Paul Reed Smith asks "Did the player get their money's worth? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 80 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Paul Reed Smith asks "Did the player get their money's worth?

Great read here. TL;DR two quotes below

Quote:
Do you pay for something that’s not worth the money?
Quote:
When we have quality meetings with the PRS managers, my number-one question is, “Did the player get their money’s worth?” When you do that, all hell breaks loose.
Paul Reed Smith on Fighting the Good Fight
Paul Reed Smith shares some astute intel on the state of guitar.
https://www.guitarplayer.com/players...the-good-fight

In an industry filled with entire platoons of very smart people, Paul Reed Smith’s rapid-fire, ever-so-slightly defiant, and spot-on missives about tone, guitars, and music making are always thought provoking, educational, and inspirational. Here, he shares some astute intel on the state of guitar.

What is PRS doing to ensure its guitar business stays strong?

PAUL: How many guitars have you bought in your life?


Me? Probably upwards of 50.

Okay. Do you pay for something that’s not worth the money?


I do not.

Right. Now we’re talking. My experience is that this is not a dead market. People are simply being unbelievably careful with their money. They’ll argue over 50 bucks if that makes a difference. But when they think something is worth it, they’ll hand over the money. When we have quality meetings with the PRS managers, my number-one question is, “Did the player get their money’s worth?” When you do that, all hell breaks loose. I mean, how many Priuses have they sold? It’s unbelievable. When car sales were bad, they were lining up at Toyota dealerships to buy Priuses. People were getting their money’s worth.

So I believe that the money and desire are just sitting there. For example, I went to a vintage-guitar show that was packed, but nobody was selling anything. Then, a ’57 Strat came up for sale for 20 grand, and I never saw stacks of hundred-dollar bills come out so fast in my whole life! I learned something important right then—everybody is watching, and they’re waiting for the right thing to wet their whistle.



Do you think the watchers are somewhat frozen by the sheer amount of data they have to absorb before they find that “right thing?”

Possibly. There’s just so much stuff out there. There used to be 12 guitar brands. Now, there are something like 450. People don’t know what’s going on anymore. They can’t swim through the mud. But I’ve found that while the way people get their information has changed, the love of guitars hasn’t changed. When I go on the road now, I talk to people who are hungry for information. They aren’t disinterested at all. In fact, we have people who live on the PRS website as “pain-relief medicine.” They want real communication. Sometimes, I go up there and look at the discussions just so I can feel better at the end of the day.


So, to recap, it kind of comes down to the old adage of “building a better mousetrap?”

Listen, when we release a product, we hold our breath like everyone else in the industry, because the market is going to say “yes” or “no.” There was an explosion of pedals a while back, right? People bought a lot of pedals in the last nine years. Now, I truly believe that people are interested in owning guitars again, and all we can do is fight back. The 594 was a fight back, the Starla was a fight back, the S2 was a fight back, the Mira was a fight back, the change in the Custom was a fight back, and the new SEs are a fight back. We just need to put the right products out there, because a really, really, really good amp, pedal, or guitar is going to sell.
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post #2 of 80 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 11:39 AM
 
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Nice, I believe this to be the case as well.

However, I don’t see the new John Mayer PRS strat being a $2300 guitar. I wonder how many hundred dollar bills are flying for those?

Then again this is not my demographic and I am an overly pessimistic a-hole.
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post #3 of 80 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Paul Reed Smith asks "Did the player get their money's worth?

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Originally Posted by Frankhenrylee View Post
Nice, I believe this to be the case as well.

However, I don’t see the new John Mayer PRS strat being a $2300 guitar. I wonder how many hundred dollar bills are flying for those? Then again this is not my demographic and I am an overly pessimistic a-hole.
JMs are pretty much all claimed. Fender American Elites are $1900. Ibanez AZ MIJ $2k+. The PRS strat is in the middle of Anderson & Suhr for context so i'd say right on the money to those in the demographic.

Regarding the Silver Sky... Other than the bird inlays (dislike them even smaller ones, along with the cutaway bezel but i get it that it's the PRS trademark) i think the JM Strat really nailed it for a modern strat. What i found most interesting is they used "tesla colors" to be modern and didn't release sunbursts cause they felt they were dated to the original period not something Fender/anyone would have released with a NEW product today. So i see communication with customer, high quality, TLC, proven track record & strong design ethos (not throw stuff against the wall and see what sticks). Home run.

The guitar world is better with it and the choices it offers to buyers.
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post #4 of 80 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 01:13 PM
 
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Re: Paul Reed Smith asks "Did the player get their money's worth?

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Originally Posted by jemsite View Post
The PRS strat is in the middle of Anderson & Suhr for context so i'd say right on the money to those in the demographic.
Yeah, I can't question their pricing, either. Fender, right now, to me, is making stupid-nice guitars for the money, and at the, well, whatever is akin to American Standard now price point, they're awfully tough to beat. But as you start to go past that, depending on options it's going to vary a bit, but Mayer Strat doublecut is right around where you would expect a similarly spec'd Suhr Standard to fall. That seems fair to me.

Whether or not build quality is there remains to be seen, and whether or not the $2100-2600 range is money you're prepared to spend on a Strat-style guitar is a different question, but this is the fist I've seen pricing for the Mayer guitars, and that looks fair to me.
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post #5 of 80 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 01:37 PM
 
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It’s strange to me that $2000 seems like a normal price for a nice guitar. Most of these mentioned don’t even have flame or quilted tops with nice paint jobs. Just standard paint, solid body(if not some sort of laminate 2 or 3 piece), bolt necks, with basic vintage style trems.

There’s no music scene where I live so the majority of musicians I run into, don’t have anywhere near this kind of money to drop on a guitar. I guess in some places working musicians are more successful. Around here if you played a $2000+ guitar you’d have to hire security for it.

I assume that at least half of this market is people that are musicians as a hobby and work a day job that provides them with some disposable income.

Any demographics on who’s buying these?
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post #6 of 80 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Paul Reed Smith asks "Did the player get their money's worth?

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Originally Posted by Frankhenrylee View Post
It’s strange to me that $2000 seems like a normal price for a nice guitar. Most of these mentioned don’t even have flame or quilted tops with nice paint jobs. Just standard paint, solid body(if not some sort of laminate 2 or 3 piece), bolt necks, with basic vintage style trems.
Apples to apples. As Drew mentioned, you can buy two new Fender USA Standards (one backup) to tour. There are a lot of nice axes for far less than $2000 (every one of mine for example haha) but it's normal $ for this QUALITY of instrument brand new. These are USA made from arguably the top large maker today who gives 100% attention-to-detail.

Tops alone don't make for good guitars, nor do photo flames. If anything they often mask an overpriced dud axe.
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post #7 of 80 (permalink) Old 03-30-2018, 03:51 AM
 
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Re: Paul Reed Smith asks "Did the player get their money's worth?

Quote:
What is PRS doing to ensure its guitar business stays strong?

PAUL: How many guitars have you bought in your life?
Notice how the answer has nothing to do with the question?
(The interviewer could have just said "Talk" and the result would have been the same.)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhetoric_(Aristotle)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modes_of_persuasion

In short, PRS will continue to promote and sell PRS guitars. This is Paul Reed Smith's message when he talks and always has been.

When we have quality meetings with the PRS managers, my number-one question is, “Did the player get their money’s worth?” When you do that, all hell breaks loose. The imagery in my mind does not correlate the meeting with the question and with hell breaking loose. To answer the question, if resale value is higher than buying new, yes, if not, no.
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post #8 of 80 (permalink) Old 03-30-2018, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Paul Reed Smith asks "Did the player get their money's worth?

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Originally Posted by Formerly Given To Fly View Post
Notice how the answer has nothing to do with the question?
(The interviewer could have just said "Talk" and the result would have been the same.)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhetoric_(Aristotle)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modes_of_persuasion
Nope, i don't see that at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Formerly Given To Fly View Post
In short, PRS will continue to promote and sell PRS guitars. This is Paul Reed Smith's message when he talks and always has been.

When we have quality meetings with the PRS managers, my number-one question is, “Did the player get their money’s worth?” When you do that, all hell breaks loose. The imagery in my mind does not correlate the meeting with the question and with hell breaking loose. To answer the question, if resale value is higher than buying new, yes, if not, no.
So to recap you're saying Paul is wrong and just shilling his products then? That seems a bit dismissive don't you think?
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post #9 of 80 (permalink) Old 03-31-2018, 01:53 AM
 
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Re: Paul Reed Smith asks "Did the player get their money's worth?

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Originally Posted by jemsite View Post
So to recap you're saying Paul is wrong and just shilling his products then? That seems a bit dismissive don't you think?
That is incorrect. I am saying Paul took control of the interview and used the opportunity to productively promote his guitar company. You have to understand this in order to learn anything from his stories, experiences, etc.

"Did the player get their money's worth?" suggests they have the player's well-being as a top priority, but it really only asks "how the player feels" which is different for each person. I would rather hear "We do not know how to build a better guitar." I have only heard it said/written a few times because it is the type of thing a builder would not think say if it were not true. Plus, they rarely have to say it because those are the guitars people never complain about.
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post #10 of 80 (permalink) Old 03-31-2018, 08:20 AM
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Re: Paul Reed Smith asks "Did the player get their money's worth?

Will they make a hybrid guitar??

Bad comparison. Sea food to apples.
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post #11 of 80 (permalink) Old 03-31-2018, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Paul Reed Smith asks "Did the player get their money's worth?

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That is incorrect. I am saying Paul took control of the interview and used the opportunity to productively promote his guitar company. You have to understand this in order to learn anything from his stories, experiences, etc
S.Jobs famously quoted P.Picasso "good artists copy, great artists steal".

I appreciate the thought you've given this but IMHO your energy and thought was directed fighting an idea for some reason instead of embracing a genius & really reviewing it maybe taking away a new idea.

In fact the interview seems to be done BEFORE the silversky was even launched/announced based on what he mentioned at conclusion. I'd guess this was a brief interview from NAMM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Formerly Given To Fly View Post
"Did the player get their money's worth?" suggests they have the player's well-being as a top priority, but it really only asks "how the player feels" which is different for each person.
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. I'm not sure what tangent you went on but he's talking about the decision making before actually purchasing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Formerly Given To Fly View Post
I would rather hear "We do not know how to build a better guitar." I have only heard it said/written a few times because it is the type of thing a builder would not think say if it were not true. Plus, they rarely have to say it because those are the guitars people never complain about.
Why would he say something so foolish though? PRS does know how to mass-produce "better" guitars over and over and they barely fill demand. Who does it better today in even half their scale? Don't answer it's a rhetorical Q.

PS - i don't own a PRS so no dog in the hunt.

Last edited by jemsite; 03-31-2018 at 01:31 PM. Reason: fixed quote tags
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post #12 of 80 (permalink) Old 03-31-2018, 01:04 PM
 
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Re: Paul Reed Smith asks "Did the player get their money's worth?

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Originally Posted by jemsite View Post
S.Jobs famously quoted P.Picasso "good artists copy, great artists steal".

I appreciate the thought you've given this but IMHO your energy and thought was directed fighting an idea for some reason instead of embracing a genius & really reviewing it maybe taking away a new idea.

In fact the interview seems to be done BEFORE the silversky was even launched/announced based on what he mentioned at conclusion. I'd guess this was a brief interview from NAMM.


Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. I'm not sure what tangent you went on but he's talking about the decision making before actually purchasing.


I would rather hear "We do not know how to build a better guitar." I have only heard it said/written a few times because it is the type of thing a builder would not think say if it were not true. Plus, they rarely have to say it because those are the guitars people never complain about.
Why would he say something so foolish though? PRS does know how to mass-produce "better" guitars over and over and they barely fill demand. Who does it better today in even half their scale? Don't answer it's a rhetorical Q.

PS - i don't own a PRS so no dog in the hunt.[/QUOTE]

Now I'm confused. I'm not fighting or embracing anything, I'm simply interpreting information.

We can talk about the Silver Sky. I think Jemsite is the only forum that has not had a thread about it yet.
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post #13 of 80 (permalink) Old 03-31-2018, 01:23 PM
 
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Re: Paul Reed Smith asks "Did the player get their money's worth?

I don't own a PRS because it's not really my thing, it just doesn't get my juices flowing. That said I've played a few of them and I have friends who own them and they are among the highest quality guitars I've had the chance to play/inspect, they take everything to a level of flawlessness in terms of aesthetics and fit/finish. For sure I think PRS can back up what he says with the quality of his guitars, can't speak for the SE overseas built stuff though as I haven't played any.

I think this is the issue with Gibson, they are charging prices that just don't line up with the quality control and sadly the Japanese Ibanez I see lately are along the same lines. And the other problem is at least in the UK the price hike in the last 10-15 years is astronomical, while a lot of those guitars have moved to cheaper production which is reducing the perceived (or actual) quality at the same time. People don't want to spend £800-1500 on a guitar built in what is considered the "low cost" factory.
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post #14 of 80 (permalink) Old 04-01-2018, 12:42 AM
 
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Re: Paul Reed Smith asks "Did the player get their money's worth?

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I don't own a PRS because it's not really my thing, it just doesn't get my juices flowing. That said I've played a few of them and I have friends who own them and they are among the highest quality guitars I've had the chance to play/inspect, they take everything to a level of flawlessness in terms of aesthetics and fit/finish. For sure I think PRS can back up what he says with the quality of his guitars, can't speak for the SE overseas built stuff though as I haven't played any.

I think this is the issue with Gibson, they are charging prices that just don't line up with the quality control and sadly the Japanese Ibanez I see lately are along the same lines. And the other problem is at least in the UK the price hike in the last 10-15 years is astronomical, while a lot of those guitars have moved to cheaper production which is reducing the perceived (or actual) quality at the same time. People don't want to spend £800-1500 on a guitar built in what is considered the "low cost" factory.
I played 3 guitars today, a PRS, a Tom Anderson, and an Ibanez. They were all great guitars. The PRS was a Private Stock Singlecut and the best PRS I have ever played or seen. I am not sure I can explain why it was such a unique guitar to play so I’ll describe it’s appearance: bubbling, golden lava that appeared to flow across the top. I have never seen a quilted maple top like that before and doubt I will again. At $11,000, it was the most expensive of the 3. The Tom Anderson was their Tele model, used, and not the type of guitar I normally want. This guitar impressed me the most because it had none of the features I want/need yet still won me over because it was such a great playing guitar. That is hard to do. At $2200, this was least expensive of the 3.

The Ibanez I played was the purpose of the trip. I did not believe they had a new one in stock. I have never heard of anyone buying this particular model and seriously wondered if Ibanez had made any yet. Well, they have made at least one. I played an Ibanez BWM1BS. This is the Bob Weir signature model. Bob Weir was the other guitarist in The Grateful Dead for anyone who does not know. I had to look it up. This was the first Sugi built guitar I had ever played. If the attention to detail makes the PRS an $11,000 guitar, then the BWM1BS’s $8,000 price tag is equally justifiable. Playability was also equal to the PRS. Where the PRS had it beat was the unique “tonal” aspect I can’t explain. The Anderson impressed me the most but the Ibanez surprised me the most. “Cowboy” guitars are not supposed to be that easy to play.

As beautiful as the PRS was, $11,000 is a lot of money. Then again, so is $8000 and $2200 (used). You are spending your money on very different things between each guitar. The most enlightening thing for me was how good a Sugi built Ibanez can be, especially one I did not think existed.
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post #15 of 80 (permalink) Old 04-01-2018, 04:16 AM
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Re: Paul Reed Smith asks "Did the player get their money's worth?

A little aside here, it's important to remember that tone is in the ear of the beholder, some people think that Dimebag Darrell has the best tone ever, some folks think it's Jimmy Page, some will think it's Misha Mansoor... These guys all have bery different tone.

I also agree that PRS have the highest standard of figuring on their tops as a routine, especially their private stock builds. There are a couple I've seen that I really would like but to me, but being honest, I'm not prepared to drop that kind of money on a guitar that I don't love absolutely everything about.
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