Going to CE town

Em7

deus ex machina
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I’m not a cork sniffer, I’m an old player. I have a couple of SE’s with the overseas bridge. I like the way the guitars they are on sound. I’m not going to flip the bridge over and complain because the underside isn’t perfect. My ears tell me what sounds good and what doesn’t. My wallet doesn’t.

I am not a cork sniffer, just someone who has been paid to pay attention to fine detail his entire work life. The imported tremolo is a big step down in quality from a PRS core bridge of any generation. It is very cheaply made when compared to the real thing, not only from a build point of view, but also a functional point of view (e.g., I have never had a ball end stick in a core bridge of any generation). The original Classic Electrics and the earlier CEs shipped with all core hardware. The original Classic Electrics were PRS' first attempt at building a guitar to get players into the PRS family. A CE is already an expensive guitar, so two hundred dollars more is not going to break the bank for most purchasers because it is a buy once, cry once purchase. A guitar that had been considered to be USA core instrument up until 2016 should not need to be tweaked and upgraded out of the factory. In essence, a post-2016 CE does not need to be seen as a CE Lite. The S2s exist to provide a more budget-friendly Maryland-made PRS "lite" experience.
 
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dogrocketp

I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!
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I’ve also been paid to pay attention to detail, and have been accused more than once of being OCD. My 91 EG3 was discontinued because they were losing money on each one they made. That’s certainly not the intent of a viable business. With the current PRS lineup, there is something of quality at virtually every price point. I use a straightened paper clip to free stuck ball ends, even though it is a major hardship that seriously impedes the sound and playability of my instrument.
When I was last at my luthier, he was refretting a new Custom shop LP. That’s right, new. On the plus side, it did look exceptional. The owner found playability more important. While I would be the first person who would love to see every manufactured object perfectly made, and strive to do so in my business, I accept necessary compromises. I do get furious at sloppy workmanship that impedes function. My old 03 CE is at the level of my other core instruments. It is no longer 2016. The CE is now positioned at a slightly different level than the CU’s. It wasn’t years ago. I’m certainly not willing to complain because the trem on my Non core isn’t made the same way as my core. Does it work? Does it sound well? Does it stay in tune? Yes, just as well as my 509. Things can always be made better, but if things function as they should at a lower price level, the buyer will be happy. To me, a “big step down in quality” is not something my ears hear. And people used to joke about my hearing in music school.
 

Em7

deus ex machina
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In my humble opinion, PRS made a mistake with the CE24. When I purchased my 1995 Standard 24 new in 1995, it cost $1550. A new maple-topped CE24 cost $1800 and the maple on a CE24 was a lower grade from a figure point of view than a CU24. The CE24 was never seen as a lesser guitar from an instrument point of view. It was seen as a bolt-in neck guitar versus a set-neck guitar for people who prefer a bolt-on/bolt-in neck instrument. The was no need to cheapen the build to reach a lower price point. The problem has been that the average cost for a core PRS guitar has skyrocketed over the last decade, almost doubling in price (I do not know about you, but my income has not doubled in the last decade). I do not see how PRS could not build a CE24 shipped in a hard case for $3000 to 3500 list. There is still margin in that price. The $10,000 Gorilla in the room is the expansion to the factory that was done a decade ago. PRS spent big money on the expansion and it is reflected in skyrocketing instrument prices. I stand by my belief that the CE24 should have never left "core" status. The S2 line exists for people who want an Maryland-made guitar at a "lite" price. When Joe Knaggs left PRS and setup Knaggs Guitars, the price of his guitars were seen as outrageous. Now, they seem tame considering that they are basically private stock builds.
 
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dogrocketp

I drank the PRS kool aid, and it was tasty!
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We all have our own ideas about what to do to make a guitar ”ours.” Certainly, dropping a mannmade in a CE 24 will be fun. In mass manufacturing, the idea is to make the best product at a competitive price. PRS has done that. The Stevensville space? How about they outgrew where they were, and had ideas about what to do to grow? That’s what they’re doing. Business costs money, and without seeing the P and L statements I’m not willing to pontificate about their business model.
 

Broseph

PRS Fren
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the maple on a CE24 was a lower grade from a figure point of view than a CU24. The CE24 was never seen as a lesser guitar from an instrument point of view. It was seen as a bolt-in neck guitar versus a set-neck guitar for people who prefer a bolt-on/bolt-in neck instrument. doubling in price (I do not know about you, but my income has not doubled in the last decade).

I agree with everything you said. The modern CE maple tops are not nearly as highly flamed or quilted as a core line. And I get that nowadays as a price saving standpoint. Aside the bridge upgrade, the only other option I wish the CEs had were readily available replacement necks from PRS. Otherwise why even bother with a bolt on series?!? For its snappier sound? Even Paul is on record saying the difference between a set neck and bolt on in terms of tone is marginal. I do like that about fenders guitar: the ability to tinker and install a neck that I feel is right for me. That magic is lost when PRS says gotta love that neck it came with and no other options. I would love the ability to go to a pattern carve vs the thinner options.

And the S2 line is there for the “working class” man with a non hand carved top to further save on price.
 

Em7

deus ex machina
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The Stevensville space? How about they outgrew where they were, and had ideas about what to do to grow? That’s what they’re doing. Business costs money, and without seeing the P and L statements I’m not willing to pontificate about their business model.

I have heard from more than one insider about the financial pressure that the expansion has placed on PRS. That does not excuse the cheapening of the CE. The Classic Electric as it was called when introduced could be had for $800.00 when a new CU24 could be had for $1,200. Granted, that was a basic CU24. However, a CE was still not considered to be a value-priced instrument by any stretch of the imagination. The price of a CE increased dramatically after PRS start to add curly maple tops and then again after PRS changed the back wood from alder to mahogany. The CE developed its own loyal following. From that point, the CE was not seen as the red-headed stepchild that it is today. Today, the CE is basically a bolt-on S2, which is a shame. Just the Mira, the CE was reduced from a core-level build to that of a value-priced instrument. Sadly, the Mira went from core to S2 to SE. I would never part with my Mira Korina. With the right pickups, a Mira Korina is one of the best core instruments that PRS ever made.
 

Broseph

PRS Fren
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Miras? The latest to hit the the chop block is the custom 22. Went from core to S2 to now only SE. I still think the rise of the McCarty line causes this tho as a lot more 22 fretters have been added to the lineup since the custom 22 was created.
 

SamIV

New Member
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Dec 7, 2015
Messages
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Well I ended up with a 98 CE24. Tried to bond with a new model CE24, but that did not work out. Others love the new CE24 solid body though. I did prefer the 85/15 pickups in the new model over the HFS/VB pickups that are in mine.
 

SinSir

Mad Scientist
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Sep 7, 2020
Messages
1,780
Just returned my semi hollow. Just could not bond with it (or the price) given some possible alternatives.

I'm with you on bonding for the price. I was already very much on the fence with the new CEs before the increase. Now, no way. I can't even type some of the prices I've seen with straight fingers.
 
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