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Thread: Helo me pick my next PRS.

  1. #1
    Junior Member DreamTheaterRules's Avatar
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    Help me pick my next PRS.

    I have a late 90s C22 with HFS, VB. I have a 25th Anniversary C22 semi-hollow LTD with 57/08s, and I have a new C24 with 59/09s. About a year ago, I went to buy a 305 and wasn't blow away. I ended up buying a EBMM JP12 BFR . Love the guitar. Obviously a Dream Theater fan and was also interested in a "rock" guitar at the time, so I played that and bought it.

    So, I'm a guy who has always LOVED the look and tones of strats but have never found a strat that plays like a PRS. (I have two very good strats. A 50th Anniversary Am DLX and a Tokai 57 reissue all white strat). I didn't get to play the 305 with my amps, and I didn't play it very long. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Pattern Regular neck in all maple. So, that leads me to now. After some reading here, I got really interested in the DC3. Just missed one on ebay that went for about a grand shipped! Then I read all the NF love and think maybe an NF3 instead.

    However, the one guitar that seems to have everything I want and more is.... the Brent Mason Signature model. It has the new 408 pickups, but splitable and a 305 pickup in the middle, P/R neck, etc. And, while not fancy, it's much more affordable. Should have both great SC and HB tones all in one.

    The problem is, I haven't played the NF pickups either. When I stumbled on my C24 I was actually there to buy a Studio. I figured 57/08 + two NFs would be killer. Fell in love the C24 59/09s and bought it instead and because that shore sold their last Studio right before I got there and it was not one (color wise) that I would have been interested in anyway. So, I still kind of have a thing for the Studio guitars, but they cost more and would require a bit more gear selling to fund one. And this is assuming I'd love the NFs because I know I love the 57/08.

    So as the merry go round turns, ON PAPER I LOVE the studio's, LOVE the Brent Mason, and love the NF3 and maybe DC3. But I can't buy them all. I'd love something I could do strat-ish tones on. Fat ones, like Trower stuff.

    What I really want, is Markie to hire me so I can just buy them all! Pending that, to round out my PRS stash and get some strat-ish tones, what do you guys recommend.
    Last edited by DreamTheaterRules; 04-24-2014 at 10:48 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member shinksma's Avatar
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    I have no experience with any of the possible PRSi you mention, but as a different suggestion altogether now, have you considered a SAS with narrowfield pups? I'm not sure when last made, but was certainly a 2012 model, so there may be a few around in stock still, or available gently used.

    One of these days I hope to have at least played and maybe own a whole bunch more PRS models...

  3. #3
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    I have a DC3... sounds very similar to a vintage 50's strat... and plays much better.
    PRS 2002 McCarty Hollowbody I
    PRS 2008 Custom 24 - 10 Top - Rosewood Neck
    PRS 2008 McCarty Korina One-Off - Stripped 58
    PRS 2013 DC3 - PRS 2014 DGT - PRS 2008 McCarty Korina BRF
    Amps: Zinky Blue Velvet 25/Mesa Boogie Recto-Verb 25

  4. #4
    Junior Member mjreardon's Avatar
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    The two key ingredients for Strat tone, in my humble opinion of course, are 1) a middle pickup and 2) scale length. All the guitars you mentioned have item #1 covered, so no need to worry there. As far as scale length is concerned, PRS doesn't make any guitars with 25-1/2" scale length. However, the Brent Mason, NF3, and DC3 are all 25-1/4", which is probably close enough. The Studio has a 25" scale, so I would, personally, rule that one out. Great guitar, but not as Strat-like as the other offerings.

    As far as the remaining three guitars, with the NF3 and the DC3, you are stuck with the sounds of those pickups, either humbucking or single-coil. Either one will be a bit of a compromise, might want more oomph from the DC3 at times or more convincing quacky tones from the NF3. The Brent Mason has the real single-coil in the mid position, plus the NFs on the Mason have coil-tapping capabilities, which seem like it would give you the best of both the NF3 and the DC3. So, my choice for you would be the Brent Mason.

    Any of these guitars will be a good choice and the DC3 is the most Strat-like guitar of them all. However, knowing you like DT and probably other bands with heavier guitar styles, I think you might be left wanting with any guitar that offered only true single-coil tones. The Brent will give you that bit of extra push while still being able to split the coils and get true Strat quack in positions 2 & 4.
    Last edited by mjreardon; 04-23-2014 at 01:55 PM.
    Current PRS: 2012 P22
    Former PRSi: '98 Custom 22, '02 CE22
    Other guitars I own/use: Gibson ES335, Fender AVRI 69 Tele, G&L Legacy

  5. #5
    Junior Member DreamTheaterRules's Avatar
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    Thanks for the thoughts so far. I hate to write a book, but more info might save guys who reply some time and speculation. I have the 3 PRS, EBMM JP12, the two strats mentioned plus an 80s Clapton strat, I also have a Wolfgang VH guitar, a 70s Ibanez Artist, and a JS1000, and a few others. For amps, I have Mesa TA15, Mesa Mini Rec, Budda SD 18 and Egnater Tweaker.

    The point is, I have most guitar sounds covered But I'm gradually moving towards selling off some of the others and upgrading to PRS. For example, if I find a PRS that really does all the strat tones I want (Jimi with a fuzz pedal, Trower, SRV, etc) I would consider selling the 50th Anniversary Fender, and probably the Clapton strat as well. If that guitar happens to be able to do that AND has humbucker tones as well, that's just a big bonus. I haven't yet found a Brent Mason to try but it "seems" to be the best option. But when I saw that DC3 sell for a grand I almost jumped on it because I could do that and then move towards a Studio next perhaps.

    A BM models seems like a less expensive, but more versatile, Pauls Guitar.
    Last edited by DreamTheaterRules; 04-23-2014 at 02:02 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Rider1260's Avatar
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    The 305 is a great guitar ( IMHO ) I found great tone by lowering the neck and middle pickups and changing to 9.5 gauge strings ( I always used to use 9s on my F guitars )
    the 10s were just a bit to tight on the longer scale for me.
    look at the DC-3 and or the 513 or even a 408 or Pauls guitar if the 305 does not float your boat.
    PS the 305 is a 25.5 in scale
    513 is 25 1/4
    Happy hunting
    PRS Family - SCT, 408, 305, CU22, MEII, CU24
    Others LesPaul , Stratocaster , Guild
    Amps - Mesa MK2B , Egnater Tweaker 15
    Effects - Tonal Insanity Guitar Effects ( I make them ) TC Electronics Nova

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DreamTheaterRules View Post
    Thanks for the thoughts so far. I hate to write a book, but more info might save guys who reply some time and speculation. I have the 3 PRS, EBMM JP12, the two strats mentioned plus an 80s Clapton strat, I also have a Wolfgang VH guitar, a 70s Ibanez Artist, and a JS1000, and a few others. For amps, I have Mesa TA15, Mesa Mini Rec, Budda SD 18 and Egnater Tweaker.

    The point is, I have most guitar sounds covered But I'm gradually moving towards selling off some of the others and upgrading to PRS. For example, if I find a PRS that really does all the strat tones I want (Jimi with a fuzz pedal, Trower, SRV, etc) I would consider selling the 50th Anniversary Fender, and probably the Clapton strat as well. If that guitar happens to be able to do that AND has humbucker tones as well, that's just a big bonus. I haven't yet found a Brent Mason to try but it "seems" to be the best option. But when I saw that DC3 sell for a grand I almost jumped on it because I could do that and then move towards a Studio next perhaps.

    A BM models seems like a less expensive, but more versatile, Pauls Guitar.
    if you want to replace a single coil strat with a PRS just for strat tones... the DC3... if you want more versatility ... go with the BM
    PRS 2002 McCarty Hollowbody I
    PRS 2008 Custom 24 - 10 Top - Rosewood Neck
    PRS 2008 McCarty Korina One-Off - Stripped 58
    PRS 2013 DC3 - PRS 2014 DGT - PRS 2008 McCarty Korina BRF
    Amps: Zinky Blue Velvet 25/Mesa Boogie Recto-Verb 25

  8. #8
    Senior Member watelessness's Avatar
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    513 is the obvious choice. it's 208 better than the 305.

    (513 / P22 / McShootout / DC 245 Ted / DGT / DC22 / Santana / Cu22 Rosewood / 408 Rosewood / SAS / Cu22 Semi hollow / Mira korina / HBII / SE Angelus Custom / SE Mushok) >> {Archon, C, H, Dallas}

  9. #9
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    408 or Sig. Limited or P . stock Sig.

    Your money makes the choice...GOOD HUNTING !!!

  10. #10
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    I think you should get a nice Studio model in McCarty sunburst

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by DreamTheaterRules View Post
    For example, if I find a PRS that really does all the strat tones I want (Jimi with a fuzz pedal, Trower, SRV, etc) I would consider selling the 50th Anniversary Fender, and probably the Clapton strat as well. If that guitar happens to be able to do that AND has humbucker tones as well, that's just a big bonus. I haven't yet found a Brent Mason to try but it "seems" to be the best option.
    You say you want these particular tones. So here's the question: When you play your Strats, do you truly sound exactly like Jimi, Trower, or SRV?

    If so, I'd say hang onto them for two reasons:

    One, if you truly sound like those guys, how awesome is that? Don't change a thing!

    Two, a PRS can sound "Strat-ish" but it still has its own PRS thing happening.

    For example, I have a 408, and had a Sig Ltd, and while I can get beautiful single coil tones out of it that I really love, and that might remind someone of a Strat, I wouldn't claim to anyone it sounds exactly like a Strat or Tele. It's a PRS, and that to me is a good thing! I've had the SAS, and a NF model, and they were great. But not Strats. Not Gibsons, Not whatever else. They were PRSes.

    Now, if you don't sound exactly like the players you mentioned with your Strats, you won't with a PRS either. Surprise, right?

    So the fact that you're playing a PRS isn't the limiting factor if you want to sound like the referenced dudes. You're the limiting factor. That's not a bad thing -- you can decide to be you. That's what those guys did. They were themselves, and embraced that.

    I play sessions for ads with my guitars. At one time I thought I needed to have all the usual suspect tones on hand and had a variety of guitars. But I sounded best on my PRS. So I finally decided, the heck with it, I'm going to sound like me, because I sound like me even when I want to sound not like me. I thought, "Where is it written that I have to try to sound like someone else and play guitars I don't relate to as well as a musician?"

    And I sold off my other guitars and bought guitars I like. PRS guitars. And I am perfectly willing to sound like me on them. And I can still play music I like that isn't written by me when I feel like it. I simply don't worry about mimicking those tones exactly.

    You know what? No one has cared what guitar I played. In the past 14 years that I've been all-PRS, not one client has asked me to play something else. Not one! Live shows? No one's ever asked me to play something else.

    Tells ya something right there.

    Be you. You probably have no choice anyway.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 04-23-2014 at 09:31 PM.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

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  12. #12
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    I owned a beautiful DC3 for a couple weeks, but brought it back to GC before the thirty day trial period ended because I found it very treble heavy. Another reason was that I had just missed out on a smokin' deal on an NF3 and I was really worried that I missed out on something that was even better - this was largely due to the NF3 sounds I heard on a Davy Knowles youtube video at about one minute in:
    ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcD8Da2eVDo ). After bringing it back and tracking down an NF3, I have never looked back; but much as Les pointed out above, I still don't sound like Davy Knowles and I still can't get that exact same smooth, fat tone out of my guitar (the former is attributable to me being me, the later is at least partly due to not having the sweet PRS amp that Davy is using....). You will hear a little later in the same video that the NF3 can due a really convincing Strat sound (but of course, never quite a Strat). There is also a Davy Knowles video of him demoing a DC3, so you can choose between the two which sounds closer to what you are looking for. Anyway, good luck to you, and enjoy the hunt!

  13. #13
    Junior Member DreamTheaterRules's Avatar
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    Being a new guy here, I appreciate the thoughtful posts. And the ones that help me with my math.

    Many good points. Let me make this simpler for you guys. Listen to Robin Trower 20th Century Blues. Tell me what PRS guitar and amp will get me that tone, and I will sell whatever I need to go get both.

    Seriously, I know I need to just sit down with about 4 models and a couple hours and decide, but that's easier said than done.

  14. #14
    Happy Egads's Avatar
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    Yep, sit down with them and play.

    I have a 513 and absolutely love it. No, it's not a Strat, but it gets me in that territory while being so much more than any Strat I've ever played. Don't get me wrong: I appreciate a good Strat and love Teles, but...

    I tried a DC3, thinking it would be in the same ballpark as the 513 on singlecoils. I was totally wrong and felt boneheaded for thinking it would even be close. I was really disappointed in the DC3 compared to my 513.

    I have been jonesing for a Brent Mason. The Paul's 408 pickups are amazing. While I may end up disappointed with the middle singlecoil, I think it may compliment the neck and bridge. The Korina body is bound to be bangin', too.

    Good luck. I'm looking forward to hearing what you end up with.

  15. #15
    Junior Member DreamTheaterRules's Avatar
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    On a humorous note, I've tried 3 times to correct the spelling in the thread title. Every time is shows up correctly. The next time I log in it's "Helo" again.

    I haven't tried the 408 pickups yet but obviously hear great things. I have told everyone that my 57/08s and 59/09s are the two best sets of pickups I've ever heard. The Brent Mason appears to be the best way to get the 408s plus strat-ish tones. But it seems to be one of the hardest to find models. I think for what it offers and the price, they'd be buildng and selling a ton of them, but there aren't many around.

    Also, very interested at your thoughts on the DC3 vs. 513 as others have suggested the 305 and DC3 BECAUSE of how good the 513 is... hmmmm

  16. #16
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    Be aware that at least the Brent Mason sig is PATTERN neck (not "regular"). Don't know about the others.

    Tell you what, I'll do us both a favour here :-)

    I have the BM (which I love), and I could record some stuff for you, which may or may not help you (since it's my clumsy fingers and not yours ;-)). I have the Kemper Profiling Amp sitting here beside me. If you tell me which amp ("model") you want the guitar demoed through, I'll record some stuff for you through that. I know there is a shitload of variables with this (one being how the amp controls, mic choice and positions etc. was setup during the profiling process etc.), but it may help you anyway.

    I can do some initial stuff if you tell me which amp to use (I'm sure I could find a decent model of it), which pickups to use, and any other pointers. It's OK to choose several of each if you want. You can then listen to it on soundcloud, and tell me if you want to hear something different (gain or EQ settings, other styles of music/playing, different amp or pickups, all that jazz). It'll be fun for me :-). heck, I might end up learning something along the way....

    So just say the word.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by DreamTheaterRules View Post
    B Let me make this simpler for you guys. Listen to Robin Trower 20th Century Blues. Tell me what PRS guitar and amp will get me that tone, and I will sell whatever I need to go get both.
    Well, here's what he's using (I love Trower's work, too): Strat with vintage pickups in neck and middle, Texas special in bridge. He uses Fender's vintage bridge design. Then into a Fulltone Deja (doesn't appear to be on in this song) then a custom Fulltone pedal called the Wahful which simulates a cocked wah (again, not hearing it in this song), then Trower OD pedal (or original Fulldrive, which the Trower pedal is based on). He's using Marshall Vintage Modern amps through Marshall 4 x 12s.

    It's my guess that you can duplicate the amp tone with a PRS HXDA (I have one, and think it'll work) and a PRS 4 x 12 cab. Play loud, Trower does to get those power tubes cooking!

    As to the guitar, I don't think PRS has anything to truly duplicate his guitar.

    You may come reasonably close with one of the maple necked models, but it won't be exact. Trower doesn't play with a ton of gain, and a good portion of his gain seems to come from the OD pedal, set to a relatively low gain setting. A lot of the Strat tone comes through. And he uses the neck pickup a lot. There is no PRS pickup that exactly, precisely duplicates a Strat neck pickup.

    The honest truth is that the source tone of a Strat comes through in Trower's tone. It's an inescapable fact. Whether "close" is good enough is up to you.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 04-24-2014 at 11:12 AM.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

  18. #18
    Junior Member Ur2funky's Avatar
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    I have two 513s, I love them and they are my favorite guitars. Great range of tones. The single coil neck pickup isn't as great as the best Strat, but all the rest of the tones are top notch.

    EDIT: Make that three 513s...
    Last edited by Ur2funky; 04-26-2014 at 08:38 AM.

  19. #19
    Junior Member DreamTheaterRules's Avatar
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    Michael, that is way above and beyond! Thank you for the offer. IF you can I would love to hear a demo of the BM's pickup positions. Just as you would demo them if checking them out in a store. Full neck HB then split. 2 position (split and not) 3 position, 4 position split and not and full bridge HB then split. Just a clean to light breakup tone so you can really hear the pickups, wide open on guitar volume and tone knobs. That would be fantastic.

    Then, it wouldn't hurt if you threw in something with a bit more gain just for fun. I know this is a favor and I'm not asking for 10 minutes per setting. LOL But if you can do a few seconds each that would be awesome. I can't thank you enough.

    As for the Trower remarks, the "tell me what I need to get exactly that tone' was kind of tongue in cheek. I do have strats, just looking for strat - ish tones and PRS feel.

    Also, thanks for the heads up on the neck I would have sworn it was Pattern Regular. I'm good with the Pattern though.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by DreamTheaterRules View Post
    As for the Trower remarks, the "tell me what I need to get exactly that tone' was kind of tongue in cheek.
    Oh. My bad.

    The HXDA amp is right on, though.
    I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken...

    Website: http://www.elfxi.com

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