Gibson vs PRS vs Fender vs ??

mykljpao

Member
Messages
538
My thoughts on this are prompted by the "Gibsons Don't Suck" thread...didn't want to post there and divert the subject.

I will admit to favoring PRS and find it very interesting that we all hear things so differently. I have yet to hear a Les Paul that sounds anywhere near as "good" as any one of my 8 prsi based on clarity, definition, depth, versatility. I have yet to see a Les Paul that had anything near the fit and finish. BTW: I've owned probably 20 LPs over the past 40 yrs including a '53 goldtop and a 61 sg/lp (past tense really hurts on those two, lol) and have had occasion to play a real '59. The only one that killed me was the '59 and that was way before the mistique would have influenced my hearing...it was just one incredible guitar all on its own merits. And, I still have a couple. I don't feel the need to replace the pups or electronics in my prsi because they don't get muddy and indistinct when I roll back on the vol. I don't feel the need to replace any hardware because they stay in tune for weeks at a time. The fret work is perfect and there isn't a dead spot to be had on the necks. Perhaps I'm lucky and just have not hit the lesser ones that must be out there just due to the sheer volume that are being produced. I don't think that Gibsons are bad guitars at all, but feel that the prices charged for what you get are way out of line, mostly for LP's and Sg's. And don't even get me started on what they want for current Juniors, both standard and historic; it's a slab of mahogany with little contouring and no "eye candy" appointments!
(sour grapes 'cause I want a junior, don't really want to pay 6K plus for the real thing and honestly don't think that the ri's are worth what the market apparently will bear).

I've never been a Fender fan but actually own more Fenders than Gibsons. To me, Fenders are more like tools to get the job done with a particular sound than well crafted instruments and the CS pieces I've had occasion to play and own were pathetic in comparison to equivalently priced guitars. That being said, I have a Masterbuilt tele bought from a fellow TGPer that is magnificent both in construction and sound. And the CS Robben Ford that I got from TAG is one of my all time favorite instruments; Gorgeous and Toneful but it's the most non-Fender, Fender ever produced.

I also feel that my Bakers are far better made and sounding instruments than either of the "big two".

I know that there appear to be far more of you that disagree with the above than agree. My question is simply this....why?

I am absolutely NOT looking to start a flame war here. I am genuinely interested in what you think you hear or feel in Gibsons that you feel are missing in Prsi. Fenders are much more difficult to compare as there are far fewer similarities (I have no experience with prsi with bolt on necks) but am certainly interested in the views of those that favor Fender.

Happy New Year to all.
 

codeorama

Member
Messages
1,012
I have owned 3 Prs guitars and while they were excellent guitars and I wouldn't hesitate to buy another, they were not equal to the sound I get from my Gibbys.
Bottom line, it's all in the eye of the beholder, we all look for different things.

I'll admit that the PRS's that I owned were all "better" set up out of the box than the Gibson's, but they just don't have that big fat sound. I loved my EJ strat as well, but not enough to keep it over either of my gibbys.
 

billstets

Member
Messages
891
I got rid of my McCarty to get an LP. I think the McCarty was supposed to be a tribute to the 50s LP, but in a PRS sort of way. It didn't sound enough like an LP for me. I think it fell short in three key areas:

1. scale length. The shorter Gibson scale length will be darker
2. Body mass. Again, the LP will sound different; bigger and darker
3. Single volume and tone controls. The LP set-up provides a lot of cool tones you can't get on the McCarty.

In addition, as beautiful as the PRS looked, an LP has a classic look, I guess from all the big players using them.

As for Fender, I have 2 strats. There isn't anything that sounds like a strat, except a strat or a faithful strat knock-off. Comparing a strat to a PRS is totally apples and oranges.
 

waxnsteel

Member
Messages
3,128
Hard to compare "Quality" of tone since they all have a strongly different character. I can't say that a Gibson sounds better than a PRS(or vice versa), but a Les Paul certainly does not sound just like a McCarty (And thank god for that!). Though these two are certainly more related to one another than a to a Tele or Strat.

Guitar is a very personal instrument. Some guys like a certain model, others don't. Some care more about who else plays em, what they look like or what the headstock says, whether they admit it or not. Some just prefer the meaty thickness of the LP to the clarity of the PRS. Some guys are more comfortable playing certain necks. Some guys think if it's not a Tele it's crap. Just the way it is.
 

Thwap

Likely Baked
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
10,691
Well you're original post would indicate that YOU like PRS better than Gibby.

Fine.

You don't like the price of Gibson, you don't think the prices are worthy of the instrument.

Fine don't buy one.

You like the tone and build of your Bakers.

Good for you, I'm sure they're fine guitars.

You say there are far more people who disagree with you than agree....how so?

I don't see a whole lot of people here claiming their PRS sounds just like an LP. Or that Gibson guitars is a great company that asks a fair price for their instruments.

You're in essence comparing apples, oranges, and bananas.

I guess I don't get what you're asking.
 

TestierWheat

Member
Messages
600
I must say that these discussions are rather pointless. mykljpao can't find a Gibson that is better than his 8 Prsi. I think that's great. mykljpao should be thrilled that he's found the guitar for him.

I love Gibsons and Fenders. I love the way they sound and play. I know what Gibsons and Fenders are going to sound like when I play them. To me, the tone I get is pricesly what I'm trying to get. I can't get a Gibson or a Fender tone out of a PRS. Maybe some people can, but I can't.

I think guitar players are always looking for someone to tell them they bought or have the best guitar ever. You can tell me until your blue in the face that I'm a fool for buying an overpriced, awful QC, fraud of a Gibson '58 LP VOS. I'm still going to buy it because that's what I want.

Frankly, I'm glad that there are so many good guitars out there. There's nothing worse than jamming with a bunch of people that play all the same guitar.
 

billstets

Member
Messages
891
I must say that these discussions are rather pointless. mykljpao can't find a Gibson that is better than his 8 Prsi. I think that's great. mykljpao should be thrilled that he's found the guitar for him.

I love Gibsons and Fenders. I love the way they sound and play. I know what Gibsons and Fenders are going to sound like when I play them. To me, the tone I get is pricesly what I'm trying to get. I can't get a Gibson or a Fender tone out of a PRS. Maybe some people can, but I can't.

I think guitar players are always looking for someone to tell them they bought or have the best guitar ever. You can tell me until your blue in the face that I'm a fool for buying an overpriced, awful QC, fraud of a Gibson '58 LP VOS. I'm still going to buy it because that's what I want.

Frankly, I'm glad that there are so many good guitars out there. There's nothing worse than jamming with a bunch of people that play all the same guitar.

Right ON!! I love this post. This is exactly the crux of the issue. Buy what you want. If you had said you loved your PRS's and that's all that worked for you, that's very cool too!
 
Messages
3,977
I don't think I could go any shorter than the 25" scale... I have had my PRS McCarty Rosewood for YEARS and recently got an '88 G&L SC-3 strat to go with it. I think G&L is way better than Fender for the $$, but I can only speak with the dollars I am given! No problems with PRS for me. There are a bunch of great sounds it can grok and plays/feels/sounds great. If I had wanted an LP sound, I guess I would have bought an LP (might someday, but not right now!)...
 

Green Pro Am

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,190
I have owned a few Historics and I currently own a PRS Singlecut Artist and think its a wonderful guitar. The PRS build quality is every bit as good as my Andersons, Suhr or Mcinturff. That said, the one thing I am not crazy about on the PRS is the 10" radius. I prefer a flatter radius of 12". That's why as nice as my Singlecut is, I still tend to favor my old R8 and regret getting rid of it. Unfortunately with PRS you have to step up to a Santana II or a Private Stock to get a flatter radius which is major bucks.
 

alanbass1

Member
Messages
1,166
Frankly, I'm glad that there are so many good guitars out there. There's nothing worse than jamming with a bunch of people that play all the same guitar.

I agree. The fact is that there are many great guitars and that everyone has their own interpretation of what a great guitar is.

Gibsons make some very nice guitars. Are they over priced - well the ones that are soon end up as bargains in the end of line blow outs. The others are not overpriced, just that you are not prepared to pay what other people are for them.

PRS are great guitars, and maybe have greater consistency. In general, they are more versatile than a Gibson but do not have as distinctive a voice as a Gibson. The only reason that the Santana model is offerred is that Carlos himself does not really like the more versatile PRS' - prefers one with no coil tapping, and a 24.5" scale length to give it a more 'distinct' voice.

Fender make some great guitars in all their lines. Can't understand your comment on the high end custom pieces are pathetic in comparison to similar priced instruments when you yourself have one and say it's a great guitar.

Yes there are other small scale makers that make better quality instruments than the big two. Oh, and there are many small scale makers that make better quality instruments that PRS as well. But that's just it, they are small quantity producers and any increase in output is likely to impact quality - which is the case with PRS. Very few 80's PRS with bad looking/ill matched tops. I have seen examples of new so called 10 tops that don't compare with a non 10 top late 80's PRS and the current non 10 top PRS' are often not very good at all.
 

axepilot

Member
Messages
630
I must say that these discussions are rather pointless. mykljpao can't find a Gibson that is better than his 8 Prsi. I think that's great. mykljpao should be thrilled that he's found the guitar for him.

I love Gibsons and Fenders. I love the way they sound and play. I know what Gibsons and Fenders are going to sound like when I play them. To me, the tone I get is pricesly what I'm trying to get. I can't get a Gibson or a Fender tone out of a PRS. Maybe some people can, but I can't.

I think guitar players are always looking for someone to tell them they bought or have the best guitar ever. You can tell me until your blue in the face that I'm a fool for buying an overpriced, awful QC, fraud of a Gibson '58 LP VOS. I'm still going to buy it because that's what I want.

Frankly, I'm glad that there are so many good guitars out there. There's nothing worse than jamming with a bunch of people that play all the same guitar.

True words! :AOK
 

phoenix 7

Member
Messages
25,732
I have yet to see a Les Paul that had anything near the fit and finish. BTW: I've owned probably 20 LPs over the past 40 yrs including a '53 goldtop and a 61 sg/lp (past tense really hurts on those two, lol) and have had occasion to play a real '59.

First, I'd ask whether you have checked out any Gibson SC guitars RECENTLY. In recent years, QC has gotten much better (though it may still be a bit spotty).

I know that there appear to be far more of you that disagree with the above than agree. My question is simply this....why?

I've owned a couple of PRS HB2's. Really nice guitars, but I like the sonic character of a Les Paul or ES-335 better. I also have to admit (since you asked) that I hate the way PRS's look. Visually, they're not for me. Just my personal taste.
 

mykljpao

Member
Messages
538
Jeez, I thought that I was fairly explicit in my original post that I definitely had a preference for prs but that I also owned several other major brands. I was also pretty explicit in stating that I was NOT looking to start a flame war. My point was to get people to express WHY they might prefer one over the other.

Billstets initial post was exactly what I was looking for. Considered analysis of what he heard and why he prefered an LP to the McCarty. I couldn't care less whether he plays a Gibson, a PRS or a whatever. Rocco's post states exactly why he prefers the feel of his prior R8, wonderful, thanks.

I haven't found THE guitar for me. I've been fortunate to find a bunch of them which include a killer Gibson 346, the aforementioned Masterbuilt tele BTW: my dissappointment inthe Fender CS stuff comes from buying a few standard CS items, a strat in particular, that sounded awful to me until I replaced the pups with fralins. I mentioned the RF and the tele to indicate that there is no intrinsic prejudice here against Fenders. Most Gibson CS items I have played in the past 3 years have had a certain consistency of being noticeably better than the standard lines, as they should, I think. Most Fender CS instruments that I have played in that same time frame have been, IMO, no better than their standard lines. I personally don't think that I should have to replace pickups in a CS model or come across a one-of Masterbuilt before I notice a significant improvement. AGAIN, only my opinon based on my own personal experience.

Oh, and BTW, No, I don't need anyone to tell me I bought the "best" whatever. I'm a little more secure than that. I know what works for me and I also know when I made a bad decision and bought something that doesn't work for me. Nor did I, nor would I ever tell anyone what they should buy or denigrate anyone for their choice of instrument.

I also agree that there are an astounding number of superb guitars being made today and wish I currently had the funds to sample a Thorn or a Briggs or any one of a dozen others.

Phoenix 7, actually this past year I needed an SG for a project and went through about a dozen at some local GCs. My take was that the standard '61 ri was subpar in fit and finish (the necks all needed significant adjustment and the fret ends were ragged) and the '57 Classics were mushy and indistinct in those guitars, the CS '61 reissue was much better quality but still not what I was expecting in a $2500 slab bodied guitar. The GC CS '62 ri was REALLY nice, the burstbuckers were strong and clear and with grovers, stayed in tune without trouble but was also $2500. I ended up with a used CS LP/SG in white because it was priced right, gorgeous and sounded almost as good as the '62. Plus, your comment " I hate the way PRSs look." is my favorite of the whole thread. So many, myself included, just adore all thay eye candy. Just reinforces the fact that we all hear / see things so differently.....and THAT is what interests me and was what prompted my initial post.
 

zombywoof

Member
Messages
4,952
I have not played enough Gibby's to really say anything.

I remain impressed with the PRS line, I partcicularly like the McCarty's.

IMHO, all Fenders made after 1965 are copies of real Fender guitars.
 

Boisebluesman

Member
Messages
12
I agree to the fact that the current day Gibson CS guitars and Fenders are not the same quality as a PRS. I am lucky enough, and old enough to grow up with the vintage guitars, as I still own my original 61 Les Paul Jr. When I was growing up the poor kids had to buy Tele's, I wish I had 10 of these from this era. I will have to say the older my LP jr gets the better it sounds. I also had a Supro as my first amp, and a 65 Deluxe Reverb, followed by a 66 Super. Both of these were hand wired and sounded better than the newer reissues. Just sold a Bassman LTD. I am not a big Fender fan, but do own an EJ strat after owning many others, because of its vintage configuration. There is no company that makes the Strat sound other than Fender, not even PRS, and I have owned a few of them as well. I am currently in the market for a new humbucker guitar, and looking at the PRS singlecut, Mccarty, and a 58 VOS. The PRS stuff is nicer looking and built, but I am probably going to go with the Gibson for the sound I want. There is so much more gear out there today from when I grew up, it is hard to choose. I do think a good hand wired PTP amp is more important to find than a good guitar, DR Z , /13, Carr, Bogner ETC.
Bottom line if you want to sound like Clapton, buy a Strat, if you want to sound like Slash buy a LP, and if you want to sound like Keith, buy a Tele. If you want to sound like all three, buy all three. Some guitars are made to be played, and some are made to be collected.
The tone is still in the hands of the player, no matter how pretty his guitar is, look at SRV's guitar.........
 

cmatthes

Member
Messages
4,106
Bottom line, it's all in the eye of the beholder, we all look for different things.

Agreed, and I also agree with Thwap that comparing guitars is like comparing apples, oranges, bananas and spaceships. Everybody has a different opinion of what makes for a perfect guitar, perfect tone, perfect "feel", etc. Don't expect the world (or even a single other person!) to agree with you on these things. It ain't gonna happen. :AOK
 

Thwap

Likely Baked
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
10,691
I agree to the fact that the current day Gibson CS guitars and Fenders are not the same quality as a PRS. I am lucky enough, and old enough to grow up with the vintage guitars, as I still own my original 61 Les Paul Jr. When I was growing up the poor kids had to buy Tele's, I wish I had 10 of these from this era. I will have to say the older my LP jr gets the better it sounds. I also had a Supro as my first amp, and a 65 Deluxe Reverb, followed by a 66 Super. Both of these were hand wired and sounded better than the newer reissues. Just sold a Bassman LTD. I am not a big Fender fan, but do own an EJ strat after owning many others, because of its vintage configuration. There is no company that makes the Strat sound other than Fender, not even PRS, and I have owned a few of them as well. I am currently in the market for a new humbucker guitar, and looking at the PRS singlecut, Mccarty, and a 58 VOS. The PRS stuff is nicer looking and built, but I am probably going to go with the Gibson for the sound I want. There is so much more gear out there today from when I grew up, it is hard to choose. I do think a good hand wired PTP amp is more important to find than a good guitar, DR Z , /13, Carr, Bogner ETC.
Bottom line if you want to sound like Clapton, buy a Strat, if you want to sound like Slash buy a LP, and if you want to sound like Keith, buy a Tele. If you want to sound like all three, buy all three. Some guitars are made to be played, and some are made to be collected.
The tone is still in the hands of the player, no matter how pretty his guitar is, look at SRV's guitar.........

Help...I think I just lost my sight.:messedup
 

BBQLS1

Member
Messages
3,281
I sold my LP for the CU22 I have. I probably favor the PRS a little more than the Gibsons, but I do love that fat chuncky sound and tight bottom that only a LP has.
 




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