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Author Topic: Guitar Snobbery  (Read 451 times)
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« on: February 11, 2019, 07:12:27 PM »

Inspired by the post quoted below...

I used to visit guitar stores. There were a few where the owner would suggest I try things he thought were special. Sure, he wanted to sell them, but I appreciated the whack in the side of the head as he introduced me to new brands or types of guitars.

These days, those kinds of stores and store owners are hard to find. I'm stuck with my preconceived notions and guitar snobbery as I look around online.

This is good and bad. I may look around online but there's no familiar trusted voice suggesting things to try. My guitar snobbery is a filter and I tend to dismiss new things out-of-hand preferring the tried and true. My guitar snobbery has me considering only things on the higher end of the co$t scale.  This is very good. I no longer have an appetite to spend the kind of money I used to on guitars. My guitar snobbery has kept my buying in check.



Regarding Bud Light...  I was in a Tex-Mex restaurant not long ago and ordered one on tap.  It was tooth-ache cold and very good.  This after not ordering a beer like that in a restaurant in many years.  I got into beer-snobbery some years back and apparently have come to the end of it.  Expensive hobby. 
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2019, 07:42:08 PM »

Sally (my significant other of 20 years now) and I enjoy a glass of wine before dinner on the weekends. Oh, we've been to France and Napa.
We drink box wine.
In fact, we refer to ourselves as Box Wine Snobs.
Yeah, we're box wine snobs.
Pairs well with sardines and ballpark franks.
And don't you think that would be a great name for a band?


AND NOW, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN- PUT YOUR HANDS TOGETHER FOR THE BOX WINE SNOBS.  
Check out our merch.
Get a t-shirt.

Yeah, I know. crazy.
 
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B0WIE
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2019, 11:32:57 PM »

What some dismiss as snobbery, others can credit to experience. Occasionally, you get cheap products that perform to a high level. I'm a HUGE fan of that sort of thing. However, most often, if you want a certain level of quality you're going to pay for it.

There's a weird notion that people pay more because they want to, and that they're fools who don't know any better. If that makes the have-nots feel better then OK, but as someone who has a side biz in high end audio equipment, I rarely see anyone who is uneducated and just asking for the most expensive thing. Those with money to spend generally want to know what each price level offers on quality and if they think the deal is fair they'll go for it.
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2019, 11:49:44 PM »

Also, the wine thing is a good analogy. I've actually taken a course in wine, including identification and tasting. But, I'm ok with cheap wine. I go for $6/bottle Rex Goliath and such brands. I'll generally stock up and let them sit for a year before drinking, which helps. I know this stuff isn't great and I definitely taste a difference in finer wines, but they aren't worth the cost difference for me personally.

I'm the same way about cars, vacations, and many other things. But, with audio, I go for the absolute best I can afford because I actually value those differences greatly. They mean a lot more to me than the differences in wines or cars do.
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2019, 03:29:23 AM »

The wine thing is appropriate.

Cork Sniffer

From the Urban dictionary.

A derogatory term used to describe a person that tends to overanalyze physical properties that may not even be relevant.

These people seem to split hairs on details and are usually just perceived as windbags who just like to hear themselves speak.

The implied insult of the word is that the cork sniffer is a lab worker that microanalyzes everything to the extreme, but fails to see the big picture.

The term probably originated in the wine industry or the wine connoisseur pastime to describe people that inaccurately believe they can tell the quality of a wine by sniffing the cork.

This term is very commonly used in the discussion pages of popular online forums dealing with guitars, in which the cork sniffers are the ones that argue and debate over the subtleties of various factors that contribute to tone, such as wood types used, guitar pickup types, body shapes, finishing methods, manufacturing processes etc.
The term is generally used to imply that these very people don't really have any experience with the actual playing of the instruments, but they are simply analyzing or evaluating tone based on theory or science, instead of just listening.

The cork sniffers completely miss the point.
"Hey, can you believe that guy?

Trying to say that adding cat hair to the varnish of a guitar will brighten the sound of its tone."

"Aw, don't listen to that cork sniffer."
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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2019, 09:57:51 AM »

The wine thing is appropriate.

Cork Sniffer
The cork sniffers completely miss the point.
"Hey, can you believe that guy?Trying to say that adding cat hair to the varnish of a guitar will brighten the sound of its tone."
So I suppose you're telling me that my cat is pissed at me for no good reason now?
And for the record, our wine is usually cheap but our beer tastes run towards the good stuff. I don't see that changing.   
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2019, 02:48:57 AM »

I tried about every craft beer I could find for many years. I got fat and spent a lot of money.  These days I keep Guinness in cans and Miller High Life in bottles on hand.  I drink Clos du Bois wine at around $9 a bottle.  I’m at the age where I like what I like and I’m ok with that. 

Guitars...  There are certain brands I usually won’t even pick up (acoustic): Fender, Ibanez, Mitchell, et al.  I figure I know what they’ll sound like (strung cardboard).  I have been pleasantly surprised by some Takamines and other Asian imports at times, and I’ve been let down by the big names.  But I hardly ever pick up a guitar anymore because I love my Larrivee and am content. 
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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2019, 03:53:15 AM »

So I suppose you're telling me that my cat is pissed at me for no good reason now?



Having 11 cats yes the cat doesn't need a reason for anything they do....THERE CATS.


We need a scotch drinking icon or even whisky as I don't drink beer or wine,not the beer and wino...I mean wine drinkers are bad or evil I just like the taste.
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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2019, 03:48:46 AM »

Yes I am a guitar snob.
no I know nothing about good, better or best wine.
the "craft" beer thing is lost on me as well.

My wife has a serious collection of the "Islay" scotches- the "peaty" ones.
does nothing for me.

 the reference above about cork sniffing only made me find and watch this again....
you might have to copy & paste, but you'll laugh somewhat.....

https://vimeo.com/91371784
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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2019, 12:20:54 PM »

What is guitar snobbery anyway? The ability and experience to be able to tell a nicely made and lovely sounding instrument from a cheaply made dead sounding one? I like that I can hear the lovely overtones of a Rosewood back and side guitar, and know that it’s different from the snappy immediate woody sound of mahogany. The instruments we gravitate too are the ones that in our recollective library of sounds from every guitar we’be ever played, stand out as great sounding instruments.
And usually, yes. You get what you pay for.

I myself always question when friends update a car and spend 10’s of thousands of dollars, usually borrowed on something that simply gets them from one place to another. Those same folks looks at me stupid when I tell them what my guitar collection is worth.

I bet I enjoy my guitars a lot more than they enjoy their cars. 

Cheers, Scott.
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2019, 12:31:00 PM »



"I myself always question when friends update a car and spend 10’s of thousands of dollars, usually borrowed on something that simply gets them from one place to another. Those same folks looks at me stupid when I tell them what my guitar collection is worth."



quoted from previous..

defines the joke
"definition of a folksinger?"

loads a $5,000.00 guitar, into a $500 car-drives 100 miles to make $50.

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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2019, 03:52:05 PM »

Snobbery?  Maybe more like deeply appreciative of fine craftsmanship, at least for those who can actually play the instruments.  But it’s always a bit weird to me when someone goes out and drops 7 grand on two guitars and they don’t know how to even play one chord but want to learn.  That’s what a late friend of mine did.  He bought a Ramirez and a 914ce Taylor.  He took a few classical lessons, gave up.  I don’t think he even played the Taylor before he passed away.  I bought the Ramirez from his wife after he died.  Probably paid too much for it, but she needed the money to pay off old debts.
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« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2019, 04:58:46 PM »

I was at a gathering once when a fellow pulled up in his Porsche Boxter and unloaded four guitars. Two Ryans and two Collings. As the day progressed, it turned out that he knew all three chords. A good Yamaha would have served him very well. So it goes.
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« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2019, 05:39:05 PM »

In any story, there is an opportunity to learn about the narrator as well as the subject of the narrative.

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« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2019, 05:54:37 PM »

There are people who criticize my choices in cars, guitars, and how I spend my time.

People who drive what I drive get it.

People who play what I play get it.

People I meet in the places I go get it.

Others may put disclaimers on their criticism, it's criticism all the same. Snobbery can originate at any level.  

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“Please accept my resignation. I don't want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member.”
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Telegram to the Friar's Club of Beverly Hills to which he belonged, as recounted in Groucho and Me (1959), p. 321


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« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2019, 08:00:22 PM »

In any story, there is an opportunity to learn about the narrator as well as the subject of the narrative.



As there is in every sentence?    
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« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2019, 09:53:34 PM »

In any story, there is an opportunity to learn about the narrator as well as the subject of the narrative.


Well said. When I saw the subject I was waiting for a certain post to pop up here and it was just as I predicted it would be.
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« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2019, 11:11:02 PM »

Maybe our "car" comments fit under the banner of "reverse snobbery" (full disclosure: my daily driver is a 2001 Honda Accord w/manual windows and door locks with 168K on it...).

You know, like the guy who says, "My Squier Strat sounds just as good as your Custom Shop '64 Strat..."

 rolleye
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« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2019, 12:51:43 AM »

I was in a Blues band for years. More than once I drove up to the gig and was greeted with,

"Ain't no Bluesman ever drove no _______  _____". Or "Turn it around buddy, yer in the wrong place."

And I would show up with my main player and a backup and got comments like this.

"Ain't no Bluesman ever played a ____ _____ ____ let alone needed two of 'em to get 'r done."

When I tell those stories to people who drive what I drive or play what I play I get,

"Your _________________ is not a reflection of your authenticity as a musician."
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« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2019, 05:51:30 AM »

sadly, really sadly...

I might take a BZ larrivee to a gig ( usually LR Baggs basic "element" system) always performs brilliantly, sounds awesome.

 tonight, I took the OM-60 TSB and the OMV-05 TSB (with with LR Baggs dual source systems)- both sounded and performed beautifully.

Recently i did a wonderful concert with my very fine Oskar Graf BZ (also with LR Baggs system), sound man, audience and builder Oskar in the house were wowed.

I've gone to gigs where great players plugged in a MOR Yamaha guitar and they sounded fabulous.

as far as i'm concerned, with regards to acoustic guitar snobbery- all bets are off- once a guitar is plugged in and the player has his "rig" dialled up just perfectly.

then it's not about ANYTHING other than the accuracy of the "rig" and the "tweaker" once it's plugged in.

Snobbery be dammed, the player of any guitar using todays technology can sound as good- no; BETTER- than what ever "snob wood/builder" that might  I bring to the venue.

tough love.

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"Senior" member means "old" right?
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Too many guitars to list here.
 Too few brain cells to be bothered with...
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