David Lamkins picked up his first guitar a long time ago. As best he can recall the year was 1967: the year of the Summer of Love. Four decades later David has conjured up an amalgam of folk, rock and jazz solo guitar music for the occasional intimate Portland audience.
LCW on Bandcamp
location: Portland, OR USA

Facets: fetishism, philosophy, preferences, @musings info

Vintage gear

I have no interest in vintage gear. I'd personally rather start out with something new and leave my own mark on it. I'm not a speculator, so the investment angle is completely off the table for me.

I don't buy the argument that vintage is better because it's vintage. Nor do I care for the implication that I'm somehow incapable of appreciating a truly fine instrument, either. (There are always those who would defend their own interests by denigrating others.)

I've worked hard to get the sounds I want to hear. A big part of my sound is the guitar itself. Almost as important as that is how I approach the instrument. Although I prefer my two guitars over anything I've played since having them built, I can make just about any ergonomically-comfortable, competently-made, properly-set-up guitar sound almost as good. Keep in mind that "good" is relative to what I want to hear, not absolute.

I'm not ignorant of vintage gear, either. I've been up-close and personal with many pieces. Some of it is good. Some is very good. Some is just old and worn out. Most is (surprisingly) average. It's all expensive. I've never played a vintage piece that has made me want to rethink my position on paying the cost premium.

I used to think it was odd that the average quality of vintage gear is not higher than what I've observed. Think about it: over time the great pieces should survive because they get special treatment while the less-stellar instances get modified, maintained with varying levels of competence, abused and eventually damaged beyond repair or discarded. But that doesn't seem to be what really happens. There's no guarantee whatsoever that a spectacularly-good piece will fall into the hands of a player who will recognize, appreciate and care for the gear.

February 15 2009 07:14:50 GMT