New PRS Guitars

Tramp

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,207
Here’s a non-10 vs a Private Stock that originally retailed for quad the price. 10, Artist or PS doesn’t guarantee a cracker top.

prs-usa-sc58-stripped-trampas-green-10.jpg

prs-usa-mccarty-singlecut-violin-private-stock-742-10-ffffff.jpg

Interesting comparison. I'd have pegged both, for different reasons, as strong 10s or Artists. Generally speaking, I've found that PRS tends not to put narrow flame tops (as on the PS here) on PS-level guitars, though there are doubtless customers who request it.

Here's my DC 594, the first production Core 594 and a 10 top, though I could imagine it graded higher:

 

archey

Member
Messages
6,639
With their staining and sanding technique, PRS is foregoing movement to achieve depth. Many prefer depth. The outcomes are far from flat and one dimensional.

Don't confuse depth with movement.

hunter

I was about to say the same thing. When you stain bare wood it's almost as if you are freezing the figure at it's most intense. But it does lose movement in the figure somewhat.
 

Samba

Member
Messages
483
PRS stains the wood before applying clear and this method pretty much completely negates the chatoyance (yes that is a word) of figured maple. The figure loses its depth and becomes flat and one dimensional.
I prefer it the traditional way too. Chris Swope @Guitaronimo specced the Wood Library run of DC22s to have the colour floated over clear. Looks wonderful in the flesh.

EE1jfT5.png
 

Rossi163

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,767
With their staining and sanding technique, PRS is foregoing movement to achieve depth. Many prefer depth. The outcomes are far from flat and one dimensional.

Don't confuse depth with movement.

hunter

The stain is absorbed into the pores of the wood that are more open on the surface of the wood, causing an uneven darkening of that portion of the grain. This creates contrast between darker and lighter grain which can be construed as greater "depth", but it obliterates the actual 3D-like depth and all of the movement from figured wood.
 

JDutch

Member
Messages
2,230
Obviously, by definition, non-10-top < 10-top < Artist < Private Stock. However, compare the amount of maple top figuring on PRS's standard production guitars with other manufacturers' standard production guitars, and I believe you'll find that PRS compares favorably.

Also, figuring on a maple top won't make the guitar sound better, but if it's really important to you, you can always spend a little extra to get a 10-top. Similarly, unless you need something really special, the Artist Package program has exceptionally beautiful woods, including exotic species, and a lot of other great options, at less than 50% of the cost of private stock.
 

Zado

Member
Messages
2,341
Honestly every single top I've seen in this topic was quite nice imho, at least not something I'd even call underwelming. The only BAD top I've seen in a PRS - which was by far the worst top seen in my life, considering both solid tops and veneers, and the reason why I honestly think Eu countries are ment to get lemons at times - belonged to a CU24 whose maple top had absolutely NO figure with the exception of some spots where the wood had a start of quilt, but where so small and isolated that it actually looked like someone had biten off the wood there. Quite hard to describe,but was visually horrific.
 

panther_king

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,824
I'm probably gonna take a lot of flak for this, but here goes:

PRS stains the wood before applying clear and this method pretty much completely negates the chatoyance (yes that is a word) of figured maple. The figure loses its depth and becomes flat and one dimensional.

Gibson does it right. A flamed, quilted or birdseye maple top on a Gibson guitar retains all of what makes these woods so special.

IMHO, PRS has wasted a heck of a lot of really nice wood over the years. Nice guitars, but a finish that belongs on kitchen counter, not a guitar.


With their staining and sanding technique, PRS is foregoing movement to achieve depth. Many prefer depth. The outcomes are far from flat and one dimensional.

Don't confuse depth with movement.

hunter


PRS doesn't 'always' stain the grain prior to finishing; it depends on the color and the wood (typically maple, yes). Of course, as hunter states, it's what most people actually want, since it does make the figuring easier to see from a distance, and more prominent. You can't blame PRS for doing what people want them to do.

That said, you can get some amazing effects doing it like this, that would make an amazing piece of wood look 'meh' if you didn't.

E6FD8ABB-2C1B-47B7-BE25-821C82989CE8.jpeg



And, of course, you can do both...

ps-jpg.6252
 

Mikhael

Member
Messages
3,713
How do you then explain the all the figured European maple back and sides used on 17th century violins and the rest of the violin builds going forward to the 21st century for backs, ribs and necks? This figuring tradition on the maple follow suit to early 20th century Archtops, semi-hollows to present that uses curly maple backs, sides and neck. Vintage LP burst maple tops on the 1958, 1959 and 1960’s figuring on them. Those traditional ingredient must have a correlation why the use of curly maple is followed and repeated for over 4 centuries.

I don't attempt to explain anything. Why is it used? It looks pretty. Does it sound different? That's a tough one; to explore that empirically, you would have to glue one top on, then unglue it and put another on. Otherwise it would be apple and oranges. My admittedly limited experience has shown that plain tops sound better. Some agree, some don't. One luthier has mentioned recently the same opinion, and others may disagree. I'm just stating my opinion as I have found it, that's all.
 

C-4

Member
Messages
15,286
One thing is that PRS gets some of the absolute sickest looking wood I've ever had the pleasure to behold.
 

Guitarworks

Member
Messages
12,184
Figured maple commands a premium, though it's not endangered. If you're seeing less of it on lower priced models, then it's probably being reserved for higher priced models. If you want the bling of flame, stripe, and quilt, fork over the dough.
 




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