Before I post pics of what I've been up to the past couple months, I just gotta say that I love Jemsite. I disappeared from the forum for a few weeks (actually to concentrate on final exams) and received several messages from fellow Jemsiters asking how things were going, making sure I was still around and playing guitar, etc. That's why I love this place!
Anyway, lots of people noticed, heck, participated in my big Ibanez sale a couple months ago. And I got a lot of questions about why I was selling 'em. At the time, I had 16 Ibanezes, which I tried to rotate through evenly, but could barely keep 'em dusted, let alone in tune. Many of 'em hadn't had a string change in 2+ years. Too many things to do, not enough time to play, and certainly not enough time to do major guitar maintenance!
For strange reasons, with all the Ibanezes around, my main player became a '77 Les Paul Pro that belongs to my fiancee. It's not strange that I started playing Les Pauls... I started out on Les Pauls ~10 years ago. What's strange is that the LP Pro had soapbar pickups, and I really began to dig it. Suddenly I remembered why I started playing set neck guitars in the first place--the sustain! And I really got into the simplicity of the fixed bridge again.
With that in mind, I began a quest for the ultimate 24-fret fixed bridge guitar. I was really looking for a 24-fret Les Paul... something with a fixed bridge, classic maple/mahogany body, set neck. I first got an LP Standard DC+, which is (I believe) the only 24-fret LP currently available. The guitar had its moments, but the chambered body didn't have quite enough mass to get the tone/sustain I wanted, and the craftsmanship was really disappointing (bad fretwork, sloppy inlays/binding). I ended up going to check out a PRS Custom 24 stoptail at the advice of a former bandmate. I liked the idea of the PRS... similar in construction to the LP, while being a little lighter and more tonally versatile... but was kinda skeptical at first. Once I got my hands on a Custom 24, I immediately fell in love with it--the sound, the feel, the look, everything.
So I decided, somewhat on a whim, to sell the majority of my Ibanez collection and buy a few PRS's. I started watching e-bay, picking up a couple more Custom 24's, a couple McCarty's, a Singlecut, and a Hollowbody. When all was said & done, I ended up with 8 PRS's (half as many Ibanezes as I started out with), the majority of which are fixed bridge models.
Have I regretted it? Not yet. Only time will tell. So far I've been really happy with the PRS's, and I think they've inspired me to take my playing to a new level. I know that sounds kinda hokey, but some of you know what I'm talking about.
Surprisingly, the McCarty's have become my favorites, and they've got a much more "vintage" feel and tone than the Custom 24 I started out with.
Without much further ado, here's a picture of my PRS collection:
Top L to R: Custom 24 stoptail (violin amber 10-top), Custom 24 trem (whale blue 10-top), Custom 24 trem (cherry sunbust 10-top, gold hardware), Custom 24 trem (grey black 10-top)
Bottom L to R: Singlecut (black sunburst 10-top), McCarty Rosewood (natural 10-top), McCarty Soapbar (black w/ maple binding), Hollowbody II (violin amber burst, piezo, gold hardware)
So I'm sure I'll get a lot of "I can't believe you sold all those Ibanezes for those..." responses, but like I said before... no regrets so far.