First high price guitar choice, please help!

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by Lallakala, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. Lallakala

    Lallakala New Member

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    Hi guys! First of all I apologize for my english.. I don't even know if the title has any english sense.
    Anyway it has been 2 weeks that I'm reading the forums and checking the market for a new guitar.

    I'm quite a newbie with guitars but I love it and I try to practice every day since when I started (2 years ago).
    I like all music genres and I play (at least I try my best) both clean and dirt, and the guitar I'll buy will be the only one I'll have.

    At the moment I have an Engl Ironball 20W Head + Bogner Cube 1x12 V30 and my guitar is a PRS SE 245 2017 with wide/fat neck which I'll try to sell.

    One day I realized that my guitar sounds thin. I don't know if it isn't a good one but I compared it to an SE Singlecut and the sound of that one was much thicker/fatter with more bottom end, it had more clarity and was more articulate.. especially with cleans. That really suprised me since the SE Singlecut was much lighter and had a thinner body/neck.
    So I decided to buy a SE Singlecut (400$ used) but although the tone was ok (better than my SE 245) I had to return it because I found the thin neck really uncomfortable and it had other minor problems.

    And here we are, I decided to do the big step and buy an american guitar.
    I ended up between 3 choices:
    - 2000 PRS Custom 22 - Dragon II pu, wide/fat neck, tremolo bridge, 3-way toggle switch + push pull split, bird inlays and very nice colour - 2000$
    - 2009 PRS McCarty - McCarty pu, wide/fat neck, wraparound bridge, 3-way toggle switch + push pull split, moon inlays and nice colour - 1830$
    - 2005 Gibson Les Paul Standard - Burstbucker Pro pu, very nice colour - 2060$

    I found the neck of my SE (and the guitar in general) to be really confortable and I like the idea to have the coil split but I really would like to have a fat tone (that's the main reason why I'm buying a new guitar) and it should be versatile and clear.. all these 3 guitars should match with my needs and they are all in good conditions.

    I don't have the chance to try the two PRS (it will be a blind order witouth the chance of return) but if possible I'll try the Les Paul in a local shop tomorrow.
    My teacher use a PRS Custom 22 with Dragon II, which I really like although I only heard it from a THR10 amp. I added the McCarty in the list because I've read a lot of good things and in particular that it has a really fat tone and has some featurs of the CU22.

    Do you think I should buy the Les Paul (if I like it) or risk and blind order one of the two PRS?
    I'm really afraid I could receive an other "bad one".. but are there so many really bad american PRS?
    Is there a difference between the coil split of the CU22 2009 vs McCarty 2000?

    I'm really sorry if I wrote a poem but any suggestions are really welcome!!
     
  2. RaySachs

    RaySachs New Member

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    I’ve played so many guitars I expected to like and didn’t, and so many I expected not to and did, that I’d be real hesitant to buy an expensive guitar that I couldn’t return without playing it first. If it’s the same model of PRS that you’ve played and know you like, I might do it (although I’d still be hesitant with a used one because you just don’t know what shape it’s really in). There are very few to no bad US made PRSs but different models are different and you might like some and not like others, even if they’re in perfect shape) and there’s no way to know if you haven’t played them. It’s not about quality, which should be very very good if the guitar is in good shape, it’s about what you bond with and what you don’t and there’s just no way to know that with a guitar model you’ve never played...

    While there’s a very good chance that the PRS options might be “better” than the Les Paul, if you’re able to play the Les Paul and you really like it, I’d recommend buying it, because then you KNOW you’re getting a guitar you’ll be happy with. You might like one of the PRS more, but you might not like it as much and there’d be no way to know without playing it. It’s a difficult position to spend a lot on something if you’ve never played it and can’t return it. My most expensive guitar (by a huge margin) is a PRS 594 and I bought it used without ever having played one, but I knew I could return it if it wasn’t to my liking. I love it and kept it, but I’ve played US made PRS I didn’t like very much, so I just never would have done it blind without an ability to return it...

    Good luck,

    -Ray
     
  3. JJJ

    JJJ asleep

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    there is no right answer here. What do you mean by blind order? Why can't you return the products?

    I'd be most interested in the cu22 but it is 18 years old now, so it's a pity you can't inspect it in person.

    Give the gibbo a go, just be aware the mid 2000s- present stuff is a bit hit and miss. If I was personally shopping for a used gibson I'd be aiming at the mid 90s. But give it a go, give it a thorough look over and long play test. If it's really killer grab it.

    For you, provided it was in good shape and it all worked out well, I'd say the mccarty was probably the best fit if you're new to it all.

    Do you have pictures/details of the PRS you could post?
     
  4. Lallakala

    Lallakala New Member

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    Thanks for reply!

    I'll buy it from a private and I'll ask to have the chance to return it but anyway there is no warranty.

    An other problem is that usually I can have only a general idea about the guitar if I play it at the shop.. I should play it at home for a couple of days to really understand if it's the guitar for me.

    For "blind order" I mean that I can see the guitar only by pictures and I can't try it before!

    I appreciate the advice on the Gibson and I've found an other Standard from 1997 which looks like to be in really good condition (Seymour Duncan APH1). The price is 2100$ but I should drive for 4,5 hours to go there and 4,5 to come back home.

    I was more oriented toward's the McCarty.. but I don't know maybe the Cu 22 is a better option since is from 2009 and it look like it's in better condition.

    I got several pictures of the guitar but I can't post any link yet since I'm new to the forum :D
     
  5. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    For me the CU22 would be the one !!! the PRS Trem is killer and CU22s with WF necks are my thing SOOO comfortable and all mine have sounded killer
     
  6. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    If your guitar is comfortable to play, try changing pickups. It is a lot less expensive, and will give you a chance to better understand the instrument before investing a lot of money.

    We all buy guitars hoping to sound better, but it is better in my opinion to learn to make the guitar you have sound good.
     
    jxe likes this.
  7. Lallakala

    Lallakala New Member

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    I changed the pick up soon after I purchased it and it really improved the tone. Unfortunately in the comparison between the SE Singlecut and my SE 245, the Singlecut was stock while mine was upgraded. Now I have swapped back the original pick up in order to check if that was the problem (it wasn't) and because I though it could be better to sell the guitar with all original stuff.
     
    dogrocketp likes this.
  8. Lallakala

    Lallakala New Member

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    I reached 3 post so I can try to upload some pictures.

    CU22

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    McCarty

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Les Paul 2005

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Les Paul 1997

    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  9. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Your chances of getting a “bad” PRS are about zero, unless the previous owner messed it up.
     
  10. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    I reread your original post. It looks like you may be looking for a tighter low end that will allow you to turn up the lows a bit. This may be why you prefer the 25" singlecut to the 24.5" scale you have.

    You may want to consider that, especially given that you seemed to like the tone of the sc you bought and returned.

    You may have other reasons for wanting an expensive guitar, which is fine. But I would suggest that an SE with a good set of pickups will sound very close to a core model.
     
    g.wizz likes this.
  11. merciful-evans

    merciful-evans New Member

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    I agree completely with the advice RaySachs gave in post #2.

    From the description of the sound you want, the 2005 LP with Burstbucker might be ideal for you. BBs are a little too rich for my taste, but that's why they have a range of pickups to choose from.
     
  12. Lallakala

    Lallakala New Member

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    Maybe you are right! I didn't think about the scale difference! Thanks a lot!

    The problem with the SE is that I need to find another one used in good condition, buy new pickup and hope that I'll like the tone and feeling. As I said the tone of the SE Singlecut was OK (not super nice) but I didn't like the feeling.. probably it was about the neck.
    In the end I will spend almost 1000$ and if I'll not like it I'll lose money, time and energy. The same could happen with an American guitar but at least I'll reduce the possibility :D

    I tried the Les Paul today and I love it on the lead channel. in the clean channel it was fine with the bridge pickup but I didn't like the neck pickup and the two together.
    I didn't find the neck profile super comfortable but maybe that's because I'm used to play a fat neck profile and that one was quite slim (60" profile)
     
  13. Jimi D

    Jimi D New Member

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    I hesitate to give advice in these matters, but my personal experience is that I've owned a number of Les Pauls from Studio to Custom Shop (well, five to be precise) and I don't have any of them any more... I do have a PRS SC245 and a McCarty, and if I had to chose between them, I'd have to flip a coin, because I couldn't voluntarily let either one go... and, as Forest would say, that's all I've got to say about that...
     
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  14. CVS

    CVS Not so new member

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    As others have mentioned, I would have a tough time getting comfortable buying a guitar that I could not play first without the right to return it. Maybe continue to look around some more given it sounds like you did not fall in love with the LP. Try to be patient. The right one will show up at some point.

    The only guitars that I have ever purchased without playing them first have been PRS guitars. All of them( PRS new guitars) have been "gig ready" right out of the box. I would never buy any other brand of guitar without playing it first, just too much variability IMHO
     
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  15. JJJ

    JJJ asleep

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    From the photos, the 97 LP looks delicious, but so do the PRS. I can't see anything untoward, aside from the finish chip on the McCarty. It's a bummer you can't check them out in person

    If it was me personally I'd be very interested in the McCarty due to the price and I'd have a tech wick some nitro over the neck ding. I'm not you though. It's a difficult situation - if you have tried an LP already and it didn't feel right, don't buy it though. There's no rush, right? The custom might just be suffering unflattering photos but it looks like it needs some tlc on the fretboard and wire but looks clean enough and has a lovely top.

    As stated above PRS are amongst the safest bet to buy unseen... Gibsons really do need an inspection. I have never seen a PRS with a warped neck, for example but have seen many Gibsons, and unless someone has messed one up they're not going to go bad by themselves. Do be aware some older PRS can have clouding in the finishes though and something to look out for from experience is finish chipping away from the fretboard ends, especially in that era. The cloudy problem is usually evident in photos though and those look fine. These aren't terminal problems btw just something to note and maybe bargain the price down a little.
     
  16. Lallakala

    Lallakala New Member

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    Thanks everyone for the helpfull advices!
    Yesterday after I tried the Les Paul i had a phone call with the CU22 seller. It seems to be a trustfull person and he said that the guitar is perfect (90%+ frets) and play really well. He bought it 3 years old from an old man who sold two american PRS and he's selling it because it daesn't feet in his expensive rig like his tele and strato.
    He sent me more pictures and a video where he show me the guitar in detail.
    I can't say the same for the McCarty seller since I'm still waiting for more pictures..

    CU22 pictures without flash:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    What do you mean for finish chipping away from the fretboard ends? I asked other pictures of the fretboard in details
     
    #16 Lallakala, Jun 12, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
    JJJ and grausch like this.
  17. JJJ

    JJJ asleep

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    that looks sweet, maybe in need of a dress?

    I mean the finish at the edge of the board where the fret ends are. On older PRS I have seen the finish starts to lift a little from the rosewood. I have seen it on new ones too. My new Starla has it a tiny bit at the 14th fret, it's no big deal but something to keep an eye out for. Google it there are some photos of what I mean.

    That guitar looks great though
     
  18. Lallakala

    Lallakala New Member

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    Ok now I understand what you mean and it daesn't look like! But what do you mean that meaybe it needs a dress? :D I googled it but I can find only dresses about guitar hehe :D

    CU22 fretboard

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  19. dogrocketp

    dogrocketp I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!

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    I would be thinking seriously about that CU 22 if I were you. If I were in your shoes, that would be the way I would go personally. It looks to be in good condition, the frets don't seem to have any divots, and as long as the trem has been handled properly it should play well. While cosmetic condition is important, I hope you're going to play it, not just look at it. Curiosity question......what part of the world are you in? In some areas, the guitar could be considered a real bargain (we are not supposed to mention exact price). And you can change the sound of the guitar a lot by changing string brands, gauges, and raising or lowering the pickups.
     
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  20. Lallakala

    Lallakala New Member

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    That's nice sInce I'm also pointing at that direction

    Definitely I'll play it, as I said hoping to sell my SE the Custom will be my only electric guitar. Actually I don't love to have a so beautiful guitar because I don't want to be afraid playing it but I'm sure that after the first month I'll stop to think about its value and I'll play it just like I played the SE.

    I live in Italy and the price looks to be under the avarage price that people ask for a custom. Should I delete the prices in the first post?
     

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