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NGD: PRS 408

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by RockDebris, May 8, 2016.

  1. RockDebris

    RockDebris Member

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    A few years back I was shopping for an amp to pair with my McCarty. The store didn't have a McCarty to test with, so I tried a 408. It was a versatile pickup system and I knew right away I wanted one. New prices are a little out of my reach, so I watched and waited for nearly 3 years for a used one to come in at price I could (barely) afford. My only requirement of the guitar was that it had the wrap around bridge. I would prefer dot inlays, but that's not an option. I don't really care about 10 tops or any of that.

    I was telling my wife just the day before I saw this that I had pretty much given up on a 408 and that I was going to turn my attention to getting something more readily available on the used market in my range, like a Mira S2 or perhaps a NF3. Almost as if the universe was waiting for me to say I had given up, BAM. There it was. Almost in my range ($1995). Just a little bit of haggling and I got it for $1700 shipped (still, the most I have ever paid for a guitar ... I bought an SAS new for $1400 11 years ago).

    Here is the specimen:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Got it on Friday, did my setup on it, and man .... NO REGRETS! They listed the guitar as excellent, but it was in as good a condition as I've ever seen any used guitar, complete with all the case candy.

    It doesn't diminish what I still love about my Vela and McCarty, it just adds a whole set of tonal possibilities. It is a tad bright for how I have my rig dialed in for a McCarty, but nothing backing the tone knob off to about 8 doesn't account for. The single coil taps, either alone or in combination with each other, or the humbuckers, is a legit single coil sound. The main reason I wanted the guitar is because I had been carrying along a strat to my gigs for those songs a McCarty doesn't work that well for. Seems right now that this guitar can do anything I need a guitar to do, plus a few extra things. It is not a total strat replacement, but it is fine for me (my main strat position is the bridge and neck together, defeating the middle. I always have to wire my strats that way). My current favorite sound is the bridge humbucker together with the neck single coil and high gain. I was going back to it so much, that a riff worked its way out. Ever have a new guitar and it seems like there is a sound and riff that was in there just waiting for you? I recorded the sound and the riff. I couldn't wait to get an audio example of the guitar to compare with my other recordings:



    (I actually ended up using it impulsively as a submission to a challenge Chappers threw down.)

    Anyway. Bottom line: thrilled. Worth every penny of $1700. If I could get second one for say, $1500 (long shot price these days), I think I'd have to take it.

    Cheers, Joe
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2016
    Soothsayer, Rockin J, jrw32 and 11 others like this.
  2. Gonkboy

    Gonkboy Member

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    That's a real beauty. Great looking and sounding. Nice to see your vid for the Chapper's challenge.
     
  3. hendrik7

    hendrik7 Member

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    Total steal! Those red ones look so good too! Right up there with the black gold imo
     
  4. morgan918

    morgan918 Member

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    Sounds really nice! Loads of clarity. Congrats!
     
    RockDebris likes this.
  5. megaboogie

    megaboogie Member

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    Congrats! I still love my 408 like the first day I bought it.
     
    RockDebris likes this.
  6. RockDebris

    RockDebris Member

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    Thanks! Yourself or anyone else here do a vid for that?
     
  7. MattC

    MattC Member

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    Awesome score. You got this from Chicago music exchange, right? I saw it online last Week and thought "gee, what a deal, if that's around in June when I go to chi town, I'll have to give it a try." It was gone next time I looked. I wasn't surprised to see it get snatched up quickly at that price. Enjoy, and if you ever change your mind about the axe, PM me - I might be interested. :JAM
     
  8. RockDebris

    RockDebris Member

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    Man, black gold is probably more first choice if I was buying a new one and going for transparent colors. There was was this other one up at Wildwood Guitars for a very long time, it was finally sold. It was a darker red transparent top, no burst, body binding and a natural back. I kept going back to see if it was still there for about a year, but I probably would have never spent the $2800 asking price. I would have been very happy with that! I tend to play it safe in color selection, so a solid back with body binding and the creme and nickel parts would have been perfect. When you are shopping for one of these used, and you have a lower budget, it is hard to be too picky. I really lucked out.
     
    hendrik7 likes this.
  9. RockDebris

    RockDebris Member

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    Yup. I let it sit there for a few days because it was still the upper end of my budget. I knew the price was fair though and that it would go. I was trying not be impulsive ... and I had to soften up the wife a bit. haha. I used the old, "I'll sell my SAS if I get this one" (of course, she knew that wasn't going to happen ... and she was right :))
     
    MattC likes this.
  10. MattC

    MattC Member

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    Well you can show her this post as affirmation that you got a hell of a deal!! Enjoy in good health. They had a really nice 513 that moved quickly as well. PRS are great guitars. Can't wait to add one to my stable eventually.
     
    RockDebris likes this.
  11. MattC

    MattC Member

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    There's a black gold 408 at my GC, and though I haven't seen yours in person, I think the red is better looking.
     
  12. RockDebris

    RockDebris Member

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    I've seen some "meh" black golds and absolutely stunning ones. Something about how much burst is there and how the maple took the stain. It's like the red ones too. As a general rule of thumb, I'm not all that into red on a guitar, but I saw this one and I liked it a lot. BTW, my McCarty is a color they had called Black Cherry which I like a lot too, ironic for a guy who generally doesn't prefer red guitars ....
     
    hendrik7 likes this.
  13. lemonpaul59

    lemonpaul59 Member

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    I'd say you got a hell of a deal, approx 50% of the discounted price it sold for. You're a strat guy, so the knifeswitch is probably right up your alley.
     
    RockDebris likes this.
  14. cosmic_ape

    cosmic_ape Supporting Member

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    Dude, killer deal and killer axe!
     
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  15. pcbb

    pcbb Member

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    Congrats on a sweet guitar
     
    RockDebris likes this.
  16. sloanthebone

    sloanthebone Silver Supporting Member

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    Love it! Excellent color. I always wanted one of these.
     
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