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Thread: In need of some guidance for a first Private Stock experience

  1. #1
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    Question In need of some guidance for a first Private Stock experience

    Hi guys!

    Lately I have been giving some thought to the possibility of letting go of one of my beloved guitars in order to fund a custom ordered PRS.
    I am a Fender CS guy but I have been craving a nice semi-hollow for years, and I really feel the need at this point to not just have single-coil guitars anymore, and get something a little smoother/jazzier sounding.
    I have tremendous respect and admiration for Paul and his guitars, love the aesthetics too, and actually a CE24 was my first high end guitar 10 years ago so this would make it a nice circle.

    Now, the thing is, I know Fender Custom Shop options and pricings in and out, it's another story when it comes to PRS Private Stock.
    So the whole thing is a little scary, especially since I would be letting go of a Strat I LOVE (won't go into details but it's very rare, and very valuable) but don't really feel like it's on par with the ones I purchased more recently. I am basically keeping that guitar because it's "that" guitar and not because I play it a lot, but still... I can't afford a mistake here.

    I live in Europe and would do this through a well known PRS dealer in the US I have dealth with a few times in the past.
    Visiting the factory isn't really an option here so how does it work as far as selecting the woods? Not that I am super picky, I am sure I could get a guitar that looks just like I want by simply describing what I am looking for. Pictures aren't really needed, but it's my understanding that they are part of the whole Private Stock custom order thing and one of the reasons for the premium you pay.

    Also, how can I know about the prices for each option? For example a red coral inlay can't be the same price as a white gold one, how much does purfling cost, how much does an Indian Rosewood neck cost as opposed to a Sinker or Figured Mahogany one, etc...?
    I mean I obviously can't waste everybody's time by sending 10 slightly different quotes in, so how can I know in advance what to shoot for if my spending limit is let's say $8.5k?
    Very curious about how all of this works, considering the tremendous amount of options and possibilities within each option paremeter.

    Thanks guys!

    David

  2. #2
    Name Manglin' Putz alantig's Avatar
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    You need to talk to Tim, jfb and Markie.

    And ask juststeve about his daily consulting rate...
    Alan

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    Just a member JustRob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alantig View Post
    You need to talk to Tim, jfb and Markie.

    And ask juststeve about his daily consulting rate...
    Those 1st three can definitely help. JustSteve can't go again until I get to go.

    I'd suggest spending some time on the Private Stock Friday thread and looking on some dealer web pages to get what you want, and what it will roughly cost. After that your dealer should be able to guide you. At least I hope, I'm still researching. Happy hunting!

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    Thanks, definitely a mind-blowing thread, going through it one page after another.

    I actually have a pretty good idea of what I am looking for, I have it all written down in a text file and I think 85% of the options are there.
    But if there is say a $500 price difference between an option and another, it's always nice to know this kind of stuff in advance, in order to find the right balance between what you had in mind and what you are going to spend in the end.

    I also would like to make sure I pick the right wood for the neck which is the tricky part for me. So many options...

  5. #5
    Gosh, David, I went through my first private stock experience last year, and was a little nervous. But I have to say that it wasn't difficult, and everything turned out great. I actually feel that I got great value.

    My dealer was a great help in getting everything in order.

    We aren't supposed to discuss pricing on the Forum, but every one of these is different, so you should really discuss ballpark pricing with your dealer.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
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  6. #6
    Junior Member ViperDoc's Avatar
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    Your Private Stock build sheet will go through several iterations and changes before you land on the final spec sheet. Your dealer can specify exactly what each option costs and you can customize to your heart's content. I went from owning two SEs to my first Private Stock last month and I could not possibly be happier with my PS. It is a dream. Have fun with that!
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidG View Post
    Thanks, definitely a mind-blowing thread, going through it one page after another.

    I actually have a pretty good idea of what I am looking for, I have it all written down in a text file and I think 85% of the options are there.
    But if there is say a $500 price difference between an option and another, it's always nice to know this kind of stuff in advance, in order to find the right balance between what you had in mind and what you are going to spend in the end.
    The biggest thing is being serious about getting one upfront. Discuss your questions and concerns with your dealer. You maybe able to eliminate some options upfront. I think was talking about getting one for one or two years before I settled on my specs. Of course, I wound buying two or three guitars in the process of exploring my options which may be why Brian talked to me for so long.

    Also, look around at places that list PS prices on the internet and get an idea what an 8.5k PS looks like. You'll notice that a lot of them don't have much more than traditional inlay work with some common inlay materials, but nice tops. That's what I did.
    Last edited by Dancing Frog; 02-04-2014 at 09:26 PM.

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    Sure, I was hoping for some kind of quote guide but I guess if there was one out there it would be downloadable via the PS area of the website.

    I am going to send the main specs to my dealer and see what we can come up with. Thanks!

    In the meantime, please feel free to chime in on the subject of neck and fretboard woods for a maple/mahogany semi-hollow with 53/10 pickups. I must admit I am completely lost considering the tremendous amount of possibilities, even within a single species.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidG View Post
    In the meantime, please feel free to chime in on the subject of neck and fretboard woods for a maple/mahogany semi-hollow with 53/10 pickups. I must admit I am completely lost considering the tremendous amount of possibilities, even within a single species.
    The traditional choice would be a rosewood fretboard with a mahogany neck for a hollowbody. That would deliver warm midrange tones with harmonic bloom when coupled with a maple/mahogany body. Because it will be delivered to Europe, Brazilian rosewood is out due to CITES from what I understand, but other rosewoods are available as possibilities.

    Other things to think about are what kind of neck carve to you want? Do have a favorite neck? If you do, use that carve. This choice is all about comfort. Also, what do you want your neck finished with, if at all? For maple and mahogany, I'd recommend satin nitro. Very comfy. That was one of things that I think was a big success on mine.
    Last edited by Dancing Frog; 02-04-2014 at 09:25 PM.

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    Thanks, I was mainly considering mahogany or Honduran rosewood for the neck, with IR fretboard. The main issue for me is the variations in terms of tone between woods from a same species. Looks are important and some types of mahogany and rosewood are nicer than others, but tone definitely comes first.

    As far as neck carve, my favorite is a Strat-style medium/fat C, so I asked about it to my dealer because I don't really know which PRS carve would be the closest to the shape.

    Definitely going for a satin finish (or no finish if I end up asking for a rosewood neck), I can't stand glossy finishes on necks. When I saw the satin finish on the latest Collection model I was sold.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidG View Post
    As far as neck carve, my favorite is a Strat-style medium/fat C, so I asked about it to my dealer because I don't really know which PRS carve would be the closest to the shape.
    You can spec that shape if that's what you want. It is your guitar.

  12. #12
    Senior Member jfb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidG View Post
    Hi guys!

    Lately I have been giving some thought to the possibility of letting go of one of my beloved guitars in order to fund a custom ordered PRS.
    I am a Fender CS guy but I have been craving a nice semi-hollow for years, and I really feel the need at this point to not just have single-coil guitars anymore, and get something a little smoother/jazzier sounding.
    I have tremendous respect and admiration for Paul and his guitars, love the aesthetics too, and actually a CE24 was my first high end guitar 10 years ago so this would make it a nice circle.

    Now, the thing is, I know Fender Custom Shop options and pricings in and out, it's another story when it comes to PRS Private Stock.
    So the whole thing is a little scary, especially since I would be letting go of a Strat I LOVE (won't go into details but it's very rare, and very valuable) but don't really feel like it's on par with the ones I purchased more recently. I am basically keeping that guitar because it's "that" guitar and not because I play it a lot, but still... I can't afford a mistake here.

    I live in Europe and would do this through a well known PRS dealer in the US I have dealth with a few times in the past.
    Visiting the factory isn't really an option here so how does it work as far as selecting the woods? Not that I am super picky, I am sure I could get a guitar that looks just like I want by simply describing what I am looking for. Pictures aren't really needed, but it's my understanding that they are part of the whole Private Stock custom order thing and one of the reasons for the premium you pay.

    Also, how can I know about the prices for each option? For example a red coral inlay can't be the same price as a white gold one, how much does purfling cost, how much does an Indian Rosewood neck cost as opposed to a Sinker or Figured Mahogany one, etc...?
    I mean I obviously can't waste everybody's time by sending 10 slightly different quotes in, so how can I know in advance what to shoot for if my spending limit is let's say $8.5k?
    Very curious about how all of this works, considering the tremendous amount of options and possibilities within each option paremeter.

    Thanks guys!

    David
    You are certainly asking all the right questions. There simply isn't a price list. My suggestion would be to find a dealer that speaks to you and let them know the base for your build and your budget. Then mention the items you could flip flop on depending on what they cost such as purfling, binding, Indian Rosewood neck versus Sinker Hog, and so forth. The dealer, if PS friendly and plenty of them here are, will be able to point you in the right direction.

    Good luck in your path to PS.
    Plank Owner

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by ViperDoc View Post
    Your Private Stock build sheet will go through several iterations and changes before you land on the final spec sheet. !
    On the other hand, it might not - I didn't change anything, knew what I wanted, and that was that. One build sheet if I recall correctly.
    If something is too hard to do, then it's not worth doing. You just stick that guitar in the closet next to your short-wave radio, your karate outfit and your unicycle and we'll go inside and watch TV.
    -- Homer J. Simpson

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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    On the other hand, it might not - I didn't change anything, knew what I wanted, and that was that. One build sheet if I recall correctly.
    Same with me, one build sheet. However, I spent a lot of time talking to my dealer first. Most of the questions were tone related. Given that he's played and sold more types of guitars than I ever will play including Private Stocks, it made sense to take advantage of that experience.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by LSchefman View Post
    On the other hand, it might not - I didn't change anything, knew what I wanted, and that was that. One build sheet if I recall correctly.
    Haha chances are it won't be that easy for me unfortunately. Although the rough draft is done and I already know what I am going for as far as the general idea, still a lot of stuff to figure out with the help of the dealer. The sheer amount of options available is mind-blowing and quite a few combinations would look great.

    The dealer and I have started exchanging e-mails though so it's a good start. Like Dancing Frog just said, their experience with PRS's is far superior to mine, they are a Collection dealer, so definitely taking advantage, especially when it comes to tone.

    I will keep you guys posted and really appreciate the help and support!

  16. #16
    Senior Member Brad737's Avatar
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    I know when I plotted my Private Stock, I must have asked Brent Moss about 1000 questions. As for wood, I'm a sucker for Brazilian rosewood. It's not because of the CITES-based exclusivity. Tonally, I'm not sure anyone can tell the difference between the different rosewoods. But for me, there's a palpable difference in the feel. In my experience, while I like the feel of IRW, I think Madagascar rosewood feels more like BRW. That may or may not matter to you.

    In closing, if you're anything like me, you'll second-guess yourself a LOT! But that's part of the fun. If I can offer any advice, confer a lot with folks you trust. And TAKE YOUR TIME. Don't just rush to get your spec complete. I'm sure I drove Brent crazy. But the result was absolutely phenomenal. I have a couple of 1950s Les Pauls. I think my Private Stock is totally on par with those tonally, and the looks and playability are off the charts.

    Good luck!
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