Advice needed on PRS

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by stayfreejc, Apr 16, 2016.

  1. stayfreejc

    stayfreejc New Member

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    Hi all. I have a bit of a dilemma. I have been playing a Gibson SG Standard for years and it feels and plays lovely. However I have always wanted a Les Paul. Long story short I ended up buying a Custom 24 core model instead as I didn't think the Les Paul was different enough to my SG to warrant the extra cash. The PRS is absolutely stunning and feels amazing. When I first got it the action was a bit high so I paid for a pro set up which has sorted that. Now for the last 3 months I have been playing it and kidding myself into thinking it plays and sounds better than my SG. I have finally admitted to myself that it doesn't. After Spending £2600 it's a bitter pill to swallow but my £1000 SG just plays faster and sounds more aggressive. I can't put my finger on it but when I switch from the PRS to the SG I can play faster, easier. Also bends are easier and power chords are more aggressive and have more bite. The PRS is quite muddy when playing power chords. One thing I will say though is the PRS has a lovely singing lead tone and the pickups seem very expressive in that the way you hit the string is translated beautifully through the amp. I purchased the PRS fully committed to switching as I love the PRS brand and quality but something is just missing. Maybe it's the "soul" that everyone talks about, I just don't know. The only difference in setup is the PRS has 10 gauge strings and the SG has hybrids but I cannot see it making much difference. Has anybody else found this and is their anything I can do? I don't want to sell the PRS as I'm in love with the workmanship and feel of it. I love the fact that I no longer need to re tune every 4 songs as well. Could the scale length make it harder to play then the SG? I have quite a bluesy style and like to play fast wild bends which seem natural on the SG but hard work on the PRS. Sorry if this sounds like a bit of a ramble but it's hard to describe. Overall the PRS just seems harder to play and sounds muddier. Any advice would be great. I want to stick with PRS so hopefully somebody can give me a few pointers.
     
  2. CoreyT

    CoreyT PRS Addiction

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    I am just the opposite.
    I have a 2012 SG '61 Reissue with a pro setup and 9-42s on it, and any of my PRSs which include SEs, a 408, and my new S2 blow the SG away as far a playability goes.

    My SG is nice, it just does not compare playing wise to my PRS ones.
    And I find the SG neck quite narrow and my hand can cramp up, not so with the PRS ones.

    And yes, the SG goes out of tune all the time even with locking tuners I had put on it.
    The PRS ones for the most part hardly ever need tuning.
     
  3. stayfreejc

    stayfreejc New Member

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    What pickups do you have in your PRS? Do they become muddy when playing bass heavy chords?
     
  4. CoreyT

    CoreyT PRS Addiction

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    A lot of different ones.
    408s, #7 in the S2, and 245s in some of my SEs.
    I do not find them muddy.
    Also I have a set of Seymour Duncan Dimebags in the SE Tremonti Custom.

    What amps are you using?
    I really dig the S2 pickups and my 408s.
     
  5. Alarik

    Alarik New Member

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    Im just like you but the other say around.
    I've owned lots of Gibsons LP's over the years trying to love them. The look and sound of an LP is just magic. But a few weeks in to the purchase i seem to start leaning towards my PRSi.
    They just plays great, covers all of the sounds i need, stays in tune etc etc
    A month back i came to the conclusion that im just a PRS guy. And of there's PRS guys im pretty sure there will be Gibson guys as well. Guitars are just like people - different.
    Some of em you'll like, some of em you will be able to live with and some of em you just don't stand.

    That beeing said - i LOVE SG's. The way they play, feel and sound makes them unique.
    People tend to say that Gibson have soul and PRS don't. I tend to think that a Gibson just needs a bit more TLC when played. The classic G-string going sharp, the chunky body, the lack of QC and so on. But when you find that sweet spot there's nothing quite like it. The PRS i different in that way. You'll find that g-spot right away so maybe the pay of isn't that great because you dont have to work for it.
     
  6. stayfreejc

    stayfreejc New Member

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    I am using a Marshall DSL 100 live and also various amp sims on my Mac. The pickups are 85/15's. They sound incredible for soloing and open chords on the high strings but lose definition at the lower end. I'm starting to think that the scale length is what makes it more awkward for me to play. Don't get me wrong, it plays amazingly, but I just don't find it as natural as my SG.
     
  7. BrianC

    BrianC more toys than talent

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    Scale makes a big difference if feel.

    Try different pickups and strings first. I have changed pups and it can make a big difference in the vibe or "soul" of a guitar.

    The other thing is that the SG may be your #1 and thats that, this is fine. My #1 is not my prettiest or most expensive PRS nor does it have the original pups or tuners.
     
  8. stayfreejc

    stayfreejc New Member

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    You may be right. Maybe I am just a Gibson man. I was hoping not as PRS are without doubt a better made guitar and you can see it's worth the money. Gibson's are not the best when it comes to quality and do not like staying in tune.
     
  9. BrianC

    BrianC more toys than talent

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    I was a LP guy - very different than an SG. I think an SG is kind of similar to an CU24. I think of the LP as a muscle car and the CU24 as a Ferrari!

    By the way I have a 5708 in the neck position and a Suhr Aldrich in the bridge. Another key thing that I forgot to mention is neck relief (truss rod adjustment). Your SG might have a lot of relief in it which your PRS does not, easily fixed. This also REALLY changes the feel.
     
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  10. Audie

    Audie a.k.a. Charlie

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    I take from what you are saying that this comes down to scale length and string gauge. Before giving up on the PRS try a lighter gauge string, say 9.5. Will make the bends easier and should hold on to the bite you are looking for. Just my two cents.
     
  11. stayfreejc

    stayfreejc New Member

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    Excellent analogy with the muscle car thing. I feel that on my SG I can hit all these crazy bends and what not whereas the PRS seems more accurate. It is most likely my playing style then.
     
  12. stayfreejc

    stayfreejc New Member

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    I think that's my next step. I'm going to put some 9's on it and see how I get on. Cheers
     
  13. CoreyT

    CoreyT PRS Addiction

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    For what it is worth, I run 9s on all of my guitars regardless of scale length.
    I find they bend easier, and I like them better than 10s.
     
  14. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I learned to play on a '65 SG (bought new) when I was a lad, and still have the guitar. But I stopped playing it back in 1991 when I got my first PRS. I also have a CU24 with the 85/15 pickups. It's the opposite of muddy, it has great clarity, so I think maybe it's the way your amp is set up.

    I think it's honestly the other way around, in my case it's the Gibby that's muddy in comparison, and always has been.

    Which leads me to suggest...

    1. You might be a Gibson man. If so, sell the PRS.

    2. You might not be setting up the amp for the guitar, you might still be setting the amp up to work with the SG out of habit, and expecting those setting to work with the PRS. If so, read on.

    The best way to set up an amp for a PRS is to reset the controls. Set the gain for "edge of grit" around 5-7 on the guitar's volume control. Then you can use the guitar to coax various tones and colors out of the amp -- whether clean or dirty -- just by using the guitar's volume. One great strength of a PRS is how well the volume control and tone control work to help you find various tones. Set the tone controls to taste, so they work with the PRS instead of the SG.

    Then too, certain amps work better with a particular guitar than others. The guitar and amp are a system. They have to work together. You might want to take your guitar to a shop that has a good selection and try a few amps just for grins - at the very least you'll be able to see whether it's the match with the amp and the PRS that's bothering you, or if you just don't care for the guitar.

    3. Strings matter. Try different strings.

    4. Pickup height matters. That can be adjusted.
     
  15. Drew

    Drew New Member

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    Most PRS pickups, post 2008, are not made for DSL type gain. I am especially fond of the 57/08s but I have to keep the gain at like 10 o'clock maxiumum on my JVM to keep from having mud in the low end. The PRS Metal pickups are the exception to the rule. Those are one of the best high gain pickup sets I've ever used. I have them in my modded S2. They sing in the upper registers and stay tight in the lower. The trade off is they are ceramic so you lose a bit of warmth. But, I am very happy with them. The cleans are the best I've heard from a ceramic pickup.

    As for bending, the 10s vs hybrids make all the difference. 10s on a PRS are very very stiff. By virtue of scale length, the SG will bend easier. Add slightly lighter strings and that is compounded. A 9-42 set on a PRS 25" scale is very easy and fluid playing.
     
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  16. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Excellent info!
     
  17. rugerpc

    rugerpc A♥ hoards guitars ♥A Soldier 25, DFZ
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    +1

    It's surprising how much even a small change in scale length will affect string tension. Physics is a hard taskmaster.
     
  18. mcbprs

    mcbprs New Member

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    Hi before swapping pickups try adjusting the height - they get clearer when further from the strings - make small adjustment testing for the sweet spot. The Sgs shorter scale will make the string tension lower (easier bends) try ).5 or 1 grade lower on the PRS for a similar feel. If you have been playing the SG for many years it is bound to feel like home I remember when I got my first Gibson (new SG Standard) in 68 after a few months my teardrop phantom that had been my main guitar for a few years felt awful now the only Gibson I have left is a Les Paul standard, it very rarely gets played (I only keep it because it was the last guitar my mother saw me play) as my PRS's (I have 16) are (to me) just so much easier to play
     
  19. RichardJ

    RichardJ New Member

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    I found my new NF3 felt really stiff when I first got it, it was set up with 10's. I swapped them out for my regular 9-46s and it made a surprising difference, suddenly felt much more comfortable and familiar. It did soften the sound too, giving it a bit more 'twang' and warmth.

    I'd try your regular strings first just to see what difference it might make.
     
  20. stayfreejc

    stayfreejc New Member

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    Wow some excellent advice. Thanks guys. I am going to go pick up some Hybrids tomorrow and see how I go. I don't want to give up yet as I can tell it should be better than my SG, theirs just something not quite right. Hopefully the string gauge will sort it! Thanks again chaps!
     
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