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Thread: Tone, Urban Legends, and PRS

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    Tone, Urban Legends, and PRS

    Ever since there have been internet discussion boards, we've all seen some variation of this meme:

    "PRS guitars can come close to a lot of sounds but don't have a sound of their own."

    My blood boils when I come across it. First of all, it's not true. Second, I'm really into audio, and sound. I make my living as a composer working with different instruments and timbres. For me, the idea that I would buy a guitar because it's shiny and pretty, or even because it feels good, is preposterous. I'd no more do that than buy a microphone or studio monitor for looks instead of sound! Hint: I would not buy a mic or monitor for looks, ok?

    Though I only go back to 1991 with PRS guitars, from the beginning I've observed that they share an openness and clarity that makes the business of sculpting one's personal sounds easier. The controls and electronics have always made that a simple matter. They share the ability to do lots of things, and to be what I need personally for a given song or session.

    I suppose if all one does is crank the guitar to the max, and the amp's gain to the max, and use pedals on top of that, maybe it's harder to hear what a guitar does. That's the only thing besides deafness that I can imagine a player referencing when he or she repeats what I think is the above Urban Legend.

    I appreciate the unique tones of a Strat, or a Lester, or a Tele. Certainly. They're older designs, we've heard them on countless recordings dating back to when Paul Smith wasn't yet born (though I was!), but they're limited in this sense: they are ponies with fewer tricks.

    That can be a good thing, or that can be a not-so-good thing, depending on what you like. I'm never going to argue that PRS guitars are the only, best guitars for everyone, blah blah blah. That's up to the individual's needs. For me, they work, they're great instruments and inspirational tools. I've gotten to the point where PRS are what I work with, period. They're just that good.

    And yes, they have a lot of sounds. Really good ones. They're also getting better every year.

    But enough of my slight rant. What are your thoughts?
    Last edited by LSchefman; 02-05-2013 at 01:47 PM.

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