View Poll Results: Old vs New

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Thread: PRS Custom 22/24 Old vs New

  1. #1
    408 Birds in the Sky megaboogie's Avatar
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    PRS Custom 22/24 Old vs New

    What are your opinions on the Custom 22/24 old models(late 90's-early 2000) vs the current models that are being made?

    I've always loved my '03 Custom 22 with Dragon II's. I was so content with mine that I never even bothered to try the newer version whenever I came across one(didn't like the new blade switch either...).
    I've been pondering about adding another CU22, as my '03 is quite old and beatup from playing it alot... and I wondered if I should try to get a used one similar to mine with Dragon II's or a new version.
    Who has owned/own both and what are your opinions?

  2. #2
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    I picked old because I prefer McCarty style switching to the new blade switch.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Sage's Avatar
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    I also picked old. I prefer the 5-way rotary to the blade. While it has its drawbacks, the rotary switch is less likely to be bumped while playing. It also looks better. And I prefer the switching combinations on the rotary to those on the blade.

  4. #4
    My name be scrambled ElrytNamrogo's Avatar
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    I own a 2008 Custom 22 with Dragon II's and a 2012 Custom 24 with 57/08's. I like both in their own respects. The Custom 22 is a little heavier in weight than my Custom 24, probably has something to do with the V12 finish compared to the older finish. However, my Custom 22 is much more resonate, both acoustically and electrically (which I heard could be because of age). In terms of pickups, it gets a little more difficult to compare because of the blade switch setup. I prefer the switching on my Custom 22, which is the Mcarty setup. This allows the pickups preform independently without being combined, in respect to the single-coil tones. If you're looking for single-coil tones out of the blade switch, it's a sort of combination between the two pickups. I believe one setting is full neck humbucker with a single-coil bridge and the other setting I believe is both pickups are single-coil in parallel (I could be wrong about these specifics.) In terms of overall tone, I prefer the 57/08's to the Dragon II's, which is purely personal preference. I find my Dragon II's a little more aggressive than the 57/08's when driven and kind of "tingy" when played clean...just a little too much high end. The 57/08's just sound more rounded out to me. In terms of switching, I prefer the McCarty setup. The bladeswitch, in my opinion, isn't in the most choice of places. I have a real hard time with quick-switching of my pickups mid-song because the trem arm hangs right in front of the switch. All in all, I pretty much need both of of my guitars for their own respective purposes. Sometimes, depending on the song, I need that agressive tone from the Dragon II's and REALLY need the switching style of the McCarty. However, my Custom 24 can tonally handle just about anything I play....whether it's rock, country, blues, or metal. If you have the opportunity, try out a later model in a shop, hopefully you can find one locally. My local GC kinda sucks in the PRS department, so I took a bit of a trusting leap when I ordered mine (not that I ever had any doubts). Anyway, that's my two cents....hope it helps.
    --Tyler G--
    2012 PRS Custom 24
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    2008 PRS Custom 22 - Santana Yellow - Rosewood Neck - 10-top
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  5. #5
    408 Birds in the Sky megaboogie's Avatar
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    I see you guys prefer the older switching styles. I personally prefer mccarty switching type as well which is on my CU22. After playing my 408's with a blade switching for a while, I am getting more comfortable with it although I still kinda wish it was done like sig. Limited.

    ElrytNamrogo, that was a very helpful comparison, thank you.
    That pretty much sums it up for my thoughts as well. I heard 57/08 is one of the best PAF pickups ever made but I wondered if the tone was not as aggressive as Dragon II which is one of the reasons I love about my old CU22.
    Last edited by megaboogie; 10-02-2013 at 03:48 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Sage's Avatar
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    Come to think of it, I also prefer the HFS/VB and Dragon II pickups to the newer PAF reproductions. The 57/08 was a huge step up in the Hollowbody II, but in the Custom 24 it just sounds flat to me.
    I also prefer the sealed Phase II tuners to the open-backed Phase III tuners.
    And I prefer the speed knobs to the lampshades.
    So, a few more points for the old versions.

    That said, I love the new squabbins and the new pickup rings. Very lovely cosmetic touch.

    I can't comment on the new neck shapes because I haven't really compared them to the old ones. I loved the old wide-thin neck carve, though.

  7. #7
    I bought my first CU24 in 1991. I also had a 1993 Artist II, which was the precursor to the CU22, and quite a few CU22 models throughout the 00s. All were very nice, but none were what they are now. So I voted "new."

    First of all, I like the thinner V12 finish (both for look and feel, and while I'm unsure finish affects the tone, I think the newer ones sound better), plus I think that all the other little tweaks to the guitars have resulted in significant improvements to the tone. From the nut, to the sustain, to the liveliness, to the materials, to the tone controls, to the switching, the guitars are simply better sounding (to me, usual disclaimers apply).

    Just playing the guitars clean shows a big improvement and in my experience, better ability to hear the guitars' woody resonances. I have recorded my PRSes from Day One with them in my ad work, so I am very, very familiar with recorded tones, and I often take a direct feed from the guitar to re-amp later.

    I used to have the urge to swap out pickups before the 57/xx series came in. That has changed, and in my opinion, much to the better. But you can still buy new ones with the older style pickups.

    I am one who agrees that the rotary looks nice, but it's an ergonomic nightmare, and I never thought it was a useful solution. The toggle was better, with a pull-up, but even that is a bit fussy, and not as fast and sure as the blade switch.

    Neck carves to me are six of one, half dozen of the other. Took me ten seconds to get acclimated to the new carves.

    As to the tuning machines, I find the new ones are very accurate and stable. My #1 is a 2011 Artist V, which is a fancy CU22 for all intents and purposes. And it's the single best sounding guitar I have ever played. I doubt the tuning machines affect tone, but the new ones are kind of pretty.

    I get peoples' attachment to older ones, and that they like what they're used to, but there is simply no tone comparison between, say, my 2006 CU22, or my 2003 CU22 Artist, or even my '93 Artist II, and what they're making today. The new ones are terrific guitars. And in general, I prefer them to the old ones. That said, you can find a killer older one, and probably find a new one that isn't as good, but I'm saying on average, I prefer the new ones.

    BUT -- the bottom line is what you, the prospective owner, dig. And that's going to vary from person to person and can't be argued with. One can only express a personal opinion.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 10-02-2013 at 07:35 PM.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

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  8. #8
    408 Birds in the Sky megaboogie's Avatar
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    I really like the V12 and the paterrn neck too. It's not something as right at home as nitro and WF, but the V12 does feel great(even smells nice) and the pattern neck feels really good in my hand. I'm not sure how the uncovered tuners affect the tone and so on, but it does feel better when bending on my 408's, but it might be because my 408's are too new.
    You are GASing me for an Artist V...

  9. #9
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    I have an old one and love it. Haven't seen a new one in person. So, I picked old, even though I might like the blade better.
    The Bovine Fury <-- stream and download our album "Eleven by Twelve" for free.
    05 Custom 22 with DGT pickups ~ 07 Mira with old birds ~ 08 SE Baritone Fralin/Suhr pickups ~ 03 SE Santana

  10. #10
    Occasionally Onery Member CantankerousCarl's Avatar
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    I am probably not using the words correctly, especially in musical terms...but I feel the newer PRS that I have played/owned have more complexity/depth to their sound, but the older ones have a certain presence that, if I have to pick a side, I prefer.

    The rotary is a PITA ergonomically - since I don't use the trem, I don't have an issue with the position of the switch w.r.t. the trem arm. However, the switching combinations on the newer 5-way blade leave me flat - they don't have enough single coil in them for me. My only experience with newer CU24s has been with the 59/09s, don't like them as well as the 408s, and the other PRS with the 57/08s I played (MC58, Stripped 58).

    Overall, I do think that there are enough differences over the years, and especially recently, that it's really hard to pin this down to just old v new...there is alot of ground in the middle
    1990, 91, 92 & 97 CE24s | 1991 CU24 | 2003 & 04 SE EG SSS | 2008 SE Semi-Hollow Soapbar
    2011 CU24 GC Throwback | 2012 Signature Limited | 2013 408 Brazilian | 2013 Paul's Guitar
    2013 Hollowbody II | 2013 CU24 Swamp Ash Limited | 2013 XPRS 408 Semi-Hollow
    2013 S2 Mira | 2013 CU24 | 2014 CU24 Semi-Hollow

  11. #11
    Are 2 heads better than 1 Tim's Avatar
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    I would go new. I am not a rotary switch guy, and prefer the modern pups.

  12. #12
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    I realize that many dislike the rotary as well as the HFS/VB combo, especially compared to the newer choices, but my '06 Cu24 AP that's set up as such plays and sounds incredible in every way. Wouldn't change a thing or ever think of trading it.

    In the end though, it's all about the particular guitar; the sum of all the parts. When you get the one that you somehow connect with, then you've found your ideal guitar (yeah, I know it sounds simplistic, but it's so true).

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by AaeCee View Post
    In the end though, it's all about the particular guitar; the sum of all the parts. When you get the one that you somehow connect with, then you've found your ideal guitar (yeah, I know it sounds simplistic, but it's so true).
    You are so right!
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  14. #14
    Senior Member Brad737's Avatar
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    Ok gang, I'll add my proverbial 2 cents into the pot.

    I've been telling anyone who will listen for the past few years that I prefer McCarty switching, and the 57/08, 59/09(bridge), and 53/10 (neck) are the bee's knees. I honestly think the Modern Eagle series is the very best expression of the PRS guitar.

    BUT, since this question is about the Customs, I chose the early models. There are a few reasons. First of all, I really like the Regular neck carve. It's no Wide-Fat (my favorite), but it's super comfortable. I can't remember the last new Custom I saw without Wide-Thin. Maybe they still make 'em. I don't know. I also love the Sweet switch. It's fast, sounds great. MannMade trem anyone? Lastly, the original T&B pickups ROCK! I still have a few original sets in storage, just in case. They're honestly not my favorite pickups, but they are my most distinctive.

    By comparison, I really do appreciate the improvements PRS has made across the board. But I think they've tweaked the Custom too much. I don't like the 2-piece trem. I'm not a fan of 5-position blades. (3 are fine...I tend to overshoot). Also, for the most part, Brazilian rosewood fretboards are still hard to get on a guitar. And by Paul's admission, they're using stump wood. The premium stuff is long gone. And I'll admit, I miss the plain, old MOP Birds.

    I'll admit, a lot of PRS' newer models rock...ME, DGT, 245s, etc. But for the Custom? Go back to the original formula.
    Model citizen...Zero discipline

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  15. #15
    Bobble Head Moderator JMintzer's Avatar
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    I prefer the newer pups to the older Dragons. Plus, I also prefer the toggle switch, and the slightly thicker body. Hence, most of my PRSi are now McCarty based...


    Jamie
    ---Jamie---

    My Gear

  16. #16
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    New 2007 custom 22 with dragon 2's

    Hey dude you can get brand new 2007 brazillian rosewood custom 22/24's @ www.davesguitar.com. PRS just releases and sold them to these guys and they are all artist models for $3150....enjoy


    Quote Originally Posted by megaboogie View Post
    What are your opinions on the Custom 22/24 old models(late 90's-early 2000) vs the current models that are being made?

    I've always loved my '03 Custom 22 with Dragon II's. I was so content with mine that I never even bothered to try the newer version whenever I came across one(didn't like the new blade switch either...).
    I've been pondering about adding another CU22, as my '03 is quite old and beatup from playing it alot... and I wondered if I should try to get a used one similar to mine with Dragon II's or a new version.
    Who has owned/own both and what are your opinions?

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