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I have never given value to the ornaments on a guitar, to me it is just a piece of wood with good or bad tone and a fretboard where the magic happens... until today...

The tool you spend hours looking at has to be beautiful for that same reason, it has to invite you to play more and inspire your chops with the beauty of its materials, it has to turn into something completely different when you spend so much time staring at it... For that, I love my guitar! And to illustrate what I've said here's a picture taken from my perspective:
 

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I have said it before, I consider some guitars works of art. I enjoy looking at and drooling over a nice Strat, Tele, Les Paul. For me, the instrument has to be beautifull in order to enjoy.Thats just me and i am sure i am not alone.
 

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You are right on the money there. I am glad you make the distinction between "beauty" and "ornamentation". Sometimes things stand on their own without a lot of frills. Like the old adage "Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder".
 

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It's also about what the individual considers beauty in the instrument. Some people prefer plain jane looking tele and strat styles, while others may find abalone everywhere with gold hardware to be "it". The good news - none of these views are wrong.

I'm a fan of both the work-horse no-frills look on some instruments, and dazzling inlays with highly figured woods on others. I'm also a fan of the natural wear look (hence why I own a satin-finish guitar now).
 

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True enough. Some guitars I look at and think, "must play you" and others I look at and think, "nice guitar....". It has nothing to do with ornamentation, it's not really quantifiable. I don't know what causes it nor do I ever want to know but it sure is nice when it happens. :)
 

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I agree that a beautiful guitar inspires you to play better. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder though. The pictures of the beat up 58 Les Paul Special that were posted recently are a good example. The guitar would not fit most people's definition of a beautiful guitar. To me it is. It would inspire me. I think what I'm trying to say is: as with people beauty is not only skin deep. There can be hidden beauty that you don't see until you are familiar with a guitar.
 

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True enough. Some guitars I look at and think, "must play you" and others I look at and think, "nice guitar....". It has nothing to do with ornamentation, it's not really quantifiable. I don't know what causes it nor do I ever want to know but it sure is nice when it happens. :)
^^^ this, for me, mostly. i love some blinged out guitars, but also i love some of the straight-up rock machines. but i think the thing that makes me want to play one vs. the other is a mixture of several elements.

playability - it should have the ability to be nicely set up
weight - i don't like 'em to be so heavy anymore, but should still feel solid and not cheaply built
sound - it's gotta sound good to my ear.
looks - i'm kinda picky. i don't like tv yellow or blonde, especially on a tele. i don't like flat top single cuts like the LP jr. there are a few shapes i don't care for, like mustangs, firebirds, gratuitous pointy ones like some bc rich offerings.
 

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Beauty and comfort/playability are 90% of the decision for me.
Mostly because I don't think tone is as easily discernible with the electrics as it is with acoustics. My amps will make anything sound pretty good and tone is subjective even to me....a guitar can sound great one day and meh another day, and vice versa. It's very mood dependent IMO. Some days my ears are more in the mood for lovin' than others.
 

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No names, but one of my guitars is quite ugly. I look at it and marvel at the makers lack of sense of proportion, cohesion and elegance. The colour wasn't even what i thought I would get. I love that guitar. (Its my number one go to because of the results it gets. )

It's like one of them goofy old cars that guys gotta have.
 

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I almost bought one guitar because it was ugly--but I found one I liked better.
I saw one guitar in a pawn shop window that was so tacky I had to check it out.
It was an late 60's/early 70's thinline hollow body with a fake Bigsby and sparkly finish that didn't match the hardware--the inlay was also different than the rest--but it was so gaudy & over the top I liked it.
I went in to check it out--but the price was about 3 times more than it was worth--it was an off brand as well--not even a known cheap 60's brand.
The guy wouldn't budge on the price.
So I didn't buy it.
It stayed there a long time.
 
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I could not keep a guitar if the finish was marred a lot. If I really liked the guitar, I would refinish it. If if wasn't one I wasn't overly taken with, it would get sold and replaced. To me, having a guitar with is beat up is like having a vehicle that is starting to rust; it just ain't very sightly and is becoming unappealing.
 
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No names, but one of my guitars is quite ugly. I look at it and marvel at the makers lack of sense of proportion, cohesion and elegance. The colour wasn't even what i thought I would get. I love that guitar. (Its my number one go to because of the results it gets. )

It's like one of them goofy old cars that guys gotta have.
I'm sorta partial to ugly ducklings as well.
If they sound/feel/play well, then I'll get used to the looks .. or refinish.

I picked this up with the thought of redoing it. It's grown on me since.
Think I'll leave it as is. It meets my other criteria quite well.

Guitar String instrument Musical instrument String instrument Plucked string instruments
 

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Its definitely a weird thing. I'm at the point now, where I just can't bond with new guitars. I have been wanting a 50's Jr forever, I finally get one (Painted red sparkle) and spent a long time stripping and applying 10-15 coats of tru-oil. When I was done, it was too shiny and new. I am now getting picky and the only guitars I will keep are those with beat up original finishes. Here's my bass....


Guitar String instrument Musical instrument Bass guitar Plucked string instruments
Fawn
 

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I'm sorta partial to ugly ducklings as well.
If they sound/feel/play well, then I'll get used to the looks .. or refinish.

I picked this up with the thought of redoing it. It's grown on me since.
Think I'll leave it as is. It meets my other criteria quite well.

View attachment 58465
I can handle something like this as it's unique. As long as I like its uniqueness, then I'm fine with it. Sometimes though, one can tire of that "unique" look. Then, it needs a unique makeover.
 
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Its definitely a weird thing. I'm at the point now, where I just can't bond with new guitars. I have been wanting a 50's Jr forever, I finally get one (Painted red sparkle) and spent a long time stripping and applying 10-15 coats of tru-oil. When I was done, it was too shiny and new. I am now getting picky and the only guitars I will keep are those with beat up original finishes. Here's my bass....


View attachment 58545 View attachment 58553
Did you buy it like that or make it like that? Or a combination?

I wonder because if I owned a guitar for 1000 years, I don't think it would look like that. I've played on the road - sure they take a beating in the heat of the moment but sometimes the wear I see seems over-the-top (Gallagher's Strat). And wear in places my guitars never seem to wear.

But then I've watched guys like Jimi and Eddie scrape their guitars on amps and mic stands and, hell, even light them on fire and let them die a loud, squealing death - so there's that. :confused:
 
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