of your equipment. The equipment matters, no doubt, but to splash on expensive equipment because your idols (who no doubt are gifted musicians) sound awesome and play on and thru these equipment is to miss the point. They sound the way they do, in a very large part, due to their ability as musicians. The lovely equipment is just icing on the cake.
Expensive icing never made a poorly baked cake taste better, though it might make it look better.
That's the lesson I see there.
I also feel that guitar and gear makers take advantage of the sentiments you express (that you buy stuff because your idols play them) to rip people out of money. Coz when you buy a so and so signature model, that, I think, is essentially what's happening. And don't signatures always cost more than standards? Why should I want to have a guitar made to Petrucci's specifications? Maybe he has long fingers, and looking at my short ones, I'd probably prefer a guitar with a thinner neck, or a lower action. Maybe Steve Vai likes the sound and look of Brazilian rosewood, but I'd prefer big leaf maple! I'M AS HUMAN AS THEY ARE, GODAMMIT!! (Ok, that is said with a hint of jealousy coz these dudes are not really human, not when they play their guitars).
Some time back, I happened on this guy at a church band rehearsal. He had a very nice, sexy, lovely Yamaha acoustic. Played durn well too, Me thinks, man, his guitar is so nice, no wonder he plays that well. So I hand him my very cheap (the equivalent of US$ 50, yes, fifty only) no brand (Pearl Blossoms from China :rolleyes: ) wannabe acoustic guitar and tell him to play. And he sounds awesome still. You can tell the difference in the sound between the two guitars, yes, but he still sounds awesome.
Just so you know, my biggest object of desire right now is an acoustic from Taylor, the 614 Tobacco Sunburst CE. Guess how much it lists for? Over US$3,000. Would I buy it if I had the money? Absolutely. The thing is, if money was no object, everyone would buy all these gear. But since money happens to be an object, and we happen to have other things needing money (like family), we are forced to be keen with what we buy and the value we get from our money. And it's coz of these keeness and need to get value for money that we realize, heck, this 2K guitar isn't even all that! But if moeny wasn't an issue, I bet that a lot of us wouldn't make this realization. Like they say, necessity is nearly always (but not always) the mother of invention.
# 17
chucklivesoninmyheart
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chucklivesoninmyheart
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04/17/2005 6:53 pm
Well if a person has the money and likes to look at the high end names on their headstocks and amps and that makes them feel good,then great.Names/brands to me don't matter enough to sacrifice other priority's in my life though.

Bang for your buck is what I look for.My brother scowls at the idea of me getting a schecter(well...bad example.He dosn't care for anything without a locking trem.).
Try once,fail twice...
# 18
chucklivesoninmyheart
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chucklivesoninmyheart
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04/17/2005 7:39 pm
Originally Posted by: PonyOnewhen a carload of girls puts your CD in and puts the top down on a summer day, do you think one of them is going to go "OH MY GOD he is so sexy, he totally has a great voice and writes profound lyrics and he plays this AMAZING custom PRS that has a koa back with a spalted maple top and paua bird inlays over an ebony neck through a Mesa stack!" "Oh, yeah! I heard that all his pickups are custom-wound by Seymour Duncan himself! he is such an amazing guitarist!"


LMAO...check your pm's pony!(please)
Try once,fail twice...
# 19
Axl_Rose
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Axl_Rose
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04/17/2005 11:05 pm
I am calm, what I mean is lots of people dont know the ins and outs of guitars and amps, but why should those who can afford to splash out on top brand names be ridiculed more than those with the cheap stuff.

Tonnes of people try to catch me out and ask my opinions on stuff, just trying looking to disagree with me so they can claim I have more money than sense etc.

At the end of the day just because I can afford to buy big names so why treat me any differently. I dont look down on my friends with their cheap, and lets be honest, poor copies.

I dont play guitar all that much, its not my main hobbie, not even my second or third. But I dont see why I should trade down to prevent people getting jealous.

Lets face it, Jealousy is the key word here.
# 20

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