You Know You're a Gear Junky When…

  • …when the music gear in the back of your car is worth more than the car.
  • …when you’re content just to stare at your rig. Not turn it on. Just stare at it.
  • …when you look for a pedal to buy that has a British name, because that would make your board look really cool.
  • …when you describe your work day in pedals. For instance, if you make $20 an hour, and you worked an 10 hour day, you just worked a Zendrive.
  • …when you hear about the economic crisis, the first thing you think about is if the price of a used Analogman Sunlion might have dropped.
  • …when you have pedals on your board that you haven’t turn on in more than 4 months. But whoa, do they look good on that board!
  • …when your guitars have names. No, not names like ’64 Fender Telecaster.’ Names like ‘Bob.’
  • …when your amps’ speakers have more total area than the sound system at the gig you’re playing at.
  • …when you go out for an evening, you call home to make sure your gear is alright. If the phone doesn’t ring, it means the house might have caught on fire, and your gear is burning up. This ruins the rest of your night.
  • …when you get excited because your flight is ‘delayed.’
  • …when you give your amp a quick ‘good game, sport’ pat on the tolex after a good sounding show. Don’t lie. I know you’ve done it.
  • …when someone asks you if you know the riff to a certain song, you just point to a pedal and respond with, ‘What do you think.’

Please feel free to add more as you see fit. :)


55 thoughts on “You Know You're a Gear Junky When…

  1. how about when it take 4 (yellow) extension cords just to power your rig on stage?

    or when it takes two people to lift your rig off the stage?

    or when you get excited when a professional photographer takes pictures of your rig?

    man I’m on a roll and I don’t even have a rig. well, I do, if you consider a 12 year old multi-effects acoustic pedal, gear. That’s right, I’m the proud owner of a DOD Acoustic 1 Mult-Effects Processor. Purchased in like 1996 for $200, worth $75 on the gear black market now… it’s RAD!

    Karl, you know I’m just giving you a hard time. I wish we had more pro shots of the gear on stage and around LifeChurch! Wait… I wish we had more gear period. Wait, I AM a gear junkie!

  2. heh, my guitar has been named Ashley for years….
    and last Sunday I was asked about a riff, I pointed to the TS9, then my delay, and said “I guess I could…” with a smile and wink.
    and my TS9 is named Bob. I’ve gone so far past that I’ve named my pedals.

    I think one needs to be added is: when you are asked to play a new song and immediately don’t think you can do it without the Analogman KOT (or other boutique pedal respectively).

    – when you’ve wondered if your GUITAR is true bypass…..

  3. ha, forgot one— my car was a 92 Sentra, 4 speed manual. “mostly” red color. In 2003, it was worth 700 bucks. Guess how much my equipment was in the back? Well, at the time- no pedal board, just a few boss effects- about 1500. Now, i think my board alone is 2000 grand on a slow day.

  4. When you realize it would take 6-10 hours to answer the question, “What do your pedals do?”

    When you buy gear you have no intention of using/keeping just to hear what it sounds like (I got a used stock BD-2 just to hear how it differed from my keeley BD-2).

    When you can look back and laugh at the number of times you thought you finally had your sound and were done buying gear only to swap out half your gear 6 mo later.

  5. When you’ve convinced yourself playing with your strap the wrong way sucks tone.

    When someone asks you about one of your pedals and you end up presenting your whole board while they slowly doze off, but you don’t care you just keep talking anyway.

  6. …you play with a 6-inch guitar cable to preserve “as much tone as possible”.

    …you find yourself playing a worship song that you don’t know the words to. Yet you know your delay is set to 800 milliseconds.

    …you’re continually frustrated at how few lines from “Spinal Tap” can be repeated in a church environment… and you consider joining a local club band just so you use the rest (e.g. “This one’s called “Lick My Love Pump””).

    …you have 2 of every guitar you have (because not having a backup would be irresponsible).

    …you believe the Holy Spirit will not show up if you use a cheap delay pedal (He loves ambiance).

  7. I currently drive a 2000 Chevy Cavalier with 130,000 miles on it and 50% of the paint pealing off (+ about 20% of the tinting). My ‘board, amp, and 2 guitars would easily run close to 10k. My car’s worth about $1k! I have my priorities straight…

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  9. Ha! Blogsology, I must have gotten busy writing another post and totally missed your last two comments here. I just linked back to this from your blog. hehe Those are awesome! And yes, I have gotten to church on a Sunday and realized I hadn’t even read the lyrics to a song because I was setting my delay properly all week. And yes, nothing will kill the worship faster than a cheap delay pedal. lol

    And +1 on having a rig worth more than your car!

  10. karl, im with you on the blue LED thing…
    you might be a gear junkie when…
    you honestly believe that blue LEDs add tone to a pedal.

    also are blue LEDs not mezmerizing…theyre so pretty. a true gift from God.

  11. Was looking for a likely spot for this comment/question. I just tried out Musician’s Friend Cash/Tradin program on some old stuff, so now I have $130 in store credit just burning a hole as they say.

    I rarely get to use the OD-3 OD on my board, but thought about replacing it with the Voodoo Sparkle Drive just for grins ( costs about what I now have in credit). Another thought would be to add my Ibanez analog AD9 delay to the board ( probably removing the OD3 as the board is heavy enough already). Then the Boss DD7 could be set for dotted eighth and the AD9 for the tamer delay. Again, rarely get to use dotted eighth but can’t use it at all now because there is no time to reach down and touch knobs since I’m leading worship. Or sell the AD9 and the DD7 and get a delay that can be programmed and has footswitches to toggle delay types. ( Line6 DL4?)

    Current board layout:

    Boss CS-2 Compressor>RC Booster>ABY Switch:
    Signal A: Boss OD-3 >Tech21 Liverpool>Boss DD7>Direct Box >PA Channel
    Signal B: KorgAX1500G mfx ( acoustic amp model + various cab models + modulated delay or chorus + various reverb types)>direct box>PA channel

  12. Well, I would say do the AD9/DD7 dual delay thing. However, I have a soft spot for the AD9…always loved that delay since I heard this gorgeous sound coming from some amp in a store about 5 years ago, and the guy was plugged in to that pedal alone.

    As for the GC credit, ya, you might like the Sparkle Drive over the OD3. And…here’s a little known fact…Guitar Center has just started to put all its used gear online. Just click ‘used gear’, and you can search it nationwide; and there’s some good deals, as sometimes they don’t know what they have. :)

  13. I’ve heard the Maximizer, and it really wasn’t for me. However, I did not try it direct, and maybe it really shines there! :) Ah, such a wonderful thing to have store credit! Then you can’t feel guilty about buying gear. haha

  14. Found out the church has a two-channel maximizer sitting under the sound board, unused. So I searched your blog for the VisualSound Route 66 (gotta spend this money). Only found it mentioned once. Ever tried it? It could replace the current OD-3 and CS-2 in theory.

  15. I’m not the biggest fan of Visual Sound, although it is a decent pedal. I think it might sound slightly better than the OD-3, but not better than the CS-2. :)

  16. snarf – I totally agree about the blue LED thing. That’s half the reason I got my Line 6 DL4 Keeley Modded! Also, when I bought one of the old Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail pedals, I modded it myself with a blue LED. No tone mods or anything… Just a blue LED. It looked awesome! I also think I might have messed it up a little while I was in there. Now it shorts out once in awhile. Totally worth it though (of course now it’s not even on my board but you know…)

  17. When you buy mod kits to take out the red LED on your dd-5, and replace it with a blue one

    When you are only 16, but you have your pedalboard planned so that you can have all the pedals you want (Sparkle Drive, Fulldrive 2, Jekyll and Hyde, Nova Delay) by the time that you’re 17 and 1/2 month old.

    What do you think of the Nova Delay?

  18. haha Nice!! Did you really buy that mod kit? :)

    And I think the Nova delay is really good with versatility. Soundwise though, I’d say the Boss DD20 (oddly enough) has the jump on it. And it’s right in the same price-range, and still has a good amount of versatility. Just my humble opinion. :)

    • I’ve never actually played a Nova Delay but I’m pretty happy with the DD-20 so I haven’t really wanted to bother with it. I’ve got the gear bug bad enough for other things, so I don’t wanna add a new delay pedal to that. I think if you were running stereo as a big part of your sound, the DD-20 probably wouldn’t really cut it. I’m not that impressed with it’s stereo options. But as one of my old guitar teachers once told me, “The general public are idiots. The only people who will ever notice that you are even running stereo will be maybe a couple of guitar geeks in the crowd. No one else will even know the difference.”
      I know, sounds a little harsh, but he’s pretty much right. So I’ve always sorta left stereo alone because it’s too much extra work. Gotta run two amps, gotta mic both of them, and gotta have a sound guy who can handle that. A lot of the things I play for, the sound guy is not really experienced and just a nice guy willing to stand around back there and try to keep things from feeding back. Plus, if the PA is in mono then it won’t matter anyway.

  19. haha I like the DD20, too. And ya, most people can’t tell you if you’re in stereo or mono or not; but I would argue that even if they can’t, they would be able to tell you ‘wow, things just sounded good today’…or, ‘things just sounded off today.’ I think the point of good tone, or running stereo, or any good musical playing or sounds, is to make the general public love the music, even if they would never be able to explain to you why. (That’s a loose quote from Mozart.)

    My favorite quote is, ‘People won’t notice if it’s wrong, but they will notice if it’s right.’ :) Just my two cents on the subject. That being said, stereo or mono is still a pretty small issue for people even to notice the ‘right’ of it. And great point on the house sound. If the house isn’t in stereo, it doesn’t matter at all! haha :)

  20. Gearhead jokes! Fun!

    -6 months after you purchase a pedal/amp/guitar, you’re still looking it up on the Gear Page to see what people think

    – you’re oblivious to major changes in the world economy but can track the exact point in time when the Klon pedal became “slightly out of reach”

    -“Slightly out reach” to you means your wife is leaving you.

    – Your facebook friends include proguitarshop and boutique pedal makers.

  21. Hey Karl, just found this website today and didn’t know where to post this, so here it goes. I just recently bought a gt-10 after my me-70 went haywire. I’ve been tinkering with it for a couple weeks and put 12+ hours trying to find a distortion that i’m happy with. so, i was thinking about getting my money back for it and going back to an amp, and then just a distortion and a sweet sweet delay pedal. what do you recommend? oh, i also play worship for a church in wichita ks, and our worship style is alot of hillsong-esque stuff. let me know your thoughts! thanks buddy

  22. I’m not karl and I don’t know what kinda of amp you have but for the style that your thinking of, a good delay pedal and some good overdrive(it could be from the amp if it tube) would go a long way.

  23. Hmm…I hear ya! It’s definitely a difficult task to find a distortion pedal that works well going direct into the board. On the more expensive side, I’d suggest the T-Rex Spindoctor or the Ethos OD. However, with that money, you might just want to get a decent tube amp.

    On the less expensive side, the Tech 21 pedals seem to get good reviews. Pedals like their Liverpool. I think they have a series of amp/distortion modeling pedals. If you can find something with a tube in it, that might do as well. Maybe an old SIB Fatboost or Varidrive. Hope that helps! If I think of anything else, I’ll let you know. :)

  24. Mesa/Boogie used to make a pedal called the V-Twin and was designed to run direct to the board. And it has tubes! If you like the mesa sound, it’s a great pedal. I played one for years and really liked it. They don’t make it anymore though so you’d have to find a used one now.

  25. so, i returned the g-10 to gc, and then bought a friends line-6 spider valve 212. LOVE IT. now i just need to get a dl-4 or a dd-20 and i’d be set. ha

  26. KennyG–I remember that pedal! Always wanted to try one.

    Mark–as long as you’re happy with your tone, and it’s inspiring you to make beautiful music, then awesome! Stoked for ya.

  27. I actually still have my v-twin but it’s huge & heavy and I’m trying to make my board a bit more compact. I’m planning on converting my rig into a rack system w/ a midi floor controller and it’s possible that it (as well as my equally huge DC Liquid Blues) will make it back into the rig but, those are also both multi-channel pedals which is tougher to deal with in a rack rig like that so I’m not sure. I also really want a smaller amp and need a new acoustic so, those 2 pedals may just get sold to fund that…ah, gear…

  28. haha Seriously… And it’s those big pedals that are the worst, because they usually sound great. But then they make you ask the question if their sound is worth the space of 3 other pedals. hehe

  29. haha Nice.

    And I like the Fulldrive. Personally, I think it sounds slightly muffled compared to something like the Tim; but still a very good pedal and an industry standard. :)

  30. You know you’re a gear junkie when Andy from ProGuitarShop is the person who has said “Hi” to you the most times in the past month… (on the youtube demos). Or any person who demo’s pedals.. :[

  31. KennyG–+1. haha

    Bryan–lol Seriously! Me too! I have nightmares that I get up to play, and then realize I’ve left my whole rig in the car. And then I pantomime and think maybe no one will notice. haha

    Miro–haha Nice. That’s rad!

  32. There was something I wanted to ask as well. Have you tried the new Deluxe Memory Boy by EHX? I was thinking about getting Carbon Copy but Analog Delay with Tap/Tempo is something I’d like to get my hands on. And it’s only 190$/140€ !

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