Those of you who don't like PRS guitars...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Brian D, Dec 28, 2005.


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  1. Brian D

    Brian D Member

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    ... why not? Is it the way they feel? The way they look? The pickups? The image?

    Personally I love my McCarty, but I'm curious to know why others may not like PRS guitars. It seems to me that most of the people I know that don't like them either dislike the pickups, or have a problem with their perceived image. How about you?

    And please folks, no bashing. If you can't say something constructive (serving to improve or advance the discussion, and in a respectable manner), please don't post. Thanks!
     
  2. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

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    I love my PRS. I've heard people say bad things about them, but it is never founded in much beyond feeling threatened because their guitar costs far less, so talking bad about PRS makes them "not jealous," but they are seriously fantastic guitars. The unfinished rosewood neck on my McCarty is absolutely great. Pickups sound great, because they are lower output like vintage gibsons. I think the people who don't like the PRS pickups have the Dragon pickups which I think are higher output, so the PRS with Dragons might not sound ideal through a vintage tweed amp- but with some vintage style pickups this could be an easy fix- or just get a McCarty or Soapbar.

    The Rosewood neck is what sold me. I tried a regular McCarty and it was nice, but the neck on this one is wider and medium/fat, the unfinished wood is soft and the guitar just rings out. The sound is fuller and makes the coil-tapped sounds much better than on the mahogany model (IMO). The McCarty pickups get great sounds, though I think the rosewood neck heavily influences the sound.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Johnnytone

    Johnnytone Supporting Member

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    I don't care for the way the lower horn is shaped. I don't care for the colors, I don't particualarly care for the way they sound (at least the half dozen I have tried), I don't care for some of the switching schmes and I don't care for the shapes of the back plates.

    They do have nice cases, though!
     
  4. matte

    matte Senior Member

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    I don't dislike PRS guitars myself. I simply found other guitars with similar features (The Baker B1 comes to mind as double cut carved top guitars go) that are more appropriate for my musical endeavors.

    I had most of my PRS artist spec'd guitars built with bigger necks and thicker backs to get more ass out of the guitar. I still use a 25" scale length on most all of my guitars (Stevens, Baker, JG, Koll) as well as a straight stringpull headstock with a depper headstock angle in order to give the open strings a bit more resonance). The finishes on the post "92 guitars have had a tendency to be on the thick side, as opposed to the "80s PRS guitars. Never dug their pickups, but that's an easy issue to address.
     
  5. pfflam

    pfflam Silver Supporting Member

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    I hate to seem superficial, but I have never seen a PRS that appealed to me visually. IMO: ugly wood, ugly shapes, ugly hardware, ugly headstocks and usually ugly heavy-metal/fusion music too ;)

    And as far as tone, my impression is that they tend to be pretty much about transparency and and leave the characteristics and character up to the amp/pedals/effects/ etc but not in the guitar itself . . . but my experience with them is limited . . . .

    and my mind is open.
     
  6. Legend

    Legend Member

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    I don't really care for their body shape, nor their color selection. I'm also not very into the "great top" thing, I think many PRS tops look cheezy, esspecially with those colors. Soundwise I think they are pretty bland, I've never played a single PRS that sounded great to me. They felt great, but soundwise i found them very lacking. I've had 2 PRSi, and my roomate has one as well. I tried to dig them, due to their great feel, but I just found them cold and bland in all honesty. The pickups are completely worthless to me, and IMO they are not suited for clean playing at all. YMMV obviously.
     
  7. jsmith45

    jsmith45 Member

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    I prefer short scale.
     
  8. eric-d

    eric-d Member

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    ehhh.... give me a lester...
     
  9. keith_t4e

    keith_t4e Member

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    This is not me, but I think for some PRS is too much of an inbetween. you know ther aren't a LP and they are not a strat. Me, I love them and plan to own one one day. They are too expensive though. If I get one it wll be a scaled down model no upgrades. Toggle, moons, wide thin, non ten top, custom 22.

    They have a mid range honk to them I'm not crazy about. Howard Leese who has the second one ever made can make his sound phenomenal as can Alex Lifeson who plays the bolt on necks.

    Those of you who don't like the finishes, what are you hard of seeing. PRS are cosmetically brilliant. I saw a natural one quilt ten top that was the best finish I've ever seen. PRS, Gibson 335, suhr then I'm done.
     
  10. PolyMorf

    PolyMorf Member

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    PRICE

    I'm excluding SEs of course.

    I can afford them but just don't want to spend that much.
     
  11. Killcrop

    Killcrop Supporting Member

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    I've had a few PRSi. My 89 was the best by far. Back then the tops were more interesting looking. I had a McCarty Soapbar that was a nice guitar as well but most of the newer ones were kinda lifeless. I've wanted to like them but never found one as of late that had "it"

    The McCarty could be cool. Love the neck but I don't care for the pickups or bridge.

    PRS doesn't offer anything that my R7 doesn't do better IMO.
     
  12. Serious Poo

    Serious Poo Armchair Rocket Scientist Graffiti Existentialist Gold Supporting Member

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    Eh, they're OK I guess...

    [​IMG]
     
  13. 59burst

    59burst Gold Supporting Member

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    I've had 5 PRSi over the years - 1988 CU24 (birds, 10 top, trem routed for pulling up), 1995 McCarty, 1998 AT (spruce top), 1998 HB I (maple top), and a Dragon 2000.

    All were very well built guitars with few if any construction flaws or issues. Tremendous playability seemed to be a constant across all of them. They looked awesome, too.

    I had the CU24 for about 12 years (which a loooong time for me!). It was the first guitar I had ever custom ordered. It was the best hard rock/metal guitar I've ever played or owned. If I was still focused on that type of music as a player, I'd definitely still have it.

    The other guitars played really great, but I wasn't able to achieve "benchmark" tones with them - the tones of a good LP, a good 335, a good L5 - so I ultimately sold them. (Actually I never plugged in the Dragon...) Of course, this says more about my tonal taste limitations than anything bad about the guitars!

    I think changing pickups might have helped a bit, but ultimately, I realized the sounds I was looking for didn't come out when I played those guitars.

    I still wonder though, what a slightly thicker McCarty (possibly chambered?) with a really thin finish and some after market PAF style pickups would be like.

    BTW, I had no problems with their "image", but I'm not sure what you mean by that statement. I took mine to blues jams in dive bars, etc.
     
  14. Rufus

    Rufus Silver Supporting Member

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    I will confess a lot of it has to do with the "image" for me. First, I don't much care for fancy tops on solid body guitars in general. I'm not exactly sure why, it just rankles me and seems a little too "non-rock" I guess.

    As for PRSi, they have always kind of struck me as guitars that place appearance above all else and seem to appeal to (among others, of course) people who want to publicly display the fact that they have enough money to afford a guitar like that. Kind of like expensive cars and such -- they might be nice and well-built, but I think many people buy them because they can, and because they want to make sure everyone else knows they can. Not true in every case, of course, but certainly some. I guess it's just the anti-elitist in me coming to the forefront.

    Also, all the PRSi I've tried, save one, seemed somewhat uncomfortable to play, at least relative to what I am used to, and didn't do a lot for me in the tone department. The one PRS I did like was a singlecut Tremonti model -- that one played very well.

    Finally, Alex Lifeson, one of my all time idols, switched to PRS and I think his tone has sucked ever since (although a lot of factors play into that).

    Not trying to bash or anything; just answering the question you asked. Some people love 'em and that's fine by me.

    -JR
     
  15. teamster

    teamster Guest

    I like the way they look and play a lot, I just find them to be a bit too expensive for what they do. Also, they do a lot of different sounds well, but to my ear none that are exclusively a 'PRS' sound. It could be a really good lp sound, or a really good strat sound, but I have never heard a really good, distinctively PRS sound. (not to mention that for the price of a really good PRS, you could have both of the other guitars)

    Also, even if somewhat superficial, they do have that rap/rock, numetal, hardrock (creed, nickleback, linkin park: all bands that i cannot stand) image that I just dont care for either. Maybe its just my current musical engagements.

    I have said before that people with money who dont know what to buy end up with PRS's, Mesa dual rec's, etc. (note: very high quality gear, just lacking in originality in my opinion, which is a huge part of tone)

    All that to say that I have owned them, and I most likely will again.
     
  16. al carmichael

    al carmichael Member

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    I think the PRS is a well built guitar. To me, its the most beautiful solidbody shape ever made. The necks are excellent--perfect fretwork and you can get ridiculously low action of needed.

    My problem is that I just don't care for the way they sound. They don't sound BAD, they just sound vanilla or something to me. I much prefer Tele's and Strats. For me they have very defined tones. And I prefer a LP to a PRS any day.

    For certain players the PRS may be the best choice. Everybody's different. They just don't inspire me.
     
  17. pesocaster

    pesocaster Member

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    it's not that I don't like them..... Just not a fit with me.... I found the same thing with Baker.... Very high quality guitars... played well and fit and finish were outstanding.... Just didn't give me "THE" vibe.... now Hamer on the other hand.....
     
  18. nashvillesteve

    nashvillesteve Member

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    I bought my McCarty Rosewood for $1900. A standard McCarty can be had for less. A comparable Les Paul is at least as expensive as a PRS, depending on model/year. I think a $2000 PRS is probably a better value than the $2000 Les Paul (which is not going to be the "top" of their line).

    You can get a great strat for less than $1K I'm sure, but an LP type guitar? Nothing plays bad like a bad LP copy. The PRS Singlecut is a great guitar, however. The rosewood neck model PRS are really great. I'd rather have one great playing and sounding guitar than two OK ones that were a little further apart in sound.
     
  19. rh

    rh Robo Sapien Noise Maker Gold Supporting Member

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    I've had four of them, all very briefly. The nicest playing one by far was a HB Spruce -- what a fantastic-playing instrument. I had a quality issue with it and wasn't crazy about how it sounded*. It was new and went back to PRS for the repair. During that process, I felt mildly jerked around by PRS, so given how I wasn't thrilled with its sound I elected to show PRS my arse and told them to return it to the dealer (who I asked to issue me a store credit so that he wasn't hurt).

    *In general, the thing I dislike most is they all have sounded somewhat sterile to me when played clean -- just something about the upper mids that sounded harsh rather than soft when played clean. (The exception was a SAS that had a complex, harmonically rich sound in the bridge position that I thought was great. I like bridge humbuckers in ash.)

    The second problem I've had with them is that I've never been comfortable with the way they played. I've had them well-set-up etc, but aside from that HB Spruce they just have never felt comfortable to me.

    If I could get a SAS that played like that HB, I'd be very happy with a PRS.
     
  20. arniez

    arniez Supporting Member

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    I never found either of the neck carves to my liking, and always felt the guitars were sterile sounding. The fit and finish were always excellent though I thought overpriced. In the end I found I liked Hamers better and they were cheaper:D
    ArnieZ
     
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