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Gear loyalty, nostalgia, road years...


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I'm wondering if this means anything to folks and if I can even put it into words. After I use a piece of gear on live gigs for awhile, the gear becomes part of the memories that are burned into my mind (or not, if the gig sucked! :D )... Then the next time I play at the same place, I get this comforting feeling that "hey, I've been playing on this stage for a couple of years and I've had the same rig for that same time period." Kind of like a comfortable pair of shoes.


I'm prone to GAS attacks when I buy/sell things like they were $.05 pieces of candy, but I tend to stick to a pretty consistent core rig. After awhile, I get this loyalty/nostalgia thing going when the gear has spent time with me on the road and so it makes me want to keep it for a long time. This is a conundrum in today's market, when the manufacturers keep releasing product upgrades and fun new instruments that scream "BUY ME NOW!" :D


Does this thought go through anyone's mind? For example, the 2 pieces of gear in my current live rig that have been with me the longest are my Invisible stand and my Anvil briefcase. I've had the stand since 1987 and the briefcase since 1988. They have been all over the US to just about every gig I've played. It is a neat feeling to think about gigs I played nearly 20 years ago with these same things accompanying me. I cannot say the same thing for my live keyboard rig (S90 + Electro). The Electro has been in the rig just over 3 years and the S90 has been there for 2 years. That's a pretty long tour of duty and part of the magic of gear that has lots of miles on it is that I'm familiar with it and associate certain good memories while using the gear.


This is kind of esoteric, but I'm wondering if this kind of psychology could help me keep my gear longer based on the number of great gigs it has seen and the amount of great memories I have tied up in the gigs with said gear.


Can anyone relate?




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What keeps me attached to my gear is my familiarity with them. I know how they react. I know which patches to use in various venues when I need to cut through or hold back. If we jump into something unexpected I know exactly where to go.

When I get tempted to buy new gear I go through my entire set list and try to find which tunes the new board will really improve my sound on. It usually comes down to 1 or 2. That is never enough to for me to justify getting rid of one of my tried and trusty boards.

Plus I have this nostalgic connection to my gear knowing they have served me well. They need to be taken care of.


A Lifetime of Peace, Love and Protest Music


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I admit, I have a real hard time getting rid of gear. I have stuff I haven't used in 15 years, some stuff I even hate, but I played it, it was a part of my life, and I just can't get rid of it. I've gotten a little bit better recently, getting rid of some stuff I know I'll never use again, but I still have a museums worth of stuff sitting around. Now if I can just start piecing together a modular...
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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Yeah Eric, I'm with you, believe it or not. My Super JD990 has been with me since I purchased it new...I don't even know how long ago, but probably 12-13 years ago. My Wavestation SR is probably a year or 2 older than that. No matter what gear frenzy I go through, those 2 pieces still remain.


It's funny though that your oldest gear is your stand and Anvil case!!!!!!!



Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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I have fond (and not so fond) memories of gigging with my old Rhodes Stage 54 and 1970s Korg PolyENsemble 1000. But those sounds can be had in a more flexible fashion these days.


I tend to associate gear with certain times I suppose... the gear I have now is simply amazing compared to the 80s and 90s though.. I spent so much time compromising back then. Even things like which instrument to use the MIDIVERB II (my only fx unit at the time) on live was something to think about... nowadays every keyboard has a wonderful fx setup inbuilt..


My oldest piece of gear is my X stand from 1985.. still covered in Roland and Boss stickers!

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I still use my Ensoniq SQ80, bought new in '88, at every gig. It is an old workhorse, and I can't seem to part with it. I got my K2000 new in '95, I think, and that is an everyday adventure. I bought my 01w/pro when they were out for about a year from a trusted friend. I got my QS7.1 new when they came out, however many years ago that was. And my Apex stand has been with me since the dawn of time it seems.


I do miss some of the old pieces though. I, too, miss my DX7, my D70, and my CP70. Other than that, I tried to make wise choices. Giving up my Seil DK600 was an easy thing to do. I didn't hardly use it, and everything that I did with it I was able to do with my Matrix 1000 (bought that new, and still use it, a lot!).



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Like Eric, my Invisible Stand goes way back. Got it in 1985 and I still use it and it brings back fond memories. I totally understand the feeling of nostalgia with certain gear and don't find it esoteric in the least.


The oldest gear I still have is my Korg Polysix (which I got in 1984 and had MIDIed a few years ago). I don't use it live often since it is old but when I do it's with total fondness and ease since it is so easy to change on the fly and so simple.


The Polysix is an example of a piece of gear that was MEANT to be with me. I stupidly sold in in 1988 when analog was passe. Came across the exact same machine in 1999 at GC. Bought it immediately not realizing it was my original Polysix. Not until I got it home and started playing with the presets did I realize it had been mine 11 years earlier - the same patches were still in it that I had created!!! :eek:

"The devil take the poets who dare to sing the pleasures of an artist's life." - Gottschalk




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17 years ago my wife convinced me to sell my Arp Axxe for the paltry sum of $65. I never felt complete until I finally replaced it with an Odyssey last year. I don't use it much, but just knowing it's there... :)

I played in an 8 piece horn band. We would often get bored. So...three words:

"Tower of Polka." - Calumet

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I don't have any positive emotional attachment to any piece of equipment I own or previously owned. (Lots of negative emotions to that RMI electric piano though.) Each piece served its purpose and when it didn't, I got rid of it.


It's easy to acquire things and I learned long ago to sell or give away anything that I didn't like or didn't use.


I do miss the flexibility of my old Roland A80, but don't miss all the extra modules I had to carry since the A80 was just a controller.


My wife doesn't understand how I sold my six foot Yamaha grand. I bought it when I lived in the US with the money my mother left to me and had it moved across the Atlantic Ocean. My wife assumes the piano should have a lot of emotional memories attached and I just looked at it as a tool.


What was the question again?

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.


In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.


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Welcome to old age!


It's natural to develop attachments to things unless you're cold-hearted like Dave. :D I've felt that way about every car I've ever had. I felt terrible after selling my Minimoog in the early 90s. I will never sell my Memorymoog and still use it all of the time. My mind still functions in analog.


I have lots of stuff I won't ever sell because the emotional value it has for me is the only worth it has. Who would want an old MXR Stereo Chorus or Roland S 10 sampler?

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I agree with Dave and go further: I have zero attachment to electronic instruments... they are tools made of circuits and nothing more. When something better comes along, out with the old and in with the new.


OTOH there is something about organic instruments that affects me differently - I have a nice acoustic guitar that I've owned for 15+ years, and I still miss an awesome 12-string that I sold prior to that. I sold it to a close friend and I "visit" it now and then and sure enough I get a twinge of longing for it every time I play it (he's my friend but he's just as attached to that guitar as I was and will likely never sell it back!).


I've never owned an acoustic piano but I'd like to (no place for it in my condo right now). I think the organic/wood factor makes an instrument more of a living thing and that's why people can get attached to them. I used to own a Hammond B3 but it was chopped and mounted in a custom plexiglas case when I bought it and I was glad when that heavy beast went away... I might have felt differently if it was in it's original wood cabinet.

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I seem to keep my boards so long I am please to retire them. I never seem to look back, although I will one day rebuild my Rhodes, it will only be for home or studio use. I refuse to carry that thing as part of my rig again.


Of course that said I have never had the rig I truly wanted until now. So ask me that question in 10 years or so.



Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho




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I've got one piece at home that I will absolutely NEVER get rid of. It's a 1890's pump organ, and I've played it since I was able to reach the pedals. It was my Grandmother's, and every time I'd go to her house, I'd play it, even before I knew how. My first lessons were practiced on that organ. And, it still plays, and sounds incredible.

For a long time I had this one microphone boom arm, just the metal part, that was from my garage band days. I used it for probably 25 years.

I've always had a hard time getting rid of obsolete equipment, but I've had to do it. What I have now I've had long enough where they're old friends, and as long as they work, I'll keep using them.

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.


Now everybody's got the blues."


Willie Dixon






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The only thing I'll never sell is the baby grand I learned to play piano on, it's a Knabe that my mother's grandmother bought in St. Louis MO and shipped by train to Montana around the turn of the century, then to Portland, OR. When she died it came to our house, I was 6 and ripe to start lessons. It was my only instrument from age 6 to 18, after which I graduated to various Yamahas in various college practice rooms . . . .


It's sad though that it's practically unplayable now -- someday when I have the spare cash I'll have it rehammered and regulated, try to bring it back to its former glory when it shined in some southern belle's parlor during the Civil War.


A beautiful piece nonetheless, with a few memories attached to it. . .

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I guess like a lot of people I'm not particularly sentimental about gear, just I associate a particular time in my life with each gear purchase.


I still don't think I've owned a piece of gear I could rightly say has become part of me, although the VSynth could be the one.. I'm sure the next generation version will spank its behind.. ;)

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I used to play in a club date "wedding" band back in the mid 80's, and have developed a very strong attachment to the equipment I used due to the large number of years I used it. I consider a lot of the workstations that are out now to be pretty interchangeable. One doesn't sound too much different then the other, and the features are pretty much all similar now. So it really comes down to "brand loyalty".


Keep in mind that I'm talking mostly about workstation's here - and not the virtual analog hardware synths or soft synths.


When I club dated regularly - I used a Roland D50, a DX7-II FD, and Emax, an MKS-20 piano module along with a controller. Later on I added a Korg T3 and a Kurzweil Micropiano for blending piano sounds and pads.


I sold all of it when I stopped doing weddings. And also because I really wore some of it down due to the large number of gig's I did at the time. Now, I want to play out and do gig's again - since I never stopped playing....and have found that I miss playing professionally.



So, I recently bought the following. Please look at the list and see if anything sounds similar to the equipment I had.


1) Roland D-50

(totaly redone cosmetically with new panals)

2) Yamaho Dx7-II D


3) EMU ESI-4000

with Glyph CD-ROM and external SCSI Hard


4) 2 Kurzweil Micro Pianos

(to play odd and even notes - 64 polyphony)

5) Novation Supernova 2 Pro - 48 note polyphony)

6) U-220 (2 of them) with the cards.

7) Roland MC-50 Mark II

9) Roland A-70 controller.


Home Piano - Yamaha P-150


Unused Equipment: Peavey DPM C8 - still "new" in the box. But the back light is out - need a repair shop in New York for this. Anybody know of one?


Anyway -

I have the funny feeling that I'm trying to go back in time....but this stuff sounds unique and fantastic to me....and I feel very comfortable behind the rig. Although I haven't used the controller keyboards or the Supernova yet.


Am now considering a laptop with soft synths as well for a new club date "wedding" band I'd like to start. So could use a hand or suggestions.


- Anthony :P

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Nostalga definitely factors in. I still use my Roland JV-1000 with very little polyphony and 3 broken off keys and love it. I even had a Yamaha PSR-270 on stage with me for the longest time, since I liked the organ better than Roland's, but it was just so cheesy looking on stage. (this coming from a man who uses a keytar)


I am in the process of a big gear upgrade. I'd like to get something to replace the JV-1000 as my realistic sounds board, probably something Kurtzwiel or possibly a Fantom, but first up is a good synth with some really shedtastic sounds. Don't need pads, don't need bass tones, just want to shred, and I want to be able to have a unique sound for every song. High demand I know, but that's why I'm making a trip to Sweetwater on Wednesday. I'm not leaving till I find the board I want, damnit!


But, the JV-1000 will always be there as a brain for my midi controller for sounds that I've grown attached to, and to make my rig a little bigger on stage, which is always cool. I think that's part of what makes keyboards cool, is that everyone has their own sounds, their own way of doing things, for the most part. If everyone played stock settings on the newest gear, what fun would it be? But fully customized old gear sets you apart, makes your sound more individual, and hopefully, better.

"...Keytar in a heavy metal band is nothing more than window dressing" - Sven Golly


Cursed Eternity - My Band

Dick Ward - My Me

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As a result of stage experience I have emotional attachment to some old pieces and emotional detachment to others. I will always love my departed Rhodes Chroma because it had so many control options. That keyboard taught me to slow down and really play each note. On the other side, I think the Moogs in my past attributed to my stage fright. My old MiniMoog would go out of tune mid song, and my MemoryMoog was one of the early units and those were very prone to trouble. So while I love my old MiniMoog for what it taught me about synthesis, I also hate my old Moog for what it put me through on stage.



This post edited for speling.

My Sweetwater Gear Exchange Page

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