Dolphin Inlays

Mikeski

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Hi everyone. I came across a 1998 Archtop Hollowbody II at my friends shop yesterday that has Dolphin inlays instead of the birds or dots. Was this offered back in the day or should I go ahead and get the guitar as this is quite a rare one?
 

Whitecat

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Wouldn't be something off the main production line but perhaps something made by Private Stock? Can you get some pics?
 

django49

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Pictures would be helpful to comment. Dolphins are (or were) initially a feature on some Robin guitars, I believe. Later (continuing today) often found on Nik Huber guitars. Whether they are original, as well as the overall condition and appearance of the guitar would be key to determining a "good price". My guess is that they would not command a premium price. But if it is a "Private Stock" with documentation, it could be worth a fair amount.

Way back, I had an original Archtop (1, not 2). It was a nice guitar, but did not stand out enough (for me) to keep it long.
 

goof1073

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I'm going to guess that those were added afterwards...they look a bit oversized, like they were designed to cover the Moon's the guitar probably started off life with.
 

Whitecat

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I concur with these learned gentlemen - after seeing pics, looks like it's aftermarket.

It's fairly well known that Nik Huber isn't allowed to ship guitars with dolphin inlays to the US thanks to a trademark claim by Robin... because of this it seems unlikely PRS would do them, but that guitar was also built 18 years ago...
 

garrett

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The model is McCarty Hollowbody. Spruce top, hollow mahogany back. Usually referred to as a Hollowbody Spruce to differentiate from the maple topped versions.

The dolphins are weird for sure. Two good bets for finding out more: email PRS with the serial number and pictures; pull the neck pickup to see what's written in the pickup cavity.

It may be a rare one-off done for an artist or insider, or the inlays could've been done aftermarket, possibly on a new fretboard. Regardless, if the guitar does it for ya, go for it.
 

django49

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I concur with these learned gentlemen - after seeing pics, looks like it's aftermarket.

It's fairly well known that Nik Huber isn't allowed to ship guitars with dolphin inlays to the US thanks to a trademark claim by Robin... because of this it seems unlikely PRS would do them, but that guitar was also built 18 years ago...

FWIW, it appears the ban on the use died along with Robin.....And was easily skirted even when in place.....I have had at least 5 Huber guitars with dolphin inlays pass through my hands here in the USA, at least some produced when the "ban" was in place.
Sample.....
 

Mikeski

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So I shot an email over to the customer service with the serial number to see what they say. I like the looks and find it a different looking PRS, but to be honest if it's not all original I wouldn't want to spend the money for it. He's got others in my shop that I like much better.
 

Huggy B

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Custom inlays + plain spruce top = ???
If it was aftermarket I'd steer clear, you don't know what else they did to it, if it's actual PRS work, I'd jump on it.
 

Jazzedout

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I'd check it in person if I could. If the inlay was installed cleanly without too much fill around the edges I would not mind. The inlay material seems nice.
If the guitar played well and sounded good at a reasonable price, I would not hesitate...
 

veinbuster

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So I shot an email over to the customer service with the serial number to see what they say. I like the looks and find it a different looking PRS, but to be honest if it's not all original I wouldn't want to spend the money for it. He's got others in my shop that I like much better.
I doubt if the inlays are original.
Sorry.
 

Mikeski

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Ok Email from PRS CS - "Hi Mike,

Thank you for writing to Paul Reed Smith Guitars. We have used dolphin inlays on private Stock guitars, but they are not available on production models. Sorry.

Any information regarding current pricing, options and availability of PRS products, parts or custom-built Private Stock guitars, can be obtained from your local PRS dealer."

So this kind of says we didn't do this on production models, so this is not original. If it was a private stock, don't they have their own serial numbers, and not ones that start with year and then number.
 
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