New PRS Import Line Opinions?!? - What do you think. - Jemsite
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2001, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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New PRS Import Line Opinions?!? - What do you think.

Here are the facts: *Paul Reed Smith Guitars is selling a Korean import version of their design under the label Santana SE. *According to the company, the way they can sell lower priced import guitars while not harming their elite image is that the new guitars do not say PRS anywhere on them. *PRS wants Santana to it's own company. *This brings to mind the question, is this all just BS in hopes of keeping PRS's custom shop image? *Isn't that basically what Gibson has done with Epiphone? *On the other hand, it seems the PRS wants it both ways. *If they do not want Santana SE's confused with PRS guitars, why would they name the guitar the same as their most popular signature model? *If Ibanez began producing a new Korean budget line and they named it the JEM, wouldn't everyone immediately associate it with Ibanez? *I think PRS is making a huge mistake here. *They have two choices. *They can (A) admit that it is essentially a budget PRS, or (B) stick with the idea that the companies are completely different and stop using names of PRS endorsers for products. *your thoughts?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2001, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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New PRS Import Line Opinions?!?

I should add, that the third option would be continuing to leave things as they are. * Right now, the confusion is causing a ton of misinformation to be spread. *I was at GC yesterday and had a salesdood telling me how amazingly cheap the new PRS Santana guitar was. *When I informed him that it was not THE Santana guitar, but just a korean guitar called a Santana, he was in shock. *I think a lot of people stand to be suckered into a less than good instrument due to this.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2001, 11:22 PM
 
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New PRS Import Line Opinions?!?

I partially agree that it's not the best idea in the world, but...the Santana SE is actually a great guitar for the price! *I got a chance to play around with one at he NAMM show, and was fairly impressed. *Granted, it doesn't quite compare to the USA PRS (but, what does?). *But...for a foreign-made guitar, it's of excellent quality. *The comparison between Epiphone and Gibson isn't entirely fair: *Epiphone has been around just as long (maybe longer?) than Gibson and was a well-established name in it's own right when Gibson took over in the late 50's/early 60's (sorry..the exact year have slipped my mind) *Gibson has transformed Epiphone into a foreign-made mirror image of itself in the last 10 years or so, but it's not always been like that. *It seems that PRS certainly wants to keep their Custom Shop status, but they were definitely not distancing themselves from the new Santana at NAMM. *They seemed quite proud of the new model-and with good reason! *It'll be interesting to see how the Korean spin-off works out though. *I honestly don't know that it'll do very well. *Only time will tell!
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2001, 12:34 AM
 
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New PRS Import Line Opinions?!?

I've been hearing quite a lot about this new Santana SE model...does anyone have pics? The updates at the Prs site are as slow hell! But you know, I feel that if Prs wants to put out a "Budget" model. They should embrace it wholly, rather than naming it "santana", that's just so cheesy. But it's all very very interesting, I'm quite eager to say the least to test drive one out myself.

If anyone has a link to pics please post...and what about the price? Anyone know?

Thanks!

Chris.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2001, 05:00 AM
 
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New PRS Import Line Opinions?!?

It's all BS. *It's like that crazy uncle you don't tell the neighbors about. *Or that old Cadillac Cimeron that you keep in the garage under lots of covers.

They are basically trying to save their asses for once this idea backfires. *That way, when everyone thinks back to that one lame Korean guitar that was made for only a year... they will NOT think it was a PRS. *

From the day I heard PRS was going Korean, I knew they were going to be ****. *Granted it may be "a good deal"... it's still a poor quality PRS. *There are millions of poor quality guitars out there, why would a high end company want to lower themselves down to an already over-run market?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2001, 05:05 AM
 
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New PRS Import Line Opinions?!?

BTW - Saying that they have the "top Korean lutheirs" and "very demanding productions standards"... is more BS if you ask me.

It's still a Korean made guitar... the whole idea behind it is they cut costs. *There's no way you can convince someone that a "budget" guitar can still be great quality because it has a big name on it. *(see the JEM555, Fender Squire, Martin X series, etc)

That is like Fleischman's saying their vodka is better because it now comes in a glass bottle.

Okay... I am done with the similes for now... I hope.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2001, 09:56 AM
 
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New PRS Import Line Opinions?!?

Retail is $738 w/ a heavy-duty Cordura gig bag. *

Specs: *

Body- Indonesian Mahogany

Neck- Indonesian Mahogany
* * * * *22 frets
* * * * *10" Radius
* * * * *Rosewood Fingerboard
* * * * *Wide fat neck carve

Headstock- Gloss black with Santana SE Logo

Hardware- PRS-designed tremolo or stoptail
* * * * * * * * *PRS-designed non-locking tuners

Electronics- Humbucking pickups with covers
* * * * * * * * * 3-way toggle pickup selector
* * * * * * * * * Volume Control
* * * * * * * * * Tone Control

Finishes- Royal Blue, Grey Black, Teal, Vintage Cherry
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2001, 10:43 AM
 
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New PRS Import Line Opinions?!?

I don't see what the big deal is.

PRS hasn't been a true "boutique" guitar maker for years. Yes, there are a few "private stock" PRS guitars that are still made by hand, but for the most part, they're cut out by machines.

Once demand grew for their instruments, PRS started using mass-production methods like every other large-volume guitar manufacturer. I doubt the CNC mills in Korea are that much different from the CNC mills in the U.S.

For what it's worth, i've seen some very good assembly and finishing on Korean guitars. It's been said many times here that the quality of the better Korean guitars these days is about the same quality that Ibanez was producing in the early 80's, which is to say, quite good.

Don't slag the Santana SE until you've tried it. I personally haven't seen one yet, but i suspect a lot of people are going to be surprised.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2001, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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New PRS Import Line Opinions?!?

The big deal is their (PRS) intent. *The question is, is it an honorable idea to first state that this NOT a PRS guitar, that it should not be held to those standard, but then to name it after the person most often associated with PRS guitars? *To the beginner, or just someone who hasn't been watching the web for info, this would be highly misleading. *The headstock says "SANTANA" for pete's sake. *If you came across what looked to you like a new JEM model, and the name VAI or JEM was emblazened on the headstock, would the average person not expect that to be an Ibanez JEM? *I certainly would. *I'm not saying it will be a bad guitar. *But regardless of what it is, PRS should have let that be decided on it own merits, instead now customers will likely be drawn by a misleading name.

BTW, don't you find it funny that the guitar named for Carlos Santana isn't even one he plays or helped design?
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2001, 12:52 PM
 
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New PRS Import Line Opinions?!?

What would be more misleading? Calling it a "Santana" or calling it a "PRS Lite"? Should the "inferior" Korean-built Ibanez guitars with TRS trems be sold under a different name so they don't soil the good Ibanez brand? It sounds like they're damned if they do and they're damned if they don't in many people's minds.

If PRS didn't have Carlos' blessing, i doubt they'd be able to use his name to sell their guitars, whether it's his signature model or the import. Does Joe Satriani use the JS100? Does it matter?

If it's a quality guitar and it plays well, sounds good and meets the needs of people who choose to play it (yes, it's about choice), why does it matter where it's made? If you don't like it, don't play it. Why criticize PRS for making an accessible model?

PRS is no doubt covering their ass, so that in a few years if the venture doesn't fly, they can shut it down and not be afraid of there being any confusion in the second-hand market as to which PRS models were made in the U.S. and which weren't. PRS will be the American-made guitars and Santana will be their offshore brand.

It's the reality of economics... PRS has to maintain their growth, so they diversify their line and bring out a Korean-made entry-level model to move more units. But they protect their main brand by keeping the import line an arm's-length relationship, a la Gibson/Epiphone.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2001, 12:59 PM
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New PRS Import Line Opinions?!?

I'd have preferred the PRS Jr tag myself
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2001, 01:57 PM
 
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New PRS Import Line Opinions?!?

I'm with Glen on the name of the guitar- "Santana SE" IS misleading. *Granted, the guitar does have Carlos Santana's full blessing, but... PRS Jr. or something along those lines really would have been a bit more consumer friendly maybe. *

Overall though, I don't believe that PRS has any intention of misleading consumers (even if that is what happens). *it IS a great quality guitar for the money, and I'd take it over any Epiphone or comparable guitar out there. *I've never been a fan of the Korean Ibanez, but that's not to say that they're bad guitars. *I'm used to the Japanese, higher quality models. *Same goes for PRS-I doubt that I'll be purchasing a Santana SE since I'm very happy with my Custom 22 Artists. *But, if I were in the market for a PRS-type guitar and was on a budget, the Santana SE would be my first choice, hands down.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2001, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
 
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New PRS Import Line Opinions?!?

i suppose in my post i gave no clue as to what kind of solution I'd prefer so I'll say this. *I think the current scheme is very misleading. *I would have preferred a PRS Jr tag, or some other nomenclature which makes it obvious this is not the top of the line model. *Numbering systems like Ibanez did, with 5XX being the cutoff for Jap. made is fine. *BC Rich's model of naming imports the Bronze series is fine. *But just to name is the Santana seems incredibly misleading. *This would be similar to Fender renaming Squires the Clapton Stratocaster. *See my point?
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-14-2001, 02:54 PM
 
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New PRS Import Line Opinions?!?

I agree-it think that it would be a better marketing strategy for PRS to keep the PRS name on the Korean model, but to somehow make a distinction between it and their US-made guitars. *The PRS Jr. may not be a great one though-it brings back thoughts of the JEM Jr. (555) and what a laughing stock that model is/was. *Maybe PRS Player's Series, or something similar that has a bit of class to it, but definitely seperates it from the big boys.
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custom shop , humbucking pickup , ibanez guitars , ibanez jem , joe satriani , korean guitar , locking tuners , paul reed , paul reed smith , prs guitar , prs guitars , reed smith , rosewood fingerboard , trs trems

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