Whats the deal with PRS guitars?

Dolebludger

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Our guitars are very personal to us, as they must fit our tone and our hands. My PRS SE Orianthi (2012 model) is my go-to out of my twelve. It is double cut mahogany body with maple cap and neck, ebony board 25” scale and thin neck. It checks all the boxes for me. With the right gear to go with it, it handles anything from jazz to metal. Workmanship and durability are great too.
 

John

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Most people who I encounter that remain salty about PRS guitars burnt that much money expecting a Gibson. PRS has its own thing going on which I actually like a lot better, such as their aesthetics, QC, and versatility while still actually sounding good.






Buzzwords like "sterile" are just corny, cop out phrases at best. If you want to spend that much money getting a Gibson, then get a Gibson.
 

dandood

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Alot of people really like PRS guitars. I tried to like them, (owned a CE24...tried a bunch of high end models), but decided to stick with my Fender/Gibson guitars.

A few reasons why I don't play PRS:

- the sound isn't bad, but the tones I get out of my Fender/Gibson guitars suit my playing style better.
- I don't really care for the look of the pointy head stock
- I really don't like the low resistant knobs. I hated having to constantly reset my tone and volume knobs on my CE24.
- Looks wise some of them come across as a bit gaudy to me.

That said, PRS does make some really nice guitars, I just don't want one.
 
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soliloquy

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i love the way they look when in solid colors (i'm not a fan of quilt or flames for some reason). I love the curves on them.
i love their build quality.
i just dont like they way they feel in my hands. the debate above about them feeling sterile and lifeless, i 100% agree with that.

this isn't about how they sound/feel plugged in. This is solely how they feel in my hands. they feel 'stiff' and dont vibrate the way i like my guitars to vibrate unplugged. Moreover, they dont sound as loud as i like them to sound unplugged.

there have been only 3 exceptions to this:
a $6,000 USA arch top hollow body II single cut type guitar
a $5,000 USA tremononti
a $1,400 S2 single cut.

this has nothing to do with finishes. ive come across high gloss thick finish poly guitars, and ive come across nitro guitars sounding great/lousy.

just my experience is that ive come across more PRS USA guitars that feel lifeless in my hands than those that sing and are full of life.

i dont care how much Paul says that even the necks are a musical instrument, and how he cuts them at a certain angle, and dries them for a thousand days in a perfect temperature, and there is nothing louder played unplugged...ive yet to to come across them that really blow me away.

the SE line i was never impressed with. Not bad guitars, but just not my thing. plus, i really dont like the way the SE line looks. I dont agree with them having to dumb down the way the guitars look so its easily distinguishable than their USA line. Ive seen Gibson (epiphone and orville), or ESP (LTD/edwards/grassroot), or Fender (fender mexico, squire, etc), or Dean (Dean USA and Korea etc) offering similar looking guitars with a differnet font on the headstock, or different headstock shape, but the body is the same. I dont agree that PRS has to make their SE line intentionally different looking to distinguish them from their USA line. Plus, for the price that SE is charging, I could find better guitars that fit MY needs in the LTD/Jackson/etc line

i am, however, very curious about their new hollowbody SE guitars those.
 
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Southwest

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I genuinely don't understand some of the comments above. I may be lucky, and I may be the only one, but my Custom 22 falls perfectly into my hands. It's the most comfortable guitar I have ever played. It's versatile and covers most of the bases musically. The build quality is phenomenal. It feels completely natural to me. And it sounds wonderful, both acoustically and plugged in. It virtually plays itself.

It will never replace my Les Paul though. They are just different. I have to work the LP to get it to work for me. And I love that. It's different from the PRS sure. But I wouldn't be without either of them. In a fire, I grab my wife and the PRS. She grabs the Gibson. Because the PRS in its case weighs twice as much as the LP in its case. Just IMHO.
 

KelvinS1965

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Lester fanatics usually don't like Strats...and vice versa....

Tele fanatics usually don't like either and especially those like a Gretsch big body 'orangeade' guitar....

Just is....

Many bass players might cut yo ass if you made em play a show with a Gib bass or a Hofner...and contrary too...

Humerns is weird.
I have 3 Les Pauls, 1 SG, 2 Strats and 2 Teles, I even have a Gretsch, but I'm selling it soon as I just don't get on with it. I've only played 2 of the cheaper SE models and one of the higher end PRS models, all belonging to musician friends of mine (so I had to be polite). All were nicely made, but I didn't like how they played and the sound was neither spiky/twangy or bold, just something more bland and in between (at least to my ears).

Kind of felt like the Honda of guitars: Well made, nicely finished, but not something I'd lust after.
 
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Dolebludger

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One thing I like about PRS SE is that they don’t get those muddy tones on the base notes that bucker equipped Gibbys and Epis get. And where tone is concerned, remember that your amp contributes more than your guitar. For me PRS produces a nice, straight ahead string tone that can be tweaked to sound like anything you want. And you won’t get mud unless you dial it in.
 

theycallmegio

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So here’s the thing, I’m here bc im a Les Paul guy. I like PRS bc I’m a guitar guy.

they make a great product. My les Paul’s are my favorite guitars, however, my PRS are my best guitars. They play, and sound better than my LPs if I rate them objectively




 

Max Max

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Before I bought my Les Paul, I tried one of their single cuts. This poor GC employee spent a half hour digging it out of the stock room for me to try...only to discover I HATED it. For me, it just wasn't comfortable to play and the pickups sounded so low output to me for being humbuckers.
I've played other PRS models that played great though and they're not #3 behind Fender and Gibson by accident, they must be doing something right.
 

John

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it just wasn't comfortable to play and the pickups sounded so low output to me for being humbuckers.
Sounds like one of their more 'vintage' inspired types of guitars which they've been gravitating to as of late, as they've made quite a few with very hot pickups out of the box over the years, such as the 250 and Tremonti's signature models with a thousand yasseahs.
Fortunately, pickups can always be swapped out as I don't think it's either Gibson's or PRS' forte at this point, but the feel, just like on any other guitar, admittedly isn't for everyone. Case in point- I'm a fan of their pattern thin neck carves as my gold standard of sorts on how comfortable a neck ought to be.
 

ErictheRed

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I had done a lot of internet research about a year ago and went into the guitar store looking to buy a Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 or similar. Instead, I walked out with a Suhr Modern, which I hadn't even considered before going in! I have zero GAS for a PRS now, even negative GAS. None of the ones I tried felt or sounded right at all.

You've got to play a guitar for yourself before knowing.
 

Dolebludger

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For a single cut, I really like Gibbys and Epis too. Maybe better than PRS single cuts. I can’t say for sure due to my small amount of experience with them. But I sure won’t argue with one who finds Gibby SCs are better than PRS SCs. But in the area of double cuts, I know of no Gibby or Epi that is better. And my PRS DC — and it is a “lowly” SE.
 

JonCanfield

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I tried a custom 22 and it didn’t do anything for me. Took a chance a few years later and bought a SE Paul’s Guitar and it’s become my favorite. Enough so that I’d seriously consider a US model at some point
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guitaroholic

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So here’s the thing, I’m here bc im a Les Paul guy. I like PRS bc I’m a guitar guy.

they make a great product. My les Paul’s are my favorite guitars, however, my PRS are my best guitars. They play, and sound better than my LPs if I rate them objectively




People don’t know how much of a rock machine a Santana is. No other PRS has those pickups, people only think of Smooth and Oye Como Va on it, but they are my favorite pickups. They’ll go anywhere.

My Background: 5 Les Pauls vs 2 PRS.
 

theycallmegio

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People don’t know how much of a rock machine a Santana is. No other PRS has those pickups, people only think of Smooth and Oye Como Va on it, but they are my favorite pickups. They’ll go anywhere.

My Background: 5 Les Pauls vs 2 PRS.
great point. I prefer my PRS pickups to anything else I have, I like the lower output.
I can hear a lot more tone vs the sizzle hot pickups but like you say they get as nasty as you need.

curious what your other PRS is.
 

guitaroholic

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great point. I prefer my PRS pickups to anything else I have, I like the lower output.
I can hear a lot more tone vs the sizzle hot pickups but like you say they get as nasty as you need.

curious what your other PRS is.
It’s the CE24 Standard (the full mahogany, no top) in cherry
great point. I prefer my PRS pickups to anything else I have, I like the lower output.
I can hear a lot more tone vs the sizzle hot pickups but like you say they get as nasty as you need.

curious what your other PRS is.
It's the CE24 Standard (one-piece mahogany, no top, thin nitro) in cherry. I added MannMade trem and 59/09 pups.

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