This is a very important thing, to me. I've heard it said that the best guitar to have is the one that inspires you to play the most. Couldn't agree more. That's what Lefty is saying here.The guitar to buy is the guitar that does what you need, but also the guitar that moves you. It's not as much a logical decision as it is an emotional one. If you get a great PRS and it doesn't move you to play it and you don't have a connection with the guitar, then you would be better off with something else which may not be as progressive in design but makes you happy, love it, and want to pick it up and play it.
My two pennies
An SG Standard isn’t rocket science. It is Gibson enough for me.My first guitar was a Gibson (335) and I've got a lot of them in the stack.
But things have changed. I really don't have a lot of nostalgia involving 70-year-old rockers *or* their guitars, and honestly, you can get a much better guitar for much less money these days. It's a bit like dreaming about a '57 Chevy and then getting one in 2018 and finding that the driving experience is old, clunky and dangerous, and that the hot chicks who are attracted to the car are 70-years-old as well. There are companies that will help you put a lot of money into one of the old clunkers to make it handle, accelerate and brake like a modern car, but then you've spent a lot of money, changed everything and it's no longer a '57 Chevy, is it?
Your head will tell you that you can get a better guitar that does all the same things that the Gibson will do and make all the same sounds, but for $500 or less. And you can have that guitar with a neck that will be wide and thin if you prefer it, and that it will have an ebony fretboard and real MOP or abalone inlays and jumbo frets and neck-through construction, smooth neck heel and the same binding on body and headstock as a Custom and a finish that will protect the guitar and not discolor, check, crack, chip or outgas nitric or sulfuric acid. Can't get all that stuff on a Gibson. Your head will tell you that a *cheap* Gibson has only the logo to prop up the price. It's every bit as much a knockoff as the Asian imports, but priced higher and not nearly as well done.
If you're working with some predisposition that says that a "Gibson" is the only way to go, buy it. But IMHO, it's the guitars that Gibson has priced over $3500 that really carry on the whole Gibson thing, and definitely not the stuff that sells for under $1000.
Get a nice Gibby mate and rock it.These replies really represent both sides of the internal conflict I'm having!
I know that I could buy the likes of an FGN or ESP E-ii brand new for the price that I would pay for a used Gibson Standard and this is what's making it hard.
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity (guitar will be a 40th Bday present) and I'm not in the financial position to be able to get my hands on this level of guitar (Gibson or otherwise) for the foreseeable future, if ever ( 5 kids, my own fault lol).
There's absolutely no doubt that part of the wanting a Gibson is because I've grown up watching my idols play them, but then you see so many other brands etc being played nowadays (primarily thinking of ESP here, from a metal point of view) that it dilutes that idealistic point of view.