Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 32

Thread: Game-Changers Over The Years & PRS

  1. #1

    Game-Changers Over The Years & PRS

    We've all had 'em, things that really changed the guitar-playing experience for us. The idea here is to talk about true game-changers, gear that affected our playing to the point of changing our style or approach to musical self-expression. Here are mine:

    1991 - PRS Custom. I'd been a Gibson SG Special player for 25 years by this time. Playing my first PRS was a complete game-changer. First guitar I ever had that could do pretty much anything. It played great, the humbuckers could be split for truly useful tones, and I rarely picked up the SG again.

    1992 - Mesa Tremoverb. This amp was the main one in my work for 11 years, despite having several other amps in the studio at the time. No pedals, straight into the amp became my mantra. I've had amps that IMHO outdid it at its own game, such as the Two-Rock Onyx, but this one set a stylistic standard for me and changed my thinking in a way that was different from the way I used any previous amp.

    2000 - PRS Singlecut. After finishing up a bunch of tracks for North American International Auto Show and nearly killing myself from lack of sleep in the process due to many last minute client picture changes, I treated myself to the SC as kind of a reward. For me, the guitar sounded even more vintage than the original McCarty, and I loved the pickups. This guitar taught me the glory of using a guitar's volume and tone controls, because it was so tremendously responsive. Because of it, my style changed some.

    2002 - PRS McCarty Soapbar. I wasn't a fan of soapbar pickups even though they were what was in my old SG. This guitar changed my thinking, and for the next 6-7 years, I mostly recorded with PRS soapbars. And my playing changed to take advantage of the "hard edge" I got at the point of attack with the pickups. This forced me to start playing more precisely and to take advantage of this edge, begin using cleaner tones on the amps.

    2012 - PRS HX/DA. I'd never been a Plexi or "M-style" player. Great amps, but not my cuppa meat, right? However, this amp has completely changed my approach, and is starting to turn the way I think about amplified guitar tones upside-down. It'll do everything I needed to do in the past, but it has a voice that really speaks to me in a different but very good way. I can see and hear my playing style move a little bit to take advantage of the amp's strengths.

    As I said, this thread is about game-changing, getting you to do something different from what you're used to. I didn't mention my #1 PRS, which is my favorite PRS of all time, the Artist V; I didn't mention the Tonare Grand, which is absolutely the best acoustic I've ever played or owned. Or the CU22 SH Ltd that introduced me to the 57/08s. These things are great, interesting, and though I love them, they didn't change my approach to playing like the other things I mentioned did, they simply made what I was doing better (and that's a good thing, too!).
    Last edited by LSchefman; 09-17-2012 at 02:13 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Dirty Bob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    State of Confusion (NY)
    Posts
    1,903
    New Strings!!! (folks remember to change them before you go to flip a guitar!)

    I'll add my real ones later today when I get a minute!

    Good idea for a post Les.
    -Bob

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Senior Member solacematt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    Posts
    399
    2001 - When I got my first PRS at Sam Ash (back when they were a store worth going to). I bought a standard, which was a big change for me, not just in brand since I had only been a Gibson player up until this point, but in shape since my main guitar was a Hendrix edition Flying V. For whatever reason I could never play my favorite band (Smashing Pumpkins) songs and have them sound good at all, despite me playing them right on my V. Something about the PRS was completly different from my V...oh yeah, it wasn't so one-dimensional, and the guitar really did help bring out much more. It actually did inspire me with it's sound and opened my writing up

    2004 - The band I was in was starting to get attention so my amp was upgraded to a Mesa Triple Rectifier. Even though the thing **** the bed three weeks into a 3 and a half month tour, it opened up more playing possibilities than my Marshall did.

    2005 - Got a Big Muff pedal. I know a lot of people think they're crap, but for certain types of music, playing, it has it's own niche.

    2009 - Inspired by playing a Custom 24 through a Mesa again. Switched back to playing a PRS through a Mesa

    2010 - Absolutly fell in love with the sound of a hollowbody PRS. Who knew the hollowbody made downtuned music sound so much better
    SFL Onstage - My New Publication SFL Onstage 'Like' us on Facebook
    PRS McCarty Hollowbody, PRS Custom 24
    Mesa/Boogie Rectifier -> Rectifier Cabs -> Boss Tuner -> Modded Tremonti Wah -> DOD Gonkulator -> T-Rex Tremonti Phase Shifter -> Boss Digital Delay -> EHX POG -> eBow

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by CoreyT View Post
    Cables that disconnect input when pull them out of the jack.
    I never knew they existed until I got one in my "Thank You" package from PRS.
    Yeah...mmm...I dunno if this changes your playing style unless you suddenly started changing guitars in the middle of songs...so..does not really qualify.

    Cool cables, though!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    401
    The biggest game changers in recent years for me have been PRS electronics and the Axe-FX.

    The PRS Narrowfield and 408 pickups are the most innovative/interesting thing I've witnessed in guitar electronics in years. The 5708, 5909 and 5310 pickups are great additions as well.

    The Axe-FX makes modeling a choice for me that does not involve a compromise in tone or feel - and it keeps getting better.
    You're never too old for tater tots.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by solacematt View Post
    2005 - Got a Big Muff pedal. I know a lot of people think they're crap, but for certain types of music, playing, it has it's own niche.
    I truly get this!

    People tend to be all about ODs these days, and fuzzes have become somewhat of an anachronism for many players, but a good fuzz does something that nothing else does, and that "special fuzz sauce" is why players like Hendrix used them, and EJ and Bonamassa still rely on them. I mean, a good amp can do lots of great OD tones, but only a fuzz can do what a fuzz does, namely, pure square waves. And even with the volume rolled off, it gives you something on nearly clean tones that most people never even try!

    I tend toward classic Fuzz Face sounds, and as a result use a Fulltone '69 when I need fuzz tones, but the Muffs have always been a great flavor as well.

    I probably should have mentioned discovering Fulltone pedals in the mid-00s in my own post, because for a long time, I couldn't *stand* 99% of the pedals on the market (except a couple of wahs); actually, there aren't many so-called vintage style pedals I like even now, including most of the highly-touted ones I read about on TGP.

    I was used to the originals I had back in the late 60s-early 70s, and honestly, so much of what's out there doesn't come close to stacking up except that they now have "cool" names and more colorful packaging. Most of the digital pedals have been dreadful except Strymon (just my opinion), and I've been uniformly disappointed with the TGP-approved flavors of the week.

    What I like about Fulltone pedals is that they're pretty close to the originals, and most importantly, they work in a musical context really well. That's a side note, but suffice it to say that I completely like your thinking!


    Quote Originally Posted by hippietim View Post
    The biggest game changers in recent years for me have been PRS electronics and the Axe-FX.

    The PRS Narrowfield and 408 pickups are the most innovative/interesting thing I've witnessed in guitar electronics in years. The 5708, 5909 and 5310 pickups are great additions as well.

    The Axe-FX makes modeling a choice for me that does not involve a compromise in tone or feel - and it keeps getting better.
    I agree about the new PRS pickups being a really wonderful thing! And though I'm not an Axe-FX user (I guess I'm just that contrary guy), I know a lot of fine players who find it a truly useful tool. Players I hire for sessions use them on certain tracks very successfully. Oddly enough, I do occasionally use software modelers, go figure.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 09-17-2012 at 03:20 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member MOBirds's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    243
    1984 - Picked up a strange little thing called an AxStar AX-70 (Ibanez spinoff brand). It was basically a Steinberger bridge/headless system with a body shape like a - mini PRS actually. I pulled out the crap stock pickups and put in a pair of EMGs and had a guitar I just clicked with. I played it for nearly 20 years exclusively until it was stolen. Still miss this one, it was an interesting little monster that had tones of tone to it for how small it was. Convenient as #$!% too due to size. Solidified my core style while playing with several bands over about 16 years.

    2002 - finally receive a custom Ric 370 after what felt like forever (technically only10 months) but well worth the wait. It was the insurance co.'s replacement for the stolen AxStar. I'd been a primarily rhythm player for - by then 21 years, but with the tone I got from it I really started to expand my style. Much more arpeggio fills with 7ths and dims incorporated. Didn't realize how limited I had been until then.

    2010 - First PRS, a Johnny Hiland signature. Introduced me to the neck carve and playability I had longed for. This opened me up to work on scales and expand from strictly rhythm playing. Felt a bit held back by pickups, but it was the most comfortable guitar I had ever had up to that point.

    2012 - Sold the Hiland and picked up a Custom 24, P22, and 2 Channel H. The tone - OMG! Finally I had a tone I could really work blues scales on. My playing over past 8 months or so has changed dramatically with this combination. I wish I had started on this track decades ago - I'd be further along and far better. But I can at least jam for an hour and feel really good about what I played. The P22 has me trying things that I never dreamed of just because you can do so much with the combined piezo/mag tones. The game has truly changed a great deal this year.
    _______________________________
    Michael O.

  9. #9
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Downers Grove Il.
    Posts
    6,655
    Late 1993 I got my first PRS, up until then I was either playing LP's or ESP's and always with EMG pups and P.I.T.A double-locking trem systems. I loved the ease of changing strings and the scale length that sat happily between the Gibson's and Superstrats I had been used to, it was also the first guitar I ever bought without changing pups the second I got home.

    That same year I got the first Digitech GSP 2101 in Illinois, it introduced me to using MIDI continuous controllers to control multiple parameters, no more static on/off effects for me, and way easier to dive for a huge Ernie Ball volume pedal mid-song than hovering over a tiny switch. Severe reliability problems, but when it worked, nothing could touch it until the AXE-FX came along.(I'm still not even sure about that)

    2011- Logic Pro. ProTools user up till then, absolutely changed how I mix, make, and record music. I am in awe at the amount of useable tones available in Amp Designer, music by typewriter has never been more intuitive.

    Unrelated to guitar, but still worthy of mention in regards to work - Korg Triton and Pioneer CDJ800's in the early 2000's changed everything for me.

    Future? I don't know, maybe I'll ditch the LP for something similar by a different manufacturer, any ideas?
    Last edited by sergiodeblanc; 09-17-2012 at 04:49 PM. Reason: quiting school before I learned to read and write

  10. #10
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Warrington, Nr Liverpool UK
    Posts
    2,369
    Early 2000's: I finally helped form a decent band. Playing with other good musicians in a live setting is one of the best things you can do to improve your playing.

    Early 2000's: Doing music at college and later Uni forced me to learn some of the finer details of music. Forgot a lot but I improved a lot quicker than had I not done it.

    Mid 2000's: Giving up for a while after feeling burned out with guitar. When i got back into it I felt refreshed and had a different approach which was more about the music rather than just guitar.

    Since: Getting my head around mixing, mastering, video editing, etc. Still bores me but it's enabled me to push my own music at a much lower cost than had I paid other people to do it. Good fun too - When it's done and it comes out how you wanted. Boring when you're getting your head around something!

    There are many others such as ditching the modelling gear and going back to analogue.
    Last edited by Mikegarveyblues; 09-17-2012 at 05:10 PM.
    Modified SE Bernie Marsden, Fender Strat
    Laney Lionheart L5T-112, Fender Mustang 1
    Wishing for a Blue Bernie!
    Click here for SE Bernie Marsden demo!
    Lessons, covers, backing tracks, etc...www.youtube.com/mikegarveyblues

  11. #11
    Love Boat Captain butterfly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    247
    late 70s, see Ramones, realize "I can do this">buy LP Special DC>form punk band

    2002, PRS CU22>introduction to a whole new world

    2009/10 Axe F/X

    somewhere along the line realize its not what you play but how you play it

    Cool posts everybody. I enjoyed sharing your journeys.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    277
    Hmmm... ...innaresting thread, Les.

    For me, it seems like guitars and amps have always kinda traveled in the wake of my imaginings; it's always seemed as if I had something that I wanted to be able to do and I had to find gear that would do it, so the new ideas have always preceded the arrival of new gear for me. There have occasionally been guitars that seemed better by leaps and bounds [whatever that means] than anything I'd previously owned, but not in a way that substantially impacted the way I play or how I think about playing. The first Collection Electric is one of those.

    That said, the new Ken Parker Archtop is definitely a "game changer" by any definition. It's clearly changed my concept of what is possible with a guitar. And I'm just scratching the surface with that one.

    While I'm thinking about it, another guitar that might could fit this description for me is the Scott Walker Phoenix. The big thing with that guitar (besides the late-in-the-game realization that the Jazzmaster shape/platform is a good one for me!) is the electronics. Over the past few years (thanks in no small part to being friends with Steve Kimock) I've become a lot more sensitive to the issues we create by plugging all kinds of s**t in between the guitar and the amp. I've never found a pedal-based strategy that truly recovers the lost headroom and dynamic range. The unity gain buffer in the Phoenix actually solves that conundrum, which is (in my world) a big, fat, hairy deal.

  13. #13
    Senior Member MA Pete's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    485
    Well, I don't know about "Game Changing", but this thread at least inspires me to share some milestones of events and gear for me over the past 4 years:

    2001: Ditched my 10 pound Les Paul and got a Tremonti

    2008: Started playing more. Sold the Tremonti and started my journey of the past four years of experiencing many many PRSi. Discovered two magical things that I have loved so much ever since - (1) the PRS Doublecut Shape, awesome ergonomics and feel, and (2) the magical PRS PAF pickups, first 5708, then in 2009 DGT's, then 5909's! Tone!

    July 2009: Joined my first band, was forced to get way better at playing guitar to keep up.

    Fall of 2009: Discovered the amazing DC 245 Ted!

    2010: Entered the Fortune Magazine Battle of the Corporate Bands, made the finals and got the honor to perform and compete at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Our drummer won "Best Drummer". I rocked a Willcutt's Wood Library DGT for the semifinals and a Shootout McCarty for the finals. Moved to Chicago and found new PRS/BAM buds in BrianC and yankeebulldog.

    2011: Started focusing more on amps, Sewell, HXDA, 2 Channel C. Confirmed that I dislike pedals. I like just tube amp tone, and an OD for solos. Well, not that I dislike pedals, I just dislike figuring out how to figure them out, I guess, and I am fine with just a guitar, and OD and an amp. Also, I do a lot of traveling gigs, rent amps and cabs and like a simple setup. Played a cool show at the Venetian in Las Vegas. Went through an SC 58 Phase, and later an Artist V phase.

    2012: Rediscovered the Ted's. Got my first Private Stocks, they ROCK! While ordering a PS, had the opportunity to go to Paul's studio and played his Custom MDT and his Sig, a great time. Entered the Fortune Magazine Battle of the Corporate Bands again, made the finals again. My buds BrianC and yankeebulldog supported me in the crowd in the Semifinals. Finals at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame again in October. Had a Marshall AFD100 and JVM410, no thanks, went back to PRS amps. Went CAD amp crazy, new Blistertone, MDT, 2-Channel H. The 2-Channel H rocks, my new favorite gigging amp, ordered another one for home. Discovered the clean boost, love that (EP Booster). My gigging pedalboard is now just a tuner, an OD and a clean boost, sometimes a wireless, nice and simple!

    My latest discovery, which probably does meet Les' "Game Changer" definition - Obeche and Ultralight Weight Guitars! My 5.5 pound Earth Cu24 is a game changer for me, my back has been bothering me, and it takes that off the table, I can practice at home more standing up with a strap without bothering my back, and handle long rehearsals and full gigs with it with little challenge. But I am also finding it does change the way I play a bit, I can push the envelope a little more in showmanship while playing out, more easily and more comfortably do some classic and and roll guitar moves! I have my Earth Cu24, and also an SC 245 Ted PS on order in the same formula with the Obeche Back and lightweight curly Maple neck, Brent figures it will weigh about 6.5 pounds. If I dig that as much as I think I will, I plan to then order a PS DC 245 Ted with 408's. The best part is, no sacrifice in tone, amazing, the Earth Cu24 is a tone monster. And aristotle's demo of his Earth McCarty versus a Les Paul showed it hung in there with the Les Paul for tone as well. Different, but very tasty! (Thanks, Brent, can't wait for the SC 245 PS!)

    The adventure continues!
    Ted Club President

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by kingsleyd View Post
    I've become a lot more sensitive to the issues we create by plugging all kinds of s**t in between the guitar and the amp. I've never found a pedal-based strategy that truly recovers the lost headroom and dynamic range. The unity gain buffer in the Phoenix actually solves that conundrum, which is (in my world) a big, fat, hairy deal.
    A buffer circuit early in the signal chain does preserve the frequencies coming from the guitar's pickups, and the sooner it's in the chain, signal loss from cable and connector capacitance, and mismatched impedances, is pretty much eliminated. But I'd like to point out something about dynamic range: buffers don't increase, restore or affect dynamic range.

    Dynamic range is the range of the very softest to the very loudest tones. A buffer doesn't act like an expander circuit, which can increase the dynamic range, and it doesn't compress the signal unless it's a bad one.

    What happens when you use a buffer is that you are no longer losing detail in the high frequencies due to cable capacitance rolloff. This greater preservation of high frequency detail may in fact give you the impression of greater dynamics, because you're hearing more overtones, and everything sounds crisper, even the low end as a result (low frequency instruments having plenty of overtones, just EQ a bass guitar at 7KHz and you'll see!). This crispness and preserved detail gives the impression of increased dynamic range simply because now you're hearing HF information at its intended level. The Fletcher-Munson curve tells us that the ear doesn't hear very low or high frequencies at softer volumes as well as it hears mid frequencies, so when you hear that HF information at the same levels you usually hear only midrange at, suddenly you're hearing more sound, and it seems more dynamic. But it's a psychoacoustic impression.

    I use a true bypass strip to completely take all the pedals out of the circuit for most of the work I do with the guitar. I also use a buffer circuit early in the signal chain. Buffers are great things. Even a single cable starts to affect the high frequencies after only a foot or two; it becomes much more noticeable after around ten feet. Early in my recording career, I had my tech make up cable lengths of 2 feet, 5 feet, ten feet, fifteen feet, and twenty feet. The difference between 2 feet and 10 feet was noticeable on an AB comparison, startling even. But in normal use, no one's going to play a two foot cable. However, anything longer than 10 feet, I usually want a buffer in the chain.

    So if you've got a buffer built into a guitar, that's obviously a very unusually good thing!

    I'll also point out that there are times I don't want a buffer, when I want a "warmer" sound with less high frequency content. So it is good to be able to switch or take a buffer out of the circuit on demand. And some people like the sound of what I consider a not-very-good buffer, that comes in Boss pedals. It's very highly colored and seems to take out what it's supposed to keep in. But that's just me.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 09-17-2012 at 11:38 PM.

  15. #15
    Geezer wilerty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Syracuse, New York
    Posts
    305
    I've been doing this so long I can't remember many of the game changers ... but a few are ...

    1962 - My ordered Fender Jazzmaster, Bandmaster, and reverb ... of course ... my setup for 10 years
    1964 - Echochord tape delay ... so cool
    1988 - Fender Strat Plus - for 18 years
    2007 - PRS Custom 22 AP 20th - my first PRS
    2009 - Hollowbody Spruce Piezo
    2012 - Private Stock P22 - This guitar has blown me away and will be a tough act to beat. With a dual amp setup and my Strymon delay, it can get me right where I want to be.
    Bill

    PRS Private Stock #3568
    PRS Swamp Ash Special
    Mesa Mark V combo
    Fishman Loudbox Artist

  16. #16
    Senior Member Dirty Bob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    State of Confusion (NY)
    Posts
    1,903
    I'll add a couple of quick game changers for me...the PRS trem system and locking tuners....first encounter was 1994....I was using either strats with vintage trems or an ibanez with a Floyd Rose. the PRS was the First guitar I could beat the hell out of using a trem while keeping perfect tune and that I could restring and tune up quickly!!!

    The guitar grimoire series of books....amazing....then having a chance to apply and explore these lessons in a laid back environment with creative musicians. Gotta also mention Jack Zucker's sheets of sound books too,,,,phenomenonal tools.

    The absolute glory of tube amps!!!

    Another one is learning how to properly eq my amps once I started really playing with other musicians...especially the importance of your mids as opposed to bedroom scooping....learning not to play in anyone else's frequency space...the guitar is a mid focused instrument.

    Learning to listen to the other musicians that I play with.

    Learning to turn gain down rather than up.

    I second the learning how to use volume and tone controls on the guitar as a game changer...PRS helped me do this big time.

    I was only kinda sort of kidding about the strings...strings and pick material, thickness, flexibility, etc...make a huge difference on tone, attack, etc...and are often overlooked.

    I could go on and on!

    I'll add a couple more...first encounters with different types of pickups....especially p90's...who knew something that looks so awkward could sound so good?!?!

    Exploring different scale lengths and fretboard radiuses was a big one for me...
    Last edited by Dirty Bob; 09-18-2012 at 01:03 AM.
    -Bob

  17. #17
    OK, I just deleted a very long post about my old band history starting when I was a very small boy in the 1950s. It was completely boring and way off topic.

    Except to say I got started in music at 4, and there have been lots of musical experiences that really changed life for me. Say, did I ever tell you about the time...

  18. #18
    Senior Member Woundtight's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    408
    Early 90's- Mesa Boogie Mark IV- Swiss Army Amp

    Early 90's- The Fender Custom Shop and being able to get flatter radius necks (9.5) and 6105 Frets

    Late 90's- Taylor Guitars- fast feel and bright sound,-the 'PRS' of Acoustics

    Today- Kemper Profiling Amp- Modern Swiss Army Amp

    However,

    #1 game changer: Peterson Strobostomp- Playing is a joy when you are in tune!

    #2 game changer: Tablature, the internet

  19. #19
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Downers Grove Il.
    Posts
    6,655
    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    OK, I just deleted a very long post about my old band history starting when I was a very small boy in the 1950s. It was completely boring and way off topic.

    Except to say I got started in music at 4, and there have been lots of musical experiences that really changed life for me. Say, did I ever tell you about the time...
    I'm sorry I missed it.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post
    I'm sorry I missed it.
    There may have been mention of an accordion.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •