PRS vs. Les Paul

Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by axslinger, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. axslinger

    axslinger Senior Member

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    I'd like to hear an honest comparison of the Les Paul with the kudos and complaints of each one.

    It seems like everybody flocks PRS these days and I've never played one, so I'd like to hear from those of you who have enough time on both guitars to give an honest (non-biased) critique of each.

    Ax
     
  2. Benjammin

    Benjammin Senior Member

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    which PRS model?
     
  3. theblock321

    theblock321 Senior Member

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    They are both very nice guitars. Seemingly, IMO, the only drawback to the PRS is the price. They are very expensive. By comparison of course. Not to say that the LP's are cheap, but again, IMO, you can get more for less from Gibson.
     
  4. Torren61

    Torren61 Senior Member

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    Wrong. You can get a fine used PRS for around $1200 or sometimes less. Their pricing is comparable to LPs.

    To answer the question, I've played several of both. PRS are high quality guitars that have been well thought out. They don't have many of the design flaws inherent in LPs. (headstock angle making them prone to neck breaks being one of them)

    Many PRS models come with locking tuners as stock. Many came with a five way rotary switch for pickup switching. Many have highly figured maple tops. Quality control is a top priority at the PRS factory.

    Given a blind sound test, I doubt if a PRS could be picked out from a LP if things like neck, top and back woods and pups were equal. Most probably couldn't tell the difference even if they weren't.

    PRS comes in many neck profiles with wide thin being a personal favorite. A single cut McCarty PRS model is nearly a LP twin in every way.

    Remove the brand loyalty mentality and go strictly on science and Gibbys come up short against PRS.
     
  5. hbucker

    hbucker Senior Member

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    I'm not the expert, but from what I do know and have experienced, this is correct. On paper, PRS is more evolved and in that context, "better".

    But of course they don't have the history, and there's no accounting for individual preferences on feel. PRS's feel nothing like LP's. LP lovers might like the McCarty model but will still notice a difference in feel.

    Generally speaking I think PRS's try to hit a tonal center somewhere between LP's and Strats. But of course that varies from model to model.

    IMO it isn't a "vs." thing. It's a preference thing. Try them and get the one that speaks to you. Not every PRS speaks to me. Not every LP speaks to me either. Your results may vary.
     
  6. mudfinger

    mudfinger Thanks for the memories! V.I.P. Member

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    I think the PRS is prolly a "better" guitar overall, and I tried very hard to like them, but just couldn't into them; they do not delight my fingers the way some guitars do. :naughty:

    Things I like about PRS:
    The finishes; holy cow, they do some gorgeous stuff!
    The neck/body joint, especially the set necks with the giant heels. Yummy.
    Thick fretboards on well-carved necks; never felt a "bad" PRS neck.
    Overall quality of construction and design; well though out, well executed.
    They use wraptail bridges on some of their designs.

    Things I don't like about PRS:
    They always feel unbalanced to me; too heavy at the headstock end.
    The scale annoys me; almost as nice as 24.75, but not quite.
    Certain design elements also annoy; the carve at the treble bout, the pointy headstock, and the recessed controls (?!?)

    Over the years, it's become one of the "Classics", and for good reason, I'm sure; but I'm not down for the cause, as much as I respect the company that makes 'em, and PRS himself.
     
  7. al30

    al30 Junior Member

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    I've got 2 LP Customs and a '91 PRS CE24

    PRS - fantastic guitar, plays like butter, the best playing and most versatile guitar I own. Great in the studio. However, I can't bond with the tone. It's much too thin for my tastes.

    LP - I'm sure people know enough about them here. The sound is a lot thicker than the PRS. My #1 ('90 Limited Colours Edition- Transparent Red) is a great guitar although I did have to change the pickups. It's built better, sounds better and plays better than my other LP Custom ('80 Silverburst).

    They are both nice guitars and you can't go wrong with either one. Personal choice.

    AL
     
  8. logen99999

    logen99999 Senior Member

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    from having played only a couple of PRSs i can say the overall design and layout of the guitar is better. evolved is the right word like somebody said. you can access the high notes easier on a PRS then on a LP. you have to remember that the les paul design is 60 years old and gibson intends to stay as true to it as possible (otherwise we'd all go ape-shit). this is why it still have a few of those design flaws (saying flaws is a stretch actually). PRS designs their guitars from a contemporary point of view. it's like buying a $50,000 mint vintage mustang. it's a real performer, but because of it's inherent design you have to worry about rust, and bad gas milage, and all those thing's that come with owning a car made 50 years ago. a PRS is more like a modern corvette, it performs and is as sleek and accessible as possible.

    personally i liked the tone of the LP more. plus PRS tend to cost a ton and i cant justify 2000$ for a guitar when i can buy an awesome LP for around 1200$
     
  9. mudfinger

    mudfinger Thanks for the memories! V.I.P. Member

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    It's not always a competition between Gibson's singlecut LP design and PRS, which is a modified Gibson DC, like the LP Juniors from 59 and 60. That's the origin of the PRS design.

    This design is superior in my view, and it's a Gibson:
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Grey

    Grey Senior Member

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    I might like PRS guitars if 90% of their models didn't look like a hooker with too much makeup. Lots of pointless asthetical frills that just look gaudy IMO, and the body designs basically copy every other guitar that's ever been popular so they all look the same. I haven't gotten the opportunity to actually play one so I can't comment.
     
  11. Shades of Blue

    Shades of Blue Senior Member

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    I own a PRS Custom 22, SC245, and Gibson LP Traditional. I have liked PRS for years, and to be honest I was an avid Gibson hater. I always heard about the QC issues, the weight, the chunkiness and the problems associated with Gibson in general. All these opinions of mine were unfounded and frankly quite ignorant considering I had never even played a Gibson until this past January!

    Now, onto my comparison. I bought my Traditional back in May of this year and was so surprised at the feel, quality, beauty and sound that I couldn't believe I had been avoiding Gibson all these years. I grew up in the 90's/2000's so most of my guitar heros played PRS. I wanted an LP because I was getting heavy into blues and my PRS SC245 wasn't cutting it soundwise.

    The Traditional is beautiful, has a sound to die for, and feels fantastic. True quality guitar here. Same goes for my PRS guitars. They are high quality, beautiful in their own right and have the clearest sound I have ever heard. Both Gibson and PRS make fantastic guitars.

    Ok, so hear is my conclusion. The main reason I still like PRS over Gibson is that when I play my Les Paul, it sounds like a Les Paul. No matter how you play it, the tone will inherently be present when you here it on recordings or in a live setting. Not a bad thing if you dig the tone. But, I like PRS because their guitars sound really REALLY clear and nice, but I don't hear an overwhelming tone that grabs the limelight. PRS guitars allow me to sound like me.

    Now, the bad. The only thing I don't like about my Traditional is that it had the pickguard already installed...yeah minor I know, but there isn't much about this guitar I don't like. On the other hand, what I don't like about my PRS guitars is the same thing that I love about them...the fact that they don't have a signature tone to them, which in the end leaves them sounding bland and sterile if you are just jamming in your bedroom. The Gibson grabs me and says "Let's jam and rock out man," and the PRS screams "Let's write a song and record some tracks."

    Hope this all makes sense. Both guitars are great. The Gibson is by far more fun to play, but I like how the unidentifiable tone of the PRS allows me to be me on recordings and allow my talent and artistry to shine through rather than the guitars tone.
     
  12. axslinger

    axslinger Senior Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I've always wanted a McCarty. I don't like whammy bars, I like coil-tapped pickups and I like the single-piece bridge/tail piece design. When it comes to my guitars, I like simple. As it is, I seldom mess with the tone/volume controls so I don't need a bunch of extra junk to worry about. That's why the McCarty appeals to me. Simple but functional.
     
  13. V!N

    V!N Senior Member

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    I can't stand wraptails and I'm not that fond of the PRS scale, which is sad because I love the instruments they make. Light weight, great fretwork, really nice tone stock (even the SE models) and all of this for a great price. A much better bang for the buck than any Gibson.

    I had a used Tremonti SE at home for a couple of days from a store, just to see if I could get used to it. Sadly, I couldn't but that was a great axe. One of the nicest "Les Pauls" I ever played. Volume knob near the pinky, great feeling neck-to-body transition, nice upper fret access...

    Perhaps I should have bought it anyway and then convert it to ABR. Do you lads know if such a conversion has been done by somebody ?
     
  14. mudfinger

    mudfinger Thanks for the memories! V.I.P. Member

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    Same gig as slappin a TOM on a Gibby, but...isn't there a PRS with a TOM already?
     
  15. V!N

    V!N Senior Member

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    The Starla has a TOM, but I can't help but think of it as a bad copy of a Gretch Corvette. It's silly, I know. :)
     
  16. mudfinger

    mudfinger Thanks for the memories! V.I.P. Member

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    Not silly in my book; the psychological effect of a guitar on a player is just as important as anything else.
     
  17. BigB

    BigB Senior Member

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    "Generally speaking I think PRS's try to hit a tonal center somewhere between LP's and Strats. But of course that varies from model to model."

    I share this opinion. To me a PRS is a cross between a LP and a Strat. I sure would love to own one.
     
  18. DRF

    DRF Senior Member

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    PRS - I like some of the things others hate,I love the 25in scale,the trem is great,the tuners brilliant,easy access and light form fit. Headstock is waaay les break prone.

    - I hate the poly finish it feels like offshore,generic sounding,heavy 90's association.

    L.P - classic style,nitro-ish finish,worn in is accepted more,uuummm...
     
  19. LesPauI+SG=Win

    LesPauI+SG=Win Senior Member

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    All I can say is



    PRS!
     
  20. Ledheadforlife

    Ledheadforlife Senior Member

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