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Thread: Does "Better production years" exist? And CNC or Duplicarvers?

  1. #1

    Does "Better production years" exist? And CNC or Duplicarvers?

    Hello.

    I've read in some forums that CU24 PRS of 2008-2009-2010 are not so good as 2011 or past PRS. It can be true?
    I've also read that production until 95 is better. But, after 91, fongerboards are no more brazilian. And, ok those are pre CNC years, but from 91 to 95 PRS aren't handmade, but they are made in a factory using Duplicarves, isn'it? But I think that CNC is better than Duplicarver, or I go wrong? Maybe woods used from 91 to 95 are better?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Angry Southern Gentleman Hopeful Sinner's Avatar
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    I've heard several folks say the 1996 Custom 22 models have a special kinda vibe. When I saw one show up on Craigslist I had to at least meet up with the guy and check it out. Lo and behold it had mucho mojo so I went home with a guitar. One of the best neck carves of any guitar I've ever touched... The DGT carve is the closest I have to a match but it's still not quite the same...

  3. #3
    Bobble Head Moderator JMintzer's Avatar
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    A good guitar is a good guitar, regardless of the year it was made...



    Jamie
    ---Jamie---

    My Gear

  4. #4
    I was severely impressed Herr Squid's Avatar
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    Don't buy into the folklore about factories and duplicarvers and Brazilian and heels! The people who bring that up are trying to convince somebody (maybe themselves) that the guitar is worth more money.

    PRS have always been great guitars, but build quality has gotten better and better since my oldest, which is a 1989.

    The pickups have changed over the years. They've changed from being hot and gainy for 70's - 80's amps to a more vintage output level and tone.

    If it looks good, feels good, and sounds good, it's good, regardless of when it was made!

  5. #5
    Member LindseyP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMintzer View Post
    A good guitar is a good guitar, regardless of the year it was made.
    Jamie
    ^This...^
    Quote Originally Posted by Herr Squid
    Don't buy into the folklore about factories and duplicarvers and Brazilian and heels! The people who bring that up are trying to convince somebody (maybe themselves) that the guitar is worth more money.
    and ^this^
    I love 24 frets: 4 X CU24s, 2 X Carvin DC127s, 1 X Schechter Omen 6
    http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v410/lindseyp/Axes/

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Herr Squid View Post
    Don't buy into the folklore about factories and duplicarvers and Brazilian and heels! The people who bring that up are trying to convince somebody (maybe themselves) that the guitar is worth more money.

    PRS have always been great guitars, but build quality has gotten better and better since my oldest, which is a 1989.

    The pickups have changed over the years. They've changed from being hot and gainy for 70's - 80's amps to a more vintage output level and tone.

    If it looks good, feels good, and sounds good, it's good, regardless of when it was made!
    Quote Originally Posted by JMintzer View Post
    A good guitar is a good guitar, regardless of the year it was made...



    Jamie

    Thanks a lot!

  7. #7
    A duplicarver is simply an analog CNC machine that traces a pattern model while it's carving, instead of a digital program.

    The drawback is that the duplicarver becomes less accurate as the pattern model wears over time, and in any event, the machine used to carve a guitar is obviously irrelevant to how it sounds. It only affects how "in spec" the shaping of the wood is.

    There is so much BS out there that it's silly.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Sage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntonioCalvosa View Post
    I've read in some forums that CU24 PRS of 2008-2009-2010 are not so good as 2011 or past PRS. It can be true?
    Okay, I think I know where you heard this. Until 2007, PRS used solid mother-of-pearl bird inlays on their fretboards. Mother-of-pearl is becoming more difficult to find because it is used for guitars and jewelry and things like that. So in 2008, PRS changed the design of the birds to just an outline of the bird shape, in order to use less of the material. I believe they changed the inlays again in 2009, and in 2010 for the 25th Anniversary models they used some synthetic materials that most folks don't think look as good. This is probably why you hear people say "past PRS" are better than the 2008-2009-2010 models. But these are only cosmetic details and they do not make a difference in the sound of the guitar.

    Also, in 2011 the CU24 was redesigned. The 5-way rotary switch was changed to a 5-way blade switch, similar to the switch on a Stratocaster. The guitar also got new pickups that are more vintage-sounding, and the neck shapes were altered slightly. Many people think these design changes are improvements, which is why they say the 2008-2009-2010 models are not as good as 2011 and later.

    However, I will tell you that I own a 2008 Cu24 and it is my favorite guitar I've ever owned. I like the outlined bird inlays and the old rotary switch and the original wide-thin neck shape.

    If you find a guitar that you like, then these things really don't matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by AntonioCalvosa View Post
    I've also read that production until 95 is better. But, after 91, fongerboards are no more brazilian. And, ok those are pre CNC years, but from 91 to 95 PRS aren't handmade, but they are made in a factory using Duplicarves, isn'it? But I think that CNC is better than Duplicarver, or I go wrong?
    I think PRS used duplicarvers until 95, when they switched to CNC. A duplicarver is a big device with a cutting tool and a guide set side-by-side. As a person pushes the device around, the guide runs over a mold of the guitar body while the cutting tool cuts a new guitar body from a block of wood right next to the mold.

    A CNC machine is computer-controlled. It holds a 3d model of the guitar body in its memory, and is programmed to cut the guitar body shape to match that.

    Both methods make a copy of an existing design. I think the CNC is better because it is a little more precise. However, some people say that the duplicarver is closer to building a "handmade" guitar because a person is operating it instead of a computer, and that's why they say "production until 95 is better." However, the people who say that are usually smaller guitar builders who are trying to sell you on the idea that their "handmade" guitar is better than a PRS.

    Again, I have a 2008 Cu24 and I think it's better than those older guitars.

    Quote Originally Posted by AntonioCalvosa View Post
    Maybe woods used from 91 to 95 are better?
    The PRS website has a video tour of their factory here: http://www.prsguitars.com/detail/
    If you click on "Wood Shop - Neck Team" you can watch a video on how PRS selects and prepares the wood before it is made into a guitar. I highly recommend you watch this to see how much work goes into selecting, drying, and preparing the wood in a PRS guitar. No other guitar maker is as methodical as PRS when it comes to this, and I believe it is what sets PRS apart from everyone else.

    I believe that the wood PRS is using today is better than the wood they were using in 91 to 95 because of this process. But as others have said here, a good guitar is a good guitar, regardless of what year it was made.

  9. #9
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    There are also the secret "Artist tweaks" which have been incorporated into later models (no idea since when), plus revisions such as V12 finish (2010 onwards) and Phase III tuners (2011? onwards)

  10. #10
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
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    It seems like whenever PRS come out with something new, there's the attitude that it's the best thing they've made. It's a great thing that they're focused on continuous improvement. But I feel like they slight the previous models a bit.

    I think the older ones are just different, not necessarily better or worse. I'll echo that a good guitar is a good guitar, regardless of how it's made. I don't think PRS have ever had a bad year.

    And I'll say it: Brazilian Rosewood is overrated.
    --Garrett--

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by garrett View Post
    It seems like whenever PRS come out with something new, there's the attitude that it's the best thing they've made. It's a great thing that they're focused on continuous improvement. But I feel like they slight the previous models a bit.

    I think the older ones are just different, not necessarily better or worse. I'll echo that a good guitar is a good guitar, regardless of how it's made. I don't think PRS have ever had a bad year.
    I think if PRS is making improvements, and feel they've made the guitars better, there's nothing wrong with saying so. It'd be bad marketing not to mention what you're doing to improve the product.

    But you're right, a good guitar is a great thing, and it doesn't matter when it was made. There are some fantastic older models, and of course, it's hard to beat wood that's aged!

    Quote Originally Posted by garrett View Post
    And I'll say it: Brazilian Rosewood is overrated.
    Rating and hype aside, it's a beautiful sounding tonewood. As is IRW. I can see having a preference for one over the other.

    It's a shame that it's not widely available, because that leads to very high prices.

  12. #12
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    I think if PRS is making improvements, and feel they've made the guitars better, there's nothing wrong with saying so. It'd be bad marketing not to mention what you're doing to improve the product.

    But you're right, a good guitar is a great thing, and it doesn't matter when it was made. There are some fantastic older models, and of course, it's hard to beat wood that's aged!
    Absolutely. What other guitar company can confidently (and rightfully) claim they are advancing and improving the design and quality of their instruments? I'm guessing no one.

    I think a good metaphor is classic sports cars. Sure, a new Corvette is more advanced than an old one, but the old one is still pretty darn cool and has its own appeal.
    --Garrett--

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by garrett View Post
    I think a good metaphor is classic sports cars. Sure, a new Corvette is more advanced than an old one, but the old one is still pretty darn cool and has its own appeal.
    You bet. I had some of the older models, back when they were new. Lots of fun, though a little backache-inducing.

    Still, they went like stink around a racetrack, and if you braced your left leg just the right way, and you were strapped in tightly, you could slide through a turn without much panic with the tail hung 'way out there just clipping the grass at the edge of the track.

    I think I'd rather drive a new one on a daily basis, though.

  14. #14
    I don't think there are specific years that are necessarily better but I will admit to liking the features on the early CU24s the best. My favorite PRS is a 92 CU24 with HFS/VB and a sweet switch. I've been playing that and 3 other older ones for years and love them. That being said, I'd take a new one in a heartbeat.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Sage View Post
    The PRS website has a video tour of their factory here: http://www.prsguitars.com/detail/
    If you click on "Wood Shop - Neck Team" you can watch a video on how PRS selects and prepares the wood before it is made into a guitar. I highly recommend you watch this to see how much work goes into selecting, drying, and preparing the wood in a PRS guitar. No other guitar maker is as methodical as PRS when it comes to this, and I believe it is what sets PRS apart from everyone else.
    This video is very intersting!

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