Do we really have to give you the definition of this one? Try using it in a sentence: “Oh my, it appears that (fill in your name here) has come down with a bad case of Gear Acquisition Syndrome!” Often referred to by its acronym, GAS (more properly G.A.S.), it describes what typically happens to many musicians once they commit to a life of music. It often starts with the purchase of one item, such as an electric guitar. That, of course, leads to the purchase of a guitar amplifier, a wah pedal, a series of stompboxes, and then down the road perhaps a multitrack recorder, a mixing console, microphones, headphones, a computer, and all manner of software and plug-ins.
Each musician is hit to various degrees by this very real condition. One may see a fabulous Les Paul BFG in the Sweetwater Guitar Gallery and not be able to sleep, eat, or think properly until he or she calls to make sure that instrument is still available. Typically, the musician will then purchase the instrument and begin a long road that truly has no end, as advances in music technology almost guarantee that eventually, no matter how much gear a musician has, he or she will eventually discover there is something more that is required – an acoustic guitar, for example, for playing a glossy background rhythm part on a recording. At present, although research continues at a rather slow pace, there is no known cure for GAS. If there were, NAMM would only take place every three or four years. It’s worth noting that Sweetwater employees are not immune to this somewhat contagious condition. In fact, it’s often the reason they interview for a job here before discovering it’s the best place on the planet to work, particularly if you have a bad case of gear acquisition syndrome.