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NGD: PRS Vela

Phillip_H

Member
Messages
3,528
My oldest son recently went off to college, and I agreed to let him “borrow” my ‘94 American strat (since I’m such a cool dad). I keep my guitars on hangers in my office, and my wife made note of the fact that there’s a new opening on the wall and mentioned that I should probably do something about that.

Long story short, I now have a new PRS Vela semi-hollow in satin finish.

I have had it for a few days and the immediate feedback is that it is very fun to play. It is set up extremely well and is super light - like, shockingly light.

I have always been a little meh about PRS guitars for various reasons. I used to have a DGT that I loved, but traded for stupid reasons. Unfortunately, the prices on those have gone way out of my budget since then. I definitely don’t love the weird/too small headstock, but everything else is really impressing me.
 

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Frankster

Member
Messages
35
I currently have serious GAS for a semihollow of some sort, and this is one serious contender.

I've never seen a 'bad' PRS; their QC is really good. I own a 2002 McCarty, their playability is top notch too.
 

Phillip_H

Member
Messages
3,528
Weird and small headstock?? Lol it’s my favorite headstock honestly.

I have never been a fan of the PRS headstock. It looks too small in contrast to the rest of the guitar imo, but it’s not bad enough to keep me from playing it.
 

mdrake34

Member
Messages
18,613
I had a satin Vela briefly that I sold to fund my SG. Very cool ergonomics, pickups left a little to be desired though.
 

metrokosmiko

community astrologer
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,518
The solidbody Velas are already shockingly light and comfortable. I tried the semi-hollow at a Guitar Center - almost too light.

I own two now... One here, one in the way. Black w/ a white guard and different pickups, and the incoming one is white w/ black guard and all stock.

What's your take on the pickups?
 

Phillip_H

Member
Messages
3,528
The solidbody Velas are already shockingly light and comfortable. I tried the semi-hollow at a Guitar Center - almost too light.

I own two now... One here, one in the way. Black w/ a white guard and different pickups, and the incoming one is white w/ black guard and all stock.

What's your take on the pickups?

The weight thing is weird. It surprises me every time I pick it up. I love this finish. The super thin transparent white is so pretty.

I haven’t 100% made up my mind about the pickups. I need to spend more time dialing in my EQ settings, and I might need to adjust pickup height, etc, but here are my initial thoughts. The pickups sound pretty good on clean settings, but I’m less crazy about the dirty tones. The bridge does ok with medium gain, but I don’t love how it handles heavy rock tones. The neck pickup gets muddy pretty quick once you start turning up the gain.
 

Pantalooj

Member
Messages
3,427
Great looking guitar ... that's the first pic I've seen that actually gives a good look at the grain coming through the finish.

I too have one of these on my list to try ... following a look around for something light, semi-hollow and for light, bluesy OD kind of sounds. Keen to hear more about your tonal explorations ... particularly with tone knob adjustments in the mix. I have a Mira that I put Tom Anderson P90 style pickups in, and struggled a bit with the results, until I came to the conclusion that the tone knob max'd was not what the combination of pickups and guitar needed ... I now run both pickups wired in parallel mode by default (ie each individual pickup is parallel rather than series wired) and with the tone knob on around 4-7 ... when switched to series, then I tend to run the tone in the 8-10 range, depending on what I'm playing.
 

Pantalooj

Member
Messages
3,427
Weird and small headstock?? Lol it’s my favorite headstock honestly.

Funny ... I don't really see the headstock as a feature or anti-feature of any PRS guitar ... It's been around so long now, it's just a familiar thing. Not that I had any objection to it in the first place. The main thing for me is the functionality that it brings ... virtually straight string travel up to the tuners, and therefore minimal sideways friction on the nut. Give me that any day over a design that does the opposite.
 

Phillip_H

Member
Messages
3,528
Funny ... I don't really see the headstock as a feature or anti-feature of any PRS guitar ... It's been around so long now, it's just a familiar thing. Not that I had any objection to it in the first place. The main thing for me is the functionality that it brings ... virtually straight string travel up to the tuners, and therefore minimal sideways friction on the nut. Give me that any day over a design that does the opposite.

It’s not a major issue - I have just never loved the aesthetics. I do like the straight string travel, though.
 




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