As much as I enjoy playing my Samick, it is in a totally different class and league than the Tobacco Sunburst 1977 Gibson ES-335TD I once owned. It was the first professional quality musical instrument I owned, and it took all of my life savings to buy that thinline archtop from the Al Vessa Music store on Sunrise Highway in Valley Stream, NY. I was a skinny high school student living in Queens at the time, and I somehow scrounged up enough cash to buy a "previously owned" 1960’s vintage Ampeg Gemini II tube amp at a nearby Sam Ash Music store. That guitar and amp was a well-matched rhythm guitar rig, and I played it in many high school shows, as well as in a few gigs in Queens and Manhattan with some friends in a garage band.
It was a dark and cold winter day in the early 1990's when I sold that guitar to pay some bills. By then, I no longer owned even an acoustic guitar, and had sold the amp a few years earlier when I moved out of my parents place and into my own. Sure, I regret selling that rig, considering how the value of that guitar and amp have appreciated over the years. But, paying the rent and buying groceries did have certain merits at the time. Similarly, my wife and I found making the mortgage and two car payments were appealing in 2006. So, from what I was finding in the newspaper classifieds and my local music stores at the time, it was quite clear replacing that fine guitar and amp with anything like it would not be happening any time soon.