SE Silver Sky - not interested

xzacx

Member
Messages
1,665
Greg Koch, such a GREAT PLAYER!

And the guitar aint sounding bad either!





No doubt a great player, but he makes the kind of demos I have to just assume are good and skip actually listening to, because I find his playing and schtick equally irritating.
 

Johnny Alien

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,711
Kids aren't picking up an $850 guitar. They are going for the $500 and under range for first guitars. The Squier/Epiphone scene. The Billie Joe Epiphone Junior is more likely to be a first guitar for kids then the SS SE. This is firmly in the mid tier level.
 

Ron Kirn

Vendor
Messages
8,231
Kids aren't picking up an $850 guitar.


Oh yeah?? OH YEAH???? how 'bout rich kids? ya know they gotta maintain their image... You know... 350.00 ragged ass jeans, 125.00 torn T-Shirt... and 650.00 nasty Sneakers.. ya think they're gonna be caught dead with a guitar that costs less than their "kicks".. ;)
 

Verne Andru

Member
Messages
1,027
I view the SS as a continuation of PRS selling out. It is yet another among a gazillion (that's a technical term) Stratocaster knock-offs with slightly different trade-dress and no outstanding features to set it apart from the horde.

PRS has - up to this point - been focused on their own designs and have done very well with them. They established themselves, very well I might add, as a leader in unique, high-quality boutique instruments. This just muddies the waters and is technically called a "line extension trap" that dilutes their brand with all the negative consequences that follow in train.
 

Misterbulbous

Member
Messages
7,870
Greg Koch, such a GREAT PLAYER!

And the guitar aint sounding bad either!




I love Greg, and I watch him nearly every night...but, I notice he never really "reviews" the guitars. He just plays, recites some of the spec's, and carry's on through the pickup positions. Since he's a type of paid endorser, I never notice him to point out things he finds less appealing or compromising about the guitars.
 

Johnny Alien

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,711
Oh yeah?? OH YEAH???? how 'bout rich kids? ya know they gotta maintain their image... You know... 350.00 ragged ass jeans, 125.00 torn T-Shirt... and 650.00 nasty Sneakers.. ya think they're gonna be caught dead with a guitar that costs less than their "kicks".. ;)

Those kids pick up the USA Silver Sky. :)
 

Pantalooj

Member
Messages
3,564
Those kids pick up the USA Silver Sky. :)

Exactly!

I know there was tongue somewhat in cheek in the couple of posts above on this ... but it's an interesting line of thought ... who is the SE SS designed for?

I would have thought it's not so much "first guitar" but more "affordable great player" ... for home players who know what they want already, or budget conscious performers who want a workhorse so they don't have to take their #1 to gigs with damage risk involved.
 

Pantalooj

Member
Messages
3,564
I view the SS as a continuation of PRS selling out. It is yet another among a gazillion (that's a technical term) Stratocaster knock-offs with slightly different trade-dress and no outstanding features to set it apart from the horde.

PRS has - up to this point - been focused on their own designs and have done very well with them. They established themselves, very well I might add, as a leader in unique, high-quality boutique instruments. This just muddies the waters and is technically called a "line extension trap" that dilutes their brand with all the negative consequences that follow in train.

My guess given PRSs success to date is that the feature that sets the SS SE apart is its tone, playability and level of quality. If they've got all of that right, selling points in terms of unique physical features shouldn't matter to buyers who want the best overall S-type guitar in that price bracket.
 

EvilAsh

Member
Messages
308
Then perhaps you may be more inclined towards....the sunset sky
167555945_4276826749018668_544187755890879101_n-jpg.840264
I just don’t get why Orlando Bloom is flogging guitars for John Meyer
 

Verne Andru

Member
Messages
1,027
My guess given PRSs success to date is that the feature that sets the SS SE apart is its tone, playability and level of quality. If they've got all of that right, selling points in terms of unique physical features shouldn't matter to buyers who want the best overall S-type guitar in that price bracket.
I disagree (in a friendly way) and I'll cite First Act as a prime example. I normally don't say things like this without being paid, but in the interests of this conversation here it goes.

First Act established themselves as a cheap, decently made guitar brand selling through big retailers like Toys R Us. While they sold a boat-load of instruments, I doubt very many gigging musicians would turn up with a FA guitar just because of the name on the head-stock. The brand was positioned cheap and entry-level and that's the market's association. Not a bad place to be as that's where the lions share of instruments are sold. Not a good place to be if you're selling to image conscious musicians.

It turns out that First Act also had/has a custom shop with builders who formerly worked at places like Gibson's custom shop. They came up with some really unique and creative instruments that had features and pricing in the custom shop bracket. But they didn't catch on outside a small niche.

So, not understanding they were engaged in the "line extension trap," First Act decided to do something in the middle - i.e. make affordable versions of their custom-shop designs in Asia and position them in the middle of their product line. Those failed to catch on as well even though they are great guitars that sold at competitive pricing.

The reasons for lack of success are as old as marketing - i.e. they confused their market by offering products under the same brand name at different price and feature points. While this doesn't sound like a problem to those without marketing experience, it is a text-book reason for brands and companies to fail.

The PRS situation is like First Act in reverse. They established themselves as a premium brand with premium pricing and are now engaged in a practice called "cannibalizing your market." This involves destroying your existing brand position to try and establish it in different market segment. While I imagine PRS probably thinks this is a great way to take on Fender, it won't succeed and may end up destroying PRS in the process.

Most people that want a Stratocaster want a Fender. Why? Because that is the market position Fender has created over the past 60-ish years. They are entrenched. PRS is the newcomer but the only thing they bring to the table is "perhaps" better QC, but if this starts eroding Fender's sales (their biggest sales year on record was 2020) all Fender has to do is up their QC practices to nullify anything "new" PRS says they have to offer.

If we look at the car industry we see that they learned this lesson years ago. If they are known for building luxury cars under one brand (say Cadillac) they will bring out an all-purpose-compact car under another brand (Chevy) to avoid line extension and consumer confusion issues.

Just as First Act learned this lesson the hard way (if they even understand why they failed), PRS will also stumble as players willing to spend $4K on a guitar will now balk at the prospect of paying that kind of money for a brand that is no longer recognized as being worth that amount - is there really that much of a difference between a PRS Hollowbody and a PRS SE Hollowbody other than price?

Fender understands and has their Fender line and Squier line. Gibson understands this with their Gibson and Epiphone brands. PRS does not understand this and will pay a significant price over time as they erode their own brand and effectively commit the corporate version of suicide.

Just sayin...
 

T92780

Member
Messages
8,259
Oh yeah?? OH YEAH???? how 'bout rich kids? ya know they gotta maintain their image... You know... 350.00 ragged ass jeans, 125.00 torn T-Shirt... and 650.00 nasty Sneakers.. ya think they're gonna be caught dead with a guitar that costs less than their "kicks".. ;)

People who have the money to buy Wagyu beef should buy it. Do you sell guitars less than $900 that are mostly, or all, knock off designs... no/.
 

deepcove17

Member
Messages
1,622
I disagree (in a friendly way) and I'll cite First Act as a prime example. I normally don't say things like this without being paid, but in the interests of this conversation here it goes.

First Act established themselves as a cheap, decently made guitar brand selling through big retailers like Toys R Us. While they sold a boat-load of instruments, I doubt very many gigging musicians would turn up with a FA guitar just because of the name on the head-stock. The brand was positioned cheap and entry-level and that's the market's association. Not a bad place to be as that's where the lions share of instruments are sold. Not a good place to be if you're selling to image conscious musicians.

It turns out that First Act also had/has a custom shop with builders who formerly worked at places like Gibson's custom shop. They came up with some really unique and creative instruments that had features and pricing in the custom shop bracket. But they didn't catch on outside a small niche.

So, not understanding they were engaged in the "line extension trap," First Act decided to do something in the middle - i.e. make affordable versions of their custom-shop designs in Asia and position them in the middle of their product line. Those failed to catch on as well even though they are great guitars that sold at competitive pricing.

The reasons for lack of success are as old as marketing - i.e. they confused their market by offering products under the same brand name at different price and feature points. While this doesn't sound like a problem to those without marketing experience, it is a text-book reason for brands and companies to fail.

The PRS situation is like First Act in reverse. They established themselves as a premium brand with premium pricing and are now engaged in a practice called "cannibalizing your market." This involves destroying your existing brand position to try and establish it in different market segment. While I imagine PRS probably thinks this is a great way to take on Fender, it won't succeed and may end up destroying PRS in the process.

Most people that want a Stratocaster want a Fender. Why? Because that is the market position Fender has created over the past 60-ish years. They are entrenched. PRS is the newcomer but the only thing they bring to the table is "perhaps" better QC, but if this starts eroding Fender's sales (their biggest sales year on record was 2020) all Fender has to do is up their QC practices to nullify anything "new" PRS says they have to offer.

If we look at the car industry we see that they learned this lesson years ago. If they are known for building luxury cars under one brand (say Cadillac) they will bring out an all-purpose-compact car under another brand (Chevy) to avoid line extension and consumer confusion issues.

Just as First Act learned this lesson the hard way (if they even understand why they failed), PRS will also stumble as players willing to spend $4K on a guitar will now balk at the prospect of paying that kind of money for a brand that is no longer recognized as being worth that amount - is there really that much of a difference between a PRS Hollowbody and a PRS SE Hollowbody other than price?

Fender understands and has their Fender line and Squier line. Gibson understands this with their Gibson and Epiphone brands. PRS does not understand this and will pay a significant price over time as they erode their own brand and effectively commit the corporate version of suicide.

Just sayin...
Your Marketing "education" certainly comes out of a text book, and as much as it is relevant to some industries it is just as non relevant to others. I say this as someone who has worked for a manufacturer for 33 years with a company that has been in business for 56 years, and had a similar decision to make a decade ago. There is no dought this move will likely have a small impact on PRS's own sales, with the understanding it will put a larger dent in the competition. Having a budget line for an already popular signature model is quite different than simply cannibalizing their own line of instruments with a more budget oriented versions.

As an owner of higher end Fender and Gibson guitars I have never had an urge to acquire a PRS. The Silver Sky is very appealing to me, but not at its current price point. I will most likely purchase the SE.....and if I enjoy I am very likely to upgrade to the standard Silver Sky which I would never consider without the ability to get some playing time with their budget option. I have never had any interest in an Epiphone or Squire product.

I will add that doing what you have been doing without recognizing a changing market and pivoting is a textbook reason for brands and companies failures.
 

Pantalooj

Member
Messages
3,564
I disagree (in a friendly way) and I'll cite First Act as a prime example. I normally don't say things like this without being paid, but in the interests of this conversation here it goes.

First Act established themselves as a cheap, decently made guitar brand selling through big retailers like Toys R Us. While they sold a boat-load of instruments, I doubt very many gigging musicians would turn up with a FA guitar just because of the name on the head-stock. The brand was positioned cheap and entry-level and that's the market's association. Not a bad place to be as that's where the lions share of instruments are sold. Not a good place to be if you're selling to image conscious musicians.

It turns out that First Act also had/has a custom shop with builders who formerly worked at places like Gibson's custom shop. They came up with some really unique and creative instruments that had features and pricing in the custom shop bracket. But they didn't catch on outside a small niche.

So, not understanding they were engaged in the "line extension trap," First Act decided to do something in the middle - i.e. make affordable versions of their custom-shop designs in Asia and position them in the middle of their product line. Those failed to catch on as well even though they are great guitars that sold at competitive pricing.

The reasons for lack of success are as old as marketing - i.e. they confused their market by offering products under the same brand name at different price and feature points. While this doesn't sound like a problem to those without marketing experience, it is a text-book reason for brands and companies to fail.

The PRS situation is like First Act in reverse. They established themselves as a premium brand with premium pricing and are now engaged in a practice called "cannibalizing your market." This involves destroying your existing brand position to try and establish it in different market segment. While I imagine PRS probably thinks this is a great way to take on Fender, it won't succeed and may end up destroying PRS in the process.

Most people that want a Stratocaster want a Fender. Why? Because that is the market position Fender has created over the past 60-ish years. They are entrenched. PRS is the newcomer but the only thing they bring to the table is "perhaps" better QC, but if this starts eroding Fender's sales (their biggest sales year on record was 2020) all Fender has to do is up their QC practices to nullify anything "new" PRS says they have to offer.

If we look at the car industry we see that they learned this lesson years ago. If they are known for building luxury cars under one brand (say Cadillac) they will bring out an all-purpose-compact car under another brand (Chevy) to avoid line extension and consumer confusion issues.

Just as First Act learned this lesson the hard way (if they even understand why they failed), PRS will also stumble as players willing to spend $4K on a guitar will now balk at the prospect of paying that kind of money for a brand that is no longer recognized as being worth that amount - is there really that much of a difference between a PRS Hollowbody and a PRS SE Hollowbody other than price?

Fender understands and has their Fender line and Squier line. Gibson understands this with their Gibson and Epiphone brands. PRS does not understand this and will pay a significant price over time as they erode their own brand and effectively commit the corporate version of suicide.

Just sayin...

Crikey! Hell of a post! :D

I was just really thinking on the level of the proposition that the SS SE is as a guitar ... not so much on a marketing level. Thinking of it as a blind test ... which of these (insert 10 S-Type, mid-priced guitars) would you choose, purely based on tone, ergonomics and playability ... all other prejudice (marketing) removed ... that ought to be what drives a purchase, and I would think the SS SE would be pretty strong on ... ergo, that's its USP. Take the blindfold off ... and you have the marketing and human perception factors that you've described in detail.

I get what you are saying about the marketing aspect, and you make some good points, but I think there are a couple of points that would be contestable in your view:
  • There are examples in the auto industry where success has been had, despite running the line extension risk. Porsche springs to mind with their Boxster.
  • Is First Act really comparable with PRS? PRS is well established. 37 years old. Top 3 global manufacturer. They are coming at this as a top tier maker, having carefully established their middle tier whilst leaving the top tier as "aspirational" ... back to Porsche.
  • Anecdotally PRS has already successfully established the SE line ... as a different proposition ... it's been there for 21 years. It's possible that the SS SE might cannibalize sales from the Core SS, but not sure why one new model in the SE line would destroy demand for all of the Core PRS line. Worth noting that the first SE was a Carlos Santana model ... and the Core Santana model still exists ... as does the rest of the Core line. This isn't the first rodeo.
  • Is there really that much of a difference between a PRS Core Hollowbody and a PRS SE Hollowbody? I think if your answer to that is "no" then you would likely never have been a prospective customer for the Core model. If your answer is "yes", then you've clearly tried both ... and found that it's not just a price sticker difference. It's a whole other question regarding whether the difference is worth the cost to you ... but if its not, then you would likely have never been a prospective customer for the Core model.
  • Most people who want a Stratocaster want a Fender? This is interesting ... I'm reminded of this article https://guitar.com/news/gear-news/t...e-fender-stratocasters-on-reverb-across-2021/ which isn't conclusive in any way, and can only ever be indicative (includes used sales and it's only Reverb) ... but some sign at least that there is a healthy turnover of Silver Skys. Granted there is a cohort of brand loyalists too. Me? (sample size of 1) ...the S-Type is my favourite and go-to guitar type. I own a PRS (not an S-Type), a non-Fender S-Type ... and I just bought a US Fender Strat a couple of weeks ago ... having tried a Core SS (which I liked very, very much)
100% it will be extremely interesting to see how this pans out!

:cool:
 
Last edited:

xmd5a

Member
Messages
2,869
I love Greg, and I watch him nearly every night...but, I notice he never really "reviews" the guitars. He just plays, recites some of the spec's, and carry's on through the pickup positions. Since he's a type of paid endorser, I never notice him to point out things he finds less appealing or compromising about the guitars.

It's always implied "if this guy can shred on this guitar, it must be a good guitar", because there is a misconception that a guitar must be so good in order to shred with it.
 

xmd5a

Member
Messages
2,869
I disagree (in a friendly way) and I'll cite First Act as a prime example. I normally don't say things like this without being paid, but in the interests of this conversation here it goes.

Would you do more market research first if you were to be paid?

Fender understands and has their Fender line and Squier line. Gibson understands this with their Gibson and Epiphone brands. PRS does not understand this and will pay a significant price over time as they erode their own brand and effectively commit the corporate version of suicide.

Fender has been both up and down market for decades by offering cheaper Mexican made Fenders, and as the market leader, Fender is the company to emulate. PRS first copied Gibson Les Pauls very directly with the Mark Tremonti model, and there was a lawsuit around that, but it was their Fender Strat copy that seems to be making the biggest waves. PRS is just taking pages from Fender's playbook. There are visual cues that set the Core and SE lines apart, and the same used to be true for MIA and MIM Fenders, but newest Player series makes the MIA and MIM look nearly identical, as far as I know.
 

RRfireblade

Member
Messages
4,753
Kids aren't picking up an $850 guitar. They are going for the $500 and under range for first guitars. The Squier/Epiphone scene. The Billie Joe Epiphone Junior is more likely to be a first guitar for kids then the SS SE. This is firmly in the mid tier level.

I don't know about todays kids. Today's kids won't be caught dead with a $500 cell phone. We just went through Xmas and 2 birthdays with 3 grand kids. My gosh has times and perceived value changed. ;)
 

bluegrif

Member
Messages
5,480
yes, color and nut width are personal preference, I said exactly that. Although I wonder why they chose to make the nut so narrow - maybe they really want it to be kids guitar, which I have hard time believing, or maybe it is cost cutting measure (see also Mexican vs American Fenders).
Also, let’s not ignore elephant in the room - poplar is cheaper and I’m pretty sure it was chosen for that exact reason.


Nick Johnston is just an example, there is plenty more guitars like that on the market. If someone wants a traditional strat type there are G&L, Squier CV, Larry Carlton or just Cort.

SS SE is just another one, and I am not questioning its’ existence - I’m questioning the hype it gets. And it’s a genuine doubt: maybe there is something about SSSE that justifies that hype and it’s just me not seeing it - I’d be happy if someone would enlighten me here:)

Neither aimed at kids nor a cost cutting measure. The nut width is what’s found in the majority of vintage Fenders. The original SS was designed to feel and sound very close to a 60s Fender, hence that nut width.
 




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