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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I used to believe guitar players were the only people buying guitars with a few exceptions. (PRS Dragon Series is a good example. Ibanez Paul Stanley model is another.) My qualification for a "guitar player" was the ability to play the open position chords. Here is why:
- I have never known or met anyone that could not play the open position chords who was really enthusiastic about buying guitars.
- Initially, that was the purpose of the guitar, to play chords for singers.

The following guitars have forced me to ask, "who are these for?"
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...r-7872-custom-24-antique-natural-buckeye-burl

This was the first time I had heard the term "heirloom-quality" and thought Sweetwater made it up. (They didn't.) The description of the guitar reads like you are buying a French château or an Imperial Fabergé egg. Lastly, "the PRS Private Stock #7872 Custom 24 is a guitar you and your family will treasure for generations." Who is buying this guitar?

https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ASTeleSB--fender-acoustasonic-telecaster-sunburst
I really need help with this one. I mean....look at it! Who is buying this guitar?

I am not blaming PRS of making a nice guitar (actually, Sweetwater has several heirloom-quality PRS guitars for sale which kind of diminishes their status of being rare/unique.) or Fender for designing an innovative looking toilet, but I would like to understand the reasoning behind the marketing and how it affects the guitar industry. What comes after "heirloom-quality ?" "Heritage-quality?" "Bloodline-quality?" "Divine Right-quality?" Probably not, but then again, look at what Fender made...

Overall, I feel like the guitar industry is much more stable than it was 1 year ago. :plain: There are just a few loose ends.
 

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I think the PRS private stocks like this one go to rich guys who want something different to their quilt top and their redwood PS guitars, and buckeye burl is so hot right now...
 

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The following guitars have forced me to ask, "who are these for?"
https://www.sweetwater.com/store/de...r-7872-custom-24-antique-natural-buckeye-burl
Lawyers. :)
Seriously though, to each their own. I didn't even want to buy the RG20th because it was gorgeous and in (not really) limited number. And they were just $900 at the time. I see every musical instrument as the "before" photo of the Grand Canyon; time and playing is going to erode an instrument. So I'm hesitant to some degree paying a lot for an instrument. But that's me. Someone else might feel different.
Also, 12 years later the RG20th is in great shape. And I do play it often. Rotation helps.
 

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The tele is an abomination.
Yeah, not my cup of tea either, but I can see it being a useful instrument for someone. Now the poplar burl... That's fugly! Looks like someone vomited on a PRS. I can appreciate the detail of burled wood, but the color and finish of that one is hideous.

Who's buying those guitars? I dunno... Do they go up in value over time as top choice wood gets harder to find or even protected/restricted? Or are they like an outrageously priced sports car that loses 20% of it's value when you drive it off the lot?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yeah, not my cup of tea either, but I can see it being a useful instrument for someone. Now the poplar burl... That's fugly! Looks like someone vomited on a PRS. I can appreciate the detail of burled wood, but the color and finish of that one is hideous.

Who's buying those guitars? I dunno... Do they go up in value over time as top choice wood gets harder to find or even protected/restricted? Or are they like an outrageously priced sports car that loses 20% of it's value when you drive it off the lot?
I think this PRS is actually really cool:
https://wildwoodguitars.com/product/84565/1988-prs-custom-24-redblack-crackle-finish/
I have never seen that type of finish on a PRS, in fact, it is the opposite of what you would see on a PRS. That has appeal to me.The $6999 asking price does not, Since it is 31 years old, I probably won't easily find another one though. Sweetwater has 8 new Private Stock guitars I can choose from and Wildwood has 10 and they all cost $10,000+. Now, we are not always rational about how much we pay for guitars, but there is a point where a solid body electric guitar hits a ceiling in terms of build quality, playability, etc. And it is well below $10,000. People can buy whatever they want (with some exceptions) but I feel the high end of the market is pushing prices higher rather quickly simply because they can. My worry in all of this is the asymmetric information between the brand and the end user. "They know more than we know." There is no transparency and at some point customers lose trust in the brand and nothing good comes from that.

Imagine if Ibanez came out with a J-Custom with a $10,000 MAP price. I feel there would be some negative reaction to it.
 

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I think this PRS is actually really cool:
https://wildwoodguitars.com/product/84565/1988-prs-custom-24-redblack-crackle-finish/
I have never seen that type of finish on a PRS, in fact, it is the opposite of what you would see on a PRS. That has appeal to me.The $6999 asking price does not, Since it is 31 years old, I probably won't easily find another one though. Sweetwater has 8 new Private Stock guitars I can choose from and Wildwood has 10 and they all cost $10,000+. Now, we are not always rational about how much we pay for guitars, but there is a point where a solid body electric guitar hits a ceiling in terms of build quality, playability, etc. And it is well below $10,000. People can buy whatever they want (with some exceptions) but I feel the high end of the market is pushing prices higher rather quickly simply because they can. My worry in all of this is the asymmetric information between the brand and the end user. "They know more than we know." There is no transparency and at some point customers lose trust in the brand and nothing good comes from that.

Imagine if Ibanez came out with a J-Custom with a $10,000 MAP price. I feel there would be some negative reaction to it.
The thing is that a PRS PS isn't just a guitar, it's also a work of art, a status symbol, a comfort blanket, an investment and a way of getting back at the wife who just spent more than that on a new dining room suite.

I don't ever recall seeing a PS being played other than in a guitar shop and I think the owners and prospective owners know exactly what they're buying, it's a lot cheaper than collecting Ferraris ;)

That said there are a couple of J Customs for sale here in the U.K. advertised at £7k which is about $9K or so...
 

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I think this PRS is actually really cool:
https://wildwoodguitars.com/product/84565/1988-prs-custom-24-redblack-crackle-finish/
I have never seen that type of finish on a PRS, in fact, it is the opposite of what you would see on a PRS. That has appeal to me..
I agree... The crackle finish looks fantastic, but I'm not sure how I would get along with the texture of the finish. I had a hard time with a flat finished RG5EX1 that I bought years ago. Just yesterday I was looking at vintage Charvel Fusion guitars with a smooth crackle finish though... \m/

I'm kind of a low budget guy, the most I have ever spent on a guitar is $800 for a JS1200 a few years ago. To me it's tough to justify spending more than a couple thousand on a super high quality guitar... and that would only be justifiable if I were a professional player. I can't play any better on a high end guitar than I can a decent mid-range guitar, although it may sound somewhat better with high end pickups. Same way with vehicles... My '05 5-speed Corolla has tons of life left for running to work and here and there, and my '04 Ford ranger does fine for going fishing, cutting wood in the winter, helping my daughters move, etc. I see no need for anything different, except maybe needing 4wd on the truck from time to time.

If money were no object I would have dozens of guitars, but not anything crazy expensive. I would love a Jem 7v and a BFP, an RG920qs, an old Charvel Fusion, a PRS Custom 22, a 24 fret JS with sustainer to play with, etc... Fun and interesting guitars that come with a few scratches already so I can play without worry... lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The thing is that a PRS PS isn't just a guitar, it's also a work of art, a status symbol, a comfort blanket, an investment and a way of getting back at the wife who just spent more than that on a new dining room suite.

I don't ever recall seeing a PS being played other than in a guitar shop and I think the owners and prospective owners know exactly what they're buying, it's a lot cheaper than collecting Ferraris ;)

That said there are a couple of J Customs for sale here in the U.K. advertised at £7k which is about $9K or so...
Those are fair reasons. The thing is PRS has to make a guitar that the buyer feels is a work of art, status symbol, comfort blanket, etc. which is hard to do convincingly. The same can be said for Gibson Custom and Fender Custom Shop which appear to be separate divisions within each brand now. I am not sure what the actual differences are in terms of what they build. The PRS Dragons were convincing status symbols, art, comfort blankets. There was no illusion about what you were buying. The EBMM JP Nomac was the same way.

Fountain pens are similar, except no one really needs one to be able to write. (You need a guitar to be able to play the guitar.) As a result, fountain pens are kind of a luxury. An extreme example of this is the following:
https://www.montegrappa.com/en/coll...lerargentoacrilico-1158.html?id_product=27870
There is nothing confusing about this pen. The people who buy it know exactly what they are buying. (It is €39,500, made out of 18k gold and titanium, and is a miniature of the Saturn V rocket. It stands out.) Overall, the price of a good fountain pen will not be affected if these sell out. At the same time, I have no doubt these are good fountain pens, but that is not what Montgrappa is selling.

Private Stock guitars all come with a hard shell case, so that's a plus! :wink:
 

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Ahhh, but a fountain pen is neither large enough to take up a noticeable amount of room in the living room of your expensive mansion, nor rebellious enough in its symbolism to annoy a spendhappy wife!

Plus think how much noise a fountain pen can make compared to a PRS through a Two Rock and original Klon...
 

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In my opinion these guitars are made to separate older and middle aged Boomers who have considerable disposable income from some of their cash.

Most beginners and younger players do not yet have the means to swing $10,000 on a guitar. As an example, the owner of Fractal Audio Systems recently posted a PRS Private Stock that he had bought. He did not disclose how much he paid, but this is the type of guitars the OP is talking about and it was bought by the owner of a successful company with considerable financial means.

And I agree collecting “heritage” and vintage instruments is way cheaper than collecting Ferraris and Lamborghinis (unless you buy David Gilmore’s black strat:eek:
 

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There are a ton of crazy rich players out there with more money then they know what to do with. Hedge fund managers, tech CEOs. A buddy of mine makes his living installing high-end A/V systems in yachts and he makes so much money he has a whole storage space full of guitars and gear. It's the acquisition that matters most. The real excitement is in the buying of something new. After that, the excitement wears off. It's kind of like being a drug addict.
 

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The real excitement is in the buying of something new. After that, the excitement wears off. It's kind of like being a drug addict.
I think this happens across all income levels. I used to feel that way with less expensive guitars but I imagine it's the same for pricier instruments.
I tend to view things in terms of a golf club approach. All the guitars are similar but have some level of functional difference.
For example, I really want that seafoam AZ2402. But I also want a seven string with a trem, which I currently don't have, and have been eyeing the UV70P. I also already own an AZ242 which I really dig so maybe I go for the UV. Or sell the Premium AZ and get the AZ2402. It's also the same reason I didn't get a purple neon RG550 Genesis when I really, really, really love purple neon. I already have the RG550RF. It's just weird for me to have two or more functionally similar instruments.
And then the price. The more expensive an instrument the more self-conscious I feel about playing it.
But to the quoted text, to me if a guitar is also functionally different I'm more likely to get excited about picking it up again after a few months rather than letting it become a hole that GAS wants to fill again.
But that's me.
 
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