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Thread: I'm beginning to think there are two types of Big G players...

  1. #1
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    I'm beginning to think there are two types of Big G players...

    ...ones that will never play anything else and those ready for what PRS can offer.
    After reading some other forums there are a lot of players who want the Big G to emulate a lot of the things that PRS is doing.

    So, what's the best way for PRS to grab some of group two?

  2. #2
    They have already done it by creating the finest guitars. Gibby players who are open minded just need to play a PRS.

    That's what happened to me in 1991. It takes time to get the word out.
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    Member tolm's Avatar
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    I was a "Big G" only player for years and then I diverged into Telecasters and PRS guitars for a bit. I wound up going back go Gibson as I felt the "vibe" of the guitars was more authentic but now I'm back with PRS. Why? Essentially two things: Build Quality and Neck Shape.

    I just love the Pattern and Wide/Fat neck carves and with the Narrow 408 pickups the tone and flexibility is off the scale. I should soon be receiving a McCarty II from the US (it's with customs in the UK right now!!) which ideally would have been a McCarty 58 with 57/08 pickups but the newer ones with those were too expensive so this will have to do for now. I think PRS are doing the right things: the 57/08 and derived pickups sound amazing with a vintage yet flexible tone. I personally love the 25" scale - not so much the 24.5" scale - but I'm not sure offering a 24.75 to directly match Gibson would make sense. Not sure what else they could do? Fretboard radius? I dunno, again the 10" radius works so well for me: round enough to be great for bar chords but not so much as a vintage 7.5" Fender radius which would choke all your string bends. I think they really do have the designs and build spot on.

    So - what can they do to get "vibe"? Well, I reckon the Mira and Starla have it in spades. I think they should expand the Mira and Starla model lines to include additional neck profiles - If they offered them with a 25" scale, 22 fret, Pattern neck I would probably have bought both of them instead of seeking out a McCarty. Maybe a Mira with 3 single coils (or Narrowfields) for a Strat-esque equivalent but that's not really going after the "Big G", I guess. A double cut Starla semi-hollow to go after the 335 range, maybe?
    Last edited by tolm; 06-22-2014 at 04:18 AM.
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    Senior Member sleary's Avatar
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    I played the big G for a few years. Weight almost killed my shoulder so sold them all and bought an se. Build quality and playability sold me.

    When you browse the big g catalog now ,you'll see coil taps being offered more . That to me shows that they're playing catch up.

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    Senior Member Michael B's Avatar
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    Yeah...G is totally following PRS with coil taps...nicer tops and colors. Can't say I blame them PRS is the best! I was in my local store the other day grabbing strings and talking with the guys about the ARCHON I just bought from them. They were like...Hey Mike try this new Gibby...or this Two Rock is sweet.......I looked at them and said "Guys...I bleed PRS!" Best stuff on the planet!
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by tolm View Post
    I wound up going back go Gibson as I felt the "vibe" of the guitars was more authentic
    While I do understand this sentiment, at the same time I can't help but think, "Authentic to what?" Authentic to the period music when PRS didn't exist, I guess so; authentic as Gibsons, of course - after all, that's what they are.

    But today we see PRS guitars in the hands of some of the world's best session players, great performers, etc., and when I watch various shows I see them showing up more and more. The PRS sound is part of modern music that we hear everywhere.

    So I don't think one can truly say that Gibbys or Fenders are any more "authentic" than anything else at this point. It's all music, and PRS are showing up everywhere, even tradition-bound Nashville. If you can get your tones and feel, life is good!

    Then again, I don't see PRS guitars as "nicer Gibsons." I see them as their own thing, taking influences from lots of sources to be sure, but definitely unique.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 06-22-2014 at 11:04 AM.
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    Given that Gibson has changed the formula of the Les Paul so many different ways what is the authentic sound at this point? Does the LPJ deliver an authentic sound over a chambered LP?

    I agree with PRS being their own things though they can fill the slot where a Gibson would be used, which is a point I know many G players will disagree with. It really seems that the time is right for PRS to add to their user base, and with the right line up it could be a sizable. I notice that the Mira is being added to the mix of guys looking at SGs and Jr's, though to me it's a better guitar than either (and I really love Jr's). Come to think of it that could be one of the toe holds for PRS, modern takes on those simple classics which could appeal to the guys who don't care for what PRSh calls "really nice guitars". It worked for m.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by NomadMike View Post
    I agree with PRS being their own things though they can fill the slot where a Gibson would be used.
    One could also say that the 408, 513, Paul's Guitar, Brent Mason, etc., can fill the single coil slot where a Fender would be used.

    My thinking is that PRS is way, way beyond the "toe hold" level, and has achieved quite iconic status of its own.

    Here's my 1965 SG Special, certainly a guitar most would regard as a classic in its own right, but it doesn't hold a candle to any PRS I've owned:

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    Classic Rocker prsrocker1988's Avatar
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    I was a Gibson player for many years. My first guitar I ever learned on was a Gibson SG Special. I then was a big Les Paul guy for many years after that and delved into 335s as well. I also played Fender Strats and Teles.

    I still have a couple Gibsons and Fenders for "that sound", but my PRSi are my instruments of choice and the ones I grab first for an all around perfect guitar that can do those sounds plus a voice of their own.
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    Senior Member AP515's Avatar
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    I've got a Les Paul. Not a Gibson Les Paul, a Heritage one called an H150 which IMO is closer to the "authentic" LP than the current G offerings. It is a very good guitar. I don't plan on selling it. But it doesn't have as much LP to my ear as my Bernie with Seth's.

    For those who have to have a G on the headstock, please, go for it. I'll stay with a brand that has a tone I want and a quality that is 2nd to none.
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  11. #11
    Guess I am an exception;

    Gibson: 1958 Les Paul R8, 1959 ES-335 Custom Historic, Hummingbird Acoustic
    Fender: 56 Custom Time Machine Strat, 51 CS WW10 Nocaster, CS 59 Esquire
    PRS: Modern Eagle 1 Hard Tail

    I play them all regularly for varied styles and genres of music. Owning anyone of them has not made me want to do without the others. They are all fantastic instruments. I have never wanted to own multiples of the same instrument or 10 guitars of the same brand for that matter.
    Last edited by Woollymonster; 06-22-2014 at 11:32 PM.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Woollymonster View Post
    Guess I am an exception;

    Gibson: 1958 Les Paul R8, 1959 ES-335 Custom Historic, Hummingbird Acoustic
    Fender: 56 Custom Time Machine Strat, 51 CS WW10 Nocaster, CS 59 Esquire
    PRS: Modern Eagle 1 Hard Tail

    I play them all regularly for varied styles and genres of music. Owning anyone of them has not made me want to do without the others. They are all fantastic instruments. I have never wanted to own multiples of the same instrument or 10 guitars of the same brand for that matter.
    I think there are plenty of players out there who feel that way!

    I had a nice Custom Shop 335 a few years back, sounded great. Not my thing in terms of ergonomics, but it had a great thing going on tonally.
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    Senior Member solacematt's Avatar
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    I started out on my grandfather's LP. I stuck with G's for a few years, went to a Sam Ash to buy a Black Beauty, left with a PRS Standard after playing it for the first time. After that I went to using a Les Paul DC (it turned out it was a kind of rare one from '97) that looked like the PRS Cu24 that I have. Eventually I got a CU24 that mirrored what that G looked like. Got rid of my last G in November 2012. Had an urge to try out a HB G a month ago...10 seconds of playing it disgusted me... I think the problem is that G just lost their edge, sound, and way over the past 20 years especially. Zach Myers said it best in an interview, PRS makes guitars the way the big G used to lost ago. Only difference is they do it better.
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    So how would anyone sell a friend who was leaning toward the Big G on a new PRS?
    Like I said, there seems to be a lot of Gibson guys who want what PRS has to offer but for some reason have a hard time pulling the trigger on one. Often times this seems to be based on trying older PRS models than the new ones and also the usual arguments that PRS are sterile or too blingy.

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    I was exclusively a LP player for the first 15 years or so that I played guitar and brought a Strat in after that. I've always kept the G's around and to some extent the F's but since getting my first PRS rather late in the game my outlook has changed quite a bit, but...It required me being very objective and accepting that the more modern design was better both sonically and ergonomically. Truth is, even though I'd wanted a PRS for many years I didn't buy one despite my buying and selling a whole bunch of Gs and Fs during that time. I could have easily pick up a PRS instead but I was locked in my ways and acting like a typical guitar player: always looking backward to the tools of the 50s and 60s (why??). To get people to make the switch they first have to be open minded enough to accept that there is something better that wasn't designed in the 1950's or 60's.

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    As a Jazz drummer friend said to me many, many years ago, "for a bunch of guys always talking about being an individual and looking for your own sound, you rock guitar players are really set in your ways".

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    Quote Originally Posted by NomadMike View Post
    As a Jazz drummer friend said to me many, many years ago, "for a bunch of guys always talking about being an individual and looking for your own sound, you rock guitar players are really set in your ways".
    So true and so strange. People obsessing about a LP being built precisely as it was in 1959? What for? Don't know how I fell into that trap all those years. Just the past weekend I put a new, modern-style pickup into one of my G's, removing the PAF style one that was in there and holy diver did it make that thing into an awesome rock machine. Gotta get with the times I suppose.

  18. #18
    Narrowfield P'kup Hoarder HANGAR18's Avatar
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    Why does anyone have to fit into a specific pigeon hole? I have a guitar collection where each guitar was very specifically hand selected because of something very valuable it brought to the table (as the saying goes).

    4 USA made PRS guitars from the core line.
    1 USA made Gibson Les Paul, deliberately made as good or better than their 1959 standards.
    2 Heritage guitars which were made in the original Gibson factory in Kalamazoo.

    Every one of these guitars gets the job done that they were designed to do.
    Furthermore, I do not subscribe to the idea that just because a guitar is made by... let's say Gibson for this example... that all Gibsons are automatically equally as good as each other.
    I have one Gibson right now that is absolutely fantastic, but I've also owned Gibsons which were quite disapointing.
    I have four PRS guitars that you could not buy from me if you tried, but I don't always like everything PRS makes.
    At the risk of sounding dramatic, I'll say that every guitar needs to hold its own and earn a place in my collection.
    The brand name helps with the introduction but it is no guarantee I will let it in the door.
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    Right, but how could PRS sell an S2 SC to a guy who is looking for an LP but has found the G's QC lacking? The biggest gripes I hear about Gibson are things that can be fixed by buying a PRS. So if PRS can "fix" those gripes what's keeping a G-Man from buying a PRS?

  20. #20
    Senior Member AP515's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NomadMike View Post
    Right, but how could PRS sell an S2 SC to a guy who is looking for an LP but has found the G's QC lacking? The biggest gripes I hear about Gibson are things that can be fixed by buying a PRS. So if PRS can "fix" those gripes what's keeping a G-Man from buying a PRS?
    Tradition...and fear of change...and popular opinion...and status symbols...and bias...and peer pressure...and a few good G brand guitars...and a few ho hum PRS guitars...
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