Of course I've seen PRS products in guitar stores, but I've never seriously considered PRS. Let's be honest, Fender and Gibson dominate the market among rock enthusiasts, and if you want something more oriented toward metal, then it's hard to beat the USA-made products from the Jackson custom shop.
I suspect a lot of people regard PRS as "pretty" guitars, more suited to hanging on a wall than actually playing. I know that was my attitude. And it certainly didn't help matters that the people at the stores I frequent seemed to have much that same attitude. One Guitar Center manager even went so far as to tell me, "PRS are nice guitars, but they're really one-trick ponies."
I had also seen some of the videos produced by PRS, and although they feature different guitars and different amps, they all seem to be playing a limited palette of music. I remember coming across a Youtube video a few years ago where a young guy was playing some metal and thrashing around a bit, and a whole bunch of PRS owners jumped in and absolutely savaged him in the comments section. They sneeringly explained that you "don't play that kind of stuff" with a PRS guitar because, well, these instruments aren't for that." Hmmm. The poor guy eventually got so pissed I think he traded his PRS for an Ibanez or something and the video was later taken down. At the time I just chalked it up to elitist snobbery, but it made me wonder why PRS guitars wouldn't be suitable for all styles. After all, you see musicians of every possible vibe playing Fenders and Gibsons, so why not PRS? To be honest, I didn't think too much on it and just continued to ignore PRS.
Then a while back I came across Rob Chapman (the Monkey Lord from the UK) of Youtube fame. For the first time I saw someone talking about how great PRS is and how good they are for ALL styles.
So a few days ago I was in a guitar shop looking for a Les Paul and I happened to walk past a bunch of PRS guitars hanging in the premium area, so I decided to try one. They didn't have an SC245, which is what I had seen the Chappers play in his videos, but they did have an assortment of SC58's. Holy cow! As soon as I got my hands on that 58 I knew everything I thought I knew about PRS was wrong. Incredible quality and amazing sustain that just blew the Les Paul standards I had been playing right out of the water. Even better, I got to hear a 2 Channel H and, somewhat later, an MDT, and was blown away by the tone.
I am happy to report I promptly plunked down my cash and walked out of there with that artist top SC58. This thing rips down walls!
None of this should come as a surprise to existing PRS owners, but for anyone reading this who still thinks Paul Reed Smith guitars aren't actually meant to be played or aren't for "real" rock, metal, or whatever, then let me tell you you're wrong. These are killer guitars that are equivalent to playing the best the other custom shops have to offer. The SC58's I played sounded better than a 10k Les Paul, and I like the sound of a Les Paul.
So do yourself a favor and check out a PRS guitar if you don't already have one. Don't let the PRS "image" fool you, if you need an amp for anything from classic vintage to thundering metal, they've got an amp that will do it. Don't take my word for it, check out some of these videos from the Chappers.
PRS SC245 Guitar Demo With Rob Chapman
PRS Custom 24 Demo (Dirty) - With Rob Chapman
Simon has a lesson with the Monkey Lord - WARNING PRS SC245 content
Anderson Hollow T classic, PRS SC245 & Vigier Bumblefoot with Rob Chapman