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Best/Worst music purchases of 2021?

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    Best/Worst music purchases of 2021?

    It's getting towards the end of the year and we're all in GAS mode for the holidays. What are your favorite (or least favorite) acquisitions this year? What were you happy to get rid of?

    Faves for me:

    - SLO 30. Wanted one forever, spent a mint on the damn thing, 100% happy with it. This thing kicks every bit as much ass as I hoped it would. Honorable mention for the Soldano 2x12 which was more expensive than most 4x12s but looks and sound awesome and is, IMO, worth the money.

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    - Headrush 108 wedges: Unbeatable FRFR for the money, awesome at low volumes. Cheap!

    - Peavey Rage 108: I'm into it for about $150 now including a new speaker, some jacks and a little bit of my time/TLC. Totally worth the money for the trip down memory lane and (comically) I've used it more in the last month than all of my other "real" amps.

    Not-so-faves:

    - I should have bought my new vDrums one piece at a time instead of going with a kit. I bought the VAD306 for $2800 with some upgrades/pedals/etc. I would have saved a bit of cash buying it all separately and I wish I went with a rack instead. It does sound great and I'm happy with the features/inputs/etc, but I do wish I had a mulligan on it.

    - MXR pedals for the loop of the SLO. My intent was to go all analog w/the Soldano rig to keep it au naturale, but after spending a bunch of money on delay/verb/chorus/etc/etc for it, I ended up just selling them off and going with an FM3 instead. It's what I should have done in the first place.

    - Mackie Mix12FX mixer. Bought this for my music room for $130. I don't need it to do much but it's just mediocre all around. Why are there no mid-tier mixers with cool features for a few hundred bucks? It seems like the only options are barebones chinese crap for what I paid and Bob Rock's personal board for 50 large.

    #2
    I only bought three pieces of gear this year: my Charvel Angel sig, my FM3, and the mini expression pedal for the FM3. Pretty thoroughly pleased with all three!

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      #3
      Nothing gear wise, as I've been satisfied for a long time with what I already have. But I quite dig my new Solar.

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        #4
        My fave is kind of a 3 way tie between the Axe FXII XL+, the Solar A2.6s and the JCA50. But, I get the most overall use from the Axe, so that wins from that standpoint.


        Least is the Jackson Soloist SL2Q MAH. Absolutely wanted it, but the guy I got it from didn't take great care of it and that just robbed the enjoyment from it.
        Don't expect much, it's not like I'm a Rocket Surgeon...

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          #5
          Best was Cabronita tele, worst was replacement strat saddles. They were supposed to be Wilkinson but they were complete shit and the main screw holes were tapped crooked and all fucked up so the screws would not work on them. Beware MusicLily shit on Amazon.
          O K T H E N

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            #6
            this made me realize i barely bought anything this year. uh, i like the Cascade Fatheads i bought? theyre great room mics. uh, the Focusrite OctoPre i bought is useful for drum tracking. the STL Lasse Lammert plugin is cool?

            hopefully next year ill have more to talk about. ive got a few guitars im really eyeing.

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              #7
              Building this was the highlight of the year:

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              Along with these:

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                #8
                It's been a really weird year for me personally... lots of shit to deal with when my mom passed last October and then selling my parent's house. I think I used music gear buying as a coping mechanism, which I guess is a lot better than it could have been.

                Best:
                Mesa Mark III Green stripe - this thing rips, I love it, plus it had at least been back to Mesa in the last 10 years for a tuneup
                Bogner Uberschall - hard to describe this thing, but it's also a great amp
                RRR Custom Explorer x2 - I liked the red Gibson Explorer I bought last year, but never loved it... and ended up selling it to one of my friends. This guy builds them similar to how ESP would build their MX explorers. I love them, and want to line my walls with them
                Marshall JCM900 1960A - beat to shit, had to rewire it because half of it didn't work, but it was $400 delivered from GC used and the speakers are nicely broken in

                Worst:
                BKP Aftermath - I just don't like how this pickup sounds at all

                There is other stuff too... I've bought and sold a bunch, and even bought a couple Caparison's (and a 1981 Gibson Flying V that I'm on the fence with). I'm trying not to make any rash decisions but will probably clear some of this stuff out at some point down the road.

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                  #9
                  I didn't buy too much this year.

                  Disappointed in: Digitech Drop pedal


                  Latency isn't THAT bad, but it must have a horrible i/o impedance on it because it kills my tone. even 1/2 step down it just sucks all the highs out. even in my buffered switcher. Selling it soon.


                  Happy with:
                  All the Chinese crap i've bought from Donner and joyo to add to my cardboard pedalboard ghetto rig. seriously.

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                    #10
                    Honestly, I don't think I've bought more than slides, picks, and strings this year.

                    Actually, I have a set of Fat 60s I haven't even unboxed yet, much less installed. No time.

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                      #11
                      My AF-200, no question. The burst one here :

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                        #12
                        I was able to buy a decent amount of stuff this year, but my favorite has to be the Triaxis, and 290 I bought. Funny story with the 290, it was used by the Charlie Daniels Band live, and the guy sent me all the repair paperwork with it to confirm it was actually used by them

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                          #13
                          I've only bought one thing so far and it hasn't arrived so I can't do the mystery thread yet but I hope it's awesome.

                          That is unless I can count the pcbs I designed they turned out awesome other than a few self inflicted mistakes.

                          Worst would be a set of rotosound British steel strings. They have an awful djenty chirp to the pick attack. I couldn't get them off fast enough.

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                            #14
                            Favorite is the Partscaster:

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                            I don't think I've bought anything else, well other than accidentally buying Wilkinson tuners thinking the neck on this wasn't drilled for tuners. Didn't want to add extra holes to the headstock, so I ended up going with some Graphtech Ratios which you could get the right mounting plates for.

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                              #15
                              Best purchases:

                              Boss Katana 50. It's the perfect home/office amp, does a little bit of everything, takes pedals well, has power scaling and direct out options. This purchase has affected my day-to-day playing more than anything I've bought in years.

                              BYOC Rat Clone. The pedal sounds great, and putting it together was an awesome experience. For me it hit the sweet spot where it was challenging without being too frustrating, so it was really satisfying when I got everything buttoned up and it worked.

                              Boss RV-6. Sounds good, is affordable for a reverb, and is a nice balance of meat-and-potatoes reverbs mixed with a few spicier options. I love my Slo, but the modulated reverb on the RV-6 gets awfully close for a pedal that's cheaper and comes with a bunch of other reverbs.

                              Worst purchases:

                              Gretsch Electromatic Filtertrons. My Gretsch came with fairly hot humbuckers, and I wanted something lower output and more sparkly. Real Filtertrons (whether it's Gretsch, Duncan, etc) are like $200 per pickup in Canada, and I wasn't ready to spend $400+ on pickups for this guitar, so I ordered some of their cheaper Electromatic Filtertrons off eBay. They are lower output, but they're really dark, and aren't anything to get excited about. Plus the new pickups came with a quick connect clip and the stock ones didn't, so I had to hack that up to get them in, and that brought me a lot of pain and suffering for not a lot of improvement.

                              D'Addario/Ernie Ball strings. I decided to take a break from Elixirs and try some regular strings on my guitars. Terrible idea. I finally got Elixirs back on the SG last week and all is right in the world again.

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                                #16
                                Best: good question. I guess my McCarty 594 that withstood the insane buy/sell spree of 2021, though I recon the jazzmaster from Cam could be 2nd.

                                Worst: I bought a guitar strap that is 2" shorter than I need it to be. It's annoying.
                                ​​​​​

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                                  #17
                                  I've kept busy buying something every few months but I've bought used so "best" is related more to purchase price than performance. I don't really have any worst purchases because I'm selective and don't just buy something as a gamble. Anyways, my bests-

                                  Roc-N-Soc Lunar Drum Throne. Retails for $200 and I found one in a thrift shop for $50 in mint condition. Super, super comfy. Out of everything, I'm probably most happy about this one TBH.

                                  Digitech Time Bender: Only learned about these thanks to a Leon Todd video. Kept an eye out for them but the going rate on these was $200ish and I wasn't going to bite for that price. Found a FB Marketplace ad for one in a thrift store for $60 and I was able to snap it up. It needed a Silkwood shower to get rid of the nicotine staining on it but it works juuuuust fine.

                                  Boss ES-8: Although used prices have now come down on these, at the time I bought this, I paid $400 when the going rate was near $600. I'm using this to handle switching between all the pieces of my rack gear,

                                  WIDI Master Bluetooth MIDI- Wireless MIDI that's pretty much plug & play. Handy if you have a computer editor and want to tweak something that way instead of on a rack piece or a synth etc.

                                  Seymour Duncan Seth Lover PUP Set- I'm not a big fan of SD PUPs since I tried a JB and didn't like it. The Seth Lovers have a lot of positive reviews so I decided to go with them for the PUP upgrade in my semi-hollow Ibanez and they did not disappoint.

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                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Drew View Post
                                    Honestly, I don't think I've bought more than slides, picks, and strings this year.

                                    Actually, I have a set of Fat 60s I haven't even unboxed yet, much less installed. No time.
                                    You bought a captor off of me that you didn't like.

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                                      #19
                                      I bought a LOT in 2020 (Jackson KV2T, Apogee Symphony II, 2x Chandler Germanium preamp, Chandler TG-2 and Aurora GTQ2) so 2021 was a little slower.

                                      Best purchases: Victory Copper Deluxe, and my MIJ/MIA Charvel strathead mutt.

                                      Worst purchases: None, so far.

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                                        #20
                                        Ups:

                                        - An Ibanez S520 (after a failed deal MIJ dream one) Indo made for dirty dirty and I mean dirty cheap and got pleasantly surprised.
                                        - PRS SE Custom 22 that I'm enjoying more and more by the day
                                        - Neural Soldano just now at 50% off on Black Friday deals

                                        Let downs:

                                        - Having to cancel my FM3 order in March since times were shaky early this year for me... now its more expensive





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                                          #21
                                          Originally posted by mpexus View Post
                                          Ups:
                                          Let downs:

                                          - Having to cancel my FM3 order in March since times were shaky early this year for me... now its more expensive
                                          They havea Black Friday sale going on right now iirc. I think that basically brings it back to the price is was at when it launched.
                                          Hulk Krogan
                                          Totally The Dude from The Mummy
                                          Last edited by Hulk Krogan; 11-23-2021, 09:45 PM.

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                                            #22
                                            Best purchase in 2021, hands down was my Mesa Mark III, then the new headshell from Mesa:
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                                            Other awesome purchases:
                                            ESP LTD M-1000HT Deluxe
                                            Fractal FM9
                                            Morningstar MC-6 MIDI controller - simply awesome piece of equipment, I love how programmable it is.

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                                              #23
                                              Ups:
                                              -FM3 and FM9 -
                                              -Digitech FreqOut: Instant, natural-sounding feedback. Can do the sustainer thing or any number of fun sounds. Completely usable and totally fun.
                                              -Barefaced Reformer 112: If there was a 112 that was the equivalent of a Mesa OS 4x12, this is it. Biggest sounding small guitar cab I've ever tried, even beating out an EVM Thiele.

                                              Downs:
                                              -Darkglass ADAM - sounds pretty good, lots of functionality, but the headphones volume knob board broke off and started rattling around internally almost immediately from ordinary handling (I am not hard on gear). Support was unhelpful.

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                                                #24
                                                I bought 2 les paul customs within a month of each other because I'm a massive cunt, could not be happier with them, one being silverburst is a total unicorn guitar for me as well, play them both loads, play the sb one in my band very pleased with both, kind of wished I'd realised I love lps earlier in my guitar journey but never mind.

                                                My level of gear acquisition has been hard to keep track of due to lockdown boredom. I think I may have got that uv777 either very late 2020 or early 2021. It was impulse bought due to me liking the aesthetic but I never got on with it and I hated the blaze pickups, played nice enough but not a very lively guitar, sold.

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                                                  #25
                                                  Best thing was by far getting The Guitar of Shreddy Goodness .... which had me playing way more guitar.

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                                                  No bad purchases really but my TubeWorks 500w power amp kicked the bucket. Lucy for me, I no longer need to make Bears sterile by sheer volume any longer.

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                                                  "Slow Hand"

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