To be honest I couldn't care less about what that goon from Nickelback gets up to, really not my bag baby... I do remember reading a feature on them in a guitar mag years ago and thinking that the other guy in the band seemed ok though, as I recall he had guitars sent to him from Gibson with unfinished bodies so he could play with different finishes while on tour! Now that sounds like fun! That probably had something to do with the switch too as their other guitarist plays Gibson.
In general though I'm ok with it, I do appreciate that in certain instances a brand and an artist will develop a special bond which will stand the test of time but really it's down to whatever the artist wants at a certain time. I feel in particular that as I myself get older and mature a little more my tastes change and guitars I previously would have drooled over don't do it for me so much anymore. Equally, just like with car companies, guitar manufacturers will go through changes which will not always suit an artist which can cause a parting of ways. Adam Dutkiewicz had his own signature model Parker guitar but when Parker downsized and his contacts in the company no longer worked there he stopped playing Parker because he no longer had the same relationship with them and now he plays Custom 22s...
'Signed' artists will come and go. Does Johnny Highland ring a bell?
For me it is all about the guitar, not who is playing it. I understand that any of my guitar heroes could pick up a no-name $300 electric and still play circles around me and sound more musical than I can on my uber best day. So their choice of guitar only influences me if they are known for their tone and not just their prowess...
I have a fairly large collection. The guitars I have kept all mean something to me - either they mark a point in time for me or are part of my progression from not-so-good to PRS. I still have my first guitar and will never sell it.
At this point, because it isn't about who is famous for the guitar (it never really was for me) , it is about the guitar itself - its quality and its tone, playability and feel. Things like fit and finish tell me as much about a guitar and the manufacturer as blindfold test playing. I'm still flabbergasted about picking up a LP from the LP manufacturer (I'm not here to bash other guitar makers) and seeing voids in the finish, glue, scratches, unpolished fret ends and spaces in joints that should not be there. That guitar was priced at over $2K. It had the fit and finish of a $200 guitar.
Is it really that hard to implement a robust turn-around system as seen at PRS and Taylor?
Having seen that and more, I have to wonder why people switch FROM PRS to something else. You would think that professional musicians would be even pickier than I have been. Of course, most of the big names probably don't buy retail - they get to shop from hand-picked gems the reps put before them. I don't have that luxury. I might shop different stores looking for just the right PRS, but it is usually about model availability and color/extras.
The tone is a given. The fit and finish is a given The quality is a given. Right out of the box/case/crate - every time.
Johnny Rockstar plays this model? Don't care. How does it feel to me - that's the question everyone should be asking.
Having said all that, some endorsements ARE important. It is true that there would not be an SE line if it weren't for Santana. And David Grissom and PRS worked so hard on his pickups and his finish that all of that translated into better pickups and a direction for a new durable thin finish for the rest of us.
I agree with parts of almost every post in this thread.
To original poster, yes I can understand your annoyance if it's your favorite band and you feel the tone has suffered since the switch. I kinda felt like that with Chevelle's Vena Sera album where Pete's tone was noticeably different, using more Strats. I actually like that album a lot but like the overall guitar tone less. So I get your point.