I love my PRSs. Sold a '64 ES335 that I never played and thought hey...this might be my chance to try one of those PRSs. I had heard about them and seen them in the magazines but I've always lived in small towns with, if any..only small music stores. No way they'd EVER have a PRS. The first time I heard of them was...
My buddy/co-worker had recently been in Vancouver and he was telling me about a trip to a guitar store. He saw these incredibly beautiful "Paul Reed Smith" electric guitars in a glass showcase. One was a "Dragon" model that had amazing inlays and woods. As he was standing there drooling, a store employee came up to him and asked him if he'd like to try one. George (an Indian guy..Canadian Indian not India Indian..with LONG curly black hair and like me, undoubtedly dressed like a misfit..this woulda been in maybe around '88????..we woulda been 24-ish around then..so it might have been earlier than '88???) replied to the salesman..."uhhh...No THANKS!! I can barely afford to LOOK at a 23 hundred dollar guitar..but MAN are those awesome..are they actually playable guitars?". Store guy says "...ummm you misread the hangtag. That says twenty-three THOUSAND dollars!!!!".
I have never been one to actually sample or test drive gear in stores that are full of 13 year old shredders that blow the doors off me with their eyes closed and ten busted fingers. I've been gigging for $ since I was 12 (for 36 years) and I'm still just a hack. It's kinda like when someone says..oh you speak Spanish? or ..oh you speak French? Say something!? I'm like...uhhhhhhhhhh...ummmmmmmmmmmm.....uhhuh uhhuh what do you want me to say? uhhuh uhhuh..? Just say ANYTHING.
So, I suck at playing and I would never really know WHAT TO play to test a guitar. And even when I do get new gear..a new guitar or a new amp or even just a pedal, I use it at home, I try it at rehearsal..and I can love it...but then when I use it at a gig...8/10 times, I'm like...WHAT?? Yeah I dont THINK so!! For some reason, the only way I can REALLY gauge a piece of gear is to gig with it.
Alright so...it's like...mmmm, 2005 or so and I'm thinking to myself, I should sell my ES335. It's worth a pile of dough and all it does is sit under my bed. I take it to the odd gig once in a while but I put it back on the stand after like 2 tunes. It was an awesome guitar but just wasnt really versatile enough for my band. I'd grab a bend on the G string somewhere and it was so sweet and sustainy that I'd nod-out on that note for like a half hour..and that's how long that beast would sustain for...hours!! BUT...I sure can't afford to have maybe around $7-$8K laying around. I should list it on eBay and see what it'll get. I could sell it and buy TWO PRS guitars and have some change left over. I knew I could get PRSs used on eBay for around a grand and I knew that at that price they were pretty liquid. I could buy two and whichever one I didnt like (or both) could be sold for at LEAST what I paid for it..all day.
Well it worked. I got almost $8K for the ES (before the crash..near the peak of guitar investment/speculation days) and I bought a '94 vCE24 for $900 and a 2003 McSoapy Standard for $1000. Of course at that time the US dollar was a lot stronger than the Canadian one so they did cost me substantially more than the USD sticker price..but I also got considerably more than $8K CAD for the ES so it works out I suppose.
The red CE24 arrived first. I had done lots of research but still didnt really know about the factory change and the small heel and the bolt-on and the Alder etc.
With it's WT 24 fret neck it was a perfect fit. This WT is VERY W and VERY T lol. It's actually SO thin and SO long that, like a fighter jet, it's pretty unstable. That and the fact that I'm such a caveman of a hack who possesses NO finesse who clearly cant play without pushing, pulling, twisting, squeezing, strangling that long spaghetti noodle CE neck, it couldnt be used to track rhythm guitar parts in the studio. That became quite evident after about the 3rd.."STOP...can't that thing stay in tune for like one minute??" from the engineer.
I had to use the McSoapy for all the rhythm tracks. The McSoapy that...arrived about a week after the CE. It had taken me a few weeks to finally find and actually WIN the two that I wanted..at the prices I wanted to pay. Evidently it took me a week or so longer to find the McSoapy.
Again, I didnt know about the heels and factories...or even the different switching, what "Standard" meant, or the neck carves.
The BLACK McSoapy is a heavy beast (one solid thick slab of hog) with a very beefy neck relative to the CE's. I was kind of disapointed that neither of my PRSs had that signature faux binding. Both were opaque but I could see the line that proved that the CE actually did have a maple top on it. When I swapped the bridge pup I looked at both cavities and saw that it had originally been a burst. That was crossed-out and Crimson Red (iirc) was written-in.
So I had 2 very different PRSs, neither of which had any visible figuring or that aesome faux binding. The McCarty Soapbar wasn't comfortable for me to play and I really, at that time, had no use for the soapbars. I liked it's bird inlays but thought I'd probably just sell it. I knew I'd have NO trouble getting the grand I paid for it back. Maybe I'd use that $ and some of the hunk of change from the sale of the ES to buy a "real" PRS. A CU24 with a WT neck and some flame on the top and that binding I loved so much.
Well here it is 2013. I still have both of those guitars. The CE was still my #1 gigger until my Wife bought me the Studio LAST Christmas (2011). It is now #1 and the CE is the back-up. The McCarty, a slide monster with it's nasty P90s.
I actually wish I played uglier guitars onstage..well not ugly but just not so sexy. Even though the Stood is the only one with the cool faux binding and some figuring, I almost feel "guilty" for playing guitars that have Paul's signature on the headstocks.
A few months ago I snagged a big BLACK hollow Gretsch with major sex appeal and was thinking mannnn...if I could play these instead of the PRSs...I mean these Gretsches are like costumes almost.
Well it was a little too flashy. Actually loved playing it and it sounded great...until I gigged with it. Nope...buh-bye.
Now I'm looking for a cheap SE cause I dont currently have a beater. My CE is kinda like a road-worn beater but it's still a PRS..and so is an SE. People wont know that it's a "budget" beater guitar. They'll only know that it's beautiful and says PRS on it so it's a Lawyer/Doctor guitar.
I still dress and look like a bum ..on and off stage. the only thing that doesnt match or fit my "brand", is that I play these super shiny and strikingly gorgeous guitars. Plus I'm a hack. I feel guilty playing my PRSs. My playing doesnt deserve PRS guitars.
Oh well. I guess people...and I will just have to get used to them. I've had worse troubles.
Sorry for the rant...only kind of this time though cause this thread was pretty ranty already.
What day is it? Sunday?..nope Monday.
Have a great Monday everyone!
And....how have you commemorated and remembered the hundreds of wives, thousands of mistresses and nation of offspring that you've produced in the the last 500+ years?
One day, I would like you to spend some time writing about what it was like to play one of the Stradavarious that were fresh out of production by Antonio.
Or, were you too busy those days working out the logistics of Da Vinci's inventions? Oh, I forgot....you WERE Da Vinci at that point in time, and you were personally responsible for the Rennaisance.
So is it true that "La Giocanda" was smiling because you cut a fart just after she sat down to model? Or was it that you were talking about your role in the Spanish Inquisition and she was merely being polite???
Classic, Les ... Classic. Always entertaining ...
PRS Private Stock #3568
PRS Swamp Ash Special
Mesa Mark V combo
Fishman Loudbox Artist