Anybody swapping, buying or trading gear long enough is familiar with “The Throw-in“.
You know: you go to pick up a piece of gear and the sales person, or the owner of the piece, says:
“Tell ya what… if you buy this today, I’ll THROW IN these pics… or this cover… or 5 sets of strings, or… “
See… told ya you’d know what I’m talkin’ about!
Sometimes, even more expensive assets like “this case”, “these cables” or “these software programs” might surprisingly come into the transaction. That’s a real stroke of luck.
But every once in a while, you reeeeeally hit the motherload. bgthat are just unheard of… but true!
Like the lucky guy who got my Mesa Boogie Mark IV amp in pristine condition for only $350, because I was about to go on tour in Europe in TWO DAYS and needed to sell it FAST to cover my air fare.
Yea. He was that lucky.
But I can’t complain, ‘cuz I’ve hit the jackpot a couple times myself. Lemme tell ya ’bout this one time…
The Fateful Ad
One, fine, lucky summer day I happened upon an ad in CraigsList that had only been published 2 hours previous. It was a holiday weekend, when most people were off on vacation somewhere. I had chosen to stay home and work in the studio.
What can I say? Music is my life. lol
Anyway, this ad showed an unbelievable treasure trove of musical goods. A virtual cornucopia of spilling melodic tools and accouterments! A frugal musician’s DREAM!!!
I quickly emailed with my cell phone number immediately, saying I was going to be passing by their way in about an hour and we could do the deal if they were home.
Within the hour I got a phone call from the owner. She said the stuff belonged to her dad who has long lived in Florida and he had told her “You can go ahead and get rid of it”. She also said she was home and an hour would be fine.
Murmuring “Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy…!” and “I can’t believe this! I can’t believe this! I can’t…” out loud as I threw my stuff together for the trip, and getting my son to join me to help haul in the catch, we were soon making the 45-minute trip south to the end of the rainbow where our musical, magical treasure chest would be opened to us!
The Grand Unveiling!
When I got there, the kind woman led me to the garage in the back, hauled the door open and revealed a kind of wool shed/workshop that they had turned their garage into. No room for cars, that was for sure, but there was some music equipment!
Here’s what she showed me:
- A Telecaster-type ELECTRIC GUITAR, with extra coil-tapping knob, in perfect condition
- An acoustic-electric BASS guitar, in perfect condition
- A 50-watt Rocktron combo AMP for the electric, in perfect condition
- A50-watt Crate combo AMP for the bass, in perfect condition
- A hard-shell CASE for the bass, in perfect condition
- A soft-shell CASE for the electric guitar, in perfect condition
- Two Fender Vintage Voltage 10-foot guitar cables
We talked a little more about her father, what music he used to play when he was still up in Michigan, and how he enjoys it to this day.
As we spoke I was checking the gear out. I plugged the guitar into the amp, Then the bass into its amp. Everything appeared to be working, though there was some noise and crackling.
The woman thought that perhaps the amps were broken because of all the crackling, but I knew it was probably due to just old cables, and that with a little “Deoxit” I could have ‘em sounding good in no time.
The Great Haggle!
Once I had played through everything, I stood up and got my wallet out.
The lady had asked in the ad for $200 for everything, if you can believe that. I managed to convince her, because of all the noise that had come out of the amps, to let me have the whole shebang for $180 though.
What can I say – I’m a shameless haggler! Lol
She acquiesced, and my son and I commenced loading all our newfound treasures into the back of our SUV.
Now, I probably don’t have to tell you that $180 is about what you’d have to pay to buy ONE NEW GUITAR CASE. Instead, here I was, winning the gear lottery for the same amount of money. Unbelievable!!
The Recycling of Dreams
Upon getting back home, I found that the amps were fine. The cables, as I had suspected, had some shorts in them. A quick swap for some of my good cables, and I was off to the races!
The amps I found to be actually very usable, but only for some pretty specific purposes. They had more of a metal or hard-core kind of sound that I’m not that into, though they were in great condition.
So I did what any G.A.S.-suffering musician would do: I traded them for cash at a local music shop!!
Music-Go-Round, here in Detroit, specializes in used music gear, so my buddy Chris there hooked me up with fair market value on each of the amps.
With that money, I was able to pick up a great new hollow-body jazz guitar that I’d also seen on Craigslist. I still have that fine guitar to this day and it still sounds great!
Both the AUSTIN TELECASTER GUITAR and the GALVESTON ACOUSTIC BASS I kept. They are very usable, quality additions to my axe arsenal and work well for recording too, as their intonation is spot on.
I’d say that’s a great example of a win-win situation, wouldn’t you?!
Here at Seriousgas.com, we’re all about making music gear dreams come true, so the moral of the story is this…
No matter how much money you have, or don’t have, if you know specifically what you’re looking for, and stay open to God, the universe or whatever you believe in to give it to you…
… it just might happen. 😉
Do you have outrageous gear finds?? Have you experienced unbelievable music gear deals??! Did you snag your latest favorite piece through some highly unexpected or hilarious scenario??!! Let us know in the Comments. We just LOVE a good gear story!!!
Now, go… make… sounds!!!