Good PRS Core model to compliment Gibson SG

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by rcsrich, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. rcsrich

    rcsrich New Member

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    So first, the bad news- I returned the used SE Zach Meyers I bought a little less than a month ago...it had a blemish in the top (glue smudge?) that I didn't notice in the excitement of the store, but noticed once it was home and it's been eating at me ever since. My wife & daughter think I'm nuts of course (and I probably am), but I just didn't see the issue bothering me any less over time.

    Now the good news! Whilst the SE was a $500 purchase, I've talked the better half into letting me put away a couple hundred bucks a month (small raise at work- woo hoo!) toward getting a Core model instead. I owned a CE back in the 90's for a short time & enjoyed it, but am fond of set-neck guitars. I currently have a 2012 (2013 model year) Gibson SG standard- the year they started making them similar to the 61 reissue. I love 'hog guitars, and have admired a few Standard 22's that were all mahogany, but am worried that even with the difference in scale length & pickups, I'd be in the same territory as the SG. I'd like something that provides a little more tonal complexity, so thinking something like a McCarty with a maple top might do the trick...I also tend to like pickups with a little more vintage vibe.

    My primary requirements are 1) Core series, 2) hard tail, 3) probably used to maximize bang for buck (budgeting $2K and below). I'd appreciate any observations members might have, especually if you've had/played a similar SG & so know the general tones you can get out of it. I'd have to double check, but think the Gibby has '57 Classic pups.

    I have plenty of time before the money accumulates, so no hurry, and thanks in advance!
     
  2. Mozzi

    Mozzi https://imgur.com/user/BAMozzy

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    As you like a Set Neck, the most obvious core PRS would have to be the McCarty 594 (to give it its full name) - perhaps the most 'vintage' vibe PRS of them all. Without beating about the bush, its a 58 Les Paul made by PRS with modern appointments (locking tuners and Coil splitting) and the 58/15 LT's are great vintage sounding PU's. If you have ever played a Les Paul, the 594 would be very familiar. I don't think its too close to an SG and, it seems, a lot of Gibson SG owners also own Les Pauls too. The 594 comes in Single Cut, Double Cut, solid, semi-hollow and 'hollow although I don't think many of the core line (if any) have made it to market yet. If it wasn't for the Set Neck, the Silver Sky could of been an option - a 63/64 era Strat in terms of sounds and design.

    Next up would be the McCarty - a different model to the 594. These are more vintage inspired and have a thicker body like the 594. After that, you are moving more into the more 'modern' PRS instruments - at least comparatively. Guitars like the Custom 22/24 are more modern compared to the rest. The Custom 24 is perhaps a bit closer to the SG than the 22 because of the distance between the PU's is closer than on the 22/Les Paul type models. I don't think the 408 or the 509 would be what you are looking for.

    Of the Signature models, the DGT is a great vintage vibe PRS. It does add a Trem to the traditional double humbucker style set up and removes one of the tone pots you get with a LP type. I think its the most 'vintage' style guitar in the signature models though and the one from this range that I think most fits the style of guitar you were alluding to above. I don't think a Tremonti would be the best for example and perhaps not even Paul's guitar.

    Of these, I think you are more likely to find a used McCarty at the lower end of the pricing. The 594 only launched in 2016 and therefore not likely to be selling for much less than new. The Single Cut launched in 2017 (I believe) and you are less likely to find a Semi or full hollowbody used at all. The DGT has been around a while and you may find these a bit cheaper than the 594 but I don't think there are many of these used as people tend to hold on to these. If you are buying new, that of course opens up all of these and you may be able to get a great deal on a new one.

    In truth, I am not at all familiar with the US used market and the pricing as I am UK based. I cannot advise on which models are likely to be available and at $2k or less but if I had to 'guess' which PRS of the more vintage/vintage inspired models with a Set Neck that you may be able to find, I would say the McCarty (not the 594) but someone with more knowledge of the US market place can help you here. I think the 594 will be out of your price range - unless you can put more in and I don't know if the DGT will be easy to find used either.
     
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  3. rcsrich

    rcsrich New Member

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    Thanks @Mozzi , this is exactly what I was hoping for! :)
     
  4. jvin248

    jvin248 New Member

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    .

    Make sure to stick with 22 fret models, as the 24s will approach the SG in tone style (extra frets push the neck pickup back toward the bridge).

    If you get the DGT or another model with a trem, remember you can put a maple block in there .. Eric Clapton approves of blocking trems.

    .
     
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  5. rcsrich

    rcsrich New Member

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    Good point! I certainly did my share of tremelo blocking in the past. There's just something tho about the simplicity of a wrap-around bridge...
     
    #5 rcsrich, Jun 24, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2019
  6. rcsrich

    rcsrich New Member

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    I should also mention I like the wide-fat neck profile of the ZM, so I'd be looking for something similar in the core model.
     
  7. jak3af3r

    jak3af3r Slightly Older Than New Member

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    The older McCartys are good value for the money and tick all the boxes. You could also try and track down a stripped 58 or older Singlecut if you like that body shape better and get the same appointments.
     
  8. rcsrich

    rcsrich New Member

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    They certainly seem to be...
     
  9. garrett

    garrett knows just enough to be dangerous

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    Can't miss with a McCarty.
     
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  10. rcsrich

    rcsrich New Member

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    Any advice on weight? Is there a magic number to shoot for?
     
  11. Glide-bpm

    Glide-bpm We were small but we were slow...

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    McCarty 594's are awesome!
     
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  12. Herr Squid

    Herr Squid I was severely impressed

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    Look for a post-2012 SC58, Stripped 58, or SC245. Those guitars have all the right moves, and should be findable at pretty good prices since they didn't get all the love that the 594s have. The SC58s will probably have the highest prices of those 3. The used market can have some wonderful surprises.
     
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  13. garrett

    garrett knows just enough to be dangerous

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    I don't make any association between weight and tone, so I just go with what feels comfortable. For me, that's anything less than 8 lbs.
     
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  14. mad monk

    mad monk Your father's Oldsmobile

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    Find a used Mira 245. One of the best ever made that's "similar" to an SG. I owned 2, and kick myself for letting them go.
     
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  15. JJJ

    JJJ asleep

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    find an old mira?

    The starlas always give me SG vibes, aside from the pickups
     
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  16. Tone-y

    Tone-y New Member

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    And for a more cost effective option...an SE Bernie Marsden

    And from the core line, a Ted McCarty. I think these are normally wood library runs.
     
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  17. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Get in, loser, we’re going shopping.

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    Compliment?.... more like detract.

    May as well sell the SG to help fund the PRS.
     
  18. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    Best advice in the thread!
     
  19. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    I'd recommend an SC245. Very easy to play, great tone, very vintage-y pickups, reasonable price on the used market.
     
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  20. rcsrich

    rcsrich New Member

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    Nice. ;-) I can't...the SG is "the" guitar my 15 year old self aspired to...when I saw an open box deal for a steal, I had to buy it.

    Just to clarify, I'm looking for a bit different sound than what the SG gives me, but still something with a vintage vibe. I think a core Mira would essentially be the SG done by PRS. Which would be awesome, mind you, just not what I'm looking for this time around.
     
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