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What is the PRS dna sound


Constant GAS
PRS has gone from the new kid on the block to becoming a world class guitar producer in 35 years.
There are plenty of threads about the various models. This post is not about which is better or can it sound like xyz, but in your ears, what does a PRS represent and sound like?
I have heard many talk and discuss about the PRS tone being “Gibson meets Fender”, a little Gibson and a little Fenderish making it it’s own thing.
Your thoughts?


Gold Supporting Member
I don't think the guitars have a signature sound. Like any guitar, they are highly dependent on what pickups go in them. Given a certain set of pickups, they don't sound like a gibson nor a fender, but like other guitars of similar design.

Their stock pickups tend toward rather dark/muddy/bland, and that's where the guitars get a bad rep.

Major Fuzz

Kinda depends on the model. I'm not a fan of them but I'd never bash them, just not my cup of tea. But to me PRS guitars are meant to be touring guitars. Or for people who want just one guitar that will do almost anything they'd need it to.

1: They look "Good" (good is subjective, I think the super flashy figured tops and outrageous bursts are tacky, but everyone's tastes are different), so they're meant to be seen.

2: They're versatile so you don't have to bring a Les Paul, Strat and Tele with you on the road just to get humbucker and single coil tones, but they don't 100% nail any of those tones which is why I see them more as touring guitars than studio guitars, cause on stage it doesn't have to be perfect, as long as it get's the job done.

3: They're sturdy but still ergonomic and light. So they handle being on the road well, and they're fairly easy to maintain. Easy to use locking tuners, easily adjusted bridge/trem, stable necks.

4: Their pickups are voiced so that they cut through a mix really well in a live setting. In the studio they can be a bit honky, and like I said, in the studio you want the best source tones possible, so if you want a Les Paul tone you use an actual Les Paul, if you want a Strat tone you use a real strat, etc.

5: They're consistent. I've never played a lemon of a PRS, they all feel and sound consistently the same out of the box, so on tour if you need a backup it's not like trying to find a custom shop Strat that feels the same as your number one, if you play a Custom 24 then basically any Custom 24 in any shop is gonna be the exact same.


Gold Supporting Member
Gibson meets Fender isn't some sonic signature, it is a description of how the PRS guitar (or what today is a CU24) was marketed. It had an in between scale length, Gibson style aesthetics with Fender comfort, midrangy humbucker tones, but with more single coil like tones available, etc etc etc. PRS was not the first company to make guitars that got different sounds, but they sure popularized it. I really don't know what say these two guitars have in common, other than being built in Maryland:


I defy anyone, anywhere, to reliably identify any brand/model/vintage guitar in a blind test recording. PRS is no different. People hear with their eyes, take that out of the equation and all bets are off.

So what do they sound like? Electric guitar, into amp, colored with fingers.


Long Hair Hippy Freak
Gold Supporting Member
I think the general idea of a mix of a Gibson and Fender qualities all in one guitar. Sort of a middle ground that is versatile enough to approximate both.

Edit: As benz2112 stated, at least the Custom 24 and Standard 24 where it all started is what I get out of PRS. Seems to me they have only tried to come closer to a signature Fender or Gibson sound over the years.


Silver Supporting Member
I would say "close-ish" to Fender and Gibson's iconic tones.

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