Any PRS JA-15 experts here?

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Kiwi, May 9, 2017.

  1. Kiwi

    Kiwi New Member

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    I'm curious about the JA-15, its note attack and response. I'm used to the HB-II and McCarty Archtop guitars, with hollow bodies, maple tops and backs, and mahogany necks.

    - Does the JA-15's maple neck give a snappier response or attack compared to mahogany?
    - Does the spruce top soften things a bit compared to maple tops?

    =K
     
  2. RMedel

    RMedel New Member

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    HI

    I don't know if I'm a PRS JA-15 expert but I sold my HB Singlecut II to purchase the JA-15 and have no regrets. I love the sound of Byrdlands, L-5 and George Bensons and feel that the JA-15 has replaced all of them. The width is of a Byrdland, but the 15 inch body sits comfortable on the lap and for live playing. The scale length and neck carve is the same as my PRS Custom 24 so moving from one guitar to the other is with ease.
    Sound: If you are looking for the classic, snappy, Benson/Jackson tone, this is the guitar. I have not experienced feedback either.
    I sold my Gibson ES-355 and Byrdland and feel I made the right choice.
     
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  3. RMedel

    RMedel New Member

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    Gibson BYrdlands, L-5 and Ibanez George Benson all have a Spruce top and that's what lured to the JA-15. THe HB II are awesome as well but the maple top is brighter sounding. THe JA-15 has an ebony fingerboard which you will also find on the GIbson and GB-10. The 53/10 pickups can be bright or warm based on your tone settings.
     
  4. Kiwi

    Kiwi New Member

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    Thank you both for your replies. --K
     
  5. Robertkoa

    Robertkoa New Member

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    I appreciate your description-
    I just became aware of the JA 15 - possibly the best sounding under the Radar Guitar I have heard ...ever.

    I hear a tiny bit more Bottom on JA15 but more importantly I also hear that it has much more Sustain and singing quality AFTER the attack..so hard picking you get the Paul Jackson / Benson thing..but I am hearing more sustain leading me to think it would also be very responsive to soft picking Ghost Notes...

    Also I don't use Gain much any more..but the JA 15 appears to do beautiful light gain Tones..

    More sustain after initial attack...?
     
  6. RMedel

    RMedel New Member

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    Agreed. I just added some Thomastik Swing (Nickel Flatwounds) on my JA-15 and it sounds awesome. Why this guitar is only available as a Private Stock only, I don't know but would be a great pickup for some looking for a great jazz box. I paid $2000.00 for mine a couple of months ago and in mint condition and McCarty Burst.
     
  7. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

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    Technically the PS model guitar isn't a JA-15, just resembles it, assuming you mean this one:

    http://www.prsguitars.com/privatestocksinglecutarchtop/

    [​IMG]

    But I suppose one could always order a true JA-15 through PS.

    I have had an on-and-off hankering to get a JA-15, which was fully solidified into "gotta get one" last week at band practice - I played a fellow band member's Washburn J-6 for a few songs and had a blast doing jazz-inspired stuff. The J-6 has a deeper body, but I suspect the JA-15 will play better overall, due to the PRS quality thing!

    If I stumble on one for a great deal (and that $2K price was a great deal!), I may just pull the trigger...
     
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  8. Robertkoa

    Robertkoa New Member

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    $2000. is Good for this Model...
    I wish it didn't sound so darn good in the neck so I could get something cheaper lol.

    Does it have the slightly cooler than Benson sound in the Neck like on the Paul Jackson Vids and I have heard great Overdrives from it too that would be great for Fusion...

    Not into gain any more but very light might work on some tracks...
    Seems like this Axe stays smooth rather than sounding obnoxious - lol.

    Was this a lucky used Find at $2000 ?

    Also I imagine from clips that Hollowbody 1 does NOT sound similar and Hollowbody 2 is even further away ?
     
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  9. RMedel

    RMedel New Member

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    I'm a big Benson fan and have owned a few of them. Visit my site www.RichardMedel.com and have a couple of recordings of my playing a GB100. Because I still had a feedback issue I thought I would try the JA. I just put some Thomastik Swings on it and although I love Benson guitars, the JA is my new archtop of choice. I would not have purchased a JA at anymore than $2k. I also play a PRS Custom 24 and because the necks are almost identical jumping from one to the other is really easy.
     
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  10. Robertkoa

    Robertkoa New Member

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    Really Nice Playing - especially on Affirmation...!

    You are a Bad Man- lol.
    You really sound great on Affirmation.

    Is Affirmation the JA 15 ?

    Funny you mentioned that $2000 Ceiling price..there are some really good sounding Semis from Ibanez etc..
    And you can get a LOT for 2K.

    I may just try the same thing..(,2K$ offer).
    Seems the JA15 is really special though..

    Paul Reed Smith never got Credit for that Design- very under the Radar ...

    Honestly I think the 513 could be great IF normal Pickups were used...with Mini Toggles to coil cut etc.

    I don't think the Electronics pick up the low end Resonance of the 513 Body.

    Are your Jazz Guitar friends surprised by the Tones of JA 15...?
     
  11. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk alberngruppenf├╝hrer

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    Well, if you start the private stock ordering process, the first question they ask you is what model do you want to start with. And JA-15 is one of the choices (as is pretty much every model past and present), so in that sense, it is a private stock.

    And no, the Hollowbody II and the Singlecut Hollowbody (my only two reference points of experience), are best thought of as part way between an archtop and a solidbody. They don't have the ...I forget the word...the top doesn't resonate like on an acoustic guitar and an archtop guitar, but the internal volume does provide a small bit of amplification, so played acoustically, you can hear it a little more than a solidbody, but nowhere near as much as with an archtop.

    I am in the same camp as the rest of you guys. I think if an archtop was available in the core line, perhaps with the same maple neck artist pack options as the Singlecut Hollowbody I recently received, I would have ordered that instead. I'm still pretty sure I'm doing something along those lines in a 7 string private stock at some point in the future. Although maybe an SC-J based design instead of the JA-15.
     
    #11 Dusty Chalk, Jul 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2017
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  12. Robertkoa

    Robertkoa New Member

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    Hmmm...is there a $2500. Cost Ceiling Code I can sneak in there ?

    C'mon Guys - tell me the Secret Code ...
     
  13. RMedel

    RMedel New Member

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    Hi!!

    I see many JA-15 priced from around $2500 -$3999. However, my experience with guitar sales is that the JA is a wonderful guitar and in the neighborhood of $2000.00, this is how I would price it. Unless it is spectacular looking then maybe a bit more. With an ebony fingerboard, real Abalone inlays, spruce top, 53/10 pickups (these are great), maple neck, solid mahogany neck, this is a great sound, well balanced guitar. I'm not pushing my website but you can hear this guitar on "Affirmation" and at www.RichardMedel.com. Thanks
     
  14. Robertkoa

    Robertkoa New Member

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  15. Robertkoa

    Robertkoa New Member

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    Yes listening to Demos..I do not hear the same response from other Guitars that I hear on the Neck sound of the JA 15.

    Unfortunately almost NO ONE ever makes Set Neck Resonant 25.5" scale Guitars and many
    People think or are conditioned to think that the 50's and 60's Electrics were 'perfected' - lol.
    That is sooooo ridiculous.

    Also - I really hear the 25" scale length sounding more like 25.5" scale on the JA 15.
    Listen to Benson or Johnny A and you'll see what I mean ( could be other PRS 25" Scale Guitars that do this but I have not heard many people Solo Clean on the neck pickup on most PRS Guitars .

    Also as I have said the smallest amount of Gain on JA 15 seems to take it toward a Jazzier Cleaner Hendrix Tone ( Watchtower Intro kinda but with that Funky wood resonance ) again sounding a bit more 25.5".

    IMO having the Resonance in the Guitar itself ( even from Resonant woods) - where you hear it more unplugged makes the Guitar less ' Volume ' or Speaker Cabinet Dependent ( and I have always HATED the loud volume 'needed' ( but not really ) for certain type Tones.

    I would LOVE to find a JA15 at $ 2000.
     
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  16. fgeorge097

    fgeorge097 New Member

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    Sadly PRS will not make you an SC-J design even through the Private Stock
     
  17. RMedel

    RMedel New Member

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    My JA-15 was purchased on Reverb.com. The original asking price was $2500.00 with a Make an Offer. I watched this guitar like a hawk and after two weeks with no buyers, I made the offer of $2000.00 and the seller accepted. I also had purchased a PRS Custom 24, Limited, Ebony fingerboard, 57/10, gold/silver hardware. Original asking was $2400.00 and did the same, I waited and and made an offer of $1900.00. Deals are out there if your patient. Good luck.
     
  18. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk alberngruppenf├╝hrer

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    Did you ask? I would think they would. At least as of 2016, they still had the template...or maybe that was 2013...
     
  19. RMedel

    RMedel New Member

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    I've owned a SC-J and sold it. It's a great guitar but if you're looking for a jazzier sound, the JA-15 is the one. If you like a brighter sounding guitar and versatile, the PRS HBII and sounds just like the SC-J with a bigger body and with the piezo system it works and sounds great.
     
  20. Robertkoa

    Robertkoa New Member

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    I Appreciate the Info..

    I wonder about the earlier Model called the Hollowbody Spruce ?

    Are there differences inside that prevent the same Resonance on Hollowbody Spruce ?

    On the JA 15 I think ( not sure though ) that there is a Block under the bridge going front to back allowing more vibration but keeping the Sustain...

    So Paul Reed Smith went even further than typical Semi Hollow with a center block...

    It's kind of like a 7/8 ths Archtop..so freakin' cool.

    I don't care about the Technical as much as the TONES.

    I would LOVE to hear this Design with a few switches for the Pickups but it seems to be taking semi hollow to the next point...

    I prefer Dark Deep sounding Guitars and then to thin them out with Single Coil and Parallel switches..

    Having a deep sounding Guitar is not the same as turning the Tone Knob down..
     
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