PRS HBI vs HBII?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Drunkagain, Nov 18, 2005.


  1. Drunkagain

    Drunkagain Member

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    I posted this over at BaM but figured I'd ask here as well.

    Whats the difference in sound between the two guitars? I know the HBI is a mahogany back and the HBII is a maple back but what does that do for the sound? Any pluses or minuses to one or the other?

    I've been jonesing for a PRS HB for a few years now and I think I'm gonna go for it after I pay off my Thorn next year. I know I want that pizza thing but since I've never had a chance to try one and I'll probably be buying online I'd like to get an idea about the sound differences. Thanks.
     
  2. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

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    After your done paying off the Thorn, put a deposit down on a Thorn hollowbody.

    :)

    Theres only a few in existence, and you get whatever you want. I dig the one's Ron has made so far.

    Or, you could get a Prs, the finest production guitar out there, in mho.

    I'm sure either are killer.

    Ps, Ron does the pizza thing too.
     
  3. bluehugh2

    bluehugh2 Gold Supporting Member

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    I've owned both the HBI and the II. The HBII is brighter and snappier with a tighter more compressed tone. The HBI is a little more "woofy" sounding and perhaps a bit warmer. But The HBII is plenty warm sounding. After going through a few of each type, I actually prefer the HBII. Easier to control and more useful for me.
     
  4. Den

    Den Member

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    I'd highly recommend you try to get your hands on a few of these before you buy ... or make sure you do business with someone who offers a solid return policy. I lusted after one of these for years and finally, after trying an HB spruce, HBI and HBII, realized that the tones I was hoping for just weren't to be found.

    The HB are beautiful guitars, though ... I wish you luck and hope you find one you love.
     
  5. clarkram

    clarkram Member

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    paintguy has some sound advice. I had a HBII with piezo for 3 years, nice guitar, I eventually sold it and had Ron Thorn build be a blk limba/koa hb (HB002) that is in another class from the PRS HBs.

    Worth the wait and the money.
     
  6. Taller

    Taller Silver Supporting Member

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    So, aside from the obvious 'Custom Shop' type of deal with Mr. Thorn's guitars, all things considered, how does a Thorn HB compare tonewise with a similary equipped [let's say maple top/mahogany back & neck] PRS HB 1 ?
    And [if you deem the Thorn superior] could a pickup swap in the PRS get you there?
    :confused:
     
  7. clarkram

    clarkram Member

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    Well , Ron's first HB was mahogany/maple top but it was thicker than a PRS HB (more like a PRS AT) and loaded with P90s so no direct comparison is probably available.

    I always thought the HB pups were a little weak on output, but presumably this was to defeat feedback. My HBII was very good at producing some very nice harmonic feedback though.

    BTW, the upcharge to go custom with Ron was very close to the price of a new HBII/ten/birds. Very close, at least it was 2 years ago.

    Clark
     
  8. Taller

    Taller Silver Supporting Member

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    Anywhere is everywhere and nowhere is nothing.
    Ron makes beautiful, well-crafted, toneful guitars by all reviews, and are quite a bargain in a custom made instrument, but I'm on a budget and am perfectly happy with the offerings from PRS...and I stay away from 10-tops, birds, etc., so the Thorn looks even more out of reach, especially with the wait.

    Now, if someone told me that a comparably equipped Thorn would tonally blow away a PRS HB, I'd certainly take that into consideration.

    Ron's guitars are the only booteeky guitars that make me want to forget all about practicality, though!:D
     
  9. paintguy

    paintguy Long Hair Hippy Freak Silver Supporting Member

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    Honestly,

    I'm a huge fan of Ron's work(and have a guitar on order). That being said, I don't know if any guitar blows away a Prs. Too many variables and upgrades can be made with the Prs. Heck, I dig Prs' stock.

    With the Thorn, you just get all the upgrades and your specs the first time.:) Oh yeah, and a attention to detail that few if any other builders have.

    -L
     
  10. cnardone

    cnardone Supporting Member

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    I had a HBII for a long time, I traded it in after I got my semi hollow Chapin. I have only played the HB I and spruce sparingly. I do remember thinking that the II was more scooped than the others with the Spruce being the most "focused". The II has a wonderful bloom to the notes that I never felt while playing the others. That could be due to the others being new on the wall and the II getting a lot of playing time though.

    I don't think you can go wrong with any other them. I would look into Harmonic Design pickups for it though. I know Wagners get a lot of praise here. I just really like my HD neck pickup in the chapin.

    good luck.

    cmn
     

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