Intrigued by PRS... Help me out with these options..

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Braunzo, Apr 3, 2015.

  1. Braunzo

    Braunzo Supporting Member

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    I have the PRS bug pretty hard right now. There's no PRS dealer near me so I'm going to have to make a special trip. But on the off chance there is a deal that I can't pass up, I want to be pretty educated on what (I think) I want.

    I play a bit of everything and intend this guitar to kind of be my "everything" guitar. So I'm mostly looking at the newer models with the 5-way blade switch. The first battle for me is Custom 22 vs. Custom 24. This is a battle for me for a couple reasons. I'm swinging 24 at the moment because I like the idea of the neck pickup being closer to the bridge. Neck pickups always seem woofy to me and I think this would help with some of the higher gain lead stuff I do from time to time. But then my fear of the 24 is other guitars I have played with 24 frets generally feel cramped. But I think PRS combatted that issues with the way they extended the fingerboard and shift the bridge. So it might just be a matter of me just getting used to it.

    Next issue is that I hear the Custom 24s sound thinner overall. I don't know what contributes to this beyond what I mentioned about about the neck pickup. And really, that seems like a plus to me to have a "brighter" neck pickup.

    And finally... The neck shapes. The only current neck shape I have played is the Pattern shape. I loved it. I like big necks though, however, I'm not one to fret over neck shape too much. I have an SG with a pretty big neck and a Kirn Tele with a boat style neck that are just super comfy. I also have a Strat Plus that has a pretty thin neck. So I can jive with about whatever unless it gets too thin. When we are getting to Ibanez territory, my hands cramp. So the idea of the Pattern Thin neck scares me a bunch, but those are the models I see the most of on the 24s opposed to the Pattern Regular.

    So help me out guys, what do you think about all this? I'm mostly concerned about the possible "thinner" tone and the neck shapes.
     
  2. Ape Factory

    Ape Factory Member

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    Thinner tone vs what? I don't think it'll be any more thin than any other guitar of similar construction. You can always swap pups and move the EQ into the range you'd like. Personally, the 59/09's are my favorite PRS pickups.
     
  3. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    Nothing 'thin' about the tones from a Cu24. Quite fat, especially with any of the xx/xx series pickups, and the new 30th Anniversary Edition with the newest 85/15 pickups sounds fat, articulate and glorious, which is the one I would go for BTW. It's as close to a 'can't miss' as PRS has ever put out. And the pattern neck is ideal; full without seeming overly large.
     
  4. THebert

    THebert Member

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    The cu24 is my favorite PRS and it is in part because of the neck pickup position. I think you will like one based just on what you mentioned. They are known for consistency, so if you can't find the features or color you want then you could order. Best of luck-
     
  5. Kelly

    Kelly Member

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    I have a custom 22 and love it, but if i ever buy another prs it will be the dgt.
     
  6. rickcard71

    rickcard71 Member

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    Thinner on a 24 fret guitar vs. a 22? Is that what I'm reading here? If so, I don't think so, your mind is playing tricks on you.

    The Pattern neck shape!?!?! I really don't get why Paul is thinking this is the only neck profile he should be putting out now. PRS also has the DGT neck. Why alienate your core audience from the wide/fat? The best IMO! The Pattern is too flat. I love Paul, but he is doing a dumb thing here. He is trying to give his guitars a vintage vibe, and he has, the best vintage vibe IMO. Than he brings out this dumb neck carve that is not vintagesque. The wide/fat has a vintage feel and tone. I am ready to buy about 10 new PRSs, but I won't with a Pattern shape. Moreover, I won't go Private Stock to get it. Ridiculous!
     
  7. RockDC

    RockDC Member

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    I have owned about a dozen PRS guitars. HB2's, CE22's, CU24, SAS NF, ME3 NF, Starla, 408 MT, P22 Trem... All of them very nice. Every time I get a 24 fret PRS I end up selling it because i think they sound thinner compared to the 22 fret counterparts... but that may be because I don't like the sound of the HFS pickups. Never tried anything else. To me the 22 fret guitars Paul puts out have more of a sweet spot when I play them and use my gear. Thats not to say I haven't heard others have big fat tone... its just saying I haven't achieved it yet.

    My favorite PRS neck is a satin maple Pattern. I have a wide thin (older model) and its great but thin. I had a wide fat (older model) and it was tough to play for me. All of my other PRS have Pattern necks and they feel great although I do feel a little stick with a painted neck... thus the reason why I appreciate a satin maple.

    My suggestion is to play as many as you can. Since you live far away from a deal you may just need to start finding the right used deal and buy something you know you can get your money back out of.
     
  8. Braunzo

    Braunzo Supporting Member

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    What is the Pattern Thin comparable to? I see a ton of these but the word thin scares the crap out of me.
     
  9. donnievaz

    donnievaz Member

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    I have a CE24 with the wide/thin and you don't need to worry about it getting into Ibanez territory it's not that thin. I've never picked up any PRS that was that thin. I just compared it to my MIM Strat and it pretty close, the PRS may be a little thinner but not much. It is flatter across the back though. Don't know how helpful this is but it didn't cost you anything :)
     
  10. GazzaBloom

    GazzaBloom Member

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    I have owned several CU24 with trems, thin necks and HFS/VB pickups. I currently have a CU22 stoptail with a pattern neck and 57/08s. I like both.

    My take is that the CU24 with a pattern thin neck will 'feel' a little more 'Fenderish' and a CU22 with a pattern neck will 'feel' a little more 'Gibsonish'

    The principle difference in sound is down to the neck pickup placement. The CU22 will have a fuller plum neck tone, but with 57/08s there is no mush or woof, it's quite a bright pickup and sounds very open and articulate.

    The CU24 neck tone is more like the neck tone on a Gibson SG, not as full or as plum as a Les Paul or CU22 due to the placement and has a mid range presence to it. Also, the 'inbetween' pickup settings on the CU24 are a little more Strat like than the CU22.

    I prefer the neck tone on the CU22 and also prefer it to the neck tone on most Les Pauls.

    Stoptail vs Trem will also change the feel considerably, try both if you are able.

    As for the bridge pickup, both CU22 and CU24 will scream with with the best of them played dirty but I feel that the CU22 with stoptail has a little more girth to the tone. Neither sounds quite as fat as a Les Paul but are great rock tones all round, and you would be hard presssd to tell the difference between them under extreme hi gain.

    In an ideal world I would have both a CU22 stoptail with pattern neck and a CU24 with trem and pattern thin neck!
     
  11. 59Bassman

    59Bassman Plank Cranker Silver Supporting Member

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    When you say "everything" guitar, what do you mean by that?

    I've got a CU24 that I bought to be an "everything" guitar in 1994 meaning something to cover from jazz standards through AC/DC. It does it kinda. The PRS *is* very versatile. Most PRS guitars have a good deal of versatility built in. I'd argue that the DGT is probably the most versatile in a "classic tones" sort of way. The P22 or P24 is another option with a decent-sounding Piezo. The 408 is a very different instrument that gets a number of interesting tones. My favorite is the now-discontinued Studio. I've got one and it's not going anywhere. Nothing wrong with a Custom 22 or 24 though. Play 'em all and pick one!

    I've come to prefer the Pattern neck over the "Regular" (now "Pattern Regular") on my Custom 24. The Pattern is a bit thicker and wider. If you really like big necks, you may not get along with the Custom 24. It only comes in Pattern Regular and Pattern Thin. You'll probably be happier long-term with a Pattern neck. I think you can get those on 22 fret guitars only.

    Based on what you stated in the OP, I'd start looking at the Custom 22 with a Pattern neck and go from there.
     
  12. Braunzo

    Braunzo Supporting Member

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    I mean kind of what you said. I teach a bunch and while this may sound ridiculous, I kind of want to hit the approximation of whatever style my student is learning. Teaching on a vintage style Strat while the kid wants to learn Metallica always felt weird.
     
  13. Serious Poo

    Serious Poo Armchair Rocket Scientist Graffiti Existentialist Gold Supporting Member

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    CU24's are excellent all-rounders. They're not thin sounding like some Teles and Strats can get and not muddy sounding like some Les Pauls can get. With the 57/08 pickups they have a clear tone that's not overly compressed or midrange focused like the older HFS bridge pickup can get. The bridge pickup sounds clear but not overly bright, the #2 position has a strat-"ish" out of phase tone that sounds fantastic for cleans. The middle position sounds full, the #4 position has a slightly thinner strat-"ish out of phase sound than the #2 position does, and the neck pickup sounds warm and clear.

    FWIW, you may want to look into a CU24 variant called the P24. It's a CU24 with a Piezo pickup built into the bridge. With it, you can blend the Piezo sounds with the magnetic pickup sounds for an even wider array of tones. I own one of these and use it all the time for recording.

    Good luck with your search. I've owned around 40 PRS's over the years and haven't played a bad one yet. They have their own thing going on, they don't sound like a Les Paul or Strat or a Tele, they sound like a PRS.
     
  14. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

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    I've owned 2 CU 22, a CU 24, HBII and an Archtop IV. All wonderful instruments. I agree with the poster who said CU 24 sounds thinner than a CU 22. I would add, a McCarty sounds warmer than a CU 22 to my ears. I had one wide/thin neck, the rest wide/fat.

    I will never own another PRS unless I can get a wide/fat neck. The new neck carves are a deal breaker for me. W/F was perfect, imo.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2015
  15. Schweezly

    Schweezly Member

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    Do you have any preference for your bridge? The 22 you can get wraparound or trem, the 24 you can only get trem.

    I'd like a 24, but I don't want another trem. That's my problem though!
     
  16. sedawkgrep

    sedawkgrep Supporting Member

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    I doubt I'll ever buy another 24 fret guitar. I love having the neck pickup as far to the neck as possible. Lots of lush and sweet tones in there.

    Woofiness is not something I think you'll find in ANY PRS that's stock. It sounds like you're trying to talk yourself into a 24, but just put that aside and play them. Two extra frets have never been that important to me. You can always tweak the neck pickup to get a harder more edgy tone (when the neck pickup sits closer to the bridge), but you can't really go the other way.
     
  17. 59Bassman

    59Bassman Plank Cranker Silver Supporting Member

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    Alrighty then. CU22 with a 5 way blade, a trem, and the Pattern neck. No need to pay the upcharge for a 10 top unless you like the look.

    The 57/08 pickups are the "clear, vintage" type. I like the 57/08's a lot, but they tend to fall apart at higher gain. The HFS/Vintage Bass combo is a real love it or hate it deal. I hated the HFS/VB in my Cu24 with an unholy passion. The 59/09's seem to be a pretty good compromise.
     
  18. Whitecat

    Whitecat Member

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    The CU24 is sadly unavailable with the Pattern neck.... It's Pattern Thin or Pattern Regular only...

    Agree about the 30th CU24 otherwise - it's an order of magnitude better sounding than any they've done before.
     
  19. JDutch

    JDutch Member

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    PRS currently is making some of the best pickups available anywhere at any price. I don't think it's necessary to get a 24-fret guitar to avoid an overly dark neck pickup.

    A 24-fret guitar will have better upper fret access, which, IMO, is the only issue with modern PRS guitars. I can deal with the heel, especially because I actually do think it improves tone, but the lower horn cutaway isn't contoured enough, IMO, to provide easy access to the upper frets. The placement of the neck pickup also will affect tones, including the in-between tones because the bridge and neck pickups are closer. Whether this is a good or bad thing is up to you to decide.

    If you want a "fatter" tone, I'm recommend looking at PRS guitars that use a McCarty body thickness rather than a Custom body thickness. The rosewood neck also adds bass and low midrange, in a good way, IMO. Also, the unfinished rosewood neck is a joy to play. I dislike the Wide-Thin and Pattern-Thin necks because I find them uncomfortable and flimsy feeling, and if you're worried about making a guitar sound "fatter," I think more mass would be better, anyway. However, in terms of neck carve, you've got to choose what works for you.

    The 57/08, 59/09 and DGT pickups are all great, depending on your intended use. I don't think you'll have a lack of highs on the neck pickup, but you could always get uncovered pickups or uncover the neck pickup.

    If I could only own one PRS, it would be my Artist Package DGT with a solid rosewood neck.
     
  20. Serious Poo

    Serious Poo Armchair Rocket Scientist Graffiti Existentialist Gold Supporting Member

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    I believe the P24 (piezo equipped CU24) comes in a stoptail. The one I own does, anyway.
     
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