Best Prs (value money) studio work

Oliver001

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Sep 4, 2021
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Hey Guys,




Recently I came across PRS as I am searching for a bit higher level electric guitar than my American performer Strat. I also got a Tokai, which is a les paul knock off. But I would only use the PRS for studio work, as I am a music producer.

Which model would you guys recommend? Would an SE be sufficient or an S2/CE reaaally nicer?



Thanks!
 

Oliver001

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Sep 4, 2021
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It is difficult to make a suggestion. SE S2 and CE are all great but not all may speak to you.

Tell us more info on your music or tone love we could guide more. Only you can decide.

Welcome! No matter what you pick it will be nice.


Awesome thanks! It will be mostly pop music. I feel it needs to be a step up to my strat tho..
 

chicagoslim

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Apr 13, 2021
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I'm a big fan of the S2's, but they encompass a large variety of guitars. CE 24's are great guitars, if you feel at home on the Pattern/Thin neck. SE's can be good guitars, but the quality may not be as consistent. I don't buy SE's without comparing many, before making a choice. It's still hard to find a shop willing to let you run the racks.

If you are able, I would start by comparing a S2 McCarty 594, with a CE 24. If you like the CE 24, I would then compare it to a S2 Custom 24. S2 and CE semi-hollows are another choice, you might want to consider. Most music shops don't want people to handle a bunch of guitars. My shop keeps half of there PRS guitars, in their boxes. Try to be selective, asking if you could compare one guitar to another.
 

Dusty Chalk

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Part of this question is the old bolt-on vs. set neck debate. PRS' bolt-ons are in a separate class, you should get one if you prefer bolt-ons. I personally, only have one, which I am very happy with and will be keeping. That said, PRS' set neck designs are fantastic, and my preference.

Follows are my random thoughts on the various ranges. If I leave anything out, it's because either I forgot, or wasn't aware.

There's a lot of SEs that are just fantastic: Holcomb, Holcomb SVN, Zach Myers, as well as older models (24/7 is a personal favourite).

Ditto S2: Vela is a standout.

But if you want a true studio monster, get the 513. From the current line-up, the 509, 24-08, DGT, Studio, Special Semi-Hollow, or Paul's Guitar are all very very flexible.

But really, you can get an awful lot of sounds with just their dual humbucker-based models -- in any range -- with the coil split. I don't have one (not interested in any scale length less than 25" any more), but a McCarty with the dual volumes and dual tones and the toggles sounds like it would be ridiculously flexible.
 
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Oliver001

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Sep 4, 2021
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Awesome, thanks guys! I find the gloss finish on my tokai actually a bit sticky to my opinion. Not really my cup of tea. Perhaps I’ll order an CE and a S2 and compare them in my studio. It will always sound different through my recording chain then in the store
 

Uncle Bob

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Mar 2, 2021
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Easy. If you want value for money then SE all day long. Value for money is the SE’s reason for existing. And what amazing value they are!

Unfortunately, the next price bracket up (the S2) costs twice as much, and in PRS world cost doesn’t equate to value when you start to drill down into the details and really look at the spec of the guitars.

If you’re seriously considering the S2 then you shouldn’t really rule out the SE. After all, they basically share all the same components and yet the S2 is twice the price. It’s definitely not twice the guitar.

Likewise the CE is four times the price of an SE and is not four times as good (and also shares some of the same hardware as the SE - the bridge being the notable part).

If you were looking for ‘one guitar to rule them all’ in a studio environment then personally I’d be looking more at what the music requires rather than how expensive the guitar is. I’d also be thinking about which setup offers the most tonal variety, for example maybe a Studio (as somebody suggested above) or a Custom 24/08, or one of the models equipped with a piezo pickup.

So it’s not as straightforward as it might seem. But the good news is that whichever PRS guitar you buy it’s going to be pretty damn good.
 

LSchefman

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Apr 26, 2012
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I do studio work for national ads quite a bit, and my guitars pay for themselves - even my Private Stock models have to earn their keep, and they have all paid for themselves many times over.

Largely, which guitar to use is a matter of taste and what I sound best on. My clients seem to like my tone. My #1 and #2 guitars are a PRS PS McCarty Singlecut and a PS 20th Private Stock Anniversary Limited, through either a PRS HXDA or DG30 amp. However, I also do a lot of work with a CU24 PS, a McCarty Trem, and a 594 Soapbar, depending on what clients want.

If I only could have one guitar, and didn't have a good budget, it'd be a Core Custom 24. Totally versatile guitars that suit most occasions.

The amp is as important as the guitar. Get a good one. Wait, get several good ones.

My principal amps are PRS HXDA and DG30, followed by Mesa Fillmore and Mesa Lone Star. No clunkers allowed. I don't use modelers, others do. I've learned to be somewhat agnostic about modelers for other players. Whatever they sound best on is fine on my productions, though I prefer tube amps.

My clients understand that I'm going to use PRS Guitars, and of course, as a producer I'm my biggest client. However, others have hired me over the years to play on their ads, and I've always played PRS on them since 1991. Nonetheless, if starting out, it surely couldn't hurt to have a Strat type guitar like the Silver Sky, and perhaps a Tele.

Do you need Core, as opposed to S2 or SE? Probably not. But for studio work, I'd want S2 at the very least.

CAVEAT: I can only go by personal experience, as can anyone else. And that certainly will vary from player to player.
 

Oliver001

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Sep 4, 2021
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I'm a big fan of the S2's, but they encompass a large variety of guitars. CE 24's are great guitars, if you feel at home on the Pattern/Thin neck. SE's can be good guitars, but the quality may not be as consistent. I don't buy SE's without comparing many, before making a choice. It's still hard to find a shop willing to let you run the racks.

If you are able, I would start by comparing a S2 McCarty 594, with a CE 24. If you like the CE 24, I would then compare it to a S2 Custom 24. S2 and CE semi-hollows are another choice, you might want to consider. Most music shops don't want people to handle a bunch of guitars. My shop keeps half of there PRS guitars, in their boxes. Try to be selective, asking if you could compare one guitar to another.


Would you recommend a CE24 custom over an CE24 standard? Or is the difference just the paint?
 

LSchefman

Hears Tones
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Messages
28,073
Hey Guys,




Recently I came across PRS as I am searching for a bit higher level electric guitar than my American performer Strat. I also got a Tokai, which is a les paul knock off. But I would only use the PRS for studio work, as I am a music producer.

Which model would you guys recommend? Would an SE be sufficient or an S2/CE reaaally nicer?



Thanks!

One further question would be to ask what kind of studio work you plan to do.
 

chicagoslim

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Apr 13, 2021
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212
Location
Bowling Green, KY.
Would you recommend a CE24 custom over an CE24 standard? Or is the difference just the paint?

The Customs have a maple top, where as a Standard will be all mahogany. So there is a difference in appearance. But, there will also be a difference in sound. I liked and played Standard mahogany PRS guitars for years, because I liked the sound better. But these were older guitars with pickups that I didn't like. So I would swap a set of Filtertron type pickups, into my Standards. I currently have a 2017, S2 Standard 24 Satin, that sounds great with the PRS 85/15S pickups. In my opinion, the PRS pickups have improved over the years.



When I was doing studio work, I had a bunch of guitars. I was working for Nashville artist's, so I always carried a Tele. But I ended up using a PRS Swamp Ash Special, on all the recordings. It's a discontinued model, with an ash body and a Maple bolt on neck.



It's a hard time, to visit guitar shops. But I would recommend that you try some of these models, rather than take advise from us on the forum. Once you have a better idea of which guitars you might like, it would be easier to make an informed, internet purchase. Some of my best purchases, were used S2 guitars. Unfortunately, out of my 8 PRS guitars, 6 of them have been discontinued.

I hope that this is some help. Sometimes I feel like the more I type, the more I tend to confuse people.
 
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