PRS Consistency

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by Tomsmenace, Nov 19, 2017.

  1. Tomsmenace

    Tomsmenace Senior Member

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    I'm considering a PRS from their core series. Forgive my naivety on this since I'm not a brand fanboy, at least not of guitar brands.

    I have had SO MANY Gibson guitars over the years and the majority were let downs or just OK. I only have 2 now, a 78 The Paul (my first real guitar) and a Les Paul Menace I got in a trade. Of all my Gibsons those are easily the standouts (also, the more expensive models were the biggest let downs). Yes, I realize taste is subjective in that regard. Cosmetics aren't a huge deal to me, especially highly figured tops. I would like a guitar that feels as good as my best basses have felt and in general, that doesn't happen often, if at all. I have a lot of experience with high basses and brands like Warwick, Ken Smith, NS Design, Elrick and Alembic and I can assume a quality level up front and rarely if ever be surprised. Even Music Man basses are remarkably consistent though they aren't too my taste as much.

    I'm wondering if PRS guitars are consistent relative to high end bass brands? Minimal drift across a model in terms of sound, playability and overall feel even across multiple years of production. I've only played 4 PRS core series but they all felt precise in a similar way. They were a custom 22, (2) custom 24's and a CE 24 from the early/mid 90's? (just guessing). I remember liking the CE 24 quite a bit but it also resided in my house for 2 weeks while a friend was out of town so I got a fair amount of play time on it.

    Right now I'm considering a McCarty 594 and/or a CE 24. I've never owned or even played an LP that had the "vintage thing" and I've played plenty of RI's and even a real 58 and at best they were OK. The 58 sounded great but was setup for the owners taste so that's a factor. The RI's sounded nice too but I didn't feel like they justified the price or the hype. So this has lead me to PRS because I "want" one(ok, maybe 2) high end guitars that really feels like something special. I don't have time to go to every guitar shop and play them all. I'm in Austin Texas and I would be totally willing to travel to Sweetwater at some point to play a few because honestly guitars shops in this town are really patronizing and the SW folks are always nice to me. The shops here with the best inventory are prickly to deal with at best and downright rude at worst. If I knew a PRS from one to the next was pretty damn close I would be more OK with ordering online as well. So ordering from sweetwater is an option and I love they post the weights. Wildwood also does that so there is an option there as well.

    I have pretty good memories of my friends CE 24 and the McCarty 594 (double cutaway) looks pretty appealing as well and those may really be something special but I haven't had a chance to get my mits on one yet.

    Any advice is welcome. All you semi pro and pro bassist slumming it on a guitar forum feel free to weight in from that perspective.
     

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  2. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    PRS "Core" consistency is spot-on. The ONLY reason I try to buy mine in person is so I can see how nice the tops are. However, I have bought quite a few based on photos and have NEVER had a fear of getting a "subpar" example. Playability across models is equal.

    I only have one bass - a German made Warwick FNA Jazzman - but I think I know what you mean.

    PRS is like that, all the way.
     
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  3. Encrypted

    Encrypted Senior Member

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    I've played two core PRS models.

    The first core model was in a Guitar Center, it was a single cut hollow body in the vault section. It's strings were completely dead, but it was still somehow very comfortable to play and sounded very clean through an amp. It still did sound and feel like a $3k and over guitar.

    The second core, was/is my current and only guitar, a pre-owned mint cond. 2016 Custom 22 Goldtop that I bought from Dave's Guitar Shop on Reverb (they're a PRS dealer). Out of the box, it was great to play, didn't even need a set up, but me being me, I wanted the most playability out of the guitar. I let it set and get comfortable to the biolar California weather and humidity, and later set it up to my liking; low action, very little relief on half step down tuning. I've owned several Gibson Custom Shop instruments, an R7, a 50th anniversary R8, and an R9 quilt top, but this Custom 22 ... beat every single one, with no doubts in mind. And at the fraction of what Gibson Custom Shop guitars go for at this time.

    Don't get the illusion that they are "eh" guitars. Depreciation really hits PRS due to the simple fact that it's name and brand isnt the size of that of Gibson and Gibson Custom, and it'll hit you too if you but one brand new, which I would try to avoid.

    I highly respect both brands, but this Custom 22 is irreplaceable to me.

    If I were you, I'd very much trust PRS and their core models, whether it's a guitar, bass or acoustic.


    Like Paul said in a interview.. Both artist's and regular consumer's core guitars are made on the same line, with the same people and the same passion.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
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  4. Tomsmenace

    Tomsmenace Senior Member

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    That's kinda the answer I was looking for. I'm a Warwick fan, I cannot lie and to equate PRS to German Wicks is a good sign. FNA's are great, and they're F*!king Not Altus.
     
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  5. Alexus77

    Alexus77 Junior Member

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    +1

    PRS are incredibly consistent, and good-looking, well-sounding instruments. As it has already been said, the only reason to try them in person is to check out the top. On that note, I feel like the quality of their tops has been decreasing over the years. A while back, you would find 10-tops that looked stunning, and basic tops that were already amazing. Now I feel like you need to go a step up for comparable quality, but Artist grade PRSs are usually amazing... I have one, I can attest to that ;)
     
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  6. Tomsmenace

    Tomsmenace Senior Member

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    I've been looking more and more in the used market and would agree that even as recently as the a decade ago the standard tops were as nice(or damn close) as the 10 tops are now, at least on average. Also, the older CE's appear to be much nicer than the current CE's and since I was playing an older one if I get a CE it will an older one.
     
  7. ttbit

    ttbit Senior Member

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    The PRS "build to spec" seems to be pretty "tight", IMO. I bought one online and it is exactly as I expected, from others I have played, and it wasn't a high-end model (S2).

    The best position to be in is when you just find something and love it. "Looking" for something usually leaves me with disappointment.

    Good luck!!
     
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  8. jdto

    jdto Pretend Human Premium Member

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    I played three different McCarty 594s while shopping for mine. They are very consistent across the models in terms of fit and finish and feel. There was a bit of a weight difference and I ended up getting the one that was several ounces lighter, just to spare my back a bit. All three were fantastic guitars and sounded and felt very close, from what I recall.
     
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  9. Tomsmenace

    Tomsmenace Senior Member

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    and I prefer light guitars which is another thing driving me towards PRS as they seem lighter on average that Les Paul's do these days.
     
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  10. landguitar

    landguitar Double Platinum Supporter

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    A7147524-DEC0-4430-A5FC-BC5ACF40E874.jpeg I have a few PRS’ of various ages and I will say they are incredibly consistent in quality and playability. I have only purchased by playing, however. I have met Paul a couple of times, at NAMM and at a Guitar Center and he makes a very big deal out of their goal to make any PRS be playable right out of the case wherever you by it - at NAMM it’s part of the show - pick up a brand new guitar and hand it to David Grissom, Ted Nugent, etc. and they play a song with it.

    When I first played PRS’ I believed Paul’s claim that a McCarty sounded like a Les Paul - uh, no - but once I got past that I now use them as their own tools with their own tones, and the coil splitting is a handy thing too!

    I have been to Guitar Rez in Austin and they have had a nice selection of PRS’. Never bought there though.
    I would feel very comfortable buying from Sweetwater or Wildwood - I think WW gets a better selection of most of what they carry though.

    My Modern Eagle Quattro is one of my favorite guitars that is not a Les Paul! And it has an awesome top!
     
  11. tokairic

    tokairic Member

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    I agree with everything said here re; PRS. Second to none in all respects. If you pay top dollar new you will lose value, but thats the same with Gibson and others. Only matters if you intend to sell. There are some excellent used PRS out there and keep an eye out for dealer overstocks........
    I have three PRS now, every one fantastic, for playability, sound, looks and fit/finish.
    Even the SE range are excellent, the same PRS standards apply to the entry level range.......I have owned an SE245 and still own an SE277 Baritone - you just can't go wrong.
     
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  12. tokairic

    tokairic Member

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    If you want light, try a Custom 22. If you want featherweight go for a Hollowbody 2.
     
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  13. Tiboy

    Tiboy Senior Member

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    I’ve had 5 PRS purchased on line. No issues or regrets with any of them. All perfect right out of the box.
     
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  14. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Senior Member

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    If you're in Austin Tom, you must be talking about Guitar Resurrection.

    I've NEVER EVER felt comfortable going into that store and auditioning guitars.

    The guys there are always right on top of you and want to make sure you don't scratch their expensive guitars.

    I usually avoid that place even though they have the best collection of high end PRS guitars in Austin.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
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  15. Tomsmenace

    Tomsmenace Senior Member

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    Wow, it's interesting Guitar Resurrection got outed in this thread so quickly. I have shopped there a total of 5 miserable times and the last 2 were only out of pure necessity when they had strings I needed in stock(NS Design CR4 strings) and I had a gig the next day. Just awful. One time I wanted to audition a bass and they wouldn't let me until I brought in my own sufficiently high end amp as proof of me being a serious potential buyer. wtf? I have no idea how they stay in business.
     
  16. Texsunburst59

    Texsunburst59 Senior Member

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    Yea Tom, they're a pretty worthless shop.

    They're a snobby outfit for sure.

    I will never ever give them any business.

    I'd rather shop at any guitar shop in Austin other than GR.

    I guess there's enough rich snobs who give them business that they're able to stay open.
     
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  17. prs97

    prs97 Senior Member

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    I'm up to PRS now and each one is solid as a rock. All set up like a dream and excellent fit and finish.
     
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  18. frankv

    frankv What Are You Waiting For? Double Platinum Supporter Premium Member V.I.P. Member

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    Yep I agree. I have had at least 9 PRS guitars over the years. never had a bad one. The Pauls guitar model was my favorite. Its certainly nice to read a PRS thread where you dont have to read someone state that they dont have any soul. I always hated reading that BS.

    These days I am in the Ernie Ball Music Man camp. Now there is another guitar company that has rediculous build quality. All at fractions of the price of other high end guitars.
     
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  19. landguitar

    landguitar Double Platinum Supporter

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    Weird how a place like Austin, renowned for music, doesn't really have a top quality guitar store...Houston either, although Fuller's might be close but they don't have much of a Gibson inventory. And are not a PRS dealer I don't believe...
     
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  20. Tomsmenace

    Tomsmenace Senior Member

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    I've only had their basses but all of them had fantastic fit and finish and they were all purchased used.

    I kinda lust after the St. Vincent.
     
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