Within every hobby, art, sport, or various passion in life, there is a tendency to display snobbery. When it comes to an area where there’s hardware, software, or other pieces of equipment that may inspire passion for that equipment, there begins to be what myself and many others call “gear snobbery”.
It goes back to the old “Ford vs. Chevy” debates, and it surfaces in nearly every other area you could possibly imagine. Nikon vs. Canon. Gibson vs. Fender. Honda vs. Kawasaki vs. Yamaha. Marshall vs. Mesa/Boogie. Apple vs. Windows. Android vs. iOS.
For the sake of this article, I’ll focus on musical gear, particularly guitar gear. The problem (as I see it, anyway) with guitar gear is that there’s always been an “us vs. them” mentality when it comes to gear, and with the internet, it’s become worse.
Due to the nature of musical equipment, people create their art with this stuff. Therefore, often times there becomes a quasi-emotional attachment to the piece of gear, and often the brand as a whole. So when someone else calls it “overrated”, “crap”, or “not as good as my gear”, people take it as if someone called their sister a nasty name. Argument, of course, ensues.
Is this wrong? Well, yes and no. Is it wrong to feel passionately about an inanimate object? It’s a little weird, if you think about it. But you used it to create your art, so it’s somewhat natural for it to become more than just a tool. Can it become unhealthy? Yeah, I think so. I think when you take it so personally that you get literally upset when someone doesn’t share your point of view, it’s definitely unhealthy.
Now granted, it’s not really cool when someone else says a piece of gear sucks, just because they’re being a jerk. But if the opinion they have is based on experience, and they just don’t like it (and they frame their opinion like a grown-up), then fine. Agree to disagree, and move along. That’s the beauty of the music industry (or any other); there are tons of different brands for different people to enjoy.