PDA

View Full Version : Could PRS successfully bridge the $800-$1500 gap?



andy474x
12-18-2012, 12:08 AM
This is something I've wondered for a while - could PRS successfully design, manufacture, and market a guitar to fill in the hole in their price range? As of now, most SE models go for around $700 or less new, and the cheapest Maryland guitar is a Mira with moons at around $1600. If a guitar was made to fill this spot, what would you expect from in terms of where it was made (Korea or MD), design, woods, features, etc?

My theory is that the best shot would be something to the effect of an SE model, with USA pickups, nut, and tuners, since these seem to be the things that get replaced most anyways. Maybe upgrade the pickups to match the USA counterparts. But then you have the questions of would people pay $1000 or more for a Korean made guitar, and if they did, would it hurt the USA sales?
Of course, I would most love to see a USA model in this slot, but I feel like that's not as realistic - the Mira X and Starla X were there for a while, but they were very plain to look at, and quite honestly, looked like they could've been done just as well as SE models. Then again, lots of players love them from what I've heard, so maybe I'm missing something.

So what's your opinion? Could it be done? Should it be done?

slang05
12-18-2012, 12:16 AM
You know, they could always do something like Fender did. Maybe have the parts made in Korea and then assemble the guitar here. Cost would be down on the parts but the quality would be up. Of course, the SE's have gotten so good I'm not sure how big of a difference it would make.

LSchefman
12-18-2012, 01:02 AM
Consider this: what makes a US PRS what we all love is pretty cost intensive, from sourcing and selecting the best woods, to aging and drying them, to careful design and manufacture, to hand work, sanding, finishing, electronics, and whatever else it takes to achieve great instruments.

So...what would you be willing to give up to get a cheaper US PRS? Having a Mira be the same quality level as the more expensive guitars is what PRS is all about. How are you going to make it cheaper without destroying the PRS concept?

The SEs are good. A US model isn't necessary at a cheaper price point. It simply isn't worth dumbing down the brand just so someone could say they got a US PRS, to me anyway. That is a very slippery slope that Fender and Gibson have gone down, and to me it isn't what PRS is all about.

John Beef
12-18-2012, 10:02 AM
They did it already... remember the Mira X and Starla X? I would assume they don't make those any more for a reason.

andy474x
12-18-2012, 10:18 AM
Consider this: what makes a US PRS what we all love is pretty cost intensive, from sourcing and selecting the best woods, to aging and drying them, to careful design and manufacture, to hand work, sanding, finishing, electronics, and whatever else it takes to achieve great instruments.

So...what would you be willing to give up to get a cheaper US PRS? Having a Mira be the same quality level as the more expensive guitars is what PRS is all about. How are you going to make it cheaper without destroying the PRS concept?

The SEs are good. A US model isn't necessary at a cheaper price point. It simply isn't worth dumbing down the brand just so someone could say they got a US PRS, to me anyway. That is a very slippery slope that Fender and Gibson have gone down, and to me it isn't what PRS is all about.

Good point Les, couldn't agree with you more. I'm glad Paul and the company have the integrity to avoid making instruments of dubious quality. That's another reason I wasn't a big fan of the "X" series... when they came out, it just didn't seem feasible for PRS to meet their own standards at such a low cost. And I think that may be the reason that project never developed any further, either they weren't getting the quality they wanted, or it just wasn't profitable.

Mikegarveyblues
12-18-2012, 10:48 AM
Isn't it met by the used market?

I think that gap is a good thing for PRS. They did the run of 50 Bernie Marsdens in the UK for just under 1k with the US pups. There seems to have been a lot of interest but i've also seen the question of value raised on some forums regarding the price. The main thought (for some) was that for that price or a little more you can get a used US PRS. Others realised the guitar was possibly as good as you'll get under a certain price (unless you went used).

So maybe the odd limited edition runs of Korean SE's with upgraded parts is cool but a full production run of 'expensive' SE's or 'cheaper' US PRS's may not be a great idea.

People know what they're getting with both lines and muddying the water long term could call things into question.

sergiodeblanc
12-18-2012, 01:56 PM
I'm glad Paul and the company have the integrity to avoid making instruments of dubious quality. That's another reason I wasn't a big fan of the "X" series... when they came out, it just didn't seem feasible for PRS to meet their own standards at such a low cost.

I always thought the "X" series were really nice, useable, plain guitars. I would rock one in a second if they had a trem.

Danerada
12-18-2012, 02:42 PM
I think the "X" series is a great idea...the issue for me was purely aesthetic. I did not like the colors...I know pretty shallow, but there it is. I would dig the "X" series with a satin natural neck and the body be finished, but none of the jelly bean colors that were on them...

hoofarted
12-18-2012, 02:49 PM
I always thought the "X" series were really nice, useable, plain guitars. I would rock one in a second if they had a trem.

I had a Starla X and loved it! I was just as apprehensive as anyone until I ACTUALLY PLAYED ONE. I liked it so much I bought it on the spot. It was one of the Dallas Ltd models with 58/08's and I scored it for $900 brand new. That surely falls into your price spectrum. Could it have been made an SE for a lot less? Yea. I had both a Starla X and an SE One at the same time...they were darn close in many respects. However, upon first strum it was readily apparent that the SX was an instrument of a much higher caliber.

Want something to fill that gap? Buy and SE and upgrade the PU's, electronics, and hardware yourself. You'd probably be sitting at just under the $1k mark and have a seriously good guitar.


Could it be done?
Where there's a will, there's a way.....

Should it be done?
ABSOLUTELY NOT

hoofarted
12-18-2012, 02:53 PM
I did not like the colors...I know pretty shallow, but there it is. I would dig the "X" series with a satin natural neck and the body be finished, but none of the jelly bean colors that were on them...

Mine was a "Jelly Bean" blue, part of the reason I bought it. Stood right out among the sunburst crowd adorning the wall. The X was aimed at younger players, younger people probably want fun colors. They were right about me anyway. But hey, to each his own. I'm glad to see the color catalog expanding further than it has even been in the past. Everyone is happy!

Mikegarveyblues
12-18-2012, 03:21 PM
Want something to fill that gap? Buy and SE and upgrade the PU's, electronics, and hardware yourself. You'd probably be sitting at just under the $1k mark and have a seriously good guitar.




Major +1!!!

I've said it before, but one of the great things about an SE is the build quality. The hardware is decent but the most imporatnt thing is that the guitar is built well. You can upgrade the hardware as time goes by. Some other brands it's akin to putting lipstick on a pig.

garrett
12-18-2012, 03:39 PM
Want something to fill that gap? Buy and SE and upgrade the PU's, electronics, and hardware yourself. You'd probably be sitting at just under the $1k mark and have a seriously good guitar.

That's what I did: new SE Soapbar II > pots > output jack > pickups > tuners > bone nut > TonePros studs > Schaller strap locks. Don't remember exactly what I spent, but it was under $800 for everything and that guitar is killer!

I think you'd have to make too many compromises to get a USA PRS to that level. It's a bit easier for Fender, with the simplicity of the bolt-on components. But have you played the inexpensive Gibsons? Sure they're genuine made in USA Gibsons, but in my experience, they're often poor instruments. It would be a shame for PRS to compromise and degrade the brand.

John Beef
12-18-2012, 04:35 PM
My favorite jelly beans are the black ones. All guitars should be black! Just like the model T. (at least available in black, and also white, IMHO).

RafRey
12-19-2012, 07:38 PM
They could do something similar to the Gibson faded line. Maybe a flat finished mahogany Standard 22 with one pickup.

Doesn't sound very appealing, though!

andy474x
12-19-2012, 11:30 PM
Want something to fill that gap? Buy and SE and upgrade the PU's, electronics, and hardware yourself. You'd probably be sitting at just under the $1k mark and have a seriously good guitar.


For me personally, sure! I did exactly that very recently. Scored an SE Akesson on sale for $530 new, and just a couple weeks ago put a set of 57/08's in. Plus that model comes stock with the Tonepros adjustable bridge and locking studs - for the grand total of about $900 I've put I to it, it's an absolute killer! My question is more theoretical, just to see if people think something like this would be a feasible idea for the company. And I'm not saying they should or shouldn't, purely curious. I'm happy modding my SE's so it's no skin off my back if there's no mid level PRS offering!

Also I hope no one thinks I'm saying the X line are bad guitars - I certainly didn't care for them, but that's just me! I know PRS wouldn't put out junk, it's just a question of if that model was working from a business standpoint.