I was over at my buddies house a few nights back. We were fondling some of his vintage guitars and he was telling me about some of the deals he got "back in the day". He was telling me how some of the prices he paid weren't such a deal at the time. Looking back, however, he practically stole them!
It got me wondering about my "Best Deal Ever" on a PRS - and whether it not it was a good deal by today's standards or just the long run. I looked at my photo albums and came up with a few that stand out. Not because they are worth much more than I paid but because they are an incredible bang for the buck.
At around $450 new, the Korina SE One has got to be one of the best deals out there - for any brand. When you consider the Les Paul Junior sold for $99 in 1958 (that's $776 in todays dollars, accounting for inflation) the SE One is a smoking deal - even if you spend another $120 for a custom P90 and high-quality volume pot.
But the real focus of this thread is used PRS deals. Seems like eBay is a veritable candy shop for those who have the cash. Back in 2006 there were usually around 250 hits for the search words "Paul Reed Smith". These days you will see about 1900. While there will always be guys (like Dick Green) who will buy a new PRS guitar and then post it on eBay for several grand more than he paid, there are many more people who are selling used PRS guitars for prices that are just too hard to pass up.
Then there are the Craigslist deals. I scored a Private Stock Standard 24 for $3100 not so long ago!
But my current Best Deal Ever is a Silver Sparkle Starla. I love this guitar. The shape, the 24.5" scale, and the pimped-out paint job make this all-mahogany rock machine a notable departure from the PRS baseline - and certainly a stand-out amongst the Earth-tone, maple top, double-cuts I usually buy. It comes stock from the factory with the Hans Mod (forearm edge not sharp) and the Markie Mod (volume pot moved back). The pickup system is exclusive to this model and is easily discernable from the current offerings (57/08, 59/09, 53/10, etc). It sounds fantastic in full bucker or split mode. It pairs well with clear or crunchy amps. It has a nice thick neck but remains very well balanced. The Bigsby works stays in tune and gives the thinner body a nice heft. It has birds. And... I got it used for a grand!
Best deal ever? Well... it's a little too subjective to say that emphatically. But I like it just as much as my most expensive guitars. I can't imagine that I'll ever sell it. And, it will never be worth less than what I paid for it (if I find myself in a pinch). So its low cost of entry tips the scales.
So how about it? What's your best deal ever? Why?