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Thread: PRS guitars- the best in the world?

  1. #1
    tokairic
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    PRS guitars- the best in the world?

    IMHO yes.
    I have USA PRS and also a Korean SE245 and after trying Gibson (Nighthawk and LP Supreme) I would say that PRS (even the SE!!) are much better built and easier to set up and play. The Supreme in particular just won't handle a low action without fret buzz and has to be set up almost like an acoustic. Whereas the USA and SE PRS can be set up with the necks almost straight (7 thou curve) and the action really low and don't even think about fret buzz.
    I am particularly stunned by the SE245. I bought it used and it is really very good - I didn't expect it to come close to the USA PRS but it is shockingly similar. I wouldn't change a thing on that guitar. Add to this the fact that it cost one tenth of the price of the Gibson Supreme.

    Anybody else had similar experiences?

  2. #2
    Senior Member gush's Avatar
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    After getting caught up in the PRS glory my LP lived in its case, at home. I forced myself to gig with it a couple of times last year but after a couple of songs I quickly went back to my PRSs. I sold my LP and I'm preparing to put my Schecter C1 plus on CL. End of story.

  3. #3
    Bought a used SE CU24 7 string a few weeks back to go with my 08 USA Mira Mapletop, still blown away at the quality of both, but esp the SE, for the price...
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  4. #4
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    PRS is top 3 easily for macro guitar builders for quality of construction and materials. However, the refusal to even offer stainless frets does give the edge to suhr and music man, who either offer them standard on some models, as cost options, or as part of occasional upgrade packages. I just wish Paul would give up the whole "we use the hardest fretwire we get" thing and go with the times.

  5. #5
    Senior Member toothace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew View Post
    ... the refusal to even offer stainless frets ...
    Are you looking to get the tone or the durability of the stainless steel frets?

  6. #6
    Senior Member jcha008's Avatar
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    I love many brands, but PRS takes cake overall for me.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Drew View Post
    PRS is top 3 easily for macro guitar builders for quality of construction and materials. However, the refusal to even offer stainless frets does give the edge to suhr and music man, who either offer them standard on some models, as cost options, or as part of occasional upgrade packages. I just wish Paul would give up the whole "we use the hardest fretwire we get" thing and go with the times.
    It's really a question of what Paul believes gives the best tone. He's made it clear that this is a choice he makes for that reason, not for cost or anything else.

    Now, do you say to a guy who has certainly raised the bar in electric guitars, "Stick to what you believe in," or do you say, "Keep up with the times even if you personally think it's not the best way to do things?"

    You might say, "Well, let the customer decide." But then Paul's instruments are out there, in many cases not just for the first owner, and their reputation is judged in substantial part by how they sound. He feels that the instruments with SS frets won't represent his brand in the right way. I think it's OK to say, "No, we won't do that."

    Guitar players are all over the lot. On the one hand, they insist that "older is better sounding," and they want instruments that sound as warm and fuzzy the old classics. And on the other hand, some say, "Well, so-and-so is doing it this new way, gotta follow the leader."

    To my way of thinking, it's important for a luthier to make the best products that the luthier thinks he/she can make.

    You point out two builders who use SS frets, and of course there are others (Anderson comes to mind). But most respected builders known for their great tone at the higher end still use only "nickel silver" frets, like Collings, Linda Manzer (whose designs are certainly cutting edge), Olsen, the list goes on and on.

    Even Gibson doesn't offer SS frets (at least on their high end models, don't know about others) because they feel that SS is too bright for their instruments.

    In any case, I respect Paul Smith for sticking to his guns. I think his guitars sound great, and wouldn't want SS frets myself. However, I can also respect why someone else might make a different choice, especially if they don't think it sounds any worse or if they can even hear a difference at all.

    I always encourage my friends to make their own decisions, play a lot of guitars, and see what works for them. If that's a different make from PRS, hey, that's great, everyone should make instrument selection a very personal choice.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 07-28-2014 at 01:35 PM.
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  8. #8
    Yippy ki yay! xjbebop's Avatar
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    PRS makes -very- high quality instruments... no question.

    "BEST" is a very personal opinion....
    "There are chords in the hearts of the most reckless which cannot be touched without emotion.."
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by toothace View Post
    Are you looking to get the tone or the durability of the stainless steel frets?
    I was referring to the durability and playability. In the argument of who the best is, then obviously these 2 things are top of the list. Stainless frets are without a doubt the most durable fret material there is. There are guys with 15 year old beat up Parkers who haven't even gotten to their first leveling yet. Most people who buy a guitar with stainless frets will never need to refret, ever. Stainless frets are also worlds easier to bend on. A guitar with stainless frets plays like nickle frets covered in motor oil. I'm just surprised that a company as forward thinking as PRS hasn't gone this route. Tone is another thing but my experience with stainless is they don't sound all that different from nickle. The 2 are very close tonally.

  10. #10
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    "Best in the world"?... I think so.

    SS frets? Give it time. I personally never thought I'd see the day when Floyds, ebony, blade switches, set maple necks, imports, and tuners that may need tools to change strings would be available on regular PRS guitars, so either the company is making an effort to attract a wider audience, they are bowing to customer demand, or Paul's tastes can change just like the rest of us.

  11. #11
    Senior Member sleary's Avatar
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    For the life of me, I can't remember the exact fret wire,Paul uses but I like it a lot. It's extremely durable and not problem bending on. A refret job with ss wouldn't be that bad cost wise and easily done .

    Prs the best? That's subjective . For me personally , yes they are the best . Fits my body very well and love the tone. I had lps before and after having left shoulder surgery, the lps had to go. Prs fit in right away. A lot lighter and I can get that "honk" on a prs. Plus the sustain is unreal. Easy to setup as well. Like my luthier says...if you want to learn guitar setup, buy an lp lol
    2013 PRS DGT,2011 PRS CU24,2014 PRS S2 CU24,2014 Prs se CL 2014 Ibanez sir70fd
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  12. #12
    Senior Member thieves&foxes's Avatar
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    My issue is this, everytime i look at a guitar that isn't a prs, i see it missing all the things I love about prs, construction, aesthetics, attention to detail, everything that PRS do that make their guitars so amazing.

    I have high doubts looking at the quality of my guitars and what PRS are putting out at the moment that any future electric guitars of mine will be anything but a PRS.

    I have a certain love and loyality to another acoustic guitar brand, that rhymes with Nartin & Do, so I doubt PRS exclusivity in that regard.
    Location: Beautiful Cape Town, South Africa
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  13. #13
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    SS fret wire is good IF they polish the frets. I have seen some brands that don`t polish them and you do feel the drag a tad. I know that Paul said he uses the hardest wire that is not SS he can get. Necks on PRS are great. I remember Dan Erlewine who is considered the BEST there is for getting a neck and frets perfect for low action and playability. I read where he said that the only brand that did not need work off the wall was PRS. This was several years ago he also said the all Gibsons benefit from his personal fret job he does. I saw his rig pretty extensive.
    I had an 02 LP Standard that was beautiful but could never get the neck relief flat enough to be comfy. when I would get the relief on the low E right the high E was fretting out! I believe the neck had a slight twist in it as one would look very carefully at it. I unloaded it.
    I love PRS and doubt I will buy any other electric brand.
    2010 Taylor 816CE
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Drew View Post
    Tone is another thing but my experience with stainless is they don't sound all that different from nickle. The 2 are very close tonally.
    I'm not trying to create an argument or convince you to change your mind. You like what you like! But I have a couple of comments.

    "They don't sound all that different" is of course also admitting "they sound a little bit different;" I'm sure you'll agree that the question of whether that's important is entirely subjective.

    Nitro and V12 "don't sound all that different." But I can tell you from experience that they do sound a little bit different. And V12 sounds a little bit different from the poly finishes PRS used to use. A RW neck doesn't sound much different from a mahogany neck; in fact, some people think the only difference is in the feel, but it does sound a little different. Bone nuts sound only a little bit different from standard PRS nuts. Brass parts sound only a tiny bit different from aluminum parts. Etc.

    The point is that all of these "a little bit different" things add up.

    Durability, no question, it's hard to beat SS frets, though there are harder materials that could theoretically be used. Well-polished standard frets feel as fast to me as SS (this is based on owning Tom Andersons with SS frets several years ago). Of course, that requires more attention to maintenance, where again, the advantage is with SS frets that need less maintenance.

    Maybe at some point they'll come out with a metallurgical formula for SS frets that Paul thinks sound as good or better than what he's using now.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

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  15. #15
    Senior Member Audie's Avatar
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    Drew, go to the rules of tone on the blog page of this PRS site. Paul has a video explaining his reasoning on fret material choice. I think you may find that he answers the question in a way that would appeal to you. His fret wire is harder than spec for its class along with other alloys added that he has made proprietary to PRS for fret wire. Add to this what Les has said and Paul has nailed it again.

  16. #16
    Rock Hard Guitars rhg's Avatar
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    My Custom 24 is my favorite guitar to play as far as feel and sound. It's my go to guitar. Is PRS the best guitar made? Well my answer is, it is one of the best guitars made. But as we all know, everyone has their own opinion to make what is the best for them.
    No doubt PRS makes a very high quality instrument!
    2013 Custom 24 / 10 Top, 2014 Artist Package 24 W maple neck Ebony Fingerboard, SC 245 Trans Flame Black with Dot Inlays, SC 245 Dark Cherry Sunburst w Birds
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  17. #17
    Jackson - sold
    Les Paul - sold
    PRS - own 4
    PRS believer.

  18. #18
    tokairic
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    From what I have seen from Paul Reed Smith, he will reach a balanced decision on any changes he makes to his guitar line based primarily on tonal effect, personal ethics and quality but also bearing in mind (as a businessman) customer demand. I remember seeing a video of Paul saying that no PRS guitar will have binding on the neck......but now some do. If enough customers demand a certain option (eg SS frets) then I am sure Paul will consider it within the bounds of brand ethos and either dismiss or condone the change. I also remember a video where Paul seemed almost embarrassed that a PRS guitar was displayed as a work of art (which many are) and not primarily as a wonderful musical instrument.
    I am pretty sure that he will not bow to consumer pressure on any detrimental changes and will continue to follow his beliefs in what constitutes a PRS guitar.
    As for stainless frets, I doubt if i will wear out a set of PRS frets. If you were practising and gigging every day for hours you may need the longevity of SS but why not refret your own favourite guitar with SS after you have worn out the standard frets (if that point is ever reached). That at least would be a more affordable option than a Private Stock SS fretted guitar..........

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