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Thread: PRS SE weight difference

  1. #1
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    PRS SE weight difference

    Hi All,

    I was looking at the SE Marty Friedman on the retailers site and they have 4 in stock and the weight difference between them is quite big. I would expect some weight difference due to the different pieces of wood used but these vary from 7lbs 8oz to 9lbs 13oz ...... is it usual for the difference to be that much? And how much of a difference would you expect to hear tonally?

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Senior Member jimistephen's Avatar
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    Yeah, sometimes weight can vary that much, depending on the wood used. I know a lot of guys take pride in how light their guitars are, mainly because it a sign of how good it's dried out it wood seem. (not sure, just what it seems to me.) As far as tonal difference, I think it's all what you can hear anyway, and therefor very subjective. You have people like Scott Grove and Ed Roman saying they can't tell any difference in wood and it's all in what pickups you have in it and on the other hand you have people like Eric Johnson that can hear the difference between the batteries that he uses in his pedals, let alone the wood.
    I gave that pitch some vibrato, pitches love vibrato.

    THE MOST OKAYEST GUITARIST IN THE WORLD!!!

  3. #3
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    Jimi, it is not only EJ who can hear different batteries in pedals. You too would hear the difference in a fuzzface between a new alkaline and a cheap carbon battery. They act differently (the batteries) and sound quite different. The good old "he can hear the difference in BATTERIES.." is not because someone has huge ears..its because they really DO make that much of a difference. If you google it you will find out why.

    Weights...now I'm gonna argue the other side of what I just said about batteries lol.
    If EVH, Billy Gibbons, Angus Young etc etc etc... played a guitar that weighed almost nothing..and then one like a Wylie E. Coyote anvil, to us anyway, I bet we wouldn't really hear a difference. I'm sure they hear and feel the difference and I know we all would if we were playing them but..there are some HEAVY LPs and some light ones (chambered, swiss-cheesed and some that are just lighter pieces of wood). A les Paul still sounds like a Paul. Companies like Gibson (ok bad example in modern times) and PRS don't use some dry and some wet pieces of wood to build guitars. They should all have the same moisture content no?

    A lighter guitar should usually resonate more and sound and act more lively. Try a trad LP and then pick up a fully hollow ES and you will hear and feel the difference. Another poor example ..apples to oranges but you will definitely experience how much more lively a hb is compared to a solid. Again..apples and oranges but it KIND OF illustrates a difference.
    In PRACTICE though, I have some heavy examples and some light examples of one model and the theory doesn't always ring (pun intended) true.
    Les Pauls are typically heavier than a strat or tele...for sure than an SG. Les Pauls can be lively and responsive and they SURE don't lack in any sustain (heavier might mean more sustain maybe...if the body doesn't resonate a sympathetic harmonic, it wont cancel (phase) as much "sustain"?? .. again theory vs practice does not ALWAYS = truth).
    Part of what makes a LP sound like a LP is it's mass and weight and even a heavy beefy neck probably contributes somewhat? But then again, they have some light weight-relieved LPs that sound GREAT.

    MY own personal experience (I been making everything up so far) is pretty lacking truthfully. I've never owned a lot of very light guitars. I have some light PRSs and some real heavy ones but they are vastly different. My lightest is my '94 CE24 but it's alder with a long thin maple neck. My heaviest is my Tremonti SE Custom. Completely different machines that shine in their own way. The SE though SOUNDS as heavy as it IS.
    My in between weighted PRS is my Studio and it's a little on the heavy side. Like the Tremonti it is hog and maple. The tremoti though is a sc and thicker (apples and oranges again). I guess for me to really experience the difference in a light vs heavy guitar I would need to have 6 or 7 of one model. Al with the same woods and electronics but with different weights. I know there are players here who own multiples of one model.
    It'll be interesting to hear what they have to say.

    You'd THINK that a lighter guitar is better. Well... the die-hard gibby fans/players seem to prefer an older heavier non-weight-relieved LP.

    I wonder... take a string and mount it to an iron I-Beam. Take another (same gauge and manufacturer and model) string and mount it to a stiff piece of balsa wood. Use a mechanical "plucker" and put it through a DAW or analyser and see which sustains longer, produces more overtones etc...
    That wont necessarily tell you which SOUNDS better but it might show that a more resonant "base" causes or creates sympathetic or NON-sympathetic "notes" that might phase cancel...OR...encourage "musicality"?

    IDK...interesting subject that we see brought-up very often (my new xxx guitar weighs only 5.8lbs!!! WOOHOO!!!) but not one that I know a lot of mechanics or actual physics of.
    I for one will be checking this thread often.
    Thanks for bringing it up.
    Hmmmmm

  4. #4
    Bobble Head Moderator JMintzer's Avatar
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    I wonder... take a string and mount it to an iron I-Beam. Take another (same gauge and manufacturer and model) string and mount it to a stiff piece of balsa wood. Use a mechanical "plucker" and put it through a DAW or analyser and see which sustains longer, produces more overtones etc...
    That wont necessarily tell you which SOUNDS better but it might show that a more resonant "base" causes or creates sympathetic or NON-sympathetic "notes" that might phase cancel...OR...encourage "musicality"?
    That is comparing apples to oranges, or to be precise, "iron to wood"

    A better comparison in your test would be to see if heavy and light mahogany (two like substances) would vibrate differently...
    ---Jamie---

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  5. #5
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    Thanks for the responses. I guess the only real way to tell the difference is to head down the the store and try 4 of the same guitar with exactly the same player, amp etc. But that is kinda tricky with an internet retailer!

  6. #6
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    There's another factor you forgot to cover; comfort. I have an LP clone that weighs a ton (not literally) anyway when I play it standing ( like at practice or gigging) after awhile I get pain in my neck and shoulders. On the other hand I have a SE EG that never bothers me even after hours of playing, only reason I can see is that the SE weighs about half as much as the LP.

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