Theory about why people don't like PRS...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Aquinas, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. Aquinas

    Aquinas Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a new theory on why people say PRSi and Parkers and McNaughts and other pretty or "non-traditional" *(meaning non-Fender/Gibby or "Pawn-shop special") guitars have no "mojo" or "soul".

    Most theories I've heard have to do with their finish (the poly somehow steals tone), their looks (people try to baby them, thus not playing them to their fullest), their lack of "individual character" (works with some PRSi - Paul intentionally went out of his way to make them versatile), or their feel (which, I feel, has a grain of truth to it).

    I don't think any of those are right, except the last. It seems to me, after having many people pick up my PRSi (and the Parker that I sold) and not really like them, that the biggest problem is that their response is just not the same as the big two. People who start playing on Strats or Les Pauls or copies thereof tend to gravitate towards the type of instrument they got when they first started playing - strat players tend to stick with strats, because they feel right. Sure, most guys will move between the five or so main flavors (Strat, Tele, LP, 335, SG) at some point, but they believe they know what to expect when moving from Fender to Gibson or vice versa.

    So that's my theory - that people just don't know what to make of guitars that aren't designed to emulate the sound and feel of the instruments they think they know.

    As a side note, I almost always get compliments on my tone, yet I'm never the one who gets asked about my gear! It's funny - I play sometimes with a guy who plays a '90's California series Strat (that I rewired for him with Rio Grandes) through various Fenders (usually a HRDlx or a Super reissue), and after every show some dude comes up to him and asks him (in typical douchebag fashion) "Hey son, what year is that there stratumblaster?". The same dude will come up to me and tell me what great tone I have, but proceed to tell me "You need to get yourself a nice Strat or Lester and stop mucking about with those furniture guitars", or something to that effect. I don't get it! It bugs me - I spent less money on my PRSi than most people who play really good Gibsons or CS Strats/Teles! Yet because they seem different, they must somehow be inferior!

    I have yet to hear anything from Gibson, Fender, or Gretsch that sounds remotely similar to my Custom 22 Soapbar or Hollowbody Spruce, yet I get told all the time that I should "just get a strat"!

    I do find it amusing that whenever a Strat or Gibby player picks up that guitar (the Cu22, mainly), they can't quite get it to sound right. Ce la vie, I guess...
     
  2. Stringz

    Stringz Member

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    Just get a strat. :D
     
  3. ethomas1013

    ethomas1013 Member

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    Play whatever you like. Who cares what anyone else thinks.
     
  4. ahab

    ahab Member

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    I played PRS guitars for several years of my life (probably about 10) and a few years ago I switched to an R6. I made the switch because I couldn't afford both of the guitars that I owned and one had to go. I spent many rehearsals, studio sessions, and gigs on both of these guitars, but in the end the R6 sounded better to me. I actually much prefer the feel of a PRS to my Gibson and I love the ergonomics of the PRS. But in terms of tone, the R6 was the winner for me. However, there is no way that I would suggest that it is or should be the same for you. Actually, I think it's really odd that anyone would care what kind of guitar you play. Just ignore all that and play what you like.
    Not so sure about your theory, though. My first professional guitar was a G&L ASAT, and I played several G&L guitars before I switched to PRS...But, on second thought, I did own the most righteous 58 Gibson Les Paul Junior for a while. Perhaps that's where I first fell in love with the sound of a Gibson with P90s....
     
  5. Marty s Horne

    Marty s Horne Member

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    It's all personal taste. I like the feel of my 2 McNaughts better than anything else I've played.
     
  6. Tommy Tourbus

    Tommy Tourbus Senior Member

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    I like PRS so much that I keep several on hand - one in each of my offices, yachts, and homes. To me, they symbolize the pinnacle of electric guitar excellence.
     
  7. drod2045

    drod2045 Member

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    x's 3
     
  8. matte

    matte Senior Member

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    my body.
  9. Aquinas

    Aquinas Silver Supporting Member

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    It's this attitude that I'm talking about!

    I'm not some rich dude playing on weekends. I spent the last couple of years as a working musician, and I payed for (most of) my gear myself. $2500 for a guitar is a lot of money, but I got what I payed for - the guitar I wanted!

    As to everyone else, I agree 110% that it doesn't matter what kind of guitar/amp/pedals you play, as long as you sound good to YOU (and don't sound horrible to the audience), and enjoy playing them!

    It just bugs me that self-proclaimed "tone experts" (read: drunk guys playing blues on weekends) want to tell me why my guitars are "wrong", yet also tell me that they love my sound! I was just trying to come up with an explanation for the phenomenon...
     
  10. jtm622

    jtm622 Member

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    Plug a PRS solid-body with P90's into a Marshall tube head, I can't tell the difference between the sound of it and a Gibson solid-body with P-90's pluggged into that same Marshall tube head... seriously... without being able to visually "see" which guitar is being played, I can't hear a discernable difference. To me, the difference has less to do with the "sound" of a PRS, and more to do with the "look" and overall "vibe" of a PRS...

    That said, they are certainly well-built and fine sounding guitars, IMO... :)
     
  11. Aquinas

    Aquinas Silver Supporting Member

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    I knew that, I heard the sarcasm from, well, Texas, and the attitude is what bothered me...

    I don't care if he wants to make himself sound like a moron, but that seems to be the prevailing attitude amongst the "neo-traditionalist" crowd - that PRS guitars are for people with more money than sense.

    Now that I think about it, I get the same responses to my Bad Cats...
    In spite of the fact that every peice of gear I own I bought for TONE, not for looks...
    Maybe I AM a tad bitter...

    :horse
     
  12. ahab

    ahab Member

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    Wow. Brilliant. So a Gibson R9 or a Fender Custom Shop Relic is a far more economically equitable, less classist, instrument? :rolleyes:
     
  13. treeofpain

    treeofpain Silver Supporting Member

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    If people were complimenting my tone and ignoring my gear, I'd take that as a compliment.
     
  14. atquinn

    atquinn Supporting Member

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    Why do people that play PRS guitars care what people think about their gear? I mean, I play Hamers, which are way more obscure than PRS's and I don't give a crap what associations that might conjure up in other people's minds.

    -Austin
     
  15. Aquinas

    Aquinas Silver Supporting Member

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    It's not that I care what people think about my gear - my main guitar for a long time was a Hamer Artist Korina, that I replaced with the PRS Cu22sb (mainly for the Trem and slightly snappier sound from the longer scale) - It's that when I played the Hamer no one gave me crap about my guitars being for Doctors/Lawyers/not-serious-players, but when I started playing the PRSi most of the time I started getting the "why don't you just play a Fender" stuff...

    ...and @ treeofpain, that is a good way of looking at it. I shouldn't get miffed that they want to talk to my friend about his gear, and tell me my tone is great without mentioning it. I guess I do have a smattering of gear snobberry about me...
     
  16. bynt

    bynt Member

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    Bottom line for me with PRS's is I don't like the necks. Never have. I've played a bunch of them and given them a shot repeatedly but I can't get past the necks.
    I'm not crazy about "pretty" guitars (I'm afraid to play them out) but that's not even the issue. I damn sure don't trash other people for playing them though. I just don't get that. I think the only time I might tell someone what guitar they need to buy would be if they were playing on a cheese grater and after the song blood was squirting from their fingers. Then I might suggest something else. Maybe.


    Peoples gear are theirs. I don't understand people bashing someone else because they happen to be moved by different gear.
     
  17. dleobold

    dleobold Member

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    I think you nailed it when you said that " People who start playing on Strats or Les Pauls or copies thereof tend to gravitate towards the type of instrument they got when they first started playing - strat players tend to stick with strats, because they feel right."

    I know I like strats over anything else because the body fits me , and the neck feels right because thats what I was "raised" on. Its hard to switch to another completely diffrent body style and be 100% comfortable with it. I love having other guitars for diffrent purposes, but I cant "let go" on anything other than a strat. And for every one of me, theres a gibby player that would say the same thing. It gets silly when people get rude about it and say "you shouldnt have anything but xxxxx!"

    And I think its more prevelent for people who like PRS or parkers because they are unique to themselves. A good majority of other guitar companies just copy the LP or Tele or Strat and change little things. Even ibanez and the like are basically retooling and reshapings of strats and LPs. So the PRS and Parker enthusiast has the hurdle of " This is diffrent" for people to get past. They are still relatively new beasts compared to the old standards.
     
  18. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    Excellent post.
     
  19. matte

    matte Senior Member

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    back in the mid to late "70's, i rocked a cherry hamer sunburst with dots and a faded burst standard. back then, hamers were the ****. jol can still make a great guitar happen.
     
  20. Bill Brasky

    Bill Brasky Senior Member

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    I read a thread about this on another guitar forum and more than one person concluded that relationship of where the PRS neck joins the body, which affects the location of the bridge and bridge pickup on the body and the placement of the strap buttons, all can result in an awkward, uncomfortable playing feel for those accustomed to Gibsons/Fenders etc.. IIRC, the bridge feels closer to the neck than on a Gibson/Fender etc.. This forces all these players to move where they would naturally rest their hand on the bridge - forward. It would feel like you're now picking over your neck pickup all the time. Everything would feel 2-3 inches off-kilter.
     

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