PRS Consistency

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

  1. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    It's simple. The SE guitars, while built AMAZINGLY well are "Student Edition" guitars. They are built in Korea with Korean parts. They are GREAT guitars for what they are - import alternatives. Before this sounds like snobbery, I will say it was the awesomeness of the SE that got me BACK into buying the Core PRS guitars. I figured if the sub-$800 import was as amazing as it was the $3000+ USA built guitars must be orgasmic. I got used to the "feel" of PRS via the SE before moving to a USA model.

    I got an S2 before getting the "Core" guitars - an S2 Singlecut Standard. It was astronomically "better" than the SE. The finish was awesome. The neck and fretwork was better. While it had Korean pickups, the bridge was USA and the tuners - Korean versions of the Phase II locking tuners - were flawless. It was worth the price - roughly double that of the SE. Again, it was just something that was noticeable in the "feel" of the instrument. Nothing I could really point at - it just "was"....

    Getting my first "Core" was simply an orgasmic experience. The guitar was indescribably better than the SE and a clear step-up from the S2s I had gotten. Again, it's hard to put in words. With all 3 levels side-by-side you can see it, but the words aren't there. I guess I can put it like this.....

    An SE is just a really nice MASS produced guitar made by a factory.

    An S2 is a nice American-made guitar built to a price point.

    A Core is equivalent to an instrument built by craftsmen that take extreme levels of care every step of the way. The "love" put into to each one is evident by the constant consistency and quality. There is nothing on the guitar that speaks of "short-cut". They are inspirational to play. They resonate in a way that a mass-produced guitar doesn't. (yes I know core guitars are still factory made, but look at the monthly production numbers vs. F & G - far fewer per month that either of those brands).

    It's just something you have to experience to fully understand.....

    Hopefully that doesn't sound "dickish".....
     
  2. ttbit

    ttbit Senior Member

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    Yes. The fretwork on my SE was not very good. It needed some work, and the cost would have exceeded the worth of the guitar. It was not bad after I replaced the nut and did some minor fret work myself, but I just could not get the action as low as I liked, and I am more of a string bender, so my action is not terribly low. I did not care for the stock bridge either. This was an SE245 SoapBar. I did a personal CL trade of my PRS SE for an MiM Tele with a hard shell case. I was and am still happy with the trade, even though I rarely play the Tele. (Tele ergonomics and me don't match)

    Now, my PRS S2 Vela Satin??? Great fretwork and the action will go much lower than I will ever need. I love the bridge design and nice locking tuners also. It is a stripped down version, but has it where it counts. Some people complain about the electronics being Chinese made, but I have not run into any serious issue there yet. If the neck was a tad wider, I'd have no complaints.

    To me, it was well worth the extra money for this S2. NO QUESTION. It resonates very well also. Good wood.
     
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  3. Victek

    Victek Senior Member

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    I think you put it quite well :) The SEs are less expensive because (as you said) they're mass produced overseas. It's not realistic to compare them to the "Core" line. The point is they are good guitars for the price.
     
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  4. Victek

    Victek Senior Member

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    The necks on all of the SEs I've played have been quite good and the action on my SE CU 24 is very low without any fret buzz. Did you get your SE new? Sounds like yours was a dud, or if it was used maybe not taken good care of.

    I don't doubt the Vela is a great guitar :yesway: I get that it's worth paying more for finish and features.
     
  5. ttbit

    ttbit Senior Member

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    A pic for a comparison.

    My SE:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My S2:
    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. Stuff

    Stuff Senior Member

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    I'm going to be a lone voice here I think, with a tale of two PRS guitars that buck the trend.

    My 594 shipped with less than perfect fretwork. There's a dead note at the 12th fret on the B string. I missed it when checking out the guitar in the store before buying it too :( As yet, I haven't taken any steps to get it sorted under warranty ... partly because it's a one-off guitar that I'm not comfortable shipping anywhere to get fixed, with the dealer I bought it from a day's drive from me.

    The other reason is a friend of mine has been shipping his PRS off time and time again to get repaired under warranty. I can't even tell you what model it is - it's been with PRS so much of the time that I've never actually seen the guitar myself.

    I love my PRS 594. It's become the guitar I play every day. When my long-term collaborator heard it for the first time, she said that it was the sound I've been chasing for the last 25 years. It isn't an alternative to a Les Paul, but it is a nice complement to them.

    Before buying, I played as many 594s as I could get my hands on first. They vary more than I expected, and more than people say. They're all in a similar ballpark - much closer together than Custom Shop Les Pauls - but some sounded better than others to my ears, and one or two (including mine) were much better. Not sure I'd buy without playing first.

    Something that's not often talked about: the lacquer that PRS uses on the neck can be a huge problem. Some people (I'm one of them) find the standard neck finish to be very sticky. In my case, it's unplayable, and why I don't own more PRS guitars. There are 594s with satin or unfinished necks, if you can find one.

    And they did a run of CEs this year with satin necks. The two that I've played were excellent guitars.
     
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  7. ttbit

    ttbit Senior Member

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    This is why I went with a satin version. I have this problem with Gibson as well. Part of my body chemistry, I guess.
     
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  8. Tomsmenace

    Tomsmenace Senior Member

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    I love the Vela design, just love it.
     
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  9. NeubyWanKaneuby

    NeubyWanKaneuby Senior Member

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    I'm lucky enough to be 4 for 4 on the PRS guitars that I have. Got 2 in trade deals, bought 1 used and 1 new. All play and sound great (at least to me).
     
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  10. pedersenkirk

    pedersenkirk Senior Member

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    I have my 2012 studio, which I received as a gift. It's a beautiful guitar and smooth and easy to play. I've never needed to get it set up, and the narrowfield pickups are probably my favourite of any I've ever used, but pretty sure I'm in a severe minority there.

    [​IMG]

    That said, I agree the finish on the back of the neck is sticky, which is why I don't play this guitar too often. If it were like one of my bolt-on guitars, I'd just sand it down, but this guitar is too nice to ever meet sandpaper.
     
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  11. Tomsmenace

    Tomsmenace Senior Member

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    also a satin fan. All my basses have either oiled or satin necks except for my EBMM Bongo. My 2 LP's are cheap ones with satin as well. I actually prefer studio faded and tributes for that reason. in the PRS line up the CE's have satin nitro necks and most of the EBMM's I'm interested in do as well. I'm lucky enough to have a pH that doesn't make me stick to lacquer or poly finishes but satin still feels better.
     
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  12. rtp_cl

    rtp_cl Junior Member

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    I know I'm a little late to the party on this topic since I noticed it in the monthly MyLesPaul email that came in November. And, I normally don't post because I generally don't have time (and they get too long as you'll probably see), but this topic piqued my interest enough that I feel compelled to chime in and throw my couple of pennies out there for what it's worth. First reason to chime in -- like the original poster, my first real guitar was a '78 the Paul (walnut, not mahogany, with some screaming pickups in it too). Got it for xmas brand new in '78. We won't get into how old I am at this point, but let's just say the guitar is semi-retired because it was my main guitar for quite some time. In fact, I did the math, and it'll be 40 years old next year, and it's got the wear and tear to show for it. Only comes out of the case for it's rotation for hanging up to air out, but I'd have no problem busting it out if it seems like the proper tool for the job. Problem is, I've since picked up a lot of other "proper tools" for the job, so I'm happy to leave it semi-retired.

    In any event, I currently own 5 PRS's (besides LP's, Strats, teles, an Anderson drop top S type, a Rick 330, an ES175, ES345, and probably something else I'm forgetting). One of which I recently took in trade because it's better "bait" for a possible trade for a R8 than what I had initially posted. If anybody is interested in an excellent to low mint condition PRS 20th annivesary (2005) Custom 22 Artist, feel free to contact me. Sorry for the shameless self promotion, but if I didn't want another R8, I'd certainly have no problems keeping the guitar. I do have one R8, and I hope I never have to let that one go (see avatar pic), but back to PRS's. I have a DGT 10 top, an NF3, a Santana, and purchased earlier this year, a 594. Each one of these, I had never played before I got them.

    The NF3, my first PRS I ever purchased, is a 2011, korina body, with "natural" finish, pattern regular neck profile, and a rosewood fretboard. Had to order because weren't any in stock from the store I was looking to purchase through. Prior to that, I hadn't owned any PRS's, but because someone offered me a NF3 in trade for an amp I had posted (deal didn't happen), I did some research on what NF3's were all about. At that point, I wanted one. Let me tell you, NF3 pickups scream. It's not a strat, and it's not a tele or a les paul, but I'll say it again, NF3's pu's scream. And right there is where I'm going with my two cents.

    PRS's are not a les paul, they're not a tele, and they're not a strat. They are they're own thing that sort of fits in between a strat and/or tele and a les paul as far as tone goes. They just don't seem to get as fat as a les paul can be, nor do they get as thin as a strat. As I've already said though, they are their own thing, and in my opinion, it doesn't hurt to have one or more in your toolbox. So, after the NF3 purchase, I've had no problems with buying a PRS or taking one in trade. They are fine, well-made instruments, and even if you don't want to spend the money, I've heard nothing but good things about the SE versions too.

    So real quick on other PRS's in my tool box: the DGT: took it in trade, so had no idea if it was going to be ok or not as I had never played one before, but everything I researched and read about the DGT model was that it's considered one of PRS's best models. You'll get no argument from me on that. And watching a youtube of Dave Grissom at one of PRS's annual events at PRS, where he comes out and plays, I believe him when he says, he grabbed one hanging up to come out and play with instead of bringing one of his own with him. Why? because he knows it's going to be the same as any other. And yea, it's promotion, but I've definitely had some other PRS's besides the ones I have right now, and the quality is always there, and you can feel it when you pick one up. It generally comes down to what color and neck profile do you want, not which one of a particular model feels the best or sounds the best to you.

    Then of course, I believe it was last year, PRS announced they were coming out with the 594. It's set up like a les paul with the pup switch up top, 2 volume, and 2 tone knobs, and an ABR and stop bar. They do have push/pull on the tone knobs for single coil. Plus, the body is fatter than the regular McCarty it's based on. I believe the neck profile is wide fat, but slightly assymetrical, iifc. I wouldn't call it a les paul killer, but it's definitely got it's own thing going on while feeling very les paul like with the fatter body and it's switch, knobs, and abr/stop bar configuration. It's just a double cut. I don't see me ever getting rid of that guitar, and the more I play it, the more I like it. Plus, I didn't go artist or 10 top with it, and the top is beautiful. Had to order (sweetwater) because there weren't any in stock because they were waiting for PRS to build them.

    A couple of other items to point out. Since buying the NF3, I've had a couple of other cu22's, a SC 245, and a DC3. All felt great, played great, sounded great, but I felt I could let those go once I came into possession of my DGT. The cu22's and sc245 all had wide fat neck profiles which I've found I prefer. Heck, I like R8's primarily for the neck profile, so what do you expect. So, play different neck profiles or read up on them on the PRS site to see what works for you.

    Being that I live in Maryland, back in the day PRS himself would come sit in with a local band (band of a thousand names) fronted by Cary Ziggler (bass) of Crack the Sky fame (some of you may have heard of them, or if not, they're worth a listen). So when he was sitting in, it was always interesting to see what he'd show up with to play. BTW, they weren't playing in some "show case" type theater either. They were playing in the same bars that my band was playing in at that time. I wouldn't quite call them a dive, but they certainly weren't much above that. Not sure if PRS would do that these days though.

    Also, PRS himself comes on one of the local radio stations at least once a year to hawk his benefit concert he puts together. I'm pretty sure he does it for cancer funding at Johns Hopkins. He gets some pretty good acts to headline too. I can't remember if he's gotten Santana to roll through or not, but he's had Neil Schon and the latest incarnation of Journey to headline in one of the recent benefits. So, besides who he's getting to show up, it's always interesting to hear what he's got to say. Usually the DJ's want him to talk about which guitar gods have rolled through the factory. Definitely some interesting stories there. I know he talked about duplicating the neck profile for Jimmy Page from one of Pages's les pauls. And what was interesting about that was, he said it got thinner in the middle of the neck. I don't think he said why it was like that, but I'd think it could be from wear, or what probably came into play is that back in the late 50's/early 60's, their was a lot more human hands-on involved in building them. So, that could explain why the neck was thinner in the middle.

    Also, another thing in particular PRS has talked about that stood out to me was, they don't let him build guitars anymore because when he does build one, he's doesn't meet they're tolerances for quality control. That's hilarious considering it's his name on them, but I think he said if he's building one these days, it's usually a one off that he's doing special for someone. Regardless, I hope that says something about PRS quality for you -- they do try to build a quality product, and I don't think I've ever played one that didn't feel top of the line to me.

    anyway, hope this helps, and may try to post some pics -- if nothing else I know i have the pics Sweetwater took of my 594 before they turned around and shipped it to me.
     
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  13. rtp_cl

    rtp_cl Junior Member

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    as mentioned -- 594

    237980-front-large.jpg
     
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  14. rtp_cl

    rtp_cl Junior Member

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    cu22 20th anniversary artist I mentioned that I'm willing to let go of. the pics I have of this one just don't do it justice:

    00O0O_gdkax9bsTZ4_600x450.jpg
     
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  15. archey

    archey Senior Member

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    That looks like a custom 22 to me. Mahogany set neck, right? The dragon 2's are okay, but I'm with you on the 57/08s. They are terrific pickups. Their pickups were the only thing that really held prs back for years imo. They have really turned a corner lately.
     
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  16. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    Yeppers - the red guitar is a Custom 22. I totally agree abut PRS pickups. They were always "ok" at best....but when they did the 57/08 - THAT was the turning point for me.

    I also seem to favor the post 2010 guitars. The red one IS older, but all the others are 2010 and newer. There really is something to Paul's "Rules of Tone". The guitars built after PRS started implementing those things are just MAGICAL. I have passed on several pre-1990 guitars because they just don't "speak" to me. I HATE the HFS pickups. I HATE the old finish - I am not a fan of nitro either....I passed on some sweet 2nd hand Private Stocks because of the nitro finishes....

    I appreciate that PRS is ALWAYS improving/updating their guitars. I love that Paul believes in constant growth. It really makes for a product to believe i.
     
  17. Tomsmenace

    Tomsmenace Senior Member

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    So I temporarily sinned against this thread and purchased a LP Studio 60's tribute (2011) because 1. I had one and liked it and was stupid and sold it in order to "upgrade". 2. Baked maple fretboard(I love they way the feel...just me?). 3. Chambered / ultra modern weight relief 7.5lbs 4. I love P90's but feel like P90 equipped guitars get into diminishing returns on sound vs $$$ really fast. P90's don't have the tonal spectrum like buckers do, they just sound raunchy. 5. Gold Top.

    and lastly it doesn't end my PRS quest (or Music Man) and may not even delay it depending on my mood and this years bonus. I have been strongly considering an S2 from Dave's guitar shop as a easy and relatively risk free way to test the PRS waters. I'm aware it's not a Core but certain aspects should translate. I'm leaning towards a Standard 24 because they have a lot of them.
     
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  18. murmel

    murmel Senior Member

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    Matthias Jabs of the Scorpions has a guitar store in my Hometown Munich. He always has a nice selection of instruments there, but I hardly go there as its on the other side of the town.

    Anyway, when I was there the last time they had an offer on guitar setups, so I asked the tech how long it would take. In response he asked me what kind of bridge it had, possibly a Floyd or something else. I said itÅ› a PRS U.S.A Tremonti with Tremolo and his response was: I do not think a PRS will need a setup.
     
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  19. Victek

    Victek Senior Member

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    Interesting to see a PRS with a proper "tune-o-matic" bridge and stop tail plus the pickup toggle switch on the top horn like a Les Paul :hmm::yesway:
     
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  20. cousingrandpa

    cousingrandpa Senior Member

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    This is what I have to choose from & I like them all, can't really choose one over another just which one works for the moment.
    The R9 is #1 though.

    20171202_102250.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
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