Opinions from PRS players - Jemsite
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post #1 of 65 (permalink) Old 09-19-2002, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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Opinions from PRS players

Are these as good as everyones says? From those of you who own them, what are the likes and dislikes and compare them to other guitars that you've owned or played.

I am finding myself longing for a jazz box, but want something more versatile and hip than the traditional jazz guitar. The holy grail for me would be a PRS McCarty Archtop, with birds and the piezo option. At around $4200 it's a pricey proposition, and that's if you can find one at all. I've heard they are back ordered for nearly a year.

Anyway, just kind of fishing for opinions and peoples' experience with PRS guitars.

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post #2 of 65 (permalink) Old 09-19-2002, 12:01 PM
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Well I seem to remember Darin Helfand (DLHelfand) used to post on the PRS forum I have from time to time too. And yes I've had a couple. They weren't really me, I've just never gotten on with them 100% and I sometimes really wish I had. I couldn't fault the fit and finish of them but I found the necks to be really quite different from a JEM neck.

Plus and this is the hard part, the sound, I thought the one's I've had sounded almost "restrained" like they were "underpowered" or fighting to get out, both acoustically and when plugged in, others might call it a "controlled" sound. It just didn't soar in the way I like a guitar to.

I think they're great guitars, they can be very expensive but it's kind of like buying a Jaguar or a Mercedes, it's still a production car, and yes it costs a small fortune but the doors make that slightly more satisfying clunk, and the seats are extra luxurious and so on.

I think that it's a very re-assuring feeling guitar.
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post #3 of 65 (permalink) Old 09-19-2002, 01:07 PM
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I've only played one that really felt good. JC has 3 and has brought them all over and only his Artist package custom does it for me. IT plays superb, his single cut and McCarty blew chunks. So the first rule for me would be play lots of them, and don't buy one you haven't played first.
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post #4 of 65 (permalink) Old 09-19-2002, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Rich
So the first rule for me would be play lots of them, and don't buy one you haven't played first.
I agree with Rich 100%; in my experience this advice applies to Jems and Strats and Les Pauls as well... Lots of crap falls off the production line in the guise of great guitars... Anyway, I found a PRS I love: after years of saying they weren't for me and being dissatisfied in one way or another with every one I played, I picked up an old warhorse of a Custom 24 and just fell in love! No ten top, no birdies, and a fair number of dings and chips, but it plays beautifully! Soundwise it's certainly more reserved than a Jem with significantly lower output pickups. It's thinner sounding than my Les Paul, but still manages to sound full. It's a happy medium sound between Strats and LPs and Jems, and is damned versatile as a result - it's really great if you only want to haul one guitar! :-) Anyway, I think their reputation is deserved - most reputations are - and if you find one you like, you'll probably never part with it...
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post #5 of 65 (permalink) Old 09-19-2002, 05:41 PM
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I think PRS guitars are like those expensive frilly silk shirts. They're very dainty and have a lot of flash, but they're not always the best thing to wear, and it takes the right personality to pull it off. I tend to think all the abalone and flamed maple is a bit much for a guitar that excells at playing power chords. They (mostly) feel like all style and no substance to me. I hate the necks and the pickcups are nasty. They aren't powerful, but they aren't sweet either. They don't have that strat quack, and they don't have a humbucker growl.
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post #6 of 65 (permalink) Old 09-19-2002, 09:27 PM
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being an ibanez inclined player, the only reason why i pick up a PRS (McCarty) was for want of variety. i can't seem to find a set-neck guitar i like, & ibanez don't offer too many of these. i still can't come to terms with gibson so i invested in the PRS.

it's a well crafted guitar & you can read endless praises for it everywhere but there are times i would be more happy to play my S540 than the McCarty.
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post #7 of 65 (permalink) Old 09-19-2002, 10:11 PM
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You can say this about the guitars. They are beautiful and they do what they were made to do. And that is definitely NOT shred In all honesty they were never really that original to me. Even though they are higher quality than gibson, they still are essentially a gibson design (as the jem is still essentially a strat only better) I always liked the look and the fretwork is impeccable, but the cheap ones play like the private stock so get a nice custom 24 and replace the pickups and youll have a guitar you may like. IVe noted that the new ones have a COMPLETELY different neck joint design than the older ones. Although quality wise I cant tell much difference I HATE the new neck joint as its huge compared to the old one IMHO and doesnt improve stability at all IMHO. I never dug the mccartys at all. I mean whats up with a guitar that you cant properly intonate? This is 2002. Come on people. But all that aside if your into new metal, and some classic rock they will do the trick nicely. But dont expect to have a cutting lead tone like a jem because it just aint gonna happen
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post #8 of 65 (permalink) Old 09-20-2002, 11:25 AM
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I definitely agree that not all PRS' are created equal. If you plan on getting one, plan on playing as many as possible. I've owned a few:

-Custom 22
-Custom 22 Semi-hollowbody
-Custom 22 w/ Artist package (my fav!)
-'92 Custom 24
-Hollowbody II

They all had their good points, but only the Custom 22 w/ Artist Package really "did it" for me. The others were all incredible sounding guitars, but in terms of playability, they just didn't have the right feel. They're great guitars in terms of quality and beauty, and I've found them to be pretty versatile tonally as well. The definitely don't have the "edge" that JEM does, but they're not really supposed to. They do what they're designed to do very well. Basically, they expand upon the Gibson tone model. They're cool axed, but they just aren't for everybody.
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post #9 of 65 (permalink) Old 09-20-2002, 11:57 AM
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I'll admit I haven't played many PRS guitars, and though I really, really hate that I'm saying this, I've been quite turned off to them due to the people I know who play them.

In addition, twice I've bought equipment from (two different) shops where the salesman was a self-proclaimed "PRS Guy." Neither were really polite, nor all that interested in helping me, and both purchases were over a grand. It seemed to be an air of "your taste isn't good enough for me to care."

So, though slightly pointless, I urge that if you buy a PRS, don't become one of those "PRS Guys." I'm assuming that owners like that aren't the norm, just relaying my personal experiences.
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post #10 of 65 (permalink) Old 09-20-2002, 12:24 PM
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Well my opinions are

over priced!!!

play one first cause their necks are different feeling, but play pretty well.

My overall impression is they are good guitars, but I don't like their locking tuners. I don't like their stop tails. They do sound restrained... like a monster waiting to be unleashed. I had a swamp ash special and I loved it and wish I still had it... I'd buy another, but I'm mostly sticking with 7 strings. Personally a nice Gibson is just as good or better IMHO. Hate I sold my Gibson too.. but oh well...
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post #11 of 65 (permalink) Old 09-21-2002, 08:15 AM
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Very similar to Gibson Les Pauls, a liitle better IMO, but not my favourite guitar type. The only set necked guitar i“d buy is Zakk“s LP.
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post #12 of 65 (permalink) Old 09-21-2002, 08:17 AM
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Forgot to say there is a bolt on model (in fact two, a 22 fret and a 24 fret), that i liked much more than the set neck ones.
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post #13 of 65 (permalink) Old 09-21-2002, 02:40 PM
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Brian I totally agree with you, Jackson fanboys do the same thing to me. LOL. I walk in a jackson only "Store" and I talk anything about ibanez guitars I immediately get shot down. Jackson makes good guitars, but they refuse to see their own flaws, which is why I wont own one. Just politics.
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post #14 of 65 (permalink) Old 09-21-2002, 04:50 PM
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In own a PRS CE24 Maple top (a bolt-on), and I also own a Jem (a BSB).

My PRS was CHEAPER, than my BSB. Both were brand new, and i even imported my BSB to save money (about £400 or $600). But hey, this is rip-off Britain.

In simple terms:

pros - Tremolo, unfinished neck, neck pickup, looks.
cons - bridge pickup is not very 'fat', easily damaged, middle pickup is too weak compared to the EVO's, and gets in the way when adjusted to the correct height.

PRS CE24 Maple top:
pros - Tremolo (best non- floyd), looks to die for, bridge pickup (HFS) is the best one i've ever heard.
cons - errrm, the pickup switch (rotary), neck pickup could be meatier.

The PRS to me plays better than the JEM, and better than any other guitar i've played.
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post #15 of 65 (permalink) Old 09-21-2002, 05:39 PM
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I think the big mistake we all make here is that when asked about a certain guitar- we forget to ask what the intended use of the guitar will be. If someone had said, "What's a great guitar for rhythm that I can use onstage in a blues club or country bar and not get laughed off of it" then I would probably mention a PRS long before an RG. But if you said, "name be a guitar that will be great for hard rock stuff, and studio work." I'd think twice. I'd probably have to remember if you'd ever talked about playing lead. If so, the PRS would drop down about 50 places.
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